what is computer hardware ? (Its meaning and Types)
What is Computer Hardware?
This discourse attempt to answer the age long question: What is Computer Hardware? Computer hardware is that visible components of the Computer that enable the Computer System to function properly. It is the frame work on which the Computer Software operates. Computer Hardware is made up of various components. For the sake of simplicity we can subdivide it into surface mounted components and those that are detachable.
The surface mounted components are basically found on the Computer Motherboard. So we can talk about the Computer Motherboard and other Components.
The Computer Motherboard
The Computer Motherboard is the same thing as the Circuit board of the Computer Hardware.It is otherwise called System Board. It is one of the most important components of the Computer System. It houses the various network of connections of the integrated circuit. Every other components of the Computer have a direct contact with the Computer Motherboard.
Components like the CPU, RAM, Power Unit, Speakers etc. have their slots on the motherboard of the Computer. Though these units are removable their slots are surface mounted. Other surface mounted components include: capacitors, resistors, transistors, regulators etc.
Some of the Surface mounted components are difficult to change if damaged. So care should be taken in transportation and mode of use especially with respect to power supply.
The Computer Central Processing Unit(CPU)
The Central Processing Unit of a Computer is the brain of the Computer System. The type of CPU a Computer possess determine its worth. Today we here of the single core, duo-core, quad-core CPU. The speed of a Computer is measured in hertz and this determines the speed of the Computer.
The CPU is made up of the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), the Registers and the Control unit.
The Arithmetic Logic Unit of the CPU is the part of the brain of the Computer responsible for logical operations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and computational analysis of the various data the Computer deals with. This ensures accuracy and precision in expected output.
The registers in the CPU is a cache memory and a temporary data storage unit before they are processed. Data are retrieved from this end at a fast speed for processing. As indicated, it is a cache memory and as a result, it is not a regular storage like hard disk.
The Control Unit of the CPU maintains a control channel to every part connected to the computer. It is responsible for extracting information from the main storage of the Computer for processing. Control unit interpret instructions given to the Computer for proper execution.
The RAM and The ROM
The ROM of a Computer is the first point of call when a Computer is switched on. It contains the Computer manufacturer information which comes on display immediately the Computer is switched on. The content of ROM cannot be changed.
The RAM of the Computer is otherwise called Random Access Memory. It is the primary storage unit of the Computer System. The size of the RAM is very important as it also determines the speed of the Computer. The RAM is very fragile, it loses information in it when there is a sudden disconnection of the Computer from power source.
The CPU extracts date for processing from the RAM for processing at a very high speed. The RAM interface between the hard drive and the processing unit in Computer operations.
The Hard Drive
The Hard drive of a Computer is a mass Storage unit . A Computer hard drive can store over 800GB of data and more. It depends on its capacity. Though it is detachable, it is not usually frequently removed from the Computer. It does not loss data when there is accidental power outage.
The Computer Monitor
The Monitor of a Computer is an output unit of the Computer Hardware. It is the screen on which the activities of the Computer are displayed. There are different types of Computer Monitor. We have the regular monitor like the shape of a Television( cathod Ray Tube) and the Flat Screen Monitor( LCD). Recently, some plasma Television can perform the function of a Computer monitor..
The Power Unit
The Power supply unit of the Computer hardware otherwise known as the Power Pack is responsible for power supply to the Computer. It provides the point at which the power cord is linked to the Power source. There are different types of Power Pack. Each Computer manufacturer has a peculiar Power supply unit which may not fit in into another make of PC.
This is important to bear in mind when purchasing a Computer in terms of the availability of the Power Supply Unit in the market as spare parts. The Power Supply unit is susceptible to damage as a result of abnormal power surge. It is advisable to use voltage regulator alongside.
The Computer Keyboard is an input device of the Computer hardware. It is used to feed in data, information, Application etc. into the Computer system. A Computer user is able to relate and use the Computer via the keyboard. The Keyboard is made up of, the function keys, alphanumeric and the numeric cursor keys.
Latest technology has brought about virtual keyboard. Some individuals despite this development still prefer the regular physical keyboard.
The Computer Mouse is also an input device of the Computer harware. The Mouse is made up of primary and secondary keys, one the right and the other on the left. The mouse cursor helps to access or navigates to different points on the Computer Screen. When any particular part is clicked if a file or a program it will open for the execution for whatever purpose it was accessed.
A Mouse can be connected even to a Laptop if the need be and probably if the Laptop mouse is faulty.
The Computer Housing
The Computer housing is a very important part of the Computer hardware. The housing of a Computer is peculiar to a Computer type; hence housing cannot be interchanged if not compatible. Housing like Computer Tower is very common, though is also of different sizes. An expert opinion should be consulted when deciding which type of Computer housing to purchase.
We have other peripherals such as Speakers, USB Flash Drive, Floppy Disk etc. These all constitute the Computer Hardware.
Hope you had nice time reading. Feel free to comment.