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IDENTIFYING THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF A PC

The system unit is the box that contains the essence of the computer. In
the system unit, you will fund the computers brain, its short- and long-term
memory, and the writing that links all the pieces together. Peripheral devices
attach to it using special connectors, usually on the back of the box.
The keyboard is the typewriter component of a PC. It enables you to enter
letters, numbers and special characters into the computer.
The mouse is a primary input device on a modern computer. It enables you
to interact with images on the monitor screen by controlling an on-screen
icon called a cursor.
The monitor is the computers primary output device. Over the years,
monitors have progressed from small, black screens with crudely formed
glowing green or orange characters to large, flat-panel screens that display
photographic-quality images in over billion colors.
Speakers provide the audio output for your system. The first PC speaker
systems often consisted of two rather cheap speakers, but todays computer
sound systems may have up to six speakers including a subwoofer.
Almost every PC consists of a system unit, keyboard, monitor, mouse, and
speakers. However, many other peripherals are also quite common on a
typical PC.
-Cameras are quite popular on many systems today.
-With a microphone, you can input sounds into your computer.
-Scanners convert paper documents and photographs into electronic files.
-Speakers bring you sound. See the subwoofer system?
-You still need a printer to create paper output.

SYSTEM UNIT
The system unit is far and away the most complicated part of a PC. It
houses the actual computing power of the system, provides the connections
to all the peripherals, and holds the disk drives where you insert removable
storage media such as CDs and floppy disks.

THE BACK OF THE SYSTEM UNIT


Notice the connection points at the back of the system unit. The generic
term for these connection points is ports. The back of the system has a place
to plug in the power cord; a vent for cooling fan; special ports where you can
plug in a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, communications devices, and
a joystick; plus a parallel port for a printer, serial port, (used by some older
peripherals), and USB ports (used by many newer devices).
Power input - The power input is where you plug in the PCs electrical
power cord.
Keyboard port - This special dedicated port is just for the keyboard.
Mouse port - This dedicated port is just for the mouse.
USB ports - Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports are general-purpose connectors
found on newer PCs. The more unusual the peripheral, the more likely it will
use a USB port.
Serial port - This 9-pin connector is one of the oldest and most universal
ports found in the back of a PC. Before the introduction of USB in the mid
1990s, serial ports are heavily used.
Parallel port - Virtually as old as the serial port, the 25-pin parallel port has
been updated a number of times over the years. Despite the growing
prominence of USB, parallel ports remain a popular means for connecting
printers.
Video port - This unique three-row, 15-pin connector is where the monitor
connects to the system unit.
Audio ports - These are used to connect speakers, microphones, and other
audio devices.
Game port - Also known as a joystick port, this 15-pin connector can be
used both for joysticks and for MIDI musical devices.
Modem port - This looks like a telephone jack, and for a good reason
thats what it is. Modems enable your computer to communicate with other
computers via telephone line. Notice that there are two connectors. One is

an IN jack, which you use to plug your computer into the wall jack, and the
other is an OUT jack, which you can use to plug in a telephone.
Network Interface - The network interface is normally called just that, and
not a port. It is sometimes referred to as an Ethernet connector. It connects
your PC to other PCs in a Local Area Network.

MONITOR
Monitors come in one of two types: the older cathode ray tube (CRT) type or
the more modern liquid crystal display (LCD) variety. CRT monitors have a
picture tube like TV, so they have a big front-to-back footprint. By contrast,
LCD monitors are quite thin, but the technology is still new and thus much
more expensive. Both kinds of monitors have roughly the same types of
controls and connections:
-

The on/off switch often a button turns the monitor on and off.
Screen adjustments controls, which vary widely in how they operate
from one monitor to another, can be used to adjust many features of
the display, including its size and position on the screen; its shape
characteristics; and its clarity, brightness, and color tones.

KEYBOARD
A computer keyboard is one of the primary input devices used with a
computer that looks similar to those found on electric typewriters, but with
some additional keys. Keyboards allow you to input letters, numbers, and
other symbols into a computer that often function as commands.

MOUSE DEVICES
By using a mouse, the user doesn't have to memorize commands, such as
those utilized in a text-based command line environment like MS-DOS. For
example, in MS-DOS a user would have to know the cd command and dir
command to navigate to a folder and view the files inside. Whereas a
Windows user only has to double-click a file to view its contents.

Types of computer mice


-

Cordless (Wireless)

Footmouse

IntelliMouse (Wheel mouse)

J mouse

Joystick

Mechanical

Optical

Touchpad (Glidepoint)

Trackball

TrackPoint

CPU is an electronic device that accepts input and performs hundreds of


different types of functions on that input. These may be as simple as basic
arithmetic functions, such as adding 2 + 2, or they may be something vastly
more complex, such as Take this value and send it to the video card so it
can display a color on the screen. The collection of all the functions that the
CPU can perform is called the CPUs instruction set.