1. Parts of a Computer

1. Basic information about computer:
A computer is a machine that manipulates
data according to a set of instructions.
Although mechanical examples of computers
have existed through much of recorded human
history, the first electronic computers were
developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945).
These were the size of a large room, consuming
as much power as several hundred modern
personal computers (PCs). Modern computers
based on integrated circuits are millions to
billions of times more capable than the early
machines, and occupy a fraction of the space.
Simple computers are small enough to fit into a
wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch
battery. Personal computers in their various
forms are icons of the Information Age and are
what most people think of as "computers". The
embedded computers found in many devices
from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from
toys to industrial robots are however the most
numerous. The ability to store and execute lists
of instructions called programs makes computers
extremely versatile, distinguishing them from
calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a
mathematical statement of this versatility: any
computer with a certain minimum capability is,
in principle, capable of performing the same
tasks that any other computer can perform.
Therefore computers ranging from a mobile
phone to a supercomputer are all able to
perform the same computational tasks, given
enough time and storage capacity.
2. Parts of a Computer
3. How a Computer Basically Works
Computers, today are small, fast,
reliable, and extremely useful. Back in
1977 that really was not the
case. However, they both operated in
basically the same way.
They both
receive data, stored data, processed
data, and then output data the similar
way our own brain functions. So it has
basically 4 functions: Memory,
Processing, Input, and Output.
The function of storage in a computer comes
in many different sizes, types and
shapes. However there are two basic
categories: short-term and long-term. A
typical computer contains numerous types of
memory including RAM, ROM, virtual,
cache, and various long-term storage
devices. Each type of computer memory
serves a specific function and purpose.
ROM, or read-only memory is permanent,
long-term, nonvolatile memory. Nonvolatile
means is doesn't disappear when the
computer is shut off. It also can not be
erased or changed in anyway. ROM's
purpose is to store the basic input/output
system (BIOS) that controls the start-up, or
boot process.
RAM, or random-access memory unlike
ROM works only when the computer is turned
on. This memory is vital to the computer
because it controls the moment by moment
processes of the computer. The first thing
that goes into RAM is the OS (operating
system). Next for the RAM might be a game,
or the Internet browser, or some type of
software that you want to use.
Early personal computer only needed about
64K of RAM. Today that number is drastically
higher. With photos, sounds, and even
movies going into RAM, the amount need is
now in the millions.
Storage Devices:
hard drive, disk drive, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM,
flash memory, etc.
If someone had to find the brains of the
computer they would most certainly say its
the microprocessor. The microprocessor is
often referred to as the CPU (Central
processing unit). It is a chip the size of a
postage stamp. The processor is the one
part of the computer that is most important
to the computer. The microprocessor controls
how data is sorted and directs the flow of
To a great extent a computer is defined by
the power of its microprocessor. Chips with
higher processing speed and more recent
design offer the greatest performance and
access to new technologies. The newer
processors hold more transistors and thus
more computing power on a single chip.
One of the best features of a computer is the
ability to give the computer commands and feed
it information. Without an input device this
would not be possible. Input devices can be
built into the computer, like the keyboard in a
laptop, or it can be connected to the computer
by a cable. The most common input device is
the keyboard. There are lots of others such as:
mice, trackballs, touch pads, touch screens,
pens, joy sticks, scanners, bar code
readers, video and digital cameras, and
microphones. In addition, storage devices
such as disk drives can serve as input devices.
Input is important but equally important is
the ability to read what the computer is
doing. The computer output devices are
used to serve the user. The most common
output device is the monitor, or
screen. However most computer come with
speakers and a printer which are excellent
output devices. Storage devices such as disk
drives and diskettes also serve as output
devices when it is necessary to write new or
updated data files to disk or tape.
4. Computer-related professions:
As the use of computers has spread
throughout society, there are an increasing
number of careers involving computers.
Hardware-related professions:
Computer engineering;
Electrical engineering;
Electronic engineering;
Optical engineering;
Telecommunications engineering;
Software-related professions:
Computer science;
Computational science;
Desktop publishing;
Human–computer interaction;
Information technology;
Software engineering;
Video game industry;
Web design;