The learning nerd!

On a mission to learn everything!

Difference between programs and software —

What is programs?

Program is a bunch of instructions that the computer tells it to carry out.
You can think of it as a recipe. A recipe is just a list of instructions.

  1. Put oil in skillet
  2. Let the old heat up
  3. Put veggies in
  4. Fry them until crisp

You can think of a program as an abstract concept.
Programmers write simple programs with C++ or Java for instance.
Then the program is executed.

What is software

Software is a collection of programs designed for a specific task.
A calculator is software.
But the instructions written is a program.
Adding two numbers together on the calculator is a program since it’s a set of functions carried out.

Computer analogy

You are going to update your computer system clock. It then tells the hardware components what to do and how to interact with the program or set of programs that reside in main memory.

The two types of software

  1. Application software
    Application software is a set of computer programs that help a person carry out a task.
    Think: video editing software helps a person create movies
  2. System software helps a computer system function.
    DOS, Unix, Linux, Apple

Binary to Hex and Hex to Binary —

This is the continuation of the learning binary series.
Be sure to read my binary blog post and hexadecimal blog post before you read this article on binary to hex.

Binary to hexadecimal

Lets start with a binary number
As with binary numbers you start from right to left.
Starting from right you divide the binary numbers into nibbles.
1  | 1 1 0 0  |  1 0 1 1  |  1 0 1 0
1    8 4 0 0     8 0 2 1     8 0 2 0
Remember the Rule of thumb!
For every number you do not use you put a 0(off).
1  | 0 + 0 + 4  + 8 | 1 + 2 + 0 + 8 | 0 + 2 + 0 + 8
1  |      12        |     11        |    10
Looking at the hex chart you can now substitute the numbers for the hex
1  |      C         |     B         |    A

Hexadecimal to Binary

Lets star with a hex number
Using the hex chart convert the hex to decimal numbers.
F    |    4    |    7    |    B
15        4         7         11
Now convert each decimal number into binary
1111           |  0100          | 0111          | 1011
8 + 4 + 2 + 1  | 0 + 4 + 0 + 0  | 0 + 4 + 2 + 1 | 8 + 0 + 2 + 1
15                4                7            |  11
The answer is

Decimal to Octal and Octal to Decimal —

This is the continuation of learning binary series.
You learned that binary is in the base two number system.
You also learned Hex is in the base 16 number system.
Well Octal is in the base 8 number system.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Decimal to Octal

Example 1:
Lets start with a decimal number
Since you know that Octal is in the base number system.
You divide 33 / 8
33 / 8 =  4
remainder 1  – Since you know 8 goes into 33 4 times and there is the number 1 left over
Then you take the number you got and divide that by 8
4 / 8 =  0
remainder none – Since you know goes into 4 0 times and there for the remainder is none.
So the answer is 41
Example 2:
Lets start with another decimal number
You divide 98 / 8
98 / 8 = 12
Remainder 2 – Since you know 8 goes into 98 12 times and there is the number 2 left over
Then you take the number you got and divide that by 8
12 / 8 = 1
Remainder 4 – Since you know 8 goes into 12 1 time and there is the number left over
Then you take the number you got and divide that by 8
1 / 8 = 0
Remainder 1 – Since you know 8 goes into 1 0 times and there is the number 1 left over
You now take all the remainders you got and put them together. Last to first.
So the answer is 142

Octal to Decimal

Example 1:
As you learned above octal is a base 8 number system,
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Lets start with an octal number
2 | 3 | 8
Each digit is multiplied by 8 by its power
2 | 1 | 0
2 × 8² + 3 × 8¹ + 8 × 8⁰ – You now solve this with PEMDAS
P(parenthesis)-E(exponents)-M(multiplication)-D(division) -A(addition)-S(subtraction)
You solve the exponents then the multiplication and then addition
2 × 64 + 3 × 8  + 8
128 + 24 + 8 = 152
Example 2:
Lets start with another octal number
7 | 0 | 5 | 0
Each digit is multiplied by 8 by its power
3 | 2 | 1 | 0
7 × 8³ + 0 × 8² + 5 × 8¹ + 0 × 8⁰
7 × 512 + 0 × 64 + 5 × 8 + 0
3584 + 0 + 40 + 0 = 3624

DRAM vs. Static random access(SRAM) —


If you read my blog post on Inside the four stages(cycles) of your computer then you learned what RAM is.
If you remember, RAM is short term memory, that holds and stores data(instruction) that is currently in use.

DRAM vs static random access

DRAM and Static random access are the two main parts of RAM.

What is DRAM(Dynamic Random access memory)?

