Discuss Types of computer equipment. The computer system refers to a group of related elements and operations working together to perform a particular task. There are five main elements of computer systems: hardware, software, liveware/users, data/information and procedures. The types of computer equipment fall under the hardware element of computer systems. We shall therefore focus on computer hardware.
Hardware refers to the tangible parts of the computer; those parts that can be touched and felt. They may be electronic or mechanical. They are also commonly known as computer equipment. There are various types of computer equipment. With the constant change in the computer world, new and better types of computer equipment are being manufactured every day. The types of computer equipment can be placed into four categories depending on the function that they support.
The first computer function is input. The input types of computer equipment ensure that data is fed or electronically captured into a form that the computer understands. This form is a series of zeroes and ones popularly known as binary form. They also allow people to insert data into the computer systems. These types of computer devices can further be divided into two: keying devices and source data entry devices.
As the name suggests, keying devices contain multiple typefaces each with its own unique purpose. A computer keyboard, a smart terminal and a dumb terminal are examples of the common keying devices. Source data entry devices create data which is understood readily by and fed directly into the computer system. Examples of these devices include: the mouse, light pens, joysticks, trackballs, touch pads, microphones, optical mark reader, optical character reader, smart cards, touch screens and imaging systems.
The second computer function is processing. This function can be further divided into core processing and temporary storing. The processor (central processing unit) is the core processing device which fetches instructions from the input, output and storage devices, interprets and tells the rest of the computer system how to execute the instructions. It also performs a series of arithmetic and logic operations. The temporary storing devices is the Random Access Memory(RAM) which performs both permanent and temporary storing functions.
The third computer function is output. This entails displaying information in a way that the user understands. Output devices are the types of computer devices that can be divided into hardcopy output devices and softcopy output devices. Hardcopy output devices as the name suggests produce tangible output. These types of computer equipment include printers, plotters and microfiches/ microfilms. Soft copy output devices on the other hand include computer screens, display screens, virtual reality systems and robotics.
The final function of computers is auxiliary storage. This function ensures that there is ready access to data that is needed by the user. The types of computer equipment that support this function include: floppy disks, hard disks, compact disks and flash disks. With the advancement in technology, this function has been transformed into a more equipment-less form with the invention of cloud computing. Floppy disks have now become archaic with flash disks with their huge storage capacities carrying the day.