Computer basics 101 : Mom Edition

It’s 2017 and your mom is still asking you “How do I post this picture of you as a baby on Facebook?” Sad, I know. But if you really think about it, the world of technology is a scary world. Why can’t mom get it together? Truth is, they’re just from a different planet and they’re incapable of functioning in today’s society and need to be sent back. Just kidding, but seriously have you ever just felt pity for your mom because you grew up a tech geek and she tries to give you tech like things for Christmas and fails at every attempt cause she let the best buy guy rip her off? If that’s you, this blog is definitely for her. And if you’re not a mom but struggling to live everyday life due to your lack of knowledge of computer basics, I won’t tell anyone you read this…i’ll be billing you later.

The inside of a computer and its components and functions are similar to the human body. With that in mind, lets start off with the motherboard. I’m 50% sure you know a little bit about your anatomy.And I say 50% because this is America. Without a functioning heart you die. The motherboard serves to connect all of the parts of a computer together so without a motherboard, your computer “dies”. See the similarity? The CPU, memory, hard drives, optical drives, video card, sound card and other ports and expansion cards all connect to the motherboard someway or another. So essentially, the motherboard is pretty important and is known as the heart of a PC.


I just scared you and told you your computer has a motherboard that connects all these things together and questioned your knowledge in anatomy. It’s cool don’t hate me, I have more to explain. We established our computers have a heart, now what? The CPU, central processing unit or processor, is the brain of your computer. Everything you do whether its pressing a key or opening an application, you are sending instructions to the CPU to then carry out the command. The CPU’s speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) millions of instructions per second; and gigahertz (GHz), or billions of instructions per second. The faster the processor – the faster it can execute instructions. So think of it as quick reflexes and slow reflexes. When someone throws something at you, how quickly do you react? If you’re slow, no one is judging you. Luckily in life you can buy a computer knowing all of this information and you can make sure your computer and you have no similarities in that category.


My sarcasm is heavy but if you’ve made it down here, I like you. Moving on a computer has RAM and a hard drive. RAM (random access memory) is the systems short term memory. Whenever your computer preforms something, it is stored in the RAM and disappears when the computer is turned off. You know, kinda like when you were in school and during class your taking all this amazing information in and the second you leave, boom its gone. Now of course if you actually took that information in and saved it, you remember it. Once you actually save something on a computers hard drive, only then is it stored long term. The more RAM you have, the more things your computer can do at the same time. If not, you may notice that your computer is not so fast when you’re trying to multitask and listen to pandora while writing your next cookbook. Because of this, many people add extra RAM to their computers to improve the performance.


So you have a son who is a nerd and plays video games all day and you want to surprise him for his upcoming birthday with a fancy computer to fulfill his nerdy addiction. Chances are you’re going to buy the worst computer and he’ll hate you forever. Maybe not forever, but for a good amount of time. The video card is responsible for what you see on the monitor. Usually I put things in bold that are important so please reread that sentence. Most computers have a GPU (graphics processing unit) built into the motherboard. So your son who likes playing graphic intensive games,can add a faster video card to one of the expansion slots to get better performance. Hence he can just pimp out the crappy computer you got him and he’ll love you once again.


Mac vs PC, PC vs Mac .. It’s a real thing in the tech world. Even though they are each great in their own way, it boils down to preferences. Do you like apples or oranges? The color red or blue? Obviously red is the better choice but you know, opinions. But besides opinions, what are the concrete elements that differentiate between the two? Here it is.

Mac, which is short for Macintosh, refers to any computer that is produced by the company called Apple,Inc. If you’ve ever been to Apple’s website you’d understand that Apple is great at visually capturing your attention. The modern approach and clean design is what people mostly love about Apple devices. Now because of Apple’s beauty, the pricing is hideous. Of course you’ll just get blindsided by its outside appearance and say shut up take my money. That just goes to show you how important appearance is. Now lets compare the Mac’s and PC’s in a simple way : Macs are the jock’s, the “pretty blonde”, the popular.. PC’s are like that one girl who’s pretty but she wears glasses and doesn’t get much attention but if you really look deep your like wow, she’s great!

When talking about PC’s though, it does get a tad bit confusing. A PC refers to any computer running an IBM-Based operating systems such as Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris,etc. Mac’s create their own operating systems meaning your computer itself is from Apple as well as the operating system inside the machine. If you don’t know what I mean, an operating system is the most important software that runs on a computer. It manages everything from the memory to the software and hardware. It allows you to communicate with the computer and without it a computer is useless. PCs can even be built tailored to your likings whereas Macs are like here this is me and i’m not changing for you cause God made me this way and i’m beautiful. Because of that feature, PCs attract gamers. That’s why earlier your son got mad at you cause you saw an Apple commercial and went and bought him the newest Mac cause it’s hip when what he needs is a PC to fill his filthy addiction..of gaming of course. PC computers have a wide range of graphics cards that can be purchased on the side for improvement.There are many graphics cards available for PCs that surpass the graphics capability of the best equipped Mac computers. The most expensive Mac has spec’s that a way cheaper PC has. On top of that, PCs have a wider range of games that are only offered for PC and can not be played on a Mac. So if your into gaming, PC is the way to go. As you can see so far, it still boils down to preference. Don’t let the best buy guy bully you. Remember apple and oranges. And don’t ignore me when I send you that bill, I wasn’t kidding.

Photo Cred: Ian Schneider


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