How Computers do 3 things

So how do computers display, manage data, and do math? Glad you asked.


HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the tools developers use to create what you see when you look at a computer screen. Every browser can compile these three languages to present a web page. Written correctly, HTML can also make the site available to visually impaired users via a screen reader.

Store and retrieve data

Programming languages, like Ruby, Python, and C#, give computers the ability to store and retrieve data, often through SQL statements, making complex web apps possible. You sign up for a website and your user id and password are stored in a database. Maybe that site allows you to upload photos which are stored on a server. Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat all store user id’s, passwords, and photos but by doing so in different ways and for different purposes they are completely different apps.


Each number is represented by a binary unit. The arithmetic and logic unit, the ALU, performs calculations on those binary units. Here are some links for a more complete understanding: a YouTube video and a Stack Overflow answer. For a list of programming languages used for math this article by Brenda Barron is pretty informative.

The bottom line

A developer uses an appropriate language to write code that tells a computer to do one of 3 things: create a display, manage data, and math. Cool, right?

  • Post category:Technology