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C Primer Plus, Fourth Edition by Stephen Prata

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High-Level Computer Languages and Compilers

High-level programming languages, such as C, simplify your programming life in several ways. First, you don't have to express your instructions in a numeric code. Second, the instructions you use are much closer to how you might think about a problem than they are to the detailed approach a computer uses. Rather than worry about the precise steps a particular CPU would have to take to accomplish a particular task, you can express your desires on a more abstract level. To add two numbers, for example, you might write the following:

total = mine + yours;

Seeing code like this, you have a good idea what it does; looking at the machine-language equivalent of several instructions expressed in numeric code ...

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