Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Computerphile Historic Lecture Catalogue

Since 2013 the University of Nottingham has been quietly beavering away at creating a series of short videos on the subject of Computer Science. Many of these presentations have been given by Professor David Brailsford who has a particular interest in the history of computing and in text processing and presentation. Here we present a catalogue of Prof. Brailsford’s lectures (in reverse chronological order) many of which will be of interest to CCS members.

David Brailsford is an engaging speaker with a particular gift for explaining the tale behind matters which many of us may take for granted without perhaps having a full appreciation of the back story.

David Brailsford is an engaging speaker with a particular gift for explaining the tale behind matters which many of us may take for granted without perhaps having a full appreciation of the back story.

Members may be especially interested in the presentations of Nottingham’s Honorary Professor Brian Kernigan, justly famous for his pioneering work on the Unix operating system and the C programming language. For your convenience we have created a duplicate index of these presentations at bwk.htm.


  1. Why Build Colossus?
  2. Exploiting the Tiltman Break - Computerphile
  3. Where GREP Came From - Brian Kernighan
  4. EXTRA BITS: Double Dabble 42
  5. Double Dabble
  6. 42 and Binary Coded Decimal
  7. Hello World (Assemblers Considered Harmful?!)
  8. IBM, EBCDIC & A Meg-In-A-Box
  9. Where did Bytes Come From?
  10. GOTO, Goto & Goto
  11. Initial Orders II
  12. EDSAC Simulator
  13. Von Neumann Architecture
  14. Wheeler Jump
  15. EXTRA BITS: Loops, Ackermann & Recursion
  16. Programming Loops vs Recursion
  17. EXTRA BITS: The Triple Ref Code
  18. Triple Ref Pointers
  19. Why C is so Influential
  20. Essentials: Pointer Power!
  21. EXTRA BITS: Reed Muller Program
  22. Reed-Muller Code (64 Shades of Grey pt2)
  23. 64 Shades of Martian Grey
  24. EXTRA BITS: More on Perfect Codes
  25. The Perfect Code
  26. Correcting Those Errors
  27. Multiple Dimension Error Correction
  28. Implementation
  29. Computer Science’s Wonder Woman: Ada Lovelace
  30. Babbage’s Mechanical Notation Puzzle
  31. Babbage’s Analytical Engine
  32. PDF Workflow
  33. PDF, What is it FOR?
  34. Unrolling the Loops
  35. Turing Complete
  36. EXTRA BITS — Haskell Example
  37. HTML IS a Programming Language (Imperative vs Declarative)
  38. Where HTML beats C?
  40. HTML: Poison or Panacea?
  41. Problems with Omitted End Tags
  42. SGML HTML XML What’s the Difference?
  43. Same Story, Different Notation
  44. Angle Brackets
  45. Computers Without Memory
  46. Chomsky Hierarchy
  47. EXTRA BITS — Why Binary?
  48. Why Use Binary?
  49. TLU Three Letter Username Obsession
  50. UNIX Special: Profs Kernighan & Brailsford
  51. Zig Zag Decryption
  52. Fishy Codes: Bletchley’s Other Secret
  53. Colossus & Bletchley Park
  54. 5 Hole Paper Tape
  55. XOR Easter Egg
  56. XOR & the Half Adder
  57. AND OR NOT — Logic Gates Explained
  58. The Turing Test
  59. Binary: Plusses & Minuses (Why We Use Two’s Complement)
  60. Binary Addition & Overflow
  61. Enigma, TypeX and Dad
  62. EXTRA BITS — Secret Banburismus Anecdote
  63. Tackling Enigma (Turing’s Enigma Problem Part 2)
  64. Turing’s Enigma Problem (Part 1)
  65. Turing Meets Paradoxes (History of Undecidability Part 3)
  66. Barber & Russell Paradoxes (History of Undecidability Part 2)
  67. Undecidability Tangent (History of Undecidability Part 1)
  68. Turing Machine Primer
  69. Busy Beaver Turing Machines
  70. Ackermann Follow Up
  71. The Most Difficult Program to Compute?
  72. Fibonacci Programming
  73. Reverse Polish Grows on Trees
  74. EXTRA BITS: Recursion and the Stack
  75. What on Earth is Recursion?
  76. Reverse Polish Notation and The Stack
  77. The Dawn of Desktop Publishing
  78. EXTRA BITS — More on the Original Mac at 30
  79. The Little Mac with the Big Bite
  80. The Font Magicians
  81. Typesetters in the ’80s
  82. EXTRA BITS — Printing and Typesetting History
  83. The Great 202 Jailbreak
  84. EXTRA BITS — Text Compression Meets Probabilities
  85. Elegant Compression in Text (The LZ 77 Method)
  86. EXTRA BITS/TRITS — Huffman Trees
  87. How Huffman Trees Work
  88. Error Correction
  89. EXTRA BITS — Behind the scenes on Computerphile
  90. EXTRA BITS — More about Punch Cards
  91. Punch Card Programming
  92. Error Detection and Flipping the Bits
  93. Mainframes and the Unix Revolution
  94. Entropy in Compression
  95. Compression
  96. Near to the Metal