Computer Basics Equipment (Hardware)This page may take longer than a minute to load. Please be patient.Grade Level RequirementsCOMPUTER A machine that processes information and performs computations.Tower or The "box" or case that holdsDesktop the parts that make up a computer: CPU, hard disk drive, floppy drive, memory chips, power supply, interface cards, etc. Click here to learn more. CPU Central Processing Unit, or "brains" of the computerMonitor An output display device (looks similar to a TV) in a computer system. You see information on the monitors screen. Screen The viewing area on a monitor or the information or image displayed. A device that reads data from (input) or records data ontoDisk Drive a disk for storage (output). Floppy . Floppy Drive 3-1/2" Floppy Disk Hard Drive The main device that a computer uses to store information. Most computers come with a hard drive, called drive C, located inside the computer case.
CD-ROM ROM means Read-Only-Memory - you can only "read" information, not save. A CD can store a large amount of data including documents, photographs, software, and music (about 20 songs) CD Drive Compact Disk CD-R CD-RW A CD-Recordable drive can put A CD-ReWritable drive data onto a disk in just one can be written onto more session, and then is "closed" - than once - similar to a one "burn" only - you cant add floppy or hard disk. to it after you create it.DVD-ROM Used to store full-length Digital Video Disk - Read-Only movies, large programs, Memory etc. CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and DVDs all look the same. You must read the label to determine what type of media it is.Both CDs and DVDs are optical storage media. Optical technology uses a laser or light beam to process information.USB Flash These can hold documents,Drive picures, and music. Some flash drives are also MP3 players.Mouse A hand-held input device you roll on your desk to point to and select items on your screen. When you move the mouse, the mouse pointer on the screen moves in the same direction.
Mouse The little symbol on your screen that you move with yourpointer mouse. You use the mouse pointer to point to and select items on your screen. The mouse pointer changes shape, depending on its location on your screen and the action you are performing. Left Mouse Button - usually use this button Right Mouse Button - occasionally use this button for "special" actions Scroll Wheel - the mouse wheel may work differently from program to program. and it may not work in some programs. In most word processing programs, you can rotate the wheel to move up or down the page, equivalent to using the PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN keys on your keyboard or to clicking the scroll bar. Due to various problems it is best if you do not use the scroll wheel in the computer lab. Click Press and quickly release the button on a mouse Double Press and quickly release the mouse button twice.Click Drag Move objects or data around on the screen through the use of a mouse. Keep the left mouse button pressed while you move the mouse.Speakers Output device that produces sound and music when connected to the computer. Speakers come in different shapes and may even be in the monitors case.
Headphones Output device for listening that is held over the ears by a band worn on the headMicrophone Input device in which sound energy is changed into electrical energy for the sending or recording sound (your voice).Scanner Input device that reads copy as an image and digitally records the imageDigital Records and stores images as aCamera digital file, operates similarly to a "normal" camera, but no "film" is neededProjector Output device for displaying onto a large surface (projection screen) what appears on the computer monitor.Printer A device that produces a paper copy of the information on your screen. The printer on the left is an INK JET PRINTER, and the other is a LASER PRINTER.. .
Hub Hubs are devices that have many ports into which network cables are plugged. A hub takes the signal from each computer and sends it to all of the other computers through the network. Hubs come in different sizes and colors. The hub must be plugged in and turned on for the network to work - be sure you see green lightsModem A device that allows computers to communicate with each other over telephone lines (Internet). At school we do not use modems, we have a direct connection to the Internet called a T-1 line.Keyboard Input device - choose letters, symbols, and actions by pressing keys Key Any of the buttons on a keyboard that the user presses to input data (information) or to type commands Escape Usually pressed while you are working in a software application to stop the current activity, back out of a menu (or screen), or return to a previous screen. Enter Used to move the cursor to the beginning of a new line. It may also be called the return key. In some applications, pressing Enter tells the computer to stop waiting for more input and begin processing. Notice the arrow symbol on the Enter key; it is sometimes used in instructions and means to press the enter key. Backspace Moves the cursor one space to the left, erasing any character that is in its path
Spacebar Moves the cursor one space to If the spacebar is "split", (split the right, leaving a small blank the left "spacebar" actsspacebar) white area (space) on the like the backspace key - it screen. erases the character to the left of the cursor. shift Does nothing by itself, but when pressed and held down with another key it makes either a capital letter or the upper character on a key. Pressing Shift with a letter key when the CAPS LOCK key is "on" makes a lower case letter. caps lock Makes all letters uppercase without having to use the shift key - it is best to only use this when you are going to make many letters uppercase - dont use for just a few capital letters tab Marked with two arrows, one pointing left, the other, right. If pressed by itself, it moves the cursor to the next tab on the right. When pressed with the Shift key, it moves the cursor to the previous tab stop on the left. alt Does nothing by itself. When pressed with another key, it performs a special function. For example, pressing Alt-F4 may quit a currently running program. ctrl Does nothing by itself. When pressed with another key, it performs a special function. For example, pressing Ctrl-S may "save" a document. Num Lock Typically "on" at start up. When "on", it changes the keys on the numeric keyboard from cursor control arrows to numbers arranged in a typical ten-key calculator keypad. Delete On our "Windows" computers (P) it erases the character to the right of the cursor. Some people say it performs a "forward erase". It operates differently on a MAC. End The key you press to move the cursor to the end of the current line. Many programs also use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+End to move the cursor to the end of a document.
