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Visual C#® 2012: How to Program, Fifth Edition by Harvey Deitel, Paul Deitel

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1.5. Machine Languages, Assembly Languages and High-Level Languages

Programmers write instructions in various programming languages (such as C#), some directly understandable by computers and others requiring intermediate translation steps.

Machine Languages

Any computer can directly understand only its own machine language, defined by its hardware architecture. Machine languages generally consist of numbers, ultimately reduced to 1s and 0s. Such languages are cumbersome for humans, who prefer words like “add” and “subtract” to indicate the operations to be performed, so the machine language numeric versions of these instructions were referred to as code. The term “code” has become more broadly used and now refers to the program instructions ...

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