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COMPUTER HARDWARE

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE


Hardware: the physical parts that make up the computer (everything we can 'see and touch'). Software: not physical, this includes the programs, or applications needed for the functioning and operation of the system.

COMPONENTS
INPUT DEVICES : Devices that allow the user to enter information into the PC (keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc.) OUTPUT DEVICES : Devices that allow the computer to communicate with the user (monitor, printer, etc.)

KEYBOARD
The keyboard has four defined zones : Main Typing Area: Takes up the largest area of the keyboard, and includes the alphabet letters. It resembles a traditional typewriter. Numeric Keypad: Placed on the right part of the keyboard. Similar to a calculator keyboard. Edition keys: Located between the numeric keypad and the main typing area. It is very useful to move within texts and edit documents. Function Keys: Situated horizontally at the top of the keyboard. These keys are 'shortcuts' to perform specific tasks within different applications.

MOUSE
The mouse can perform four actions: Point: this means moving the mouse over a surface, like a table. This makes the pointer, a small arrow, move across the screen. This indicates our location on the screen and it is as if we had a hand inside the computer which allows us to do certain things through the mouse. Click: this means pressing one of the mouse buttons and releasing it immediately. (It is important that the mouse doesn't move while you click) You can click either with the left or right buttons. (Some mice also have a middle button.) Note: When we say click, it means the left button, which is the main one, unless otherwise specified. (This could be the other way round for lefthanded people if the mouse button commands are inverted) Double click: this means pressing the left (main) mouse button twice at a certain speed. Drag: this is clicking, holding the button down and moving or 'dragging' the mouse over the table or pad on which it is resting.

STORAGE DRIVES
SHAPE NAME 3 Diskette Capacity Drive Letter (usually) Characteristics Recordable, Very slow, Tend to lose information easily, Very cheap, Exchangeable, Easy to carry. 1.44 Megabytes A: or B:

Hard Disk Between 1 and Drive 16 Gigabytes

Shape

Recordable, Very fast, Boot disk, Safe, Very Expensive.

ZIP or LS-120

Between 100 Megabytes and 1 Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) 650 Megabytes (0.65 Gigabytes)

D:, E:, F: etc... (The PC assigns them the next available letter while booting) D:, E:, F: etc...(The PC assigns them the next available letter while booting, usually the last one)

Recordable, Fast, Safe, Very Expensive, Exchangeable, Easy to carry.

CD-ROM

Some Recordable (expensive), Capacity for Audio, Very Fast, Very Safe, Cheap , Easy to carry.

DVD-ROM Up to 17 Gigabytes

(Up to 17000 Megabytes)

D:, E:, F: etc... (It New, Capacity for Audio and Video, takes non-used Very Fast, Very Safe, Very letters by other Expensive, Easy to carry. drives, usually the last available one)