This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: he syntax rules of a programming
language, even down to the punctuation mark, his/her instructions will not be
understood by the computer.
Programming languages have improved over the years, just as computer hardware
has improved. They have progressed from machine-oriented languages that use
strings of binary Is and Os to problem-oriented languages that use common
mathematical and/or English terms. However, all computer languages can be
broadly classified into the following three categories:
1. Machine Language
2. Assembly Language
3. High-level Language
We shall now examine the nature and characteristics of these three types of
Although computers can be programmed to understand many different computer
languages, there is only one language understood by the computer without using a
translation program. This language is called the machine language of the
computer. The machine language of a computer is normally written as strings of
binary Is and Os. The circuitry of a computer is wired in such a way that it
immediately recognizes the machine language instructions and converts them into
the electrical signals needed to execute them.
A machine language instruction normally has a two-part format as shown in
Figure 12.1. The first part of an instruction is the operation code that tells the
computer what function to perform, and the second part is the operand that tells
the computer where to find or store the data or other instructions that are to be
manipulated. Thus, each instruction tells the computer what operation to perform
and the length and locations of the data fields that are involved in the operation.
Every computer has a set of operation codes called its instruction set. Each
operation code (or opcode) in the instruction set is meant for performing a specific
basic operation or function. Typical operations included in the instruction set of a
computer are as follows:
1. Arithmetic operations 2. Logical operations
3. Branch operations (either...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14