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Gari-Tech » Introduction to Computers
Oct 02, 2002

Introduction to computers



NOTE:I thought these lecturesto actual people on a one-to-one basis. The lectures are beingposted for educational purposes only. Please let me know ifyou find any errors. Some material may not apply to this onlinesection. Please do not submit your homeworks as I may not timeto grade them. Other than that, enjoy, and I sincerely hopeto that my contribution is of much help to you.

Jorge Garifuna

Date: Monday, August 20, 2001

Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Lecture: 1

Title: "Introduction to components - Computer peripherals"



Basic Theory of Computers Peripherals


Computers are composed of many peripherals or parts that when put together, gives us the functionalities that get out of a computer system.  Without the different components, you would not be able to type and visualize the output of your typing, nor instruct the computer to do such things as printing or scanning a document for you.


Each component on the computer has been designed to perform a specific task.  Over the years many of the components have been consolidated (put together) in physical space, however, their functionality still remains unique to the device itself.  For example, when you listen to music on your computer, there is a dedicated component that outputs the sound into your speakers, for you to get a pleasant audible sound.


There are many classifications in which a component may fall under.  The most common ones are:

  • Input – like the human mouth
  • Processing – like the human brain
  • Output – like the human eye (sort of)
  • Storage – like your memory


Input devices are classified as those devices that take some sort of input from the user for the computer to process.  In comparing this to the human body, we all tend to use our mouth to digest food into our system, so our mouth would be our input one of our input parts. 


Subsequently, processing devices are those devices that serve to process the information that you have instruct the computer to process, via the input devices.  This is analogous to our brain. 


The output devices are those parts of the computer that are used to show you something, once they have been processed.  Again, this is analogous to the human eyes in a way.


Conclusively, storage devices are those that are used to store or save information.  This is information may be retrieved later for further processing.  This is analogous to the human memory.


Definition of Peripherals


Example of Miscellaneous External (visible parts)  devices

  • The Case   These come in different shapes and types.  Essentially they all allow you to have the internal peripherals inside one single shell.  The most notably thing to know about cases is they, there are two main different types, which are:
    • ATX– this is the type used by many latest systems in the market
    • AT –this is the type used by older systems


o Parallel Port – Used to connect components, such as a printer.  It has a trapezoid shape and it contains 25 holes

o Serial Port- Use to connect components, such as a mouse. It has a trapezoid shape and it contains 9 pins

o PS2 Port -  Used to connect components,such as a mouse.  It hasa round shape and it contains 6 holes

o USB – Short hand for “Universal Serial Bus.? Used to connect a variety of components, including printers,scanners, etc


Example of Input devices


  • Keyboard – Used to type instructions into the computer.  The standard layout is usually 104 or 105 keys. There are two different types, PS2 and AT.
    • PS2– has 6 pins and it looks round and small
    • AT– has about 5 pins and it looks a little bigger than ATX


  • Mouse – Many shapes.  There are two different types, Serial and AT.
    • PS2– has 6 pins and it looks round and small
    • Serial– has about 9 pins and it has a trapezoid shape
  • Scanner -  Converts documents from paper format to digital or computer format


Example of Processing devices

  • CPU – Short hand for “Central Processing Unit.?   It’s the brain of the computer.  The units are usually referred to as “Megahertz.?  The most popular manufacturers are the companies, Intel and AMD.
  • Motherboard – This is where ALL the internal components of the system are placed on. You can think of it as the base or foundation of a house.  The are two different types, ATX and AT.  The ATX board differs with the AT in that the ATX case  has the mouse and keyboard connectors vertically aligned one on top of the other



Example of Output devices

  • Monitor – Use to display information for us to see
  • Printer – Use to show documents in paper format coming from the computer
  • Speakers – Use to hear sounds coming from the computer




Example of Storage devices

  • Hard Drive – Stores computer programs permanently, until erased by user.  Units are usually referred to in Gigabytes
  • CD ROM
  • Floppy Drive
  • RAM – Short hand for “Random Access Memory.?  Stores information for the length of time that the computer is turned on.
  • Cache Memory – Temporary memory used by the CPU













Example of Miscellaneous Internal (inside the computer)  devices

  • Video Card – Sends signals to the monitor.  Has a trapezoid shape and it’s composed of 15 holes.
  • Sound Card – Sends signal to speakers and it also takes input from microphone.
  • Modem – Allows you  to get on the Internet and send/receive faxes as well.
  • Network card  - Used to connect  to a network
  • CPU Fan – keeps the CPU cool





We have learned that computers are composed of many peripherals.  Each peripheral falls under either one of four classifications, namely, input, processing, output or storage devices.  Devices that do not fall under neither one of the above categories, are either part of “miscellaneous external devices? or “miscellaneous internal devices.?


Some examples of Input devices are:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Scanner


Some examples of Processing devices are:

  • CPU
  • Motherboard


Some examples of Output devices are:

  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Speakers


Some examples of Storage devices are:

  • Hard Drive
  • CD ROM
  • RAM
  • Floppy Drive
  • Cache Memory


Some examples of Miscellaneous External devices are:

  • Case
  • ParallelPort
  • SerialPort
  • USBPort
  • PS2 Port


Some examples of Miscellaneous Internal devices are:

  • Video Card
  • Sound Card
  • Modem
  • Network Card
  • CPU Fan































NOTE: Online students, are not required to submittheir homework

Monday, August 20, 2001


Lecture 1 Homework ("Introduction to components - Computer peripherals")


What are some of the classifications that computer components may fall under?




In your own words, describe each of the four different common computer classifications






Provide examples of  Miscellaneous External (visible parts)  devices and their function





Provide examples of  Input  devices and their function






Provide examples of  output  devices and their function







Provide examples of  storage  devices and their function



How  do you distinguish an ATX case from an AT?



Draw the serial, PS2, and parallel ports



What are the two main manufacturers of CPUs (Central Processing Units)?


NOTE: Use additional paper if necessary.  Due on our next meeting

Next lecture include details of motherboard and whole section of “Example of Miscellaneous Internal (inside the computer)  devices




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