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A Concise Introduction to Programming in Python by Mark J. Johnson

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Chapter 1

Computer Systems and Software

Programmable software is what makes a computer a powerful tool. Each different program essentially “rewires” the computer to allow it to perform a different task. In this course, you will learn basic principles of writing software in the Python programming language.

Python is a popular scripting language available as a free download from http://www.python.org/. Follow the instructions given there to install the latest production version of Python 3 on your system. The examples in this text were written with Python 3.2.

The CPU and RAM

In order to write software, it will be helpful to be able to imagine what happens inside a computer when your program runs. We begin with a rough picture and gradually fill ...

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