What Is Computer Programming Anyway?

  • Thread starter youssef_edward3000
  • Start date

Y

youssef_edward3000

Computer programming in plain language, is giving
instructions to a computer to do something. Technically it
is actually giving instructions to the microprocessor - the
brain of a computer.

If the instructions are only for the microprocessor, why a
computer is so complicated with numerous types of hardware
accessories?

All the other hardware are to support the function of
feeding the instructions to the microprocessor, and
conveying the result from the microprocessor to its user -
which can be a human or another computer or hardware.

Every time you want a computer to do something you have to
give the instructions. Luckily people are smart enough to
figure out that since we might want the computer to repeat
the same process over and over again, we better store the
instructions into a permanent storage - hard disk, CD, flash
memory etc.

The stored instructions are called COMPUTER PROGRAM or
computer software and the act of arranging the instructions
is called COMPUTER PROGRAMMING and the person that is
responsible to arrange the instructions is called
......COMPUTER PROGRAMMER ...do you see the pattern here?

On the lowest level, a microprocessor only understands a
limited set of instructions. To a microprocessor the
instruction sets and data are read in �binary� form.

Binary means 2 states � such as in on and off, high and low,
left and right. To make it easier mathematically, binary
normally is represented by 1 and 0. Electrically, 1
represents high voltage and 0 represents low voltage.

On the hard disk, program instructions look just like a
stream of 1s and 0s. But a microprocessor reads in the
stream one chunk at a time. Among normal chunk sizes are 8,
16, and 32. Chunk size is normally referred to as
instruction size.

One binary data (that can be a 1 or a 0) is called a �bit�.
For example a data �1001� is a 4 bit data. Where first bit
is 1, second bit is 0, third bit is another 0 and the fourth
bit is 1.

Bit is the computer terminology for �chunk�.

How instructions can be represented by bits?

One bit data can only represent 1 out of 2 possible states �
either 1 or 0. Which in real world can be used to represent
things such as on or off, high or low, black or white � any
2 states condition?

If we increase the instruction size to 2 bits, then we can
represent 4 instructions � 00, or 01, or 10 or 11. If we
increase the size to 3 bits then we can represent 8 possible
instructions � 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110 and 111

If you notice the trend from the above examples is that
maximum possible number of instructions is the power of 2 of
the bit size. That is 2 bits can represent maximum of 2^2
(which is 4) instructions, and 3 bits can represent maximum
of 2^3 (which is 2x2x2 = 8) instructions.

So 8 bits data can represent maximum of 2^8 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2
= 256) instructions (or states) and 32 bits data can
represent 2^32 (4,294,967,296) instructions.

You can actually read a program stream contents using
certain editor � normally called HEX editor. Using these
special text editors you can look at the instructions in
binary, hexadecimal, octal, and decimal format.

I�ll cover the details of what each of the above format
(hex, oct and dec) means in other article.

Permission is granted for this article to forward, reprint
or distribute, use for ezine, website, offer as free bonus
or part of a product for sales as long as no changes are
made and the byline, copyright and the resource box is
included.

For more information about programming and computers, visit
http://tips-made-easy.info/computer
 
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M

Mensanator

Computer programming in plain language, is giving
instructions to a computer to do something. Technically it
is actually giving instructions to the microprocessor - the
brain of a computer.

If the instructions are only for the microprocessor, why a
computer is so complicated with numerous types of hardware
accessories?

All the other hardware are to support the function of
feeding the instructions to the microprocessor, and
conveying the result from the microprocessor to its user -
which can be a human or another computer or hardware.

Every time you want a computer to do something you have to
give the instructions. Luckily people are smart enough to
figure out that since we might want the computer to repeat
the same process over and over again, we better store the
instructions into a permanent storage - hard disk, CD, flash
memory etc.

The stored instructions are called COMPUTER PROGRAM or
computer software and the act of arranging the instructions
is called COMPUTER PROGRAMMING and the person that is
responsible to arrange the instructions is called
.....COMPUTER PROGRAMMER ...do you see the pattern here?

