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Fundamentals of a Personal Computer (PC)

Chapter 1

Identify the functions of the PC Explain the different types of computers List the components of the PC Explain the front and back side of the PC Discuss the Power-On Self Test (POST)

Functions of a PC
Accepts data input from user Stores data Processes the input using instructions Displays processed data on output devices

Types of Computers
Types of Computers





Microcomputer I
Digital computer that works on a microprocessor Used in homes and offices Performs tasks such as word processing, desktop publishing, and accounting

Microcomputer II
Small size Low cost Portability

Low processing speed

Minicomputer I
Known as the mid-range server Medium sized multiprocessing and multi-user computer Used by small sized companies

Minicomputer II
Cater to multiple users Lower costs than mainframes

Large Bulky

Mainframe I
Known as enterprise servers Occupies entire rooms or floors Used for centralized computing Serve distributed users and small servers in a computing network

Mainframe II
Supports many users and instructions Large memory

Huge size Expensive

Fastest and expensive Used by applications for molecular chemistry, nuclear research, weather reports, and advanced physics Advantage

Generate a large amount of heat during operation

Components of a PC
Input Devices Output Devices Storage Devices Processing Devices Communication Devices Infrastructure

Input Devices
Used to enter data in computer Different types are:
Keyboard Pointing Devices Scanner Digital Camera

Output Devices
Used to display or produce processed data Monitors and printers used to display output Different types of output devices are:
Display System Display Card Sound Card Printers Fax

Storage Devices
Used to store data in the computers Different types of storage devices are:
Magnetic Devices Optical devices Solid-State Storage devices Digital Audio Tape

Processing Devices
Computer main function is to process data Various types of processing devices are:
Microprocessor Chipset BIOS

Communication Devices
Establish communication between computer using different cables, interfaces and wireless devices Various types of communication devices are:
Interfaces I/O Ports and Cables LAN Card Modem Network Cables

Refers to main components and foundation on which computer functions All the peripheral devices of the computer are attached Various types of components are:
System Case Power Supply Motherboard Expansion Boards

Introducing the Front and Back Side of the PC

Front Side of PC contains:
Power switch to turn on the PC Insert CDs and DVDs in CD/DVD drive Use floppy disks with the help of floppy drive LED display indicates status of system

Introducing the Front and Back Side of the PC I

Back side of PC contains:
Power supply and the cooling fan Input and output ports of the PC Connect devices to the ports at back of the PC

Starting a PC for the First Time I

Basic Input Output System (BIOS) checks all peripheral devices, memory and hardware of the PC Power on Self test (POST) is performed before the PC boots operating system

Starting a PC for the First Time II

Functions performed by POST:
Checking power supply and motherboard Comparing system configuration with PC Configuration Program Checking memory devices and drives Checking system memory Starts display and audio devices

Summary I
Personal Computer is an electronic machine that accepts data, processes it on the basis of some instructions and produces output Personal Computer performs a wide range of functions like data processing, programming, playing audio, video and games Different types of computer are, microcomputers, minicomputers, mainframes and supercomputers System case provides protective

Summary II
LED displays on system case indicate operations going on inside PC Different ports are located on back of system case Power supply of PC converts alternating current to direct current The motherboard is main part of a PC Different types of I/O ports, serial, parallel, and USB

Summary III
Different types of storage devices, magnetic, optical, and solid-state Storage Digital Audio Tapes (DAT) record and store music digitally Different types of network cables, UTP, STP, coaxial, and fiber optic BIOS runs a test called Power On Self Test when a PC turns on