(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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