Let’s Explore the Secret World of Computers

--

First, we would like to thank the generous donators who donated computers for this workshop. Without them, we couldn’t have done it. Most desktop computers are like LEGOs, once you understand the main components, it’s just plug and play. It’s fairly easy today to buy all the different components of a Desktop computer and assemble your own PC.

Photos: Vivita Estonia

During the workshop, we went first over some history of computers, how at the beginning a computer would take an entire room, why coding errors are nowadays called “bugs” (because these insects were messing around with the vacuum lamps), and that around 1950, there were only 100 “computers” on the planet.

Photos: Vivita Estonia

Nowadays, smartwatches are more powerful than the previous generation’s gaming consoles, and phones are more powerful than the Supercomputers of 30 years ago. We also discussed the external elements of the computer, being the peripherals and how to connect them: keyboard, mouse, screen, speakers, and we discussed the main internal components: motherboard (skeleton), Processor or CPU (brain), RAM or Memory (short-term), Hard Disk (long-term memory), extension cards such as graphic cards, and power supplies.

Photos: Vivita Estonia

We looked at different motherboards, to recognize the different components, and we saw that actually, one computer is not so different from another. We opened some computers, removed most of the different components and did some swapping between computers.

Photos: Vivita Estonia

Some of the children even made some “tuning” (adding lights inside the computers) before closing them again. And some others had the courage to try fixing their own laptop. Because now they had knowledge and self-confidence. Verdict: 4 computers were working at the beginning of the session, and at the end, 4 different computers … were still working! 100% success rate.

Next steps, Maybe install the operating system: Windows / Linux ? or perhaps you have something that you would like us to show you? But this is already another story…

Text and photos: Vivita Estonia
May 2023

--

--

Vivita / Lahenduste Laboratoorium

A creativity hub for children designed to inspire and equip them with skills in creative problem-solving and prototyping.