I wrote this for my mom back in 2004. I suspect that 8 years later, it's no longer needed, but I still found it amusing when I stumbled across it a few weeks ago.
An analogy of computers for moms:
- A computer is like you and your closet. (and some minions)
- The hard drive is the closet, you are the processor.
- The bigger the hard drive, the bigger the closet. Bigger means more space and easier to find stuff.
- The faster the processor, the more you can do. Think of you trying to find something when you are tired vs when you are wide awake. It is easier and faster when you are awake.
- Memory (RAM) is like your arms. You can only carry what you can lift, bigger arms = more stuff.
- A mouse is like your hands (well they virtually are). Its how you grab and manipulate stuff on the computer.
- A keyboard is your voice, if you cannot lift something down with your own hands (using just the mouse), you resort to your minions (someone strong) by telling them what they are to do for you.
- Video cards and sound cards are your senses. Integrated video cards are like trying to figure out what something is by only using your sense of touch, very limited (think of a book, you can tell its a book, but thats about all). A seperate card is like using all your senses, you feel it is a book, you see it is a book, and you can read the title to find out which book it is.
- A CD is your wallet. It carries a small amount of stuff, and can be replaced with a purse, or you can use both.
- A USB key is like your purse (hand bag size, not backpack size). It holds more stuff, is fast, easy and universal. It also has functional appeal (you can take a purse almost anywhere on any occassion).
- A DVD is like a backpack. Big. Holds a lot of stuff (roughly 10x a CD I think). But it is not good in a lot of situations. Taking a backpack to a dinner is not such a good idea, but it is for work or school.
- Networks are groups of computers (groups of people). Network cards allow you to talk to other computers in the same language (English lets you understand other people). It is vital and important but almost no-one thinks about it because it is always there.
- Modems are like your telephone. You need one to talk to anyone outside of speaking range. (If you can go on the internet you have a modem.)
That should hold you through 75% of the techno gibberish you see about computers.