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Old 09-07-2009, 04:14 AM   #1
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Default How a computer Works

For my demonstration speech for my public speaking class, I have chosen how a computer works.

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Originally Posted by Revised Edition
Motherboard - Printed circuit board, also known as a main board or logic board, that connects the CPU, RAM, HDD, ROM (such as optical drive), expansion slots (such as network card or graphics card), and input and output devices. Each motherboard has chips and controllers known as chipsets. The motherboard makes the other components in your system to work together. Like the central nervous system, where it sends all the information to where it needs to go.

BIOS – Basic Input/Output System – A boot firmware that contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.

Expansion Slot - An opening in a computer where a circuit board can be inserted to add new capabilities to the computer. Nearly all personal computers except portables contain expansion slots for adding more memory, graphics capabilities, and support for special devices.

Central Processing Unit – Also known as CPU for short, or processor. The CPU is the ‘brain’ of the computer, therefore the most important part of the computer. It calculates and processes the software or program the user has told to run. So far, the max cores out there are 4. You won’t be able to assign what core does what though. Depending on the application, some processor will run better than others. For example, normal web-browsing and listening to music will do fine with an single core, and comes close to performance compared to an quad-core (4 cores) because those apps does not require more than one core. But if you were to do video editing, then you will see noticeable performance in a quad-core than an single core because it is utilizing all the cores.

RAM – Short for Random Access Memory, also known as memory. A form of data storage, it allows the stored data to be accessed at any order, hence the word Random. RAM is like short-term memory, it keeps whatever needs to be remembered now, and forgets it later when something else comes up, such as exiting an existing program, and opening a new one. The more RAM you have, the better the computer runs. Depending on the operating system, there might be a limit on how much RAM your system can handle. For 32-bit systems, then the max would be 4GB, for 64-bit systems, then it would be limited to what your motherboard will hold.

Optical Drive/ROM – Short for Read Only Memory. Another type of data storage. It reads/write off CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray depending on the drive.

HDD – Short for Hard Disk Drive, or basically know as a Hard Drive. Also another type of data storage that reads and writes. It is non-volatile (can retain storage even when not powered) that stores the data on a rapidly rotating platters with a magnetic surface. Like long term memory, it keeps and never forgets whatever is on it until the user deletes/modify it, or something wrong happens.

Video Adapter – Either on-board, or separately occupying an expansion slot. The video adapter display and manipulate an output onto the display monitor. If it is on-board graphics card, then it takes sources from the CPU and RAM to function normally. Whereas the graphics card has its own processer and memory, making the computer run more efficiently. There are multiple kinds of video adapters out there. There’s video adapters for normal uses, and video watching, gamers, and video editing. Of course, depending on what which one you buy, you will see improvements on what it is made for. For example, buying an expensive video editing card will be garbage when used to play video games.

PSU – Power Supply Unit, or Power Supply for short. It supplies power throughout the system. The amounts of watts depends on the system, if it supplies enough power, it would run without problems, if it's near the verge, then there would be errors and random crashes, and if it doesnt supply enough power, then the computer will not run at all.

Input Devices - Accessories and peripherals like mouse and keyboard

Output Devices - Accessories and peripherals like monitor and printer

Operating System - The most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. Operating systems includes Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.

How the whole the system works together? When you press the power button, there is a cord connected from the case to the motherboard that signals the power is pressed and requires power. The power supply then supplies the power throughout the system, and everything turns on. Then it would send a signal to the video adapter displaying the whole process. The motherboard will first go to the floppy drive (if there is one), and read off of there if there is a floppy disk in there. If theres nothing, then it will go straight onto the optical drive. If there is as bootable disc, it would ask you to press a button to boot off of the disc. If you are to ignore or there isn't one in there, then it would go to the HDD next. This may be different depending on how you set it up in your BIOS. It would read off the HDD, get the required data, and the processor processes it, then puts some on the RAM for easy and faster access later. What I found cool, was that this is all done in binaries, binaries are a sequence of 1's and 0's.
This is what I plan on saying during my speech (hope it lasts 5 minutes). I need you guys to verify, and correct, or add any information to this, or simply give me helpful suggestions or opinions. I took some info off of webopedia, wikipedia, and things I learned (and maybe a bit assumptions on certain parts like how it actually works). Rep to those that actually helped me.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: How a computer Works

an easy way to explain how ram works is to say it is like scratch pad, and can be over written and re used just like tablet paper


if uwantedu could note the difference between sATA and PATA
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: How a computer Works

