Central Processing Unit (CPU) Parts, Definition & Function

The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of your computer. It handles all the instructions you give your computer, and the faster it does this, the better. Learn about how a CPU processes instructions and how computer engineers are continuously coming up with ways to make it go faster.

Introduction

So you’re shopping for a new computer in an electronics store and you’re trying to make sense of the technical specifications. One computer that looks pretty cool has a 64-bit quad-core Intel i7 3.5 GHz processor. Sounds impressive, but what does it really mean?

The last computer you bought a few years ago had a sticker on it that said Pentium 4, but you don’t remember the details. The computer was getting sort of slow, but why would you need a 64-bit quad-core? Why exactly is this better than the processor in your old computer? To understand what the specifications mean, we first have to look at how the processor is designed and how it functions.

Definitions

The central processing unit (CPU) of a computer is a piece of hardware that carries out the instructions of

What Is an Input Device

Input devices are the way we’re able to get data into a computer. There are several methods to input data and generically, they are keyboards, mice, audio and video. Most people just accept whatever comes with their machine, but we’ll do a little shopping trip to discover what might be most useful for you.

Keyboards

A keyboard is a keyboard, right? I mean, you type on them to write a paper or enter data on a form for online shopping, so is there really anything else to think about? There can be.

We have some unique keyboards available to use: laser projected (though these are typically used for smaller devices like smart phones), foldable, create-your-own (used by gamers) or ergonomic. Keyboards can also be connected to your computer by a wire, or by using wireless technology.

Most keyboards are laid out in the QWERTY style – if you look at the top row of your keyboard, left side, you’ll see Q W E R T Y. This layout evolved to actually slow the typist down. Yes, I said slow them down. Typewriters (first manual, then electric) are machines that used a striking arm to hit an inked ribbon on a

Input,output device

Input/output device, also known as computer peripheral,

  mouse [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]

any of various devices (including sensors) used to enter information and instructions into a computer for storage or processing and to deliver the processed data to a human operator or, in some cases, a machine controlled by the computer. Such devices make up the peripheral equipment of modern digital computer systems.

An input device converts incoming data and instructions into a pattern of electrical signals in binary code that are comprehensible to a digital computer. An output device reverses the process, translating the digitized signals into a form intelligible to the user. At one time punched-card and paper-tape readers were extensively used for inputting, but these have now been supplanted by more efficient devices.

laser printer [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]

Input devices include typewriter-like keyboards; handheld devices such as the mouse, trackball, joystick, and special pen with pressure-sensitive pad; and microphones. They also include sensors that provide information about their environment—temperature, pressure, and so forth—to a computer. Another direct-entry mechanism is the optical laser scanner

Computer glitches hamper healthcare delivery to California’s poor

Reginald Clarke is someone Obamacare was designed to help.

The 55-year-old, who was homeless for a time, now has an apartment in Gardena and a street-cleaning job that pays him $14,000 a year.

He hadn’t visited a doctor in four or five years. Then, last fall, his girlfriend told him he would be eligible for Medi-Cal starting Jan. 1.

“I was excited. I could go get a physical,” he said. “There are a few things I need.”

But joy turned to exasperation when Clarke’s application, filed in December, was mistakenly rejected — and then seemed to disappear from county and state computer systems.

By law, counties have 45 days to process Medi-Cal applications. More than three months after Clarke applied for coverage through the Covered California website, he is still waiting for a permanent insurance card he can use at his doctor’s office. He’s frustrated by how long the process is taking.

“I just don’t understand,” he said. “These people knew years ago that this was going to happen.”

Clarke isn’t alone. After thousands expressed frustration with glitches in signing up for insurance through the state’s

Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys’ focuses on Wall Street computer scheme

There’s something delightfully strange and counterintuitive about the way time operates in the opening chapters of Michael Lewis’ new book, “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.”

Lewis describes a new kind of Wall Street gold rush. In the entirely automated, pre- and post-crash stock market of the first two decades of the 21st century, human traders have become superfluous. Stocks are bought and sold inside computers, and a new brand of high-frequency trader is making a fortune thanks to a precious new commodity — speed. Suddenly, a millisecond (one thousandth of a second) is worth millions of dollars.

In the crazy, ever-faster new world Lewis describes, a small number of new firms begin to wrest control of the market circa 2006 by staying a single millisecond, or even one millionth of a second, ahead of big, established Wall Street institutions.

