• William Buchanan


Computer systems contain a microprocessor which controls the operation of the computer. The microprocessor only understands binary information and operates on a series of binary commands known as machine code. It is extremely difficult to write large programs in machine code, so that high-level languages are used instead. A low-level language is one which is similar to machine code and normally involves the usage of keyword macros to replace machine code instructions. High-level languages have a syntax that is almost like written English and thus make programs easy to read and to modify. In most programs the actual operation of the hardware is invisible to the programmer. A compiler changes the high-level language into machine code. Typical high-level languages include C/C++, BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN and Pascal; an example of a low-level language is 80486 Assembly Language.


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Copyright information

© William Buchanan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Buchanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringNapier UniversityEdinburghUK

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