How can computers represent everything as bit strings?


#1

Question

How can computers represent everything as bit strings?

Answer

Learning exactly how the hardware that makes up your computer understands bit strings is an entire field of its own, namely computer architecture! It’s a lot of fun, so if you’re up for a big challenge, check out this free computer architecture course from MIT.
In simple terms, your computer is built of electronics that create low and high voltages. If a voltage is high, it’s read as a 1, and a 0 if it’s low. Then you have logic gates that are capable of sending an output signal based on the input signals they get. These logic gates make up the ability to do a lot of computation!
0s and 1s send all kinds of signals in all kinds of combinations, and as a result, we have modern computing as we know it!


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