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Central Processing Unit Although the word relates to a particular CPU chip or the performance of a computer circuit and by the rest of the chip to determine the processor
Currently, the Pentium chip or processor, Intel suggested that the most common CPU, although there are many PC processors for the production of other companies. Examples include: AMD, Motorola and the production of CPU.
Faster processor clock speed becomes more important. Taipower brain relative to the first operation below 30 MHz, some (MHz) 75 MHz Pentium chips began in the late '90s. Faster than the 3000 + MHz or 3 gigahertz (GHz) and different chip manufacturers use different measurement criteria (check the latest speed your local computer store.) Depending on the chip is to live in, or motherboard to whether you can upgrade to faster chips, the thecircuit board. The board contains the circuitry and connections so that all components communicate with each other.
Though there were many computers using many different processors previous to this I call the 80286 processor the advent of home computers as these were the processors that made computers available for the average person. Using a processor before the 286 involved learning a proprietary system and software. Most new software are being developed for the newest and fastest processors so it can be difficult to use an older computer system.
Keyboard - Keyboard is an input device. Keyboard is used to type information into the computer or input information. There are many different keyboard layouts and sizes with the most common for Latin based languages being the QWERTY layout (named for the first 6 keys). The standard keyboard has 101 keys. Notebooks have embedded keys accessible by special keys or by pressing key combinations (CTRL or Command and P for example). Ergonomically designed keyboards are designed to make typing easier. Hand held devices have various and different keyboard configurations and touch screens.
Some of the keys have a special use. They are referred to as command keys. The 3 most common are the Control (CTRL), Alternate (Alt) and the Shift keys though there can be more (the Windows key for example or the Command key). Each key on a standard keyboard has one or two characters. Press the key to get the lower character and hold Shift to get the upper.
Removable storage, or disk drive - all require a disk drive to get information off - or read - the information on the disk - or write. Each drive is designed for a specific type of disk whether it is CD, DVD, hard disk or floppy disk. Usually, the term 'disk' and 'machine' is used to describe the same thing, but it helps to understand the disk storage devices, including computer files - orsoftware - and run the disk drive mechanism.
Mouse - Most modern computers today are run using a mouse controlled pointer In general, if the mouse has two on the left is used to select one of the rights objects and text, is used to access the menu button. If the mouse has a button (eg apple) which controls all the activities, and with the third button mouse can use a particular software program.One type of mouse has a round ball under the bottom of the mouse that rolls and turns two wheels which control the direction of the pointer on the screen. Another type of mouse uses an optical system to track the movement of the mouse. Laptop computers use touch pads, buttons and other devices to control the pointer. Hand held use a combination of devices to control the pointer, including touch screens. Mouse is an input device.
Monitors - The monitor shows information on the screen when you type. This is called outputting information. When the computer needs more information it will display a message on the screen, usually through a dialog box. Monitors come in many types and sizes. The resolution of the monitor determines the sharpness of the screen. The resolution can be adjusted to control the screen's display. Monitor is an output device
Most desktop computers use a monitor with a cathode tube or liquid crystal display. Most notebooks use a liquid crystal display monitor.
To get the full benefit of today's software with full color graphics and animation, computers need a color monitor with a display or graphics card.
Printers - The Printer occupy your information on the screen, and transfers it to paper or hard copy. There are different levels of quality and many different types of printers. The three basic types of printers, dot matrix, inkjet and laser. Dot matrix printers work like a typewriter transferring ink from a ribbon to paper with a series or 'matrix' of tiny pins.
Ink jet printers work like dot matrix printers but fires a stream of ink from a cartridge directly onto the paper.
Laser printers use the same technology as a photocopier using heat to transfer toner onto paper.
Cards - Cards are components added to computers to increase their capability. When adding a peripheral device make sure that your computer has a slot of the type needed by the device.
Sound cards allow computers to produce sound like music and voice. The older sound cards were 8 bit then 16 bit then 32 bit. Though the human ear can't distinguish the fine difference between sounds produced by the more powerful sound card they allow for more complex music and music production.
Cables connect internal components to the Motherboard, which is a board with series of electronic path ways and connections allowing the CPU to communicate with the other components of the computer.
Memory - Memory can be very confusing but is usually one of the easiest pieces of hardware to add to your computer. It is common to confuse chip memory with disk storage. An example of the difference between memory and storage would be the difference between a table where the actual work is done (memory) and a filing cabinet where the finished product is stored (disk). To add a bit more confusion, the computer's hard disk can be used as temporary memory when the program needs more than the chips can provide.
Random Access Memory or RAM is the memory that the computer uses to temporarily store the information as it is being processed. The more information being processed the more RAM the computer needs.
One of the first home computers used 64 kilobytes of RAM memory (Commodore 64). Today's modern computers need a minimum of 64 Mb (recommended 128 Mb or more) to run Windows or OS 10 with modern software.
RAM memory chips come in many different sizes and speeds and can usually be expanded. Older computers came with 512 Kb of memory which could be expanded to a maximum of 640 Kb. In most modern computers the memory can be expanded by adding or replacing the memory chips depending on the processor you have and the type of memory your computer uses. Memory chips range in size from 1 Mb to 4 Gb. As computer technology changes the type of memory changes as well making old memory chips obsolete. Check your computer manual to find out what kind of memory your computer uses before purchasing new memory chips.
Scanners - Scanners use light to convert an optical image to a digital image you can view or save using your computer. You can choose either a hand-held scanner(which you drag over the image much like a mouse)or a flatbed modal that looks and works much like a photocopier. Color and gray scale (black-and-white) models are available; higher resolution(more dots per inch-higher dpi)produces crisper images. Speicial scanner models are designed specifically for scanning color photos into your system; some of these are installed right in the system unit or on the system monitor. Recommendation: Optional. Home user can get away with a hand-held 400-dpi color scanner or photo scanner; professional publishers should choose color flatbed units with 1000-dpi resolution.
Hard disc drive - Your computer stores information semipermanently on the hard disc(also called the hard disc drive or hard dive), which consists or several metal disks in an airtight case. You can save programs and data in the hard disc and the later delete them to reuse the space they occupied. Hard disk capacities are measured in megabytes(1,000 equals a gigabyte, or 1G).A too small hard drive limits the number of programs you can install; these days the minimum is usually 1.2G. You also want to consider a hard drive's acess time. A slow hard drive can slow down you whole system, no matter how fast the processor is. A lower access time indicates a faster drive(10ms is faster than 12ms). Most drives available today are Enhanced IDE(which are faster than the older IDE drives), but some system come with faster SCSI hard drives. Recommendation 2.5G, with 12ms access time or better.
System Unit - All instruction flow through the components in this box. The system unit of a traditional desktop PC has a fairly large footprint, which means it takes up a lot of desk space. Tower units stand vertically and can be tucked away under a desk. Many manufacturers are moving toward selling tower units or slightly shorter minitower units only.