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Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 217

Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 217 - 190 Chapter 7...

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Virtual computer (machine) A hypo- thetical machine designed to illustrate important features of a real machine 190 Chapter 7 Low-Level Programming Languages This is similar to the approach taken when representing character data, as described in Chapter 3. The relationship between the processor and the instructions it can carry out is completely integrated. The electronics of the CPU inherently recog- nize the binary representations of the specific commands. So there is no actual list of commands the computer must consult. The CPU embodies the list in its design. Each machine-language instruction does only one very low-level task. Each small step in a process must be explicitly coded in machine language. Even the small task of adding two numbers together uses three instructions written in binary, and the programmer has to remember which combina- tion of binary digits correspond to which instruction. As we mentioned in Chapter 1, machine-language programmers have to be very good with numbers and very detail-oriented.
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