HOW THE PC WORKS
A computer is an electronic device that can accept data, process the data and give out the results as information. A computer is divided into two major parts namely the hardware and the software. The hardware consists of the physical tangible parts than we can feel and touch while using the computer while the software cannot be touched but can only be seen assisting in a computer’s operation. Both the hardware and the software must be in harmony and work together in order to accomplish the completion of tasks in a computer. Both the software and the hardware are equally important. None can operate in isolation without the assistance of the other.
Software can only be seen performing different operations in a computer system but can neither be touched nor felt. There are several categories of software that can be used for carrying out different operations in a computer.
i. Programming software
These types of software are in form of tools that helps the programmers in writing various computer programs (computer programs are set of logical instructions that enable a computer to perform various tasks) (Jon, 2007). This category is one of the most popular types of software in use today. They include: the text editors, interpreters and compilers.
ii. System software
They assist in the running of computer (both the hardware and the software). They consist of a collection of operating system, device drivers and windows utilities and systems (Jon, 2007)..
iii. Application software
They help the computer users to perform various tasks with the computer. They are the most commonly used types of software by the end users (Jon, 2007).
The hardware parts of a computer are further divided into input devices, processing devices and the output devices.
i. Input devices
The input devices are used for feeding data into the computer for processing. They include: the keyboard, mouse, stylus, joystick, touch-screen monitors and the light pen. Once the data has been fed into the computer, it is then transferred to the processing devices for processing.
ii. Processing devices
These are the components of a computer that are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the fed in data is processed before being stored or given out as information through the output devices. They include: the Arithmetic logic unit and the Control Unit. The Arithmetic logic Unit (ALU) is responsible for all the mathematical operations of the system and for making decisions based on the logical situations presented to the system. The control unit is responsible for controlling all the operations of the system.
iii. Output devices
Once data has been processed in the Central Processing Unit (CPU), it becomes information. It is then given out as output through the output devices. The output devices include: monitors, printers, speakers and plotters.
Windows Operating System
A computer does not only consist of the hardware and the software working together in order to execute some tasks. There are a lot of operations and activities that go on behind the monitor and the keyboard. There are a number of commands that are executed in order to have the activities accomplished. There is the operating system which is responsible for all the operations of a computer system (Ifrah, 2001). It provides the functioning infrastructure for the entire computer system. The operating system is responsible for handling the coordination between the CPU, memory and the external devices of a computer system. The section of the operating system that is responsible for the coordination of activities in the Computer system is called the kernel. It synchronizes communication and also manages memory usage in the computer system (Ifrah, 2001).
The Windows operating system is a product of the Microsoft Corporation. It is the most common type of operating system that is being used today. Windows has gone through a variety of developments since its first inception in November 1985. The first version of windows was windows version 1 that had very limited functionalities. Microsoft further improved this version that swathe introduction of version 2, 3 windows XP, Windows Vista and most recently Windows 7. As the versions become more advanced, so do the functionalities of the various versions of Microsoft Windows operating system. The windows operating system is popular due to its nature of user friendliness. It is easy to learn and also easy to use.
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