Although a computer may seem like a simple thing, it is complicated. But don't worry because this leaflet is a simple way of telling you what some of the main parts of a computer does.

Inputs and Outputs

In computing, an input device is a piece of computer hardware equipment used to provide data and control signals to an information processing system such as a computer or information appliance. Examples of input devices include keyboards, mice, scanners and digital cameras.


A drive is a thing that is capable of storing and reading information and it is not as easy remove unlike a disk.

A type of computer drive is a flash drive:

A USB flash drive, also known under a variety of other names, [a] is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than an optical disc.

Some other types of drives are a hard drive and a floppy disk.

Computer Basics : What Is a Flash Drive?


A computer monitor is an electronic device that shows pictures. Monitors often look similar to televisions. The main difference between a monitor and a television is that a monitor does not have a television remote to change channels. Monitors often have higher display resolution than televisions.

Some types of monitor are LCD and a CRT monitor.

This is an example of a CRT monitor.


The Motherboard is the main printed circuit board in the computer. It has many sockets into which the CPU, memory (RAM and ROM), cards (sound, graphics, network interface etc) and peripheral devices are connected. The Motherboard is essential as a means of connecting all of the computer's parts together. Extra boards, called 'daughter boards' can be plugged into the motherboard.

This is a labelled example!


The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the part of a computer system that is commonly referred to as the "brains. The CPU is responsible for executing a sequence of stored instructions called a program.

This program will take inputs from an input device, process the input in some way and output the results to an output device.

CPUs aren’t only found in desktop or laptop computers, many electronic devices now rely on them for their operation. Mobile phones, DVD players and washing machines are examples of equipment that have a CPU


RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory) are types of computer memory that provide users with access to information stored on a computer.

Main store (or computer memory)is divided into Read Only Memory (ROM) and Random Access Memory (RAM).


ROM is memory that cannot be changed by a program or user. ROM retains its memory even after the computer is turned off. For example, ROM stores the instructions for the computer to start up when it is turned on again.


RAM is a fast temporary type of memory in which programs, applications and data are stored. Here are some examples of what's stored in RAM:

  • the operating system

  • applications

  • hical user interface (GUI)

If a computer loses power, all data stored in its RAM is lost.

On left is a ram and on the right is a rom.

Touch Screens

A touch screen is the only device which works as both as an input and an output. You view the options available to you on the screen(output) and then you use your finger to chose the option you have chosen (input).

Touch screens are easy to use and are found in public places such as cashpoints (ATM), ticket collection terminals, at the theatre or airport, and at museums.

Touch screens are not commonly used to input large amounts of data because they are not very accurate and they would be tiring to the hands to use for long periods of time.


I hope this leaflet has helped you and that you now know more about computers to help you in the future.