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Smart Cards: The Developer's Toolkit by Scott B. Guthery, Timothy M. Jurgensen

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Chapter 1. Overview of Smart Cards and Their Programming

A smart card is a computer. It doesn't include the keyboard and display screen that stare at us from our desktop personal computers, but it has all the elements of a general-purpose computing platform nonetheless. From a distance, it looks like a credit card with a small metal plate on its face. That plate is the electrical interface for a very small and very highly integrated computer buried in the plastic beneath it. This computer includes a processor and several types of memory; sometimes it even includes an auxiliary processor that helps it in particularly intense computations. So, while it's something less than the PC on your desk, it is also something more: it's a reasonably secure ...

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