Basic Computer Knowledge: Computer Hardware

Hardware: The physical components of a computer are called hardware. It could be electrical, electronic, mechanical, etc.

Computer hardware includes all the input and output devices that are connected with the computer to perform a task.

The input/output devices and secondary storage units of a computer are called peripherals. Some of the input and output devices are given below for better understanding.

Input Devices:

Keyboard: A computer keyboard is designed for the input text and characters. It can also control the operations of a computer. A keyboard is an arrangement of keys and buttons with the characters printed on it.

Mouse: A computer mouse is a pointing input device used to instruct the computer to initiate a task.

Touchscreen: A touchscreen allows a display to be used as an input device. It removes the need for keyboard and mouse as the primary input devices.

Joystick: It is a device usually used for playing the games on the computer. It is a controlling device consisting of a handheld stick that pivots one end and transmits its angle in two or three dimensions to a computer.

Trackball: It is also a pointing device consisting of a small rotating ball. A user can spin the ball in different directions to move the cursor on the computer screen and initiate a task.

Scanner: It is an input device used for entering the information directly into the computer. It simply scans the information from the outside sources and inputs the information to the computer.

Magnetic Reader: This device reads the data or information from the magnetic strip cards. Some of the examples of magnetic strip cards are credit cards, debit cards, etc.

Bard Code Reader: A bar code reader is an input device that reads the bar codes printed on the goods. A bar code is a pattern printed in lines of different thicknesses with the information on goods.

Digital Still Camera: It captures the images and stored in memory within the camera and can be transferred to a computer and can be printed.

Output Devices:

Monitor or Display: It is an output device that is used to visually interface the computer.

Plotter: It is a vector graphics printing device that connects to a computer. It prints in the form of lines by moving a pen across the surface of a piece of paper.

Speaker: It is an output device that provides information in the form of voice.

Printer: It is an output device that prints the information on paper. There are different types of printers such as Dye diffusion thermal transfer printer, inject and bubble jet printer, Laser printer, Dot matrix printer, daisy wheel printer, etc.

CPU (Central Processing Unit):

It is an main part of any digital computer. It interprets instructions and processes data contained in computer programs. CPU takes the instructions given by the input devices and performs the specific tasks then it sends the results to the output devices according to the instructions given.

SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply):

It is a device used to switch the Alternating Current (AC) voltage into Direct Current (DC) voltage. It is placed inside the CPU box.


It is the main component of a digital computer. It is a type of board which contains integrated circuits that connect the other parts of a computer. It contains the CPU, RAM, BIOD, etc.