DRAM is random access memory made up of a transistor and capacitor. Together the transistor and the capacitor team up to create memory cells.

Inside a dram chip

Every memory cell in a DRAM chip holds a bit 1(on) and 0(off).

The two main parts

The transistor is the switch which reads and controls the current flow of the capacitor.
If the current can flow through the transistor then it will hold the charge of 1(on). But if the current can’t flow through it holds the charge of 0(off).
The capacitor holds the charge of the transistor and reads the transistor. However within time the charges of the memory cells leak away.


You can compare a bucket of electrons to a capacitor.
Inside of a bucket are electrons.
If the electrons store and charges a 1 in the memory cell, the bucket fills with electrons.
If the electrons store a 0, the bucket leaks and gets emptied. You can say bye bye electrons.
How to fix it and make it work?
The CPU or memory controller needs to come and say hey we are going to recharge all the capacitors holding a 1 before they are let go.
The Memory controller decides to read the memory it gets and then recharges it.

Whats the problem with DRAM

Since it has to be dynamically refreshed all the time it becomes slow.

What is Static random access?

Static random access is memory that never needs to be refreshed unlike DRAM.
Static random access holds a flip-flop circuit.

Short introduction on flip-flop?

A flip-flop is a circuit that has two stable states.
On and off.
The circuit remains in one of the states until a signal causes it to switch.
You can think of it this way. Your light switch has circuitry. There is on and off.
You signal the light to turn it on if you want light. But what if you don’t want light. You signal the light to turn off.
Same as a flip-flop.

The benefit

A flip-flop circuit does not use a capacitor so it does not need to be recharged. Which makes static random access much faster.

Whats the problem with Static random access?

However since static random access is using less memory per chip it makes it more expensive then DRAM.
fast contrast to follow up on uneasiness (7)

Binary addition and subtraction —


This is a continuation of the learning binary series. Be sure to read learning binary before reading this post.

Binary addition

Lets start with basic decimal addition.
The basic values column
1000 | 100 | 10 | 1

1 1
1 5 9 5
+ 3 5 6 4
_ _ _ _
5 1 5 9

We take the first digit and carry that. While the second digit remains below.
The digit you carried is added to the number.
5 + 4 = 9 > 9 Is less then 10 so we don’t carry over.
9 + 5 = 15 > 15 is higher then 10. We need to carry a 1 over into the 100’s column.
1 + 5 + 5 = 11 > 11 is higher then 10. We need to carry a 1 over into the 1000’s column.
1 + 1 + 3 = 5 > 5 is less then 10 so we don’t carry over.

Answer 5159

Onto binary addition
Binary addition is the same concept. Except for your using binary numbers 1 and 0.

The five basic addition rules

0 + 0 = 0
1 + 0 = 1
10 + 0 = 10
1 + 1 = 10 > 1 + 1 = 2 > 10 = 2 in binary
10 + 1 = 11


1 1 1
1 0 1 1
+ 1 0 1 1
_ _ _ _ _
1  0  1 1 0

1 + 1 = 10 > We carry the 1
1 + 1 + 1 = 10 + 1 = 11 > We carry the 1
1 + 0 = 1
1 + 1 = 10 > Since there is no more columns to carry. We put 10.

You can double check

1011 = 11
1011 = 11
11 + 11 = 22
Answer 10110 = 22


Binary subtraction

Lets start with basic decimal subtraction


 3  4 16 
3  3  5  6 4
2  3  4  9 0
_ _ _ _ _ _
1 0 0  7 4

4 – 0 = 4
Borrow 1 to make 16 – 9 = 7
Borrow to make 4 – 4 = 0
Borrow to make 3 – 3 = 0
3 – 2 = 1


Onto binary subtraction

The four basic subtraction rules

0 – 0 = 0
1 – 0 = 1
1 – 1 = 0
10 – 1 = 1

 0 10   10
1  0  1   0 1
 1  1   1 0
_ _ _ _ _ _
0 0 1   1 1

1 – 0 = 1
Borrow 1 to make 10 – 1 = 1
Borrow 1 to make 10 – 1 = 1
Borrow 1 to make 1 – 1 = 0
Borrow 0 to make 0

You can double check

10101 = 21
1110 = 14
21 – 14 = 7
Answer 111 = 7

I hope you enjoy my tutorial on how to subtract and add binary numbers. The next guide in this series will be how to multiply and divide binary numbers.

Inside the four stages(cycles) of a computer: —

You are looking at your computer right now. Whether you are using the operating system Apple, Linux or Windows. But do you know the four stages(cycles) that makes your computer work?

What is a computer?

