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Department of Information Technology

Computer Architecture, First Course

Reading Advice

Course Definition

Tanenbaum: Chapters 1-5, except chapters 5.6 and 5.7. Appendices A and B are also covered by the course.

Reading Instructions for Tanenbaum

The book is quite easy to read but it may feel too "wordy" sometimes. Do not read it to memorize everything but rather to understand important concepts and connections. It is also important that you learn the terminology (boldface in the book). A list of the most important words is available here. You will find the final exam really easy if you can explain the meaning of all these words.

Chapter 1

1.1.1 is not very important. In 1.1.2 the terminology is important. 1.1.3 is mostly background information. From 1.2 it is good to know most important terms. Of course you should not memorize tables like that on page 14. 1.3 is not important. 1.4 may be interesting background information for rest of the course.

Chapter 2

2.1 establishes important terminology, especially 2.1.4 is important. 2.2 is also important. Learn the terminology and how to calculate Hamming codes. 2.2.5 is important but reoccurs in more detail later. 2.2.6 is not important. 2.3-2.4 discusses a lot of different units. You should be able to describe them briefly.

Chapter 3

Sections 3.1-3.3 are central. They establish terminology and show examples of how to construct logic nets from simple gates. Sections 3.4-3.7 are also important but contain a lot of details that do not need to be memorized. Read and check that you understand.

Chapter 4

4.1-4.5 explains how a micro-programmed CPU works with an example. The details of the example are not important, but the general principals of microprogramming are important. 4.4-4.5 describes different ways to improve performance, read and learn the terminology. Read 4.6 as an orientation.

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 is rather wordy and contains a lot of details. Learn the concepts, but skip details. Section 5.5 is unimportant; skip 5.6-5.7. 5.8 may be interesting to read but is not important.

Chapters 6-8

These chapters are not included in the course but still contain some interesting information. Other courses will cover this.

Appendix A

Important. Read and understand.

Appendix B

This appendix is not important, but read and learn terminology.

Updated  2003-10-06 16:27:03 by Zoran Radovic.