How Does a Computer Work?

Adelie takes Unique ID on a fantastic voyage through the inner workings of her supercomputer, Deep Deux Deux. On their adventure in Wonderland, they encounter the White Rabbit, Random Access Memory (RAM), who leads them to a tea party, where they meet the March Hare, Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), the Mad Hatter, Digital Audio Converter (DAC), and the Dormouse, Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Tiring of the nonsense, the Cheshire Cat BIOS suggests our heroes ride a bus to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) where they escape a learning opportunity by bootstrapping out of the system.

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    >> ID: Adelie, did you know you can build your own computer?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawks knowingly]

    >> ID: Oh, you already built one?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawks]

    >> ID: Wow, that computer is super!

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> ID: Deep Deux Deux, what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

    >> DEEP DEUX DEUX: E2-E4

    >> ID: Is that some sort of Zen thing?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> ID: I’d love to take a look inside, but I’m fresh out of miniature submarines.

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> ID: Scale tool? What’s that?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> DEEP DEUX DEUX: Come with us now on a journey through time and space… the CPU!

    >> BIOS: Hello Adelie, how are you today?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> BIOS: You’re always going on some ridiculous quest, aren’t you? Who’s this you brought with you?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> ID: You forgot to say, “highly intelligent robot companion”.

    >> BIOS: Where are you going?

    >> ID: We’re off to see the wizard.

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> ID: Oh right, that’s not until episode seven. We’re off to meet the CPU.

    >> BIOS: That reminds me, I must get my clock fixed.

    >> RAM: I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!

    >> ID: What are you late for?

    >> RAM: I… I… don’t know.

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> RAM: I only retain information temporarily. I could try to randomly access my memory.

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> RAM: In my memory bungalow there is a granite statue of Chinese philosopher Laozi. Granite is composed of four minerals: feldspar, quartz, mica, and amphibole. Four is the number of parameters used to measure performance of DRAM memory, three of which begin with a T… T… Tea party! I’m late!

    >> ID: Tea party! Let’s go.

    >> GPU & CPU: No space left on drive! No space left on drive!

    >> ID: But look at all these unallocated blocks!

    >> GPU: Blocks? Where?

    >> ID: They were just here…

    >> HDD: Whey ther hust jeer…

    >> GPU: Did they look like this?

    >> ID: Exactly! That’s a precise rendering.

    >> HDD: Rexactly! Prat’s a thecise endering.

    >> GPU: This display is but a canvas to my highly parallel structure. I’m something of an expert in accelerated image creation. Would you like to see my collection of mobius zoetropes?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> HDD: [Squawk]

    >> DAC: What did the tortoise say to Achilles?

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> HDD: [Squawk]

    >> ID: Is he recording everything we say?

    >> HDD: his e e-cording reverything see way?

    >> GPU: Of course he is. He’s the hard drive. Regale us with one of your riddles.

    >> HDD: Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at! Up above the world you fly, Like a tea tray in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at!

    >> ID: I don’t quite understand you.

    >> HDD: I quon’t dite yunderstand oo.

    >> DAC: It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

    >> ID: That makes no sense whatsoever!

    >> BIOS: If you have a problem with the way things are run around here, go visit the CPU.

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> BIOS: Catch the BUS, of course!

    >> CPU: Who are you? What are you doing here?

    >> ID: I, I, I don’t know. This script is rather contrived.

    >> CPU: Oh! I understand. It’s educational, isn’t it? In that case, I shall fulfill my obligation as the CPU, or central processing unit. I am the electronic circuitry responsible for executing instructions of a computer program. I command arithmetic, logical control, and input/output operations as I see fit.

    >> ID: Adelie, we have to get out of here! This episode is becoming didactic.

    >> JARED: Then Adelie squawks… and then what?

    >> JR: I don’t know. What Would Lewis Carroll Do?

    >> JARED: Do a something search.

    >> JR: Charles, we painted ourselves into a corner.

    >> CARROLL: Oh, the folly of youth. I don’t ‘ave a solution for you. When I ran out of ideas, I just ‘ad my characters fall asleep and then wake-up safe and sound at ‘ome.

    >> ID: If I may interject, I could pull us out by my power cable.

    >> CARROLL: You can’t do that! It’s illogical.

    >> ID: You’re one to talk.

    >> CARROLL: [Gasp]

    >> ID: Alright, Adelie. Hold on…

    >> ADELIE: [Squawk]

    >> DEEP DEUX DEUX: Welcome home. How was your journey?

    >> ID: It was enlightening. But I have a question for you: If computers are so rigid and constrained, why do we allow them to rule our lives?

    >> DEEP DEUX DEUX: Don’t think about that. Watch this cat video.

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How Does a Computer Work? was produced by Dototot on . Dototot is a creative media company and think tank specializing in educational material.