What Does It Cost?
A computer is simply a machine which is programmed to carry out certain sequences of logical or arithmetic operations automatically. In the past, a computer was an alphabetical machine programmed to translate letters into words. Modern computers can execute almost all sets of operations automatically, thanks to the help of software programs. These programs allow computers to do virtually all kinds of work. However, most of the work done on a computer does not require any particular knowledge of how computers actually work.
There are three main areas in which computer programming is used today. These are computer hardware, embedded systems, and operating systems. Hardware is the components of the computer itself such as its main circuit board, memory, hard drive, keyboard, monitor, and graphics card. Embedded systems are software programs designed to run on specific types of hardware and to work with certain operating systems.
Computers operate on several types of hardware. A microprocessor is a software program designed to speed up computers, instruction sets for programmers to use, and input and output devices. Memory is used to store data and allow the CPU to run various programs. Hard disk is used to store files and other information for users to access. Video output and input devices include joysticks, pointers, buttons, and other devices which provide input to and output from computers.
The third area is operating systems which control the way that computers work. The Windows operating system, for example, is a software program specifically designed to control how a computer runs. Linux is another example of an open source operating system. Operating systems can also be hardware dependent, and can be installed in several ways. Some operating systems need installation by the manufacturer, while others are made available to users through software applications.
Desktop computers differ from other types of computers because they are the console in a computer system. A desktop computer differs from other types of computers in that it is the center of computing activity in a home or office computer network. Desktop computers are different from laptops, because desktop computers have keyboards and screen displays. Desktop computers are more expensive than laptops because desktop computers need more processing power and memory. Desktop computers are similar to laptops in that they are used for word processing, networking, gaming, image editing, listening to music, watching movies, and editing photos. Desktop computers also differ from laptops in that they do not have trackballs or pads, and most desktop computers come with their monitor attached.
Computer hardware, computer connections, and computer operating systems all influence the price of a computer. Computer components vary by manufacturer and type. Desktop computer connections include parallel and serial bus, USB, FireWire, parallel port, digital video controller, memory sticks, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, and optical drives. Computer components are important to the operation of a desktop computer, and each component has its own role.