Alice felt quite tired and thoroughly bored. At first it was fun to watch her sister use the computer, but after a while all she saw were letters and words and numbers. Now, Alice had seen lots of computers, and many of them had colors and graphics and even sound, but this was not at all like any of the games she liked or her favorite, Ms. Pac-Man.

"What good is a computer without pictures and color?" she pouted to herself.

Her sister was not paying any attention to Alice. She had said something about a paper for school that she had to write using a word processor or something like that. Alice was not quite certain what that was all about—she knew about food processors, that mixed and blended all sorts of nice things in her mother's kitchen, but this computer was not like that. Maybe this computer minced words and sentences!

Alice was becoming quite cross with the situation. This wasn't any fun. All she could hear was the click, click of the keys as her sister typed her paper into the computer. The click, click seemed to get fainter and fainter, and Alice looked around in surprise. Her sister was gone.

"I must have fallen asleep for a moment," she announced aloud, and stretched her arms. "I suppose I have to go find my sister."

The computer looked rather strange. Where just a moment before, Alice had been looking at a small screen covered with letters and words, it now was empty and seemed at least four feet tall.

"Wow! It would be fun to play a game on that," she thought.

As she looked at the screen, it appeared as if there were nothing there. Alice reached forth her hand to touch it, and found nothing there! This seemed quite remarkable, but Alice did not really think about it too much. What caught her attention was the thought, "I wonder what's inside the computer?" She had heard her sister talk about all sorts of things that she could barely remember—things like: hardware, software, bits, bytes, diskettes, memory, and so many more.

Without any more hesitation, she climbed into the screen.