How does computers work?
How does computers work on the inside? Computers are amazing technology we take advantage of daily, but what do they do? Read this blog to learn more about how computers operate on the inside.
What is a Computer?
Most people don’t know how computers work. They know they do. If you’re one of those people, it’s time to find out what makes a computer run. A computer comprises many components, but the motherboard and power supply are the most important. The processor, hard drive, and memory drive are also crucial to the proper functioning of a computer, as well as several other lesser-known items like RAMs (random access memory) and ROMs (read-only memory). Assembling all these parts takes patience, skill, and knowledge. Due to this everyone wants to know how does computers work.
Major Components of a Computer
A computer’s major components can be broken down into three basic parts: the input, the processor, and the output. The input is what allows you to type in information or a program. The input device then sends those commands to the processor for processing. After processing them, it takes what it was told to do and outputs them onto a screen where you can see the final product. For example, if a person wants to create something, they would first use an editor (sometimes referred to as a word processor) like Microsoft Word. They would then put that document on their computer and save it as document1.
Once the document has been saved, they can open it up again by double-clicking on document1. Which will load up Microsoft Word. They could now type in anything they wanted, such as writing notes about an assignment or typing out their name. Once they have finished typing everything out, they could hit save. Which will save that document and ensure that every change made is saved on the computer’s hard drive so it won’t get lost if there are any power outages.
How does it all make a computer work?
Computers are made from many different parts, each with its special function. To understand how a computer works, you need to know how each part functions. Let’s start at the beginning: how do they even turn on the machine without a power button? When you turn on your computer, it starts up an entire series of instructions that tell the machine what to do. The central processing unit (CPU) uses power to execute these instructions. One by one, these instructions tell the CPU what tasks it needs to complete.
For example, the first instruction tells the CPU which program or operating system (OS) should be booted up for the rest of the machine to work properly. That is why most people want to know how computers work. Next, as programs run through their course and perform certain tasks like writing text or saving data onto memory chips, any commands given during that time get written down in a log file.
The Hardware Components of a Computer
Computers do many things, but at their most basic level, they’re designed to take input from the user and spit out some output. Computers have four major components: 1) input devices, 2) memory, 3) processing units and 4) output devices. All the different types of output display screens count as output devices, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. Input devices include keyboards, mice, and even touch screens. Memory is the thing that stores all the computer’s data while it’s working. It’s basically where the computer keeps everything that has happened at any given moment on your computer or mobile device. Processors are the fastest of these four components.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
What is the CPU? The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a small chip on your computer that operates all of the input and output devices and controls what instructions are given to the rest of the computer. You might think of it as your computer’s main brain. How do CPUs work? CPUs consist of millions or billions of microscopic silicon transistors. An electric current runs through these tiny switches. The direction of the current in each switch determines whether it connects with its neighboring transistor, making them turn on and off together. Every switch in a CPU corresponds to an operation or instruction for your computer to execute when you push a key or move your mouse, for example.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
A computer’s memory is referred to as RAM. It is an acronym that stands for Random Access Memory. The more RAM a computer has, the faster it can execute tasks such as opening programs and searching through stored information. Depending on the hardware configuration of a particular computer, RAM can consist of volatile and non-volatile types. Non-volatile memory is a type of electronic data storage that holds the most recently used data even after it is turned off; for example, RAM sticks and hard drives are non-volatile types of memory. Volatile memory, however, only retains data while its power is maintained.
Graphic Processing Unit (GPU)
A Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation process rapidly. The GPU can also be used for other computation tasks which are too complex for the CPU or where it would be too time-consuming to use the CPU. Nowadays, most GPUs come with memory, and some are endowed with arithmetic logic, similar to CPUs. Since their introduction in the 1990s, GPUs have become essential to many computer systems with graphics displays, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. They can perform millions of instructions per second, making them much more powerful than traditional processors in your computer’s CPU. Which typically only does a few hundred thousand instructions per second at best.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
A hard disk drive, or HDD, is the component that stores the files on a computer. The HDD has the same function as your home hard drive. To store your files so you can access them from any computer. There are two types of HDDs in use today: traditional magnetic disks (which make up what we call a hard disk) and solid state drives, which make up what we call a solid state disk. Traditional HDDs have moving parts, while SSDs do not have any moving parts. This difference affects how fast they can save and retrieve data. However, because of how their designs are structured, the cache system size is smaller for an SSD than for an HDD.
Optical Disk Drive (ODD)
An optical disk drive (ODD) is a device that reads data from and writes data to a CD or DVD. The process of reading and writing on CDs is almost identical to that used on a recordable CD. However, to write data to a blank disc, the ODD typically spins at higher speeds (1x-6x) than it would when playing a pre-recorded disc. In addition, since digital information is made up of binary code (1s and 0s), the laser detects dark spots on the surface of the disc where there are no dots that correspond with digital 0s. In comparison, brighter spots on the surface are detected as corresponding with 1s.
Operating System (OS)
An OS is responsible for managing your computer’s hardware, software, or anything that would make it operate. The OS handles the startup process, storage of data, and any additional resources your computer may need to perform properly. There are three common types of operating systems: Windows (OS), Mac OS X, and Linux. Windows is a type of operating system that many people are familiar with due to its popularity amongst business professionals and home users alike. It uses a graphical user interface (GUI) created in 1983 by Microsoft. So this type of interface allows the user to perform tasks by clicking on different screen parts.
What is computer programming?
Programming is writing instructions in the form of computer languages for a computer. They tell the computer what to do and how to act. Programming can also be used for other things, such as solving problems, making art, and telling stories. Once you have written your instructions in a programming language that the computer understands (for example, C++), you save your program onto an electronic device called a diskette. The diskette contains software programs. To run your program, you need to load it onto a floppy disk and insert it into the appropriate slot on your personal computer or laptop. So that it can be executed or run by the CPU or Central Processing Unit of the machine. Therefore, you easily understand how computers work and what computer programming is.