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Introduction to CS-215

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Computer Organization & Assembly Language: Module 0. Introduction to CS-215. Course topics. Computer Organization Computer Components CPU, memory, I/O devices, bus Representing information Integers, real numbers, text characters, machine code Arithmetic operations Assembly Language

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course topics
Course topics
  • Computer Organization
    • Computer Components
      • CPU, memory, I/O devices, bus
    • Representing information
      • Integers, real numbers, text characters, machine code
    • Arithmetic operations
  • Assembly Language
    • Basic features
    • Translation (C++  assembly language)
    • Data structures
    • Procedures
    • Programmed I/O
course activities
Course activities
  • Computer Organization
    • Representing information
      • Encode and decode various types of data
        • How is 3.14 represented by a computer?
        • What unsigned integer is represented by the byte 11001010?
    • Arithmetic operations
      • Demonstrate the (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division) of two (integers/real numbers) using one of the algorithms for hardware operations presented in class
        • Requires an understanding of the representations
        • It is not enough to use conventional techniques and convert the result!
course activities1
Course activities
  • Assembly Language
    • Translation (C++  assembly language)
      • Implement a C++ code fragment in assembly language
    • Procedures
      • Implement a C++ function in assembly language
        • Use activation records
    • Programmed I/O
      • Write code which manages I/O to a device
        • monitor, keyboard
course resources
Course resources
  • Text: A Programmer's View of Computer Architecture, Goodman & Miller
  • Website:
    • Syllabus
    • Lecture slides
    • Assignments
    • Language and simulator resources
  • Desire2Learn (D2L)
    • Announcements
    • Dropbox (assignment submission)
    • Discussion board
focus mips r2000 assembly language
Focus: MIPS R2000 Assembly Language
  • The MIPS R2000 is an old CPU from SGI
    • Modern MIPS used in SGI workstations, Sony PS2
    • All MIPS chips use nearly the same assembly language
    • MIPS assembly language is very similar to that of the PowerPC chip, the heart of the Apple Macintosh
  • Why MIPS R2000
    • Simple, easily learned language
    • Straight-forward architecture
    • Freely available GUI simulator: SPIM
  • Initially developed at UW-Madison by James Larus
  • More stable than its Unix counterpart
    • Xspim is on both miller and grid
  • Has a graphic interface for easy debugging
    • More on PCSpim later
why study assembly language
Why study assembly language?
  • Developing a more accurate model of computation is the main goal of this course
  • A software engineer who understands how a computer works will be able to:
    • design more efficient code
    • Find and fix problems with code that don't stem from the semantics of the source language
    • Correctly diagnose problems in a deployed application
      • hardware, OS, libraries, network, source code, etc.
what is a model
What is a model?
  • A model is a partial representation of a system
    • incomplete
    • specific purpose
  • Multiple models for different purposes
    • Model of the city of Milwaukee for
      • MCTS bus driver
      • MMSD engineer
      • Bicyclist
      • Commercial airline pilot
level of detail
Level of detail
  • Eliminating distracting detail enables focus on aspects of interest, get higher level perspectives
    • street maps for navigation do not show buildings and topography
  • More detail is NOT necessarily better
    • A detailed schematic of a car engine would not help the average motorist troubleshoot a sputtering engine
      • A flow chart would be better
    • A city map that shows every alley is less useful to a visitor than one that shows just major roads
  • Modeling is about abstraction:
    • building general, high-level concept pictures
  • Models often abstract away variation
    • Access to UWM computers requires authentication
    • The authentication abstraction filters out mechanism
      • login-password, fingerprint recognition, ID badge, etc.
  • Different abstractions, levels of abstraction depending on aspects of interest, degree of expertise
learning is model refinement
Learning is model refinement
  • The primary purpose of modeling is to improve understanding
    • Observing differences between the model and reality shows us gaps in our understanding
      • This is how learning works, according to educational theory
      • Cognitive dissonance
    • Learn is updating our model to better predict reality
novice user s model of computation
Novice user’s model of computation
  • A computer is a machine that:
    • Can generate video and sound, like a TV
    • responds to input from a keyboard and a mouse
      • Unlike a TV
    • must be plugged into the Internet to work properly
      • Like a TV needs cable, or an antenna
  • This is a useful model for word-processing, email, web browsing, copying CD’s, etc.
  • Programming requires a more detailed model
cs 201 model of computation
CS-201 model of computation
  • A computer is a machine that executes a C++ program, by
    • Executing each line of the program sequentially, subject to control structures and function calls
    • Allowing the program to receive text input from the keyboard, or a file
    • Allowing the program to produce text output to the monitor, or a file

C++ Program


a more complex model of computation
A more complex model of computation
  • A computer executes machine instructions, and can control a variety of input/output devices
  • Compiler
    • language definition
    • settings
    • implementation details
  • Operating system
    • resource allocation
    • device management
  • CPU
    • machine instructions
    • addressing modes

C++ Program


Operating System