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[ Silence ]

>> This is CS50, Friday of Week 0. Welcome back for those returning, welcome to
CS50 for those joining us for the first time. Typically, we will not in fact hav
e classes on Fridays, just this week and next for shopping week and Labor Day. B
ut thereafter we will indeed be Monday, Wednesday. So, one of the side effects p
erhaps of a course like this is that it begins to open your eyes to all sorts of
technical curiosities in society and technical inaccuracies in society. And so
what I did this morning, this is literally how I spent my morning, well, it was
troll around YouTube looking for nice incarnations of things that perhaps yester
day you might not have blinked that but 10 weeks from now you should absolutely
poke fun at these people. So with that said, I give you a little something from
>> For weeks I've been investigating the [inaudible] murders with a certain morb
id fascination.
>> This isn't real-time.
>> I'll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic, see if I can track an IP addr
>> So there we have, I'll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic, see if I ca
n track an IP address. So, a lot of technical words independently that are very
much accurate and used in technical context. But GUI, graphical user interface,
kind of [inaudible] said, a graphical user interface interface, two using Visual
Basic. So this is kind of a modern show and that is kind of a retro language an
d it's also as will be one of the takeaways of this course completely irrelevant
to what problem you are solving, the fact that this engineer is using--proclaim
ing to use Visual Basic really is not a compelling part of the story. And finall
y, see if I can track an IP address. Well, all of that might in fact be the goal
but it's when you start hearing things like this hopefully that you at least st
art to grimace a little bit. And let me pull up a second one, it turns out it's
also from CSI. Let me make sure that the user annotations are disabled this time
and let's take a little look at this one here.
[ Music ]
>> This is the vacation shot, it gives us something to work with.
>> [Inaudible] was taking a picture of this girl. So, margin the reflection in h
er eye. Just slide the image over.
>> And there is our victim, our program.
>> Okay, so when you are working with source material that looks like this, ther
e is in fact no such thing as infinite zoom in computer science. You can not jus
t tell the computer to enhance that or can you clean that up and then magically
use zoom in not only on the image but also on the reflection of the victim in so
meone's eyeball. So here too are they taking some liberties. But thankfully I al
so found in my trolling around this morning, something that is perhaps technical
ly motivating and at least remains for those of you which is many of you who act
ually use Gmail, you might have seen a little advert in the top right hand corne
r recently saying new beta version of a little something called Gmail Priority I
nbox. So this one is not a spoof, it's actually a pretty cute video and it offer
s us the opportunity to just take a look at some of the kinds of ideas we'll be
looking at in this course. So I give you your Gmail Priority Inbox. If you haven
't turned it on or don't know what that thing is [background music] here we go.
[ Music ]
>> So, if you've ever wondered, that is in fact how Gmail works underneath the h
ood? So, what are the takeaways though for us? So there're actually some really
interesting computer science ideas underlying that we promised on Wednesday that
computer science. And this course in particular isn't at the end of the day abo
ut programming even though that is in fact how you will spend a good amount of y
our time and the skill that you will in fact walk away with. But it's about appr
oaching something that you actually care about, for instance, just--it's even so
mething work a day like managing your email and getting through the day more eff
iciently and trying to answer a lot more cleverly, a lot more effectively questi
ons like which things do I care about. I mean these are the kinds of things the
computers can in fact if programmed effectively help us with. So this little vid
eo suggested there's a couple of heuristics that a computer or that a programmer
could use to figure out what emails are important to someone like me. We looked
at what emails you reply to if you reply in theory that suggest this user must
care about whoever sent this email or the topic they are in. If you actually rea
d it, that's a useful indicator. Are there other indicators or tricks or rules o
f thumb that just off the top of your head come to you as useful mechanisms for
doings this as well? Yeah.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So that's a good one. So, whether or not the email is addressed specifically
to you in like the two field or if maybe you were BCC'd or it's a big email list
of which you're just part, that could signify that this is in fact useful for y
ou. Yeah, in the back.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So what the subject is, okay, so if it's something like, you know, buy such a
nd such, a whole bunch of spam. I mean buy could actually be a negative indicato
r that this is probably not of interest to the user. Whereas please help or dinn
er or something like that might actually be more compelling to a human. Other th
oughts that come to mind. Yeah, in the middle.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Okay, good. So in Gmail context most of yo know, you can not--you can delete
things but most people just save or archive emails. So if you archive it, that's
maybe a little hint that either this is just your habit or perhaps that you mig
ht actually care about this later in the future, whereas if you delete it, no, y
ou really don't care. Yeah.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So who the sender is, so maybe you could keep track of just who your most fre
quent correspondents are and if you keep seeing the same person from person X or
person Y coming into your inbox and clearly I like having a dialog with these p
eople or have to for work, that might in fact bubble up in your inbox. Other tho
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Speed of response, right, so I actually do tend to respond to some people's e
mails more quickly than others and that in fact might be a useful indicator. And
if I'm already in this habit, let my software, let my computer do that thinking
for me and bubble up to the top of my attention what I should address first. An
d another idea?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So how long you leave the window open. So this one too is an interesting heur
istic and these kinds of ideas are actually really prevalent in like the adverti
sing world, and I'm sure of sites like Facebook and the like actually do keep tr
ack of how much time you spend using this application or how much time you spend
on this particular page so that they can infer from that behavior what you actu
ally care about and what you might actually look at more intensely. So feel free
to play with this if you like. I just turned it on literally this morning to st
art playing and I'm on myself a couple of email list, one of which had an email
this morning saying, "Hey, has anyone tried this, it really kind of sucks." Wher
eas the other email list said completely the opposite. So it's this interesting
scenario where it's probably hit or miss, certainly early on and as one of the c
lips they are indicated, these are the kinds of things where computers ideally h
ave to learn overtime. A priori, Google has probably not going to know what you
care about. But if watches you over some amount of time just like it's been for
years with advertisements, can this kind of algorithm, this kind of process pres
umably improve? So that's perhaps a hint of where we're going in the future. So
for those of you joining us for the last time, know that the video of Wednesday
as will generally be the case is already online. You can go to
and that will lead you to a link where the video is nicely embedded in HDV. Tha
nks to our videographers this year. What you'll see here is a little clip of wha
t I showed on Wednesday whereby this semester for the first time we'll be includ
ing after a few days, it takes a few days of human labor to--we will be transcri
bing the lectures in their entirety word for word, awkward as this is for me to
actually see the words I'm saying in retrospect. But you will then be able to re
ad what's there. Do keyword search based on anything that I happen to say, if yo
u search for this in a few days' time. And similarly can you click on any senten
ce in the transcript, jump right to that point in the video. So this is very muc
h online education CS50 style.
