Micro Life Zone
Asked by misseden to Peter on 4 Sep 2013.
We use programs called “compilers” to translate something easy for us to write into the millions of instructions needed by the computer.
To print out the number 1 to 10 and their squares in a computer language you might write:
for i = 1 to 10
print i, i * i
(This is in a very simple language called BASIC). In a simple computer language (it is really all numbers but we can give the instructions names) this might look like
cla ;; clear the accumulator (a)
clb ;; and the second accumulator (b)
start: ;; a label
tba ;; copy the contents of b into a
ina 1 ;; add 1 to a
call print ;; We overlook the thousands of instructions to see if we CAN print and turn the value in the accumulator into printable characters
tab ;; make a copy of a in the a second “register” (b)
mula ;; multiply a by b
call newline ;; to move to the next line
tba ;; copy b back into a
deca 10 ;; subtract 10 from a
bnz ;; start
Now if I got that all right, it would be the same as the original.
Which do you think is easier?
There are hundreds of computer languages. The one I am mostly using at the moment is called “C” (it followed on from an earlier language called “B”) and looks a little like BASIC. Some of them are really simple, some very complex. C is somewhere in the middle. We choose a particular language because it is available on the computer we are using and because it suits the problems we are doing.
So, BASIC isn’t that basic after all.
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