A computer program consists of two parts: code and data. The code is the set of instructions for performing a task, and the data is the set of ``registers'' or ``memory locations'' which contain the intermediate results which are used as the program performs its calculations.
Note that the code is relatively static while the data is dynamic. Once you've gotten a program working, its code won't change, but every time you run it, it will typically be working with different data, so the memory locations will take on different values.
Once you've written a program, you've defined a new thing that your computer can do. The applications (text and graphic editors, spreadsheets, games, etc.) which your computer may already have are ``just'' programs, written by programmers using programming languages such as the one you're about to learn.
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This page by Steve Summit // Copyright 1995, 1996 // mail feedback