>> And if you speak other languages that I don't, you can nonetheless compel me
to speak them at least in subtitle form. So I wanted to take a few excerpts from
the course's syllabus since it's not an interesting document to walk through li
ne by line, but something you should read at some point very soon. What ultimate
ly matters in this course is not--is not so much where you end up relative to yo
ur classmates but where you end up in week 12 relative to yourself in week 0. An
d so this really is the mantra of the course. One of the concerns out of the gat
e for students in this course, particularly those we dub less comfortable is tha
t you're already starting off at a disadvantage. My god, this student sitting ne
xt to me was programming since he or she was 6. This person next to me took AP c
omputer science, and that may actually be the case. And statistically it probabl
y is the case to some extents but it really doesn't matter. I mean unlike a lot
of the courses here and at universities, we really do take a much more individua
listic approach and that is to say at the end of the day do we consider both upw
ard trending, both your initial experience and also how you approach the course'
s projects throughout the course of the semester. You can nonetheless take the c
ourse pass fail. I mentioned this on Wednesday. This is actually something very
near and dear to my heart because I literally would not be doing what I do in li
fe today had I not taken a couple of courses here, this one in particular, pass
fail. It helped me in my mind sort of take that step that I was otherwise just a
little too hesitant to take my freshman year. And then for a lot of students to
o, what this mechanism does is it just takes the edge off a course like this. Od
ds are if you're an upperclassman, you've had that experience where it's 12 AM,
1 AM, 2 AM, and you're really starting to stress over the incompletion of some p
roblems that for some course, well frankly what this mechanism allows you to do
if you're already 90 percent of the way there, you can call it a night and you c
an put it down and you could feel good nonetheless about where you got to. And t
hat in my mind is one of the upsides of taking a course like this, pass fail, in
order to take the edge off. The course is not FYI graded on the curve. There is
no pre-determined cutoffs between letter grades for those who do take letter gr
ades, and those less comfortable and somewhere in between are not at a disadvant
age as the syllabus promises vis-a-vis those more comfortable. We do in fact--I
do have conversations with all 30 plus of the teaching fellows about all 300 plu
s of the students at the end of the semester, and that is in the end what determ
ines the outcome. So some of the mechanisms that are in place now to make the ne
xt several weeks among the most memorable of experiences. So with the problems,
that is where you really will get your hands dirty and truly immerse yourself in
this world of computer science and programming. But life happens, stuff comes u
p with sports, with student groups, with elements and the like. So the course ve
ry generously offers 9 late days that you can spend accurate discretion througho
ut the semester. You can take one late day on one piece set, 9 late days on one
piece set. It really is up to you to manage throughout the term. We also drop th
e lowest score on a problem set and also lest in my appeal in the last lecture i
n this sounds a little too tailored to only those less comfortable realize too t
hose more comfortable as we'll see today. For those do we offer what we call hac
ker editions of each of the problem sets. We do expect the majority of the stude
nts to tackle, as you'll see tonight when the PDFs go online at 7 PM, the so cal
led standard edition of each problem set. But if you are so inclined whether for
this problem set or any other throughout the term, you can change your mind wee
k to week. Do you have available to you what we call the hacker editions in more
details on those in the courses syllabus? And besides that, lest that not be en
ough to make sure everyone can succeed in a course like this, we have a very dil
igent teaching fellow who not only likes to scribe the courses lectures. It's no
t much fun to read 20 pages of my verbal text written. But having a few pages of
authoritative note do exist. The teaching fellow for each lecture takes what we
call scribe notes. These are posted within a few days online. He likes to inclu
de some snarky comments on the footnotes generally about me at my expense. So ke
ep an eye up for those. And the point of this is so that you don't come to class
heads down the whole time thinking everything I say is absolutely worthy of bei
ng written down. Ideally like we started today, it will be a bit more like a con
versation to the extent that's possible in a theater like this. One hundred fift
y plus office hours is the current tally that you'll see starting to appear on t
he course's website, thanks to our 60 plus person staff and you'll also see onli
ne soon once you have your accounts as per problem set 0 spec. For the course's
website, there'll be support forms and an email address,, that you
can turn to and frankly this is more a commentary on our lack of social lives d
uring the term. But we pride ourselves generally on 5 or so minute response time
s at most hours during the day. So, it's a sick obsession with some of us, mysel
f included. So with that said, what can you do? So this is such a silly thing, b
ut 15 years ago, I took this course followed by a course called CS51 and then sa
t down one night and then I'm spending the next week on this project even though
I lived in Mather House, never really was the shuttling type on a lot of quad f
riends who did, and this was kind of interesting to me. There was this big print
out of the shuttle schedule and this was not a very navigable document. Certainl
y this is like mid 1990s, we did have the web and the internet but things were s
low and it just wasn't really conducive to actually finding things quickly unles
s you really gave some thought to the problem. So I sat down over the course of
a week and implement what I probably shouldn't have called Shuttleboy at the tim
e 'cause this jargon has lived on. And this is now a program that's web based, i
t's SMS based, it's voice based and it used to be Linux based as you'll see in a
couple of weeks and it's just a program that let's you click where you are, cli
ck where you wanna go and voila, here are the next several shuttles that you can
take. I thought I'd give you a little glimpse at what you can do for your final
project toward terms end. We own our own phone number, that allows you to input
key strokes like you would any system and this is an example of what we call CS
50 Voice. And that's an example of someone else's phone.
[ Laughter ]
>> This is CS50. For Shuttleboy, press 1. To start over, Press 0. What is your o
rigin? For Quad, press 1; Mather, press 2; Boylston, press 3; Lamont, press 4; M
em Hall, press 5; to start over, press 0.
>> So press 1 for Quad.
>> The next shuttle leaves in 2 minutes at 1:30 PM and then at 1:40 PM, 1:50 PM
and 2 PM. This is CS50.
>> So that is only--
[ Laughter ]
>> That is only option 1. We have like 9 more slots to fill. So that's 9 potenti
al final projects that can live on in telephone form toward semester's end. And
we will show you exactly how you can write programs that actually interact with
the user in that way. And just as a fun aside, we also realized as computer scie
ntists that sometimes technology is not the answer. This is an unfortunate thing
you see throughout education frankly, certainly at the secondary and primary sc
hool level where you just insert technology into the classroom and expect to sol
ve problems, that is not in life always the case. Sometimes the simplest solutio
ns are in fact the best and thus consistent with this constant reminder to ourse
lves was born last year what we dubbed Shuttleboy Cards. Now granted we're now s
tarting to take this all shuttle theme to an extreme perhaps, but we realized yo
u know what, it's actually not that efficient sometimes to call a phone number,
it's not that efficient to pull up the mobile web. Sometimes it's a lot easier t
o reach into your wallet, pull out a piece of plastic and voila, there are the n
ext several shuttle times. We mention this only because we're just going to pres
s with the latest incarnation of this this year. So if you go back to shuttleboy, you can pre-order for free your own CS50 shuttle card, particularly t
hose of you in the Quad, Mather and the like. So, what does that mean as you exi
t a course like this? Well really, the things we've looked at thus far can you d
o after just a semester of this kind of material and exposure to this particular
world. I just wanted to draw your attention to some of the handouts we had Wedn
esday which are still available today if you didn't yet get them. This is target
ed for the most part at students who might want a major or minor in computer sci
ence, but there's also some interesting detail toward the end of this document,
if and when you get a chance to peruse, including this chart that shows you the
pathways that you can take throughout computer science here, sort of recommend i
t or popular courses that students tend to take even if they are in the humaniti
es or life sciences or social sciences but want to round out their education her
e with something in the computing sciences do we have quads of courses recommend
ed in the back that you can take after 50 in order to get a minor in this stuff.
