Finally… An Easy To Understand Introduction To Computers

When you mention the word “technology,” most people think about computers. Virtually every facet of our lives has some computerized component. The appliances in our homes have microprocessors built into them, as do our televisions. Even our cars have a computer. However, the computer that

everyone thinks of first is typically the personal computer, or PC.

It is a general-purpose tool, built around a microprocessor.

A PC has many different parts such as memories, a hard


a modem, etc that work together. A PC is said to be “general

purpose” because you can do many different things with it

like: you can use it to type documents, send e-mail, browse

the Web and play games.

Let us look at the main components of a typical desktop


Central processing unit (CPU): The microprocessor “brain”


the computer system is referred to as the central


unit. The CPU oversees everything that a computer does.

Memory: This fast storage area is for storing data and is

connected directly to the microprocessor. That’s why it is

fast. There are various types of memory in a computer


Random-access memory (RAM): Used to temporarily store

information that the computer is currently working with.

Read-only memory (ROM): It refers to computer memory


containing permanent or semi-permanent data that does



Basic Input/Output: Required to establish the basic

communication when the system is turned on. It is directly

connected to the motherboard.

Caching: The storing of frequently used data in extremely

fast RAM that connects directly to the CPU.

Virtual memory: Used to temporarily store data and swap it

in and out of the RAM.

Motherboard: This is the main board in the computer that


the processor, the RAM, the BIOS ROM, the timing and

control, the interrupt and direct memory access hardware


the keyboard interface on it which are connected to it

through the secondary connection.

Soundcard: this device attaches to the motherboard with a

socket called PCI, which allows the computer to play CD’s


music files, or MP3 CD’s. All soundcards have speakers


connectors. The quality of sound depends upon the quality

of the card.

Hard drive: This is the main storage device of a computer.

It stores information including the OS that allows you to

access it all. Most common OS for PCs is Microsoft


And Apple computers use the Macintosh operating system.

Other drives: Most computers are also complete with floppy

disk and CD drives. These vary from system to system,

however all work in same way. They read information stored

on disks. These are necessary for maintaining and


the computer’s software and operating system.

That’s the components that create the average computer.

Although there are many different systems, and configura-

tions, it is difficult to imagine our lives without them.

Roger A. Pendey

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