Although computers can be programmed to understand many different computer languages, there is only one language that understudies the computer without using a translation program. This language is called the machine language or the machine code of the computer.
Machine code is the fundamental language of a computer and is normally written as strings of binary is and Os. The crcuity of computing is wired in such a way that it immediately recognizes the machine language and converts it into the electrical signals needed to run the computer. An instruction prepared in any machine language has a two-part format, as shown in Figure. The first part is the command or operation, and it tells the computer what function to perform.
Every computer has an operation code or opcode for each ofits functions. The second par of the instruction is the operand, andi tels the computer where to find or store the data or other instructions ha are to be manipulated. Thus, each instructional the controls unit of the CPU on what to do and the length and location of the data fields that are involved in the operation.
Typical operations involve reading, adding, subtracting, writing, and so on.
Advantages and Limitations of machine Language Programs written in machine language can be executed very fast by the computer. This is mainly because machine instructions are directly understood by the CPU and no translation of the program is required.
However, writing a program in machine language has several advantages which are discussed below. Machine dependent Because the internal design of every type of computer is different from every other type of computer that needs different electrical signals to operate, the machine language is also different from computer t computer this is determined by the actual design or construction of the ALU,
the control unit, and the size as well as the word length of the memory unit. Hence, suppose after becoming proficient in the machine code of a particular computer, a company decides to change to another computer, the programmer may be required to learn a new machine language and would have to rewrite all the existing programs.
2. Difficult to program. Although easily used by the computer, machine language is difficult to program. ltis necessary for the programmer hitherto to memorize the dozens of code numbers for the commands in the machine’s instruction sector to constantly refer to a reference card. A Programmer is also forced to keep track of the storage location of data and instructions Moreover,a machine language programmer must be an expert who knows about the hardware structure of the computer.
3. Emor prone. For writing a program in machine language, since the programmer has to remember the opcodes and he must also keep tac of the storage location of data and instructions,i become very difficult fo him to concentrate fully on the logic of the problem. This frequently results in program errors. Hence, it is easy to make errs while using matching code. Difficult to modify.
It is difficult to correct or modify machine language programs. Checking machine instruction to locate erorsisabout as tedious as writing them initially Similarity, modifying a machine language program at a later date is so difficult that many programs at later date is so difficult that many programmers would prefer to code the new logic afresh instead of incorporating the necessary modifications in he old program. In short, a writing program in machine language is difficult and time-consuming that it is rarely used today.