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Power-On Self-Test (POST )

This month our geektalk term is: POST or Power-On Self-Test.

Each time you turn your computer on, you (hopefully) hear a beep coming out of the tower or laptop. This beep tells you that your computer just passed a diagnostic test and can now boot up. This test is called POST (Power-On Self-Test) and it determines if the keyboard, RAM, disk drives, and other hardware are working correctly.

You can compare POST to the checklist test pilots run before take off. If everything checks, you are on your way. If not, you will have to change plane whilst this one gets fixed. In a computer, if the hardware is found and passes the test, your computer starts to boot. If not, you get an error message either on the screen or through a series of coded beeps, depending on the nature of the problem.

This computer diagnosis test is run by a special program called BIOS. What is the BIOS, you ask? Good question that we will answer next month!

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