Today I'll be talking about something very basic. What is a computer?
According to dictionary.com, it is the following:
"a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations. Mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers."
This is all fine, but it does not really answer what makes a computer work. If you just buy a tablet that has no software or operating system in it, it does not really do anything and might be viewed as a very expensive room heater.
A computer has four main parts.
1.) Some form of input device, like a mouse or keyboard to enter data.
2.) Some type of logic that can read the inputs and give a result. For example, if 2 inputs are the same or different.
3.) A place to store and read things back, such as on a disk or memory.
4.) A place to display them. Examples include a monitor, printer, or even an LED light.
The inputs are all binary, which is the language of computers. Binary just means something is on or off. We represent this as 0=off or 1=on. The outputs are also in binary.
It is amazing that such a simple concept can create virtual worlds and the website you are using now.
In my next series of posts I'll go into things in more detail, starting with the input part. Hopefully, you will get a good feel for how a computer works and maybe even build one yourself! If you have any questions about anything, please post them.