go to previous page   go to home page   go to next page hear noise


No. You have destroyed a particular physical book, but not the information that is the novel Tom Sawyer. (You will still have to write that book report.)

Components of a Computer System

Information is funny stuff. The information for the web page you are looking at is recorded on a hard disk inside a computer located in New Britain, Connecticut. The information was copied from that physical device to other physical devices perhaps hundreds of times before it got to your computer where your web browser is using it to display these words on your monitor. Clearly information is something different from the devices used to store and transmit it.

A computer system consists of both hardware and information stored on hardware. Information stored on computer hardware is often called software.

The hardware components of a computer system are the electronic and mechanical parts.
The software components of a computer system are the data and the computer programs.

Click Here to see the desktop system these notes were originally prepared on. (This was back when anything to do with computers had to be beige. Everything in this picture has since been replaced, except for the gargoyle.)

The major hardware components of a computer system are:

For typical desktop computers, the processor, main memory, secondary memory, power supply, and supporting hardware are housed in a metal case. Many of the components are connected to the main circuit board of the computer, called the motherboard. The power supply supplies power for most of the components. Various input devices (such as the keyboard) and output devices (such as the monitor) are attached through connectors at the rear of the case.


Is a mouse an input device or an output device?     mouse