Generations, Languages - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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First Generation: Machine Language

Programming of the first stored-program computer systems was performed in machine language. This is the lowest level of programming language. All the commands and data values are given in ones and zeros, corresponding to the "on" and "off" electrical states in a computer.

In the 1950s each computer had its own native language, and programmers had primitive systems for combining numbers to represent instructions such as add and compare. Similarities exist between different brands of machine language. For example, they all have instructions for the four basic arithmetic operations, for comparing pairs of numbers, and for repeating instructions. Different brands of machine language are different languages, however, and a computer cannot understand programs written in another machine language.

Generations, Languages

In machine language, all instructions, memory locations, numbers, and characters are represented in strings of zeros and ones. Although machine-language programs are typically displayed with...

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This section contains 1,842 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Generations, Languages Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Generations, Languages from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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