Computer Systems, fourth edition offers a clear, detailed, step-by-step introduction to the central concepts in computer organization, assembly language, and computer architecture. It invites students to explore the many dimensions of computer systems through a top-down approach to levels of abstraction. By examining how the different levels of abstraction relate to one another, the text helps students look at computer systems and their components as a unified concept.
The Fourth Edition is based on the Pep/8 assembler and simulator, which was designed to teach the basics of the classic von Neumann machine. Pep/8 includes a symbolic trace feature that displays global variables and the run-time stack in real time as the student single steps through the program. Throughout the text Warford emphasizes the importance of mastering fundamental computer concepts, which provides a basis for understanding both current and future technology, while also stressing the importance of keen problem-solving skills. Computer Systems, fourth edition covers all of the core topics in the Architecture and Organization category of the ACM-IEEE Curriculum 2001 Guidelines for Computer Science.