How Computers Work

Rania Almarzouqi

What is a computer?

A computer is basically a hardware that can receive and process data with a lot of instructions.

What are computers mostly classified as?

Most of the computers can be classified as one of the five types which are:

  • 1. Mainframe Computers
  • 2. Mini Computers
  • 3. Micro Computers (PCs)
  • 4. Palm Top Computer (PDAs)
  • 5. Embedded Computers

Here are some pictures of the types of computers

The main hardware components of a typical standalone computer system consists of:

This picture shows what the main hardware components of a typical standalone computer system consists of

Networked Computer Systems:

In order networking computers share power, they have to link two or more computers together by a communication system to a central computer called “the server”. They do that to share power, exchange applications, and exchange user data files and information.

different types of computers \/

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Software is basically a program that you download to your computer. The program allows you to have different types of activities on your computer.
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A motherboard is inside your computer. It's where you can the chips that make up central processing unit (CPU).

Motherboard parts:

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input - output

An input is when you tell the computer what to do (clicking on the icon). Output is the opposite, it's when the info leaves the system.
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The Four Generations of computers

First Generation (1940-1956) Vacuum Tubes

The first generation of computers began in 1940-1956. They used vacuum tubes to make the first computer . Although, the quality of the computer was not good. The size of the computer was HUGE! The price of the computer was very expensive and the computer was not reliable.

Second Generation (1956-1963) Transistors

Instead of using vacuum tubes to make computers , they used transistors. The transistor was invented in 1947, but spread during the late 1950s. Allowed to make computers smaller, faster, and cheaper. So basically, the transistor made the computers better in many different ways.

Third Generation (1964-1971) Integrated Circuits

Transistors were placed on silicon chips, which increased the speed and efficiency of the computers. Also, during the third generation, they added keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system that allowed the device to have many applications.

Fourth Generation (1971-Present) Microprocessors

Because of the microprocessors, thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. Microprocessors moved computers into many ares of life. Believe it or not, more everyday products began to use microprocessors. Basically, microprocessors made life much easier. Also, the computers were not huge anymore, it could now fit the palm of the hand. Also, the small powerful computers , could link networks, which led to the development of the internet!