The Computer Hardware Parts Explained
Computer Hardware Parts
In this hub, computer hardware parts explained, we are going to have a look at some of the hardware parts that make up a computer.
A computer, also known as a PC, is a very useful electronic device that we use in the modern world. The term PC is an acronym for Personal Computer, a computer designed to be used by one person at a time. The first personal computer was invented by IBM back in 1981.
The Main Computer Parts
The computer is made up of two main parts, hardware, and software. The hardware is the physical parts that make up your computer. The parts that we can see and touch for example monitor, keyboard, mouse, processor among others.
Software/programs:- These are written instructions that tell your computer what to do. In other words, these written instructions tell the Microprocessor how to function or operate.
Hardware:- The physical components that make up a computer are called hardware parts and can be classified according to their functionality. Some of the components are used for input (entering data), processing, storage, and others for output purposes. Therefore you can define a computer as an electronic device that can accept data, process the data, store, and produce an output.
Main Computer Hardware Parts
Diagram Showing how Computer Executes Commands
This diagram illustrates how a computer executes a command. The input device receives the instructions that are then passed to the processor, which does the processing to determine what the command is supposed to do; and communicates the results of the processing through the output devices or stores them for future use.
Diagram Showing Computer Hardware Parts
Computer Hardware Parts Explained
Whenever you are to use your desktop PC, you will encounter the following basic hardware parts.
Input devices are used to enter raw data into a computer. They offer an interface (link) between the user and the computer.
Various keys on the keyboard let you enter information into a computer. Computer keyboards are similar to electric-typewriter keyboards but contain additional keys. The keys on computer keyboards are often classified as follows:
- Alphanumeric keys:- These are the letters and number keys.
- Punctuation keys:- comma, period, semicolon e.t.c.
- Special keys:- function keys, control keys, arrow keys, Caps Lock key e.t.c.
The standard layout of letters, numbers, and punctuation is known as a QWERTY keyboard because the first six keys on the top row of letters spell QWERTY.
The Computer Mouse
A mouse is a hand-held device that helps you select and move items on your screen. A mouse can come in various shapes, colors, and sizes.
A scanner is a device that reads graphics and text from printed documents and feeds them into a computer.
A joystick helps you control the movement of people and objects in many games. Joysticks are used for arcade-type computer games because they let you move quickly and accurately in any direction.
Other input devices include Touchscreens, digital cameras, barcode readers, and microphones for voice input among others.
The Processing Device
The processor or the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main chip in a computer. It performs arithmetic & logical operations. The processor manipulates raw data and manages how the information flows through a computer system. It communicates with input, output and storage devices to perform tasks. It also controls the operation of other components in the system.
A Computer Processor
Storage Devices (Hard Disk Drive)
The hard disk holds information permanently until it is needed, after one day, one year or for any period of time. The information could be filing names and addresses in a database, pictures etc. There is no point of processing or storing information unless it can be accessed again in the future.
The hard disk drive is contained within the system unit though nowadays, external hard disk drives are readily available. They make their connection to the computer using the USB interface. The removable hard disk drives are very good for storing our data backups.
Hard Disk Drive
Output devices give us an output of what has been processed - information in, information out. This could be the printing of mailing labels from the database or displaying the picture on a web page. They include: -
The Computer Monitor
A monitor displays text and images after being processed in soft copy.
A TFT Monitor
A printer produces a paper copy (hard copy) of the information displayed on the screen.
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© 2010 Patrick Kamau