What is a computer?
|Introduction to Computers|
Familiarize the student with the basics of computers. This should give the student a stepping stone to use when learning more specific details about computer hardware.
What is a Computer? 
A computer is a device that takes input such as numbers, text, sound, image, animations, video, etc., and converts it, returning the changed input (processed input) as output. All numbers, text, sound, images, animations, and video used as input are called data, and all numbers, text, sound, images, animations, and video returned as output are called information.
- The data consists of numbers, text, sound, images, animations, and video.
- The process converts numbers, text, sound, images, animations, and video (data) into usable data, which is called information.
- The information consists of numbers, text, sound, images, animations, and video that has been converted by the process.
- The data is inserted using an input device.
- The central processing unit (CPU) converts data to information.
- The information is put on an output device.
A storage device is a device for storing data and information.
A basic computer consists of 4 components: An input Device , a CPU , output devices, and memory.
- One of the most common input devices is the keyboard, used to enter text.
Symbolics space-cadet keyboard
- A computer will process data differently based on what kind of data is being handled, using a set of instructions called a program or routine.
Computer Case 
The CPU and Memory are put into a computer case
• A computer monitor is the most commonly used output for the information processed by the CPU.
Acer Inc. computer Monitor
Computer System 
The minimum requirements for a computer system generally include a keyboard, a case containing a CPU and memory (although the case itself isn't strictly necessary), and a monitor. The data is usually entered via the keyboard and the information is usually presented through a screen; however, information can also be presented through speakers, braille displays, or any other output devices.
The way components inside a computer fit together helps describe how the computer works.
Data comes in through an Input Device, and is sent to the CPU by memory. The CPU processes the data, based on the data and the program which is in memory. When the CPU finished processing the data that is information. The information can be stored in memory or presented through an Output Device.