computer components

by Joe Timbrell

hard drive

A typical HDD has two electric motors; a disk motor that spins the disks and an actuator (motor) that positions the read/write head assembly across the spinning disks. The disk motor has an external rotor attached to the disks; the stator windings are fixed in place. Opposite the actuator at the end of the head support arm is the read-write head; thin printed-circuit cables connect the read-write heads to amplifier electronics mounted at the pivot of the actuator. The head support arm is very light, but also stiff; in modern drives, acceleration at the head reaches 550 g.

graphics card

The words or images you see on your monitor are made of tiny dots called pixels. At most common resolution settings, a screen displays over a million pixels, and the computer has to decide what to do with every one in order to create an image. To do this, it needs a translator.

(RAM) random acsess memory

RAM (random access memory) is the place in a computer where the operating system application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's prosesser. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM. However, the data in RAM stays there only as long as your computer is running. When you turn the computer off, RAM loses its data. When you turn your computer on again, your operating system and other files are once again loaded into RAM, usually from your hard disk.


We've established that the speed of the processor itself controls how quickly a computer thinks. The speed of the chipset and busses controls how quickly it can communicate with other parts of the computer.


For the past 75 years, the vast majority of televisions have been built around the same technology: the cathode ray tube CRT.


Read-only memory (ROM), also known as firmware, is an integrated circuit programmed with specific data when it is manufactured. ROM chips are used not only in computers, but in most other electronic items as well


The resistive system consists of a normal glass panel that is covered with a conductive and a resistive metallic layer. These two layers are held apart by spacers, and a scratch-resistant layer is placed on top of the whole setup.