Hardware & Networking

Computer Hardware

Computer hardware is the collection of physical components that constitute a computer system. Computer hardware is the physical parts or components of a computer, such as monitor, keyboard, computer data storage, graphic card, sound card, motherboard, and so on, all of which are tangible objects. By contrast, software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware.

Hardware is directed by the software to execute any command or instruction. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system.

Von Neumann architecture : The template for all modern computers is the Von Neumann architecture, detailed in a 1945 paper by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann. This describes a design architecture for an electronic digital computer with subdivisions of a processing unit consisting of an arithmetic logic unit and processor registers, a control unit containing an instruction register and program counter, a memory to store both data and instructions, external mass storage, and input and output mechanisms. The meaning of the term has evolved to mean a stored-program computer in which an instruction fetch and a data operation cannot occur at the same time because they share a common bus. This is referred to as the Von Neumann bottleneck and often limits the performance of the system.

Power supply : A power supply unit (PSU) converts alternating current (AC) electric power to low-voltage DC power for the internal components of the computer. Laptops are capable of running from a built-in battery, normally for a period of hours.

Motherboard : The motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives (CD, DVD, hard disk, or any others) as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.

Computer Network

A computer network or data network is a telecommunications network which allows nodes to share resources. In computer networks, networked computing devices exchange data with each other using a data link. The connections between nodes are established using either cable media or wireless media. The best-known computer network is the Internet.

Network computer devices that originate, route and terminate the data are called network nodes.[1] Nodes can include hosts such as personal computers, phones, servers as well as networking hardware. Two such devices can be said to be networked together when one device is able to exchange information with the other device, whether or not they have a direct connection to each other.

Computer networks differ in the transmission medium used to carry their signals, communications protocols to organize network traffic, the network's size, topology and organizational intent.

Computer networks support an enormous number of applications and services such as access to the World Wide Web, digital video, digital audio, shared use of application and storage servers, printers, and fax machines, and use of email and instant messaging applications as well as many others. In most cases, application-specific communications protocols are layered (i.e. carried as payload) over other more general communications protocols. This formidable collection of information technology requires skilled network management to keep it all running reliably.

Network links : The transmission media (often referred to in the literature as the physical media) used to link devices to form a computer network include electrical cable (Ethernet, HomePNA, power line communication,, optical fiber (fiber-optic communication), and radio waves (wireless networking). In the OSI model, these are defined at layers 1 and 2 - the physical layer and the data link layer.