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Someone asked me when someone presses key "A", how does a PC recognizes which key is pressed? I don't actually know and I don't think it's important for a programmer to know. However, this triggered other questions in my head!

For example, What is a file? Is it a group of strings or something related to the hard-desk?

Where is the line between software and hardware? I mean, there are situations where you should know as a programmer when the CPU is executing your program, or it is waiting for data from Memory, or that it is waiting for the Hard-desk to finish a writing operation etc.

Even if a programmer shouldn't care about such matters, it would be really satisfying to understand how things are working.

I wasn't successful in searching the web. Maybe I'm not using the right keywords. How should I approach clarifying these issues? Any recommended book?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by gnat, GlenH7, MichaelT, Michael Kohne, Bart van Ingen Schenau Sep 1 '13 at 9:09

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Operating System Concepts by Silberschatz is one of the main textbook studied in operating system courses and it covers all the topics you asked about. Also you may try searching Linux kernel modification or modifying Linux scheduler.

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