How Computers Work - Processor and Main Memory

By Roger Young
Computers are the most complex machines that have ever been created. Very few people really know how they work. This book will tell you how they work and no technical knowledge is required. It explains the operation of a simple, but fully functional, computer in complete detail. The simple computer described consists mainly of a processor and main memory. Relays, which are explained, are used in the circuitry instead of transistors for simplicity. This book does not cover peripherals like modems, mice, disk drives, or monitors.
Did you ever wonder what a bit, a pixel, a latch, a word (of memory), a data bus, an address bus, a memory, a register, a processor, a timing diagram, a clock (of a processor), an instruction, or machine code is? Though most explanations of how computers work are a lot of analogies or require a background in electrical engineering, this book will tell you precisely what each of them is and how each of them works without requiring any previous knowledge of computers or electronics. However, this book starts out very easy and gets harder as it goes along. You must read the book starting at the first page and not skip around because later topics depend on understanding earlier topics. How far you can get may depend on your background. A junior high school science background should be enough. There is no mathematics required other than simple addition and multiplication. This is a short book, but it must be studied carefully. This means that you will have to read some parts more than once to understand them. Get as far as you can. You will be much more knowledgeable about how computers work when you are done than when you started, even if you are not able to get through the whole text. This is a technical book though it is aimed at a non-technical audience. Though this book takes considerable effort to understand, it is very easy for what it explains. After you have studied this book, if you go back and read it, it will seem simple. Good Luck!

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