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  1. #1
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    'puter 'ponents

    I believe that it is important for everyone to be able to recognize and understand the usage of the basic computer components.
    This thread is merely listing and defining some of the more basic (and important) computer components. I have chosen to put it here in the hardware forum since - well, it just seemed like an appropriate place for it.

    Seasoned vets and Gurus turn back now - this is not meant for you!!!

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    Transistor - Amplifies a signal or opens and closes a circuit.

    Integrated Circuit - An electronic device made out of semiconductor material (material that can control the amount of electricity it conducts).

    Resistor - A device that offers resistance to the flow of an electric current.

    Capacitor - Electric component that stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field; it consists of 2 conducting metal plates separated by an insulating material.

    Connector - The part of a cable that plugs into a port or an interface.

    Light Emitting Diode (LED) - A device that lights up when electricity passes through it.

    Printed Circuit Board (PCB) - A thin plate on which chips and other electronic components are placed.

    Central Processing Unit - The brains of the computer where most calculations take place.

    Microprocessor - A silicon chip that contains a CPU. Microprocessor and CPU are usually interchangeable.

    Motherboard - Main circuit board of a personal computer.

    Bus - Collection of wires through which data is transmitted from one part of a computer to another. It connects all the internal computer components to the CPU.

    Random Access Memory (RAM) - A type of computer memory where any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes.

    Read-Only Memory (ROM) - Computer memory on which data has been prerecorded; after data has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.

    System Unit - The main part of a PC; the system unit includes the chassis, microprocessor, main memory, bus, and ports, but does not include the keyboard, monitor, or any external devices cnnected to the cmputer.

    Expansion Slot - An opening in a computer where a circuit board can be inserted to add new capabilities to the computer.

    Backplane - The large circuit board that contains sockets for expansion cards. A backplane is distinguished from a motherboard by the fact that it might contain almost no logical circuitry for performing computing functions.

    Network Card - An expansion board inserted into a computer so the computer can be connected to a network.

    Modem - The modem (modulator/demodulator) is a device that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone lines; there are internal (installed as expansion cards) and external (connected to ports) modems.

    Interface - A piece of hardware, such as an electrical connector, that allows 2 devices to be connected together.

    Port - An interface on a computer to which you can connect an electronic device.

    Parallel Port - An interface capable of transferring more than one bit simultaneously. It is used to connect external devices such as printers.

    Serial Port - An interface that can be used for serial communications (data comunication in which only 1 bit is transmitted at a time).


    Data Flow

    Boot instructions - Stored in ROM until they are sent out.

    Software Applications - Stored in RAM after they have been loaded.

    RAM and ROM - Constantly talk to the CPU via the bus

    Application Information - Stored in RAM while applications are being used.

    Saved information - Flows from RAM to some form of storage device.

    Exported information - Flows from RAM and the CPU, via the bus and expansion slots, to the serial port, parallel port (usually for printers), video card, sound card, or network card.
    __________________________________

    All definitions and information are from the Cisco Networking Academy
    They can steal all my property and belongings, curtail all my rights and privileges, incarcerate me, beat me and even kill me. They then, will only have my dead body, NOT my obedience.

  2. #2
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    oh ****... you made this up right?

    Betterdo some research before I come back.. and pick this list to peices..

    Regardles of wether this list is for beginners or not.. IT IS BLOODY WRONG
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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    As credited at the bottom of the list - all the definitions are taken from Cisco .......... Personally I know what all these components are and they all seem accurate to me - unless I overlooked something ........

    Be very interested to hear what you see wrong with it.
    They can steal all my property and belongings, curtail all my rights and privileges, incarcerate me, beat me and even kill me. They then, will only have my dead body, NOT my obedience.

  4. #4
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    I'd start with the Capacitor, most capacitors are electrolytical capacitors (not the electrostatic kind).
    They are more like a battery.. With layers of conductive and non conductive material drowned in an acidic electrolyte..
    I'm also missing diodes (one way flow-restrictors) and some other components..

    (pardon my spelling on any of the words, English is not my first language)
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  5. #5
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    Give him some credit man... half of it's right.

    Integrated Circuit - An electronic device made out of semiconductor material (material that can control the amount of electricity it conducts).
    Wrong. A resistor is made of semiconducting material. A resistor is not an integrated curcuit. An IC consists of many components.

    Light Emitting Diode (LED) - A device that lights up when electricity passes through it.
    Half wrong. An incandescent, flourescent, or halogen lightbulb does that too.

