Computer is no longer something new and magical to manypeople nowadays, because many families now have at least onecomputer in their homes. It is without doubt that there arethousands and millions of computer users in the country, but isit ever possible for all of them to explain how a computer works?No. Alright, can they even classify the components of a computerappropriately? Not quite.They may know how to describe thephysical appearance of a computer and they will probablyinclude two or three other terms as well, such as monitor,keyboard or a mouse. Nonetheless, classification of a computershould not be done this way.
In fact, a computer can be brokendown into three distinct categories, namely output, input andCPU.The term ‘output’ consists of all components that displaywords and graphics so that a person can see them. Many peoplecan easily understand why the monitor is a form of output devicesince it is the screen that tells them what the computer isactually doing. Simply put, without a monitor, the computeritself is basically useless. Another form of output, which israrely noticed by many computer users however, is the printer.Many people have probably used a printer before, but it is justthat they never realize it is also a form of output.As opposed to ‘output’, ‘input’ consists of components thattake in information from the users themselves so that thecomputer will know the tasks it is supposed to perform andaccomplish.
The keyboard is classified as a form of inputbecause this is where the users enter commands and text. Thereare many other forms of input as well. Nonetheless, many peoplejust don’t realize them, or are too lazy to classify them.
Forinstance, the mouse belongs to input, since it provides afloating pointer on the screen so that the users can accesscommands faster and easier. The scanner is another form ofinput, because it acts like a photocopier, except it scans theimage and makes it onto the computer screen instead of onto apiece of paper.The CPU, Central Processing Unit is probably the mostimportant category of the three. As the name implies, it is thesoul of a computer, very much alike the human brain.Forunknown reasons though, people often call the CPU a computer.
This is absolutely incorrect. The word computer is merely ageneral term which must always include all the three categoriesin order to operate. Perhaps the constituents of a CPU itselfshould be mentioned. Simply stated, this central unit must havememory blocks to store data temporarily; disk drives to storedata permanently; and last but not least, the main processorchip which performs all the jobs and mathematical calculations,as well as determines the speed of a CPU.These are the three categories that the readers must knowshould they need to classify a computer again in the future.
Also, it can be seen that a computer is not as simple as manypeople think it is, for it consists of many internal componentswhich are often neglected and ignored. It should also beemphasized that the components listed in this essay are not theonly ones available, since developers and manufacturers willcontinue to bombard the market with newer and more sophisticatedgadgets everyday.