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The term hardware refers to the physical components of your computer such as the system unit, mouse, keyboard, monitor etc. These hardware components are divided into Input and Output devices which are as follows:
A. Input devices: An input device is any hardware device that sends data to the
computer. Without any input devices, a computer would only be a display device and not allow users to interact with it, much like a TV. Following are the different types of input devices:
Mouse: A mouse is a pointing device that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface. Physically, a mouse consists of an object held under one of the user's hands, with one or more buttons. It sometimes features other elements, such as "wheels", which allow the user to perform various system-dependent operations, or extra buttons or features that can add more control or dimensional input. The mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows for fine control of a graphical user interface.
Keyboard: In computing, a keyboard is a typewriter-style keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches.
interaction via teleprinterstyle keyboards became the main input device for computers. which can expedite frequently used keystroke combinations. However. to produce some symbols requires pressing and holding several keys simultaneously or in sequence. CD-ROM. In a modern computer.Following the decline of punch cards and paper tape. which brings up a task window or shuts down the machine. A keyboard is also used to give commands to the operating system of a computer. text editor or other program. Keyboards are also used for computer gaming. other keys or simultaneous key presses can produce actions or computer commands. A computer keyboard distinguishes each physical key from every other and reports all key presses to the controlling software. such as Windows' Control-AltDelete combination. the keyboard is used to type text and numbers into a word processor. Floppy. the interpretation of key presses is generally left to the software. • Media Devices: There are 4 media devices viz. A keyboard typically has characters engraved or printed on the keys and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol. In normal usage. either with regular keyboards or by using keyboards with special gaming features. Keyboards are the only way to enter commands on a command-line interface. sealed in a rectangular plastic . DVD & USB Floppy: A floppy disk is a disk storage medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium. numbers or signs (characters). While most keyboard keys produce letters.
optical discs.carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data. and computer networks. While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses. were a ubiquitous form of data storage and exchange from the mid-1970s well into the first decade of the 21st century.5-inch (89 mm) sizes. memory cards.25-inch (133 mm) and 3. Floppy disks. 3 1⁄2" floppies could be used with an external USB drive. 8". but 5 1⁄4". such as USB flash drives. including video games and multimedia applications. CD-ROMs are popularly used to distribute computer software. a computer for data storage and music playback. they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity. By 2010. especially with legacy industrial computer equipment. Some CDs hold both computer data and . computer motherboards were rarely manufactured with floppy drive support. They are read and written by a floppy disk drive (FDD). initially as 8-inch (200 mm) media and later in 5. CD-ROM: A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to. portable external hard disk drives. but not writable by. though any data can be stored (up to the capacity limit of a disc). and non-standard drives could only be handled by old equipment.
Pre-recorded DVDs are mass-produced using moulding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD. Rewritable DVDs (DVD-RW. and Panasonic in 1995. The reverse is now true. Blank recordable DVD discs (DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and then function as a DVD-ROM. Even though many people use lowercase letters in this acronym. DVD: DVD is an optical disc storage media format. while data (such as software or digital video) is only usable on a computer (such as ISO 9660 format PC CD-ROMs). DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions. DVDs and Blu-ray. Such discs are known as DVDROM.audio with the latter capable of being played on a CD player. and DVD-RAM) can be recorded and erased multiple times. . Sony. DVD+RW. Toshiba. with hard drives far exceeding CDs. These are called enhanced CDs. though some experimental descendants of it such as HVDs may have more space and faster data rates than today's biggest hard drive. invented and developed by Philips. because data can only be read and not written nor erased. At the time of the technology's introduction it had more capacity than computer hard drives common at the time. proper presentation is in all capital letters with a hyphen between CD and ROM.
