A computer is an electronic machine which is able to perform operations automatically, usually in response to instructions programmed by the operator. Modern computers are able to execute many different sets of instructions called programs. These programs allow computers to perform an almost unlimited set of general functions. Computers are used in all kinds of businesses ranging from research and analysis to the design, production, and sales of goods. In order for a computer to run efficiently, a number of factors need to be considered:
Computer hardware refers to any component of a computer system which produces or receives information. Some examples of computer hardware include memory modules, hard disk drives, input and output devices, input devices such as keyboards and pointing devices, output devices such as printers, and communication devices like networks and data converters. Most modern computers systems use a combination of different types of hardware in order to process information. Hardware is also referred to as peripheral hardware.
Computer peripheral devices are components that are built into other hardware devices such as scanners, printers, modems, USB devices, cameras, and digital cameras. Peripheral devices are useful for connecting external software with the computer in a variety of ways. Some of these devices are usually built into the computer itself. Others can be installed into the user’s computer system through installation.
Input and output devices are used to feed information to and from a computer. These input and output devices include a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, a printer, a scanner, a video card, a hard drive, an optical drive, and any number of other devices. One type of input and output device is a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), another type is a mobile phone, and a third type is a laptop. Desktop computers usually have a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and a graphics tablet screen.
A computer operates on a series of different types of logical operations. A logical operation is an action that results in a logical result. An example of a logical operation is the opening and closing of a door. Logical operations are done every day without our realizing it. We open and close doors, change the color of light bulbs, change the volume on our stereo, and download and upload various types of information to our computers.
The computer system is made up of a number of different components including motherboards, processors, memory, hard drives, cards, operating systems, and communication devices. Motherboards and processors work together to provide the basic operating platform of a personal computer. They communicate with one another and allow users to access stored information, software, and applications. Memory and hard drives to store the information necessary to run a personal computer. Operating systems control the execution of all of the programs and software on a computer system.