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How Computers Work, Ninth Edition by Timothy Edward Downs, Ron White

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Chapter 1. Getting to Know the Hardware

Getting to Know the Hardware

THE handy thing about gears, pulleys, and the wheel—man’s first tools—is that even someone who hasn’t seen them before can quickly figure out what they are and how they’re used. Humankind’s latest and greatest tool—the computer—isn’t nearly as obliging. It is made up of tiny rectangular blocks of plastic and cylinders of metal and ceramics that hide their inner workings. It has a maze of metallic lines, wires, and cables that would drive a lab rat schizo. The bigger components are encased in metal jackets that hide their purpose and operation. And the computer is as mute as a sphinx. The numbers and letters ...

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