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program
Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 

(n) An organized list of instructions that, when executed, causes the computer to behave in a predetermined manner. Without programs, computers are useless.

A program is like a recipe. It contains a list of ingredients (called variables) and a list of directions (called statements) that tell the computer what to do with the variables. The variables can represent numeric data, text, or graphical images.

There are many programming languages -- C, C++, Pascal, BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and LISP are just a few. These are all high-level languages. One can also write programs in low-level languages called assembly languages, although this is more difficult. Low-level languages are closer to the language used by a computer, while high-level languages are closer to human languages.

Eventually, every program must be translated into a machine language that the computer can understand. This translation is performed by compilers, interpreters, and assemblers.

When you buy software, you normally buy an executable version of a program. This means that the program is already in machine language -- it has already been compiled and assembled and is ready to execute.

(v) To write programs.

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Hard Disk Interfaces and Configuration 
Describes the different major interface standards currently used by hard disks (and other devices). Provides sections about the IDE/ATA and SCSI interfaces. This page is from "The PC Guide."

related categories

Programming

related terms

agent

algorithm

argument

assembler

assembly language

build

canonical

CASE

code

compiler

executable file

flow control

high-level language

instruction

interpreter

language

low-level language

machine language

module

programming language

pseudocode

software

UAT

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