“The financial markets were changing in ways even professionals did not fully understand,” Lewis writes. “Their new ability to move at computer, rather than human, speed had given rise to a new class of Wall Street traders. … People and firms no one had ever heard of were getting very

China requires porn-blocking software on personal computers

China is requiring personal computers sold in the country to carry software that can block online pornography and other websites, potentially giving one of the world’s most sophisticated censorship regimes even more control over the Internet.

The software’s developer said Monday that the tool would give parents more oversight by preventing computers from accessing sites with pornographic pictures or language. Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co., which won a government contract to develop the Green Dam-Youth Escort filtering software, was compiling a database of sites to block.

Although porn sites are initially targeted, the software could be used to block other websites through the use of keywords rather than specific Web addresses.

Parents can also add their own sites to the blocking list, said Zhang Chenmin, general manager of Jinhui.

“If a father doesn’t want his son to be exposed to content related to basketball or drugs, he can block all websites related to those things,” Zhang said.

He said users could disable blocking of any site on the list or even uninstall the software completely, but they will not be able to see the

Sad as Hell

When we self-diagnose, we look for control factors. Sometimes we invent them. The goal of solipsistic anxiety is to find an individual agent that explains our misery. We eliminate possibilities one-by-one in hopes that a single cause remains. This is how people deduce food allergies and come to workable morning routines (no to coffee, yes to tea; don’t transfer trains, walk the extra eight blocks instead). It’s frustrating when changes in lifestyle are not singular but rather come in waves, making it harder to identify and explain away the sole source of pain. We prefer that our personal problems not be overdetermined.

In the past year, I graduated from college, got a desk job, and bought an iPhone: the three vertices of the Bermuda Triangle into which my ability to think in the ways that matter most to me has disappeared. My mental landscape is now so altered that its very appearance must be different than it was at this time last year. I imagine my brain as a newly wretched terrain, littered with gaping chasms (What’s my social security number, again?), expansive lacunae (For the thousandth time, the difference between “synecdoche” and “metonymy,” please?), and

What you should do now that Internet Explorer support has ended

It may have come as a shock to many, but with the launch of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, Internet Explorer’s days were numbered. Here we explain what you need to know, and what you need to do.

Back in 2014, Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting older versions of Internet Explorer (IE) and that people would need to upgrade to the latest version. On 12 Jan, this came into effect, so for the most part, there will be no technical support or updates (including security patches) for IE 8, 9 and 10. See also: Windows XP support has ended; what to do now
Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 support has ended: Check your version

To be clear, the latest version of Internet Explorer available for Windows Vista, 7 and 8 will still be supported. The table below shows which version you need to be running to ensure you’re receiving updates which should fix any security vulnerabilities.

Windows Version

Internet Explorer Version

Windows Vista SP2

Internet Explorer 9

Windows 7 SP1

Internet Explorer 11

Windows 8.1 Update

Internet Explorer 11

The latest version for Windows XP

The brain-computer duel Do we have free will

Our choices seem to be freer than previously thought. Using computer-based brain experiments, researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin studied the decision-making processes involved in voluntary movements. The question was: Is it possible for people to cancel a movement once the brain has started preparing it? The conclusion the researchers reached was: Yes, up to a certain point — the ‘point of no return’. The results of this study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The background to this new set of experiments lies in the debate regarding conscious will and determinism in human decision-making, which has attracted researchers, psychologists, philosophers and the general public, and which has been ongoing since at least the 1980s. Back then, the American researcher Benjamin Libet studied the nature of cerebral processes of study participants during conscious decision-making. He demonstrated that conscious decisions were initiated by unconscious brain processes, and that a wave of brain activity referred to as a ‘readiness potential’ could be recorded even before the subject had made a conscious decision.

How can the unconscious brain processes possibly know in advance what decision a person is going to

Microsoft rolling out trial versions of Vista successor

The improvements to Microsoft Corp.’s next version of Windows may be incremental, but they could go a long way toward improving the software giant’s reputation.

Microsoft on Wednesday released to programmers a trial version of Windows 7, the follow-up to the Windows Vista operating system, which bruised the company with bad reviews and disappointing sales. A version of Windows 7 for consumers to test on their personal computers is expected Friday.

