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This textbook is a crash course in the major hardware and software components of a modern computer system. Designed for use in a wide range of introductory-level computer science classes, it guides readers through the vertical slice of a computer so they can develop an understanding of the machine at various layers of abstraction.
Early chapters begin with the basics of the C programming language often used in systems programming. Other topics explore the architecture of modern computers, the inner workings of operating systems, and the assembly languages that translate human-readable instructions into a binary representation that the computer understands. Later chapters explain how to optimize code for various architectures, how to implement parallel computing with shared memory, and how memory management works in multi-core CPUs. Accessible and easy to follow, the book uses images and hands-on exercise to break down complicated topics, including code examples that can be modified and executed.
Tia Newhall is a professor in the computer science department at Swarthmore College. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests are in parallel and distributed systems.
Kevin C. Webb is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Swarthmore College. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC San Diego. His research interests are in networks, distributed systems, and computer science education.
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