Introduction to computer

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Based on what you have learned in class thus far and on the research on the WEB, write a unified and clear discussion. You are expected to consult outside sources to go beyond what has been presented in class.  

1. Post your answer as established by your instructor on the course calendar. Your comments must be written in your own words. You can offer examples and quotes to support your proposals. Citations of other authors must be adequately documented (author’s name, title, date, etc.).

1. Your reaction may be based on personal experiences, study material, or additional information obtained from the 

Online Library (Links to an external site.)
 or others and may include:

· Some understanding is received from what is published that synthesizes the information and offers new perspectives or suggestions.

· The validation or rejection of the idea (supported by your experience or research). 

· New information broadens, adds, or contrasts perspectives (based on reading and evidence). 

2. Remember that your work must be original and not contain material copied from books or the internet. You must respect the intellectual property of the authors and not commit plagiarism.

3. Examine the criteria used to evaluate your assignment to find out how to get the highest grade for your work. The assignments are graded or evaluated through rubrics or the distribution of points.

4. Before submitting your entry, read your message several times. This will ensure that it contains the exact information you want to communicate.

· Contribute a minimum of 200 words to the initial post. It should include at least one academic source, formatted and cite in APA.

This chapter teaches the components that make up a personal computer. A personal computer comprises many components, most notably the CPU, motherboard, RAM, hard disk, removable media, and input/output devices.

Identify the functions of the hardware in a computer system:

· Motherboard is an important computer component because it’s what everything else connects to! The motherboard is a decently sized circuit board that lets other components communicate.

· Central Processing Unit (CPU)
 is referred to as a computer’s brain and is the machine’s workhorse. It performs the calculations needed by a system and can vary in speed.

· Random-access Memory (RAM)
 is temporary memory.

· Graphics Card- The major work of the graphics card is to create graphics and images that can be shown on a monitor. If your computer does not have a graphics card, you will not see the data, and the computer would be useless.

· Hard Drive- Hard drive would be another component of a computer. A hard drive is used to store programs and files on your computer.

· Network Card- A network card would be a separate card or integrated into the motherboard. The major work of a network card is to enable your computer to connect to the network and Internet.

· Monitor- It is an important component of the computer. Even though the computer is great, without a monitor, it also would be useless.

· USB Ports- USB port is also one of the most important computer components. The USB port enables you to connect some computer accessories, such as a mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, etc. So, it would be an essential part of the computer.

Computer hardware (usually called 
hardware when a computing context is concerned) is the collection of physical elements that constitutes a computer system. Computer hardware is the physical parts or components of a computer, such as a monitor, mouse, keyboard, computer data storage, hard disk drive (HDD), graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard, etc., which are tangible, physical objects. In contrast, the software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware.

Software is any machine-readable instruction that directs a computer’s processor to perform specific operations. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system.


Von Neumann Architecture Scheme
 The template for all modern computers is the Von Neumann architecture, detailed in a 1945 paper by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann. This describes a design architecture for an electronic digital computer with subdivisions of a processing unit consisting of an arithmetic logic unit and processor registers, a control unit containing an instruction register and program counter, a memory to store both data and instructions, external mass storage, and input and output mechanisms.[3] The term’s meaning has evolved to mean a stored-program computer where an instruction fetch and a data operation cannot coincide because they share a common bus. This is referred to as the Von Neumann bottleneck and often limits the system’s performance.

For the third consecutive year, U.S. business-to-business channel sales (sales through distributors and commercial resellers) increased, ending 2013 up nearly 6 percent at $61.7 billion. The impressive growth was the fastest sales increase since the recession’s end. Sales growth accelerated in the second half of the year, peaking in the fourth quarter with a 6.9 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2012.

Different Systems
There are several different types of a computer system in use today.

Personal Computer


The hardware of a modern personal computer: 1. Monitor 2. Motherboard 3. CPU 4. RAM 5. Expansion cards6. Power supply 7. Optical disc drive8. Hard disk drive9. Keyboard 10.Mouse.

Inside a custom-built computer: the power supply at the bottom has its cooling fan.
The personal computer, also known as the P.C., is one of the most common types of computer due to its versatility and relatively low price. Laptops are generally very similar, although they may use lower-power or reduced size components.