And frankly this kind of stuff, this visualization of data, this is one of the
themes of a course here called CS171, visualizations, which we'll actually learn
--hear a bit about toward the end of the semester and it's all about taking data
that might very well have come out of a computer and trying to decide what is i
n fact the best way to present this data. To be honest, especially those of you
less comfortable here, if you've ever struggled with some program or struggled w
ith some piece of software, oh it's alright, it's not your fault. It just really
wasn't designed very well. So actually thinking about how humans interact with
machines and how you can optimize your so called user interface or GUI interface
is also one of the themes in this particular field. So, we ended Wednesday with
some quotes, particularly from, we thought it would be fun t
o just give you a couple of teasers from another favorite website of ours, a lit
tle something called Harvard FML, search for CS50 and you see some choice quotes
like this. I talk about CS50 so much that my teammates implemented a CS50 talk
>> I get charged one dollar for each mention of the class. I already owed 20 dol
lars and haven't been able to talk for more than five minutes without getting ca
lled out on it FML. This is what happens over time as does--whoops! Did I miss o
ne there? This is what may, in fact, happen to you over time. We are a recurring
theme it seems on that particular website. So now, let's make things a little m
ore technical for a moment. Those of you more comfortable, rest assured we'll st
art filling in some gaps before long if you're already familiar with this. But a
ll of you in this room probably remember what we technically call the base 10 sy
stem or decimal system because back in grade school or the like, you learned to
count and add and subtract numbers by way of columns. The so called ones column
on the right, the tens column next to it, the hundreds column, the thousands col
umn, and so forth. So if you had some number back in grade school like 123, well
, why do we express this as 123? When really I just see on the board 1, 2, 3? We
ll, we have what? One in the so called hundreds columns, a two in the so called
tens column so that's 10 times 1 plus 10 times 2 is 120, plus 3 times 1, 123 alr
ight, so completely uninteresting, if this is something long familiar to you, bu
t it turns out computers work in exactly the same way. The so called binary syst
em, these zeros and ones that you'd probably have some vague sense underlie all
computers today actually reduced to the exact same grade school kind of math and
system except with computers, because it's a lot easier to use just two digits,
zero and one. Do they use only columns like with the ones column, the twos colu
mns, the fours column, and the eights column? And if you noticed earlier that th
ese are what we'd call powers of ten, these are just powers of two. So if you ne
ed more--bigger numbers, you just have a 16's column and a 32's column, and so f
orth. So what's the takeaway here? Well, if we actually want to represent someth
ing like the number 7, well in binary, not actually in decimal like this. Well,
what do we do? If we need a 7, this is the ones column, the twos, fours, eights,
so here are our columns and this was our decimal system a moment ago, and I wan
na express the number 7 and the only digits I now have access to are zero and on
e, whereas, in decimal, dec meaning 10. I had zero to 9, which was 10, zero and
1, bi meaning two, high binary numbers. I can only put a zero or 1 in each of th
ese slides. But after that, the math is the same, eight times whatever, four tim
es whatever, two times whatever, and so forth. So what's 7?
>> Right, one, one, one and then a zero. And just like in the decimal system, yo
u can put as many leading zeros, any--as many zeros on the left that you want. T
hey're completely inconsequential and so we now have the number 7. Meanwhile, th
e number zero is? Alright, it's all zeros so I'll--just for consistency, use fou
r of them here, but that's just an aesthetic. And I mentioned on Wednesday that
computer scientists do in fact start counting from zero not one. Well, this is p
retty much why. Because if you ever hold--the numbering system reduces to this b
asic idea of zeros and ones, each of which is in a certain column, each of which
has some weights associated with it, it's just natural. It's obvious to start c
ounting at zero. Otherwise, you're wasting a bit, so to speak, unnecessarily. An
d a bit, B-I-T, just a shorthand for binary digit, so a digit of zero over a one
, bi means two, you only have two digits. Hence, the word bit was born. So just
as a little sanity check, number 15 in binary would be? Just four ones, and how
about the number 65,535? Anyone? You know you're a nerd if--so 16 of those ones
will give you that particular number. And I can't, myself, go higher than that b
ut you could certainly do it mathematically. Now this is not the kind of stuff t
hat computer scientists spend all their time doing, but it will germane. In fact
, midway through the semester, when we look at the notion of digital forensics a
nd recovering things like JPEGS and representing files like JPEGS and JIPS and t
he like on disk we're actually gonna have to revisit this idea of actually stori
ng information in zero or one form and so it's going to become relevant as to ho
w you represent these numbers on disk, how you manipulate these numbers on disk,
but this really only gives us the ability to express numbers at this point in t
ime. We ultimately wanna be able to express letters so we can implement things l
ike Gmail and actually implement text on the screen. So how do we do that? Well
first, a cartoon that you might now actually get those otherwise unfamiliar.
[ Pause ]
>> See this happens every semester that the chuckles, the grimaces, kind of roll
through the crowd as people catch on, but there you go. Now, you get geek humor
. And for better or for worse we've done a lot of damage over the past few years
for this stuff. When you get more and more acquainted with geek humor from the
likes of this is Foxtrot XKCD is popular, Ph.D. comics, there's a whole bunch of
geekery out there that will perhaps turn to--so that you do exit this course as
a complete side effect with an understanding as to why it was funny or at least
awkward that we did, in fact on Wednesday, have a CAT pictured in a ceiling. So
, how do you go from just numbers, zeros and ones to actually useful information
? Well it turns out a bunch of years ago people just decided that if we have the
ability to express numbers and we actually care about expressing letters of the
alphabet, well we just need some kind of mapping between one and the other, and
so thus was born what's generally called the ASCII. This is just an acronym tha
t you still see and use today, though there were newer systems that are more exp
ressive for other languages, non-romance languages. But ASCII is just a code. Th
is might look a little cryptic at first, but it turns there is some very obvious
patterns here, for instance. According to this chart, if you want to represent
the letter A in the so called ASCII system, what number do you actually use to d
o so?
>> Ninety-seven?
>> So, okay. So lower case A would be 97 and upper case A would be 65. So this i
s kind of a nice chichi. Now, once you know each of those, you can now do 25 mor
e upper case letters and 25 more lower case letters then there are some other st
uff like punctuation and things you see on the keyboard. All of those do need th
eir own encodings, but at the end of the day, if you already knew coming into th
is class that your computer stores information, somehow, using zeros and ones, w
ell it turns out that if you have typed the letter A on your keyboard and thus n
eed to store that inside of your computer, well, how do you actually go from num
bers to that letter and back? Well again, we can go to our ones column, twos, fo
ur, eight, 16, damn, 32. So we can go to 32 and then we can go to 64, and then 1
28, and this gives me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. So this is intentional. I now have
eight columns, though sloppily written there, eight columns or 8 bits. So this
is what we know as a byte. You've probably been surrounded for years now by byte
s and kilobytes, and megabytes and terabytes, and the like. Well, this is just a
way of saying not bits, but units of eight bits at a time. Why is this useful?
Well one bit, really not all that useful, two bits still not all that useful. Ei
ght bits? Starting to get useful because, in fact with eight bits can you implem
ent things like this? So with eight bits can you express 256 possible characters
? That's pretty good 'cause now, I can pretty much cover my American keyboard pr
etty effectively both upper case, lower case, and a whole bunch of punctuation.
For other languages as in aside, there are other encoding schemes when there are
more characters. So what would be the letter A in binary inside of a computer's
memory when you hit the letter A on the keyboard, for capital A?
>> Zero, one, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, one.
>> Zero, one, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, one. And so this, in fact, when you
say your computer stores information as zeros and ones, you've just typed the ca
pital letter A, that's all that's going on inside. Now, how is that actually bei
ng implemented? It actually depends on the technology. You probably know your co
mputer has something called RAM which is where documents and programs live just
temporarily while you're running them 'cause RAM tends to be pretty fast and whe
reas your hard disk is where programs and files live permanently. You can pull t
he cord and your files should not actually get deleted but the hard disks are--u
se a different technology altogether. But at the end of the day, and here's why
we just went with binary and not decimal years ago, when you have one implement
a computer with a physical device, it's actually really easy to represent the no
tion of on or off. Consider a light switch. You can go on or you can go off and
actually, how about some gratuitous use of technology? For those of you for--wit
h iPhone 4, by far, the most useful application for 99 cents is this flashlight
in the middle of the night. So this might represent a one. This now represents a
zero. One, zero, one--promise it gets more interesting, zero. So why is this ge
rmane? Well, if you're implementing a computer that needs to represent informati
on now all you need is something like electricity which can be on or off, on or
off. And when you actually wanna store information on disk, can you actually use
, as we'll see in a moment, magnetic particles. But just to hammer home this poi
nt, if I could, we have time for one awkward demonstration. And for that I need
a byte of volunteers, alright? First eight hands that I saw we're roughly in her
e. So come on up and I'll--okay, one, two, three, four, five--five, six, seven,
eight. But you have to be comfortable on stage, that's the catch 'cause this wil
l be going out on the Internet. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven--sure, c
ome on up, and the eighth person to stand up right here.