It has become commonplace on other devices. USB was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals. as well as for authoring AVCHD discs. such as serial and parallel ports. digital cameras. such as smartphones. pointing devices. . and about 2 billion were being sold each year. approximately 6 billion USB are currently in the global marketplace. printers. As of 2008. PDAs and video game consoles. both to communicate and to supply electric power. portable media players. as well as separate power chargers for portable devices. connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection. USB has effectively replaced a variety of earlier interfaces. disk drives and network adapters to personal computers. such as keyboards. DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs. communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices. USB: Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables.DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format.
whereas older drum scanners use a photomultiplier tube as the image sensor. orthotics. Another category of scanner is digital camera scanners.• Scanners: In computing. using a CCD array instead of a photomultiplier. where the device is moved by hand. handwriting. for producing threedimensional models of objects. digital cameras offer advantages such as speed. which take photographs of books and documents. While still having disadvantages compared to traditional scanners (such as distortion. Common examples found in offices are variations of the desktop (or flatbed) scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for scanning. shadows. and converts it to a digital image. photo-realistic 3D models of objects. have evolved from text scanning "wands" to 3D scanners used for industrial design. Other types of scanners are planetary scanners. reverse engineering. Hand-held scanners. is another type of drum scanner. New scanning technologies are combining 3D scanners with digital cameras to create full-colour. used for high-speed document scanning. low contrast). or an object. . digital cameras have become an attractive alternative to regular scanners. and 3D scanners. printed text. which are based on the concept of reprographic cameras. Due to increasing resolution and new features such as anti-shake. an image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner—is a device that optically scans images. where a flatbed design would be impractical. Modern scanners typically use a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) as the image sensor. gaming and other applications. test and measurement. portability and gentle digitizing of thick documents without damaging the book spine. reflections. Mechanically driven scanners that move the document are typically used for large-format documents. A rotary scanner.
a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on screen. similar to microscopes. and are also used as a substitute for a mouse where desk space is scarce. Wireless touchpads are also available as detached accessories. they can also be found on personal digital assistants (PDAs) and some portable media players. detection devices for DNA microarrays are called scanners as well. . These scanners are high-resolution systems (up to 1 µm/ pixel). • Touch Pads: A touchpad (or track pad) is a pointing device featuring a tactile sensor.In the biomedical research area. The detection is done via CCD or a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Touchpads are a common feature of laptop computers. Because they vary in size.
Just like a light gun. a light pen works by sensing the sudden small change in brightness of a point on the screen when the electron gun refreshes that spot. It was long thought that a light pen can work with any CRT-based display. in 2011 Fairlight Instruments released its Fairlight CMI-30A. By noting exactly where the scanning has reached at that moment. This is usually achieved by the light pen causing an interrupt. the light pen fell out of use as a general purpose input device. Y position of the pen can be resolved. the X. It allows the user to point to displayed objects or draw on the screen in a similar way to a touch screen but with greater positional accuracy. from a counter or timer. Because the user was required to hold his or her arm in front of the screen for long periods of time or to use a desk that tilts the monitor. IBM PC compatible CGA. However.• Light Pens: A light pen is a computer input device in the form of a light-sensitive wand used in conjunction with a computer's CRT TV set or monitor. or computed. The first light pen was created around 1952 as part of the Whirlwind project at MIT. Even some consumer products were given light pens. HGC and some EGA graphics cards featured a connector for a light pen as well. The light pen found use during the early 1980s. A light pen is fairly simple to implement. which uses a 17" LCD monitor with light pen control. projectors and other display devices. and the BBC Micro. It was notable for its use in the Fairlight CMI. at which point the scan position can be read from a special register. in particular the Thomson MO5 computer family. The pen position is updated on every refresh of the screen. but not with LCD screens. .
also known as 'control columns'. surveillance cameras and zero turning radius lawn mowers. are the principal control in the cockpit of many civilian and military aircraft. . and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer. trucks. They often have supplementary switches on them to control other aspects of the aircraft's flight. either as a centre stick or side-stick. underwater unmanned vehicles. Joysticks are often used to control video games. wheelchairs. Joysticks are also used for controlling machines such as cranes. Miniature finger-operated joysticks have been adopted as input devices for smaller electronic equipment such as mobile phones. A popular variation of the joystick used on modern video game consoles is the analog stick. Joysticks.• Joysticks: A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling.
