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CS1001/CS1011: Introduction to Computer Systems

This is an old version of CS1011, given from Autumn 2001 to Autumn 2003.

Syllabuses for CS1011 (students without A-level) and CS1001 (students with A-level)

Pete Jinks (PJJ) and Hilary Kahn (HJK) do most of the teaching between them, with some guest lectures from Steve Furber & Ning Zhang.

Hilary has also created a web page about her half of CS1001/CS1011


There are two books that are useful for this course-unit, although neither is a perfect match - they include topics more appropriate for CS1031 and CS1211, and do not cover some of the topics we do. You are not expected to buy either, but you are encouraged to read them, especially if this subject is new to you:

Computer Systems Architecture - A Networking Approach
by Rob Williams
ISBN 0201648598 published by Addison-Wesley or Pearson or AWL-HE

Computer Systems: Architecture, networks and communications
by Sebastian Coope, John Cowley, Neil Willis
ISBN 007709803X published by McGraw-Hill

Course-Unit Content

Introduction to using the departmental computers - PJJ:4 labs (CS1001+CS1011)
labs: Linux and Windows NT
links: your filestore on the teaching system and other useful local information, mainly about the Computing facilities

What makes a computer? - PJJ:4 lectures (CS1011 only) + 1 lab (CS1001+CS1011)
lectures: Computer Architecture (ps 3.5M)
lab: MU0 (ps 33K)
Updates to A real computer: Summer 2002 and Summer 2003
Links: Unicode
How stuff works: Computers, TechWeb Encyclopedia, Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, The Computer Science Network, webopedia, PC guide, what is from tech target,
Amazon Guides: Hard Drives, RAM - Types of memory, Graphics Cards, Gaming Peripherals, Networking Equipment, USB
Karbo's guide, history of the microprocessor, Great Microprocessors, CPU & RAM speed and caches, Intel products, AGP, *, *, *, *, *
Powers of Ten 2^10 or 10^3?
Kingston - all kinds of RAM especially SDRAM, RDRAM/Rambus & DDR-SDRAM
how to program EPROM
ExtremeTech, ArsTechnopedia

System software: - PJJ:6 lectures (CS1011 only)
lectures: System Software (ps 190K)
Making the computer usable: operating systems - 4 lectures
links: In the Beginning was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO describes how PCs and Linux work together.
KernelAnalysis-HOWTO outlines how the parts of the Linux Kernel work.
The Linux Tutorial
Virtual memory simulations: here or here and here
Speaking the language - 2 lectures
links: The Tower of Babel - Computer Languages

Writing reports and presentations - HJK:1 lecture (CS1011+CS1001)

Computers in their Historic Context - HJK:2 lectures (CS1011+CS1001)

CASE STUDY: An Embedded system - SBF:1 lecture (CS1011+CS1001)
lecture: an embedded system - mobile phones (pdf 350K)

Networks - HJK+NZ:4 lectures (CS1011 only)

The World Wide Web - HJK:4 lectures (CS1011+CS1001)

Tutorials & Examples classes

Students from the CS department taking CS1001/CS1011 have tutorials, which include presentations and a 1000 word essay about your presentation topic, written during reading week.

Students from other departments taking CS1011 write a 1200-1500 word essay about a presentation topic (or something similar).

Students taking CS1001/CS1011 but not CS1031: in week 8 (in 2003, week starting 17th November) students do a problem sheet (postscript 30K) solely concerned with CS1001/CS1011.
[answers will be made available by the end of term]
CM students do this sheet in their regular tutorial.
CSwBM students and students from other departments have an examples class instead of their regular tutorial.


Warning - the format of the exams are changing for January 2004!

In previous years, both exams had the same 3 questions. This year, CS1011 students will still have 3 questions to chose from, but CS1001 students will only have 2 questions to chose from.

Also, rather than the questions being identical, the questions for CS1001 students will be made up from parts of the questions for CS1011 students. Each CS1001 question will have two components: the first asking you to write a series of short, simple answers worth 2 marks each, the second asking you to write a longer, more detailed answer worth 10 marks.

The first exams for these course-units, using the current syllabuses, were in January 2002. Old exam papers are available here. (You may also find it useful to look at the exams from previous years for the old version of CS1011.)

Note: the resit (August/September) exams will have a similar format to the main (January) exams.

Other links

Jargon File 3.0.0 - The Ultimate Index
Computing Dictionary at Imperial College (which has a search engine) or at Brighton (as on BURKS CDROM)

Seminars - Clipper Chip

$CS1011/clipper (extracts from RISKS DIGEST vol14 issues 51-84)

Stolen from Yahoo's page on Computers and Internet:Security and Encryption:Encryption Policy:Clipper Chip

The content of this page and those it links to is copyright © Pete Jinks, except, obviously, for links that go to other web-sites, and pages that I have myself copied from elsewhere. (I hope I have correctly acknowledged any such copying - please let me know if I have missed any out.)

You are welcome to make educational, not-for-profit use of my work, but please give me credit when you do so.