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.


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