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Hardware - refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display
screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips.

2 components:
- Internal- located inside the main box or system unit of the computer
- External- located outside the system unit

Basic Hardware Components
o Input
o Processing
o Output
o Storage

Input Devices/Hardware
Enter data into a computer system in a form that can be processed by the computer
Convert people-readable data into machine-readable form
Two Kinds of Input Hardware:
o Keyboard Devices
o Non-keyboard, or direct-entry, devices

Keyboard - is an input device, partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard, which uses an
arrangement of keys, which act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. It has characters
printed on the keys and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol.

Features of a standard keyboard:
1. Standard Character Keys
O Kinds of Layout:
i. QWERTY-based Layout
is the most used modern-day keyboard layout on English-
language computer and typewriter keyboards.
It takes its name from the first six characters seen in the far
left of the keyboard's top row of letters.
design was patented by Christopher Sholes, a newspaper
editor and printer who lived in Milwaukee in 1874 and sold
to Remington in the same year, when it first appeared in
ii. Non-Qwerty: DVORAK Layout
The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK) is the best-known
alternative to QWERTY, also known as the American
Simplified Keyboard, ASK layout.
It was named after its inventor, Dr. August Dvorak, not the
key order.
iii. Custom/Special Layout
2. Function Keys
are frequently used commands;
dependent of application software used
Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

3. Special Purpose Keys
Enter execute commands
Ctrl, Alt, Shift modifiers
Del and Ins editing
Caps Lock uppercase
4. Numeric Keys
5. Cursor Movement Keys

Non-Keyboard Input Devices/ Direct Entry Devices
a. Pointing Devices
- A device with which you can control the movement of the pointer to select items on
a display screen.

b. Voice-Input Devices
A device in which speech is used to input data or system commands
directly into a system.
equipment involves the use of speech recognition processes, and can
replace or supplement other input devices.
Some voice input devices can recognize spoken words from a predefined
vocabulary, some have to be trained for a particular speaker.

c. Scanning Devices
are devices that use a magnetic or photo-electric source to scan and convert images
into electric signals that can be processed by an electronic apparatus, such as a
computer. Images that can be scanned and converted include colored or black and
white texts, graphics, and pictures.

Pointing Devices
1. Mouse
o is a device that controls the movement of the cursor or pointer on a display screen.
o is a small object you can roll along a hard, flat surface.
o Its name is derived from its shape, which looks a bit like a mouse, its connecting wire
that one can imagine to be the mouse's tail, and the fact that one must make it scurry
along a surface.
o As you move the mouse, the pointer on the display screen moves in the same direction.
o Mice contain at least one button and sometimes as many as three, which have different
functions depending on what program is running. Some newer mice also include a scroll
wheel for scrolling through long documents.
o Invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Center in 1963, and pioneered
by Xerox in the 1970s
Three Types of Mouse

O Mechanical
Has a rubber or metal ball on its underside that can roll in all directions. Mechanical
sensors within the mouse detect the direction the ball is rolling and move the screen
pointer accordingly.

Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

O Optical
Uses a laser to detect the mouse's movement. You must move the mouse along a
special mat with a grid so that the optical mechanism has a frame of reference. Optical
mice have no mechanical moving parts.
O Wireless
are not physically connected at all. Instead they rely on infrared or radio waves to
communicate with the computer.

2. Trackball
o is a pointing device consisting of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a
rotation of the ball about two axeslike an upside-down mouse with an exposed
protruding ball. The user rolls the ball with the thumb, fingers, or the palm of
the hand to move a cursor. Large tracker balls are common on CAD workstations for
easy precision.

3. Touch Pad
o is a device for pointing (controlling input positioning) on a computer display screen.
o It is an alternative to the mouse.
o Originally incorporated in laptop computers, and are also being made for use with
desktop computers.
o It works by sensing the user's finger movement and downward pressure.
o The first touch pad was invented by George E. Gerpheide in 1988.
o Apple Computer was the first to license and use the touch pad in its Powerbook laptops in 1994.
o The touch pad has since become the leading cursor controlling device in laptops.

4. Pointing Stick:
o A small rubberized device located in the center of a computer keyboard, which is
moved with a finger tip to position a pointer.

