Talkin’ Tech: Microchips Ahoy!

Let’s talk about technology. Since the invention of the wheel, tools have become more and more complex – and today it can be hard to keep up! In the “Talkin' Tech” column, we will discuss the ever-changing trends in the modern digital arena. From artificial intelligence to Zuckerberg, join Austin in examining all things tech from our vantage point in the 4th industrial revolution: the imagination age!



A computer can only understand two things: “on” and “off.” It’s called binary, and it is the basis for all things digital. As the Digital Media Specialist at the library, it is my job to help you understand these technologies.

It all comes down to ones and zeros. All the digital technologies you use – Snapchat, Fortnite, the Internet – heck, even your garage door opener – work by using a combination of ones and zeros. It is like a glorious, complex array of light switches (billions of them) that are able to quickly remember and compute data, faster than a human ever could.

Think about it like this: a sailor on a ship, sending a message to another sailor using morse code. The “dots” and “dashes” form a binary communication system that allows for the transmission of data.


Picture a super-fast version of this and you will begin to have an idea of how computers operate. Instead of “dots” and “dashes,” a computer uses tiny power bursts that exchange ones and zeros throughout the machine. The computer is made up of microchips that are like boats communicating with each other across a “sea” of hardware. Microchips ahoy!

The most advanced digital technologies are ultimately based on this simple concept. For example, even coding languages are “downstream” of it. Have questions and/or want to learn more? Children in grades 1-6 are welcome to join the next “Tech Tuesday” (Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.) and find out more about digital technology!

Categories: Evergreen, Kids, and Library News.

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