Home computer use, technology: what is SoC?

The tutor shares a discovery he made while researching Windows 10.

In my June 26 post I began about the possibility of upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I’ve heard the deadline to do so for free is July 29; with Microsoft encouraging the switch, I continue to research it.

Lately I went to check the system requirements (you can see them here.) The Windows 7 computers I use easily passed; however, what piqued my curiosity was the phrase “or SoC.” I decided to look it up.

Apparently, SoC, in this context, means “system on chip.” Put simply, it means that not only the CPU, but all the other inner devices of the computer sit on the same “chip” (“wafer” might be easier to imagine).

SoC is different from the traditional way computers were designed. Before SoC, the CPU sat on its own chip; wires connected it to the graphics unit, USB controllers, a power management module, internet receivers, etc. The CPU constantly communicated with the other devices to “run” the computer as the user demanded.

In desktop computers, the traditional setup makes sense. Inside the box, there is lots of room. From the wall plug-in, there is lots of power available.

Compared with desktop computers, however, modern smart phones need miniaturization – and minimal power usage. SoC is today’s solution. It puts the CPU, the graphics unit, USB controllers, internet receivers, power management module, etc, on the same “chip”, so there’s no “space between”. At the same time, power usage is reduced, partly because the wiring between the internal devices is much less.

I looked up the ten best tablets of 2016 and found a list here. Then I looked up the CPU for each one; I believe they are all SoC.

I’ll be discussing more about computing devices from a home user’s perspective:)





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home Computer Use: Windows: Operating system install date

The tutor brings up a useful command for Windows.

The 2015-2016 academic year over, I’m looking into the Windows 10 upgrade. Today I began gathering information: For example, when was Windows 7 installed on this computer?

Searching the internet, a method was suggested: the user can open the Command Prompt (some might call it the terminal) from Start→All Programs→Accessories. Then, the command


will yield, among many other infos, a line Original Install Date. It reveals, for this computer, Dec 6, 2012, 11:30am.

I’ll be talking more about computer statistics and the Windows 10 upgrade in coming posts:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Math: subtracting mixed numerals: the improper fraction method

The tutor continues about subtracting mixed numerals.

Past grade 10, mixed numerals are not much found in academic math. They are common, however, in trades math, including entrance exams.

In yesterday’s post I talked about subtracting mixed numerals by borrowing, if needed. Today, I’ll show the improper fraction method.

Example: Evaluate the following:

9 3/8 – 2 6/7


First, we put each mixed numeral to improper fraction form (see how to do so in my post here).


Next, we get common denominators

(75×7)/(8×7) – (20×8)/(7×8)



Now, we can simply subtract on the top, then rewrite the denominator:

(525-160)/56 = 365/56

The answer is an improper fraction. Converting it to a mixed numeral, we get

365/56=6 29/56

The method for converting from improper fraction to mixed numeral is contained in my post here. However, perhaps I’ll give a more detailed example of it in tomorrow’s post.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Subtracting with mixed numerals: borrowing

The tutor shows a method of subtracting mixed numerals.

Imagine facing a question such as the following:

5 1/7 – 2 2/3

A convenient approach is “number minus number, fraction minus fraction”:

5-2 + 1/7-2/3

The trouble here is, 1/7 < 2/3. A way out is to borrow one whole from the 5:

4-2 + 1  1/7-2/3

Next, we convert 1  1/7 to an improper fraction (see my post here for how to do so).

2 + 8/7-2/3

To subtract the fractions, we need common demoninators:

2 + (8×3)/(7×3) – (2×7)/(3×7)

which gives

2 + 24/21 – 14/21

With common denominators, we subtract the fractions:

2 10/21

Another way to subtract mixed numerals is to put them in improper fraction form at the beginning. In a future post I’ll comment on the advantages and disadvantages of that method versus the one discussed here.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.