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Computers Computer Software What does the inside of a computer look like You probably picture a maze of wires and other electronic gizmos You might be surprised to find that the inside of a computer looks pretty simple Most of the components inside a computer are integrated circuits commonly called chips An integrated circuit is a thin slice of crystal packed with microscopic circuit elements such as wires transistors capacitors and resistors Inside the system unit chips are housed on a circuit board called the motherboard If you look carefully computer circuit board youll see that some chips are soldered Soldered chips are permanent and arent likely to work loose Removable chips allow you to upgrade your computer components Refer to Figure 5-4 in CST How does a computer manipulate numbers and letters The way a computer represents data depends on whether the computer is a digital or an analog device A digital device works with digits such as 0 and An analog device operates on continuously varying data In a digital computer each number or letter is represented by a series of electrical signals Think about the way Morse code uses dashes and dots to represent letters In a similar way digital computers represent numbers letters and symbols with a code that uses a series of zeros and ones Data that is represented digitally can be easily moved or stored electronically as a series of ons and offs Each 1 and 0 that represents data is referred to as a bit Most computer coding schemes use eight bits to repreent each number letter or symbol A series of eight bits is called a byte Digital computers us many different coding schemes to represent data Numeric data consists of numbers that represent quantities and that might be used in arithmetic operations Digital computers represent numeric data using the binary number system In this system there are
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