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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Programming Languages by Level

As mentioned earlier, there are basically four hierarchical categories into which today's hundreds of programming languages can be divided.

  • Machine languages

  • Assembly languages

  • High-level languages

  • Fourth-generation languages

Machine Language Programming

Machine language describes the numerical codes corresponding to the instruction set that are directly recognized by the CPU; because it corresponds to the instruction set, machine language is tied to a particular CPU. A printout of a program in machine language is a string of numbers (a very long string, even for a short program). The numbers will be written in hexadecimal for the simple reason that anyone trying to write, much less read, page after page of ones and ...

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