The computer case is a plastic or metal enclosure that houses most components. Though a case can be big or small, what matters more is which form factor of motherboard it’s designed for. Those found on desktop computers are usually small enough to fit under a desk; however, in recent years, more compact designs have become more common place, such as the all-in-one style designs from Apple, namely the iMac. Laptops are computers that usually come in a clamshell form factor again; however, in more recent years, deviations from this form factor have started to emerge, such as laptops with a detachable screen that becomes tablet computers in their own right.

Power Supply

A power supply unit (PSU) converts alternating current (A.C.) electric power to low-voltage D.C. power for the computer’s internal components. Laptops are capable of running from a built-in battery, generally for hours.


The motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer, including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives(CD, DVD, hard disk, or any others), and any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.

Components directly attached to or part of the motherboard include:
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) performs most of the calculations that enable a computer to function and is sometimes referred to as the computer’s ” brain. ” A heat sink and fan usually cool it. Most newer CPUs include an on-die Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).
The Chipset, which includes the northbridge, mediates communication between the CPU and the other components of the system, including main memory.

The Random-Access Memory (RAM) stores the code and data actively accessed by the CPU.
The Read-Only Memory (ROM) stores the BIOS that runs when the computer is powered on or otherwise begins execution, a process known as Bootstrapping, or “booting” or “booting up.” The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) includes boot firmware and power management. Newer motherboards use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of BIOS.

Buses connect the CPU to various internal components and expand cards for graphics and sound.
The CMOS battery is also attached to the motherboard. This battery is the same as a watch battery or a battery for a remote to a car’s central locking system. Most batteries are CR2032, which powers the memory for date and time in the BIOS chip.

Expansion Cards

An expansion card in computing is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot of a computer motherboard or backplane to add functionality to a computer system via the expansion bus. Expansions cards can be used to obtain or expand on features not offered by the motherboard.

Storage Devices

Data storage is a core function and fundamental component of computers. Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, refers to computer components and recording media that retain digital data. The price of solid-state drives (SSD), which store data on flash memory, has dropped a lot in recent years, making them a better choice than ever to add to a computer to make booting up and accessing files faster.

Fixed Media

Data is stored by a computer using a variety of media. Hard disk drives are found in virtually all older computers due to their high capacity and low cost. Still, solid-state drives are faster and more power-efficient, although currently more expensive than hard drives, so they are often found in more expensive computers. Some systems may use a disk array controller for greater performance or reliability.

Removable Media

A USB flash drive or Optical disc may transfer data between computers. Their usefulness depends on being readable by other systems; most machines have an optical disk drive, and virtually all have a USB port.

Input and Output Peripherals

Input and output devices are typically housed externally to the main computer chassis. The following are either standard or very common to many computer systems.


Input devices allow users to enter information into the system or control its operation. Most personal computers have a mouse and keyboard, but laptops typically use a touchpad instead of a mouse. Other input devices include webcams, microphones, joysticks, and image scanners.

Mainframe Computer


An IBM System z9 mainframe

A mainframe computer is a much larger computer that typically fills a room and may cost many hundreds or thousands of times as much as a personal computer. They are designed to perform large numbers of calculations for governments and large enterprises.

Departmental Computing

In the 1960s and 1970s, more and more departments started to use cheaper and dedicated systems for specific purposes like process control and laboratory automation.


A supercomputer is superficially similar to a mainframe but is instead intended for extremely demanding computational tasks. As of November 2013, the fastest supercomputer globally is the Tianhe-2, in Guangzhou, China.
The term supercomputer does not refer to a specific technology. Rather it indicates the fastest computers available at any given time. In mid-2011, the fastest supercomputers boasted speeds exceeding one petaflop or 1000 trillion floating-point operations per second. Supercomputers are fast but extremely costly, so large organizations generally use them to execute computationally demanding tasks involving large data sets. Supercomputers typically run military and scientific applications. Although they cost millions of dollars, they are also used for commercial applications where huge amounts of data must be analyzed. For example, large banks employ supercomputers to calculate the risks and returns of various investment strategies. Healthcare organizations use them to analyze giant databases of patient data to determine optimal treatments for various diseases and problems incurring to the country.

Hardware Upgrade

When using computer hardware, an upgrade means adding new hardware to a computer that improves its performance adds capacity or new features. For example, a user could perform a hardware upgrade to replace the hard drive with an SSD to boost performance or increase the number of files that may be stored. Also, the user could increase the RAM so the computer may run more smoothly. The user could add a USB 3.0 expansion card to use USB 3.0 devices fully. Performing such hardware upgrades may be necessary for older computers to meet a programs’ system requirements.


