The Introduction of Computer Hardware
Introduction of computer hardware
The computer hardware is a set of physical components that constitutes a computer system. The electronic and physical parts of computer constitute a computer system. All of which are physical parts that can be touched it called computer hardware. Each separate part that can be added to the computer system is called peripheral. Each part has its own function. There are following types of hardware components:
- Input Devices
- Output Devices
- Processing Unit
- Storage Devices
The input-output devices provide the means of communication between the computer and the outer world.
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A voice recognition system is an input device consists of a microphone or telephone that converts human speech into electrical signals.
Any data, which is fed in the computer by the user, is known as the input. The word device means a thing that helps in the input function. The input devices allow the user to enter data and instructions inside the computer system and an input device used to provide data and control signals to an information processing system such as a computer. They present data to the processing unit in the machine-readable form. The most commonly used input devices are:
The computer system can also support following input devices:
- Optical character reader (OCR)
- Magnetic Ink Character Recognizer (MICR)
- Mark Sense Reader (MSR)
- Light Pen
- Barcode Reader
- Image Scanners
- Voice Recognition System
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Joystick is a stick mounted on spherical ball which moves in a socket. It is used to move the cursor on the screen of a display device. It is generally used to play games.
It is a device though which we can communicate with the computer. A computer keyboard is like a typewriter-style device, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches; it has keys which when pressed sends signals to computer. Each key represents different characters.
Nowadays keyboards are available in ranges, which varies from 101 keys to 131 keys. A keyboard typically has characters engraved or printed on the keys and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol. The keyboard is used to type text and numbers into a word processor, text editor or other programs.
In a modern computer, the interpretation of key presses is generally left to the software. A keyboard is also used to give commands to the operating system of a computer, such as Windows' Control-Alt-Delete combination, which brings up a task window or shuts down the machine.
It consists of letters, numbers, tab key, shift key, function keys (F1 to F12), Control keys, Alter keys and many more keys like Home-End key, Insert-Delete key, Page UP-Down key, Arrow keys, numeric pad for mathematical calculations.
A mouse is a pointing device used to move from one part of the screen to other. It is a pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion relative to a surface. The mouse has a head, body and a tail. The head contains two or three buttons.
The body of the mouse is where you can hold it. The tail is the wire that connects it to the rest of the computer. The pointer of the mouse on the screen is called mouse pointer. A mouse consists of an object held in one's hand, with one or more buttons.
The word output means something that the computer will put out after doing some work or processing on the data. The device that gives us the processed data or information is called the output device. They are display information in a human readable form. Following are mostly used output devices:
Visual Display Unit (VDU)
It is a simple device like television, which is used to display the input data, messages and processed information on the screen from the computer. It consists of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT).
Many types of monitors are available in the market to choose from depending on your individual needs.
Displays one color only generally green, black or white
Color Graphics Adapter (CGA)
Displays three basic color Red, Green and Blue (RGB)
Enhanced Graphics adapter (EGA)
Displays up to 16 colors
Video Graphics Array (VGA)
Displays up to 256 colors
Super Video Graphics Array (SVGA)
Displays 256 colors but colors are sharper.
Types of computer printers
Introduction of computer printers
It is a device to get the output in printed form on the paper usually called hard-copy. There are different kinds of printers available in the market depending on size, style and output capabilities. Depending on their speed and approach of printing, they are classified as character printers, line printers and page printers.
The Character printers print only one character at a time. Line printers have speed in the range of 300 to 2500 lines per minute. Page printers are very high speed printers which can print documents at a speed of over 20,000 lines per minute.
Dot Matrix Printer
It is a character printer. The characters are formed by the dots, which are present on print head in the form of a matrix. Dot matrix printers are generally faster in the range of 40 to 250 characters per second. They are also less expensive.
Ink Jet Printers
It is also an example of character printer. They print characters by spraying small drops of ink onto paper. Droplets of ink are electrically charged after leaving a nozzle. The droplets are guided to the proper positions on the paper by electrically charged deflection plates. It also has the ability to use multiple nozzle print heads, thus enabling it to print in several colors.
It is a page printer, an electrostatic digital printing process that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics by passing a laser beam. A page of text or picture is composed at a time. It can print up to 120 pages (20,000 lines) per minute.
It is an output device used to produce hard copies of graphs and designs. Plotters are normally slow as excessive mechanical movement required during plotting. The variation in the speed of the plotter and CPU is always a problem.
So in most cases, the output is first transferred by the CPU on to a tape and then the plotter is activated to plot the design from the information on the tape.
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What is Processing Unit in computers?
Processing units receive data and instructions, store them temporarily and then process the data as per the instructions given. It allows the processing of numeric data, meaning information entered in binary form, and the execution of instructions stored in memory. It includes following parts.
- Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)
- Memory Unit (MU)
- Control Unit (CU)
All the three units together are known as the central processing unit (CPU).
What are computer storage devices?
The Storage Devices are the data storage devices that are used in the computers to store the data; it is a core function and fundamental component of computers. It is the memory of the computer that has made it the most versatile instrument or machine that man has ever developed. Memory enables the computer to remember different types of functions.
The main function of the computer is that it makes repetitive task very easy. For that it needs memory to store many such programs that allow it to perform different tasks.
In computer, memory does have a physical appearance. Data are stored in memory before the processing takes place and after they are converted into information. There are two type of storage devices used in the computers; a primary storage device such as computer RAM and a secondary storage device such as a computer hard drive (Hard Discs).