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Inside your computer - Bettina Bair

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How does a computer work? The critical components of a computer are the peripherals (including the mouse), the input/output subsystem (which controls what and how much information comes in and out), and the central processing unit (the brains), as well as human-written programs and memory. Bettina Bair walks us through the steps your computer takes with every click of the mouse.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Bettina Bair
  • Director Darcy Vorhees
  • Artist Marissa Hutchins
  • Animator Sarah Johnson, Stephen Brooks, Tom Beuerlein
  • Narrator Michelle Snow
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Read some simple overviews of Von Neumann Architecture.
Here's a comprehensive overview Von Neumann Architecture.
Want to know more about Interrupt Driven I/O?
Click here to know how BIOS works.
Click here to understand how computer memory works.
Always wondered what made the computer work? Click here to learn more about Motherboard / Hardware.
The border between our physical world and the digital information surrounding us has been getting thinner and thinner. Designer and engineer Jinha Lee wants to dissolve it altogether. As he demonstrates in this short, gasp-inducing talk, his ideas include a pen that penetrates into a screen to draw 3D models and a computer desktop prototype that lets you reach through the screen to manipulate digital objects. Watch the TED Talk.
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In Polled I/O, the CPU checks in with each peripheral device many times a second to see if it needs anything.
06/28/2013 • 
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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Bettina Bair
  • Director Darcy Vorhees
  • Artist Marissa Hutchins
  • Animator Sarah Johnson, Stephen Brooks, Tom Beuerlein
  • Narrator Michelle Snow