In primary school i had IT as subject & in it the definition of computer was very simple “computer is an electronic machine. . .” Everything in computer sounded as simple as the definition but now when i see at computer or any handheld device picture is very different from what i had back then. This article is for understanding ‘how computer works?’ In simple knowledge without any unwanted complications.
What is a computer?
Computer is an electronic machine which was primarily invented to do complex mathematics. You can also call computer as ‘Information Processor’ because that is what it does, computer takes information processes it and gives desired output.
Function or working of computer can be mainly divided into four parts –
input > processing > output
Input : this part gives computer the data or information which is to be processed.
Input devices : mouse, keyboard, touch pad, touch screen, pentab, scanner, microphone, etc
Processing : this part processes the given data ie. Does mathematical calculations & takes other decisions that is why this part is called brain of computer.
Processing devices : processors such as intel i7 & GPUs like AMD Radeon™ R7 series etc.
Output : this is last part of computer which shows / gives us the output of processed data.
Output devices : monitor ( any type of display LCD, LED, Projector, etc), printer, speakers, etc.
Storage : there are a few types of storage like
Primary storage : Temporary memory (RAM), Permanent memory (ROM)
Secondary storage : the memory which stores operating systems (OS) like Linux, Windows, Mac OS, etc. Internal HDD is most commonly used but Hybrid HDD & SSD are used too.
Removable storage : this storage devices are used to transfer data from one computer to other – Pendrives, Removable Solid State Drive (SSD), Removable Hard Disk Drive (HDD), Multimedia Memory Card (MMC), Secured Digital Card (SD Card), Compact Disk (CD), Digital Video Disk (DVD), BlueRay disk (BR disk), Magnetic Tape, etc are examples of removable storage.
Basic Computer components
Case : The case is typically some type of box with lights, vents for cooling and places for attaching cables (ports). Computer manufacturers design or select a case based on the type of motherboard that should fit inside.
Motherboard : The big greenish circuit board inside your computer is it’s motherboard (usually inside CPU case). All components connect through the motherboard in some way even removable devices through the ports present on motherboard. Several important components are attached directly to the motherboard. These include the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), which stores some information, such as the system clock (this is the thing which keeps system on correct time even after power supply is cutted down). Motherboards come in different sizes and standards, the most common as of this writing being ATX and MicroATX. Further motherboards vary by the type of removable components they’re designed to handle internally and what ports are available for attaching external devices (pendrives, etc).
Power supply : The power supply connects to some type of power source, whether that’s a battery in the case of mobile computers or a power outlet in the case of desktop computers. In a desktop computer, you can see the power supply mounted inside the case with a power cable connection on the outside and a handful of attached cables inside. Some of these cables connect directly to the motherboard while others connect to other components like drives and fans this box like component which supplies power is called Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) & they come complementary with CPU cases but you’re free to buy them separately.
Central processing unit (CPU) : The CPU, the brain of computer! CPU is the component that contains the microprocessor. That microprocessor is the heart of all the computer’s operations and the performance of both hardware and software rely on the processor’s performance. The two common CPU architectures are 32-bit and 64-bit.
Intel and AMD are the largest CPU manufacturers for PCs, though you’ll find others on the market, too.
Random-access memory (RAM) : Even the fastest processor needs a buffer to store information while it’s being processed. In simple words if you’re cook (microprocessor) the RAM is basket where the ingredients and tools you’re working with wait until you need to pick up and use them. Both a fast CPU and an ample amount of RAM are necessary for a faster computing.
Drives : A drive is a device intended to store data when it’s not in use. A hard drive or solid state drive stores operating system and software, which we’ll look at more closely later. This category also includes optical drives such as those used for reading and writing CD, DVD and Blu-ray. A drive connects to the motherboard based on the type of drive controller technology it uses, including the older IDE standard and the newer SATA standard.
Cooling devices : The more your computer processes, the more heat it generates. The CPU and other components can handle a certain amount of heat. However, if a computer isn’t cooled properly it can overheat, causing costly damage to its components and circuits. Fans are the most common device used to cool a computer. In addition, the CPU is covered by a metallic block called a heat sink, which draws heat away from the CPU. Some serious computer users, such as gamers, sometimes have more expensive heat management solutions, like a water-cooled system, designed to deal with more intense cooling demands.
Cables : All the components mentioned so far are connected by some combination of cables. These cables are designed to carry data/power or both.
I will post remaining information on “Working of Computer – 2” till then,