Message Of The Day

Wed, 08 Oct 2003

08:22 [zork(~/nick/scheme)] cat sicp_videos.txt

All Hail MIT for releasing to us the videos of the 1980s!


That's all I can keep saying! Dude!

It's a set of 6.001 lectures videotaped by HP so that they could have SICP on file for all future students! It's released under the attribution/share-alike creative commons license!

It was recorded in 1986! Think of that! It was done for version 1 of SICP, and probably used Common LISP instead of Scheme (though that doesn't really matter).

But it's 1986! The students all have perms, bowl cuts, square-frame glasses, and izod shirts! Sussman actually wears a pocket protector with no irony whatsoever!

Gödel, Escher, Bach had been published only a few years prior to this, so that they were still all giddy about Bach and technology and Wendy Carlos and stuff, so the intro music is Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring played on a synth keyboard. Hell, it's probably a casio!

I was looking at the leather case on Sussman's belt, and realized that there's no way in 1986 that it could be a cellular telephone. that leaves me with a few basic possibilities:

Man oh man I hope it was a slide rule.

But Dude!

I'm busy mirroring all the divx files (about 9G total), and I'm watching them one by one. So far I'm on section three of day two part a, but I have through day four downloaded. It's amazing how smooth everything flows when it's being written up on the blackboard, and the student questions really are the most pressing ones.

It's fun to note that they have a weird 1980s teleprompter screen for the actual slides they do want to put up (usually images and fully-formed page-long programs). But the real strength of the lectures comes from the fact that Abelson and Sussman have a many-paneled chalkboard on which to write their terse chunks of LISP. There's something about the ability to narrate as you write that gets lost in slide-presentation lectures.

At any rate, this is the last piece I needed to make any sort of lisp hacker initiation club complete. I'm still jazzed about its very existence. Dude!

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