The Most Complex Machine

Downloading the Programs and Labs
for Macintosh Computers

This page contains information on downloading material for use with
The Most Complex Machine: A Survey of Computers and Computing,
by David Eck, (

You can also read descriptions of the Macintosh programs used in the labs, and summaries of the individual lab worksheets.

THIS PAGE CONTAINS LINKS for downloading a set of programs for Macintosh computer and a set of lab worksheets for use with the programs. This material is for use with The Most Complex Machine, an introductory computer science textbook.

The labs are in the form of a 112-page lab manual. This manual is in PostScript form, suitable for printing on most laser printers. To use the manual, you need to know how to print plain PostScript files to your printer. For example, you can use the LaserWriter Utility that comes with Apple LaserWriter printers, or you can use the free utility program Drop_PS, which is available for download below.

For those who are familiar with the TeX typesetting language, the TeX source code of the labs is also available.

The software can be downloaded in a package together with the lab manual in PostScript form and a large number of data files that are used in the labs. Some of the programs are also available for separate download at the bottom of this page.

The software and worksheets were compressed using Stuffit and then BinHex encoded. You will need a decompression utility such as Stuffit Expander to decode the files.

All this material is in final form. I have completed a new set of labs in HTML format for on-line use. The software for the new labs is in the form of Java applets that pretty much duplicate the functionality of the Macintosh programs. For more information on the Web-based software and labs, visit the TMCM Java page.

Download the Lab Manual and Software:


(Size: 966K) A complete collection of nine programs, the lab manual in PostScript form, and data files used in the labs. This is a BinHexed self-extracting archive.

(Size: 1,659K) The lab manual only, in PostScript form. This is in the form of a rather large, uncompressed plain text file. Note that this file is included in the previous download, in compressed form.


(Size: 44K) A free utility from Bare Bones Software ( -- the creators of BBEdit -- for sending text files containing PostScript code to any PostScript printer connected to an AppleTalk network.


(Size: 450K) The TeX source files for the lab manual. This is only for people who understand TeX and would like to be able to modify the labs for their own use.

Download Individual programs:

xLogicCircuits 1.2

(Size: 89K) A program for building simulated logic circuits on your computer screen. This package includes instructions and a number of sample circuits.

xSortLab 1.2

(Size: 44 K) For investigating sorting algorithms (bubble sort, selection sort, insertion sort, merge sort and Quicksort).

xModels 1.2

(Size: 108 K) Two programs, xModels-2D and xModels-3D, that teach about geometric modeling for computer graphics. This package includes full documentation in the form of nine "tutorial examples".

xTuringMachine 1.3

(Size: 51K) A program for constructing and running Turing machines. This package includes documentation and seven sample machines.

xComputer 1.2

(Size: 77K) A simulated "visual computer" where you can view registers and memory as the computer executes machine language programs. You can write programs in a simple assembly language. This package includes documentation and several sample programs.

(See the program descriptions page for more information on individual programs.)