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Old 05-14-2012, 11:43 PM
 
6,395 posts, read 11,734,640 times
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work so powerfully, efficiently, and everything related to that?

I think people with a college degree in something such as Computer Software, and people with careers in something such as a Computer Software Engineer would be able to give me very thoughtful comprehensive answers to that thread topic question. But maybe there are still some people that are experts about the computer, even if they don’t have a college degree and career in it.

Computers will still seem just as great and magical to me, even after this discussion. I am looking forward to having a discussion about this topic related to computers.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,564 posts, read 10,210,185 times
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Computers seem like such a magical device. Can someone tell me the foundations of how a computer is made and allowed to work so powerfully, efficiently, and everything related to that?

A computer is like a light switch. Anything it does is an on/off action. Those actions just go on/off a whole lot of times and really really fast. And then there's light.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:41 PM
 
19,699 posts, read 59,606,057 times
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I have a friend who works at IBM. Don't tell anyone, but his job is to put the magic smoke in the computer chips!

Forest Mims has a good starter book on digital electronics and even some starter projects. If you find a Radio Shack, they probably carry it. A solid answer to your question is beyond what any thread can teach.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:36 PM
 
15,921 posts, read 18,339,151 times
Reputation: 7660
Computers are made from the basic elements of the Earth designed and manufactured by carbon-based life forms.

-or- in the language used by computers:

01000011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100001 01100100 01100101 00100000 01100110 01110010 01101111 01101101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110011 01101001 01100011 00100000 01100101 01101100 01100101 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01110011 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01000101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100100 01100101 01110011 01101001 01100111 01101110 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101101 01100001 01101110 01110101 01100110 01100001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01110010 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110010 01100010 01101111 01101110 00101101 01100010 01100001 01110011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101100 01101001 01100110 01100101 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 01101101 01110011 00101110 00001010

Your computer is made out of magic: http://james.hamsterrepublic.com/technomancy/

Last edited by plwhit; 05-15-2012 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:45 PM
 
392 posts, read 434,680 times
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The best explanation I've read is in a book called 'Code' by Charles Petzold. It's intended for non-engineers but still gets in detail enough that you understand how a computer really works.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,197,106 times
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Go out and put one together yourself. You most likely have a non-profit nearby that puts together computers for low income people. My local guys are called "Free Geek." If you go down to volunteer they'll teach you how to put a computer together.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,423 times
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Very interesting question. I studied programming. But now that I think of it it really is magic. just like plwhit said. the computer processes EACH letter by 0s and 1s called binary digits, 1 letter=8 bits which is then called bytes meaning letter A is processed as 10101010. I am pretty sure each letter has its corresponding bytes just like plwhit has typed in his post.

how the pc converts 10101010 to A is where the magic lies. and why we can read our posts comprehensively.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:06 PM
 
15,921 posts, read 18,339,151 times
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How many times has each of us fixed a computer but what we did makes no sense in relationship to the problem????

It's just gotta be magic....

Q: What did ya do to fix it?

A: I dunno...

How many times have we said it's a bug -or- must be Gremlins....

Computers get infected with viruses (so must be a living organism)
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:11 PM
 
15,921 posts, read 18,339,151 times
Reputation: 7660
Quote:
Originally Posted by whysoSIRIUS View Post
Very interesting question. I studied programming. But now that I think of it it really is magic. just like plwhit said. the computer processes EACH letter by 0s and 1s called binary digits, 1 letter=8 bits which is then called bytes meaning letter A is processed as 10101010. I am pretty sure each letter has its corresponding bytes just like plwhit has typed in his post.

how the pc converts 10101010 to A is where the magic lies. and why we can read our posts comprehensively.
Let's not forget nibbles and double-words...
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 86,680,348 times
Reputation: 17645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
work so powerfully, efficiently, and everything related to that?

I think people with a college degree in something such as Computer Software, and people with careers in something such as a Computer Software Engineer would be able to give me very thoughtful comprehensive answers to that thread topic question. But maybe there are still some people that are experts about the computer, even if they don’t have a college degree and career in it.

Computers will still seem just as great and magical to me, even after this discussion. I am looking forward to having a discussion about this topic related to computers.

A human analogy. Your brain is both a processor and store of information (memory). Your eyes, ears, etc are sensors like a keyboard and mouse which input information to the brain. Your voice or hands are output devices which present information, analogous to a monitor or printer. The internet is kind of like being in a big room with a lot of other people from whom you can receive and deliver information.

Computers get more "powerful" is like your brain thinking faster and having more information storage.

Finally, computers are made in many countries in the world, except England. Why not England?

Spoiler
Because they couldn't find a way for them to leak oil.
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