Fundamentals of a Personal Computer

Fundamentals of a Personal Computer

What do you mean by a computer ?
The computer is an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) in a particular form and of performing a sequence of operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions (program) to produce a result in the form of information or signals.

In other words, we can say ” A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Who Invented the Computer ?
Charles Babbage (1822)

What are the Different types of Computers ?
Based on the operational principle of computers, they are categorized as:

 Analog Computers
 Digital Computers

The analog computer is almost an extinct type of computer these days. It is different from a digital computer, It utilizes mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical energy or operation.

The Digital computers which work on the principle of binary digit system of “0” and “1” can give very precise results.

What are Functions of a PC ?
 Accepting Data
 Storing Data
 Processing Data
 Displaying Data

This entire process is called Input-Process-Output cycle.

What are Components of a PC ?
A PC comprises of Hardware & Software.
Everything that you can see & touch in the PC is called as hardware.

Which are the Input Devices ?
 Pointing Devices
 Web Cameras
Barcode readers
 Microphones
 Tablets & Pens
 Fingerprint recognition
 Ultrasound etc.,

Which are the Output Devices ?
Display card
Sound card
Headphones etc.,

Which are the Storage Devices ?
There are several types of storage devices.
 Primary storage
 Secondary storage

A storage location that holds memory for short periods of times. For example, computer RAM is an example of a primary storage device.

A storage medium that holds information until it is deleted or overwritten. For example, a floppy disk drive or a hard disk drive is an example of a secondary storage device.

 Magnetic Devices (floppy drives, Hard disks, zip drives)
 Optical Devices (CD & DVD)
 Solid-State Storage Devices (flash memory)

Which are the Processing Devices ?

 Microprocessor
 Chipset
 BIOS (Basic Input Output System) etc.,

What do you mean by BIOS ?
Basic Input Output System, which Instructs the computer what to do before loading any software.

Which are the Communication Devices ?
 Interfaces
 I/O Ports & Cables
1. Serial
2. Parallel
 LAN Card
 Telecommunication
1. Modem
 Internet
Network Cables

Interfaces: Provide a communication channel that enables your computer to exchange information with various devices.
Ex: ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment), SATA,
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)

I/O Ports & Cables: Connects input & output devices to the PC.

Serial Ports: Connects devices such as modems, mice & digital cameras. Transmits data in serial fashion.

Parallel Ports: Connects to scanners, CD burners, hard drives & printers. Parallel ports are much faster than serial ports. These ports transmit data in a parallel manner.

What do you mean by USB ?
Universal Serial Bus, nowadays USB is becoming popular replacing serial & parallel ports. USB is highly advanced, fast & simple to use.

What do you mean by LAN Card ?
Connects the PC to a network. The LAN card enables connections to other computers.
Companies can share devices like printers across a network & access data in an intranet.

What do you mean by Modem ?
Modulates & Demodulates information between two devices across a network. The modem is an abbreviation.
The modem receives the digital signal from the computer & converts it to analog form before sending over a telephone network.
At the receiving end, it converts analog signals back into digital form & delivers to the computer.

Whar are the Network Cables ?
Connects the PC to the internet or any other network. There are different types of network cables.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable:
It consists of four pairs of wire inside a covering jacket. The pair of wires is twisted. The twisting protects the wires from interference effects.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable:
uses a shielding to protect the cable from external interference. STP is shielded version of the UTP cable. STP is heavier & larger than UTP because of the covering.

Coaxial Cable:
it consists of copper rod in the center & is covered by a plastic layer. The complicated design of cable makes it difficult to install. There are 2 types of coaxial cables thinner & thicknet.

Fiber optic cable:
provides total immunity to electrical interference, this is because it consists of a glass core.
It emits light & not electrical signals, as a result, electrical interference is impossible.

What do you mean by Infrastructure Devices ?
It refers to the main components & the foundation or base on which the computer functions.
 System Case
1) Protection
2) Well defined structure
3) Expandability
4) Cooling
5) Status display
Power supply
1) System cooling
2) Performance stability
3) Reduction of power consumption
4) Expandability options
 Expansion boards

What do you mean by S-Video connector ?
S-Video means Separate Video, incorrectly referred to as Super Video.
is an analog video signal that carries a video data as two separate signals:
lumen (luminance) & chroma (color).

S-Video carries standard definition video (typically at 480i or 576i resolution) but does not carry audio on the same cable.

What do you mean by fatal & non-fatal errors ?
The errors that cause the system to stop booting are of 2 types – fatal & non-fatal errors.

In the case of non-fatal errors like problems in the extended memory, an error message usually appears on the screen. They allow the computer to continue the boot process.

In the case of fatal errors like problems in the processor, the boot process stops immediately & the user gets a series of audible beeps.

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