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← How do computers work? Book recommendations please

Dave H's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Dave H

I know what you mean; I had the same question when I first started working in the computer industry back in 1987. All this talk about CPU, hard drive, RAM, screen, programming, blah blah blah was all high-level smoke, mirrors, and magic. I wanted to know the basic electronic principles of how the things actually worked. It turned out to be simple.

Look up "logic gate" in wikipedia. Electronic logic gates (such as AND, OR, NOT, XOR, XNOR gates) are the building blocks of computers. Everything else is merely an emergent property. (And the "truth tables" that you use to describe logic gates have a pleasing resemblance to the punnett squares used in heredity studies.)

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 12:55:49 UTC | #572670