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Personal Computer

Personal Computer

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Published by smartisaac
A total teach-your-self manual and tutorials for Computer Wannabes
A total teach-your-self manual and tutorials for Computer Wannabes

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Published by: smartisaac on Oct 27, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Computer heart
Periphery Equipment
Display Periphery Equipment
Mass Storage Periphery Equipment
Others Periphery Equipment
Expansion cards
Introduction to the Concept of the ComputerUnderstandingcomputervocabulary is the main difficulty that potential personalcomputer buyers face. Unlike buying a TV, a task for which the decision-makingcriteria are limited, choosing a computer requires choosing each of its componentsand knowing their characteristics. The purpose of this document is not to makesense of all the computer abbreviations (because each manufacturer has their owntechnologies) but rather to profile the main components of a computer, explain howthey work and outline their main characteristics.Presentation of the ComputerA computer is a set of electronic circuits that allow for data to be manipulated inbinary form, i.e. inbits.Types of ComputersAny machine capable of manipulating binary information can be considered acomputer. However, the term "computer" is sometimes confused with the term
 personal computer 
(PC), which is the type of computer that is most commonly foundon the market. And yet there are many other types of computers (the following isnot an exhaustive list):
Apple Macintosh
Alpha stations
SUN stations
Silicon Graphics stationsThe rest of this document, as generic as it might be, applies particularly to
typecomputers. They are also called
IBM-compatible computers
because IBM is thecompany that created the first of these computers models and was for a long time(until 1987) the leader in this area, so much so that they controlled the standards,which were copied by other manufacturers.Make-up of a ComputerA computer is a collection of modular electronic components, i.e. components thatcan be replaced by other components that may have different characteristics that arecapable of running computer programs. Thus, the term "hardware" refers to all thematerial elements of a computer and "software" refers to the program parts.The material components of the computer are structured around a main board that ismade up of a few integrated circuits and many electronic components such ascapacitors, resistors, etc. All these components are fused to the board and are linkedby circuit board connections and by a large number of connectors. This board iscalled themotherboard.
Themotherboardis housed in acasing(or
) that comprises slots for memoryperipherals on the front, buttons that allow you to switch the computer on and off, aswell as a certain number of indicator lights that allow you to verify the computer'soperating state and the activity of the hard drives. On the back, the casing hasopenings facing the expansion boards and the I/O interfaces, which are connected tothemotherboard.Finally, the casing houses an electrical power supply (commonly called the
),which is in charge of providing a stable and continuous electrical current to all of theelements that make up the computer. The power supply converts alternating currentfrom the power grid (220 or 110 volts) into a direct voltage of 5 volts for thecomputer components and 12 volts for some internal peripherals (drives, CD-ROMdrives, etc.). How powerful the electrical supply is determines how many peripheralsthe computer is capable of supplying. The power supply is generally between 200and 450 Watts.The "central processing unit" includes the casing and all the elements it contains. Theexternal elements of the central processing unit are called peripherals.The central processing unit must be connected to a whole set of external peripherals.A computer generally comprises at least the central processing unit, ascreen (monitor), akeyboardand amouse, but it is possible to connect a wide range of  peripherals on the I/O interfaces (serial ports,parallel ports,USB ports,FireWire ports, etc.):
a digital camera or video camera
etc.Types of computersThere are several families of computers, depending on their format:
Mainframes, computers which a great deal of computing power, enormousinput-output capabilities and high level of reliability. Mainframes are used bylarge companies to carry out heavy computing operations are large volumesof data processing. Mainframes are normally used in centralised architectures,in which they are the heart.
Personal computers, including,
Desktop computers, made up of a case which houses a motherboardand allows users to connect multiple peripheral devices such as thescreen.
Laptop computers, made of a case with a fold-out screen, a keyboard,and many onboard devices.

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