Mini-Course: How Computers Compute?

Mini-Course: How Computers Compute?

Mini-Course: How Computers Compute?

A computer course that finally focuses on understanding

Language: english

Note: 4.7/5 (33 notes) 1,324 students

Instructor(s): Learning 0to1

Last update: 2022-08-18

What you’ll learn

  • A unique explanation about binary numbers
  • A refreshing new way to learn electronics
  • How to build logic gates, adders using transistors
  • 2s complement: how computers do subtractions
  • How computers do multiplication and division
  • What does a transistor do



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Understanding how computers compute is the first step towards understanding how computers work. There are three building blocks in understanding how computers compute.

1. How computers represent numbers: Binary numbers

2. Who does the computing: Transistor

3. How to combine transistors to do computing: Building an adder

The first hurdle in learning how computers work is binary number. A lot of people have trouble in seeing binary numbers as legit numbers, myself included. So this course aims to provide you a thorough understanding about numbers from a unique perspective. After comfortable with binary numbers, we will talk about the little device at the core of modern electronics: transistor. We won’t get into the quantum mechanics detail behind the transistors fundamental to our modern way of life, but we will briefly talk about what it does. This will pave way for a good understanding about how to use them to do computing. Once we are comfortable with how numbers are represented and what the little computing device can do, we will dive into the details about how to combine those little transistors in making an adder that can add two numbers. We will also talk about how computers do subtraction using a trick called two’s complement method.

This mini course will equip you with a thorough understanding about how computers do computing exactly.


Who this course is for

  • Anyone who’s interested in computer technologies but frustrated with the current resources


Course content

  • Introduction
    • Some common confusions
  • Numbers
    • How binary numbers work?
    • Binary numbers
  • Computing
    • What is computing?
    • Addition table
  • Who does the computing in computers?
    • Transistor
    • Choice of numbers
  • How computers add?
    • Get some clues about adding two bits
    • Transistors
    • Some electricity knowledge
    • Power supply
    • Finishing the half adder
    • Transistor connection
    • Make a full adder
    • Components of a full adder
  • How computers subtract?
    • Two’s complement method: Theory
    • Two’s complement method
    • Two’s complement method: Implementation
    • Inverter
  • Multiplication
    • Multiplication
    • Binary multiplication
  • Division
    • Division
    • Get familiar with XOR gates
  • Onward
    • Onward
  • Bonus video – How computers work – Overview
    • Bonus video – How computers work – Overview


Mini-Course: How Computers Compute?Mini-Course: How Computers Compute?


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