Parts of Computer

PARTS OF THE COMPUTER All computer systems need two types of parts that work together to make them run. These parts are: 1. Hardware – The hardware is the part of the computer you can touch and see. Eg: Keyboard, Mouse, Hard disk etc. 2. Software – The software is a part of the computer you cannot touch but is very important. The software is all the programming that makes the computer run; controlling everything that the computer does. Common computer hardware The following is a list of the most common hardware found on office and home computers.

The Monitor is the display screen, similar to a television screen. ________________________________________ The Keyboard is what you type on, similar to a typewriter. ________________________________________ The Mouse is the small hand held device that attaches to the computer. It may have two or three buttons. The mouse is used to move the cursor (pointer) on the computer screen. ________________________________________ The Computer, tower, or case is the heart of the system. This is a box that contains all the parts that make the computer work.

It can be identified by the fact that it does not seem to do anything. It also has slots to put computer disks in. ________________________________________ The Printer is a device that puts what you have created on to paper. ________________________________________ The Scanner is a device that captures pictures so that they can be seen and used on the computer, similar to a color photocopier. Software As described earlier, the software is a part of the computer you cannot touch but is very important.

The software is all the programming or instructions that make the computer run; controlling everything that the computer does. There are two kinds of software that help the computer run: 1. Operating Systems 2. Applications An Operating System is the base program on a computer. It tells the computer how to work or operate. The operating system also allows you to load other programs that do specialized tasks on to your computer. Eg: Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS, Linux etc. Applications are programs put onto the computer to do specialized tasks. Eg: a. Word and WordPerfect used to type letters and more complicated documents) b. Explorer and Netscape (used to explore the Internet) Other common terms A Floppy Disk (sometimes just called a “disk”) looks like a plastic card that can be put into a slot in the front of the computer. These disks hold information and can be used to exchange information between computers. This type of data storage is archaic and obsolete. A Hard Disk is a device that holds all the information that is stored on a computer. Unlike a floppy disk the hard disk cannot be removed from the computer but stores much more information.

A CD-ROM is very similar to a stereo’s CD player. It not only plays music but can also retrieve information stored on CD’s. A USB Flash Drive (sometimes just called a “flash drive”) looks like a plastic tube that can be put into a slot in the front of the modern computer. Older computers will require you to insert it in a slot in the back or you may not be able to use the drive at all depending on the age of the computer. These disks hold information and can be used to exchange information between computers.

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