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Basic computing: What is it, what is it for and what are its most elementary concepts?

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For many the best invention in history along with the Internet. Computer science is undoubtedly the invention that has had the most impact on the modern world above almost everything, since its appearance, we have advanced in discovery in all sectors.

However, for many it is a bit difficult to understand its concepts, but the reality is that it is not so difficult. Like every profession, there are levels that are only available to professionals, but there are others that anyone can learn as a general culture.

In this article we are going to teach you what are the main concepts and terms that you should know about basic computingso you can have a conversation on the subject with anyone else, as well as enriching your library of mental knowledge.

What is information technology and what is this technology for?

Computing



In simple words, informatics or computation is that science (yes, it is a science), which is responsible for studying the treatment of information in digital format. For this it is necessary to implement different equipment (hardware), and applications or programs (software), that work together to achieve a complete digitization of data.

This concept so simple in essence has allowed us to have real superpowers. The first of these is the ability to duplicate data at will without having to spend physical resources, as if it were in the physical world.

For example, to replicate a 500-page encyclopedia, you need to make another 500 pages. (with all that that means for the environment), while doing the same thing in computing only requires extra digital resources (bites).

How does a computer system work? Components

Network and systems What are they in computing and how are they different?

In short, the operation of a computer system can be summarized in 3 stages; input, output and processing. These three elements are the basis of any computer system that exists, and in a way is its main objective.

We explain each phase below:

  • Entry: the input phase is nothing more than the data or orders that the user indicates to the computer to execute, it is the process by which the information is captured.
  • Prosecution: This phase is the interpretation of the data that was captured in the input phase. This is when the computer “thinks” and analyzes the information collected.
  • Departure: Finally, there is the output phase, which is the one in which the data that was previously captured and processed in the previous phases is transmitted.

Of course, each of these phases have internal processes that are much more complex to explain, but what you must be clear about is that they can summarize the operation of a computer system. As for its components, this is another point that can be summarized in two parts:

  • Hardware: refers to all those physical components that are tangible and with which the user interacts directly to manage the processes of the computer.
  • Software: This refers to the internal programming of the system, they are all those intangible elements that are necessary for the data to be captured, processed and transmitted correctly.

History and evolution of computing. When and who created it?

Computer science is much older than you think. Most of today’s society thinks that it was born together with computers or the first computer, but the reality is that this comes from a long time ago.

The first vestiges of this science can be observed in the Euclid’s algorithm, which is an old and very efficient method used to calculate the greatest common divisor of any number. However, the first advances that shaped computing as we know it today occurred centuries later, in the 1600s, when the first analog calculators were invented, and we would have to wait until the 19th century, when the first programmable machines were invented. .

Network-Informatics

These advances were quite vague and not as useful as we know them today. Back then, computing was used as a way to facilitate simple and repetitive tasks. from areas such as administration and accounting, nothing to do with what we have now.

But all this would change in 1946, when the first computer was manufactured and with it the first information systems. Since then the growth has been colossal, with the appearance of operating systems in the 80’s and especially with the Internetthus making computing the present and future of the world we know today.

What is the binary language that we use to communicate with the computer?

One of the events that generated the most impact in the world of computing was the discovery of the binary code language. The experts of the time discovered that computers and basically any digital equipment had their own way of communicating..

It was a set of codes that were called binary because there were only two digits; ones (1) and zeros (0). Each of these digits was called a bit, which would also be the storage unit with the least weight. Thus, each letter or image inside a computer is represented by a string of bits with a length equal to its size.

To organize things well, measurement units were created based on the number of bits. It’s like 1 bit; it is a 0 or a 1, a decabit; are 10 zeros or ones, a hectabit; are 100 zeros or ones, a kilobit; are 1000 zeros or ones, and so on until we reach the terabit that we know today as one of the largest measurements that exist.

Wikipedia-in-binary-code

You will now understand that if an image weighs 1KB, in binary numbers it is represented by 1000 zeros or ones, let alone if it weighs 1MB, or even 1GB. Every graphic element you see on your computer screen, from each letter to each icon, has its representation in binary codeand the job of the computer is also to process the information in such a way that it translates it to us in a way that we can understand.

List of the most important basic concepts you should know about computing

In addition to everything we have taught you so far, it is important that you know certain basic concepts that will help you have a clearer idea of ​​what this revolutionary science is.

Here are the most outstanding ones:

Software

From desktop software

We have already talked about this element before, since it is one of the most important components of computing in general. The term software refers to all those intangible elements that work inside a computer.. It is the logical support that makes it possible to carry out any task that we order from a computer.

Software is essential for both processing and transmission of data, and all the programs, network protocols and other logical elements that make it up are vital for the operation of computing in general. You could say that this is the brain, neurons, and bloodstream of a computer system.

Hardware

The hardware for its part corresponds to all those elements physical components that make up a computer or computer system. In this sense, they are included from the cables and connectors, to each capacitor of the motherboard and other artifacts. Among the basic components of a computer hardware we can identify the following:

  • Display.
  • Processor.
  • RAM and ROM memories.
  • Motherboard or motherboard.
  • Power supply.
  • Keyboard.
  • Mouse.

