Some of the most important computer fundamentals you should know

A computer is a powerful electronic device that stores data and manipulates information. It can process, retrieve and store data. It can be used to edit documents, send emails, play games, watch videos, type documents and even browsing the Internet.
A computer is comprised of hardware and software. They work together to ensure that the computer works as expected.



The hardware is the physical components of the computer that you can touch including the keyboard, computer case, mouse, screen, power cord and the internal components. Computers can have either an optical or mechanical mouse.

The optical mouse relies on a laser light to detect movement, while the mechanical mouse has a circular ball that detects your hand motion. Other types of mouse include trackballs and the touchpad that is standard on laptops. The mouse is used to control the cursor on your screen. The computer case houses the main components of the computer.

A computer has many ports for different uses.

Some ports are used to connect the keyboard, mouse, scanner, monitor, speakers, web cameras, game controllers, camera, and printer. You can also use a USB cable to connect other electronic devices such as tablet computers and MP3 players.

Most computers also has an Ethernet port that is used to connect your computer with a network cable. Other ports include HDMI, FireWire, and Thunderbolt. The ports are color-coded, making it easier to install new hardware components.

The main component found in the computer case is the motherboard. It is the main circuit board that runs the computer. The motherboard holds the memory, central processing unit (CPU), connectors for optical drives and hard drive, expansion cards to control audio and video, and connections to your computer ports such as USB.

The CPU is the brain of the computer. Whenever you do any action on the computer such as pressing the mouse, the CPU receives those signals and handles the request appropriately. The CPU is very small, and it is covered by a heat sink that absorbs heat that is produced when the CPU is working. The CPU speed is measured in megahertz (MHz).

The random access memory (RAM) stores short term memory. This occurs whenever your computer is carrying out an activity, and it stores the information in the RAM until it is required. RAM is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).

The CPU and RAM determine your computers speed. The more, the better.

The hard disc stores information such as software, music, and videos. The power supply unit supplies power to the computer. The expansion slots, or peripheral component interconnect (PCI) card allows you to add more components to the computer.

The video card is the graphics processing unit, and it plays a role in what you see on the screen. The sound card is responsible for the computer’s audio, while the network card deals with connectivity such as wired or wireless internet connections through Wi-Fi.

Laptop computers differ significantly from desktop computers since all the different components are squeezed into a single convenient package. This is the same case with mobile devices which are miniature computers. However, they have the same functionality.



The software is a set of instructions that ensures that computers function as expected. Examples of software include word processors, games, web browsers and antivirus. There are various types of computers.

It includes desktops, laptops, servers, smartphones, game consoles, wearables, and televisions.

Computers run on operating systems. This is the software that manages the computers processes and memory. There are three types of operating systems.

These are Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Furthermore, a computer relies on applications.

This is a software that allows you to do a specific task. There is a wide array of applications with different functions. You can easily install any application by downloading it from the internet or installing it from the CD or DVD.

Using a computer


Computers are easy to use. Ensure that all cables have been connect, switch it on and use it once the computer desktop has been loaded.

Use the mouse to control the pointer on the screen. Right click to select and left click to check for more options. Even though desktops, laptops, and smartphones are different, they are run in a similar manner.

If you want more content, you can connect the computer to the internet. You can connect to a wireless network like Wi-Fi or use a cabled connection. You can do a myriad of things on the internet once connected such as communicating, sharing content, watching videos and downloading movies. You can also use the cloud which is a virtual space to store data.



It is imperative to use a workspace that prevents injury and strain. You should use a comfortable chair when working on the computer. Maintain a straight posture when working, and keep the keyboard at a good level that is accessible.

The monitor should also be at a conformable position to prevent eye strain. The computer area should be clutter free. Furthermore, take frequent breakers whenever you are working for long hours.

Maintenance and safety


It is vital to keep your computer clean, especially the keyboard and screen which tend to attract dirt and unwanted marks. Clean your computer often with a piece of cloth or compressed air. Ensure that the computer is off before cleaning it.

The computer should also be secured by using an updated antivirus and enabling a password that is required when logging in. You should also come up with a troubleshooting technique, and this will be helpful whenever you run into a problem with your computer.


The computer has an inbuilt- help that you can use in case you run into any difficulties. Most of the third-party applications also have help documentations.

You can also google whenever you need more information about a particular software you are using. You can also purchase a flash drive to take your data with you, or store your information in the cloud to access it from anywhere if you have a computer and internet connection. The computer also has accessibility features that are useful for people with disabilities such as low hearing or deaf computer users, limited mobility users and low vision or blind users.

There are other accessories available to people with disabilities such as screen magnifiers and alternative keyboards with braille.

A computer has many components. However, it is easy to learn, and with constant use, you will learn how to use a computer effectively. It can be utilized for a myriad of applications, and it is an excellent device that has made life easier.

About the Author: Scott Park

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