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### Course: Computers and the Internet>Unit 2

Lesson 1: Introducing computers

# What is a computer?

If you're reading this right now, you're using a computer. Maybe it's a laptop, maybe a desktop computer, or perhaps even a smartphone. They may look different, but they all share the same underlying technology. The more we understand how that technology works, the more we can use the computers around us to help make our world better.
Every computer takes in input data, stores and processes it, and outputs results in some way.
In this unit, we'll dive deeper into the workings of computers, starting with understanding how computers represent data as 1s and 0s, then finding out how they process 1s and 0s with logic circuits inside a CPU, and finally learning about file sizes and compression.
To start off our exploration of how computers work, check out the next video from Code.org that features May-Li Khoe, the VP of Design here at Khan Academy, and Nat Brown, one of the original designers of the XBox.

## Want to join the conversation?

• Does it rain when it rains?
• It rains only when it rains.
• why am i an alien
• cause you are
• what happens when it miscounts
• What is a computer?
• a computer is a device that when you input something it processes it then shows it on screen
• How does binary code work? It's really cool but it's confusing.
• Binary code works with base-2, which means that a binary digit, when on, will give you a value of 2^n, where n is the place you are in. For example, if you are working with a 4 bit chunk, 0000, the places represent 2^3, 2^2, 2^1, and 2^0 from right to left. Having a 1 in a place means that you add its value to the total. For example, 1011 is 8+2+1 or 11. Computers use these added up values to represent different things, such as in ASCII, where different numbers represent different characters. If you are wondering why we use 1s and 0s, it has to do with logic gates being only currently able of having an on or off position, with 1 being on and 0 being off.
• do you like cheese?
• ooooooo so much! but this is about computers.
• how do computers work