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Ode to Machine Architecture

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Hardware
Software

I have been writing lately about the importance of learning the underlying tenants of computing if you are going to be a great programmer, and in particular some machine language and computer architecture.

It typically does not make a difference which architecture you learn, or which machine language, as long as the architecture and machine language can illustrate the basic concepts of computing to a level that is useful in future studies of operating systems design and compiler theory, helping you to under stand issues like cache management, interrupt handling and I/O.

This blog entry, however, is not going to talk about those issues. Instead it will talk about a few instances in my life where knowing assembly language helped me immensely in solving problems.

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Architecture Does Matter

People seemed to like my blog yesterday about how the knowledge of assembly and machine language improved my programs, or the programs of people around me.

Today I would like to show people how simply understanding a little about the architecture of the machine and operating system, even without knowing assembly language, can improve program performance. Likewise the study of algorithms and computer techniques.

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