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Learning Exercise

Material: PC Computer Notes and Hardware Tutorials
Submitted by: Kristen Hortman on Jun 04, 2008
Date Last Modified: Jun 04, 2008
Title: What's inside a computer?
Description: Students will take apart computers to locate the specific components, to show the motherboard, heat sink, video card, etc. Students will then draw the diagrams and label the diagrams.
Type of Task: Group, Student-centered, Supervised, Supplemental Activity
Time Required 1-2 hours
Course: INFT 100
Audience: College General Ed, College Lower Division
Text of Learning Exercise: What’s inside a computer? Did you ever wonder what is inside your computer? Today is the day to find out! A PC (Personal Computer) is a general purpose tool built around a microprocessor. There are various parts inside a computer (ex: memory, hard disk, modem, etc..) that all work together. “General purpose” means that you can do many different things with a PC. You can use it to type documents, send e-mail, browse the internet and play games. Your task is to take apart the computer in front of you and label each of the components in the computer. After you take the computer apart you are going to draw each component of the computer on the attached piece’s of paper. COMPUTER PROCESSING UNIT TERMS: Random-access memory (RAM)- used to temporarily store information that the computer is currently working with. Read-only memory (ROM)- a permanent type of memory storage used by the computer for important data that does not change. Basic input/output system (BIOS) - A type of ROM that is used by the computer to establish basic communication when the computer is first turned on Basic input/output system (BIOS) - A type of ROM that is used by the computer to establish basic communication when the computer is first turned on Virtual memory - Space on a hard disk used to temporarily store data and swap it in and out of RAM as needed Motherboard - This is the main circuit board that all of the other internal components connect to. The CPU and memory are usually on the motherboard. Other systems may be found directly on the motherboard or connected to it through a secondary connection. For example, a sound card can be built into the motherboard or connected through PCI. Power supply - An electrical transformer regulates the electricity used by the computer. Hard disk - This is large-capacity permanent storage used to hold information such as programs and documents. Operating system - This is the basic software that allows the user to interface with the computer. Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) Controller - This is the primary interface for the hard drive, CD-ROM and floppy disk drive. Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Bus - The most common way to connect additional components to the computer, PCI uses a series of slots on the motherboard that PCI cards plug into. SCSI - Pronounced "scuzzy," the small computer system interface is a method of adding additional devices, such as hard drives or scanners, to the computer. AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port is a very high-speed connection used by the graphics card to interface with the computer. Sound card - This is used by the computer to record and play audio by converting analog sound into digital information and back again. Graphics card - This translates image data from the computer into a format that can be displayed by the monitor. Use the space below to draw each diagram of the labeled units above which must include:
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