Computers and the Cybernetic Society by Michael A. Arbib (Auth.)

By Michael A. Arbib (Auth.)

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MONTH) can take any value from 1 (for January) to 12 (for December). (DAY) can take any value from 1 to 31. What makes the "Update Date" program interesting is that different months have different lengths. Recall the rhyme 30 days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, Excepting February alone. The rhyme goes on to tell us that February has 28 days, except in leap years—but we will leave the handling of leap years to the exercises. The rhyme tells us, then, that we normally reset (DAY) back to 1 after the 31st of the month.

2 MOVING AND STORING INFORMATION 55 If it is an output instruction, the CPU will send the appropriate information to the terminal. If it is an operation instruction, the CPU will retrieve the necessary data from the memory, carry out the operation (adding two numbers together, for example), and—if appropriate—store the results at some designated place in the memory. If the instruction calls for a test, the CPU will perform that test and then go on to carry out the instruction specified by the outcome of the test.

What sort of circuitry does the CPU need in order to do all of this? If we simply want to use computers, rather than work with electronics, we do not really need to know. 1 an outline of how hardware fetches and executes instructions. ] To complete our tour of Figure 3, we must see what sort of control signals the user can type in at the terminal. These signals are messages to the computer that are neither data nor part of a program. " Usually, the computer does not understand English. Consequently, these control signals must actually be written in a special programming language called a job-control language.

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