Types and components of a computer system

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Types and components of a computer system by Mind Map: Types and components of a computer system

1. Laptop (Micro) computer

1.1. A 'laptop' computer is a light, compact and portable PC.

1.2. Laptops contain a rechargeable battery so that they can be used even when not plugged in to a mains power supply.

1.3. They also have a built-in LCD monitor.

1.4. To make them as portable as possible, most laptops try to avoid any sort of cable or wire.

1.5. Instead of a mouse, a trackpad is used. Instead of a wired connection to a network or printer, 'wireless' radio connections are used.

2. Mainframe Computer

2.1. A mainframe computer is a large computer, often used by large businesses, in government offices, or by universities.

2.2. Powerful - they can process vast amounts of data, very quickly

2.3. Large - they are often kept in special, air-conditioned rooms

2.4. Multi-user - they allow several users (sometimes hundreds) to use the computer at the same time, connected via remote terminals (screens and keyboards)

3. Personal Computer (PC)

3.1. These computers came to be known as desktop computers, or personal computers (PCs).

3.2. iThe early 1980s saw a revolution in computing: The creation of computers that were small enough to fit on a desk, and cheap enough that everyone could have their own, personal computer, instead of having to share access to a mainframe.

3.3. A typical PC contained the same basic components as a mainframe computer (CPU, RAM, storage, etc.) but at a fraction of the size and cost.

4. Palmtop Computer

4.1. A palmtop computer is similar to a laptop computer, but smaller. It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand

4.2. Palmtops are usually not very powerful since fast CPUs require a large battery and get hot - both problems in a small device.

4.3. A typical palmtop have a very small keyboard - too small to type on normally. Instead the user types using both thumbs. Also there is no room for a trackpad, so a touchscreen or tiny joystick is used instead.

4.4. Palmtops are extremely portable, but the small keyboard and screen make the devices tiring to use for long periods.

5. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

5.1. A PDA is similar to a palmtop computer, except it is even more compact, and typically has no keyboard, using a touchscreen for all data input. Since the screen is so small, many PDAs have a small stylus (plastic stick) that is used to press things on the screen.

5.2. PDAs tend to be used a 'digital diaries' allowing users to take their e-mail, documents, appointments, etc. with them wherever they go.

5.3. Most PDAs use some sort of handwriting-recognition system to allow the user to write on the screen, and have their writing converted into text.

6. Central Processing Unit (CPU)

6.1. The CPU is the 'brain' of the computer. It is the device that carries out software instructions.

6.2. CPUs usually plug into a large socket on the main circuit board (the motherboard) of a computer. They get very hot when they are operating so usually have a large fan attached to their top to keep them cool.

7. Main Memory

7.1. Any data or instructions that are to be processed by the CPU must be placed into main memory (sometimes known as primary storage).

8. Random Access Memory (RAM)

8.1. Random Access Memory (RAM) is the part of the computer that temporarily stores the instructions that the computer is running, and the data it is processing.

8.2. RAM, like the CPU, also plugs in to sockets on the motherboard.

8.3. RAM is a volatile storage device. This means that if the computer’s power is turned off the contents of RAM disappear and are lost.

8.4. When a computer is in use, its RAM will contain… The operating system software The application software currently being used Any data that is being processed

9. Read-Only Memory (ROM)

9.1. Read-Only Memory (ROM) is used in most computers to hold a small, special piece of software: the 'boot up' program.

9.2. This software runs when the computer is switched on or 'boots up'. The software checks the computer’s hardware and then loads the operating system.

9.3. ROM is non-volatile storage. This means that the data it contains is never lost, even if the power is switched off.

10. Peripheral Devices

10.1. Technically, a computer need only be made up of a CPU and some RAM. But a computer like this would not be much use to anybody – other devices need to be connected to allow data to be passed in and out of the computer.

10.2. The general name for these extra devices is ‘peripheral devices’. They are usually categorised into input devices, output devices and storage devices.

11. Hardware

11.1. It is all the physical structure of computers, what can be touched by us.

12. Software

12.1. It is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs procedure and documentation that perform some tasks on a computer system. Software includes websites, programs, video games, etc.

13. Difference between Hardware and Software

13.1. Hardware is the physical components that make up the computer system. Software are instructions that the computer hardware what to do. Software is useless unless there is a hardware to run it on.

14. Backing storage and associated devices

14.1. Floppy Disk Drive, it is a computer disk drive that enables a user to save data to removable diskettes.

14.2. Hard Disk Drive, it is the computer main storage media device that permanently stores all data in the computer.

15. Types of networks

15.1. LAN-Local Area Network- WLAN-Wirless Local Area Network- WAN-Wide Area Network- MAN-Metropilitsn Area Network- SAN- Storage Area Network, etc.