Electronic devices and circuits are in almost everything we do and see, yet little thought is given to how these amazing things work. As someone who has been fascinated by electronic circuits since I was a little kid, I am amazed by how little thought people put into the interesting workings of the things around them. I guess that playing with electronics when you are a kid really gives you a sense of fascination that will last your whole life. I got my first electronic circuit kit when I was a kid. It was a pretty interesting setup. Basically, there were about 150 different electronic components on a plastic board. Each of them was attached to two springs. You could basically make any connection you wanted between any of the components using a variety of different wires. Through electronics kits, you can learn about all kinds of different electronic phenomenon. You can learn about resistors, capacitors, and other basic electronic devices. You can also learn about oscillators, digital circuitry, amplifiers, and things like that.
Of course, from these kinds of breadboard electronic circuits to the printed circuit boards of today is a big jump. Although the basic building blocks are the same, the complexity of modern circuits is astounding. One of my friends is an expert in computers, working in a circuit design firm, and he says that there is almost no one who understands every stage of how a computer works. Some people understand the software and parts of the hardware, some people understand the hardware and parts the physics, and some people get it on on a molecular level, but almost no one understands every stage of circuitry.
Nonetheless, knowing a little bit about electronic circuits is really useful for a consumer. For example, take the Intel Pentium versus AMD debate. A lot of it is based on megahertz, but very few people realize that megahertz not the only measure of processes power. The amount of calculations an electric circuit can do in every cycle is just as important as how fast it cycles. Because megahertz are important to consumers, however, each chip processor tries to get the actual speed up as fast as they can. If consumers were more educated, they would look at benchmark computer tests of electronic circuits instead of mere speed. Whether you are looking at electronic circuits, new cars, or health food, being an educated consumer can really help you make the right decisions.