Machine language is a collection of computer instructions that are specific to a particular hardware environment. Machine languages aren't particularly human readable. In other words, they are designed for efficiency and don't resemble a natural language such as English. It is possible for a human to read machine code but it consists of a long series of hardware operations that aren't typically interesting to humans, including programmers who most often work in source code. The following are examples of machine code:
The examples above may seem quite simple but keep in mind that a relatively simple program can have millions of lines of machine code.
Read input from an input device and stores it in a register.
Write the value of a register to an output device.
Add the values of two registers and store the result in another register.
Subtract the values of two registers and store the result in another register.
Load a value from memory into a register.
Store the value of a register into memory.
Move to a specific memory address.
Next: Low Level Programming
A language of computer instructions that is understood by a particular category of hardware.
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