>> Come on up. Okay. So we now have a byte's worth of volunteers. Why don't we u
se this side of the stage and I'll make some room for you. You are the 128th's c
olumn, you're the 64's, 32's, 16's, 8's, and we're gonna have to fix this slight
ly in a moment. Otherwise the math is gonna get completely screwed up. So if you
guys could come over here but still maintain your alignment so 128 should be al
l the way over here and one, you should be all the way over here and you guys si
milarly need to shuffle. And if you wanna come up closer to the stage where ever
yone can see you? Alright! We now have a byte's worth of volunteers. Now fortuna
tely this time, it's not speaking role. You just need to express in ASCII charac
ter, one at a time, and these brave souls are simply going to spell something ou
t for us to hammer home this point of binary. Now, each of you is essentially a
place holder or a column. Why don't we have you, when the time comes, raise your
hand if you're supposed to be representing a one? So on, and or true, is anothe
r way we generally put this. And if you're our zero just continue standing there
awkwardly, alright. So with that said, we have a three-letter word so we'll hav
e three rounds of hands going up or down. On the back, they have a little chichi
that tells them what to do. So folks [laughter], otherwise this gets really awk
ward and really inaccurate quickly under pressure. So go ahead, round one. That'
s okay. So what number first are they presenting? Sixty-six, right 'cause we've
got one in the 64's column and a one in the two's column, okay. So now, a little
chichi up top, they are representing the letter?
>> B.
>> Okay B. Alright, so a little pause, just to let that sink in. Okay, round two
, execute [laughter]. They really--it says on the back of your seat what you sho
uld be doing. Alright, what number are they representing now?
>> Seventy-nine.
>> Seventy-nine. In fact, if you add up each of these numbers, you should get th
e decimal number 79 from this binary number here. Seventy-nine is, of course, th
e letter O so we're almost there. Round three, go. And this spells? No it should
n't spell boy [laughter]. We have an error somewhere. Its 87 if I did the math r
ight myself, 87which is?
>> Bow.
>> Bow, so take your bow. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> Alright. That's the soon--we came a little better prepared this time and we b
rought CS50 stress balls for everyone to make this all the more of an incentive.
Oh, that was sweet. What a gift. Oh--but if you can meet with our teaching fell
ows over there, they're gonna ask the legal department to see you next so [laugh
ter]. Alright, I think we're all set. Is that number eight? Okay. Oh, you can ke
ep that. You can keep that. Okay. So what does--how does that actually apply to
real computers, right? So this is not the most efficient way of representing inf
ormation. What actually goes on underneath the hood? Well, it turns out some of
you might recall this silly game from years ago. Wooly Willy? It turns out these
are really hard to find in the 21st century. So these things called Wooly Willy
is just a plastic--it's this paper mend with a plastic cover and there's all th
ese black magnetic particles here. And if you use this little magnet you can dra
w a mustache or hair, or eyebrows or whatever on this particular face. Now this
is mostly irrelevant to what we're talking about except for the fact that there
are magnetic particles involved and they're really small because it turns out wh
at's inside most of your laptops and desktop computers are these things called h
ard drives. And a hard drive, if you ever open that thing up, is actually just a
big metal container that contains one or more platters, so to speak, these circ
ular pieces of metal and on top of those circular pieces of metal are essentiall
y tiny little magnetic particles like this, so small that you actually can't see
them. But if you touch them or open the hard drive and actually poke around, yo
u will do damage because you'll mangle these--the alignment of these particles.
You'll corrupt your data. But what's interesting is when they're actually there,
essentially, if this is a magnetic particle, you can actually represent zeros a
nd ones pretty easily. You don't need a light switch or a light bulb or an iPhon
e app to turn something on or off. You can take something that's magnetic with a
north-south magnetization and just say arbitrarily, this will represent one. Bu
t if its south-north, this will represent zero. So on your computer's hard drive
are again, a whole bunch of tiny magnetic particles aligned this way or this wa
y. And now that you have patterns of bits after bits after bits, and if you chun
k them up into say, eight-unit quantities, now can you start storing words and s
entences, and paragraphs. And as we'll see mid semester, photographs and videos
and other more sophisticated file formats. It's one thing to talk about this. Le
t me go ahead and open up instead a more interesting graphical carnation--incarn
ation of this.
[ Background Music ]
>> The hard drive is where your PC stores most of its permanent data. To do that
the data travels from RAM along with software signals that tell the hard drive
how to store that data. The hard drive circuits translate those signals into to
voltage fluctuations. These in turn control the hard drive's moving parts. Some
of the few moving parts left in the modern computer. Some of the signals control
a motor which spins metal-coded platters. Your data is actually stored on these
platters. Other signals move the read/write heads to read or write data on the
platters. This machinery is so precise that a human hair couldn't even pass betw
een the heads and spinning platters, yet it all works in terrific speeds.
>> So if you've ever done something bad like drop your laptop or smack your comp
uter and you've never been told not to do this. It's largely because--and if you
've never been, don't do this, it's largely because there are these very sensiti
ve moving parts and there are relatively few moving parts left in today's comput
ers. Some of you, in fact, might not even have these devices anymore with moving
parts. The fan is perhaps the only thing left in those of you who have computer
s with what are called SSDs. But in hard drives where we actually have these mov
ing platters, here is in fact, how we get from electricity and magnetism to thos
e zeros and ones.
[ Background Music ]
>> Let's look at what we just saw in slow motion. When a brief pulse of electric
ity is sent to the read/write head it flips on a tiny electromagnet for a fracti
on of a second. The magnet creates a field which changes the polarity of a tiny,
tiny portion of the metal particles which coat each platter's surface. A patter
ned series of these tiny charged berries on the disk represents a single bit of
data in the binary number system used by computers. Now, if the current is sent
one way through the read/write head, the area is polarized in one direction. If
the current is sent in the opposite direction, the polarization is reversed. How
do you get data off the hard disk? Just reverse the process. So as the particle
s on the disk that get the current in the read/write head moving put together mi
llions of these magnetized segments and you've got a file. Now, the pieces of a
single file may be scanning all the hard drive's platters, patterns--the mess of
papers on your desk. So the special active file keeps track of whatever you mis
sed. Don't you wish that you had something like that?
