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I would define a software program as at least one line of code stored in at least one computer system's memory cell.

Can a software program be stored in just one memory cell or rather (due to binary computation) must it always be stored in two or more memory cells?

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It depends on the particular instruction set and model of computation, but in some architectures, here is a valid program:

EXIT

In other words, it is just one instruction, which immediately causes the program to halt. If that fits into a single memory cell (and it could; there's no reason in principle why it can't), then you've got a program that fits in one memory cell.

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You can even store a software program in 0 memory cells!

All you need to do is to define a programming language in which the empty program has a defined meaning. For example, you can define a programming language that is just like Python, except the empty program prints the string "Hello, World!" to the console; let's call this programming language Python++.

Now you can store a Python++ "Hello, World" program in 0 memory cells.

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  • $\begingroup$ With no sarcasm, sadly I didn't manage to understand what you were trying to say... $\endgroup$ Jan 16 at 8:58

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