On the lowest level, a microprocessor only understands a
limited set of instructions. To a microprocessor the
instruction sets and data are read in binary form.

Binary means 2 states such as in on and off, high and low,
left and right. To make it easier mathematically, binary
normally is represented by 1 and 0. Electrically, 1
represents high voltage and 0 represents low voltage.

On the hard disk, program instructions look just like a
stream of 1s and 0s. But a microprocessor reads in the
stream one chunk at a time. Among normal chunk sizes are 8,
16, and 32. Chunk size is normally referred to as
instruction size.

One binary data (that can be a 1 or a 0) is called a bit .
For example a data 1001 is a 4 bit data. Where first bit
is 1, second bit is 0, third bit is another 0 and the fourth
bit is 1.

Bit is the computer terminology for chunk .

How instructions can be represented by bits?

One bit data can only represent 1 out of 2 possible states
either 1 or 0. Which in real world can be used to represent
things such as on or off, high or low, black or white any
2 states condition?

If we increase the instruction size to 2 bits, then we can
represent 4 instructions 00, or 01, or 10 or 11. If we
increase the size to 3 bits then we can represent 8 possible
instructions 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110 and 111

If you notice the trend from the above examples is that
maximum possible number of instructions is the power of 2 of
the bit size. That is 2 bits can represent maximum of 2^2
(which is 4) instructions, and 3 bits can represent maximum
of 2^3 (which is 2x2x2 = 8) instructions.

So 8 bits data can represent maximum of 2^8 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2
= 256) instructions (or states) and 32 bits data can
represent 2^32 (4,294,967,296) instructions.

You can actually read a program stream contents using
certain editor normally called HEX editor. Using these
special text editors you can look at the instructions in
binary, hexadecimal, octal, and decimal format.

I ll cover the details of what each of the above format
(hex, oct and dec) means in other article.

Don't knock yourself out on our account, we won't be reading it
anyway.
 
S

Steven D'Aprano

On Jun 8, 9:34 am, "(e-mail address removed)"
[snip]
I ll cover the details of what each of the above format (hex, oct and
dec) means in other article.

Don't knock yourself out on our account, we won't be reading it anyway.

Mensanator, is your delete key broken?

Quoting vast reams of texts, only to make a single-line comment at, or
close to, the very end, is one of the more annoying and obnoxious habits
of clueless n00bs and computer incompetents. You really don't want to
follow their bad habits.

Amusingly, such cluelessness is parodied by the term "AOL!" used as an
interjection:

http://general.computerdictionaries.org/Jargon-File-Dictionary/AOL!

The reason this is amusing is that I see you have an AOL email address.
 
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M

Mensanator

On Jun 8, 9:34 am, "(e-mail address removed)"
[snip]
I ll cover the details of what each of the above format (hex, oct and
dec) means in other article.
Don't knock yourself out on our account, we won't be reading it anyway.

Mensanator, is your delete key broken?

No, but I gotta remember to use it. Qouting EVERYTHING is the
default on Google. I think in the early days Google didn't
quote anything by default and people got mad, so they changed
it to quote all.
Quoting vast reams of texts, only to make a single-line comment at, or
close to, the very end, is one of the more annoying and obnoxious habits
of clueless n00bs and computer incompetents. You really don't want to
follow their bad habits.

I rarely give it that much thought, but you're right, quoting just the
one sentence would have sufficed. Although, technically, if someone
hadn't
read the original post, they would better appreciate my comment. (I
know,
no exuse.)
Amusingly, such cluelessness is parodied by the term "AOL!" used as an
interjection:

http://general.computerdictionaries.org/Jargon-File-Dictionary/AOL!

I never do that, I fancy myself a wit.
The reason this is amusing is that I see you have an AOL email address.

Funny, there *WAS* I time when I used a *real* news server,
but AOL decided to cancel it one day and told all their subscribers
to "just use Google".
 

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