[ Laughter ]
>> Alright. So take it with a grain of salt. It was made by a computer scientist
, but now, it's fun time. So, these things here that you have in your hand, is t
he results of my spontaneously going to staples before class. I was the only one
, believe it or not, at the store, who was buying floppies today [laughter]. Wha
t you'll notice very delicately is that there's not all that much to this so cal
led floppy disk. It's actually a much cheaper example than handing out hard driv
es. But at the end of the day, if you move this metal thing aside with your fing
ers, don't squeeze it too hard. You will see inside that there's a platter, but
it's literally a floppy platter, even though the disks themselves are fairly fir
m plastic. This thing, if you now go ahead and very gently corrupt a few of the
bytes, you can see that you can push down on that thing pretty easily. Now--oh,
now we've ruined them. So why don't we go ahead and take this just a step furthe
r? Go ahead and just pinch the metal plates and watch your eyes 'cause these do-
-things do have little springs. Go ahead and just pull that metal plate off. And
now you truly can see that there's not much to this disk. And then this is wher
e you can really tear into this device. If you put your fingers between the plas
tic opening at the bottom, and here's where you gotta watch out for the spring,
pull the thing apart and that's it. The irony is--these things cost like a dolla
r each now because no one needs them anymore. It's kind of an Ec 10 thing there,
but that's it. So unfortunately, we had just ruined roughly 1.4 million bytes w
orth of data. They came formatted or blank so not such a big deal. But in fact,
if you just run your fingers again and again over this floppy disk you are disor
ienting those particles or knocking them off perhaps altogether, depending on th
e medium. And the rest of this thing, this is just a cheap piece of molded plast
ic. This little felt thing there is just to avoid too much friction from buildin
g up with the plastic or to keep it slightly separated from the case, but that's
it. That's all there was to those things called floppy disks. But what's amazin
g is that the hard drives we have today in a desktop or in a laptop, a hard driv
e and a laptop is only about--yey big! It's roughly the same size physically as
those floppy disks and yet how many, how much, how many bytes fit on a typical h
ard drive today?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> What's that 500, so 500 megabytes, this is 1.4 megabytes so a typical hard dr
ive might have 500--no, not 500 megabyte, 500 gigabytes which is 500 billion byt
es and if you have a desktop computer you might actually have a 1 terabyte drive
or 1.5 terabyte drive or 1--2.0 terabyte drive. These are trillions now of byte
s. And so it wasn't all that many years ago frankly that you know, certainly, pe
ople in this class were still using these things. Thankfully, they've fallen int
o disuse. They're not the most robust things anymore. But the technology and the
fundamentals and the ideas, it's pretty much exactly the same as we're using to
day in some of our modern computers. So, any questions on zeroes and ones? It's
a little awkward asking questions in here but let's give it a try.
[ Inaudible Question ]
>> Good question, so what happens when you format a floppy disk or format a hard
drive? To be honest, not very much and this is one of the reasons that forensic
investigators are actually able to do such a good job for the police and FBI or
the like because so many computer programs, Mac OS and Windows, they'll say, ar
e you sure you want to do this, this will erase everything from your disk, this
will erase everything from your hard drive if you so called format it or partiti
on it. It's another piece of jargon you often hear. That generally is just modif
ying a few bytes, a few kilobytes worth of information. The end result of which
is that the computer forgets where all of your files and folders are. But the bi
ts that actually compose those files and folders are in fact exactly where you l
eft them. And so this is why in problem set 5 last year when I took photographs
on campus with a compact flash card, just standard consumer media and I accident
ally formatted that compact flash card, I only lost the first few kilobytes, the
first few thousand bits on that compact flash card. But as you probably know, a
JPEG, a photograph, these are usually multiple megabytes these days which means
there's a ridiculous amount of data still on that digital camera. And so if you
know what patterns of zeroes and ones to look for as you will yourselves this y
ear in that forensics problem set, can you recover a lot of that data? So in sho
rt, formatting a disk gets it ready for new data but it tends not to get rid of
the old and only recently are Apple and Microsoft finally realizing that consume
rs actually want to securely erase their information for privacy or financial or
whatever reasons, but up until now and even know on some operating systems it's
not in fact very easy, other questions. Yeah.
[ Inaudible Question ]
>> Exactly, so you might have been thought especially in years past to defragmen
t, so to speak, your hard drive once in a while. And this is because as you star
t writing--saving files to your hard drive, what happens is you might save this
file here, then this one, then this one, then this one, but very reasonably you
might go back eventually and delete this one. Now you have a gap in your data an
d yet you still have some magnetic particles there that could be useful. So than
kfully, modern operating systems allow you to put parts of files here, parts of
your file here, parts of your file here, but the end result is that your files g
et fragmented. The operating system still finds it but this process of getting s
ome of your files bits from here, some from here, some from here, induces a pote
ntial slow down. Now defragmentation as an aside is not so much necessary these
days because hardware has gotten so performance. But it is in fact indicative of
what's actually going on underneath the hood and for a forensic investigator to
be honest and even problem set 5, it poses a potential wrinkle if those JPEGs,
those photos we took are not contiguous back to back to back but are all over th
e place. That's a lot harder of a problem to solve if you need to reconstruct th
e fragmentation, yeah.
[ Inaudible Question ]
>> Good question, so there is this little reading head kind of like in an old ph
onograph player that does move back and forth and in and out depending on the im
plementation. So there is generally a little computer, a circuit board in the ha
rd drive itself that knows how to tell it to go up, down, left, right and so for
th. And if you've ever heard the word driver software that you install in your c
omputer so that your computer, your operating system, Windows or Mac OS, knows h
ow to talk to that piece of hardware, it's that driver software that then empowe
rs the operating systems to send those commands as well, up, down, left, right d
epending on how the disk--the data is laid out on the disk. Let me go over here
for another question.
[ Inaudible Question ]
[ Laughter ]
>> Okay, what are the advantages of SSDs and how do they work. Let me answer thi
s briefly now, I'm happy to chat more during break time. SSDs are where things a
re going. SSDs is like using compact flash or SD cards. The things we've had in
cameras for several years by putting gigabytes, soon hopefully terabytes of stor
age on a device that has no moving parts. Generally, the feature is that they ar
e much faster because they have no moving parts. Even though a hard drive spins
at 7200 times per minute or even faster, that's relatively slower than the speed
of light. And so when you actually have a device that is purely electronic, and
even that doesn't--the bits don't flow at the speed of light in reality. It's a
lot faster of a device. But these days you pay for it which is why you get SSDs
, you're paying several hundred dollars more. So let's transition from these low
er level details. I'm happy to take questions during break and after to actually
making this hardware do something in software. And for this I need one voluntee
r. Let's go and okay, right here. Oh, but let's see. Okay, I need a second volun
teer for reasons that will be clear in a second. Come on down. Your role has jus
t been changed because you're not wearing any socks today. So come on over here,
we're gonna have--what's your name?
>> Sam.
>> Sam and?
>> Philip.
>> Sam and Philip. Alright, I'm David and let's have Philip sit down. You'll pla
y role sort of a shoe salesman, shall we say?
>> Okay.
>> Alright, and don't worry I have a script for you but not for Philip. So here
is a computer program. This is not written in a particular language. This is wha
t's written in what we'll generally call pseudocode. Pseudocode is kind of an En
glish-like syntax that's just a useful way of expressing yourself fairly succinc
tly, fairly computer-like but without having to worry about stupid details like
whether it's Java or C or whatever. You just kind of say what you mean but you s
ay it succinctly. But what's interesting about this particular example is one, i
t's imperfect. I didn't quite get this program right. Two, it also highlights a
number of constructs that we'll see today and we'll see recurring throughout thi
s world of programming, things like loops and conditions and variables and the l
ike. So what we have Philip here for is to actually be the one who if you could
start taking off your shoes and socks, I didn't just claim this in the beginning
but we very quickly in this course start to hemorrhage volunteers overtime. Alr
[ Laughter ]
>> You don't have to--you don't have to touch. It's okay. So this first line of
code, I will get it started but then I'm gonna have you take over and actually i
nstruct Philip what to do here. So this first line of code, and some of this aga
in we'll be rehashed but at least you can delight in the awkwardness that is thi
s demonstration. So line 1, I've numbered the lines just for the sake of discuss
ion. Line 1 is creating what we'll call a variable. Now, unlike high school math
or in algebra where you call things X and Y and Z, in programming, in computer
science, you're actually dealing with humans where it's useful to have a variabl
e name that's more descriptive than X and Y and Z. So here is an example of sock
s on feet being the number of socks on Philip's feet which is in fact 0. On line
2, we're gonna induce what's called a loop, so do you wanna go ahead and Philip
henceforth you get to stare, stare at the awkwardness. Go ahead and recite for
us line 2 of this program.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Okay, so while not equal to, so bang equals, exclamation point equals is comp
uter science syntax for saying not equal to, while not equal to 2 which it is no
t, it is equal to 0. What should he do next?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Okay.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Excellent, look for sock, alright. Step 5, now this is an example of what we'
ll henceforth call a condition or a branch because it's sort of a fork in the ro
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Okay, if you find the sock then put on sock. Intentionally, I bought the wors
t socks I could.