A computer is a electronic machine that takes a instruction and then executes it.
Think: Just as your boss would give you a instruction.
For example: He would ask you to file some paperwork.
Then you would execute that instruction by filing it in the filing cabinets.

What are the four cycles?

A computer accepts 1.)input 2.)processing 3.)Storage and 4.)Output


You need to wash your clothes so you use a washer and dryer.

    1. Input(step # 1): You put your clothes and then the dish water soap in the washing machine. That is input. Input is entering data into a computer from the outside world. But in this instance you are entering(putting) clothes into the washing machine.
    2. Processing(step # 2):
      Processing is the process in which the clothes are washing and the spinning that is happening to wash the clothes. Processing is the computer thinking. The computer does something with the data that is entered in the input stage. But in this instance the clothes are being processed in the washing machine.
    3. Storage(step # 3):
      You should notice that your clothes are now washed in the washing machine. That is storage. Storage is information(data) that is stored. But in this instance your clothes are now being stored in the washing machine ready to take out.
    4. Output(step # 4):
      The clothes should now be clean and washed. That is output. Output is the information(data) now presented in a readable format. For example: it gets displayed on a screen. Which is an output device.

Now that you know the basic rundown of input, processing, storage and output lets dive more into them.

More about input

Comparing input from a computer today to the ENIAC

Lets compare the ENIAC to a computer today to get a sense of input in computers.

Imagine a computer that is not as portable and small today.
Instead imagine a monstrous computer that weighed over 30 metric tons and was around 680 square feet. Which also contained 17.468 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, and 10,000 capacitors. You can imagine it as taking manpower to operate it.

That is the computer ENIAC(Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). The first general computer that was invented in 1945. It was equivalent of a adding machine and storage unit.

It used twenty accumulators. For each accumulator it stored a 10-digit decimal number. Which you know from this post is not applicable today.
Learn what accumulators are from this site.

But now you have input devices that are easy to enter data into the computer.

How input works

  1. It reads the data(instructions) entered from the outside world into the computer from a keyboard, mouse or other input device.
  2. The data inputted is then converted into digital data(binary) that can be read and handled by the computer.
  3. The converted digital data gets sent to the computer storage system for further processing.

Two types of input devices

There are two types of input devices Manual input devices: and Direct data entry.

  1. Manual input devices is data that is entered into the computer by hand.
  2. Direct data entry is data that is entered quickly and accurately by a machine/device.
    There will be another blog post on the different types of input devices that falls into these two categories.

More about Processing

As you read above Processing is the computer thinking. The CPU is designed to process the instructions on a computer.

What is a CPU(microprocessor)?

CPU is an integrated circuit that is the brain and heart of your computer.
Your computer can not beat without it. Since it contains all the circuitry that the computers handles all the instructions with.
Think: You have a heart. But what if you did not have a heart? Then you would not be able to function and not live to see another day. Same as a CPU. It is the heart of the computer. Without it the computer would not know what to do.

The three main components of the CPU

  1. ALU(Arithmetic Logic Unit) is the component that performs the final processing by the CPU. When it is done processing it is sent to the computer memory.
    Its job is to do the mathematical and logical operations.
    Think: You can compare it to a calculator. The calculators job is to perform mathematical operations. Same as the ALU(Arithmetic Logic Unit)
  2. Immediate access store holds all the data and instructions that are waiting to be used by the Control Unit
  3. Control Unit is the traffic system in the CPU. It directs the flow of traffic of data and instructions in the computer system.
    Think: You can compare it to a traffic cop because his job is to help direct the flow of traffic.
    Same as a Control Unit. The control unit helps direct the flow of data in the computer system.

The clock

The clock is the timing device of the CPU(microprocessor).
The processor executes one thing at a time. Its the time given by a clock just like an oscillator.
Short definition of oscillator
An oscillator is a periodic fluctuation between two things based on changes in energy.
An oscillator runs 0,1,0,1,0.
Each time the clock changes the processor executes one instruction.
Rule of thumb: Faster clock rate = faster CPU

More about storage(memory)

As you read above storage is information(data) that is stored. Without storage your data would not be saved.

What are the two main types of storage?

A computer accepts Primary storage and Secondary storage as the two main types of storage.


You are at your local library looking for a book on one of the shelves.
You see a book you want. So you grab a book off of the shelf which is Secondary storage . The books in secondary storage that are not being used are filed away and stored on the shelves.
You decide to sit down on the libraries couch or table to read the book. You are now in Primary storage

More about Primary and Secondary storage

Main memory = Primary storage

Primary storage is designed to hold data(instructions) on a short term(temporary) basis. It connects to the computer processor for easy access.
It’s also Volatile meaning that since the memory is held on a temporary basis. It gets erased when the power is turned off.