Casey, J. (2015). 
Computer Hardware: Hardware Components and Internal P.C. Connections. Technological University Dublin (Links to an external site.)

IC3 Certification. (2016).
 Introduction to Computers and Information Technology. Person Education Company.

In this module, you will learn the components that make up a personal computer. A personal computer is made up of many components, most importantly the CPU, motherboard, RAM, hard disk, removable media, and input/output devices. Parts make a whole: it takes many several parts working together for a computer to do its job. For instance, a computer system includes various devices to performs the basic functions of computing like input, processing, output, and storage.

According to the book 
Introduction to Computer and  Information Technology (2019), input devices means entering data, such a text, images, or sounds.

Text and Commands. Perhaps the most basic input device is the keyboard. Also, the mouse to move the pointer on the monitor. A Trackball that is similar to a mouse. Images that you can download from the internet. Sounds for example microphones can be used to input sounds.

Processing Devices. Inside the computer, data travels from one device to another through the computer’s motherboard. This boar is covered with electrical circuits and switches, and it connects vital pieces of hardware such a CPU and memory.

Output Devices. It is the results of the computer’s processing. The output that the user sees or hear can lead them to give the computer new instructions for processing their data. A computer needs output devices to display the results of its processing. Text and images are displayed on a computer screen on a computer. They can also be printed by a printer. Sound data is sent to speakers inside or connected to a computer to, the computer (
IC3 Certification, 2016).

What is an Operating System?

An Operating System (OS) is a software that acts as an interface between computer hardware components and the user. Every computer system must have at least one operating system to run other programs. Applications like Browsers, MS Office, Notepad Games, etc., need some environment to run and perform its tasks.  The OS helps you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer’s language. It is not possible for the user to use any computer or mobile device without having an operating system.

An operating system is also referred to as an OS, and it’s a programming framework. That allows the user to interact with various computer applications and their functions without knowing any computer language. Thus, it’s a crucial program that stays functional in the computer device to run single or multiple tasks at a time.

The computer operating systems can perform the activities like accessing software, showing commands on the screen, analyzing records, printing documents, and more. The operating system also makes sure that the multiple tasks of the user do not mix up with each other. It also provides security from any unwanted access and prevents unauthorized access.

So, the operating system can be explained as the framework that builds up the suitable interface between the computer resources and the user. It functions from essential to advanced computing activities on the command of the user. Memory management, input, and output handling are a few tasks it executes for the user. Windows 8, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11, Linux, Mac OS, iOS, and Android are examples of the operating system.

Williams, L (2021) 
What is Operating System?. Guru99
Links to an external site.


Difference between Hardware and Operating System :


Operating System

Computer Hardware consists of physical parts of computer.

Operating System is a translator between computer user and hardware.

It is physical component required for system to function without which computer will not start.

It usually allows software and hardware to communicate and helps to make computer hardware available to application programs.

Features of hardware includes tangible, physical component, memory, storage capacity, power supply, etc.

Features of operating system includes resource allocation, handle input/output operations, program execution, protected and supervisor mode, etc.

Type of computer hardware includes input devices, processing devices, output devices and storage devices, etc.

Types of OS includes Batch OS, Real time OS, Mobile OS, Multiprocessing OS, Time sharing OS, etc.

Benefits of hardware include increase staff productivity, implement right business technology, store information, develop effective communication, etc.

Benefits of OS includes eliminates external fragmentation, make it easy to allocate memory, easy to use with GUI, create abstraction, etc.

Functions of computer hardware includes input, processing, storage, and output.

Functions of OS includes manage computer resources, establish user interface, execute, and provide services for application software.

Its main purpose is to make any electronic or computer device work and execute tasks.

Its main purpose is translated language of hardware language into software language and then display it in human readable form.

It can be touched because it is a physical part of computer.

It cannot be touched because it runs on computer.

Hardware’s are important for computer to work properly and computer cannot function without computer hardware’s.

It is important because one cannot access computer hardware without operating system.

Difference between Hardware and Operating System. (2020). geeksforgeek. (Links to an external site.)

The following are important definitions that you need to learn to understand all the concepts learned in this modules:

· Motherboard -It is an important computer component because it’s what everything else connects to! The motherboard is a decently sized circuit board that lets other components communicate.

