In an age where computers are being used for everything ranging from communication to cooking and from entertainment to education, you simply cannot afford to remain ignorant about it anymore. Change is inevitable. Times change, situations change, and so do we.
Updating our knowledge and skills is a must if we wish to keep up with the world. On that note, here are some computer hardware basics to welcome you into this wonderful technological world.
Basics for Beginners
It is essential to understand the fundamentals of hardware before moving on to any high level technical stuff. A typical computer system has 2 very basic components:
- CPU (central processing unit)
The monitor is nothing but an output device (or a display device) whose purpose is to display all the information to the user. Monitors can be categorized as:
- CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors
- flat screen monitors.
CRT monitors are the box-like monitors that have been around since the last 10-15 years. Flat screen monitors are relatively new, and they too, are of 2 types namely, plasma monitors and LCD monitors. The CPU is the actual functioning unit, i.e., it is the component that is responsible for the actual computing that takes place.
The CPU consists of the following components:
- Hard drive
- RAM chip
- Video card
- Graphics card
- Sound card
- Processor and cabinet fans
- USB ports
- LAN card
- CD/DVD drive
- Floppy disk drive
Internal hard drives are housed within the PC cabinet, whereas external ones are detachable and are connected through a USB port using an external power source. Today, hard drives are available in capacities of up to 2 TB, i.e., a whopping 2,048,000 megabytes of storage space!
Random Access Memory is the primary storage device of your PC. Although all your software applications are installed and stored in your hard drive, each one of them needs to make use of the RAM when it is being used. More the number or the size of the applications being run, greater is the RAM requirement.
LAN cards and network cards are necessary for networking, i.e., connecting your machine to a local network or to the Internet.
Each one has a different physical structure and a different function. If you are a newcomer, you should always refer to the manual while going about connecting the different cables.
These were some basics, which were aimed at introducing you to the hardware components of a computer. Though most of these components are constantly being upgraded thanks to rapid technological advances, their fundamental concept nevertheless, continues to remain the same.