Email, LAN, packet, connectors, modem
how do they know information?
( such as googlebot) constantly check
websites and downloads their pages into a database.
The more links on a page, the more the crawler will go between sites.
sort, alphabetically, important terms, leaving out “stop”
words. These words include common articles, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, and
common verbs (like “is
Exact ways search engines find the most “relevant” article are trade secrets,
however it is in part exact matching of words and phrases and pagerank, or how often the
page is visited
General Search Engines
making forums and databases easier to sea
Work in the same way as the internet search engines. articles are searched either
text, abstract/citation, or “keyword.” Forums are searched full
Forums are not indexed well. They are harder to get the search engine to find the
ledge you need. You may have to be very specific or very broad to find the exact
topic you are searching for.
Forums and helpful audio websites
Research on the web
a) you’ve found it, now what? Is it a reliable source? If you got it from a journal
database or respected news or trade magazine, and the journ
al is PEER
then yes, most certainly. Otherwise…
b) check the last date updated on the site/online article. Is up to date, or was it
posted several years ago and may be inconsequential (especially true in technical fields,
where the technology ca
n change quickly.)
c) check credentials of the author. Can you find any? What is his qualification to
be writing on the subject?
d)check for spelling/grammatical accuracy. If that is a major problem, avoid the
e) good sites to use
online journals, trade magazines, main product
webpages. Sites to be wary of
blogs, forums, social networking sites, and tabloids.
(These are good sources of info, but always check those sites for facts elsewhere. Well,
not tabloids. They’re never a good
source of info.)
What’s inside that box?
1) Motherboard: This contains CPU, the chipsets, BIOS, I/O connectors,
expansion slots (memory, IDE, PCI, PCI
2) the Tower/Case. This holds all the guts together with specific bays and
compartments for all the different internal hardware. This also normally includes the
power supply for the computer.
3) CD/DVD drives. These are also known as optical drives.
where all long term storage happens.
wireless connector and other add
on types of input
6) Fans, Heat Sinks
RAM vs. Hard
Random Access Memory: this is the short term
memory of the computer. Holds
information for currently working programs for faster access
the program Max/MSP is a programming GUI (Graphical User Interface).
When doing a piece that includes samples, the general way to have it set
up is to lo
samples into a buffer. The buffer itself is just a protocol that tells the sample to sit in RAM until
told to play. This way, the sample is readily available for playback, rather than searching the
Amounts have RAM have increased signif
icantly in the past few years. My tricked out
pro from 2007 has 4 gigs (and it cost a pretty penny).
that was the most it the motherboard could support at the time. now it can go up to 8
gigs. double the room!!!
Things to remember:
DIMM is the most common now, but there is SO
DIMM 2 and SO
of RAM card vs. total size available and then. There are usually multiple slots
available to place RAM on the motherboard. Be sure to know how many slots there are av
and how much RAM each slot can hold.
1066Mhz seems to be fairly common now
is, basically, a giant spinning re
writable DVD. this is, of course, a glib
response, but it's about right.
These are built to contain a large
amount of info. in the beginning, they were as small
(or smaller) than 56 megs (which, honestly, is a lot of word docs still!)
Now they can reach over a terabyte
drives are characterized by size, ranging from small, around 100 gigs these
days, to large, several terabytes, and speed
5400, 7600, or 10000 revolutions per minute, or
It is very important to get a high
drive when doing recordin
signals send a huge amount of information to the hard
drive at an incredibly fast rate. Without a
high speed drive, it is likely that there will be errors when writing the information.
There are also Solid State drives now that function on the
same premise as RAM.
they are utlra fast, less likely to break down, basically "crash proof. how many times have you
dropped your flash drive and it still works? don't try that with a normal hard
drive. and SSD, or
solid state drives, are incredibly expen
sive at the moment though dropping in price every few
Information storage info:
i've mentioned gigs, megs, and terabytes so far. what are they?
The basic size descriptor for information is a bit. a bit is, in a digital system, a single binary
number. From there it expands to bytes, kilobits, kilobytes, megabits, megabytes, gigabits,
gigabytes, terabytes, and onto petabytes. the whole process was originally binary arithmetic
here is more information
The smallest denomination we'll work with is a byte. technically, 1 byte is 8 bits
(which makes sense, in binary arithmetic). Since then, we have switched
to an easier set
at the byte
1 byte = 8 bit
1000 bytes= 1 kilobyte
1000 kilobytes= 1 megabyte
1000 megabytes= 1 gigabyte
1000 gigabytes= 1 terabyte
simple enough, right? compared to the binary it is (1 kilobyte would be 1024 bytes.
then 1 mega is 1024
kilos...that makes breaking down the math to
the beginning difficult...
Now that we have some basis for understanding file size, let's look at a couple files and their
basic 1 page word document (.doc)
12 page rich
text document (.rtf)
11 page portable document format (.pdf)
a 159x222 pixel Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpeg) @ high quality
an 800x600 portable network graphic (.png) @ high quality
a 656 page manual with graphics in .pdf format
4.5 min m4a (compressed digital audio file used by Apple w/ iTunes)
same file in an uncompressed format (.wav)
41.3mb (don't tell me that the compression process
keeps everything you need!)
an 11 second mpeg
4 w/ aac audio (compressed digital vid
eo/audio file), 720 x 480
a 9.5 uncompressed .mov file (Quicktime movie.), 640 x 480
That should give you an idea of what to expect in file sizes. as you can see, the more
information something contains the bigger it is. Easy enough to u
Looking At The Specs
A little more practical approach to understanding computers:
here is the tech spec page for a 15 inch macbook pro
Easy to understand? i didn't think so. the page is so broken up that you can't tell the specs.
the basics are at the bottom (and i do mean basics)
here is the mac pro page
for comparison, here are some PCs
The dell studio XPS
9100, top of the line desktop by Dell
Alienware (now owned by Dell, i guess...that makes me sad.) area 51
alx, top of the line
What the info tells us:
Enclosure and dimensions
what type of tower/laptop build is it, and
Mac all use the same chipset, but PCs have different types (and that
tells you what processor can go in it.)
Also tells processor speed (2.4gHz to 4gHz in the alienware.), as well as
it's cache size and how many cores
more speed= faster computing.
ranging from 4 gigs to an amazing 24gigs triple channeled. the more RAM, of
course, the more simultaneous computing you can do, and the
more info that can be held in buffer. faster overall computer (like bei
ng able to
load an entire game into RAM
basically load time between screens
would be close to non
size and speed. easy enough
computers now run off a separate GPU or graphics processing unity. This
the CPU to do more computing and let's the video card
handle it's specialized task. Graphics span a HUGE range with tons of info and
opinions the basics are
just like a CPU, but not nearly as fast. the fastest i've seen hit 4gigs, like the
but those are insanely expensive. most are between 256mb
and 1 gig)
not all cards can do any resolution. This is also dependent on
your monitor as well
CD drives, DVD drives, Lightscribe drives. There are ton
s of options, and
they will be listed
This is easily the most ambiguous and confusing bit as so many
different things can be a part of it. this can include
wireless devices (bluetooth or wireless internet, or eve
Video ports (mini, DVI, VGA, HDMI)
audio ports (stereo 1/8", digital audio, RCA, 1/4", surround capable)
expansion ports (USB, firewire 400, firewire 800, sd card, PCI express, eSata, multi
how long does the
battery last, type of adapter, power supply info for
Internal expansion slots
PCI slots, PCI express slots, AGP slots (sometimes...). they may
also list available drive bays (internal and external)
That just about sums up what you get from the s