· Central Processing Unit (CPU) It referred to as a computer’s brain, is the workhorse of the machine. It performs the calculations needed by a system and can vary in speed.

· Random-access Memory (RAM) It is temporary memory.

· Graphics Card. The major work of the graphics card is to create graphics and images that can be shown on a monitor. If your computer does not have the graphics card, you will not see the data and the computer would be useless.

· Hard Drive. Hard drive would be another component of a computer. Hard drive is used to store programs and files on your computer.

· Network Card. Network card would be separate card or integrated into the motherboard. The major work of network card is to enable your computer to connect to the network and Internet.

· Monitor. It is an important component of the computer. Even though the computer is great, but without monitor, they also would be useless.

· USB Ports. USB port is also one of the most important computer components. The USB port enables you to connect some computer accessories, such as a mouse, keyboard, external hard drive and so on. So, it would be an essential part of the computer.

Operating System Characteristics (Features)

Do you know all the applications, including MS Office, editing software, browser, and games need a suitable environment to execute their task? The operating system is the software that enables an ideal environment for all these application software to work effectively. And here, users do not require using any computer language to interact with various input and output activities.

And without using an operating system, it is not possible to use smartphone devices to computer devices efficiently. Especially for the general user, it is mandatory to implement at least a stable operating system. Hence, the operating system is the software that aligns other software to work sufficiently using the computer’s hardware devices.

Below are some crucial and notable features of the operating system. So read these to understand all these characteristics of the operating system.

1. Work Management

Task management of the computing device is one of the significant features of the operating system. Also, it is considered an essential function of the OS because it manages all activity here. So, the work can execute systematically and be processed when it is needed. In short, here, the OS defines the sequence in which the activities execute, wherein queue means the task is awaiting its execution.

If you also use a PC, then it is one of the everyday things you can notice. However, there can be many reasons, but a few resources are getting used by other programs. Or another prioritized task is executing, and any other special requirement can also be there.

2. Resource Management

Hardware and software both are interdependent. And if the hardware is absent, then the software cannot be used, and if the software is not there, then hardware is useless to run the task. Hence, to balance these two resources, the operating system takes place. It optimizes the resources of the computer by allowing a simple task executing process.

OS reviews all the tasks in the tabular format and checks whether all the computer 

components (Links to an external site.)
 are working well. Hence, it’s also one of the essential characteristics of an operating system.

3. Input and Output Control

The operating system contains the control of the input and output activities of the computer. It builds up a dictionary or input and output task to execute whenever the user gives the command. Input and output are two essential terms from where the task starts and ends.

And maintaining control over both OS can ensure a stable and efficient experience for the user. However, to execute the input and output, the operating system must carry a set of programs that allow it to manage and process the input and output instructions provided by the user.

4. Multitasking System

Nowadays, modern operating systems also encompass multitasking functionality. These are now capable of executing multiple tasks at the same time. For example, if the user is doing a computing task in Excel and wishes to print the page, he does not need to stop the task.

This requires only one command, and the page will get printed, and at the same time, the user can also access the drives without closing the tab. Hence, multitasking is another excellent feature of an operating system.

5. Has Associated Mechanism

Operating systems also contain some crucial mechanisms mentioned below.

It has a mechanism to verify each user, and for this, it can use password protection or other features.

It also provides security from harmful elements and blocks before it reaches the device. Nowadays, many spyware and malicious codes are impacting computer devices. Hence this mechanism is crucial to have within the operating system.

OS mostly also has the mechanism to set the limit on the available resources for each user. Hence, if the boss needs to give access to his computer to his employee, in that case, he can put some limitations to access some files.

6. Encompasses Nucleus

It’s a core of the operating system, and in the modern OS, you can find monolithic nuclei. These cores help the OS to give way to the program so they can execute. For this, it can use ram to store the data quickly until the task gets completed. Many cores offer drivers to control the hardware, such as the hard disk and monitor of the computer device.

7. Ensure Connection

OS also ensures the stable and reliable connection between the hardware and software of the computer. It is the critical base on which the operating system can be defined accurately. As every hardware and software component requires operating software to align them in an optimized way. So, the user of that device can efficiently operate and execute the ideal program.


Kumar, S (2021) 
Operating System Characteristics. The Crazy Programmer (Links to an external site.)

Poon, C. C. L. H. (2004). Introduction to Operating Systems. 

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