5. Joystick and Wheel:
o A joystick is a vertical lever mounted on a base
o A wheel is a steering-wheel type input device

6. Audio Player control pad:
o Enables users to scroll through and play music,
adjust volume, and customize settings

7. Game Pad:
o Also called game controller
o Controls the movement and actions of players or objects in video games or computer

8. Light Pen: light-sensitive pen-like device that enters commands into a special display screen
when the user touches the screen with the pen

9. Touch Screen: special type of computer display screen that allows commands to be entered by
the users touching the screen

Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid


10. Pen input:
o Users write, draw, and tap on a flat surface to input

2 devices used for pen input:
o the term stylus often refers to an input tool usually used with PDAs (Personal Digital
Assistant), graphics tablets, Tablet PCs
o In this method, the user operates a touch screen with a stylus that secretes no ink,
rather than using a finger, which avoids getting the natural oil from one's hands on
the screen.
Digital pen
o A digital pen is a battery-operated writing instrument that allows the user to digitally
capture a handwritten note or drawing.
o a digital pen comes with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cradle to let the user upload
the handwritten notes to a personal computer (PC).
o The pen looks like a regular ball-point pen and can be used as such, but requires
special digital paper if the user wishes to digitally capture what he has written. A page
of digital paper, which can be purchased in traditional pad or sticky-note size, has
small dots on it that allow the pen to "see" what has been written.

Voice-Input/Audio-input Devices
A device in which speech is used to input data or system commands directly into a system. Such
equipment involves the use of speech recognition processes, and can replace or supplement
other input devices.
Some voice input devices can recognize spoken words from a predefined vocabulary, some have
to be trained for a particular speaker.
Convert persons speech into a digital code
Voice Recognition Systems
o Also called speech recognition
o The computers capability of distinguishing spoken words.

Scanners and Reading Devices
1. Optical Scanners:
o usually called a scanner
o is a light sensing input device that reads printed text and graphics and then translates
the results into a form the computer can process

Four (4) types of scanners are:

a. Flatbed
desktop (or flatbed) scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for
b. Hand-held
- Hand-held scanners, where the device is moved by hand, have evolved from text
scanning "wands" to 3D scanners used for industrial design, reverse engineering, test
and measurement, orthotics, gaming and other applications.

Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

c. Film
"Slide" (positive) or negative film can be scanned in equipment specially manufactured
for this purpose
d. Drum
capture image information with photomultiplier tubes (PMT), rather than the charge-
coupled device (CCD) arrays found in flatbed scanners and inexpensive film scanners.
Reflective and transmissive originals are mounted on an acrylic cylinder, the scanner
drum, which rotates at high speed while it passes the object being scanned in front of
precision optics that deliver image information to the PMTs. Most modern color drum
scanners use 3 matched PMTs, which read red, blue, and green light respectively. Light
from the original artwork is split into separate red, blue, and green beams in the optical
bench of the scanner.

2. Image Scanner:
o detects images on paper and converts them to computer-usable form
o Digitize image is converted to computer-processable input data
3. Fax Machines:
o Facsimile Transmission Machine
o Specialized scanner that sends and receives document images over telephone lines
o Facsimile = Reproduction
4. Bar-Code Readers:
o photoelectric scanners that read bar codes by means of reflected light
o Bar Code is data represented in the parallel lines of a universal coding system
- Two Types of Bar-Code Readers
Hand-held: wand-like scanning devices
Stationary: built into a countertop
5. Magnetic Stripe Card Readers
- Often called magnetic stripe reader
- Reads the magnetic stripe on the back of the credit cards, entertainment cards, bank cards
and other similar cards.
6. Mark and Character Readers: uses a light source to read special marks and characters and
convert the data to computer-processable form
Two Technologies:
- Optical Mark Recognition (OMR): detects presence or absence of a mark and converts
the data to computer usable form
- Optical-Character Recognition (OCR): read preprinted characters and convert them to
computer usable form

Processing Hardware

- Also called the system board
- Electronic components attached to the mother board:
a. Processor chip
b. Memory module
c. Adapter cards

Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

Central Processing Unit (CPU) /Processor
: Executes program instructions
: brain of computer

Two Components of CPU
Control Unit
o Tells the rest of the computer system how to carry out a programs instructions
o Directs the movement of electronic signals between the memory and the arithmetic
logic unit

Arithmetic Logic Unit
o Two Types of ALUs operations
O Arithmetic - fundamental math operations
O Logical - consist of comparisons

- refers to the physical devices used to store programs (sequences of instructions) or

Types of memory
1. Volatile memory is computer memory that requires power to maintain the stored
information. example: Random Access Memory (RAM)
2. Non-volatile computer memory that can retain the stored information even when not
powered. Example: Read Only Memory (ROM), flash memory, hard disks, floppy disc

Two Kinds of Temporary Storage
Main Memory: Separate from CPU; acts as buffer between CPU and rest of computer
Holds: data for processing, instructions for processing data, information
to be output
Stored as long as computer is turned on; volatile
Registers: Temporary holding areas in the control unit and ALU for data and
instructions that are to be processed immediately
Located in CPU, not separate from it

