Processing is the 'thinking' that the computer does. It is not like the way a human brain thinks. The computer processor must do many small commands to accomplish even a simple task like adding two numbers together and displaying the result on a screen.
Computer do their thinking with 1's and 0's. All data must be turned into a sequence of on/off values, which are binary numbers. There are several code sets which translate our usual letters and numbers into binary numbers. ASCII is the smallest set. Unicode tries to represent every symbol in every language on the planet.
The CPU, or central processing unit, is where the work gets done. It has two parts, Control Unit and Arithmetic/Logic Unit. It uses Main Memory to store values while working with them or while they are waiting their turn. The Machine Cycle has four parts - fetch an instruction, decode it into machine language, execute the instruction, store the result in main memory. The speed of this process is measured in MIPS, millions of instructions per second.
A memory address hold one byte of data. This gives the computer a way to find a value or instruction, like a street address. A byte equals 8 bits. A kilobyte is 1024 bytes. A megabyte is 1024 kilobytes. 1024 is 2 raised to the 10th power.
The speed of the processor is affected by the system clock speed (an electronic timing pulse), the system bus width (the amount of data the processor can send out at once), and the size of a word (the amount of data the processor can process at once).
The physical parts in the machine cycle are the processor chip and the memory chips. These are attached to the motherboard, also called the main circuit board.
The motherboard also has slots for peripheral devices like video cards and sound cards plus connections for drives like a hard drive and a DVD drive. The power supply provides power to all of the devices and the motherboard itself.
script (for a language)