Insert Changes between insert mode and overstrike mode in word processing programs. In insert mode, all characters typed are placed at the cursor position (or to the right of the insertion point). As you type, anything to the right of the cursor moves to the right to make room for the new typing. If insert mode is turned off, typing then overwrites (erases) the old characters instead of putting the new ones before the old ones. This is often called overwrite mode. Most PC keyboards have an Ins or Insert key that lets you switch back and forth between insert and overwrite modes. Many word processing programs display OVR in a status bar at the bottom when overwrite mode is on. Home The key you press to move the cursor to the beginning of the current line. Many programs also use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+Home to move the cursor to the beginning of a document. PgDn The function of this key is usually software specific. Typically, it scrolls a document backward one screen or one page. PgUp The function of this key is usually software specific. Typically it scrolls a document forward one screen or one page. Arrows 4 keys that move the cursor in the direction the arrow points FunctionKeys Special keys that perform a number of important (F1, F2 tasks. Their exact functions are software dependent. F1...) usually is reserved for Help, while F10 frequently exits or quits the program.Print Screen It directs the computer to copy whatever is displayed on the screen to the clipboard for pasting later. It doesnt really "print" in Windows.
Scroll Lock Its function is often software specific. In spreadsheets, it usually locks the cursor on its current screen line and scrolls text (rather than the cursor) up or down whenever an up or down cursor control arrow is pressed.Pause Not usually used with Windows. Pressing this key under DOS temporarily stops a screen display or freezes rapidly scrolling information.Windows Key The WINDOWS key acts as another special function key. If you press the Window key by itself, the Start Menu will open. Windows+E will launch Windows Explorer. Click here to learn more about the Windows keyboard. Learn more about Computer Basics. Skills Needed4th, 5th, and 6th GradersKnow the above termsBasic mouse functions - moving on pad, execute buttonsUnderstand keyboard: Esc, Enter, cursor keys, insert, delete,space, shift, capsUnderstand function keys, Num Lock, tab, alt, PgDn, PgUp, CtrlReturn to Student Resource Pages Last updated June 23, 2011 ~ Mrs. K. Bradley email@example.com
MotherboardFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchIn personal computers, a motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in manymodern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, providingconnectors for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as themainboard, system board, planar board or, on Apple computers, the logic board. It isalso sometimes casually shortened to mobo.Motherboard for an Acer desktop personal computer, showing the typical components andinterfaces that are found on a motherboard. This model was made by Foxconn in 2008, andfollows the ATX layout (known as the "form factor") usually employed for desktopcomputers. It is designed to work with AMDs Athlon 64 processor.
