Computers 101: what you need to know to sound smart.

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Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Computers have been a part of daily routines for decades, they were invented more than 40 years ago and back then they used to be way more complicated than what we have to deal with today. Thankfully, technology nowadays has made it much easier for the median person to utilize computers for personal and professional use. We now have ready-to-go/easy-to-use machines that come equipped with anything and everything we might need in order to satisfy our networking desires.

Now, all I mentioned before is true, but it is also a fact that beyond the simplicity of the computers now, there are many additional factors to these machines that a lot of us are not aware of. Personally, I have yet to learn an enormous portion of information on computers so as to successfully be able to explain thoroughly how they work. For now, you will just have to succumb to my unqualified interpretation of how computers operate.

Let’s start with the foundation of any computer, which is the motherboard. Just as its name, it serves the purpose of what a mother does in a family: it holds it all together and helps all components communicate with one another. Second, we have the most important part of a computer: the Central Processing Unit (fancy name for CPU). This simple, small square is basically the heart of the computer, it is where all the information passes through so as to achieve the results needed. Another very important part, which I consider the brain of the computer, is the hard drive. This is the principal storage unit where all data is substantially stored and retrieved. These three elements are essentially the most crucial ones to not only know of, but also to have functioning in any computer.

Moreover, there are other important things (to know) that are not precisely inside of the computer. One of them is the USB: a small hole located by one of the computer’s sides that allows communication between outside devices and the same. Examples of outside devices are flash drives, a (computer) mouse, computer lamps, games, and so on. All of these devices fall into the category of peripherals, because they provide input and output for the computer. Last but not least, there is something called computer ergonomics, which is somewhat of a guideline for computer junkies like us to comfortably and intelligently organize and control our computer time. This is actually very important, being that many people that spend hours on a computer statistically end up having back problems, being a major four-eye like myself, or developing constant headaches that can later on result on more severe health issues.

Now that we have managed to cover a big part of what computers are made of, what the devices that we plug into them work like, and how we should properly handle all of the above, we are going to talk about what happens once we are logged in. Let’s chat about operating systems. Most of us know of the two well-known ones: Mac and Windows. Although these are commonly found, they are not the only ones out there. Many computer fanatics use other versions of operating systems for different purposes. There is Linux, which I believe to be one of the most popular ones not counting Windows and Mac; it is free and publicly available. For google addicts like me, there is a Chrome OS system which unfortunately is not within its capacity of enduring heavy editing or gaming programs, but it is friendly and great for social networking and simple computer usage. Aside from these, there are many more to suit anyone’s needs and taste, all it takes is a little bit of knowledge and, fundamentally, web searching.

With this last paragraph, I would like to thank you for making it all the way down here, I know I rambled a lot and it can sometimes be painful, but I appreciate your attention. Hopefully, my humble knowledge has been passed to you, but I also wish that you will learn a lot more than what this moderate sense of computer knowledge might have left in you. The bottom line here is that computers are awesome, complex inventions, and that we don’t know enough about them in spite of loving them.

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