Fundamentals Of Personal Computer


  • 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


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 :

Advantages :

  • Small size
  • Low cost
  • Portability

Disadvantages :

  • 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 :

Advantages :

  • Cater to multiple users
  • Lower costs than mainframes

Disadvantages :

  • 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 :

Advantages :

  • Supports many users and instructions
  • Large memory

Disadvantages :

  • Huge size
  • Expensive

Supercomputer :

Fastest and expensive

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

Consists of several computers that work in parallel as a single system

Advantage :

  • Speed

Disadvantage :

  • 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
  • Sound Card
  • Printers
  • Fax

Storage Devices :

Used to store data in the computers

Different types of storage devices are :

  • Magnetic Devices – Floppy, Zip drive
  • Optical devices – CD, DVD
  • Solid-State Storage devices – Flash memory, memory cards
  • 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 – ATA, SCSI
  • I/O Ports and Cables – Serial, Parallel, USB
  • LAN Card
  • Modem
  • Network Cables – STP, UTP, Fiber Optic Cable

Infrastructure :

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

Starting a PC for the First Time :

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

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 :

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 cover for all important components of PC and keeps system cool

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

Storage devices store data in the PCs

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

#Objectives #Functions_of_a_PC #Types_of_Computers #Microcomputer #Components_of_a_PC #Input_Devices #Output_Devices #Storage_Devices #Processing_Devices #Communication_Devices #Infrastructure #Starting_a_PC_for_the_First_Time #Power_on_Self_test_(POST)

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