This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← How do computers work? Book recommendations please

Stevehill's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Stevehill

If I understand your question correctly, I'm with Dave H. It's basically about an electrical signal going one of two possible ways given a particular set of conditions (the two possible routes being typically 0 or 1 in binary code), and Logic Gates are the roots of the thing. Have a dig into Alan Turing's Colossus machine at Bletchley Park in WW2, where they basically sorted all this out using vacuum tubes.

Programming and software is just about setting the conditions under which the signals turn left or right to order. RAM, ROM and hard magnetic storage is just peripheral stuff about how the instructions are "remembered" and how many can be accommodated at one time.

Some enthusiasts have developed (somewhat oversized!) Logic Gates using Lego to illustrate the principles.

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 14:58:21 UTC | #572708