Some have a scroll wheel like most mice. The world's first trackball invented by Tom Cranston. have notably-low friction. which is generally cleaner than the desk or mouse pad and does not drag lint into the chopper wheels. The late 1990s replacement of mouse balls by direct optical tracking put trackballs at a disadvantage and forced them to retreat into niches where their distinctive merits remained more important. With a trackball. Kensington's SlimBlade Trackball similarly tracks the ball itself in three dimensions for scrolling. fingers. eleven years before the mouse was invented. at times. Compared with a mouse. When mice still used a mechanical design (with slotted 'chopper' wheels interrupting a beam of light to measure rotation). a trackball has no limits on effective travel. Large trackballs are common on CAD workstations for easy precision. Before the advent of the touchpad. as well as being dense (glass). The trackball was invented by Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff as part of the Royal Canadian Navy's DATAR system in 1952. where there may be no desk space on which to run a mouse. Some trackballs. or the palm of the hand to move a pointer. the operator just continues rolling. The user rolls the ball with the thumb. small trackballs were common on portable computers. It used a standard Canadian five-pin bowling ball. Most trackballs now have direct optical tracking which follows dots on the ball. most trackballs have an auxiliary device primarily intended for scrolling. As with modern mice.• Tracker Balls: A trackball is a pointing device consisting of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a rotation of the ball about two axes—like an upsidedown mouse with an exposed protruding ball. but the most common type is a “scroll ring” which is spun around the ball. so they can be spun to make them coast. . trackballs had the advantage of being in contact with the user's hand. such as Logitech's optical-pickoff types. Fred Longstaff and Kenyon Taylor working on the Royal Canadian Navy's DATAR project in 1952. Some small thumb balls clip onto the side of the keyboard and have integral buttons with the same function as mouse buttons. a mouse can reach an edge of its working area while the operator still wishes to move the screen pointer farther. This first trackball used a Canadian five-pin bowling ball.
A4Tech. and an enclosure. Output devices: An output device is any piece of computer hardware equipment used to communicate the results of data processing carried out by an information processing system (such as a computer) to the outside world. while older monitors use a cathode ray tube about as deep as the screen size. circuitry. From the 1980s onwards. although A4Tech has not released a new model in several years. computer monitors were used for data processing while television receivers were used for entertainment. The common aspect ratio of televisions. computers (and their monitors) have been used for both data processing and entertainment. Originally. B. . including a product for kids called EasyBall. and Kensington currently produce trackballs. but has since discontinued all of its products. The monitor comprises the display device. Following are the different types of output devices: • Monitor: A monitor or display (also called screen or visual display unit) is an electronic visual display for computers. while televisions have implemented some computer functionality. has also changed from 4:3 to 16:9.Three major companies Logitech. Microsoft was a major producer. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) thin panel. and then computer monitors.
An array processor or vector processor has multiple parallel computing elements. calling on the ALU when necessary. Since the 1970s the microprocessor class of CPUs has almost completely overtaken all other CPU implementations. In the distributed computing model.• CPU: The central processing unit (CPU) is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program. but their fundamental operation remains much the same. with hundreds of connecting pins. Two typical components of a CPU are the arithmetic logic unit (ALU). which performs arithmetic and logical operations. with no one unit considered the "centre". the CPU is housed in a single silicon chip called a microprocessor. Not all computational systems rely on a central processing unit. CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. logical. and input/output operations of the system. and the control unit (CU). . The CPU plays a role somewhat analogous to the brain in the computer. which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them. to perform the basic arithmetical. Modern CPUs are large scale integrated circuits in packages typically less than four centimetres square. design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples. On personal computers and small workstations. problems are solved by a distributed interconnected set of processors. The term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s. On large machines. The form.
Most MFPs include printing. professional publishing. and the cost per page is actually relatively high. However. a few modern printers can directly interface to electronic media such as memory cards. some printers are combined with scanners or fax machines in a single unit. commonly known as network printers. The printing press remains the machine of choice for high-volume. and many inexpensive consumer printers are far slower than that). Some printers. as printers . requiring virtually no setup time to achieve a hard copy of a given document. and can serve as a hard copy device for any user on the network. Printers that include non-printing features are sometimes called multifunction printers (MFP). have built-in network interfaces. Many printers are primarily used as local peripherals. and can function as photocopiers. multi-function devices (MFD). However. in most new printers. a USB cable to a computer which serves as a document source. shortturnaround print jobs. However. printers are generally slow devices (30 pages per minute is considered fast. Consumer and some commercial printers are designed for low-volume.• Printers: In computing. usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies. typically wireless or Ethernet based. Individual printers are often designed to support both local and network connected users at the same time. In addition. scanning. this is offset by the on-demand convenience and project management costs being more controllable compared to an out-sourced solution. and are attached by a printer cable or. and copying among their many features. a printer is a peripheral which produces a text or graphics of documents stored in electronic form. or to image capture devices such as digital cameras and scanners. or all-in-one (AIO) printers.
