KarbosGuide.com. Module 1a.About data 

Our PCs are data processors. The PC's function is simple: to process data, and the processing is done electronically inside the CPU and between the other components. That sounds simple, but what is data, and how is it processed electronically in a PC? That is the subject of these pages. 

With our electric switches, we can write 0 or 1. We can now start our data processing!
The PC is filled with these switches (in the form of transistors). There are literally millions of those in the electronic components. Each represents either a 0 or a 1, so we can process data with millions of 0s and 1s.
Bits 
Each 0 or 1 is called a bit. Bit is an abbreviation of the expression BInary digiT. It is called binary, since it is derived from the binary number system:
The binary number system 
The binary number system is made up of digits, just like our common decimal system (10 digit system). But, while the decimal system uses digits 0 through 9, the binary system only uses digits 0 and 1.
If you are interested in understanding the binary number system, then here is a brief course. See if you can follow the system. See how numbers are constructed in the binary system, using only 0s and 1s:




















Digital data 
We have seen that the PC appears capable of handling data, if it can receive them as 0s and 1s. This data format is called digital. If we can translate our daily data from their analog format to digital format, they will appear as chains of 0s and 1s, then the PC can handle them.
So, we must be able to digitize our data. Pour text, sounds, and pictures into a funnel, from where they emerge as 0s and 1s:
Let us see how this can be accomplished.
Learn more 
Read more about the boot process and system bus in Module 2b
Read more about I/O buses in module 2c
Read more about the motherboard chip set in module 2d
Read more about RAM in module 2e
Read about EIDE in module 5b

Copyright (c) 19962005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.