6 Chapter 1 The Big Picture core electronic circuitry gives rise to specialized hardware components such as the computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) and memory. Chap-ters 4 and 5 of the book discuss these topics in detail. The programming layer deals with software, the instructions used to accomplish computations and manage data. Programs can take many forms, be performed at many levels, and be implemented in many languages. Yet despite the variety of programming issues, the goal remains the same: to solve problems. Chapters 6 through 9 explore many issues related to programming and the management of data. Every computer has an Operating System (OS) to help manage the computer’s resources. Operating systems, such as Windows 2000, Linux, or the Mac OS, help us interact with the computer system and manage the way hardware devices, programs, and data interact. Knowing what an operating system does for us is key to understanding the computer in general. These issues are discussed in Chapters 10 and 11.
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