New features are designed to make operating a computer less frustrating and to work better with gadgets. Microsoft is betting that the final version of Windows 7, expected to arrive in stores in a year, will address some of the flaws that have dogged Vista — and have been lampooned famously in Apple Inc. commercials.

“We are on track to deliver the best Windows ever,” Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said during his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Windows will remain the center of people’s technological solar system.”

Microsoft also edged out rival Google Inc. on two search-engine deals that Ballmer announced Wednesday. The first was with Dell Inc. to load Microsoft’s

Does my writing compute

A few years ago, my local school district invested in software designed to teach students better writing skills. The computer program — without the help of a teacher — would rate their work on a scale of 1 to 6 and give them feedback on the needed improvements, such as fixing grammatical errors or expanding sentence fragments into full sentences. The students could watch their scores rise as they made corrections, actively engaged in the process of learning new English usage skills, while their teachers were freed from the chore of reading every draft.

Great theory. Now some reality: During my daughter’s initial assignment using the software, her first draft earned a 5.9 out of 6. The tenth of a point deduction was for repeating a short phrase. Fair enough. She changed the wording — maybe four words — and her score inexplicably plummeted to a 4. She put the original wording back and her score rose by a couple tenths of a point. Then she spent the next three hours trying to figure out how to get her score back up and left the computer sobbing and declaring that she hated

Can You Teach Creativity to a Computer

From Picasso’s “The Young Ladies of Avignon” to Munch’s “The Scream,” what was it about some paintings that arrested people’s attention upon viewing them, that cemented them in the canon of art history as iconic works?

In many cases, it’s because the artist incorporated a technique, form or style that had never been used before. They exhibited a creative and innovative flair that would go on to be mimicked by artists for years to come.

Throughout human history, experts have often highlighted these artistic innovations, using them to judge a painting’s relative worth. But can a painting’s level of creativity be quantified by Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

At Rutgers’ Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, my colleagues and I proposed a novel algorithm that assessed the creativity of any given painting, while taking into account the painting’s context within the scope of art history.

In the end, we found that, when introduced with a large collection of works, the algorithm can successfully highlight paintings that art historians consider masterpieces of the medium.

The results show that humans are no longer the only judges of creativity. Computers can perform the same task – and may even

Creation Myth

1.In late 1979, a twenty-four-year-old entrepreneur paid a visit to a research center in Silicon Valley called Xerox PARC. He was the co-founder of a small computer startup down the road, in Cupertino. His name was Steve Jobs.

Xerox PARC was the innovation arm of the Xerox Corporation. It was, and remains, on Coyote Hill Road, in Palo Alto, nestled in the foothills on the edge of town, in a long, low concrete building, with enormous terraces looking out over the jewels of Silicon Valley. To the northwest was Stanford University’s Hoover Tower. To the north was Hewlett-Packard’s sprawling campus. All around were scores of the other chip designers, software firms, venture capitalists, and hardware-makers. A visitor to PARC, taking in that view, could easily imagine that it was the computer world’s castle, lording over the valley below—and, at the time, this wasn’t far from the truth. In 1970, Xerox had assembled the world’s greatest computer engineers and programmers, and for the next ten years they had an unparalleled run of innovation and invention. If you were obsessed with the future in the seventies, you were obsessed with Xerox PARC—which was why the young Steve Jobs had

Building the VW of PC’s

That was another thing. They hated having to translate their work into dumbed-down metaphors for the shiny shoe set – the meddlesome lawyers, media scribblers, and potential corporate sponsors who came through wanting to “understand” without doing the hard work of paying attention. Oh, god. This was just one more reason that Francis Benoit was glad he was working here at the La Honda Research Center and not out there in some corporate start-up, because despite all the roll-up-your-shirtsleeves myths and stereotypes, when you got right down to it, working for a start-up meant he’d spend 80 percent of his time doing complete bullshit – chasing VC money, writing technical documentation, hiring people – and all of it involved dumbing down your work. And the meetings! To participate in that game would be a waste of god-given talent, it would be a crime against his very own nature. Francis Benoit could just see himself cooped up in some office park, suffocating on his own unvented thoughts, poisoning himself, just to prove something to the shiny shoe set.

Then there was the time that photographer and his camera crew came out from New York to shoot an ad

Advantages of Cloud Computing for the Home

Cloud computing not only transforms home computing, but the way we work and live. If that sounds overblown, consider how working from home and consuming entertainment have changed over the last few years. And the rise of the ‘Internet of Things’, which will co-ordinate internet connected devices, can make your home life more relaxing and enjoyable.

