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

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Chapter 5

Computer Memory: Integers

It is time to go back to the machine level and look a little more deeply at memory. At a high level, computer memory may be categorized according to concepts such as access speed and size. Definite patterns emerge:

Type

Access Speed

Proximity to CPU

Size

Volatile

Register

Fastest

Inside

10’s

Y

Caches

Very fast

Adjacent

100’s to MB

Y

RAM

Fast

Near

GB

Y

Hard disks

Slow

Far

TB

N

At a lower level, the question is, how is data actually stored in computer memory? In this chapter, we begin to develop an answer by looking at how integers are stored.

Bits and Bytes

Computer memory of all types may be thought of at different levels of interpretation. The bottom level is ...

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