Questions regarding architectures or design of specific parts, not consumer-related questions.

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-1
votes
1answer
60 views

What does it take to design and manufacture a bespoke computer mainboard? [on hold]

Consumer computer hardware evolves quickly: new models are replaced by even newer ones, but sometimes the design takes direction that some portion of users just cannot accept; models or entire ...
-2
votes
2answers
66 views

How many people might have been involved in the design of the Macintosh SE? [on hold]

It is really difficult for me to know how many people were in charge of the development of this electronic wonder. When I'm struggling to properly comprehend transistors and how they work, these ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Why does Intel produce core i3, core i5 and core i7 processors; but not core i2, core i4 or core i6 processors? [closed]

Why does Intel produce core i3, core i5 and core i7 processors; but not core i2, core i4 or core i6 processors? What is the reason behind this?
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Static in earphones when scrolling with mouse [closed]

Why do I sometimes hear faint static in my headphones when I scroll with my mouse? I have noticed this on multiple(4) computers, with Windows 7 and 8. Does anybody else notice this? It happens when I ...
-1
votes
3answers
79 views

Conductivity of plastic, wood and leakage current of laptops

Back around 2010, there were incidents where the surface of laptops have conducted 20-100V and have electrically shocked users. There is no doubt most of the newer laptops still conduct a continuous ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Can convection draw cold air INTO a PC case?

So imagine I'm mounting my nettop-style PC behind my monitor. Its CPU is passively cooled via heatsink. Now the side facing up should have vents so the warm air can escape the case but shoud the side ...
1
vote
3answers
131 views

Ways to connect a PCIe/PCIe2 card and other PC parts to a breadboard?

Basically I have a bunch of rather old computer parts that I haven't been able to get rid of so I decided to do a few experiments with them but for that I need to be able to breadboard them. Things ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

PC to Arduino wireless link (low latency)

I want to build a robot car with an camera gimbal on top of it. This robot and gimbal should be controlled wireless by a gamepad and the head tracking of an Oculus Rift. As it is with the Oculus Rift, ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

Is a digital bit represented by any two discrete signals?

I am trying to understand computers from the building blocks up. I know computers use transistors to amplify voltages, and this is used for arithmetic, such as a MOSFET. However, what really makes ...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Are there any registers that are read_clear in PC devices?

As we know, in x86 PC devices, there are some kinds of registers that are write_clear, that is, if we write "1" to the register, the register will be cleared. So I want to know if there are any ...
0
votes
5answers
190 views

Is powering a sound system from a computer's power supply a bad idea?

While this answer over on Super User looks like it would work, would it be bad for the computer power supply to be the power source for a sound system? Would it cause power fluctuations that would ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

Homemade ethernet hub not working with three computers [closed]

I am trying to connect three computers in one network. I have connected the wires like the photo. I works with two computers but not three computers at the same time. For example, let's name the ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

How to combine PC's power and HDD LEDs?

I'm going to buy a PC tower case which has only one LED intended to be used as the power LED, thus no HDD LED is available. My intention is to have that single LED at about 50% of its intensity when ...
4
votes
8answers
161 views

Why can computer circuits recognise only two states?

Computers can only understand binary (that is 0s or 1s). I want to know Is there any way that computers can understand more than 2 states. I know that It is much harder to build components that use ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

misunderstanding of a Computer Architecture

I have the following architecture , and the timing diagram below . my question is , it's seem that no 'relation' or dependency between control logic and Extender , but at timing diagram , the time of ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Is the a limit for screen resolution? [closed]

I think I am right in saying that 8k UHD is the highest a screen can go, so is there a limit to the number of pixels on a screen, limit to what the eye can recognise or what is physically possible? ...
32
votes
10answers
3k views

What is a Charge?

I'm a high school student. I love computers and electronics. Few weeks ago, I thought to build my own electronic gadget but, unfortunately I had not much knowledge in electronics. So, I decided to ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Commodre C-64 Vintage Computer Weird Problem [closed]

I have and old C64 which worked fine until today. From several hours ago (my friend playes Ski Jumping) following problems appeared: Once turned on, the ROM basic activates and on TV the factory ...
3
votes
3answers
281 views

Computer line-in voltmeter

I'm about to make a voltmeter from computer line-in. In some strange way I can not see direct current from computer. Why does it work only with alternating current? What information does captured wave ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

How does a software intruction materialise to hardware action? [duplicate]

Please feel free to rephrase / reinterpret the question. Rephrased - RM: How does a program which can be represented by high level language commands or opcodes or a series of 1's and 0's get ...
1
vote
2answers
170 views

Protocol to be used to make microcontroller to work as mouse

I'am Doing a "Wireless mouse using data glove" . In this user wears a Hand glove equipped with sensors, microcontroller & transmitter. I could detect left & right movement of hand & i ...
2
votes
3answers
328 views

History, reason for and implications of the 2 modes of a modern microprocessor?

The modern microprocessors I've dealt with could have 2 modes: User and superuser (and sometimes this difference was just in the manual and not actually implemented like with the Nios II which states ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Computer-readable potentiometer

I have a device that essentially controlled by a potentiometer and a rotary switch. I would like to keep these (although I would replace them with other components if that helped), but I'd like to be ...
9
votes
4answers
441 views

What exactly gets “worn out” and damaged by heat?

