Hardware refers to all components that make up a personal computer and are used together to allow communication between the user and the machine. Computer hardware often consists of the basic computer parts, like the main board, hard drive, processor, memory chip, video card, motherboard and hard drive. However, other hardware components exist that aren’t part of the computer. Examples of these include optical drives (such as DVD), printers, scanners, mice, keyboards and so on. All modern computers come with at least one preinstalled software program, but sometimes people choose to install additional programs, especially games or office applications.
The typical personal computers in use today have their operating system installed on a ROM chip inside the computer’s hard drive. The chip is referred to as ROM in the industry and usually resides inside the CPU of the machine. A ROM drive is considered part of the cpus, but not every CPU has a ROM drive. These drives are not often upgraded or deleted because they can take up relatively more space than the RAM in a typical PC.
Data storage devices are another important piece of personal computers. Data storage devices include CD-ROMs, DVD disks and the like. CD-ROMs and DVD disks are used to save data, while hard drives are used to store permanent files like documents or spreadsheet information.
Network input devices are another important part of personal computers. Such devices include joystick, mouse or game controller. Network output devices refer to devices that send information from one computer to another. Some examples of network output devices are modem, network printer or scanner. Ethernet cards or wireless card in the computer’s network card are examples of wireless output devices.
Computer input devices are those that allow user to interact with a computer. Examples of input devices are mouse, keyboard or other physical interface devices. Computer input/output devices vary depending on the hardware. Computer input/output devices differ according to the operating system. The Linux operating system for example has complete control over its input and output devices.
Computer scanners are special type of scanner that may include high resolution image capturing devices or magnifying mirrors. Printers have capability to scan both paper and physical material like newspapers. scanners usually operate on software for providing appropriate output on a personal computer. In the past, scanners were costly when compared to other types of printers but now they are available at reasonable prices. Portable and regular printers are usually used for daily office work.