9/3; How computers work


As you all read on the secret page for assignment 1, "Computers are useful tools." You must not be mystified by them, but understand them so that they can help you to solve the geologic problems that face you. The goal of today's and Friday's lectures is to demystify the hardware side of computing.

Thanks to the efforts of George Hilley, we have this schematic of the principal components of a computer.

Multimedia illustration of How Computers Work

I will present some portions of the multimedia CD from the book How Computers Work, by Ron White, Ziff-Davis Press, Second edition, 1995.

CPU definition
Hard disk definition
Bus Definition

For assignment 2, due at the beginning of class next Wednesday, you are to fully explore this multimedia CD and book.

Quick aside about PowerPCs

Motorola PowerPC Road map
Motorola PowerPC site

Our own exploration

For the rest of the class, we will have a guided tour by George, Joan, and Ramon of the inside of the lab machines:
PowerMacintosh 7300/180 PC Compatibles

For this week's lab, you get to set up a machine yourself.

Pages maintained by
Prof. Ramón Arrowsmith

Pages last modified on Tues Sept 2 1997.