ECS 32A Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Kilobyte, 18 Months, Open-Source Software

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12 Jan 2019
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Basic Computational Theory
All arithmetic is reduced to mere counting
Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
Modern computers are based on voltage levels, either on or off
The reason there are only two levels is bc it is more efficient that way
More voltage levels requires more current which produces more heat
which is not as efficient
Bits and Bytes
Computers store and interact with data in bits
A bit is a binary digit: either 0 or 1
A byte is 8 bits
A kilobyte is either 1024 bytes or 1000 bytes, depending on who you ask
Processors and Memory
Processors: Integrated circuits that can execute many different types of
instructions
Assembly language
Add X, #num, Y
Very primitive language that machines can understand
Higher level languages have code that is more intuitive to humans, and
compilers convert it to assembly language
Memory
Circuits that can temporarily store variables
Basic Computer Components
Processor: Handles instructions
Clock: the drumbeat that processing elements follow when doing their
work
Memory (Volatile: Loses Data when Power is Lost)
Cache and Registers: Very fast and very expensive
Storage(Non-volatile: Keeps data when power is lost)
Disk: slow and cheap
Network
Connects multiple computer systems together
Some more info on Processors
Moore's Law: Law that states that amount of stuff you can pack onto a processor
will double every 18 months
Python Language History
Traditionally, high-level programming languages like C and C++ are built and compiled
and then run
Python uses an interpreter
Compiler compiles after you write the program all at once
Interpreter compiled as you write and points out errors
Embedded Systems/Microcontrollers
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