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Lesson 8

Computer Program Conclusion

This module discussed what a computer program is and the environment in which it performs its work.
This included an exploration of the hardware components of a computer and the role of a computer's operating system.
You've also learned about the process of translating a computer program into the machine language that a computer understands.

Having completed this module, you are now able to
  1. Define computer programs
  2. List and describe the components of a computer
  3. Describe the role of an operating system
  4. Describe what happens when a computer program is executed
  5. Explain what machine language is
  6. Explain what compilers and interpreters do
In the next module you will learn how a computer stores the numbers and text that are processed in a computer program.

Harvard Architecture

The Harvard architecture is a computer architecture with physically separate storage and signal pathways for instructions and data. The term originated from the Harvard Mark I relay-based computer, which stored instructions on punched tape (24 bits wide) and data in electro-mechanical counters. These early machines had data storage entirely contained within the central processing unit, and provided no access to the instruction storage as data. Programs needed to be loaded by an operator; the processor could not initialize itself.