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Unformatted text preview: 1 Hardware Needs Software to Work That a computer requires both hardware and software to work About the many different hard- ware components inside of and connected to a computer In this chapter, you will learn: CHAPTER 1 L ike millions of other computer users, you have probably used your desktop or notebook computer to play games, surf the Web, write papers, or build spreadsheets. You can use all these applications with- out understanding exactly what goes on inside your computer case or notebook. But if you are curious to learn more about personal comput- ers, and if you want to graduate from simply being the end user of your computer to becoming the master of your machine, then this book is for you. It is written for anyone who wants to understand what is hap- pening inside the machine, in order to install new hardware and soft- ware, diagnose and solve both hardware and software problems, and make decisions about purchasing new hardware and operating systems. The only assumption made here is that you are a computer userthat is, you can turn on your machine, load a software package, and use that software to accomplish a task. No experience in electronics is assumed. In addition, this book prepares you to pass the hardware-related content of the A+ Essentials exam and any one of the advanced exams (the A+ 220-602, the A+ 220-603, or the A+ 220-604) required by CompTIA ( www.comptia.org ) for A+ Certification. At the time this book went to print, the older 2003 A+ exams were still live; therefore, the book also includes the content on the 2003 A+ Core Hardware Service Technician exam. Its companion book, A+ Guide to Software: Managing, Maintaining, and Troubleshooting Software (Course Technology 0-619-21760-x), prepares you for the software-related content of the four exams for A+ Certification, as well as the older 2003 A+ Operating System Technology exam. HARDWARE NEEDS SOFTWARE TO WORK In the world of computers, the term hardware refers to the computers physical components, such as the monitor, keyboard, memory chips, and hard drive. The term software refers to the set of instructions that directs the hardware to accomplish a task. To perform a computing task, software uses hardware for four basic functions: input, processing, storage, and output (see Figure 1-1). Also, hardware components must communicate both data and instructions among themselves, which requires an electrical system to provide power, because these components are electrical. In this chapter, we introduce the hardware components of a computer system and help you see how they work. CHAPTER 1 2 Hardware Needs Software to Work CPU Printer Output Monitor Temporary storage RAM Permanent storage Hard drive Floppy disk Input Processing Keyboard Mouse Figure 1-1 Computer activity consists of input, processing, storage, and output A computer user must interact with a computer in a way that both the user and the software understand, such as with entries made by way of a keyboard or a mouse (see Figure 1-2).understand, such as with entries made by way of a keyboard or a mouse (see Figure 1-2)....
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- Spring '08