There are already lots of advantages to embracing cloud computing in your home, whether it’s for work, pleasure or managing your household.

Cloud Storage for the home:
One of the big early selling points of cloud computing has been the availability of cheap, plentiful storage space for photos, videos, work documents and anything else you can think of. Cloud storage providers include UK-based Memstore, along with U.S companies such as Dropbox, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

It’s important to check out the various options and not just sign up to the most familiar brand names, as costs can vary depending on the storage needed. And in the UK it’s also well worth considering a UK-based provider like Memset, as they’ll be fully-compliant with UK specific laws and regulations, which isn’t the case for businesses based elsewhere.

Backing up

Likely Top 5 Mobile Apps

For a company, mobile applications serve multifold benefits. Modern software can organizes work routines while on the go and allow corporate meetings without commuting.

These apps have added to the scope of communication, location tracking, learning, gaming and entertainment thereby causing a sudden boost in the mobile application development industry. They are fast gaining significance for companies who wish to promote their products and services to smartphone users.

Trend wise, it is the mobile game applications that are most popular in the mobile app stores. We expect more game applications will be created by mobile application development companies to engage users while teaching them more about business activity.

Most Popular Mobile Apps in 2013
We expect the following top applications to lead others in terms of popularity in 2013.

Facebook:
The most popular application of 2012, Facebook can be used to market a company’s products and services while keeping connected to the target market. Customized Facebook applications allow companies to launch specials, showcase products and organize polls and giveaways for all mobile users on the go. The use of a company logo and corporate colors add a corporate look and style to

Raspberry Pi The Cheapest Computer to Date!

If we look few decades back, it was almost impossible to think of working with a computer without any proficiency of knowledge about it. Gradually, the developers made it simple by making use of a graphical operating system. Now, it is simpler yet by the invention of Raspberry Pi, it has been developed by a charity called Raspberry Pi Foundation. It is not more than the size of a credit card. The feature which makes it genuinely special is its ‘ease of use’, especially for the beginners. Another important factor is its price, which is either $25 or $35, depending upon the version. The price is good news for them who can’t afford to buy a usual desktop.

These days computers are important, as these have become important means for communicating, be it for business purpose or some personal need. We could assure you that Raspberry Pi fulfills the basic needs of all classes of people. However, you need to understand one thing clearly, from the moment you take the circuit out of the package, do not expect things to happen automatically. If you do not know how to work with Raspberry Pi, land up on Raspberry

5 Cool Mouse Operations You Can Use In Windows

Here are five windows operations that you can use on some occasions with windows or associated software.

1 – Open new links in brand new tabs on Windows Internet Explorer

If your mouse has three buttons – then use the middle one to open new tabs. Hover the mouse pointer over the link and press the mouse wheel to open up new tabs.  All you need to do is place the mouse pointer over a link and then press down on the middle mouse button (the mouse wheel).

The middle mouse button is able to roll forward or back, however, it is also able to be pressed down and clicked just like a button.  If you do this on a link then it will open up that link in a new tab.  This is a lot quicker than pressing right-click and clicking on “open in a new tab.”  It is an easier way to research certain items by simply clicking in order to open new tabs.

If you are feeling the super lazy you can hold CTRL and press Tab to scroll through your tabbed windows – or you can even hold Alt and

6 technologies that will change PCs in 2015

In an era of slick gadgets, PCs are the dinosaurs, ensnared in wire clutter, sporting tired 2D cameras and stricken with the occasional blue screen of death. Technology coming up in 2015, though, is set to make PCs more interactive, fun and perhaps nosier than you’d like them to be.
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Apple’s iPad changed the way people viewed computers and spurred PC innovation. Hardware makers drew ideas from mobile devices, gaming consoles and even 3D printers to rethink the PC, and the resulting new technologies will have a profound effect on how laptops and desktops are used next year and into the future.

Perhaps the most interesting idea is Intel’s “wire-free” PC, in which wireless technology will replace display, charging and data transfer cables. Chip maker Intel next year will show an experimental laptop that has no ports, and relies completely on wireless technology to connect to monitors and external storage devices.

Interactive computers will have 3D cameras that behave more like eyes, with the ability to recognize objects and measure