Binary System
= Consists of 2 digits 0 and 1; 0=off, 1=on
= Binary Code uses 0s and 1s to create characters; the basis of the code is BIT (Binary Digit)
= Bit: smallest amount of information a computer can use; too small to represent a
= Byte: eight bits; equivalent to one character
= Kilobyte: 1,024 bytes, usually rounded to 1,000 bytes
= Megabyte: 1 million bytes
= Gigabyte: 1 billion bytes
= Terabyte: 1 trillion bytes

Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

Expansion slots and Adapter Cards
Is a socket on the motherboard that can hold an adapter card

Adapter card
- Sometimes called expansion card
- Is a circuit board that enhances functions of a component of the system unit.

Output Hardware
Two Forms of Output
Softcopy: in a form that cant be physically touched
Hardcopy: in a form that can be physically touched

Softcopy Output
Monitors: television-like screen displaying text and graphics
- Main Types of Monitors
Cathode-Ray Tubes (CRTs)
Flat Screens
o LCD: Liquid Crystal Display; screen consists of liquid crystal molecules
that can be altered by an electric field
o EL Display: Electroluminescent Display screen actively emits light when
it is electrically charged
o Gas-plasma Display: uses gas that emits light when electrically charged
Voice-Output Devices
Sound-Output Devices

Hardcopy Output
Printer: produces text and graphics printed on paper
- Categories of Printers
O Impact Printer: physically striking an inked ribbon against paper
Daisy-wheel Printer
Dot-matrix Printer
Line Printer
O Nonimpact Printer: forms images on paper using a noncontact process
= Ink-jet Printer
= Laser Printer
= Thermal Printer
Plotter: specialized output devices designed to produce high-quality drawings and complex
engineering designs
Computer Output Microfilm (COM): produced as very small images on rolls or sheets of film

Storage Hardware
Principal Secondary Storage Devices
Floppy Disk (Diskette): flexible magnetic disk on which data is recorded as magnetic spots
Hard Disk: contain one or several rigid platters on which data may be recorded
Optical Disks: use high-powered laser beam to burn microscopic spots representing data in a
disks surface
Computer Hardware and Its Components: Study Aid

Types of Optical Disk
CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory): data is imprinted by the disk
manufacturer and cannot be altered or erased by the user
CD-R (Compact Disk Recordable)/ WORM (Write Once, Read Many):
imprinted by the manufacturer but the buyer determines what is written
Erasable, Rewritable Optical Disk: both readable and writable; their contents
may be erased or altered by the user
Blu-ray Disc (BD), sometimes called "Blu-ray," is an optical disc storage medium
designed to supersede the standard DVD format. Its main uses are for storing
high-definition video, PlayStation 3 video games, and other data, with up to 25
GB per single layered, and 50 GB per dual layered disc. The disc has the same
physical dimensions as standard DVDs and CDs. The name Blu-ray Disc derives
from the blue-violet laser used to read the disc. While a standard DVD uses a
650 nanometer red laser, Blu-ray uses a shorter wavelength, a 405 nm blue-
violet laser, and allows for almost six times more data storage than a DVD.
The Universal Media Disc (UMD) is an optical disc medium developed by Sony
for use on the PlayStation Portable. It can hold up to 1.8 gigabytes of data. It is
the first optical disc format to be used for a handheld video game system.
Magnetic Tape: consists of plastic ribbon coated with material that can be magnetized to
represent data
Flash memory is a non-volatile computer storage that can be electrically erased and
reprogrammed. It is a technology that is primarily used in memory cards and USB flash drives for
general storage and transfer of data between computers and other digital products. It is a
specific type of EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) that is erased
and programmed in large blocks.

Example applications include PDAs (personal digital assistants), laptop computers, digital audio
players, digital cameras and mobile phones. It has also gained popularity in console video game
hardware, where it is often used instead of EEPROMs or battery-powered static RAM (SRAM) for
game save data.
o A memory card or flash memory card is solid-state electronic flash memory data
storage device capable of storing digital contents. These are mainly used with digital
cameras, handheld and Mobile computers, mobile phones, music players, digital
cinematography cameras, video game consoles, and other electronics. They offer high
re-record-ability, power-free storage, small form factor, and rugged environmental
o A USB flash drive consists of flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB
(Universal Serial Bus) 1.1 or 2.0 interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and
rewritable, much smaller than a floppy disk, and most weigh less than 1 ounce (30 g).