Because the modern world is built upon computers and other forms of technology, it is important for users to understand how computers work and how they are made. The construction of a computer may seem like a rather complicated process, and it is, but if taken one piece at a time, one can see that computers are quite simple in nature. This article will list and explain the various parts of a computer and give a brief description of how the device is made.
A motherboard is a device inside of a computer that handles all of the main processing for electrical pathways and connections to other parts of the computer. The motherboard includes electrical sockets, circuitry, ports, slots, buses, and all of the cards and hard drives that a computer derives its memory and graphical capabilities from. A motherboard consists of a copper circuit board with electrical pathways actually cut into the board itself. The motherboard and its various components are made from an assortment of materials that include tin, ammonium, and even fiberglass.
The CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is the computer’s “brain”. The CPU handles all processes relating to memory, computation, interpretation, input, and output. The CPU is able to electronically switch wires in order to process information and direct it to where it needs to go. For example, if the user wishes to create a new file on his/her desktop, the CPU must activate the hard drive and send the correct information to it and in the proper order so that a new file is created and properly named. The CPU will then save information to the hard drive about that file and mark the contents so that it knows that that information belongs to that specific file. CPUs are made of metal and silicon, with the metal of choice being copper as copper has less space in between its atoms and less resistance to electrons than other types of metal such as aluminum.
The tower is the metal box that the actual computer rests in. The tower includes the motherboard, the CPU, the hard drive, and all other hardware that makes a computer what it is. The tower itself is simply a rectangular box made of steel, aluminum, and plastic. The tower is carefully cut and pieced together with screws in order to provide full functionality to the many parts that rely on the casing. For example, an area located at the back top of the tower includes a cut-out ventilation unit for the fan. Likewise, the tower includes ports for the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, the power cable, and USB devices.
A computer monitor is built in much the same way that a television is. The monitor includes a cathode ray tube and flourescent screen that allows electrons to create various colors when applied in the correct pattern. Monitors are made of glass, metal, and plastic and are getting smaller and lighter each year. If one were to compare the size and weight of a 1998 monitor with a modern one, he/she would instantly feel the difference.
A keyboard is comprised of plastic, metal, and rubber. It also includes circuit boards that are able to process input from the keys and then translate it into electricity. Keyboards are almost always laid out in the QWERTY format but different models may include additional keys located in various areas of the keyboard.
A mouse is made of plastic, rubber, and metal. The main technology of a mouse is the sensor that detects objects moving beneath it. When the sensor detects motion, it converts the motion into an electrical signal that is sent to the CPU through the mouse cable and converted into virtual motion on the monitor.