Computer Hardware

The hardware of a computer system are the various physical pieces that make up the computer system. All the computers components, from the mother board in the center of the computer to the computers case, everything is classified as hardware. Computer hardware can be looked at as the foundation of a computer system of which all the computer's process are built upon.

Memory and Storage

Memory and storage are a computer systems way of retrieving previously used data. When a computer loads a saved file, it is using its memory and storage to do so.
In a computer, there are three different types of memory and storage:

Processors

A central processing unit (CPU), also referred to as a central processor unit, is the hardware within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s. The form, design, and implementation of CPUs have changed over the course of their history, but their fundamental operation remains much the same. A computer can have more than one CPU; this is called multiprocessing. Some integrated circuits (ICs) can contain multiple CPUs on a single chip; those ICs are called multi-core processors. Two typical components of a CPU are the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations, and the control unit (CU), which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.

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Peripherals

A peripheral is anything that connects to the computer, but doesn't become a part of the main computer. This includes computer mice, keyboards, speakers, printers, etc. There are three main types of peripherals; input devices, which send data to the computer (keyboard, mouse, camera, etc.), output devices, which receive and use data sent from a computer (monitor, speaker, projector, etc.), and storage devices, which the computer sends data to be stored and receives data that has been previously stored, whether by that computer or another (USB stick, CDs, external hard drive, etc.). Many peripherals act both as input and output devices. A keyboard not only inputs data, but also outputs data in the form of the LED that comes on to tell show caps lock is on. Peripherals are simply ways for us to input and output information to and from a computer.

Networking

Networking is the connecting of computer systems together to share or control access to resources between different computer systems. eg. a home network that shares internet connection. There are many different aspects to the networking of the computer system, including types of networks, network size, and network hardware.

Types of Networks

There are two main types of computer networks:

Network Size

Depending on the size of a network, it can be classified into two different categories:

Network Hardware

There are many hardware components that make up a computer network. The first is the router, a small device that manages traffic. In a network, each network member is given an address and all requests/responses to and from network members are directed to the correct place by the router.

Another hardware piece in a network are the hubs or switches, which are used in larger networks to save on cables. Hubs or switches allow multiple systems to share one cable, instead of having a mass of cables all coming from the same place.

Finally, there are modems. In order to share data over long distances, we typically piggyback onto existing networks such as phones or TV cable to transport our data. However, these systems were designed to carry only voice or TV signals, so computer data needs to be modified in order to use these systems. A modems job is to modulate or demodulate this computer data into a format suitable for use by the intended system.

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