Geek out!

For those of you like me — i.e. you came to this coding lark from an entirely different academic background — any articles which cover key programming concepts are A Good Thing. So, whilst perusing Buzz Andersen’s weblog, I was pleased to discover the “What the heck is…” series of articles, by Dan Sugalski. These are seriously good, and cover stuff like dynamic versus static typing and walking the stack. Recommended.

Dan Sugalski’s “What the heck is…” series.


  1. I did a Computer Science degree back in the days when we actually used 'Core Memory' not just read about it. Although a little bulky for todays laptops, except the odd stinkypad or monster dell ;-) but it has other practical uses sadly missing in todays high tech world such as central heating, making toast and keeping your lunch warm. (For those 'newbies' out there ->

    But, to get to the point, I'm sure we used to "Walk the stack" by sequentially reading each bit of memory. Or has my own core memory leaked over the years or been affected by eating too many electromagnetised sandwiches in my misspent youth :-?AJP#
  2. Heh heh, very cool (or not… :-o)

    The closest I’ve been to a CS degree is reading a book about programming the EMIDEC 1100 with punch cards:

    More computing historyBen Poole#
  3. Ouch!. You must have done something really bad :-)AJP#
  4. It seemed weird to start with the stack walking entry, but what I was running across with folks getting into parrot was that so many people started writing code with high-level languages (well, OK, C, but close enough) that almost nobody had a clue about the actual hardware, and anything directly manipulated by the CPU had this mystical aura around it. A lot of the folks (especially ones with mostly Java or Perl backgrounds) didn't even realize there was a system stack that was accessible to user programs.

    Strange, but nonetheless true, so I started at the beginning, more or less.Dan#

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