Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Dec 19 07:40:05 CET 2013

Roy Smith wrote:
> I suspect what you mean is, "There are some things that don't make sense 
> until you understand computer architecture".

An example of that kind of thing from a different
perspective: I learned Z80 assembly language by first
learning Z80 *machine* language (my homebrew computer
didn't have an assembler, so I had to write my own
and hand assemble it (after writing my own DOS
(after building my own disk controller... etc!))).

If you just look at the Z80 architecture at the
assembly language level, the rules for which
instructions go with which registers and which
addressing modes seem very haphazard. But because
I knew how the instructions were encoded, I never
had any trouble remembering the allowable combinations.
If it didn't have an encoding, you couldn't do it!


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