11 Aug 2016

Computer Science: Motherboard


Hello, readers! Having a good day, I suppose? For today's entry, I will be posting about motherboards. What exactly is a motherboard and how does it function?

A motherboard is the main printed circuit board found in general purpose microcomputers and other expandable systems. It holds and allows communication between many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. It usually contains significant sub-systems such as the central processor, the chipset's input/output and memory controllers, interface connectors, and other components integrated for general purpose use.

Modern motherboards include:
- Slots where one or more microprocessors are installed.
- Slots where the system's main memory is installed (in the form of module containing DRAM chips).
- A chipset which forms an interface between the CPU's front-side bus, main memory, and peripheral buses.
- Non-volatile memory chips (ROM in modern motherboards) containing the system's BIOS.
- A clock generator which produces the system clock signal to synchronize the various components.
- Slots for expansion cards.
- Power connectors, which receive electrical power from the computer power supply and distribute it to the CPU, chipset, main memory, and expansion cards.
- Connectors for hard drives.

Motherboards are generally air cooled with heat sinks often mounted on larger chips. Insufficient or improper cooling can cause damage to the internal components of the computer, or cause it to crash. Passive cooling was sufficient for many desktop computer CPU's until the late 1990s; since then, most have required CPU fans mounted on their heat sinks, due to rising clock speeds and power consumption. Most motherboards have connectors for additional case fans and integrated temperature sensors to detect motherboard and CPU temperatures and controllable fan connectors which the BIOS or operating system can use to regulate fan speed. Alternatively, computers can use a water cooling system instead of many fans.

Motherboards use electrolytic capacitors to filter the DC power distributed around the board. These capacitors age at a temperature-dependent rate, as their water based electrolytes slowly evaporate. This can lead to loss of capacitance and subsequent motherboard malfunctions due to voltage instabilities.

With that, this entry ends here. Do send your comments and criticisms! I'll try my best to fix what's lacking in my next post. Thank you for reading!

Computer Science: Unicode


A very good day I bid to the readers of my blog. Continuing my latest blog theme, which is on Computer Science, I will be sharing to you today about Unicode.

Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. Developed in conjunction with the Universal Coded Character Set (UCS) standard and published as The Unicode Standard, the latest version of Unicode contains a list of more than 128,000 characters covering 135 modern and historic scripts, as well as multiple symbol sets.

The standard consists of a set of code charts for visual reference, an encoding method and set of standard character encodings, a set of reference data files, and a number of related items, such as character properties, rules for normalization, decomposition, collation, rendering, and bidirectional display order. According to Wikipedia, as of June 2016, the most recent version is Unicode 9.0. The standard is maintained by the Unicode Consortium (the main image of this blog post is the logo of Unicode Consortium).

Unicode can be implemented by different character encodings. One of the most commonly used encodings is the now-obsolete UCS-2. UCS-2 uses a 16-bit code unit for each character but cannot encode every character in the current Unicode standard. UTF-16 extends UCS-2, using one 16-bit unit for the characters that were representable in UCS-2 and two 16-bit units to handle each of the additional characters.

Unicode is developed in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization and shares the character list with ISO/IEC 10646: the Universal Character Set. Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 function equally as character encodings, but The Unicode Standard contains much more information for implementers. The Unicode Standard specifies a multitude of character properties, including those needed for supporting bidirectional text.

The Consortium first published The Unicode Standard in 1991 and continues to develop standards based on that original work. The latest version of the standard, Unicode 9.0, was released in June 2016 and is available from the consortium's website. The last of the major versions to be published in book form was Unicode 5.0, but since Unicode 6.0 the full text of the standard is no longer being published in book form.

Unicode covers almost all scripts in current use today. A total of 135 scripts are included in the latest version of Unicode, although there are still scripts that are not yet encoded, particularly those mainly used in historical, liturgical, and academic contexts. Further additions of characters to the already encoded scripts, as well as symbols, in particular for mathematics and music, also occur.

I would like to further type my post but time seems to not allow me to do so. The commenting section is always open for criticisms to be sent in, so do share with me your opinion on my latest post. Thank you for reading and enjoy your day!

4 Aug 2016

Computer Science: Personal Computers

Personal Computers

Hello, everyone! I hope you're having a good day, just like I am. The purpose of me writing today is to spread a little of information that I've gotten about personal computers. First of all, allow me to define the term.

According to Wikipedia, a personal computer (PC) is a computer of general-purpose whose size, capabilities, and original sale price make it useful for individuals, and is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer time-sharing models that allowed larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time.

Although "PC" is an initialism for "personal computer", it is sometimes used in a different sense, referring to a personal computer with an Intel x86-compatible processor. Some PCs are equipped with x86 or x64 processors but not designed to run Microsoft Windows. "PC" is used in contrast with "Mac", an Apple Macintosh computer. Since Apple's transition to Intel processors starting 2005, all Macintosh computers are now PC.

There are two types of personal computers, namely stationary and portable. Examples of stationary personal computers are workstation, desktop computers, gaming computers, nettop, etc. Meanwhile for portable, the examples are of those we often hear nowadays all around us - laptop, netbook, tablet, and so forth. In the pictures above, netbook can be seen on the left side and nettop on the right side.

Generally, a computer user uses application software to carry out a specific task. System software supports common services such as memory management, network connectivity and device drivers. Typical examples of software applications are word processors, spreadsheets, and media players. Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes referred to as an application suite.

End-user development tailors systems to meet the user's specific needs. User-written software include spreadsheet templates, word processor macros, scientific simulations, graphics and animation scripts; even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is.

This concludes my post today. Feel free to send comments or criticisms whereby I can try to fix what's lacking in order to be able to publish a better post in the near future. Thank you for spending your time to read my post. Have a good day, everyone!