Governor's Career & Technical Academy Arlington

CSC 205: Computer Organization: Week 1


This week we begin our study of computer organization and computer architechture.


You've all fallen asleep and awoke back in time, January 1, 1975. It takes you several days to adjust to your new reality. There are no cell phones, no World Wide Web, and even the Internet is only known and used by a handful of scientists and engineers. Outside, dinasaurs roam (just kidding;-), and your ancient computer science teacher is a 15 year old kid in high school.

After a few weeks adjusting to your new reality, you decide that if you're going to be stuck in 1975, you might as well make the best of it. You wonder if the tech skills and knowledge you bring from the future could be of help to you in getting a leg up on the last quarter of the 20th century, and decide to work together to find out.

Browsing the magazine shelf at a 7-Eleven store (some things haven't changed since 1975, though I don't think 7-Eleven has magazines any more), the following issue of Popular Electronics magazine catches your eye:

Popular Electronics cover January 1975

Since you know already this is the beginning of something big, you work together doing odd jobs and such to piece together the needed $621 to purchase one of these Altair 8800 machines.

Your Altair in hand, it's time to figure out how to use it.


Work together to do each of the following initial tasks:

NOTE: I am planning to design this culminating course in your Arlington Tech computer science pathway with a student-centered, problem/project based approach appropriate to Arlington Tech's mission. That means that much of the responsibility for learning falls on you to actively engage and put in the time and effort needed for success. I'll be responsible for defining much of the problems on which we will focus, and on working in consultation with you to adapt and modify our goals and pacing as we go, but you will need to take control of your learning process.