Booting the Computer
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Title: Booting the Computer

Essay Details:

Subject: Technology
Date: July 2, 2015
Level: University
Grade: A
Length: 2 / 405

Essay text:

These instructions are in a special kind of memory called read-only-memory or ROM. The computer executes these instructions to read additional instructions from its disk, and those instructions then tell it how to load the operating system. The first computers I ever wrote code for (DEC PDP-8's and PDP-11's) had no ROM. But they did have front panels with toggle switches that allowed you to manually enter values to be stored in memory. To start the computer you had to enter a short program, usually 6 or 7 machine instructions, in binary through the toggle switches. These instructions were a tight loop which was just barely enough to read the first block from some device - typically punched paper tape or DECtape...

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