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Main content
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Video transcript

[Music] hi my name is Lamar free and I'm an engineer here at Adafruit Industries and this is where I do engineering and design and I design circuits for fashion and music and Technology my name is Federico Gomez Suarez and I'm a software developer with Microsoft hack for good and I look into using technology to help us solve some of the big social problems of our times [Music] you may have heard that computers work on ones and zeros or you may have seen scary-looking visuals like this but almost nobody today actually deals directly with these ones and zeros but ones and zeroes are do play a big role in how computers work on the inside inside a computer are electric wires and circuits that carry all the information in a computer how do you store a represent information using electricity well if you have a single wire with electricity flowing through it the signal can either be on or off that's not a lot of choices but it's a really important start with one wire we can represent a yes or no true or false a 1 or a zero for anything else with only two options this on/off state of a single wire is called a fit and it's the smallest piece of information a computer can store if you use more wires you get more bits more ones and zeros with more bits you can represent more complex information but to understand that we need to learn about something called the binary number system in the decimal number system we have ten digits from 0 to 9 and that's how we've all learned to count in the binary number system we only have two digits 0 & 1 with these two digits we can count up to any number here's how this works in a decimal number system we're all used to each position in a number has a different value there's a 1 position the 10th position the 100 position and so on for example a 90 to 100 position is a 900 in binary each position also carries a value but instead of multiplying by 10 each time we multiply by 2 so there's the ones position the truth position the first position in eighths position and so on for example the number 9 in binary is 1 0 0 1 to calculate the value we add 1 times 8 plus 0 times 4 plus 0 times 2 plus 1 times 1 almost nobody does his math because compared to it for us but important is that any number can be represented with only ones and zeros or by a bunch of wires that are on or off the more wires you use the larger the numbers you can store with 8 wires you can store numbers between 0 and 255 that's 8 once with just 32 wires you can store all the way from 0 to over 4 billion using the binary number system you can represent any number you like but what about other types of information like text images or sound it turns out that all these things can also be represented with numbers [Music] think of all the letters in the alphabet you could assign a number to each letter a would be 1 B could be 2 and so on you can then represent any word or paragraph as a sequence of numbers and as we saw these numbers can be stored as on or off electrical signals every word you see on every webpage phone is represented using a system like this now let's consider photos videos and all the graphics you see on a screen all of these images are made out of teeny dots called pixels and each pixel has a color each of the colors can be represented with numbers when you consider the typical image has millions of these pixels and the typical video shows 30 images per second and we're talking about a lot of data here [Music] every sound is basically a series of vibrations in the air vibrations can be represented graphically as a waveform any point on this waveform can be represented by a number and this way any sound can be broken down into a series of numbers if you want higher quality sound you will pick 32-bit audio or a bit audio more bits means a higher range of numbers when you use a computer to write code or make your own app you're not dealing directly with these ones and zeros but you will be dealing with images or sound or video so if you want to understand how computers work on the inside it all comes down these simple ones and zeros and the electrical signals in the circuits behind them they are the backbone of how all computers input store process and output information you