Components of a computer

The hard drive

What is it?

A Hard drive is an improtant part of modern computers. Functioning as an internal storage device, it allows a computer to house important files and programs, like the machine's operating system, and its components work together to actively read, and write data on system and user-generated files!
Simple Explanation of a Hard Drive

Internal and external drives

There are two main types of hard drives: internal and external. The internal drive is the main storage area of a computer, and typically, the operating system.Modern computers often have several hundred gigabytes of storage, which is enough room for the average user's collection of applications, documents and media throughout the computer's lifespan. An internal drive usually connects to the computer through whats called Parallel Advanced Technology.


External drives are usually used to hold back-up copies of documents and programs, to or to hold big data files that aren't used regularly. They usually don't include the operating system or any programs that are needed to make the computer work.


what is RAM?


is a computer storage location that allows information to be stored and accessed quickly from random locations .Because information is accessed randomly instead of sequentially like it is on a cd or hard drive, the computer can access the data much faster. However it requires power in order to keep the data accessible, if power is lost all data contained in memory lost.

If RAM fills up, the processor needs to continually go to the hard disk to overlay old data in RAM with new, which slows down the computer. Unlike the hard disk which can become completely full of data so that it won't accept any more, RAM never runs out of memory. It keeps operating, but much more slowly than you may want it to.

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What is a CPU?


Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor but more commonly called the processor the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

The CPU itself is an internal component of the computer Modern CPUs are small and square and contain multiple metallic connectors or pins on the underside. The CPU is inserted directly into a CPU socket, pin side down, on the motherboard.

Alan Turing

Alan Turing is often called the father of modern computing. He was a brilliant mathematician and logician. He developed the idea of the modern computer and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War he worked for the government breaking the enemies codes and Churchill said he shortened the war by two years. At the outbreak of World War Two, Alan Turing joined the Government Codes and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. He worked on breaking the code for the German Enigma machine, a device for sending coded messages to units of the German forces. Turing developed a machine which helped break the code. He also went on to break the Naval Enigma and even more complicated machine. His wartime services helped to win the war, but his work was so secret that very few people were aware of the importance of what he had done at Bletchley Park. Turing went on to become deputy director of the computing lab at Manchester University.

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The motherboard serves to connect all of the parts of a computer together. The cpu memory hard drives, optical drives, video cards, sound cards and other ports and expansion cards all connect to the motherboard directly or via cables.

In laptops and tablets, and increasingly even in desktops, the motherboard often incorporates the functions of the video card and sound card. This helps keep these types of computers small in size.

If you were to open up your computer and take out the motherboard, you would probably get pretty confused about all the different parts this is because motherboard is the piece of computer hardware that can be thought of as the "back bone" of the PC.

Depending on the make and model of your computer, it might look something like the picture below.

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Operating system

The operating system is the most important programs that run on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard sending output to the display screen keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral such as disk drives and printers.

For large systems, the operating system has even greater responsibilities and powers. It makes sure that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other. The operating system is also responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system.

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Monitors are display devices external to the computer case and connect via a cable to a port on the video card or motherboard. Even though the monitor sits outside the main computer housing, it is an essential part of the complete system as all the parts work together.

Most monitors are in a widescreen format and range in size from 17" to 24" or more. This size is a diagonal measurement from one corner of the screen to the other.

Monitors are built-in as part of the computer system in laptops, tablets, netbooks, and all-in-one desktop machines

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Cooling devices

The more your computer processes, the more heat it generates. The CPU and other components can handle a certain amount of heat. However, if a PC isn't cooled properly, it can overheat, causing costly damage to its components and circuitry. Fans are the most common device used to cool a PC. In addition, the CPU is covered by a metallic block called a heat sink, which draws heat away from the CPU. Some serious computer users, such as gamers, sometimes have more expensive heat management solutions, like a water-cooled system, designed to deal with more intense cooling demands.
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