What sort of class will this be done for? More over, what grade or year in college are you in?
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: How a computer Works

you better add some examples like explaining that there are cards for specific applications and how buying a $1500 video editing card won't do jack for gaming, etc...

that speech the way it is will last 2 or 3 minutes if you're lucky, get specific with a few things to stretch it out...
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: How a computer Works

You said how the orders can be configured in the BIOS, well explain what the BIOS is!! Most of them will probably not know.
Also talk about operating systems, sizes of HDD, how the amount of RAM makes a large difference in performance of the computer.
Heck if you wanted to, you could talk about troubleshooting.
You could say common problems, how to fix them, or what part to replace
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: How a computer Works

If you want to use more analogies such as CPU being the 'brain', if the CPU is the brain the MOBO is like the central nervous system, sends all the information where it needs to go.
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: How a computer Works

Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperviper21 View Post
an easy way to explain how ram works is to say it is like scratch pad, and can be over written and re used just like tablet paper
I knew I was forgetting about something with RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperviper21 View Post
if uwantedu could note the difference between sATA and PATA
I could, but problem is that if I do that, then I should note the difference between sockets, the type of memory, and etc. It might confuse them, I want to keep it simple on how just a computer works overall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantofhell View Post
What sort of class will this be done for? More over, what grade or year in college are you in?
This is done for public speaking class, and I am a sophomore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wol-va-rine View Post
you better add some examples like explaining that there are cards for specific applications and how buying a $1500 video editing card won't do jack for gaming, etc...

that speech the way it is will last 2 or 3 minutes if you're lucky, get specific with a few things to stretch it out...
I am still revising and stuff, I will try to add examples on how certain programs acts towards parts of the system like how the amount of cores might make a difference, and etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyfly?? View Post
You said how the orders can be configured in the BIOS, well explain what the BIOS is!! Most of them will probably not know.
Also talk about operating systems, sizes of HDD, how the amount of RAM makes a large difference in performance of the computer.
Heck if you wanted to, you could talk about troubleshooting.
You could say common problems, how to fix them, or what part to replace
I will add some of those information. As for the trouble shooting, I will be doing some Q&A after, but they don't count towards my 5 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Computear View Post
If you want to use more analogies such as CPU being the 'brain', if the CPU is the brain the MOBO is like the central nervous system, sends all the information where it needs to go.
I already did the one about the CPU, and I will add the MOBO. Got anymore analogies?

I will revise my first post later after I am done editing.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: How a computer Works

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teny View Post
I already did the one about the CPU, and I will add the MOBO. Got anymore analogies?
Not sure if you want to oversaturate it with analogies, but maybe like...

The RAM is like short-term memory, things it needs to know now, but forgets when something else comes up, whereas the Hard Drive is like the long-term memory, things it will never forget (unless of course you tell it to!).
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: How a computer Works

Cool, I think using analogies would be great if it would make people understand it easier.

Alright, I have revised it, of course, there are the grammar, punctuation, and basic English errors. But could you guys read through it to make sure I got everything correct? I don't want to be up there talking about it, then one of the audience corrects me, and seem like I don't know what I am talking about. I will be drawing an diagram on the board to show where everything is located and draw some lines when I am doing the power on example. Thank You for your time guys.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: How a computer Works

I think I would introduce the CPU before the motherboard, then when talking about the motherboard, use a sentence such as "If you think of the CPU as the 'brains' of the computer, consider the motherboard like the central nervous system.". Just seems to flow better.

Then perhaps later "Keeping with our human analogies, this part would be like blah blah"

At this point I'm just nitpicking sentence fluidity though.

Fact-wise it all looks good.

If somebody tries to correct you, don't lose your composure, if you know right off the bat that they are right just flow with it "ah that's a good point blah blah blah" or if you're unsure, say something like "according to my knowledge/research, blah blah, but it could be possible that blah blah".

It's a public speaking class, not Computer Technology 101; I'm sure you'll be more graded on your presentation and composure than having up-to-date, solid accurate facts. The teacher probably won't know the difference anyway.
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