This, the first volume in Randall Hyde’s Write Great Code series, dives into machine organization without the extra overhead of learning assembly language programming. Written for high-level language programmers, Understanding the Machine fills in the low-level details of machine organization that are often left out of computer science and engineering courses.

Learn: How the machine represents numbers, strings, and high-level data structures, so you’ll know the inherent cost of using them; How to organize your data, so the machine can access it efficiently; How the CPU operates, so you can write code that works the way the machine does; How I/O devices operate, so you can maximize your application’s performance when accessing those devices; How to best use the memory hierarchy to produce the fastest possible programs.

Great code is efficient code. But before you can write truly efficient code, you must understand how computer systems execute programs and …