Operating systems are the final piece that ties everything together for a computer. An operating system manages access to hardware devices, the software programs on our computer and how we interface with them. In this article I provide a very high level overview of operating systems and how they work. I also provide my opinions on the impact operating systems have on the way we use computers.
Software languages allow people to create systems that can react to input and change the behavior of the systems. This is different from hardware that has fixed functions which cannot be changed after the system is built. Firmware is somewhere in between this, it can be updated but requires special hardware to change the code. Software languages can be changed and stored on a hard drive which make software programs easier to update.
This article provides a high level overview of software languages and the role they play in how computers work.
While numbering systems are not part of the hardware of a computer, understanding numbering systems is helpful for programming computers. This article provides some basic explanation of numbering systems and why the use of different numbering systems are helpful in understanding how computers work. A heads up, I like math and this article contains a lot of math stuff in it. If you aren't into math, feel free to skip to the section about the usefulness of numbering systems for computer programming and usage.
Machine and Assembly Language are the base languages for computers. In this article I will provide a high level overview of both languages and how they work with the computer.
The fourth article of my series is an overview of Input/Output devices for the computer. Without input and output, a CPU, RAM and drives cannot get data or display it for use. I/O devices provide the method that a CPU is useful for humans.
This is the third article of my series about computers and how they work. This article focuses on file storage, the permanent memory for computers. When a CPU and RAM is connected to a file storage device, it saves time and reduces error for software programs and data storage. This article explores a high level view of file storage devices and the impact and they have on computers.
How File Storage Works
This is the second article of the series I am writing about computers. A CPU is the focus of a computer but without Random Access Memory (RAM), it would be harder to use. A CPU has a very small amount of memory to store instructions. If software was limited to that memory, the registers, complex program would not be possible. Other methods can be used to get data into the CPU, but they also bring in limits. The next sections discuss what RAM does and how it affects the computer experience.
This morning I had a sight that filled my heart and brightened my day. I was returning from my run on the trail when I saw a large group of school children who were out for a walk. Teachers were with them and the children were busy observing the plants, bugs, lizards and other things that weren’t frightened off by all of their noise. It was a modern group, carrying computer tablets instead of notebooks, many of them taking pictures and notes about what they saw.
This is the starting place for my articles about computers. It seems fitting to start with the Central Processing Unit (CPU), which is the key component of modern computers. The first part of my article will describe how a CPU works. The second part of the article will be an examination of how the design and usage of a CPU affects computers and how they are used.