What is a Computer ? | Computer Connection Methods, Components | Explained


A computer is an electronic machine/device that is used to accept, store, manipulate data and give outputs the result to the user.

A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information or data. The computer sees the data as ones and zeros, but it knows how to combine them into much more complex things such as photos, movies, websites, games, and much more.


The computer uses a combination of hardware and software.

Hardware is a physical part of the computer which includes the internal components and the external parts like the monitor and keyboard.

Software is any set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do such as a web browser, media player, or word processor.

When people say computer, they are talking about the personal computer, this can be a desktop computer or a laptop.

Personal computers come in a few different styles, the most common types use Windows operating system, Mac or Macintosh computers feature the Mac OS while Chromebooks run on Chrome OS.

Smartphones and other mobile devices mostly use the iOS or Android operating system.


Computer Connection Methods

Serial connection: It is a PC connection that transfers data one bit at a time over a single wire. It has either 9-pin or 25-pin. Used in a direct connection between PC to PC, and connecting printers.

Parallel connection: PC connection that transfers data 8-bits at once. It has 25-pin female connectors. Used to connect printers to a system unit.

Universal serial bus (USB) connection: Enables connection of multiple peripherals to a single port with high performance.

Fire wire connections: Connections that provide a high-speed interface for peripheral devices. It supports up to 63 devices on one fire wire port.

Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) connection: A connection standard that provides a parallel data channel from the driver controller to the disk drives. PATA connections are used to connect internal hard drives and optical drives to a motherboard.

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) connection: Connection that provides a serial data channel between the drive controller and the disk drives. SATA has a higher transfer speed than PATA. SATA is smaller, thinner, and more flexible than PATA.

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connection: HDMI transmits digital video and audio at high speed. It may transfer up to 10 GB/ second.

Ethernet port: Connection for Local Area Network (LAN). Transmit high-speed data on local area networks, internet and intranet networks. Example connecting a computer to the router.


Components of the Computer

Primary categories of components in a typical computer are; system unit, display devices, input devices, and, external devices.

Display devices: These enable users to view the text and graphical data associated with a computer program. They vary in size, shape, and technologies used example monitor.

System unit: This is the main component of the computer which houses the devices necessary for the computer to function. It consists of internal components such as the system board, microprocessor, memory modules, disk drives, adapter cards, power supply, fan, and ports for connecting external devices.

The motherboard (system board) contains many components including the CPU which is the brain of the computer in which most calculations take place. The other part is the cooling system which prevents damage to the computer parts by dissipating the heat generated inside a computer classis. And the last one is the Power supply which converts AC power from an electrical outlet to DC.

Input devices: They enable users to enter data or instructions into a computer example keyboard and mouse. They connect to the system via cable or wireless connection.

External devices: These provide alternative input or output methods or additional data. They are also called peripheral devices.

Storage device: This is a component that enables users to save data for use at a later time, examples are hard disks, CD/DVD, and floppy disks.

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