What Is a Personal Computer?
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A personal computer (PC) is a device that accepts and gives information. That information comes in the form of digital data

A PC is a tool or device built around a microprocessor. A microprocessor is like the heart of the computer. It has lots of different parts: a memory, a hard disk, a modem, and more. Those parts work together to let you do many things. For example, you can use a PC to type documents, send e-mail, browse the Web and play games. 

Although all PC's do about the same type of things, you need to look carefully before you buy one. You need to consider why you need a computer. What components do you need and will you use? You do not want to spend money on parts or programs you will not use. Talk to people before you buy a computer. Ask them to give you good ideas on what to buy. Computers are like dogs. They all work the same way, but you need one that will fit your personality. And like a dog, if you treat it right, a computer can become a very, very good friend.




data - information                           

device - a tool; something that works to help you complete a task. Following are some common devices you may use every day: a toaster, a hammer, a television.              

digital - a word describing electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data or pieces of information. The smallest unit (or digit) of digital information is called a bit. If you think of the smallest unit of your hand, for example, you would call each finger a digit. A word, for example, has letters. The letters of a word could be compared to a digit in a digital unit.     

hard drive (disk) - the area in your microprocessor that holds all of the programs on your computer. A big hard drive can hold many programs, like games and video applications. 

memory - You have memory. Your memory keeps data. It records what you are seeing and experiencing. In the same way, a computer has a memory. The more memory you have in a computer, the more information you can store. There are two kinds of memory in a computer. The hard drive memory holds all of the digital information you can store in your computer. For example, a computer with a big hard drive can hold many more programs than a computer with a small hard drive. A PC also has RAM memory. That memory limits how much information you can process at one time. In other words, it determines how many programs you can have open at one time. You can  have a computer with a very large hard drive, but if you have limited RAM, you will not be able to open many programs at the same time.

microprocessor -  A microprocessor is the heart of any normal computer. It allows different programs or applications to work. It determines how things work and how fast they work. Examples of different types of processors include Pentium, a K6, a PowerPC, a Sparc or any of the many other brands and types of microprocessors. If you want to read more about microprocessors, click on this link: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/microprocessor.htm

modem - the part of your computer that connects to a phone line. It allows you to connect to the Internet using your phone line. It also allows you to use the Internet for phone conversations!










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