A virtual printer is a piece of computer software whose user interface and API resembles that of a printer driver. though they have generally been replaced with wide-format conventional printers." even though they technically aren't. In the past. Local printers are also increasingly taking over the process of photofinishing as digital photo printers become commonplace. .have improved in quality and performance. but which is not connected with a physical computer printer. The world's first computer printer was a 19th century mechanically driven apparatus invented by Charles Babbage for his Difference Engine. • Plotters: Plotter is a computer printer to print vector graphics. many jobs which used to be done by professional print shops are now done by users on local printers. It is now commonplace to refer to such wide-format printers as "plotters. plotters were used in applications such as computer-aided design. see desktop publishing.
allowing about 2. . and these units usually include the power amplifiers both for the bass speaker. to enhance bass output. Some computer speakers have equalization features such as bass and treble controls. and the small satellite speakers. Computer speakers range widely in quality and in price.5 watts of output power. Rows of RCA sockets are found on the backs of stereo amplifier and numerous A/V products. They often have a lowpower internal amplifier. There are also USB speakers which are powered from the 5 volts at 500 milliamps provided by the USB port.• Speakers: Computer speakers.5 mm (approximately 1/8 inch) stereo jack plug often color-coded lime green (following the PC 99 standard) for computer sound cards. are speakers external to a computer that disable the lower fidelity built-in speaker. usually an AC adapter. and have mediocre sound quality. More sophisticated computer speakers can have a subwoofer unit. or multimedia speakers. The internal amplifiers require an external power source. plastic. The standard audio connection is a 3. The prong is 1/8" thick by 5/16" long. The computer speakers typically packaged with computer systems are small. A few use an RCA connector for input. A plug and socket for a two-wire (signal and ground) coaxial cable is widely used to connect analog audio and video components.
Synthesized speech can be created by concatenating pieces of recorded speech that are stored in a database. A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech.Some computer displays have rather basic speakers built-in. but may lack clarity. . Alternatively. • Speech synthesisers: Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. a lead connecting computer sound output to an existing stereo system is practical. other systems render symbolic linguistic representations like phonetic transcriptions into speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer. Laptops come with integrated speakers. a synthesizer can incorporate a model of the vocal tract and other human voice characteristics to create a completely "synthetic" voice output. Computer speakers can also serve as an economy amplifier for MP3 player use for those who wish to not use headphones. For some users. a system that stores phones or diphones provides the largest output range. For specific usage domains. the storage of entire words or sentences allows for high-quality output. Systems differ in the size of the stored speech units. Restricted space available in laptops means these speakers usually produce low-quality sound. This normally yields much better results than small low-cost computer speakers. although some models of computer speakers have headphone jacks of their own. and can be implemented in software or hardware.
primarily computer data. C. and speed have kept pace with the requirements for secondary storage. Hard disk drives have been the dominant device for secondary storage of data in general purpose computers since the early 1960s. Following is a storage device: • Hard Discs: A hard disk drive is a device for storing and retrieving digital information. process information. . Storage Devices: A storage device may hold information. coated with magnetic material and with magnetic heads arranged to write data to the surfaces and read it from them.The quality of a speech synthesizer is judged by its similarity to the human voice and by its ability to be understood. A device that only holds information is a recording medium. They have maintained this position because advances in their recording capacity. random access. data storage devices. It consists of one or more rigid (hence "hard") rapidly rotating discs. Hard drives are classified as non-volatile. hard disk drives have decreased in cost and physical size over the years while dramatically increasing in capacity and speed. Many computer operating systems have included speech synthesizers since the early 1980s. digital. reliability. or both. Devices that process information (data storage equipment) may either access a separate portable (removable) recording medium or a permanent component to store or retrieve information. Introduced by IBM in 1956. cost. magnetic. An intelligible text-to-speech program allows people with visual impairments or reading disabilities to listen to written works on a home computer.