How does a computer work?
Computers have become an integral part of modern society, finding application in all areas of activity. And if somewhere in the production, in medicine or in other industries, the functioning of computers is monitored by specialists, then in everyday life their work is under the supervision of ordinary people, often not representing the principle of operation of these devices. It will be at least useful for a modern person to know the principles of computer operation, since he constantly deals with it. Our article on how computers work will help you fill the knowledge gap and improve technical literacy on how computers work.
The main components of computers
First of all, we highlight the main components that ensure the functioning of computers. They are often called “iron” by the people, but few people understand how these components work. Moreover, the absence of any of them will make your PC impossible.
• Power supply, the main parameter of which is power and ability to withstand short-term voltage drops in the network. This is the only component that is not involved in the processing of information, its only task is to convert the alternating voltage to constant, which is required as a power supply for all components of the computer.
• A very important component with a “talking” name on the motherboard is the basis for placing RAM, a processor and other components, as well as for communicating with each other via special bus wires. Another important task of the motherboard is the temporary storage of data, for this there is a permanent storage device on the board
• How fast your computer will “think” and complete its tasks depends on its processor. This component is not in vain called the “brain”, because it is he who performs all the computational actions, being only a not very large microcircuit, which requires a cooling system. Indeed, at lower temperatures, the processor works better.
• During its operation, the processor is in close conjunction with the RAM, which stores relevant information required for calculations. It is thanks to the RAM that the processor is heading in its work in the right direction.
• The main memory takes temporary up-to-date information from the hard disk, due to its large capacity as a data storage. Moreover, in fact this is not even one, but a whole system of disks with a file system that determines where and how exactly information is recorded on the data medium.
• The video adapter, which is responsible for displaying the image on the monitor screen, has a great influence on the operation and performance of the computer. Modern components of this kind are endowed with their own RAM and a processor, which greatly improves their capabilities. There are also video adapters built into the motherboard, but their performance is noticeably lower. Such computers will definitely not “pull” powerful graphic editors or modern games.
• Components such as a mouse and keyboard are used to control the computer. They allow the user to enter data and give instructions to the processor and other components.
• To display the results of data processing in the computer provides a monitor. It is necessary for the convenience of users, although it does not affect the processes taking place inside the computer.
The principle of the computer
Knowing what tasks the main components solve, it is easier to imagine the principle of the computer.
• When starting the installed program, the start is made from the hard drive, after which the main memory comes in, giving the command to the processor.
• Having accepted the command, the “brain” of the computer processes the incoming data and returns the result to RAM.
• From there, the processed information is again returned to the hard drive, where it is saved.
As you can see, for the functioning of the computer, only the basic components (hardware) are not enough, it also requires programs (software). It is the programs that specify the algorithms for the computer, serving as instructions for it with a detailed description of the sequence of actions or commands. Moreover, computers see these descriptions exclusively in the language of numbers, as well as logical and mathematical operations. All data stored on the hard drive is presented there in the form of numerical descriptions. Moreover, the hardware elements only understand information in the form of binary numbers, while in everyday life we use the decimal system of measurements. To make it clear, we give an example: 0 and 1 are self-sufficient and do not need conversion, the number 2 the computer sees as a combination of numbers 10, 3 for it is 11, the number 4 = 100, and so on. For letters, this principle also works, you just need to indicate the serial number in the alphabet and write it in binary number.
Thanks to the binary system, the creators of computers have greatly simplified the task of processing and storing information.