Inside a Golf Ball

Those of you that know me will know that one of my oldest hobbies is golf. I started playing as a lad when I used to play caddy for my father at the weekends. I was around six years old at the time. I soon wanted some of the action myself and if I do say so myself I became somewhat of a natural. Although I didn’t pursue golf as a career, although I certainly could have, I continued to play for pleasure and I still do, although not as much as I used to due to my ill health.  It keeps me moderately fit and active and I don’t plan to give up anytime soon.

Anyway, the last round I played I came across a pretty beat up ball and I brought it home and thought it would be fun to cut it open and see what was inside it. Got me wondering why I have never done it before. So armed with clamp and saw I cut that baby in two, eventually. They are kind of hard right. Unfortunately and I can’t think for the life of me why I didn’t but I did not take a photo of it and then it got thrown away (looked like rubbish according to my wife) so I looked it up on the internet and found a picture of a cut open ball that looked pretty much exactly the same – so here it is, courtesy of instructables.com

 

inside golf ball

Pretty awesome looking right? It’s like some kind of hard plastic – it reminded me of the play dough we played with as kids albeit a much harder variation. I was surprised that it was pink as well, I don’t know what I was expecting but I think it looks like a big jawbreaker kind of candy. During my search for a photo, I realised there are very many variations of what is inside a golf ball, they are not all the same at all. Here is a picture that shows the insides of various balls – they look pretty funky don’t they?! I must have spent ages looking at different photos of the insides of golf balls but they are fascinating. I also watched a few videos on YouTube and there was one where the ball seemed to have a load of ribbon type stuff inside it which unravelled itself. It looked really creepy and very different to what you see in this photo. I am not even sure what it was but it was sure strange.

golfballs

 

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LCD Screens, Juicers and um, Honeycomb!

So to kick off this time I am going to show you some fresh honeycomb, right here…

honeycomb

Some bees (obviously) made this in our garden and I find it fascinating. I can hardly take it apart but it’s pretty amazing nonetheless. Amazing nature at work.

Well as I couldn’t dismantle the honeycomb I was looking around for something else to dismantle. My wife was using her beloved juice machine, as she often does – it’s a noisy thing and I had a certain twinkle in my eye as I pondered upon it.  Alas, she knew what I was thinking and shooed me away . The juicer lives to see another day, not that I would have broken it, I’m fairly sure of that. Pretty much anyway. Tell you what – it would bring peace back to the house if it did “stop working” but I fear my ears might have suffered in another way, dear.

So as luck (or not) would have it, my daughter decided to knock her laptop off the table onto the floor which resulted in a cracked LCD screen. When tempers had calmed and nerves no longer frayed I decided I would get on and replace it for her. I had to order a new one which arrived in about three days – which I am told felt like three years to my daughter – dare I tell her it actually arrived in two days but I kept it in my cupboard for an extra day? Wicked?? Me???

I have to say the amount of things you have to remove to get to the inner workings of a LCD screen is pretty stupendous. Just to replace the LCD? This is what it looked like.

screen2

That was the first pass – removing the battery, the keyboard, the hard drive and the back bezel. Notice the amount of tiny screws.

screen1

 

This was the second pass. LCD screen can be seen top right, the outer bezel of the screen is bottom center and the back is bottom right.

The whole process took me about fifteen minutes from start to finish, not too bad, but made fiddly by those darn tiny screws. I have to say I enjoyed it really but we won’t tell daughter that either. Her three years of hell were enough to make sure she NEVER drops her laptop again, and if she does she will be paying for the new screen next time as well.

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Inside A Computer

Looking Inside Computers

One of the defining inventions of the last century, the computer, has undergone a lot of transformations. The earliest models (sometimes referred to as “mainframes”) used in businesses used to be so large that they would take up an entire room.

mainframe computer

When you think of how far they have come in such a short period of time you can’t help but be amazed at the progress that has been made. Think of the computers now that can that fit onto circuit boards so small that they can be fitted inside watches and mobile phones that get ever smaller and thinner as they evolve.

The Core Components Of A Computer

No matter what the size, the essential parts to a computer have not really changed over the years. Internally, every computer has the same core parts: a CPU, memory, storage and pathways to connect the parts.

CPU

The CPU stands for Central Processing Unit and is really the brain of the computer. Without a CPU or with a faulty CPU the computer will not turn on. Just like a human brain, the CPU is perhaps the most complicated part of a computer and it controls everything. The CPU deals with the data or instructions by fetching it and then it processes the data / instructions.

Memory

There are two types of memory inside computers. ROM – read only memory and RAM – random access memory. ROM contains data that is permanently stored and is not lost when the computer is turned off. You cannot write to ROM, hence the name “read only”. RAM contains data that is temporarily stored while the computer is on and is used by software programs. Data can be written to RAM but the data in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off. Without the ROM your computer would not be able to start, or “boot up”.

Storage

Software programs and data files are stored inside your computer on hard disks which can be of different types – IDE or SATA. The capacity of hard disks has greatly increased over the years when the earliest disks only held about 5MB (megabytes) of data and now they can hold several TB (terabytes) of data. To help put that into perspective see below:

Computers work in bits (zeros and ones).

8 bits = 1 byte

1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte

1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte

1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte

1024 gigabytes = 1 terabyte

Buses

Buses is the name given to the pathways that connect all the components of a computer and via which instructions and data pass. The pathways could be in the form of electrical circuits and / or cables.

 

That was a very brief overview of some of the core parts inside computers. There are many other parts that are vital such as graphics cards which take the data and convert it into output suitable to display on an external screen. Every computer also needs “input devices” such as a keyboard, mouse and graphics tablets. Storage can be augmented externally through the use of external hard drives and USB memory sticks.

So you see there are many components and parts that all work together (and several that I haven’t even mentioned) to make our computers work. I am typing this post on a computer and you will be reading it on a computer whether it be a laptop, a desktop, a tablet device or a smartphone. Imagine what the next ten or twenty years will bring for advances in the computer world. It boggles the mind to think about the possibilities.

 

 

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Hi there!

Hi folks! My name is Gary and I love all things hardware related. I have a wife and a daughter who I adore but my first love was always tinkering with bits of hardware, household appliances –just generally taking things apart to see how they worked and then putting them back together again, hopefully in full working order! Ask my wife how many times she lost the iron, the toaster or her hairdryer – although she didn’t complain too much about the iron I can tell you. How things work and gadgets and devices in general really interest me. If you can plug it in then I’m interested, now no rude jokes ok!

I spent the first part of my working life in a bank to support my family and then when my daughter left home and I had some ill health I decided to wind down a bit so I quit my work at the bank and worked in a local computer store part time which is where I spent the last six years before retiring fully.

To keep up with my hobby I decided to start up this website so I had somewhere I could “talk” instead of boring my wife half to death with my ramblings! It also stops me pulling things to pieces in theory. She has put up with quite a lot over the years!

So, if any of you read this! I hope you enjoy it and if you share the same interest as me then it would be great to hear from you.

This is the kind of thing I do!

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