It's quite common knowledge that heat is bad for electronics. That constantly high temperature decreases the expected lifetime of computer parts even if they are not overheating per se. If, for ...
-5
votes
1answer
76 views

Is it possible to “record” an electric signal sent from a PC motherboard to the old “buzzer”? [closed]

First of all, sorry if I use the wrong terminology. I would like to know if it's possible (and how) to record the signal that a motherboard sends to the buzzer (the internal speaker), so that I can ...
0
votes
2answers
379 views

How can we use a usb(in a laptop) for general purpose input/output operations, such as robotics control [closed]

How can we use a usb port (in a laptop) for general purpose input/output operations, such as robotics control?? I want to control an external hardware such as a robot or say simply an array of LEDs ...
2
votes
4answers
153 views

IO Pins for Computer like an Arduino

Just wanting to ask if there's a way that an old computer could be like a microcontroller. In the sence that it has a range of pins (standard, PWM and analogue), both input and out put could be ...
5
votes
3answers
271 views

How do sound cards cope with negative voltage?

I feel this is a basic question but I found no answer for it so far. Let's take a random sound card that lives within a PC. From the connections at the end of the datasheet I assume that it is ...
-1
votes
2answers
139 views

Is there any heat/energy 'lost' to computing power? [duplicate]

I have a Kill-A-Watt Power meter on my computer that has a GPU mining bitcoins. It draws 500W from the wall outlet. My question is, is my computer outputting any less heat than an equivalent 500W ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Circular DVI Connector

I am building a custom computer case into a 40mm grenade case however I am running into an issue with how to handle the DVI connections (need two of them). Ideally I would like to use a circular ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Building a simple PC - looking for a CPU [closed]

I would like to build a computer. It is a child's dream that I had and now that I am at college, I finally gain the knowledge I need. I want it to be simple. I admire the early designs of 1990's ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Output changing electrical currents from a PC

I need to send fast-changing electrical current from a computer to electrodes connected to muscle (Not the point). I need to send multiple different currents simultaneously, and that the current ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Maximum power which can be asked from a PC?

I want to attach an external circuit through a six-pin connector to my computer, which is supplied with 220V. How can I find the maximum power that the PC can supply to the circuit?
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Easiest way to detect a button push

I have a button that when push turns on a little light (light blinks; like a counter) - is there an easy way to hijack this signal so that my windows box can also detect if the button is pushed? I ...
4
votes
3answers
810 views

trigger alarm with relay from PC sound output

As a total beginner, I have a project of creating an alarm device for a sailing boat. The background is the following: a Mac-mini collects, by means of different computer programs, alarms from ...
6
votes
3answers
404 views

Can I “trick” a PC Powersupply to power something other than a Motherboard?

I have a generic PC powersupply I'm using to power a BFL ASIC Bitcoin Miner. It takes an input similar to a PC Video card with two connectors that look like this ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Are there gate-level ways to produce the min or max of two binary values?

Some basics of digital logic are the half adder and full adder. We know how to produce the sum of two binary values at the level of and/or/not gates, in a straightforward way presented in many ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

Plugging in monitor causes floating ground on computer enclosure resulting in shock hazard [closed]

Every connected metallic part of computer cabinet was giving shock. I diagnosed and found out that on switching monitor off stops the current leak and shocks. I fail to understand the reason for it ...
-2
votes
1answer
108 views

Ruptured wires or faulty circuit on a notebook keyboard? [closed]

I have a notebook Acer Aspire V3-771G Recently the following set of keys started to work only intermittently: 3,4,E,D,C They either all work or none. At first I thought this was a problem with ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Enabling uClinux to run on Altera DE2-115?

I'm trying to learn Qsys and Quartus II to define a system that can run linux according to this document: http://uuoc.org/uClinux_nios2_custom_hardware.pdf But I'm running into problem as the ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Ratio between register and primary memory access?

I've been doing research to find how much faster register access is compared to primary memory. I find the ration is about 100 times faster, can that be correct, has it always been about that number ...
2
votes
3answers
490 views

Low Voltage DC Automatic Transfer Switch

I am new to circuits and have a very basic knowledge, and am currently interested in building a simple circuit that would take 2 DC inputs each of 12V 1.5A and output 1 x 12V 1.5A input even if 1 of ...
1
vote
1answer
460 views

What is the output voltage range of computer headphone ports?

I made a simple microphone with amplifier which outputs 9V max signal. It's biased in the middle somewhere around 4.5V. I hooked the output of the circuit to the computer speaker audio in. I was ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Measuring the mic signal of a computer headset

my colleague and me have hit a brick wall - and are hoping somebody can help us out here :) Following scenario: We record some data using a computer with an NI card and some signal transducers. We ...
4
votes
5answers
732 views

Why are smartphones and tablets ARM based?

Why don't these devices use Intel processors like laptops do? Why are they restricted to ARM? Also for Windows 8, do they want ARM just for tablets and smartphones or is it also for laptops/desktops ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

External CPU design

Apologies if this is a dumb question. I don't have any training in electrical engineering, so I can't gauge for myself how ridiculous this sounds. Would it be possible to modify a commercial CPU so ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

What's the difference between delayed branch and branch prediction?

I'm studying how delayed branch works and I'm trying to distinguish delayed branch from branch prediction. What is the difference? Is delayed branch a means to facilitate a control hazard?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

How to calculate the address fields for a cache?

I've a homework question about 32-bit cache memories: For a cache memory that has size 16kB (16384 byte) and blocksize 2 words, state the names and the sizes of each field of the address that ...
2
votes
2answers
205 views

What is the meaning of “Register.Rd”?

Reading Hennesy's book "Computer Organization and Design" it is mentioned "Register.Rd" and "Register.Rs" but what does it mean? The .Rd, .Rt and .Rs parts I can't understand, on page 365:
0
votes
1answer
123 views

How is sign extension used in practice?

In wikipedia it says what sign extension is but it doesn't say what it's used for or when it is used. I read Hennesy's book "Computer Organization and Design" and it has a sign-extension mechanism ...