A motherboard of a Vaio E series laptop (right)Contents[hide] 1 History 2 Overview o 2.1 CPU sockets o 2.2 Integrated peripherals o 2.3 Peripheral card slots o 2.4 Temperature and reliability o 2.5 Form factor 3 Bootstrapping using the BIOS 4 See also 5 References 6 External links HistoryPrior to the advent of the microprocessor, a computer was usually built in a card-cage case ormainframe with components connected by a backplane consisting of a set of slots themselvesconnected with wires; in very old designs the wires were discrete connections between cardconnector pins, but printed circuit boards soon became the standard practice. The CentralProcessing Unit, memory and peripherals were housed on individual printed circuit boardswhich plugged into the backplate. During the late 1980s and 1990s, it became economical tomove an increasing number of peripheral functions onto the motherboard (see below). In thelate 1980s, motherboards began to include single ICs (called Super I/O chips) capable ofsupporting a set of low-speed peripherals: keyboard, mouse, floppy disk drive, serial ports,
and parallel ports. As of the late 1990s, many personal computer motherboards supported afull range of audio, video, storage, and networking functions without the need for anyexpansion cards at all; higher-end systems for 3D gaming and computer graphics typicallyretained only the graphics card as a separate component.The early pioneers of motherboard manufacturing were Micronics, Mylex, AMI, DTK,Hauppauge, Orchid Technology, Elitegroup, DFI, and a number of Taiwan-basedmanufacturers.The most popular computers such as the Apple II and IBM PC had published schematicdiagrams and other documentation which permitted rapid reverse-engineering and third-partyreplacement motherboards. Usually intended for building new computers compatible with theexemplars, many motherboards offered additional performance or other features and wereused to upgrade the manufacturers original equipmentThe term mainboard is applied to devices with a single board and no additional expansions orcapability. In modern terms this would include embedded systems and controlling boards intelevisions, washing machines, etc. A motherboard specifically refers to a printed circuitboard with expansion capability. OverviewA motherboard, like a backplane, provides the electrical connections by which the othercomponents of the system communicate, but unlike a backplane, it also connects the centralprocessing unit and hosts other subsystems and devices.A typical desktop computer has its microprocessor, main memory, and other essentialcomponents connected to the motherboard. Other components such as external storage,controllers for video display and sound, and peripheral devices may be attached to themotherboard as plug-in cards or via cables, although in modern computers it is increasinglycommon to integrate some of these peripherals into the motherboard itself.An important component of a motherboard is the microprocessors supporting chipset, whichprovides the supporting interfaces between the CPU and the various buses and externalcomponents. This chipset determines, to an extent, the features and capabilities of themotherboard.Modern motherboards include, at a minimum: sockets (or slots) in which one or more microprocessors may be installed slots into which the systems main memory is to be installed (typically in the form of DIMM modules containing DRAM chips) a chipset which forms an interface between the CPUs front-side bus, main memory, and peripheral buses non-volatile memory chips (usually Flash ROM in modern motherboards) containing the systems firmware or BIOS a clock generator which produces the system clock signal to synchronize the various components
slots for expansion cards (these interface to the system via the buses supported by the chipset) power connectors, which receive electrical power from the computer power supply and distribute it to the CPU, chipset, main memory, and expansion cards.The Octek Jaguar V motherboard from 1993. This board has few onboard peripherals, asevidenced by the 6 slots provided for ISA cards and the lack of other built-in externalinterface connectors.Additionally, nearly all motherboards include logic and connectors to support commonlyused input devices, such as PS/2 connectors for a mouse and keyboard. Early personalcomputers such as the Apple II or IBM PC included only this minimal peripheral support onthe motherboard. Occasionally video interface hardware was also integrated into themotherboard; for example, on the Apple II and rarely on IBM-compatible computers such asthe IBM PC Jr. Additional peripherals such as disk controllers and serial ports were providedas expansion cards.Given the high thermal design power of high-speed computer CPUs and components, modernmotherboards nearly always include heat sinks and mounting points for fans to dissipateexcess heat. CPU socketsMain article: CPU socketA CPU socket or slot is an electrical component that attaches to a printed circuit board (PCB)and is designed to house a CPU (also called a microprocessor). It is a special type ofintegrated circuit socket designed for very high pin counts. A CPU socket provides manyfunctions, including a physical structure to support the CPU, support for a heat sink,facilitating replacement (as well as reducing cost), and most importantly, forming anelectrical interface both with the CPU and the PCB. CPU sockets on the motherboard canmost often be found in most desktop and server computers (laptops typically use surfacemount CPUs), particularly those based on the Intel x86 architecture. A CPU socket type andmotherboard chipset must support the CPU series and speed. Integrated peripherals
Block diagram of a modern motherboard, which supports many on-board peripheral functionsas well as several expansion slots.With the steadily declining costs and size of integrated circuits, it is now possible to includesupport for many peripherals on the motherboard. By combining many functions on onePCB, the physical size and total cost of the system may be reduced; highly integratedmotherboards are thus especially popular in small form factor and budget computers.For example, the ECS RS485M-M, a typical modern budget motherboard for computersbased on AMD processors, has on-board support for a very large range of peripherals: disk controllers for a floppy disk drive, up to 2 PATA drives, and up to 6 SATA drives (including RAID 0/1 support) integrated graphics controller supporting 2D and 3D graphics, with VGA and TV output integrated sound card supporting 8-channel (7.1) audio and S/PDIF output Fast Ethernet network controller for 10/100 Mbit networking USB 2.0 controller supporting up to 12 USB ports IrDA controller for infrared data communication (e.g. with an IrDA-enabled cellular phone or printer) temperature, voltage, and fan-speed sensors that allow software to monitor the health of computer componentsExpansion cards to support all of these functions would have cost hundreds of dollars even adecade ago; however, as of April 2007 such highly integrated motherboards are available foras little as $30 in the US.
