1.1 Computing Systems

In this book we explore various aspects of computing systems. Note that we use the term computing system, not just computer. A computer is a device. A computing system, by contrast, is a dynamic entity, used to solve problems and interact with its environment. A computing system is composed of hardware, software, and the data that they manage. Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that make up the machine and its related pieces: boxes, circuit boards, chips, wires, disk drives, keyboards, monitors, printers, and so on. Computer software is the collection of programs that provide the instructions that a computer carries out. And at the very heart of a computer system is the information that it manages. ...

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