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Rellie D.

Castro, RN

What is a computer?

A computer is a special machine that performs tasks such as calculations, data processing and handling, electronic communication etc., under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the computer and are retrieved and processed by the computers electronics.

What is a computer?

The program results are stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers.

Computers perform a wide variety of activities reliably, accurately, and quickly.

Uses of computers
People use computers in many ways:

Track inventories with bar codes and

scanners Check the credit status of customers Transfer funds electronically

Uses of computers
Control the indoor temperature.
Operate home security systems Tell the time Turn videocassette recorders (VCRs) on

and off.

Uses of computers
Automobiles Regulate the flow of fuel, thereby

increasing gas mileage. Used in anti-theft systems.

Education use computers to track grades communicate with students visual aids

Four main functions of computers:

Accepts data Processes data Produces output

Stored results

How computers works

A computer is divided into two main components: Hardware
The physical computer and its components

are known as hardware.

Computer hardware includes: the memory that stores data and program instructions; the central processing unit (CPU) that carries out program instructions;

How computers works

the input devices, such as a keyboard or

mouse, that allow the user to communicate with the computer;

the output devices, such as printers and video

display monitors, that enable the computer to present information to the user;
and buses (hardware lines or wires) that

connect these and other computer components

How computers works

The programs that run the computer are

called software.
Software generally is designed to perform a

particular type of taskfor example, to control the arm of a robot to weld a cars body, to write a letter, to display and modify a photograph, or to direct the general operation of the computer.

Range of Ability of Computers

Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows:


A small, single-user computer based on

a microprocessor. Actual personal computers can be generally classified by size and chassis / case

Personal computer

Tower model- The term refers to a computer in which the power supply, motherboard, and mass storage devices are stacked on top of each other in a cabinet.

Personal computer

Desktop model- A computer designed to fit comfortably on top of a desk, typically with the monitor sitting on top of the computer.

Personal computer

Notebook/ Laptop computer- An extremely lightweight personal computer. Notebook computers typically weigh less than 6 pounds and are small enough to fit easily in a briefcase.

Personal computer

Subnotebook computer- A portable computer that is slightly lighter and smaller than a full-sized notebook computer. Typically, subnotebook computers have a smaller keyboard and screen, but are otherwise equivalent to notebook computers.

Personal computer

PDA - Short for personal digital assistant, a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, and networking features.


A powerful, single-user computer. A workstation is like a personal computer, but it has a more powerful microprocessor and, in general, a higher-quality monitor.

It is a type of computer used for engineering applications, desktop publishing, software development, and other types of applications that require a moderate amount of computing power and relatively high quality graphics capabilities.


A powerful multi-user computer capable of supporting many hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously.


An extremely fast computer that can perform hundreds of millions of instructions per second

Main components of a Typical Computer

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

the microprocessor (brain) of the computer system is

called the central processing unit. Everything that a computer does is overseen by the CPU. It is the main information processor of the computer.

Main components of a Typical Computer

this is very fast storage used to hold data. It has to be fast

because it connects directly to the microprocessor. There are several specific types of memory in a computer: Random access memory (RAM) used to temporarily store information that the computer is currently working with.

Read only memory (ROM) a permanent type of

memory storage used by the computer for important data that does not change.

Main components of a Typical Computer

This is the main circuit board that all of the other internal

components connect to. The CPU are usually on the motherboard. Other systems may be found directly on the motherboard or connected through a secondary connection.

Main components of a Typical Computer

Hard disk
This is a large capacity permanent storage used to hold

information such as programs and documents

Main components of a Typical Computer

Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) Controller

This is the primary interface for the hard

drive, CD-ROM and floppy disk drive.

Main components of a Typical Computer

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Bus

The most common way to connect additional

components to the computer PCI uses a series of slots on the motherboard that PCI cards plug into.

Main components of a Typical Computer

Accelerated Graphics Port is a very high-speed

connection used by the graphics card to interface with the computer

Main components of a Typical Computer

Sound Card
This is used by the computer to record and

play audio by converting analog sound into digital information and back again.

Main components of a Typical Computer

Graphics Card
This translates image data from the

computer into a format that can be displayed by the monitor.