 Peripheral card slotsA typical motherboard of 2009 will have a different number of connections depending on itsstandard.A standard ATX motherboard will typically have one PCI-E 16x connection for a graphicscard, two conventional PCI slots for various expansion cards, and one PCI-E 1x (which willeventually supersede PCI). A standard EATX motherboard will have one PCI-E 16xconnection for a graphics card, and a varying number of PCI and PCI-E 1x slots. It cansometimes also have a PCI-E 4x slot. (This varies between brands and models.)Some motherboards have two PCI-E 16x slots, to allow more than 2 monitors without specialhardware, or use a special graphics technology called SLI (for Nvidia) and Crossfire (forATI). These allow 2 graphics cards to be linked together, to allow better performance inintensive graphical computing tasks, such as gaming,video editing etc.As of 2007, virtually all motherboards come with at least four USB ports on the rear, with atleast 2 connections on the board internally for wiring additional front ports that may be builtinto the computers case. Ethernet is also included. This is a standard networking cable forconnecting the computer to a network or a modem. A sound chip is always included on themotherboard, to allow sound output without the need for any extra components. This allowscomputers to be far more multimedia-based than before. Some motherboards contain videooutputs on the back panel for integrated graphics solutions (either embedded in themotherboard, or combined with the microprocessor, such as the Intel HD Graphics). Aseparate card may still be used. Temperature and reliabilityMain article: Computer coolingMotherboards are generally air cooled with heat sinks often mounted on larger chips, such asthe Northbridge, in modern motherboards. Insufficient or improper cooling can cause damageto the internal components of the computer and cause it to crash. Passive cooling, or a singlefan mounted on the power supply, was sufficient for many desktop computer CPUs until thelate 1990s; since then, most have required CPU fans mounted on their heat sinks, due torising clock speeds and power consumption. Most motherboards have connectors foradditional case fans as well. Newer motherboards have integrated temperature sensors todetect motherboard and CPU temperatures, and controllable fan connectors which the BIOSor operating system can use to regulate fan speed. Some computers (which typically havehigh-performance microprocessors, large amounts of RAM, and high-performance videocards) use a water-cooling system instead of many fans.Some small form factor computers and home theater PCs designed for quiet and energy-efficient operation boast fan-less designs. This typically requires the use of a low-powerCPU, as well as careful layout of the motherboard and other components to allow for heatsink placement.A 2003 study found that some spurious computer crashes and general reliability issues,ranging from screen image distortions to I/O read/write errors, can be attributed not to
software or peripheral hardware but to aging capacitors on PC motherboards. Ultimately thiswas shown to be the result of a faulty electrolyte formulation.A microATX motherboard with some faulty capacitors. For more information on premature capacitor failure on PC motherboards, see capacitor plague.Motherboards use electrolytic capacitors to filter the DC power distributed around the board.These capacitors age at a temperature-dependent rate, as their water based electrolytes slowlyevaporate. This can lead to loss of capacitance and subsequent motherboard malfunctions dueto voltage instabilities. While most capacitors are rated for 2000 hours of operation at 105°C, their expected design life roughly doubles for every 10 °C below this. At 45 °C alifetime of 15 years can be expected. This appears reasonable for a computer motherboard.However, many manufacturers have delivered substandard capacitors, which significantlyreduce life expectancy. Inadequate case cooling and elevated temperatures easily exacerbatethis problem. It is possible, but tedious and time-consuming, to find and replace failedcapacitors on PC motherboards. Form factorMain article: Comparison of computer form factorsMotherboards are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes called computer form factor,some of which are specific to individual computer manufacturers. However, themotherboards used in IBM-compatible systems are designed to fit various case sizes. As of2007, most desktop computer motherboards use one of these[which?] standard form factors—even those found in Macintosh and Sun computers, which have not been built fromcommodity components. A cases motherboard and PSU form factor must all match, thoughsome smaller form factor motherboards of the same family will fit larger cases. For example,an ATX case will usually accommodate a microATX motherboard.Laptop computers generally use highly integrated, miniaturized and customizedmotherboards. This is one of the reasons that laptop computers are difficult to upgrade andexpensive to repair. Often the failure of one laptop component requires the replacement of theentire motherboard, which is usually more expensive than a desktop motherboard due to thelarge number of integrated components.