When I was in middle school, I read Charles Petzold’s book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. This book bridged a gap that in my opinion, even at the college level, persists between electrical and computer science. It seems that often, computer science students understand their virtual environments, but not the foundations that link them to the physical world. This book was my first exposure to bridging that divide.

I recently revisited this book, and since I am drawing to the close of the fall semester of my senior year, I decided I wanted to make a project out of it. I am a very hands-on person, and I like making things. Come mid-December, my hope is that I will be able to rebuild every component in this book at various levels of abstraction, and I’d like to take you all through it with me. This will be a series of blog posts proceeding through these levels, and devised to follow along with the circuits and diagrams presented in the book. As such, I will divide this series according to the chapters in Code.

Note: A similar project, done by programming field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is found here.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1-5: Simple Circuits
  • Chapter 6: Enter the Relay
  • Chapter 10-11: Logic Gates*
  • Chapter 12: Addition
  • Chapter 13: Subtraction
  • Chapter 14: Flip Flops (not the shoes)
  • Chapter 16: Memory*
  • Chapter 17: Automation
  • Chapter 18: Transistors
  • …TBD

*Some chapters will be skipped as they contain no circuitry but rather cover background information. The relevant information will be linked or covered where necessary