A basic computer system comes with a computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. There are also tons of accessories and peripherals that can be added. Let's take a look at how they all work together.
If you were to make an analogy to the human body, the computer would be like the brain, the monitor - the mouth, the keyboard and mouse - eyes and ears.... The computer controls all the functionality in the system. The other devices are there to give the computer inputs and to provide it with outputs.
Let's run through an example, let's say the user presses a keyboard key - ESC. The keyboard passes that input on to the computer (the brain). The computer then decides on what to do with this signal - which depends on what the computer is currently doing. Say the computer decided that ESC means that it should exit out of whatever application it is currently in. It exits the application and sends a signal to the monitor (output) to show a new picture, one where that application is closed.
There are tons of other devices that can be plugged in to the computer, some of them are input devices, some output devices, and some are both. An all in one printer/scanner can be both an input and an output device, print(output) and scan(input).
Sometimes the separation of devices isn't all that clear, like in a laptop. The computer, monitor, and keyboard are all in the same box. But the separation of components still exists, even if they don't have space between them. Inside the laptop, the computer is still separate from the keyboard and from the monitor, and it still considers them to be input/output devices that it can communicate with.
A computer is the modernity's indispensable device and the mark of technology brought to the masses. It is made of complex and intricate structures but it is very easy to use. The plainest definition of a computer is that it represents a gadget that receives input, processes it and then produces output. The mechanism is simple in concept but has enormous potential in what concerns the various results that come as output. The working principle is rendered through the equation "the input comes in and produces output". Therefore, to understand the technological processes that occur inside the computer, one has to know about the relationship input-output (I/O), notions of processing and storage.
The first concept- I/O- lies at the basis of the activity of a computer. A computer is made of components that are divided into two classes according to their function. These two classes are input parts and output ones. By means of input devices that are connected to the computer, the information enters the system. The keyboard, the mouse, scanners and digital cameras send information to the computer and are examples of input components. Once the computer receives the information, it sends it to output devices that produce different results. Therefore, the image on the screen, the sound from the speaker-boxes, the pages printed are illustrations of the notion output. The monitor, the speakers, the printer are considered output devices.
The modem is a device that handles both input and output because it receives but also sends information. The computer's storage system is another example of both input-output functioning component. The information sent to the computer is processed before it is sent to the output devices. Without the processing stage, the information wouldn't be relevant anymore and the computer would be like a tube. The processor is responsible for the activity of transforming the input data in output. The processor operates on the basis of some instructions structured in the form of the software.
The last part in the computer equation is the storage, which represents the "space" where the processor performs its activity. Computer storage is of two kinds: temporary and long-term.
Temporary storage, also called RAM, supplies the computer with memory, where programs run and the information is stored while it is worked on. When the microprocessor isn't directly working on the information, long-term storage allows the computer to save data on storage media. Hard drives, media cards, flash drives, optical discs, Cds and Dvds are such storage media. They save information which can be recalled for later use.
Making an analogy between the computer and the human body, RAM (random access memory) is equivalent to an individual's memory. We temporarily store information in our head. To make sure we don't forget it, we write it down. The pad of paper used to write the received information is equivalent to long-term storage.
The computer itself - the hardware - has many parts. But the critical components fall into one of the four categories: processor, memory, input and output, and storage.
The Processor. Processing is the procedure that transforms raw data into useful information. To perform this transformation, the computer uses two components: the processor and memory. The processor is like the brain of the computer. It organizes and carries out instructions that come from either the user or the software. In a personal computer, the processor consists of one or more microprocessors which are silvers of silicon or other material etched with many tiny electronic circuits. To process data or complete an instruction from a user or a program, the computer passes electricity through the circuits.
A personal computer's processor is usually a single chip or a set of chips contained on a circuit board. In some powerful computers, the processor consists of many chips and the circuit boards on which the chips are mounted.
Memory. It is like an electronic scratch pad inside the computer. When you launch a program, it is loaded into memory for fast access. As new data is entered into the computer, it is also stored in memory, but only temporarily. The most common type of memory is called random access memory or RAM. As a result, the term memory is commonly used to mean RAM. Data is both written to and read from this memory. Perhaps the most important thing to remember about RAM is that it is volatile, so it needs a constant supply of power. When you turn off a computer, everything inside RAM disappears. Thus, you should save your data files to a storage device frequently.
Input and Output Devices. A computer would be useless if you could not interact with it because the machine could not receive instructions or deliver the results of its work. Input devices accept data and instructions from the user or from another computer system (such as a computer on the Internet). Output devices return processed data to the user or to another computer system.
The most common input device is the keyboard, which accepts letters, numbers, and commands from the user. Another important type of input device is the mouse, which lets you select options from on-screen menus. You use a mouse by moving it across a flat surface and pressing its buttons. Nearly every computer sold today includes a mouse. Other popular input devices are trackballs, touch pads, joysticks, scanners, digital cameras, and microphones.
The most common output devices are the monitor and the printer. The computer sends output to the monitor (the display screen) when the user needs only to see the output. It sends output to the printer when the user requests a paper copy- also called a hard copy- of a document. There are plenty of printers you can choose from depending on your need. Read some online printing reviews on printers to guide you an idea of what type of printer is ideal to you or to your business. Printing company reviews also show how a printer is indeed a peripheral device needed in a computer.
|Input And Output Devices|
Storage. A computer can function with only processing, memory, input and output devices. Just like some printers found on online printing reviews, they typically perform a multi function job such as printer, scanner and copier. To be really useful however, a computer also needs a place to keep program files and related data when they are not in use. The purpose of storage is to hold data permanently.
These are things you need to be familiar with so that when you buy your personal computer, you will have an idea how each component works, and thereby, be able to take care of them.