Hardware, in the computer world, refers to the physical components that make up a computer system.
Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that comprise a computer system. Computer hardware refers to the physical parts or components of a computer such as monitor, keyboard, Computer data storage, hard drive disk, mouse, printers, CPU (graphic cards, sound cards,
memory, motherboard and chips), etc all of which are physical objects that can be touched.
Central Processing Unit (CPU):
It is a set of logic machines that can execute computer programs. The fundamental function of a CPU is to execute sequences of stored instructions known as programs.
It is attached to the CPU and is used to lower the temperature of a computer. There are several fans in the computer case, which help maintain a constant flow of air to the computer system.
It is the central printed circuit board which forms the complex electronic system of a computer. A motherboard provides the computer system with all the electrical connections, the basic circuitry and components required for its functioning.
This component is responsible for supplying power to the computer. It converts the AC power from the mains to low voltage DC power for the internal components of a computer.
Short for random access memory, RAM is the physical memory of a computer. It is used to store the currently running programs and is attached to the motherboard.
It is a computer expansion card that enables the input and output of audio signals to and from a computer. Sound cards provide multimedia applications with the audio components.
Video card that is also known as the graphics card is a hardware component, which generates and outputs the images to a display.
It is a data storage media that is a disk of a thin magnetic storage medium covered by a plastic shell. With the advent of flash and optical storage devices, floppy discs have become obsolete.
It is a non-volatile storage device that stores digital data on magnetic surfaces. It is used for medium-term storage of data.
Apart from the hardware components of a computer, there are many external devices that are equally important for the functioning of a computer. Keyboard, mouse and the visual display of a computer form its basic input and output devices. Joysticks, game controllers and other pointing devices are commonly used for the gaming applications on a computer. Headphones, speakers, microphones and webcams are popularly used for running multimedia applications on a computer. Let us look at some examples of these peripheral devices.
It is an input device, which derives its design from that of a typewriter. A keyboard consists of multiple keys laid out in a specific way. Each key acts as an electronic switch either producing a letter, number or symbol that is typed into a word processor or performing a certain computer operation.
A computer mouse is a pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion. The motion of a mouse translates into the motion of a pointer on the computer display, enabling the user to control a graphical user interface.
This peripheral device produces hard copies of electronic documents. It is attached to a computer by means of a peripheral cable or a USB cable.
It is a peripheral device that can scan images, handwriting or objects and convert them to digital images.
Computer speakers are external audio devices that enable the computer users to listen to audio media. Multimedia speakers consist of an internal amplifier. It has a jack connecting it to the sound cards.
It consists of a pair of small loud speakers, which can be held close to the ears. They can be connected to an audio-frequency source such as an amplifier or a CD player.
It is an input device that consists of a stick that is pivoted on a base and indicates its direction to the device it controls. Joysticks are popularly used in video games and mobile phones.
It is an acoustic-to-electric transducer that converts sound signals to electrical ones. Commonly, mikes consist of a membrane that vibrates in response to sound. The vibrations are translated to electrical signals.
A web camera is a small camera that is widely used with video conferencing and instant messaging services. Web cameras are digital cameras, which can upload images to a web server.
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