Hardware is normally described as the physical, hardware devices and components, which give assistance for various major functions like input, output (computation and control) and processing (process communication). The word “hardware” was originated from the Greek work “harpa”, which means “to cut”. The early computer models were mechanical or pneumatic. However, with the advent of microprocessors and instruction sets, computers became more user-friendly and efficient. Now, any task can be accomplished by a single computer-a piece of software or a device.
In addition to general purpose computers, there are specialized type of computers like desktop, notebook, personal computer, tablet PC, network attached service (NAS), graphic system, workstation, digital pen drive, hard disk drive, optical disc drive and virtual machine. Each specific type of computer system has its own storage media and operating system. There are also some devices that are used in the whole computing system like peripheral devices, printers, scanners, USB drives, memory sticks, web cameras and digital cameras. The following discussion will discuss in detail about some typical computer system components.
Computer hardware is composed of general purpose input/output devices, computer input devices and electronic reading and writing devices. The most common hardware components are mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, CPU and hard disk. Other types of hardware that can be included in a personal computer are a card reader, optical disc drive, LAN cards, USB and FireWire interface. A computer server is a collection of servers that work together to provide high-speed Internet connection, secure file storage, network access and other computer services.
The computer hardware has various functions and are categorized into different types. These are known as microprocessors. They execute instructions and perform other tasks in a processor. The different types of microprocessors include Motorola machines, Sun Microsystems, SunOS and others. They all make the computer process data according to a set of instructions stored in an instruction cache.
The central processing unit or CPU is the center of the computer system. It controls the operation of the other hardware components. The CPU consists of a central processing unit (CPU) and various installed hardware components. The operating system on the other hand controls the computer technology. The operating system keeps control of the different types of software installed in the computer system.
Digital and analog computers are two basic types of computer systems. Digital computers process data using binary codes while analog computers process data using signals. Digital computer systems can store data digitally and read information from an analog computer system through the use of analog components. A digital computer system can be used for performing calculations, graphic design, video synthesis and much more.
As stated earlier, computers are categorized according to the way they process information. There are various technologies in computer manufacturing that classify computers into different groups. These include desktop, mainframe, main-frame computer, laptop, personal computer, mainframe computer, tablet PC and the embedded system. Desktop and mainframe computers are the most popular type of computer. They contain several elements including a central processing unit (CPU), memory, hard disk, input and output devices such as a joystick, keyboard and mouse.
On the other hand, laptops and other types of personal computers that utilize the mainframe technology are more popular in today’s world. Laptops are hand-held personal computers that come in many sizes and price ranges. Laptop computers use the same central processing units and memory but differ in their external sources of power such as battery and AC adapter. They also contain several components such as a screen, keyboard, monitor and graphics card. In terms of storage, laptop computers are equipped with a solid state drive (SSD), flash memory and solid state drive (SSD SSD) for faster processing speeds and better storage space.