Computer Hardware | Introduction to Computers

Today, we are going to go over the basic computer hardware you will need to get up and running.

The Hardware:

The Computer: Most computers are housed in tower-like cases and are thus called towers. These towers hold all the components that make the computer run and have slots to plug peripherals into it. This is the most important and most expensive part of your system.

HDMI, DVI, and VGA are used to connect the monitor to the computer.

HDMI, DVI, and VGA are used to connect the monitor to the computer.

The Monitor: The screen that allows you to see what your computer is doing. This normally connects to the back of the computer in a  VGA or DVI port, but sometimes HDMI is used. These connections are color coated on most devices.

The Keyboard: This is the second most important part of the computer system hardware. You can get somethings done without a monitor, but you cannot do anything without a keyboard. The computer keyboard is much like a typewriter’s, but it has special keys that hold special functions for the computer, you should try to get a full sized keyboard that includes a number pad. Keyboards can go from just a few bucks to more than a thousand dollars(USD). This connects to the computer using either a PS/2(Purple) or USB port.

An example of a higher end keyboard is: Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110, much more than is necessary for normal use.

PS/2 and USB can both be used to connect a keyboard or mouse. USB can connect other hardware as well

PS/2 and USB can both be used to connect a keyboard or mouse. USB can connect other hardware as well

The Mouse: This device, wist not necessary, makes using the computer much easier for the layman to use. Generally they have a right and left button and a wheel in the center, but there are computer mice that have 16 or more buttons.You want to get one that curves naturally with your hands and is comfortable to use. This connects to the computer using either a PS/2(Green) or USB port.

Personally I use the Logitech G502 mouse, it gets the job done and is comfortable.

Ethernet is used to connect a computer to the internet.

Ethernet is used to connect a computer to the internet.

Ethernet Cable or Wireless Card: If you want to connect to the internet you will need an Ethernet Cable that plugs into the back of your computer or need a Wireless Card. Ethernet is the most reliable and secure you are going to get, but you need to be physically connected to the source of your internet. Wireless is more expensive and arguably less secure, but gives you mobility. Most wireless cards connect via USB, but some do connect to the inside of your computer. Ethernet has not setup required for most home solutions, but wireless in more involved and setup is different case by case. Read the manual if you do not know what to do. Most laptops have wireless cards built in and setup for you.

Speakers: These are self explanatory, they allow you to hear things. Speakers have color coded connectors to show you where each part connects to the computer. If your computer has ports on both the front and back of the computer, use the back ones first. You will want to save the ones on the front for headphones.

If you have a laptop this hardware will be part of the laptop itself.

Other things to consider: You will want to have as many USB ports as possible on your computer. You will be using them in the future for connecting Printers, External Hard Drives, and USB Flash Drives. Each computer is different and the way you connect your hardware will differ.

That covers all the major hardware components you will need to get started. Next time we will go over setting up Windows and learning the interface.

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