Operating system

An operating system is a software element that is responsible for managing hardware resources. In a few words, it is the main program or set of these that allow the user to easily operate a computer.

Operating systems took time to arrive in the world of computing, but once they did, they never separated, since they made access to computers much easier for users with little knowledge and computing. In fact, much of the success of home computers is thanks to OSes. Among the main ones that exist we can identify Windows from Microsoft, MacOS from Apple, or Linux from Ubuntu.

Also in this sense we can mention the operating systems of mobile devices such as Android from Google, iOS from Apple or Windows Phone from Microsoft.

networks

A very important concept in computer science is that of networks. A computer network is known as that set of computers that are connected to each other and constantly exchange information. It is this concept that makes possible the existence of the Internet, which is a huge worldwide network that connects all computers..

Computer networks are usually classified according to their geographical scope., being able to be personal (PAN), local (LAN), campus (CAN), metropolitan (MAN), wide (WAN). Another way to classify them is according to the type of connection, which can be wired for all the types of networks mentioned above, or wireless (wireless).

Bit



As we mentioned before, a bit is the smallest unit of measurement of digital information that is known. This is represented by a one (1) or a zero (0) in binary code. The etymology of this word is given precisely for this reason, since it means “Binary Digit”. The next unit is the byte, which is also known as an octet since it corresponds to a set of eight ordered bits.

Programming

Programming refers to the activity that focuses on creating programmed actions in a computer system. If you think about it, a program is nothing more than a set of rules that are established so that the data flows in a certain way and execute a specific action. In this sense, there are many types of programs, whose complexity is determined by the number of actions they can execute.

Thanks to it, there are both the software or programs, as well as the applications and web pages that we currently know. All this is done based on a source codewhich is the basis of every program, to which modifications are later made to personalize it and make each software different from another.

For example, all editing programs have source code that is at least similar to some extent, which its developers then modify to make their own creations.

Programming language

A programming language is a formal language that follows a set of unique rules that allow a programmer or master to create algorithms that determine how information is processed in a computer system. These basics to be able to create all the programs and websites that we currently know.

There is a wide variety of these, and each one works specifically to develop certain types of logical elements such as databases, tools and others.

Among the best known languages ​​we have:

  • Python.
  • Java.
  • HTML5.
  • PHP.
  • CSS.
  • Pascal.

These are just a few, the reality is that there are dozens of languages ​​that are classified according to the type of algorithms or programs that can be developed with them.

Processor

The processor is a hardware element that is responsible for processing all the information that enters and leaves a computer. If we compare a computer with the human body, the processor would clearly be the brain.since it is where all the input data is analyzed to then perform an output action or data transmission.

The evolution of processors is curious to say the least, since one of its most important qualities is undoubtedly its power, which determines the speed with which it interprets information.

The first processors created for the 60’s were huge, or often made up of several computers, this has changed and smaller and smaller processors have been achieved that, contrary to popular belief, are faster. It has always been about creating a processor that is as fast as the human brain, which has not been achieved until now.

RAM and ROM memories

ROM and RAM are two essential elements to facilitate the operation of a computer system. Both are clearly different but it could be said that they work together and that, to a certain extent, they are not “sisters”.

ROM or “Read Only” memory is the storage of our deviceit is in it where data of extreme importance for the operation of the operating system is stored, as well as documents and other files of the users.

This is located on the hard drive, and its name is attributed to its main function, which is to save data so that they can later be read by the processor.

For its part, RAM or “Random Access Memory” is quite different. It also saves important information for the operation of a program, but these are temporary and are constantly written and rewritten..

It is a fundamental support for processing since it maintains volatile data so that the processor accesses them as soon as possible, and thus speeds up, despite the redundancy, the processing of information to execute software.

antivirus

Viruses are without a doubt one of the greatest threats to computing, since they have the quality of stealing important information from us or of torpedoing the functioning of the system. That is why antiviruses were invented, which are programs that are responsible for identifying threats to subsequently eliminate themblock them and remove them from your computer.

anti-spyware

An antispyware is very similar to an antivirus, with the difference that they focus on detecting threats that are a risk to the privacy of the user and the data stored on the computer.

Working together with the previous program, complete protection is achieved for the information that we store on our computers, in such a way that no one can extract or view it without our permission. In fact, many developers create mixed programs that include both antivirus and antispyware.

computer bus

In computing, the channel or channels that allow continuous communication between the different components that make up a computer are known as bus. These are extremely important as they allow everyone to work together.

They are the ones that give rise to the processor communicating with the RAM memory to obtain the most important data for the startup of certain programs., as well as with the ROM for the operation of the operating system. Without them, we would have a bunch of components working individually and not cooperating with each other.

ports of entry

Finally there are the input ports, which are nothing more than those ports where you can connect any external hardware to the CPU or central processing unit. It is in them in which you can insert a USB memory, the mouse or the keyboard of the computer.

Anyway, these are all the basics of the computer world. There are many more to learn but it is important that you understand well how these that we have just mentioned work, in such a way that later you can delve deeper into this wonderful world that has completely changed our Lifestyle.

Hardware

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