Computer <br />BY ROSHAN GURUNG  <br /></NOSCRIPT> <br />A programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a co...
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Computer

  1. 1. Computer <br />BY ROSHAN GURUNG  <br /></NOSCRIPT> <br />A programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: <br /> It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner. <br />It can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program). <br />Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery -- wires, transistors, and circuits -- is called hardware; the instructions and data are called software. <br />All general-purpose computers require the following hardware components: <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/memory.html" memory : Enables a computer to store, at least temporarily, data and programs. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/mass_storage.html" mass storage device : Allows a computer to permanently retain large amounts of data. Common mass storage devices include disk drives and tape drives. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/input_device.html" input device : Usually a keyboard and mouse, the input device is the conduit through which data and instructions enter a computer. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/output_device.html" output device : A display screen, printer, or other device that lets you see what the computer has accomplished. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/CPU.html" central processing unit (CPU): The heart of the computer, this is the component that actually executes instructions. <br />In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic components to work together efficiently. For example, every computer requires a bus that transmits data from one part of the computer to another. <br />Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows, though there is considerable overlap: <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/personal_computer.html" personal computer : A small, single-user computer based on a microprocessor. In addition to the microprocessor, a personal computer has a keyboard for entering data, a monitor for displaying information, and a storage device for saving data. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/workstation.html" workstation : A powerful, single-user computer. A workstation is like a personal computer, but it has a more powerful microprocessor and a higher-quality monitor. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/minicomputer.html" minicomputer : A multi-user computer capable of supporting from 10 to hundreds of users simultaneously. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/mainframe.html" mainframe : A powerful multi-user computer capable of supporting many hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/supercomputer.html" supercomputer : An extremely fast computer that can perform hundreds of millions of instructions per second.<br />CPU <br />Last modified: Thursday, May 28, 2009  <br />Abbreviation for central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor,but more commonly called processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. <br />On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor. Since the 1970's the microprocessor class of CPUs has almost completely overtaken all other CPU implementations. <br />The CPU itself is an internal component of the computer. Modern CPUs are small and square and contain multiple metallic connectors or pins on the underside. The CPU is inserted directly into a CPU socket, pin side down, on the motherboard. Each motherboard will support only a specific type or range of CPU so you must check the motherboard manufacturer's specifications before attempting to replace or upgrade a CPU. Modern CPUs also have an attached heat sink and small fan that go directly on top of the CPU to help dissipate heat. <br />Two typical components of a CPU are the following: <br />The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations. <br />The control unit (CU), which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.<br />Chip <br />Last modified: Tuesday, January 06, 2004  <br />A small piece of semiconducting material (usually silicon) on which an integrated circuit is embedded. A typical chip is less than ¼-square inches and can contain millions of electronic components (transistors). Computers consist of many chips placed on electronic boards called printed circuit boards. <br />There are different types of chips. For example, CPU chips (also called microprocessors) contain an entire processing unit, whereas memory chips contain blank memory. <br />Chips come in a variety of packages. The three most common are: <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/DIP.html" DIPs : Dual in-line packages are the traditional buglike chips that have anywhere from 8 to 40 legs, evenly divided in two rows. <br /> HYPERLINK " http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/PGA.html" PGAs : Pin-grid arrays are square chips in which the pins are arranged in concentric squares. <br /> SIPs : Single in-line packages are chips that have just one row of legs in a straight line like a comb. <br />In addition to these types of chips, there are also single in-line memory modules (SIMMs), which consist of up to nine chips packaged as a single unit. <br />Hardware<br /> Adapters/Cards Buses Connectors, Plugs and Sockets Data Storage Hardware Companies Input Devices Integrated Circuits (ICs) Keyboards Memory Mice Microprocessors Modems Monitors Motherboards Networking Hardware Output Devices Performance Peripheral Devices Ports and Interfaces Printers<br /> 3D Stereo technology 4-way server 8-way 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