|WHAT IS A COMPUTER?|
The computer is primarily made up of 1 Monitor, 1 Keyboard, 1 Mouse and 1 Base Unit. Just the same as a Bicycle is made up of 1 Chain, 2 Wheels and so on. The base unit is made up of the other computer components, such as: the Hard Drive, the CD Player, the Memory, the Power Supply, the Sockets and so on. It is exactly like a bicycle in the fact that when one major component fails the whole thing fails. For example. A bicycle is useless if the chain snaps or a tyre punctures. The same with the computer.
If the Hard Drive fails you have no Windows Vista. If the Memory fails you have no computer. And so on. The next three sections will explain what the common components are, and what they do, so you know what is what. Before I explain them though you need to know some Terminology (Jargon) first.
Hardware is the terminology used to describe the physical components of a computer, such as the Hard Drive, Floppy Drive,
Sound Card, Graphics Card, Modem, CD Player and so on.
Software is used to describe the files needed to make the Hardware work correctly. For example. A Modem CD contains all the files needed to make the Modem, that came with the CD, work with Windows Vista. Software is also used to describe a collection of files that work together to make one piece. For example. Microsoft Office is a collection of files that work together to allow you to do different things, such as Type Letters, E-Mail, Create Stationary and so on.
A Program is one piece of software that does a specific job for you. For example. Microsoft Office has one program called
WORD (for Word Processing), one program called EXCEL (for Accounting) and one program called Access (for Databases).
Together they are called Software (or a Software Package), but each piece of software on its own is called a Program. So
WORD is one program that does all your word processing and EXCEL is one program that does all your accounting.
Each program is split into jobs known as Tasks. For example. WORD has a word processing task, a printing task, a spell checking task and so on. Sometimes a program can do one task at a time and sometimes it can do more than one task at a time. WORD, for example, allows you to type a letter whilst it is printing something. This is known as Multi-Tasking because it is doing two or more jobs (tasks) at the same time.
Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. As stated here by the Microsoft Corporation.