Khan Academy and Code.org | Hardware and Software

Khan Academy and Code.org | Hardware and Software


(lively music) (women laughing) – Hi, my name’s Erica Gomez and I’m an engineering manager at Amazon.com. One of the best things
about working in tech and at Amazon in
particular is that I get to bring my dog with me to work every day. My job is to help make sure
software gets out the door and her job is to nap under
my desk and snore very loudly. – My name is Jerome Holman and I’m a program manager on Team Xbox, And I have a really fun job. Basically bringing the hardware
and the software together to give you all the games
that you love on your Xbox. Oh. (laughing) – When you look inside a computing device you see a bunch of circuits,
chips, wires, speakers, plugs, and all sorts of other stuff. This is the hardware. But what you don’t see is the software. Software is all of the computer programs, or code, running on this machine. Software can be anything
from apps and games to webpages and data science
software that me and my teams use at Amazon to understand
how customers behave. But how do the hardware and the software interact with one another? Lets start at looking at a computer’s central processing unit, or CPU. – The CPU is the master chip that controls all the other parts of the computer. A CPU needs to do different
things, so inside it has smaller, simpler parts
that handle specific tasks. It has circuits to do
simple math and logic, it has other circuits to
send and receive information to and from different
parts of the computer. The real magic of the CPU is how it knows which circuits to use
and when to use them. – [Erica] The CPU receives simple commands that tell it which circuit
to use to do a specific job. For example, and add
command tells the CPU to use its adder circuit to
calculate a new number. And then the store command
tells the CPU to use a different circuit to save
that result into memory. Just like numbers, all
of these simple commands can be represented in
binary ones and zeros, or on and off electrical signals. The binary commands are stored in memory and the CPU fetches and
executes them in sequence one after the other. This sequence of commands is in fact the very simple computer program. – Binary code is the most
basic form of software and it controls all the
hardware of a computer. These days nobody writes
software in binary, it would take forever. Today, the software we
write looks more like this, or this, or even this. Programming languages like
these let you type in commands in something that looks
a lot like english. To draw a rectangle on the screen you just need a single command. This high level command is converted into hundreds or thousands
of simpler binary commands that the CPU understands. – Software tells the CPU what to do, but when you’re listening to
music and browsing the web and chatting with a friend,
your computer is running multiple pieces of software all at once. So how do all of these programs
get on the computer in the first place, and how can the
CPU run them all at once? To find out we’ll have to take a look at the operating system. – The operating system of a computer is the master program
that manages how software gets to use the hardware of the computer. For example, I helped create
the Windows operating system that runs on most personal computers. The operating system is a
program with special abilities that let it control the other
software on the computer. It lets you install new
programs by loading them into your computers memory. It decides when a program is run by the central processing unit,
whether that program can access the computer’s
input and output devices. And when you think your computer
is running many programs at once, in reality,
its the operating system that’s quickly switching between programs, sharing that CPU for
fractions of a second. – Inside every computer
is an operating system managing software that controls
the computer’s hardware. The software is as series of commands made of simple binary
code, and that binary code is just electrical signals flowing through billions of tiny circuits. – Computers have the potential to do all kinds of amazing things, but the only thing that makes computers smart or useful is you. When you learn to code, you
get to define the problem you want to solve and write the software that turns those ideas into reality. That gives you the power to build things that matter to you, your
community, and the world.

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