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Monitor program

A monitor program is a small computer program, typically in ROM, that is used to start up the machine and/or monitor its inputs. A typical example is the BIOS included in most machines today.

Another common use in the past was the machine language monitor, which was often found in various 8-bit home computers. In this case the monitor included basic input/output for the keyboard, and sometimes a cassette tape and printer as well, and allowed the user to enter commands to view and change the memory of the machine directly. The name is not terribly descriptive, although some of these monitors did indeed allow one to control the execution of machine language programs directly.

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