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Learn Computer Organization & Operating System “Basic Elements of Computer, Hardware & Software” Lesson 2

Basic Elements of Computer
Hardware & Software

Computer consists of two basic building blocks :

  1. Hardware and
  2. Software.

hardware refers to the physical components or peripherals ( physical parts of a computer such as CPU , Mother Board , RAM , keyboard , Mouse , monitor , Optical disk drive , storage disk etc. all of which are physical objects that you can actually touch.

Software is set of programs containing set of instructions to perform the task. It can be classified in to Operating system and Application Software.

Operating System

It acts as an interface between Computer and peripherals and optimizes the utilization of resources. It also acts as a mediator between User and Computer. It Converts the English like language to machine language (0’s and 1’s) and fed to computer for necessary processing. The processed data which is in the form of machine language converts back to English like language for User understanding.

Literally it is difficult to work with the PC effectively without Operating System. Example: Windows XP, Linux etc.

Application Software

Set of programs developed to perform a specific task.
Example: Microsoft Word- this is an application software used to prepare letters with features like formatting the data, Dictionary etc.

How Computer Works

A computer usually performs four major operations or functions mentioned below
Input: Accepting data and instructions

  1. Processing: Process the data based on instructions
  2. Output: Produce the processed data to the output devices
  3. Storage: Stores the data/Information on the Hard disk

The following block diagram illustrates the basic functionality of computer:

post 2 1

This is the process of computer accepting the data or instructions through input device namely Keyboard for the necessary processing. In this process the raw data is converted into machine language and fed to CPU (Central Processing Unit) for necessary processing.

This is the process of performing operations, such as arithmetic and logical operations, based on instructions. The CPU takes data and instructions from input device and processes it. The processed data is then sent to the output or storage unit.

Processing unit consists of two parts mainly known as “Control Unit” and “Art hermetic and Logical Unit”. The Control unit controls the flow of data from various I/O devices and internal components. The Arithmetic and Logical Unit performs the data processing. This is also known as Micro Processor.

The processed data (Information) from CPU which is in the form of machine language will be converted to user understandable language (like English) and then fed to output device like monitor or Printer.

The storage unit is used to store the data or Information permanently for future retrieval. It acts as an input, output device. It feeds the raw data stored within to the CPU and stores processed data. Hard disk is considered to be one of the main storage device.



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