Join Mike Meyers for an in-depth discussion in this video How computers work, part of CompTIA A+ Exam Prep (220-901) Part 1: Core Processing.
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- I love coffee. And I think like most other coffee lovers, I greatly prefer freshly ground coffee to that pre-ground stuff you buy at the grocery store. I was actually sitting here, getting ready to grind my coffee for the week, and I started thinking to myself, this perfectly mimics the computing process. So let's talk about this for a minute. In the grinding of the beans world we always start with whole beans that are in a bag. That's kind of like what happens in the computing world.
In computing, you might have an Excel spreadsheet or you might have a World of Warcraft character who's getting ready to march out of storm wind. Or you might be on an Ebay page, and you've actually purchased something and now it's time to start filling in the form, put in your credit card information. So we always start with some form of raw data. Now the thing is, is that we take that raw data, and it sits on storage, and in the computer world storage is usually going to be a hard drive, but it could be a CD ROM, it could be out on the cloud someplace, like at an Ebay server., it doesn't really matter, but we always start with raw data.
And when we fire up a program, the first thing we're doing is we take that data, usually in the form of a file open, and we put it into memory, or RAM. So now I've actually taken the raw data and I've stored it into RAM. I haven't actually done anything to it yet, but I'm about to. So the next step we're going to do is we're going to actually start the processing process. So what's going to happen is I'm going to be pressing some buttons, and I'm going to grind the coffee.
Now in the computing world, we have a lot of buttons to press, but those buttons usually manifest themselves as a keyboard or a mouse or something like that. And that's what we call input. We control the input to tell the processor how we want to process this data. So in this case, what buttons do I have? I always love the button on the end. Frappe. Let's frappe. (blender blends) It always makes me jump.
So I've begun the grinding process and what I'm doing is I'm actually staring at the coffee and I'm looking at it to make sure it's ground enough. In the computing world, we use output. Output manifests itself, normally like a monitor perhaps, but it can also be a printer, as we're printing out hard copy. So we use output to help us decide how the data is being manipulated and to get into the way we want. And I'm looking at this, and I think we need a little bit more processing. So my output tells me we better provide a little more input.
(blender blends) Hang on, this is my favorite part. Ah gosh, I love that smell. So what we've done here is we have now finished processing the data, but notice that it's still in memory. So if I want to access this data again. I'm going to have to return it to storage. So in this case what I'm going to do... This is always messy.
Now in the real world, in my coffee world, I'm going to take this guy, and I'm going to put it in little baggies that are just about the right size for my coffee maker, and I'm going to put it in the refrigerator. In the computing world, we usually return data to storage. And that's exactly what's taking place here. So remember, when it comes to computing, we have storage, we have input, we have processing, we have output and we usually return to storage. (jazz music)
The CompTIA A+ 220-901 exam is comprised of six key parts. The first, core processing, is covered by this course. Instructor Mike Meyers explains the fundamentals of PCs, microprocessors, RAM, and BIOS. He also shows you how to set up, connect, maintain, and troubleshoot the main components of a computer.
Note: The six courses designed for the CompTIA A+ (220-901) exam preparation include core processing, core hardware, peripherals and building a PC, displays and printers, networking, and laptops and mobile devices.
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- How do personal computers (PCs) work?
- What is a central processing unit (CPU)?
- When is random access memory (RAM) used?
- What is a basic input/output system (BIOS)?
- Installing a CPU
- Working with extensions and sockets
- Troubleshooting RAM
- Setting up a BIOS