A guide to optimizing programs on the PC and Unix platforms, this book covers the expediency of optimization and the methods to increase the speed of programs via optimization. Discussed are typical mistakes made by programmers that lessen the performance of the system along with easily implemented solutions. Detailed descriptions of the devices and mechanism of interaction of the computer components, effective ways of programming, and a technique for optimizing programs, are provided. Programmers will also learn how to effectively implement programming methods in a high-level language that is usually done in assembler with particular attention given to the RAM subsystem. The working principles of the RAM and the way in which it is coupled with the processor as well as a description of programming methods that allows programmers to overclock the memory to reach maximum performance are included.