computer hardware

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Computer Hardware

Computer hardware:

Computer hardware Computer hardware  is the collection of physical parts of a  computer  system. This includes the computer  case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It also includes all the parts inside the  computer , such as the hard disk drive, motherboard, video card, and many others.  Computer hardware  is what you can physically touch.

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Computer hardware Input device Output Device

Input devices:

Input devices Input device is used to enter the data and instructions into the computer. Advancement in the computer technology has resulted in a variety of input devices being available in the market. Keyboard and mouse are the most commonly used input devices.

Keyboard:

Keyboard Keyboard is the most popular input device that allows users to type alphabets , numbers, and operators, and also to control the cursor on the screen.

Mouse:

Mouse Mouse is a pointing device that allows user to point to a specific position on the screen. It has two or three buttons on top for selecting different operations . The mouse is placed on flat surface and moved around to move its controlling arrow on screen. The arrow showing the position of mouse on screen is known as mouse pointer . Left button of mouse is used execute the operation associated with it. Right button/Middle buttons are associated with special operations in different situations .

Track ball:

Track ball A trackball is an  input device  used to enter motion data into computers or other electronic devices. It serves the same purpose as a  mouse , but is designed with a moveable ball on the top, which can be rolled in any direction. Instead of moving the whole device, you simply roll the moveable ball on top of the trackball unit with your hand to generate motion input.

Other input Devices:

Other input Devices Joy Stick: It is a device used to control cursor on screen. Normally it is used in Games and specially designed simulation software . Light Pen : It is a device used for drawing pictures and for directly controlling screen operations . Microphone : It is a device used to accept audio inputs from the user.

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Scanner: It is a device used to capture digital images of printed documents , graphics or other printed media. Touch Screens: It is a display device, which is touch-sensitive and allows user to interact with the computer system by touching an area on the screen.

Bar Code Reader:

Bar Code Reader It is used to accept barcode inputs. A barcode is a series of vertical bars representing numbers and alphabets printed on product labels. One must have noticed all standard items like perfumes, greeting cards, books, cassettes available in the market have similar lines as shown in the figure, known as bar codes. These can be read with the help of bar code readers .

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Web Camera: It is an easy to connect low resolution digital camera normally employed for transfer of images on the web-based conferencing. Digital Camera: It is a high-resolution camera, which captures images and stores them in digital format. It has provision to connect to the computer using special computer communication cables (such as USB cables).

Output devices:

Output devices It is a device used to provide the processed data from the computer to the user. Monitor (VDU/Screen) and printer are the most commonly used output devices. The usage of some of the commonly used output devices is tabulated below:

Monitor:

Monitor A Monitor is an output device, very similar to the television screen. It displays the information as it is typed and also displays the processed result or the output. It is available in many forms cathode ray picture tube based display, liquid crystal based display(LCD ), plasma panel display, and touch panel display.

Printer:

Printer It is an output device to produce paper copy (hard copy) for a document , pictures etc. The job of a printer is to put on paper what is seen on the monitor. Printers vary mainly in cost, quality, speed and noise levels. Eg : Dot Matrix Printer , Inkjet / Deskjet / Bubblejet Printer , Laser Printer.

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Plotter : Plotters are expensive output devices specially designed to produce outputs of diagrams, illustrations and other graphics.

Storage devices:

Storage devices Storing data is an important part of a computer system. The main concern of all computer designers is to create fast and efficient storage devices. As is commonly known , the primary memory inside the computer (Random Access Memory or RAM) is volatile i.e. whatever is stored in RAM is lost as soon as the computer is switched off. So if there is a need to save data from getting lost, it can be put on a storage device like floppy disk, hard disks and CD-ROMS before switching off the Computer.

Floppy Disk:

Floppy Disk It is a smaller capacity removable storage device. It is made up of thin and flexible plastic material. Each FD can store 1 million characters.It is stored by FDD. Disk is normally rotates 300 revelutions per minute. 5.25 and 3.5 inch drives are available.

Hard Disk Drive :

Hard Disk Drive It is a storage device with very large capacity, which ranges from 1GB to Terabytes . It is placed in side the cabinet of CPU (Although external hard drives are also available these days). It is not a removable drive in normal circumstances . A hard disk has a much larger storage capacity than a floppy disk. It is fitted inside the computer and cannot be seen by us. There can be one or more hard disk in the system unit of a computer. They were originally called "fixed disks“ or "Winchesters".

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They later became known as "hard disks" to distinguish them from "floppy disks." Hard disks have a hard platter that holds the magnetic medium, as opposed to the flexible plastic film found in tapes and floppies. At the simplest level, a hard disk uses magnetic recording techniques just like the floppy disk. Major benefits of magnetic storage - the magnetic medium can be easily erased and rewritten, and it will "remember" the magnetic flux patterns stored onto the medium for many years. The working of a hard disk is similar to that of a floppy disk. In order to increase the amount of information the drive can store, most hard disks have multiple platters.

CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory):

CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) It is a storage device with medium capacity i.e. to hold 650 MB/700 MB (5.25 inch). Computer has special drive known as CD-Drive. It can store data, audio and video.

DVD (Digital Versatile Disc):

DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) Computer has special drive known as DVD-Drive to provide support for placing and running DVDs. A DVD is very similar to a CD, but it has a much larger data storage capacity . A standard DVD media holds about seven times more data than a CD media. A DVD can store data, audio and video. It is made up of plastic with special surface having optical sensitivity denser as compared to CDs. A DVD drive is capable of running a CD media also. The DVD media can store up to 4.7 GB of data as compared to 650-700 MB storage capacity of CD-ROMs.

Pen Drive:

Pen Drive This is a type of flash memory storage device of the size of a thumb and can plug into the USB port of the computer . USB flash drives are more compact, generally faster, hold more data, and are more reliable (due to their lack of moving parts) than disk storage . Most flash drives use a standard USB connector , which is connected directly to the USB port on a personal computer. Flash drive is nearly free from scratch and dust problems that exist in the other storage media, such as floppy disks and compact discs. This makes it ideal for transporting data or work files from one location to another, such as from home to school or office or work places.

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It also allows one to perform multiple read-write operations. Flash drives are also a relatively dense form of storage, where even the cheapest will store dozens of floppy disks worth of data. Some can hold more data than a CD (700 MB). Top of the line flash drives can store more data than a DVD. Flash drives often last for 500,000 or more erase/write cycles. Optical storage devices are also slower than their flash-based counterparts.

Central Processing Unit:

Central Processing Unit CPU has a number of  components . The first is the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs simple arithmetic and logical operations. Second is the control unit (CU), which manages the various components of the computer. It reads and interprets instructions from memory and transforms them into a series of signals to activate other parts of the computer. The control unit calls upon the arithmetic logic unit to perform the necessary calculations.

Central Processing Unit:

Central Processing Unit The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of your computer. It handles all the instructions you give your computer, and the faster it does this, the better.

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A typical CPU has a number of  components . The first is the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs simple arithmetic and logical operations. Second is the control unit (CU), which manages the various components of the computer. It reads and interprets instructions from memory and transforms them into a series of signals to activate other parts of the computer. The control unit calls upon the arithmetic logic unit to perform the necessary calculations.

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