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