    Microprocessor - A silicon chip that contains a CPU. Microprocessor and CPU are usually interchangeable.
    Wrong. A microprocessor does not contain a CPU. It is small, and processes information. Hence the term microprocessor. It may in fact be a CPU. It does not, however, contain a CPU.

    Bus - Collection of wires through which data is transmitted from one part of a computer to another. It connects all the internal computer components to the CPU.
    Wrong. A bus, in terms of computers, is not a collection of wires. This may confuse people with the power supply wires. A bus, physically, is usually laid out as ultra thin copper conduits on a circuit board. It can also be an entirely logical device.

    System Unit - The main part of a PC; the system unit includes the chassis, microprocessor, main memory, bus, and ports, but does not include the keyboard, monitor, or any external devices cnnected to the cmputer.
    More commonly referred to as the case or the box.

    Backplane - The large circuit board that contains sockets for expansion cards. A backplane is distinguished from a motherboard by the fact that it might contain almost no logical circuitry for performing computing functions.
    Wrong. Expansion cards are connected to the rest of the computer by means of a bus. Typically today, this is an ISA bus. It is, in fact, an integral part of the motherboard. On desktop models (as opposed to tower models), this usually requires the use of a riser card, which may be what you are referring to as a backplane. This rises from the motherboard vertically to allow expansion cards to sit horizontally, parallel to the motherboard. The term riser card is far more frequently used.

    Network Card - An expansion board inserted into a computer so the computer can be connected to a network.
    Half correct. A network card may in fact be integrated into the motherboard by means of a microprocessor on it. In other words, computers may in fact be connected to a network without the addition of a network card.

    Interface - A piece of hardware, such as an electrical connector, that allows 2 devices to be connected together.
    Half right. An interface may be a piece of hardware, or it may be a logical interface as well. Your operating system is in fact an interface between you and your hardware.

    Port - An interface on a computer to which you can connect an electronic device.
    Half right. A port can be an entirely logical concept. This definition gives the impression that it is in fact a physical device only. While there are parallel, serial, usb, etc... ports on the computer, there are also logical ports, through which you can communicate via a network. Web surfing, for example, uses port 80, so the computer knows which program to send the web data to.

    Boot instructions - Stored in ROM until they are sent out.
    Half right. The only boot instructions in ROM tell the computer where to find more boot instruction, such as the first sector of a hard drive, or maybe a USB stick or floppy drive. It says, in essence, "go to hard drive 0, sector 0, and then do whatever that tells you to."

    Software Applications - Stored in RAM after they have been loaded.
    Half right. Only the necessary parts of most applications are loaded into RAM. Most of it isn't, in order to save memory. If you loaded all of Word when you started it, you would never have enough memory.

    I don't care if this is from Cisco. They're wrong too, then.

    Hopefully that clears a few things up.
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  6. #6
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    Seasoned vets and Gurus turn back now - this is not meant for you!!!

    ___________________________

    Transistor - Amplifies a signal or opens and closes a circuit.

    Integrated Circuit - An electronic device made out of semiconductor material (material that can control the amount of electricity it conducts).
    Transistor stands for Transfer of Resistance
    You can use a transistor in a circuit to act as a basic Amplifier or a Switch.. It is constructed out of a Semiconducting material such as Silicon or Germanium

    Now the Intergrated Circuit.. AS ITS NAME WILL IMPLY.. is An intergration of of Circuit Components, such as FET's (Field Effect Transistor), Transistors, Diodes, resistors, Capacitors and Very low value Inductors.. the this circuit can be any thing from a electronic switch to a CPU core..



    Resistor - A device that offers resistance to the flow of an electric current.

    Capacitor - Electric component that stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field; it consists of 2 conducting metal plates separated by an insulating material.
    good enough for beginners.. Resistance is measured in Ohms, Capacitance in Farads (any know why those names.. now no cheating Google searches are banned..I am watching)


    Connector - The part of a cable that plugs into a port or an interface.
    Hmm well.. other wise known as Plugs? hmm well sort of.. it is the device that allows cables/cards to connect to other cables/cards etc.. Two parts.. You have the Plug..and ..The Socket..
    USes.. Data path, Radio signals, Power..etc

    Check out, Edge Connector, PCI Socket, P/S2 Connector, IDC, IDE, RCA, Phono.. DC


    Light Emitting Diode (LED) - A device that lights up when electricity passes through it.
    LOL.. So a Incandecent Light Bulb is a LED... And that 33ohm REsistor I connected across the 240V mains is also a LED?

