Computers are complex machines comprised of two key areas. Do you know what they are? The answer is hardware and software. Computer hardware is the physical components that you can touch and feel. Computer software is programs that run on the hardware. A lot of people may not know the difference between them. It might be best to tell the difference between them and how they work together.
Computer hardware is made up of the keyboard, mouse, monitor, central processing unit (CPU), scanners and printers. You use the keyboard and mouse to manipulate the data you want to enter into the computer. The CPU is used to control the computer and process the operating system along with the programs you wish to run. The monitor is used to display the information the CPU processes, also the information can also be printed out on a printer, and scanners are used to take a piece of paper and copy it onto the computer. Without these components ...view middle of the document...
Operating systems are necessary on all computers because they are used to control the hardware and software and make sure each is used correctly. On most computers Windows 7 or Windows 8 is the operating system, but if you are using an Apple Macintosh computer you are most likely using OS X (Operating System Ten). The computers on the Onondaga Community College campus are using Windows XP, which is an older version of Windows not used a lot anymore, but as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Some types of programs that are not operating systems are Microsoft Office, various games, Internet Explorer along with many others. These software programs are not required on any computer, but if you want your computer to operate correctly, you must have an operating system installed on your computer.
When you power on your computer, the CPU runs some startup tests to make sure the computer is ready for work. Then the CPU loads the operating system. When the operating system is done loading, the computer waits for user input before continuing. If you want to go on the internet, for example, then you would click on either Internet Explorer or Firefox or whatever your web browser you have installed on your computer. When a letter or number is pressed on the keyboard, it is converted into binary code then sent to the processor then sent to the monitor and displayed on the screen almost instantly. Binary code is a series of numbers, only 1’s and 0’s, in different combinations to make different letters and numbers. For this reason, the transferring of the data and changing of the character into binary form and back again; along with all the other functions of a computer and how fast they are processed shows how complex computers are today.
As technology progresses, it can be very helpful to know the differences between computer hardware and software. Along the lines of knowing the differences between hardware and software it would also very helpful to know the differences between the types of software and how they are used. In this day and age with computers being such a big part of everyday life, having a basic working knowledge of how it all works together could benefit you greatly. Hopefully, it will make your everyday computer usage more enjoyable.