Computer Hardware

Tinkering with Computer Hardware

Computer hardware has its early beginnings with the introduction of the abacus into the world scene. A simple device used for counting, it set the precedent for many of the computer hardware products we see today. It is a critical part of the data storage and data calculation process in that it works alongside software components of the computer to produce an interdependent system.

To start, computer hardware is anything tangible on the computer. In contrast to software, hardware cannot be changed unlike data which is created, played with, and erased. It constitutes a physical aspect of a system. For example, a mouse and a keyboard are examples of computer hardware. By definition, a computer does not have to be that image we have of a Dell Desktop or a Hewlett Packard machine with a monitor and tower. They also include disc players, vehicles, heart rate machines, and ovens.

Personal computer hardware makes up only about 0.2 of the total computers produced every year. Your standard Compaq consists of a CPU in the form of a tower, complete with a CD Drive and an option DVD drive. Other pieces of hardware within a personal computer may include data storage, buses (i.e. a USB port), a six plug power supply, and media writers such as DVD writers or a floppy disk drive. In addition, there are also portable pieces of hardware like mice, USB flash drives with many storage capacities, network cards, and modems for Internet access.

The PC has become the video gaming system of choice for many consumers. Many boast that computer graphics and performance far outweigh video consoles like the Playstation and the Nintendo 64. With this said, there are lots of computer hardware dealing with the gaming realm. Countless manufacturers produce gaming devices like joysticks, game pads, and game controllers. In addition, there are also add-ons like steering wheels. For the video-chat enthusiasts, computer hardware may include the proverbial webcam and a microphone for video and sound input capabilities. Finally, sound is produced through the use of personal headsets or speakers.

Today, computer hardware technology is constantly evolving. Much ado is made over data storage capabilities with the use of memory cards and “intelligent sticks.” In addition, the market has made a transition from corded mice to wireless mice that are more convenient. Many computer hardware companies are also trying their hand at consumer electronics, like Apple attempting to produce digital cameras and Microsoft undergoing operations to compete against the IPod with their own high capacity MP3 player. It is definitely an exciting time in the computer hardware business.

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