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Classwork Series and Exercises {ICT- SS1}: Overview of Computer System (Hardware)


Topic: Overview of Computer System (Hardware)

Computer can simply be defined as an electronic machine that accepts data (input) and processes them with the help of predefined instructions (program) and produces information (output) for various uses.



Two Main Constituents of Computer

Hardware (computer) can be regarded as equipment involved in the function of a computer. Computer hardware consists of the components that can be physically handled. The function of these components is typically divided into three main categories: input, output, and storage. Components in these categories connect to microprocessors, specifically, the computer’s central processing unit (CPU), the electronic circuitry that provides the computational ability and control of the computer, via wires or circuitry called a bus.

Although microprocessors are still technically considered to be hardware, portions of their function are also associated with computer software. Since microprocessors have both hardware and software aspects, they are therefore often referred to as firmware.

Computer Hardware Constituent

The CPU is the heart of the computer system that consists of three hardware sections. They are:

1.Main memory (Real memory)

2.The Controlling Unit

3.The Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)

1.    Main Memory: This is also called real memory or immediate access store. It holds data, instructions and any result waiting output to the output devices (such as monitor, printer).Main memory is the fastest storage device but it is expensive to manufacture.

The main memory is divided into two main parts:

i.      Read Only Memory (ROM)

ii.    Read Access Memory (RAM)

2.    The Control Unit: This is the part of the memory which controls and co-ordinates the components of computer system as directed by the program in the store. Control unit slects program instructions one at a time from the main memory places into the Instruction register in the control unit.

3.    The Arithmetic Logic Unit: This carries out arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction and logical operations.


Characteristics of Computer


  • Speed-Fast: The speed of a computer is determined by the number of bytes the processor can process within a second, which is measured in Megahertz (MHz) and is interpreted into millions of cycles per second. This makes it possible for it to process at faster rate. Computer with higher value or capacity work better and cost more in terms of money.


  • Accuracy: The output from a computer is always accurate and dependable when both the input data and the processing program are correct. It should be noted that a computer does not know everything, therefore whatever data is supplied for any variable will be accepted and used, hence the word GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out).


  • Versatility: (Ability to perform different tasks) Computer can be used for different jobs unlike some other devices that is only used for singular functions. As a result of this, computers fit into any organisation like schools, hospitals, banks, government offices and churches. There are various applications such as; business, engineering, etc.


  • Reliability: Processing with a computer is reliable, compared with manual operations.
  • Flexibility: Unlike manual operation, a computer system can deal with more data without any danger to the system.

Tests and Exercises

1.    ___________ can simply be regarded as the component of the computer that can be physically handled.

a.    Software  b.Hardwarec.Memoryd.Disk. Answer: Hardware

2.    The circuitry pathway on the motherboard can be simply regarded as _______

a.    Bus  b.   Driver  c.Linesd.Signal. Answer:Bus

3.    Which of the following is not part of the CPU hardware sections?

a.    Main memoryb.Control unit c.Arithmetic and Logic unit d.Simos Battery. Answer: Simos Battery

4.    What section are the mathematical operations carried out in the CPU?

a.    Arithmetic and Logic unit  b.Control unit  c.Main memoryd.None of the above. Answer: Arithmetic and Logic unit

5.    Computer characteristics of being able to perform different tasks is regarded as ________

a.    Accuracyb.Reliabilityc.Speedd.Versatility. Answer: Versatility

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