The Computer comprises many electrical, electronic and mechanical components known as hardware. Such elements include input devices, output devices, control modules, storage devices, and communication devices. Computer hardware components are a major part of the computer.
Components of Computer
The input device is any hardware component that allows you to enter data and instructions on your screen. Six widely used input devices are the keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner, video camera, and webcam.
The Computer keyboard includes the keys that you press to access the data on your screen. The mouse is a tiny hand-held tool. You monitor the movement of a small icon on the screen called the pointer with the mouse, and you make selections from the screen.
The microphone helps the user to speak to the machine. The scanner converts the printed material (such as text and pictures) into a form that the computer can use. Using a digital camera, you take pictures and then move the captured photographs to your monitor or printer instead of storing the photographs on a conventional film. Webcam is a digital video camera that allows users to make a movie or take pictures electronically.
The output device is any hardware component that transmits information to one or more people. Four of the widely used output tools are a printer, computer, speakers, and portable media player. A printer creates text and graphics on a digital medium like paper. The monitor shows text, graphics, and videos on the screen.
Speakers let you hear music, speech, and other (sound) audio. You can transfer audio, video, and digital images from your device to your portable media player, and then listen to the audio, watch the video, or view the images on your media player.
The system unit is a case containing electronic components of the computer that are used to process the data. The circuitry of the system unit is usually part of or connected to a circuit board called the motherboard. The processor and memory are two main components on the motherboard. The processor, also known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU), is an electronic component that interprets and executes the basic instructions that the computer operates.
Memory consists of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed and the data provided by these instructions. Most memory keeps data and instructions temporarily, which means that its contents will be erased when the computer is shut down.
Storage contains records, instructions, and information for future use. Computers, for example, can store hundreds or millions of names and addresses of customers. Storage keeps these objects on a permanent basis. The machine keeps records, instructions, and information about the storage media. Examples of storage media include USB flash drives, hard disks, CDs, DVDs, and memory cards. Storage system records (writes) and/or retrieves (reads) objects from and to storage devices. Storage devices also serve as input sources as they move objects from storage to memory.
The USB flash drive is a lightweight storage device that is compact and light enough to wear on a keychain or in a pocket. Average USB flash drive can carry about 2 billion characters.
A hard disk has a much greater storage space than a USB flash drive. The typical hard disk is capable of holding more than 320 billion characters. Hard disks are wrapped in a sealed, airtight shell. While some are portable, most of them are housed within the machine unit. Portable hard drives are either permanent or removable. The external hard disk is a separate, stand-alone unit, while the removable hard disk is inserted and removed from the computer or device connected to the computer.
A hard disk has a much greater storage space than a USB flash drive. The typical hard disk is capable of holding more than 320 billion characters. Hard disks are wrapped in a sealed, airtight shell. While some are portable, most of them are housed within the machine unit (Figure 1-4). Portable hard drives are either permanent or removable. The external hard disk is a separate, stand-alone unit, while the removable hard disk is inserted and removed from the computer or device connected to the computer.
A communication device is a hardware component that enables a computer to send (transmit) and receive data, instructions and information to and from one or more computers. A commonly used networking tool is a modem.
Communications are made via cables, telephone lines, cellular radio networks, satellites and other transmission media. Many communication technologies, such as satellites and cellular radio networks, are digital, which means that they do not have any physical lines or wires.