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3 Basic Components of the Computer System

1. Hardware refers to the tangible components of a computer system


3 Hardware Components
a. Input Devices
b. Output Devices
c. System Unit
2. Software the component of the computer system which refers to the set of instructions written in a
code
3. Peopleware made up of the people responsible for maintaining, operating, programming and
analyzing the output generated by the computer system

HARDWARE
INPUT DEVICES perform the two basic computing tasks: issuing commands and entering data. Data
entry is defined as the process of entering data into the computer memory and issuing commands that tell the
processor how to work with the data.
1. Keyboard the standard input device of most computer (Esc key, Function keys, Return or Enter key,
The space bar and Cursor keys)
Escape (Esc) key used to stop a task in progress or to exit from an application
Function keys used to perform specific commands or instructions for a specific program
Backspace key used to delete the last character type
Enter or Return key used to move down one line
Space bar used for generating spaces
Cursor keys used for moving up, down, left or right
2. Mouse hand-clicked device used for pointing
Douglas Englebart invented the mouse
3. Trackball it is like a stationary, upside down mouse.
4. Joystick commonly used for games
5. Light Pen used to draw, write, or issue commands when it touches a specially designed screen
6. Video Input Devices with a video digitizer, you can use images video cameras, camcorders, VCRs,
and optical disk players as input to computers
7. Text Input Devices / Optical Reading Devices
Optical Character Readers can read alphanumeric and special characters
Scanner light-sensitive device to enter text and graphics
a. Flatbed scanner ideal for materials printed in a flat surface
b. Hand-held scanner used to capture images in materials which are not flat
Optical Mark Readers detect the presence or the absence of marks on paper
Bar Code Readers read and decode date from bar codes
Hand Print Readers similar to OCR. However, they read handwritten characters instead
8. Magnetic Ink Reading Devices (MICR)
9. Audio Input Devices allow you to communicate to the computer through speech and the like
microphone used to capture sound
SYSTEM UNIT part of the computer which is responsible for accepting and processing the data brought
in by the input device
1. Main Circuit Board the central nervous system of the computer
Motherboard main circuit board

2. Port a connection from the main circuit board to a peripheral device such as keyboard, a printer or a
video monitor
3. Expansion Slots long plug-in strips in the main circuit board
disk drives
Audio
scanners
TV tuner
external CD-ROM
Networking
Modems
4. Bus responsible for transporting electronic signals from to place to place on specific predefined
routes
5. Central Processing Unit (CPU) computers processing, control and internal storage circuitry
microprocessor composed of number of a number of components: Control Unit (CU) and the
Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)
3 components that perform the processing function
1. CU
2. ALU
3. Main Memory (RAM and ROM)
Control Unit part of the CPU that directs the step-by-step operation of the computer
Arithmetic Logic Unit capable of performing arithmetic (add, subtract, divide and multiply) and
logical operations (greater than, less than, equal to)
A typical processing sequence
Primary Memory
(RAM)

Storage Operation
(3)

Secondary
Storage

Processing Operation

(2)
Input Device
(ex. Keyboard)

Input Operation
(1)

Central
Processing Unit

Output Operation
(4)

Output Device
(ex. Printer)

6. Registers high-speed temporary storage areas which are used to hold both instructions and data during
processing
instruction register holds an instructions for example, to add, to multiply, or to perform a
logical comparison
buffer register temporarily holds data retrieved from the primary memory, prior to processing
accumulator temporarily stores the results of continuing arithmetic and logical operations
OUTPUT DEVICES
Forms of computer-generated output:
1. Text Output simply alphanumeric characters that make up our language
2. Graphic Output includes line drawings, maps, business presentation graphics, computer-aided design,
computer graphics, and photographic reproduction
3. Sound Output ranges from the message beeps produced by the computer system to the human voice to
music
4. Video Output refers to photographs or moving images such as television and videotaped material
Types of Output Devices
1. Printer provides hard copy output on paper

Impact printer produces an output using mechanism that presses against an inked ribbon on
paper
a. Dot-matrix
b. Letter-quality
Non-impact printer uses a photocopier-like process to transfer ink to a piece of paper
Plotter a specialized kind of printer which is used for producing large and complex scientific
and engineering hard copies such as plans and maps.
2. Video Monitors or Display used to provide soft copy output
3. Speakers used for audio output such as beeps, human voice and music.
4. Modem used to connect one computer to another via conventional telephone lines (modulation
digital to analog; demodulation analog to digital)

SOFTWARE
-

another name for these set of instructions is program

2 Types of Software
1. Systems Software tell the CPU what to do; a more common type is Operating System (OS)
refers to the programs that manage and support the resources and operations of a
computer as it performs various data processing tasks
2. Applications Software refers to the programs that enable the computer to perform specific
data-processing tasks as required by the user
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

5 Groups of prewritten applications software


General Business Packages generic software that can be used by businesses (ex. inventory,
payroll, or accounts receivable system)
Industry Specific Packages software created to meet specific needs of industries
Organizational Productivity Packages software aiming to meet the needs of the organization as
a whole by empowering members of the organization to accomplish more with less effort (ex.
group decision support systems, project management systems, etc.)
Games and Entertainment software address the need of the individual for PC-based
entertainment.
Personal Productivity Packages programs that seek to empower the individual with tools which
he or she can tailor to best suit his or her own specific needs, thus making him or her more
productive and efficient.
Word Processors
Desktop Publishers ex. Corel, Microsoft Publisher, and Adobe Page Maker
Electronic Spreadsheets ex. MS Excel, Lotus 123, and Quattro Pro
Database Management ex. dBASE IV, Paradox, FoxPro, Microsoft Access, Informix, and Oracle
Graphics Software ex. Harvard Graphics, Adobe Photoshop, Print Shop Deluxe, Paint Shop Pro
to Adobe After Effects, Macromedia Director, and Strata Studio Pro

USER INTERFACE
A software provides a user environment, which can either be:
1. command line interface allows the user to issue commands by typing them
2. graphical user interface (GUI) features icons or symbols that are mouse-clickable