    LED.. Light Emitting DIODE.. IS a Diode (Thermionic or Semiconductor) that when it is forward Biased (ie a current is passing through the device) will emit light

    Printed Circuit Board (PCB) - A thin plate on which chips and other electronic components are placed.
    ..
    Well sort of.. but a plate? dinner Plate?
    How about A thin sheet of Dialectric material, usually with a coating of copper, this coating etched to create a electrical paths (Circuit), for the mounting of electronic components, including resistors, capacitors, IC's (intergrated Circuits), Cpu (**** another IC).etc..
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  7. #7
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    And that 33ohm REsistor I connected across the 240V mains is also a LED?
    Nope. For a brief instant, it's a small bolt of lightning. Then it's just no longer a resistor.

    Of course, it could be a stove element, too.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
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  8. #8
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    Capacitor, most capacitors are electrolytical capacitors (not the electrostatic kind).
    Actualy..... Electrolytic is a TYPE of Capacitor, like polyester, styroseal, Mica and Ceramic.. this refers to the type of dialectric that is used..

    They are more like a battery..
    that is infact a good description for a capacitor.. you can use a Capacitor as a battery. Where most of the capacitors we see in circuits are in the Milli and Micro farads. a battery would be considdered as being in the FArads.. but a capacitor with the same capacity of a battery you dont want to touch.. those ****ers kill.. I have seen a guy planted by a 1 Farad 12V capacitor.. I was off work for 3 months from a 100uf 400V ..thrown 8 feet, blinded for half an hour.. and my heart took all of the 3 months to settle down..

    Nope. For a brief instant, it's a small bolt of lightning. Then it's just no longer a resistor.

    Of course, it could be a stove element, too.
    Well the later is close.. A length of NiChrome Wire.. a bright red glow.. and it will run like this for a few hours (the resistance is relitivley stable compared to a light bulb element or a electric jug element) .. it is close to its rating when it glows.. lol
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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    I did misword the definition of microprocessor - apologies!!!!

    As for the others that have been deemed as 'half rights' - you considered them half wrong because I just use a very short, simplified form of the definition rather than go into too much detail (or unnecessary information that was not included, rather than the information that was included).

    And sorry - I did not post a very good definition for bus either - I never even considered it would be thought of as actual wires that flop around loose and get tripped over - but reading your post I can see why it would have been interpretted that way.

    What I have always called and thought of as a backplane was the board that the expansion slots are attached to with the buses running from/to them - I know what a riser card is and I have never heard of backplane and riser card used interchangeably - assuming I correctly understood your explanation.

    As for the LED definition - I never said that it was the only device that lit up when electricity passed through it nor did I say that all devices that emit light when electricity passes through them are LED; I said it was a device that lit up when electricity passed through it

    I wasn't using Cisco as a validator to the accuracy of the definitions - I had said that as a response to Undertaker asking if I made this up.

    But cheers - the nit - picking (I say that in a good way) will definately encourage me to raise my standards to greater heights .........
    They can steal all my property and belongings, curtail all my rights and privileges, incarcerate me, beat me and even kill me. They then, will only have my dead body, NOT my obedience.

  10. #10
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    As credited at the bottom of the list - all the definitions are taken from Cisco .......... Personally I know what all these components are and they all seem accurate to me - unless I overlooked something ........
    Better send a copy of the page.. your link was just Cisco's home page, now I am a bit lazy I couldnt find any thing that looked like the list you gave.... I realy would like to see what they are teaching.. If their BASIC electronic's training is ****.. I wont be paying for any Cisco hardware AGAIN....
    If any of my staff were trained with that crap.. I wouldnt even have them in Manchester sales..

    But cheers - the nit - picking (I say that in a good way) will definately encourage me to raise my standards to greater heights .........

    Yes.. true.. and good to see.. If I thought you were a loser I would have just Negged and moved on.

    My first post in this thread I asked you to research and correct.. please to raise your standards.. do this..
    Answer this..
    in one of my comments I mentioned Thermionic and semiconductor, I could have used Solid State for the latter.. why.. what is the difference between Solid State and Thermionic?

    What are some of the different type of transistor.. (geeez that is open)

    Any one else want a go at these? Wait for Memys reply then post your answers..

    Cheers
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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