Note that this description is of netcessity not all-encompassing, because
while it is being written and updated at least fifteen new giggly-hurts
chips with added-value salt and vinegar 'kewl' features have been announced
into the market (although discussions as to when they will become 'real'
are still taking place as you read).
Now I know many people are quite puzzled by whetever might be inside that box they call the 'computer' or 'p.c.' or whetever. I often wondered myself before I did my studies and got my onarary. So now I know watts inside these things, (or kilowhats nowadays thanks to those Intel-igent folks with all their 'gigs' and so on) let me share a short description with you.
Next, you got your memory. That's the stuff that holds what your'e working on, if your'e not running Windoze. If you do run Windoze, it's the stuff that holds the pointers (little electronic arrows) to where your data is held on disk. Memory ('RAM' - Random Acces? Memo?y) is lots faster than disk and very much more reliabel this days. Often today it comes on 'simms' or 'zipps' which you put into a socket inside the computer and close up again. Always remember to do up your zipp.
Then you got your video. Nowadays you got a VGA or a SVGA video. The VGA (Very Good Advanced) card is what gives very nice & natural flesh tones. Lots of memory is on this card too, it's like a special, fast type of 'RAM' only for holding pictures. If you have slow, or faulty, video memory you will get dirty pictures. The U.S. Government and others are trying to catch people with slow or faulty video memory.Update note: The latest very-good-advanced cards can be got wiv watt they call a 'dual-head' feature. These cards have been specially developed so that people over 18 years of age can carefully study the technical aspects of slow or faulty video memory using the television in the living-room, or more commonly (according to a recent survey) the bedroom. These new video cards are normally kept on the top shelves at your local computer store. For compatibility and safety reasons it is strongly recommended to use protected interface connections with this type of card to minimize the risk of virus infection.
Next you got your display.. It's like the telly but with more lines on it, and you can't see the lines. I don't know why they bothered if you can't see the damn things, but they did. That's IBM for you. A good 19-inch display is very good for ensuring you haven't got any slow or faulty video memory. (Latest Internet news suggests that this may easily be expanded at very little cost to a 23-inch model without even consulting your doctor). The better displays have full features like video-source selection; this latter feature is invaluable when quickly switching off the multi-user game display which everyone in the company is playing, when the boss walks in. (This works to best effect when accompanied by a lamentable cry of "Oh no! Windoze damned crashed again, I'll have to re-boot").
Now you also got your keyboard. This is the long oblong box that contains lots and lots of tiny electronic letters, and pressing down on one of the keys makes one of those tiny letters get sent down the cable and given to the microporcessor which stuffs it somewhere in memory. Because the keys are speced so closely together, circuit capacitance is high which means that sometimes pressing one particular key cause two or more of teh littew letterds to be sent out, sometimes in revrese order due to differing distances which must be travelled by the different littel letters. Despite advances in technology, there is still no 'Oh shit!' key to be found on keyboards. A 'Thats-not-what-I-meant' key is being contemplated by some manufacturers, but its' just a load of b ^delete^delete^delete^delete
Sometimes you get a modem (Medium of Data Electronically Mawled) that you use to connect to the Internet and the World Wide Web. The modem is designed to allow you to run up high 'phone bills and service-provider charges without you becoming sad in the process. In fact, with the World Wide Web you can examine other people's slow or faulty video memory and be cut off still smiling. As everybody knows, the Internet is approximately 87.38% (sorry, 92.54%, I was forgetting 'inflation'...) pornographic material, so you really don't need to be very careful in finding what you want.Update note: Today there are several types of 'mo-dem' and these are divided into classes. Basically this is a result of the new definition of a 'modem', being a compression of the terms 'modern' and 'democratic'. Our new politically- correct approach has divided us into the following groups:-
Then you got your Sound Card which is in nearly all computers these days. This is used to play a symphony orchestra introduction every time you make a little mistake, much more effective than the limp 'bleep' of the internal loudspeaker which was used in the past. It is far easier with this to rapidly ascertain who is the idiot in the department since the sound produced by the (typically) 750-watt speakers penetrates even closed office doors. During lunch and tea breaks, this card can also be heard producing occasional heavy breathing and groaning: this is most likely to occur when slow or faulty video RAM is being examined.
The World Wide Web arose after scientists working on a series of new superconducting materials discovered that cable which was made a bit sticky managed to catch a lot more bits of data than normal cable. Many of the cables on the Internet were made sticky by their owners, and so an enormous amount of data was caught up in this web of cables. This data can be found by commanding small electronic animals, or gophers, which ride around on the outside of the cables using their magnetic effect, searching for the pattern you want. Veronica, a very searching character, is a very nice girl I met after sniffing with a gopher.Update note: Gophers have become almost extinct over the last few years and Veronica has become rather old as well. The fast pace of change in the computer world today means that ones whole outlook on Life goes through 360 degrees in less than 36 days. That is why so many of us are having shorter but more frequent extra-carricular relationships (or so I am reliably informed...).
There are other elements in a computer, like mega-hurts, but they're
too painful to go into in detail here: I just wanted you to get an idea
of the machine, so I presented it in byte-sized chunks.
(c) copyright F.C. Trevor Gale, 1995 and 2003.
You can go back to by home page or perhaps send mail to the author if you wish.