The preceding chapters covered the foundational elements of computing—binary, digital circuits, memory. Let’s now examine how these elements come together in a computer, a device that’s more than the sum of its parts. In this chapter, I first provide an overview of computer hardware. Then we dive deeper into three parts of a computer: main memory, the processor, and input/output.

Computer Hardware Overview

Let’s begin with an overview of what makes a computer different from other electronic devices. Previously, we’ve seen how we can use logic circuits and memory devices to build circuits that perform useful tasks. The circuits ...

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