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Showing posts from August, 2019

For anyone who's ever wondered what's inside a computer

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The inside of a computer is really interesting! It's like being able to open up a brain and see how it all connects together and how it links to the other organs in the body. You don't need to know it but it's interesting and sometimes rather handy to understand how it works (at a basic level, at least).

Motherboard

I love looking at the motherboard. It's full of little tiny parts, chips, places to plug things in, and bits that stick out through the case of the computer. Over time, they have changed a fair bit but they still do the same job.


When you look at the back of a computer, you can see lots of places where you can plug things in: USBs, printers, headphones, etc. Most of these are on the motherboard and connect to other parts inside.
Central processing unit (CPU)
This is sometimes just called the processor. It's now a tiny component but it has a very important job. It's what makes the whole thing work. Because it does such a big job, it could get quite hot…

The life cycle of a computer

If you own or have ever owned a desktop computer or a laptop, it's likely that you will be familiar with this life cycle. Let me illustrate it with some personal history...

1995 - Bought our first PC from Time Computers. It cost around £1000 and had about 4mb of storage (or something unreasonably small)

1998ish - Computers had moved on at such a pace that new software wasn't compatible and we were running out of storage. Decided to start again and buy a new computer, costing about £1200. Decided to go for the best spec we could afford, so that it would last longer than three years. Think it was a Tiny computer.

2000ish - How can computer technology move so fast?!! High spec Tiny is now virtually obsolete. Need to start again. Bought a Dell PC. Fortunately, prices are beginning to come down, so got a reasonable spec for £900. New PC also promises to be upgradable, so ending this cycle of buying a new one every three years.

2002ish - PC getting a bit sluggish and laptops are now pop…

Adobe Illustrator

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If you've been following my blog, you'll already know that I recently acquired Adobe Creative Cloud. I'll be honest, even the name 'Illustrator' turned me right off. I am notoriously bad at art. Many years ago, when I was a childminder, I would draw basic shapes - stick men, house, tree - and small children would screw their faces up, look utterly baffled and exclaim, "What is it?"

Illustrating is never going to be my forte! I'm not being negative. I just can't draw, or paint, or do many things that are arty farty.

What I can do, is use a computer and learn to use new software. So I decided to find out whether Illustrator could maybe bridge the gap for me... give me some artistic skills that are otherwise lacking. And I was pleasantly surprised!

The first surprise was that, for the first time in my life, I found myself enjoying art. My last art lesson (at age 13) was marked by the teacher, who may have been a trifle drunk (this was the 1980s) thro…