>> No, I like it.
[ Laughter ]
>> I get this.
[ Laughter ]
>> Available at the Harvard Coop. Alright, next line.
>> Socks on feet plus plus.
>> So this plus plus is sort of shorthand notation for incrementation. So just a
dd 1 to this variable's value, so now socks on feet is of course 1 and so next.
>> Look for matching sock.
>> Problem, so where are we at line 9?
>> If you find a matching sock which you didn't so then else.
>> Okay, so notice again the control flow and this--the choice of indentation he
re is deliberate throughout programming whether it's in C or PHP or JavaScript i
n this particular course. The indentation gives you a visual cue as to which lin
es are related to each other. So the fact that line 9 did not match, if you find
a matching sock which we didn't, that means we immediately jump to the else whi
ch is line 13 and so Philip now has to do what?
>> Remove first sock from foot.
>> Oh man!
>> Socks on feet, minus minus.
>> We decrement so to speak the variable and then where will we go next in terms
of the flow control, the flow of this program.
>> Back to the while.
>> Right, so the fact that everything is indented means while we're doing, while
the variable is not equal to 2, keep doing this. And so we're going to repeat.
Now, rather than go through this again and again, because frankly you can probab
ly see where this goes before long we're gonna hit some problems. What's one of
the problems you see or that we tripped over already?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> If there is no matching socks then what's gonna happen with Philip here? We'r
e gonna have a so called a loop, an infinite loop and you actually experience th
is in the real world. If you've ever been using some program, you did something
completely innocuous, pull something down from a menu, click a button, you didn'
t do anything wrong and yet all of a sudden the thing just starts hanging there
or you get a little spinning beach ball or the hour glass or whatever it is. Som
ething completely not your fault, it's not. It's because the programmer or progr
ammers that wrote that software might have been pretty specific but not specific
enough. Computers smart though they may be and intimidating though they may be,
they can not yet think for themselves. They can't just know what you mean. And
so similarly as Gmail's priority inbox, it's gonna be pretty flawed for a lot of
us at least initially because it just doesn't know the answers a priori correct
ly unless we teach it or program it to be better. There is also another flaw in
here or multiple flaws arguably. But something else catch your eye? This is a ve
ry imperfect program.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So, in fact we may not find a sock at all and yet we don't seem to handle tha
t at all unless if we don't find any socks, what do we do? We replenish the sock
drawer. So if we tease this apart and this is actually nice, every semester I g
et beat up for just how bad this thing actually is if you start really picking i
t apart. You find that there's a lot of flaws but this is intentional and this i
s one of the sort of arts that you learn early on is that with computers you rea
lly do need to be careful and you need to think about this so called corner case
s and even you might use popular websites or programs that have so called bugs o
r mistakes and that is simply the results of the programmer not having anticipat
ed some particular problem. So we have a parting gift. Why don't we give Philip
both the matching pair and give you each a pair of socks since he didn't get to
wear this one, they are brand new, in fact, and a big round of applause for what
I'm sure is a little difficult.
[ Applause ]
>> Take your time. So, let's actually now take a 2-minute break, we're gonna cha
nge tapes and we'll come back and we'll actually write programs with a real comp
uter and some real animated characters. More in just a couple of minutes.
[ Silence ]
>> Alright, we are back so we just wrote a programming pseudocode or walk throug
h a programming pseudocode. Let's take a quick glimpse of what it's like to writ
e a real program albeit a very trivial one. Starting next week you'll actually b
e using a cluster of systems that CS50 itself runs called This i
s a bunch of computers running an operating system called Linux which has a vari
ety of interfaces too and more on that next week. But it turns out that on Macs
and if you have the right software on PCs, you can kind of get a teaser of what
this environment tends to look like and be forewarned, what you're about to see
is intentionally very underwhelming. I am going to run a program called Nano and
type nano hello.c and I'm gonna type the following very quickly without much ex
planation because we'll dive into this more next week. But what I'm doing here i
s programming. Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound so condescending.
[ Laughter ]
>> So this is just a dumb text editor called Nano, dumb in that it's very simple
which is nice because it eliminates a lot of the complexities of learning a new
tool when really all you wanna do is solve an actual problem. So I'm gonna go a
head and save this file, it's hello.c, dot C hints at the fact that this program
I just whipped up is written in a language called C. Now, this is underwhelming
with what you can do in just a second in this particular language. But again as
per Wednesday's lecture by the end of the semester, you'll be making things lik
e or any websites really that you can imagine. Can you probab
ly produce after just several weeks of fundamentals like these? So I'm saving th
is file, notice there is a few keywords that we'll come back to next week like m
ain which is kind of the main part of my program. There is this include which al
lows me to include code, source code so to speak that other people wrote so I do
n't have to figure out for myself how to print things to the screen. Other peopl
e are telling me how to--other people had solved that problem for me, and this t
hing between quotes, we'll start calling a string. It's just a sentence or words
or whatever that I wanna print. And then there are some stupid syntax like curl
y braces and semicolons that initially are kind of annoying because you have to
remember where all this junk goes. But at the end of the day, it's really going
to be identical to what we see pictorially with Scratch. I'm now gonna run a pro
gram called GCC which is what's called the compiler. Compiler, we'll also revisi
t next week takes--human text, ASCII text as input and output zeroes and ones th
at represent that program in a manner that the CPU, the Intel Inside, actually u
nderstands which is--interesting, dammit, not installed on this computer. So wha
t we would see, I'm going to completely fake this, is a program that operates li
ke that. So I just realized this is a new MacBook Pro that I didn't actually dow
nload the compiler onto it apparently. So good, that will give us something to d
o next week. But what you would have seen is the program just doing this, printi
ng out to the screen. But unfortunately, this is incredibly underwhelming certai
nly in the first week of a course. It's much more interesting if you can actuall
y build things that are interactive, that are animated, that play music and so f
orth and not just produce things on day 1 that outputs zeroes and ones like this
. So those are in fact the patterns of zeroes and ones, the bytes that would hav
e been outputted had I remembered to download the compiler to this computer and
run it on that little hello.c file. But we'll do that again correctly next time.
But it turns out that with this language we glimpsed on Wednesday, you can do t
he step so much more easily and yet the ideas are identical to what we're gonna
explore at a lower level in the weeks to come. So this is the simplest program y
ou can probably write in this language called Scratch. Scratch is a program that
you can download for free and you will see in problem set 0 which will be poste
d on tonight under problem sets in both standard and hacker editions, c
an you do the--can you--it will walk you through the process of getting this sof
tware. This software now looks like this. On the top right hand side is the so c
alled stage. This is where as we saw on Wednesday are sprites or our characters.