Brain scenario

Human brains are complex. They have a conscious and sub conscious.
In your conscious you are accessing information(data) in the part of buy CBD products brain right now. While in your sub conscious mind you are accessing information(data) that happened a while ago.

Computer scenario based on conscious and sub conscious

RAM is short term memory. It holds and stores data(instruction) that currently are in use in primary storage for fast retrieval. When the computer is on RAM gets work done but when it’s off it loses the data.

What happens when RAM fills up?

The processor(conscious) has to go to the hard disk(sub conscious) to to receive more memory. If you got more RAM then it would reduce the number of times the computer processor has to read the data from the hard disk which makes it more faster.

ROM(read only memory)

ROM can be read only. Hence read only in Read only memory.
Even when the computer is powered off ROM remains and can not be removed.

Auxiliary Storage = Secondary Storage

Secondary storage holds data that is currently not being processed. The data is filed away waiting to be used.
It’s non-Volatile meaning that the data is still there when the power is turned off.

Hard drive Scenario

When a program runs or a file is opened, the computer copies the data from the Hard drive to RAM which gets stored in your conscious mind. When you are finished with the program the data is then copied back into the hard drive where it remains in the sub conscious mind until it needs to be accessed again.
Rule of thumb: Faster hard drive = faster computer

More about Output

As you read above Output is the information(data) that is presented in a readable format.
You are already using output devices in your daily life.
Think: of a monitor. Without the monitor there would be no data(information) outputted.

How Output works

  1. It reads data(binary code) from the computer.
  2. The data(binary code) is then converted into human-readable form
  3. It then supplies the results of the now human-readable form to the outside world

I hope you enjoyed my introduction on the four stages(cycles) of your computer. I just covered the surface of these four subjects. There is so much more you can learn. Go out and explore more about the four stages(cycles) that make up your computer.

Learning Binary —

I have always been fascinated by binary, and would like to share my fascination with you. Lets start with this quote.
“There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”
You will understand this quote by the end of this tutorial!

What are bits?

To understand bits is to understand binary. They coincide.
Bits is the abbreviation for binary digits.
Binary Digits
Binary represents two numbers since its a base 2 numbering system which uses electrical circuits. It uses the numbers 1’s and 0’s.
Each bit represents a single switch in a circuit.
Think of a light switch. There is on and off.
Same concept in binary.
1 would be on and 0 would be off.
If the gate is open (1) electricity can flow through.
If its off (0) then electricity is blocked.
Each bit is a binary digit. But eight bits equal a byte.
Half of a byte is a nibble which is four bits.
You have eight cookies in front of you. So you have a byte. But if you were hungry and ate four cookies. Then you would have nibble.

But why not use the decimal numbering system in computers?

The decimal number systems use the digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
Ten digits(numbers) for ten fingers and ten toes.
Computer does not have toes or fingers.
As you read above it has electronic circuits. On and off.
If you used the decimal number system there would have to be ten states instead of two. Which means its more complicated and less reliable to represent the numbers. Computers now don’t have the technology to create more then two states since the switches in the circuits are changing constantly. It is logical to have only two states because with more states the system would need to constantly convert between them.
Think of this: Ten light switches in your room with the option on and off. Now that would make for a hard time. It would make more sense to have two states. Just on and off. That would be less of a hassle.
Remember the saying: Less is more

Reading binary

As you have learned binary is in the base of two. So you multiple two to each number.
1×2=2 2×2=4 4×2=8 8×2=16
Your getting the picture. You start from right to left.

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

For each number you use you put a 1(on). For a number you don’t use you put a 0(off).

Example: 13 in binary
1 1 0 1 – Would be 13 in binary.
8 4 0 1

1 + 0 + 4 + 8 = 13
For the number I did not used I placed a 0.

Another example: 21 in binary
1 0 1 0 1
16 8 4 2 1

1 + 4 + 16 = 21

Now you should you know what the binary quote means above.
“There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”
10 = 2 in binary
2 + 0 = 2
As you can understand for the quote, it’s saying…
“There are only 2 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”

Soon there will be coming a lesson on how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide binary numbers. Also how to convert binary to hex and hex to binary.

Hello world! —

I’m Julia and this is my new blog. This is where I will try and learn everything and blog about it all here. I”m just getting into the blogging scene again I had a personal blog quite a long time ago.

I got the inspiration for this blog from this site


I want to learn everything! From animation, programming, computers, music composition, too even the arts. Thats a huge goal I know!
But I want to share the power of knowledge.

Inspirational quotes

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

“Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. Dalai Lama.” – Dalai Lama

“The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.” – David Bailey