Hope you would have gone through and enjoyed the previous article where we discussed “What is a computer?”.
What kinda device is a Computer?
Article Id : 2
Topics : Computers
Generally there are many definitions and interpretations around, I will try to share few things which would make you agree and understand.
So far we had discussed about what was the computer and we had stopped with the question of what kind of device is a computer? Well, it was to ask whether a computer is a Mechanical device or electrical device?
This post begins with the answer of the question.
A computer is neither a mechanical device nor an electrical device. Instead, it is a different kinda device. It is an electronic device.
What exactly is an electronic device?
To answer in one simple sentence, “the way it works”. To elaborate, the term electronic refers to the activity of dealing with electrons, which is one of the atom particles that carries negative energy. Just to have a word about the particles, Electron, Proton and Neutron are the three sub particles of an atom. The proton carries a positive energy and the electron carries a negative energy and the neutron remains neutral. They are like different organs of our human body and each minds its own job.
Not to deviate from the main objective, an electronic device just works with two kind of states. One is active and other is inactive. What are those two states? They are actually mentioned with two numbers 1 and 0 respectively. To our wonder, any electronic device is capable of functioning with these 2 numbers but in a series. Surprising? Yes, but it is a truth. You can represent any information like your name, age, date of birth, degree etc., with these set of 2 numbers itself.
In general the term “bi” used to refer “two” and we do have one here. “Binary” means to represent these two states (1 and 0) and the numbers are called as digits. Combining these two terms we get “Binary digit” which is in short called “Bit“.
And the information whatever we represent in terms of 0′s and 1′s, are in general called as Binary information. For example, you can refer the term “Computer” in “1001110011011111101″. (It is not exactly, but just for imagining and understanding).
Binary – A number system
We all know what a number system is. A number system is a regulated set of numbers which the entire world agrees to operate and it has got a min and max numbers.
We know one number system called Decimal number system very well, ranging from 0 to 10.
Likewise, the Binary is also a number system which just ranges from 0 to 1.
Few Questions You may have
You may have few questions here.
- What benefits I get by representing the information/input data in Binary?
- How am I supposed to calculate the binary representation for all my input data?
- Should I have to do the reverse when a computer produces my output? Say for example I want to do an mathematical operation of 2+3-5?
Let us see the answers for each question below.
1. What benefits I get by representing the information/input data in Binary?
As I already said, no matter what you are representing (or feeding in as your input data), you can just deal with only two numbers (or digits). That’s all. But it may not really making sense to you as an user.
Hold on until we get the answers for Qns 2 and 3 below.
2. How am I supposed to calculate the binary representation for all my input data?
As we already saw in Article 1, that is where a job of your computer comes in. Like how a refrigerator does its job when you keep the fruits and vegetables, the job of a computer comes in doing this transformation.
Are we supposed to bother about how a refrigerator keeps the temperature constant and retains the freshness of the vegetables kept inside? But we know that it works in such a way. At times we pacify ourselves saying that “it is the internal working mechanism of the device”.
Likewise, it is the job of the computer to do all these things. So we don’t need to bother about the conversion and it is all internal to computer’s processing logic and the main component of the computer called Processor does all this (Recollect it from Article 1).
3. Should I have to do the reverse when a computer produces my output? Say for example I want to do an mathematical operation of 2+3=5?
Having seen the answer to the previous question, we do NOT really need to.
Our job is to feed in the data in a language we are comfortable at. Say in English. You can give it as “Computer”, “2″, “3″ etc., The number ’2′, ’3′ are decimal numbers which we know from our childhood. Like how the term ‘computer’ is getting translated to binary, the numbers represented in decimal are also converted. It is all because of making the job of a computer easy! As it is internal to it, let us not worry much why it has to convert?
As we had seen the computer is a device which facilitates our job in an easy manner to produce quick results, it does all the transformation and computes the final result.
As how it converts the data in english to binary (1′s and 0′s), it does the reverse while giving you back the output. Say the calculated sum of 2 + 3. Internally it would have done an operation to add these two numbers with the converted 1′s and 0′s for both 2 and 3 and it has the sum of 5 in binary only. Let’s say it is 0101. Then when it is displaying the output, it converts it back to the same format (english/decimal number, which you as an user fed in the data), as “5″.
So far, we had seen what kind of device is a computer and how it works with our data.
If you have any queries or clarifications, you are most welcome to ask.
See you in next article.