Computer Hardware

Topics: Computer, Personal computer, Computer software Pages: 13 (4266 words) Published: December 9, 2012

The term "information technology" evolved in the 1970s. Its basic concept, however, can be traced to the World War II alliance of the military and industry in the development of electronics, computers, and information theory. After the 1940s, the military remained the major source of research and development funding for the expansion of automation to replace manpower with machine power. Since the 1950s, four generations of computers have evolved. Each generation reflected a change to hardware of decreased size but increased capabilities to control computer operations. The first generation used vacuum tubes, the second used transistors, the third used integrated circuits, and the fourth used integrated circuits on a single computer chip. Advances in artificial intelligence that will minimize the need for complex programming characterize the fifth generation of computers, still in the experimental stage. The first commercial computer was the UNIVAC I, developed by John Eckert and John W. Mauchly in 1951. It was used by the Census Bureau to predict the outcome of the 1952 presidential election. For the next twenty-five years, mainframe computers were used in large corporations to do calculations and manipulate large amounts of information stored in databases. Supercomputers were used in science and engineering, for designing aircraft and nuclear reactors, and for predicting worldwide weather patterns. Minicomputers came on to the scene in the early 1980s in small businesses, manufacturing plants, and factories. In 1975, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed microcomputers. In 1976, Tandy Corporation's first Radio Shack microcomputer followed; the Apple microcomputer was introduced in 1977. The market for microcomputers increased dramatically when IBM introduced the first personal computer in the fall of 1981. Because of dramatic improvements in computer components and manufacturing, personal computers today do more than the largest computers of the mid-1960s at about a thousandth of the cost. Computers today are divided into four categories by size, cost, and processing ability. They are supercomputer, mainframe, minicomputer, and microcomputer, more commonly known as a personal computer. Personal computer categories include desktop, network, laptop, and handheld.


Computer hardware is the physical component attached to your PC. It cannot be modified or changed regularly. It is fixed to its place and requires complex examination in order to be rectified or repaired. Computer hardware is entrenched inside a steel covering therefore it is not visible to the end users. Computer hardware is of many different types and models.

Classification of Hardware

Hardware can be classified into to two (2) groups:
1) Internal Hardware
2) External hardware

Internal Components of Hardware

The internal hardware parts of a computer are often referred to as components. Generally speaking, a component is an element of a larger group. Therefore, the larger parts of a computer, such as the CPU and hard drive, can also be referred to as computer components. Technically, however, the components are the smaller parts that make up these devices. Component may also refer to component video, which is a type of high-quality video connection. A component connection sends the video signal through three separate cables — one for red, green, and blue. This provides better color accuracy than composite video (typically a yellow connector), which combines all the color signals into a single cable.

The motherboard is the body or mainframe of the computer, through which all other components interface. It is the central circuit board making up a complex electronic system. A motherboard provides the electrical connections by which the other components of the system communicate. The mother board includes many components such as: central processing unit (CPU), random...

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