Unit 2: Compression, Lecture 1


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Download the video from iTunes U or the Internet Archive.

This video is the first of two lectures in this unit. The second lecture of this unit is missing due to technical reasons.

Instructors: Prof. Paul Penfield, Prof. Seth Lloyd


Notes, Chapter 3: Compression (PDF)

Fraunhofer Institute MP3 overview

MP3 Demonstration

Shutter Telegraph Codewords

Six-page excerpt from JPEG FAQ

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF87) Specification (complete)

GIF Patent Controversy

Statement by League for Programming Freedom

Two Unisys statements (archived): License Information and Web Site LZW Licenses


Problem Set 2 (PDF)

Problem Set 2 Solutions (PDF)



Flag of Germany, the perfect example for run-length encoding

JPEG FAQ, Part 1 and Part 2

Blackstock, Steve. LZW and GIF explained. From Amer, Paul. CISC 451/651: Data Compression in Multimedia

Nelson, Mark. "LZW Data Compression." Dr. Dobb's Journal 14 (October 1989): 29-36.

PNG, an alternative to GIF


Amazon logo Wilson, Geoffrey. The Old Telegraphs. London, UK: Phillimore and Co., 1976. ISBN: 9780900592799.
Describes several telegraph systems, in many countries, that predate electrical telegraphs.

Amazon logo Holzmann, Gerard J., and Björn Pehrson. The Early History of Data Networks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 1994. ISBN: 9780818667824.

———. "The First Data Networks." Scientific American 270 (January 1994): 124-129. (PDF)#
Describes French and Swedish optical telegraphs, from the 1790s.

Amazon logo Standage, Tom. The Victorian Internet. New York, NY: Berkley Books, 1999, chapter 1. ISBN: 9780425171691.

Unisys/Compuserve GIF Controversy: