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Go, Hezekiah S.


Comp. Org. & Assembly Lang.

1. The difference between Computer Organization and Computer Architecture is that Computer Organization deals with all physical components of computer systems that interacts with each other to perform various functionalities while Computer Architecture refers to a set of attributes of a system seen by programmer. 2. Definition of terms: a) Assembly Language - Assembly language programming is writing machine instructions in mnemonic form, using an assembler to convert these mnemonics into actual processor instructions and associated data. b) Assembler - The assembler converts the written assembly language source program into a format which run on the processor. c) Linker - a linker or link editor is a computer program that takes one or more object files generated by a compiler and combines them into a single executable program. d) Designer - A debugger or debugging tool is a computer program that is used to test and debug other programs (the "target" program). 3. Uses of Assembly Language Assembly language is typically used in a system's boot code, (BIOS on IBMcompatible PC systems and CP/M), the low-level code that initializes and tests the system hardware prior to booting the OS, and is often stored in ROM. Some compilers translate high-level languages into assembly first before fully compiling, allowing the assembly code to be viewed for debugging and optimization purposes. Relatively low-level languages, such as C, allow the programmer to embed assembly language directly in the source code. Programs using such facilities, such as the Linux kernel, can then construct abstractions using different assembly language on each hardware platform. The system's portable code can then use these processor-specific components through a uniform interface. Assembly language is valuable in reverse engineering. Many programs are distributed only in machine code form which is straightforward to translate into assembly language, but more difficult to translate into a higher-level language. Tools such as the Interactive Disassembler make extensive use of disassembly for such a purpose. Assemblers can be used to generate blocks of data, with no high-level language overhead, from formatted and commented source code, to be used by other code.

4. Distributed software items can be classified into two software types: software products and components. For all those types, you can define software hierarchies which consist of the parent product level, versions, releases, and variations. The distributed software types into which you can classify software items stored in the knowledge base differ in terms of licensing attributes and the types of dependencies that can be defined for them. The software type determines the role that the software item can play in relation to other items. Software product is a logical unit of software packaging and sharing that has a managed development and maintenance life cycle and customer visible attributes. It can be a collection of components and other products whose licensing may be dependent on the licensing of the product as a whole. Component is a unit of software which cannot be offered and licensed independently of other software items. It cannot be installed separately but it can be detected as installed or running on computer systems by means of its own signatures. It can be assigned to products and shared between many different product definitions. 5. Assembly language in relation to: a) Processor - Processor is a circuit that is designed to perform single instructions: actually a whole series of them, one by one. The instructions to be executed are stored in some memory, in a PC, its the operating memory. The operations that the instructions perform are usually very simple. Only by writing a sequence of these simple operations, can you make the processor perform a specific task. However, writing a sequence of numeric codes is quite tedious, so the assembly programming language was created. It assigns opcodes (the numeric code) a symbol a name that sort of describes what it does. The programmer writes a sequence of instructions simple operations that the processor can perform, using these names, which are much easier to read than just numeric codes. Then he executes a tool named assembler, which will convert these symbols to the appropriate numeric codes that can be executed by the processor. b) Operating System - Historically, a large number of programs have been written entirely in assembly language. Operating systems were entirely written in assembly language until the introduction of the Burroughs MCP (1961), which was written in ESPOL, an Algol dialect. Most early microcomputers relied on hand-coded assembly language, including most operating systems and large applications. This was because these systems had severe resource constraints, imposed idiosyncratic memory and display architectures, and provided limited, buggy system services. Perhaps more important was the lack of first-class high-level language compilers suitable for microcomputer use. A psychological factor may have also played a role: the first generation of microcomputer programmers retained a hobbyist, "wires and pliers" attitude. c) Memory - In most computers, memory is divided up into bytes. Each byte contains 8 bits. Each byte in memory also has an address which is a number that says where the byte is in memory. The first byte in memory has an address of 0, the next one has an address of 1, and so on. Dividing memory into bytes makes it byte addressable because each byte gets a unique address. Addresses of byte addressable memories cannot be used to refer to a single bit of a byte. A byte is the smallest piece of memory that can be addressed. An assembly language program needs to keep track of which memory addresses hold which objects, and how big those objects are. A program that does so is type safe because it only does things to objects that are safe to do on their type. A program that doesnt will probably not work properly. Most programs do not actually explicitly store what the type of an object is, they just access objects consistently - the same object is always treated as the same type.