If you've ever taken any kind of introductory computer science course, it's a sure bet that you ran across a diagram on your first day or in the first chapter of your text that was some variation of the one shown in Figure 5-1.


Figure 5-1. Input, process, output

If you were in the advanced course, there might have been another box hanging off somewhere labeled Storage.

And that's pretty much just what a computer does. It reads in some kind of data as input, does something with it, possibly stores it, possibly later retrieves it, and then spits it out in some form.

The vast majority of what ...

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