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OfB.biz: Basic Lesson #3: Talk to Me

Jan 24, 2004, 01:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Hurst)

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"What makes a computer crash? It can be compared nicely to a nervous breakdown in humans. When people, for whatever reason, lose their sense of control and nothing makes sense any more, people 'crash.' There is a sense of being so overloaded with demands that no response will serve any purpose, so one stops responding. Computers get that way when the heart of the system can't control the processes going on in the computer. The heart of a computer system is called the kernel.

"When you first turn on a computer, there is a tiny process built into the hardware that checks what is there, and where it all is: mouse, keyboard, video card, etc. This thing is called the BIOS: Basic Input and Output System. This thing then tries to find the system installed to run it. Typically, it finds the system on the hard drive, but more modern computers can look for it on the floppy (as it was in the old days) or on the CD-ROM..."

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