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Some resources on making tiny Hello World programs down to the kernel level that may be useful:

https://blogs.oracle.com/ksplice/entry/hello_from_a_libc_fre...

http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/software/tiny/teensy.htm...

http://timelessname.com/elfbin/

A wee bit heavy, but it's comprehensive. It deals with what happens when you run code, how the architecture of the computer works (by and large) including at the logic level:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Computer-Systems-Programmers-Randal-...

If you want to go lower (and higher).. look at Understanding the Linux kernel for a good understanding of how an OS is put together, with specific examples i.e. Linux.

Code, by Petzold, deals with logic and computers from the ground up. It starts with relays and builds them up into gates and usable arithmetic blocks.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Language-Computer-Hardware-Soft...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-Linux-Kernel-Daniel-Bo...

The physics is fairly simple, at least from a CRT or LED display perspective. Gets more tricky dealing with interconnecting microprocessors because a good chunk is vendor specific.

I think this kind of project is well suited to a guide on how to build a computer from the ground up, starting with logic gates, writing a real time OS and developing a scripting language that will run and compile on it. Then you can skip a lot of largely extraneous stuff and have a solid understanding of how the hardware works.




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