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Computers operate by Boolean logic, invented by the 19th century English mathematician George Boole. Everything is done with base 2, so there are only the numerals one and zero, or true and false. The three basic operations are invert (the output is the opposite of the input), AND (true only if *all* inputs are true), and OR (true if *any *input is true). It’s possible to express any arithmetic function in terms of Boolean logic, and to translate back and forth from base two to base ten. From the biggest computer to the smallest calculator, this is what’s happening behind the scenes.

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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 »