Our little characters are going to play or move as we instruct them to do. On t
he left hand side is my palette of puzzle pieces or building blocks and those ar
e the things. In a moment, I'm gonna drag and drop in order to induce this right
to do something. And in the middle of this blank slate, in the middle, this is
where my program is going to go. And so as we saw on Wednesday, if I wanna just
get this thing started, notice that there is this thing here when green flag cli
cked, that scratches version of that keyword "main". So main is equivalent to th
is green flag. What can I now do? We'll shape like a puzzle piece that will allo
w me to go to the looks palette at top left and it's pretty self-explanatory. Th
e categories, the colors, very quickly start to make sense when you just start p
oking around. I'm gonna drag this thing here, zoom in, and voila, what do I now
see? Well, I now have two blocks interlocked and you can pretty much guess what
this is gonna do. It's going to say hello and I can change this here. I can chan
ge the number of seconds that it does it. And if I want to detach it, I just cli
ck and drag, and now I can go back and put different puzzle pieces there altoget
her. But it turns out though simple, though, some of these puzzle pieces actuall
y are, we can actually start to do very interesting things very quickly. So, som
e jargon first. Computers generally have things called--computer languages gener
ally have things called "statements". A statement is an action. It's an instruct
ion. It's a capability that just tells the computer what to do. Much as you migh
t instruct as a human, a robot, to do something to the extent that's currently p
ossible. So say, "Oh, hi world." This would be called a statement. Another one m
ight be "wait one second" which is another building block or puzzle piece and sc
ratch. And another one might be "play sound meow." So now you can start to see t
he things can get interesting quickly. Well, let's go ahead and do that. Let me
go ahead and open up some of the examples that I came with. All of these are ava
ilable on the courses' website so you can play afterward. And I'm gonna go ahead
and open a file called which is the file extension for this language. N
ow, notice in the middle, I wrote this at home already, you can pretty much read
this stuff top to bottom to see what it does. When green flag clicked, I'm gonn
a say, "Oh, hi world for a second", then wait, say it again and wait, say it aga
in, and then that's it. So let's go ahead and click the green flag. And in fact,
very overwhelming. So let's actually start to make this more interesting. Let m
e go ahead and instead open up what I called high3. I'm gonna go ahead and say d
on't say it 'cause I didn't make any changes. I'll play this--
[ Sound Effects ]
>> Okay, getting cute. You do that on loop too long, it gets really annoying qui
ckly. [Laughter] But it's just a different statement. And so when you start to p
oke around the puzzle pieces, you see that it can say things, we'll see movement
in just a moment and sound and so forth, but at the end of the day, this is jus
t like the program we used a moment ago for the sock exercise where we just hold
Philip a step after step after step, do this, do this, do that, and yet, here t
oo, we already see an opportunity for that thing we called the loop. I am meowin
g three times and you can very quick--easily see perhaps that this very quickly
could get messy.
>> I could do a whole lot of copy-paste essentially. If I want the cats meow six
times, I just make a copy of this which you can do by right-clicking or control
-clicking as you'll see, and then I just keep doing this and this, and this, and
this, but now, what's the problem? Well, one, it just starts to look ridiculous
, frankly. You should acquire overtime this instinctive aversion to just code or
programs that just look ugly because things that look ugly generally are not ea
sy to maintain. For instance, if I wanted to change the sound that the cat is ma
king, my God, now I have to change it on three places but like 30 places if all
I've done is copy and paste. So hopefully, there's an opportunity for actually l
ooping and, ultimately, than doing things conditionally. So if you wanna do some
thing conditionally, you generally needs to ask the question, is the following t
rue or false. In Philip's case, we ask the question, does he have zero or none z
ero socks on his feet? Or rather, does he have two or not two socks on his feet?
That's what's called a Boolean expression named after literally a man named Boo
le. And this puzzle piece here colored in blue because it's a Boolean expression
is just something that--whose answer is either a yes or no, true or false, one
or zero. So notice already the parallels between the lower level details and now
these higher level details, so to speak, of actually programming. This Boolean
expression allows you to say to scratch if you are touching the mouse pointer, t
he little arrow, do something. How do we do something? We'll see in a moment. Wh
at else can you detect as a yes or no answer is the mouse down? Yes or no. That
can give you a true or false, a one or a zero answer. What about this? Is the nu
mber on the left less than the number on the right? That might be a question you
might wanna answer or you might wanna say, is the thing on the left and the thi
ng on the right both true? Do I have two yes answers if you wanna check two cond
itions at once? You know, this might seem to be a bit of a new context for some
of you but consider a typical website. If you've been shopping for courses on Ha
rvard courses, the website we mentioned on Wednesday, well, you'll notice you'll
recall perhaps that there's all these checkboxes, all these checkboxes that all
ow you to, say, you want a course in the fall or the spring, Monday, Tuesday, We
dnesday, Thursday, well, now, think about even with today's basics already in mi
nd, that this is just kind of the same idea where if you wanna look for a course
that's on the fall and on Monday, Tuesday, that's like saying I want fall and M
onday, and Tuesday, so each of these checkboxes is itself, really, a Boolean exp
ression. And so you see that stuff all over the place on Facebook, Google, and t
he like. These are not foreign concepts. It's just we're now slapping some new,
perhaps jargon on them. Now that you have the ability to ask yes or no questions
, you wanna be able to branch or fork in the road based on those answers. We saw
this with the sock algorithm a moment ago. In scratch, a condition looks a litt
le something like this. It's a puzzle piece that looks kind of small but notice
there is this little funky shape up top that's the same shape as the blue blocks
we've just looked at 'cause you can drag and drop that condition on top of that
, and even though there's not much space in the middle here, it turns out what's
nice about scratches, it will grow to fill more and more puzzle pieces. If you
just drag them and drag them, and drag them in there, it will keep growing to fi
ll--to fit any such statements. And you don't just have to have an if or nothing
construct. You can say if this is true, then go and do the following pieces of
code or puzzle pieces that are inside this part of the block, else go ahead and
do these that are down here. And we saw this with Philip's example. But sometime
s there are three roads you can take and so even though it starts to look a litt
le messy, if you do this too much, you can certainly branch this way or this way
, or this way and these are what we generally call conditions. Well, let's actua
lly put these to use. Here's
[ Sound Effects ]
>> Kind of a stupid program, why? [Laughter] Right. So this is a great way of li
ke fulfilling the requirements of the problem step but not quite the spirit of u
sing a condition. So this is not all that interesting, but let's actually take a
look at a 5th version of high that actually does something interesting. Oh, it
turns out there's a puzzle piece that allows you to pick a random or as we'll st
art calling it soon a pseudorandom number so that scratch can effectively roll a
dice or flip a coin, or give you a bit of non-determinism. It's the fancy way o
f saying this. And this is useful because if you're actually writing a program t
hat's interactive or that you want to change overtime much like you would a game
, hopefully, the game is not going to have the bad guys, for instance, always st
anding in the same place or the rocks or whatever it is falling from the sky in
the same place 'cause it would very quickly become a very tedious game. Almost a
ny game you play has some kind of randomness or pseudorandomness which means tha
t things change overtime somewhat unpredictably. So now, if I click the green fl
ag, the program seems broken or--I don't know. It's just the number that was pic
ked between 1 and 10 that's probably bigger than 5 or 6, not smaller. Let's try
it again. Let's try it again.
[ Sound Effects ]
>> There we go. Now if I do this, an infinite [sound effects] number of times, w
e should get roughly 50/50, but now we have the ability to do things only once i
n awhile. So now, loops. You wanna do something again and again. You can kind of
see where the syntax is going, looks like a loop, but you can kind of put block
s inside of you, and the little arrow suggests that once you get to the bottom j
ust like our socks example, you're gonna do the following again. What else might
it look like? You might be able to say and we'll see this in C and PHP as well.
Do the following a bunch of times, but a finite number of times which might be
useful. So here we have a repeat block. Let's actually put this into play with t
he little sprite known as scratch. So this is high6. And now, as promised, and a
ll even full screen, it's really annoying.
