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Computer Hardware & Processing Outside the Box. CSC 101 1.0 September 9, 2010. Computers Are Data-Processing Devices. A computer’s four major functions: Gathers data (users input data) Processes data into information Outputs data or information Stores data and information Plus

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computers are data processing devices
Computers Are Data-Processing Devices
  • A computer’s four major functions:
    • Gathers data (users input data)
    • Processes data into information
    • Outputs data or information
    • Stores data and information
  • Plus
    • Computers can communicate with other computers
data vs information
Data vs. Information
  • Data: Representation of a fact, figure, or idea
  • Information: Organized, meaningful data
bits and bytes the language of computers
Bits and Bytes: The Language of Computers


Binary digit

0 or 1

Abbreviation “b”


8 bits

Abbreviation “B”

Each letter, number, and character is a string of eight 0s and 1s

computer hardware computer software
Computer Hardware & Computer Software

Computer Hardware

Computer Software

Intangible instructions that tell the hardware what to do.

Systems Software

Applications Software

  • Anything you can kick
basic computer hardware components
Basic Computer Hardware Components
  • System Unit – everything in the box
    • Motherboard, CPU, memory
  • Peripheral Devices – everything outside of the box
    • Keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer
  • Storage Devices – where data/information gets stored
    • Hard drive, CD/DVD, flash drive, memory cards
input devices
Input Devices
  • Translates what humans understand into a format the computer understands
  • Different types of devices for different types of data
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse/pointing device
    • Microphone
    • Scanner
    • Digital camera
    • Stylus
  • Used for entering text and commands.
  • The QWERTY layout is standard on most PCs.
  • Enhanced keyboard features include number, function, and navigation keys.
  • Notebook keys are smaller and use a function key to expand functionality.
more specialty keyboards
More Specialty Keyboards
  • Virtual laser keyboard
  • Configurable keyboard
point and draw devices
Point and Draw Devices
  • Optical mouse
    • Needs no mouse pad
    • Doesn’t need cleaning
  • Trackball
    • Easier on wrists
    • Stays stationary on desk
more point and draw devices
More Point and Draw Devices
  • Wireless mouse
    • Uses radio or light waves
  • Touchpad
    • When a mouse just won’t do
other text and command input devices
Other Text and Command Input Devices
  • Game controllers
  • Touchscreens
  • Digital pens
image input devices
Image Input Devices

Digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones


Live video

  • Still images
  • Video
sound input device
Sound Input Device
  • Microphones are used for:
    • Podcasts
    • Video-conferencing
    • Internet phone calls
    • Speech recognition
output devices
Output Devices

Convert what the computer understands into a format that humans understand

Output can be in two formats

Hardcopy – tangible


Softcopy – in tangible

Video, sound, images on monitors

lcd monitors
LCD Monitors
  • LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
  • Screens are grids made up of millions of pixels
  • Each pixel is represented by a bit pattern comprised of a combination of red, green, and blue
  • Liquid crystal is sandwiched between two transparent layers to form images
lcd monitor characteristics
LCD Monitor Characteristics
  • Resolution – total number of pixels, can be changed
  • Screen size
    • 21” monitor - 1680x1050 pixels
    • 19” monitor - 1440x900 pixels or 1280x1024 pixels
    • Wide screen vs. standard 4:3 ratio
  • Viewing angle – visibility from the side
  • Contrast ratio – brightest white to darkest black
  • Brightness – greatest amount of light when displaying pure white
  • Response time – time it takes for a pixel to change color
printer categories
Printer Categories
  • Impact printers
    • Dot-matrix
  • Nonimpact printers
    • Inkjet
    • Laser
  • Specialty printers
    • All-in-one
    • Plotters
    • Thermal
nonimpact printers
Nonimpact Printers



More expensive device

Faster printing speed

Color lasers are becoming less expensive

  • Less expensive device
  • Print high-quality color images cost effectively
printer characteristics
Printer Characteristics
  • Speed (ppm)
  • Resolution (dpi)
  • Color output
  • Memory
  • Use and cost
  • Cost of consumables
storage devices
Storage Devices
  • Non-volatile
    • Almost permanent
  • Types of computer storage devices
    • Internal hard drive
    • USB flash drive
    • Memory cards
    • Optical drive
    • External hard drive
    • Online storage
  • Secondary storage
hard drive
Hard Drive
  • May be internal or external
    • Internal is faster
  • Storage capacity is up to 2 terabytes (TB)
  • Access time is measured in milliseconds
  • Data transfer rate is measured in megabits or megabytes per second
how a hard drive works
How a Hard Drive Works

Composed of coated platters stacked on a spindle

Data saved to the disk: Pattern of magnetized spots– Spots = 1– Spaces = 0

Spots are translated into data

optical storage
Optical Storage
  • Optical media: Store data as tiny pits burned into a disc by a laser
    • Pre-recorded
    • Recordable
      • CD-R, DVD-R, BD-R
    • Rewritable
      • CD-RW, DVD-RW, BD-RE
  • Uses a burner to write to optical media
  • Uses two lasers to read optical media
flash memory
Flash Memory
  • Flash / thumb drive
  • Memory cards
  • Electron grid / gates
  • High storage capacity
  • Use very little power
  • Must unmount before removing from computer
  • Can cause security concerns
online storage
Online Storage
  • Data stored on the Internet
  • Inexpensive
  • Data backup
  • Can access data anywhere
  • Can be password protected
all storage media will fail

All Storage Media Will Fail

Back up your data!