computer hardware

by sophie mckenna

hard drive

Alternatively referred to as a hard disk drive and abbreviated as HD or HDD, the hard drive is the computer's main storage media device that permanently stores all data on the computer. The hard drive was first introduced on September 13, 1956 and consists of one or more hard drive platters inside of air sealed casing. Most computer hard drives are in an internal drive bay at the front of the computer and connect to the motherboard using either ATA, SCSI, or a SATA cable and power cable. Below, is an illustration of what the inside of a hard drive looks like for a desktop and laptop hard drive.

optical drive

If you're even an occasional computer user, chances are you've operated the optical drive at one point. An optical drive has important applications, and is a necessary component in today's common computer. Read more at: Optical Drive Information |


A computer monitor is an essential part of the machine. A computer monitor displays the output from the hard drive, video card and CDROM. Without a monitor, a computer is not operational. There are several types of monitors similar to a regular television. Flat-screen monitors with enhanced technology make it easier for users to install the device onto their computer. These monitors have replaced old tube screens that take up more space and are harder to install.


The processor, also called the microprocessor or CPU, is the brain of the PC. It performs all general computing tasks and coordinates tasks done by memory, video, disk storage, and other system components. The CPU is a very complex chip that resides directly on the motherboard of most PCs, but may instead reside on a daughtercard that connects to the motherboard via a dedicated specialized slot.


Understanding what RAM is and where to find the amount of RAM your PC has its important step to being a competent computer user. If you aren't sure how much RAM you have and what it's used for, you run the risk of overworking your computer and even losing data from time to time.

mother boards

The primary hardware component of any computer system is the motherboard. Every other piece of computer hardware, from the keyboard, mouse, CPU and RAM to expansion cards, all connect into the motherboard. Motherboards are also known by different names, such as main board, printed circuit board (PCS) or systems board. Without the primary circuit system of the motherboard, one would have no computer.


Before a computer can process your data, you need some method to input the data into the machine. The device you use will depend on what form this data takes (be it text, sound, artwork, etc.). Similarly, after the computer has processed your data, you often need to produce output of the results. This output could be a display on the computer screen, hardcopy on printed pages, or even the audio playback of music you composed on the computer

touch screens

A touchscreen panel is a display screen that acts like an input device when you press 'buttons' on the screen to instruct the device, and like an output device when it gives you feedback by displaying an image.

tim berners-lee

Berners Lee is a British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web.Timothy John Berners Lee was born on 8 June 1955 and grew up in London. He studied physics at Oxford University and became a software engineer.In 1980, while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, he first described the concept of a global system, based on the concept of 'hypertext', that would allow researchers anywhere to share information. He also built a prototype called 'Enquire'.In 1984, Berners Lee's returned to CERN, which was also home to a major European Internet node. In 1989, Berners Lee published a paper called 'Information Management: A Proposal' in which he married up hypertext with the Internet, to create a system for sharing and distributing information not just within a company, but globally. He named it the World Wide Web

alan turning

Alan Turing was a British mathematician, cryptographer, and computer scientist often credited as the founder of computer science. In 1936 he developed the concept of the Turing Machine and with it the intellectual underpinnings of the modern digital computer. A pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, Turing was keenly involved in the development of the first self-modifying stored program computer. He also proposed a method for determining machine intelligence, the now famous Turing Test. Turing contributed pioneering work in biology in the area of non-linear dynamics. During World War II he was principally responsible for cracking the German Enigma cipher, a development that may have turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. He was a gifted athlete, nearly qualifying for the 1948 British Olympic track and field team. His best known published works include "On Computable Numbers" (1936) and "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (1950).