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Silicon is an element, like oxygen or gold. It is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen and ahead of aluminum). Things like sand and rocks are largely silicon dioxide. “Silicone” is rubber; silicon and silicone are not the same thing at all. Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve all heard the cliche that the world of electronic things is “going digital,” but what does that mean? If it’s “going digital,” where is it coming from? What it’s coming from is analog. You may be familiar with the word “analogy” meaning to explain something by comparing it to something more familiar. Analog represents the real world directly. It is continuous and interpolated. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the first in a series of posts covering technology basics.

We’re all familiar with electricity, as it comes out of a socket or a battery, but what is it, really? Electricity is basically charged particles (electrons) in motion, usually through a wire or other conductor. Remember playing with magnets in kindergarten? Opposites attract (positive to negative), and like charges repel one another. Read the rest of this entry »