[ Sound Effects ]
>> If we weren't so pressed for time, I kinda wanna see how long we could get aw
ay with this before it gets awkward, but [laughter] that, in fact, is an infinit
e loop that's hopefully deliberate. Otherwise, it's a pretty bad mistake, but so
metimes you do want an infinite loop, for instance, Microsoft Word if you use it
or pages or the like on your Mac or PC. These days, those things constantly spe
ll check your program for you. So in a sense, that's a good infinite loop that i
s as long as you're using the program, it's constantly checking your grammar and
spelling, and underlining things, so infinite loops aren't necessarily bad if t
he objective is actually being met. Well, let's take a look at this high7 varian
t that also use loops, that also uses a loop. So this one is a little cute, I li
ke to think. So notice this. My mouse cursor is over here on the top right, now,
I touch the cat.
[ Sound Effects ]
>> Move away.
[ Sound Effects ]
>> So this is my--petting a cat, example. Well, how does this work? We'll notice
, it's just a few puzzle pieces. I'm forever watching the situation. And now, if
I'm touching mouse pointer, we saw that Boolean expression before, play sound m
eow, wait a couple of seconds, and then just keep checking. So if I left my curs
or there like you're petting the cat, it would just keep meowing and meowing eve
ry two seconds, but if I move it away, that Boolean expression becomes false or
zero and so we don't do it again. And just to be clear, you can disassemble thes
e programs, you can move this thing over here. It's all about dragging and dropp
ing which is, to say, is very intuitive. If you think of the idea, you think of
the basic logic, and then you go ahead and drag and drop accordingly. Let's look
at this 8th variance of this, otherwise, simple example. Well, this one was me
having a little fun here. So play--
[ Sound Effects ]
>> Cat meows ad nauseam. But touch the cat and--[sound effects] [laughter]. So d
on't touch this particular cat. So how is this working? Well, again, I'm not spe
nding too much time on the specifics because again, it should hopefully start--i
t was, oh, that's kind of intuitive. If something is true do this, else somethin
g is true, do that. Well, what are some of the other constructs we're gonna have
access to starting with scratch and see? Well, certainly, variables. If you wan
t to maintain states, that is, to say, remember some value, well, you can use wh
at's called a variable and here's what it looks like in this language called scr
atch. Now, who cares about variables Xs and Ys and all these? Well, what about a
game? Anything where you're actually keeping track of something like a score th
at's having a variable that you increment plus, plus, or decrement, minus, minus
, using the appropriate puzzle piece could certainly be compelling. Suppose you
want a character to move around the screen and collect things. So it doesn't mak
e sense to just use a number 'cause you want this character to collect something
from here or here, or there. Well, you can use what's called an array which is
kind of a list or a little satchel of that you might physically carry that you c
an put things in again and again, and with an array can you actually keep track
of not just numbers but any kinds of things, other sprites or other pictures, or
perhaps a little something like this. Let me go ahead and pull up this little e
xample here. It looks like we're dwelling on only the most simple. Go ahead and
click the green flag. You'll see this was written by a former student of ours. N
otice the top left is a picture of inventory. That's just a graphical incarnatio
n of this thing called an array and notice, the games can, in fact, interact wit
h a human much like Wednesday, I'm leaving my house. Oh, here are some cherries.
Oh, look. In my array at top left, they have now cherries in it. Let's see what
this is, probably an orange. Let me go over here. And now think about how you d
o this. If right arrow key down, move right. If right arrow key down, move right
. If touching sign, display this little cartoon bubble. So let me go get the pin
eapple, let me go get the bananas. Let me go get the apple. I think I--where do
I have to go, the fruit place? Oh, there's a man at the store and now we have a
loop where he is just looking through my inventory one at a time and reciting wh
at it is I actually picked up.
>> Well, what more can we do with some of these fundamentals? Well, with arrays
and the like, after arrays and the like, we have these things called threads. So
thankfully, you can do multiple things at once in a program because of what we'
ll call threads. Here is an example in just a moment of a program, a scratch pro
ject, so to speak, with two sprites; one bird and one cat, and what this means i
s that even though the interface is getting a little complicated, realize the st
udent did this with baby steps, implements in a little bit of this, a little bit
of this, and then over time, it grows to be a pretty impressive program, but it
starts off as just a clean slate. Notice at the bottom right here, we have all
these different icons. I can click on this guy to see what sprites are controlli
ng him. Here is where the guy yawned. It's because of that script. I can click o
n the cherries and see what they're doing, you know, not all that much. They're
just sitting there, but they are listening for something we'll see in a moment.
But let me go ahead and open up, let's say, this cat example, move two--you can
even have different sprites interact with each other much like this. Now, all th
e cat is doing is that it's an infinite loop and it's checking if I am not facin
g bird, face bird, and it's [noise]--
[ Laughter ]
>> It's constantly chasing the bird. And so now, you have two threads so to spea
k, two miniature programs, two sprites all interacting with one another. You can
do other things too, and I know I'm flying through these but only because it's
more fun to play hands-on on your own--oh, actually, this guy is kinda funny. Le
t's play this.
[ Noise ]
[ Laughter ]
[ Noise ]
>> This is all he does.
[ Laughter ]
[ Noise ]
>> But again, it hints with these fundamentals. You've got a loop, you've got a
condition and a boolean to check if he's touching the edge, and some statements
to tell him to shout or to actually turn around. So what more is there? There ar
e also these things called events in programming, and specifically, scratch, whe
reby you can have two sprites such as this boy and this girl, and when you actua
lly hit the spacebar with the like--oops--if you actually hit the spacebar or th
e like, one sprite can do something, and then the other sprite can do something
in response because in addition to When Green Flag Clicked, there's also this ki
nd of starting point, this alternative to main that says When I Receive Event. I
n other words, you can pass sort of secret messages or notes between sprites by
giving them a name, like in this case, events, and then having one talk to the o
ther. So this is a simple incarnation of that game you might know as Marco Polo.
Now, in Problem Set Zero, well, you get to play with exactly these things and i
n the hacker edition if you so choose, can you play with one of these things. I
taught I'd demo just a couple little snippets with this. So to be clear, we expe
ct most students to very comfortably pursue the standard edition of the P set, b
ut for this particular P set, the hacker edition gives you--and we have about 15
0 or so of these out on the hallway, and we'll have them at office hours through
out the coming week--this is a little logic board with lots of sensors; the soun
d sensor, a light sensor, a little joystick and the like. And now, that you have
not just the keyboard, but a device like this connected via USB can you do some
thing like this, like a former student did. This is a little game--and again, do
n't be overwhelmed by the complexity. It's all about building up bytes after byt
[ Music ]
[ Background Music ]
>> So I'm now moving the joystick, and the goal of this game is not to hit--oh,
to get the bananas, but now I've been stunned, there's the man that fell from th
e ceiling on Wednesday, and it's responding to the joystick. You can do other th
ings too though, when you have sound. For instance, let me go ahead and open up
masquerade, and I'll need Barry to help here, if you don't mind. Let me hit play
. So here, we have--come on. Wait, don't do that yet. Come on. I need more light
s. Wait a minute.
[ Laughter ]
>> We can solve this. It's a little dark in here as well.
[ Background Music ]
>> Okay. It's very nice and beautiful, daylight outside, and Barry, could you ki
ll the lights? [Noise ] So can you actually detect sound in this way? Let me sto
p playing this since it will just go on ad nauseam as well. So what does this ac
tually mean for you? So with problems at zero, which will be posted in two forms
; PDF for standard and PDF for hacker on tonight, you will have the cho
ice of implementing pretty much any scratch projects you can think of, and which
subject to very few constraints. At the end of the day, the goal is to make som
ething that's of interest to you, fun for you, and you'll see at fo
r office hours, what the schedule is therefore. And let me conclude with this, y
ou have an amazing 10 weeks ahead of you. And so, we will see you if I time this
correctly on Wednesday.
[ Music ]
[ Silence ]
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====