Computers

Inside of a computer and the inventor of the World Wide Web

The Mixing Chef

A Roaming Fox Never Looks Back by The Mixing Chef

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee is an English computer scientist and he is best known for being the inventor of the World Wide Web. Tim was born on 8th June 1955 and he grew up in London. He was educated at Oxford University, where he studied physics and he became a software engineer. Whilst working at CERN (the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva) in 1980, he first described about the idea and concept of a global system, based on his idea of 'hypertext', which would enable researches anywhere to share information. A prototype called 'Enquire was also built by Tim Berners-Lee.


In 1984, Tim returned to CERN, which was also home to a major European Internet node (a node is a point in a network or diagram where lines or pathways intersect or branch). In 1989, he then published a paper named 'Information Management: A Proposal' in which he shared his idea of linking hypertext with the internet, to create a system for sharing and distributing information not just within a company, but around the World. This factor inspired the name he gave it - the World Wide Web.


Tim also created the first editor and web browser. On 6th August 1991, the World's first website was launched. This website was: http://info.cern.ch and it explained the concept of the World Wide Web, giving users information and an introduction as to how to create their own websites. Although Tim invented the World Wide Web, he claimed no copyright, which enabled anyone to use the internet for free.


He has received many awards for being such a great attribute to the World (including a knighthood from the Queen), the most recent being the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering due to 'ground breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity.' He was given this award on March 18th 2013.


Tim currently works at a senior research scientist at LCS (Laboratory of Computer Science) which has now become the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

World Wide Web Turns 25: Inteview with inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Motherboards

Motherboards are the hearts of computers. Without them, our computers wouldn't be able to operate. They link everything together - every other part of a computer connects to a motherboard. Sound cards, video cards, hard drives and network cards all connect to the motherboard (the motherboard is the mother of all computer components), whilst the circuit board itself holds and processes vital components and other things such as the CPU. When you plug something into a computer, it is plugged into the motherboard, which then processes any devices.


A motherboard also contains other things such as sockets for things to plug into, slots where the memory of a computer can be installed, power connectors, memory chips, slots for expansion cards and clock generators which synchronize different components.

What is a Motherboard as Fast As Possible

CPU

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit and it is the electronic circuitry which processes demands and instructions from your computer. It is the brains of a computer and where calculations occur and take place and it is the most important element of a computer when regarding computer power. A CPU often requires one or more printed circuit boards and on small devices and personal computers, it is stored in a single chip called a microprocessor.


CPUs are internal components of a computer and they are placed pin side down in CPU sockets which are joined to the motherboard. Each motherboard will only support one type of CPU so you need to check that the CPU in your computer is the right one. CPUs are also covered with a heat sink because of the heat it produces. A heat sink keeps a CPU cool and working smoothly.


The two main components in a CPU are the ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) and the CU (Control Unit). The ALU perform arithmetic instructions and the CU extracts and decodes instructions from memory, receiving help from the ALU when necessary.

Understanding the CPU for beginners

RAM

A RAM is an acronym for Random Access Memory. It is a type of computer memory which can be accessed randomly. It is what enables computers to store documents and files because it contains the memory of computers. It is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers. There are 2 different types of RAM, DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access Memory). The difference between them is that they differ in the technology they use to hold data. DRAM is the more common type but SRAM is faster and it can give access times as low as 10 nanoseconds, compared to 60 nanoseconds. However, SRAMs are more expensive so less commonly used. Without a RAM, your computer wouldn't be able to hold or remember data and files so a RAM or at least some type of memory-holding device needs to be installed in your computer.

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Video - What Does Memory (RAM) Do?

How these components all fit together

This picture shows how the CPU,RAM and other computer components link to the motherboard, where they all work together to ensure that a computer works. The electrical circuits on a motherboard allow the different components to communicate and receive power, creating an efficient system. Each component does its individual job but they work as a team and components inside a component help things like the CPU to do its job (an ALU performs arithmetic procedures and a CU extracts and decodes instructions from memory in a CPU).
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