Understanding Computer Hardware and How Input Devices Work

Understanding Computer Hardware and How Input Devices Work

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In this high-technology generation, information technology (IT) had become very important for every human being in this world. As information technology and information systems is very important to business too, so we have to learn IT. But, to become IT genius, we have to know how to access IT with the help of computer. After this lecture, I learn that computer is not that simple as I thought. I also learn different types of computer’s component which very important to access computer.
This lecture also gives information about what is input., what are the input devices, and what is the importance of input devices. After this lecture about computer hardware, I feel that I have neglected the most important element about understanding the computer hardware and how an input devices functions.

What Is A Computer?
A computer is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions kept in its own memory. The computer can accept and process data according, then it produce and save the results for future use (Gary B. Shellly 2012). In short, computer is devices that use to process information. In the help of computer, data or raw fact (input) can be transform into useful information (output).
A computer contains hardware and software. These two components is very important to functioning a computer. Basically, hardware refers to the electronic and mechanical components of computer. Software which also refers as program uses to operate computer. Let’s put our focus on the computer hardware.

Like what I say just now, hardware is the electronic and mechanical components of computer. Without the hardware, computer cannot function well. Some example of these components is input device, output devices, storage device, communication devices and a system unit (Gary B. Shellly 2012). Hardware is important for processing data in computer.

What Is Input?
Input is any data and instructions entered into the memory of a computer (Gary B. Shellly 2012).
Input Devices
An input device is hardware component that allows you to enter data and instructions into a computer (Gary B. Shellly 2012). Input device is a peripheral device. Peripheral devices mean that the components are outside the main computer system unit (Kenneth C. Laudon 2009). Some examples of input device are keyboard, computer mouse, scanner etc.

Keyboard is an input device. It contains keys users press to enter data and instruction into the computer (Gary B.

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Shellly 2012). Keyboard also descript as Principal method of data entry for text and numerical data (Kenneth C. Laudon 2009). Notebook computer keyboard usually has only about 85 keys. In order to provide all of the functionality of a desktop computer keyboards, many of the notebook keys design to serve two or three purposes. Desktop computer keyboards have 101 to 105 keys. All desktop computer keyboards have keys includes the letters of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation marks, and other basic keys. Some keyboards also have numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard. If the keyboard doesn’t have the numeric keypad, users can buy the numeric keypad. Most laptop doesn’t have the numeric keypad. Most of the keyboards are enhanced keyboards. An enhanced keyboard has twelve or more function keys along the top. It also has two CTRL keys, two ALT keys and a set of arrow and other keys between the typing area and the numeric keypad. Keyboard has keys known as function keys. Function keys are labeled with letter F followed by a number. Function keys are special keys programmed to issue commands to a computer. The command associated with a function key may vary, depending on the program with which you are interacting. Most of the time, users press function key together or in combination with other special keys, such as CTRL keys, ALT keys and others. Keyboards also have WINDOWS key and APPLICATION key. WINDOWS key shows the Windows Start menu. APPLICATION key displays an item’s shortcut menu. Another key that located in the keyboards is the NUM LOCK key. It lock the numeric keypads, therefore you cannot use the numeric keypad to type numbers. Desktop computer keyboards often attach by cable to a USB port of system unit. Some keyboards do not have wires connect to the USB port of system unit. This keyboard is known as wireless keyboard (Gary B. Shellly 2012).
Mouse is an input device. Computer mouse is handheld device with point-and-click capabilities that is usually connected to the computer by a cable. The computer user can move the mouse, or mouse pointer around on a desktop to control the cursor’s position on a computer display screen, pushing a button to select a command (Kenneth C. Laudon 2009). The mouse is the most widely used pointing device on desktop computers. There are various shape, size and type of mouse. For example, optical mouse or more often known as laser mouse which uses devices that emit and sense light to detect the mouse’s movement. Optical mouse is more expensive that the former. Many mouse connects to computer with cable that attaches to USB port on the system unit. Nowadays, many mouse transmits data without connecting to computer via cable. This type of mouse is known as wireless mouse. Most people uses wireless mouse because it frees up desk space and eliminates the clutter of a cord (Gary B. Shellly 2012). Mouse got many functions. The main operation is “point and click”. Move the mouse pointer to the item of choice then press and release the left mouse button. If you press and release the right mouse button it usually will display a shortcut menu, this is right-click operation. Double click is quickly press and release the left mouse button twice at the same item. Most of the mouse have wheel. You can rotate the wheel forward or backward to scroll vertically up or down. You can also drag item by hold down the left mouse button and move the item to the location you want, finally release the left mouse button. These are some basic operation of mouse. It is simple to use the mouse as input device (Gary B. Shellly 2012).

Voice Input
Speech input has now become technologically and economically feasible for a variety of applications. Voice input is the process of entering input by speaking into a microphone (Gary B. Shellly 2012). Voice input devices that convert spoken words into digital form for processing by the computer (Kenneth C. Laudon 2009).Devices that commonly involves in voice input is microphone. There is various type of microphone. Some external microphones have a cable that attaches to a port on the sound card of the computer. One of the main functions of the voice input is to enables users to speak to other users over the Internet. Voice recognition which also called speech recognition, is the computer’s capability of distinguishing spoken words. Voice input is part of a larger category of input called audio input. Audio input is the process of entering any sound into the computer such as speech, music and sound effects. Sound card is vital for enter high quality sound into a personal computer. Other devices that use to input sound is microphone, tape players, CD players and others (Gary B. Shellly 2012). Speech Recognition has many functions. Speech recognition systems digitize, analyze, and classify your speech and its sound patterns. Speech recognition devices in work situations allow operators to perform data entry without using their hands to key in data or instructions and to provide faster and more accurate input. For example, airlines and parcel delivery companies use them for voice-directed sorting of baggage and parcels. Speech recognition can also help you operate your computer’s operating systems and software packages through voice input of data and commands. For example, such software can be voice-enabled so you can send e-mail and surf the World Wide Web. (James A. O'Brien 2011).

Other Input Devices
There are also others input devices. For example are the touch screen, pen-based input, scanner and others. Some brief description of these input are as below. Touch screen is device that allows users to enter limited amounts of data by touching the surface of a sensitized video display monitor with a finger or a pointer. Often found in information kiosks in retail stores, restaurants, and shopping malls. Besides, pen-based input is handwriting-recognition devices, such as pen-based tablets, notebooks, and notepads, that convert the motion made by an electronic stylus pressing on a touch-sensitive tablet screen into digital form. Digital scanner or scanner is device that translates images, such as pictures or documents, into digital form; essential component of image-processing systems. Another input device is the sensors. Sensors is devices that collect data directly from the environment for input into a computer system. For example, today’s farmers can use sensors to monitor the moisture of the soil in their fields to help them with irrigation (Kenneth C. Laudon 2009).

Conclusion and Personal Views
What I have learned from the lecture session and the result of my research of the topic is that there are many computer hardware. Among these hardware there is also major technologies for input. And there is a lot’s of input technologies or input devices. These devices work together among each other and with computer to enter data to the computer. Some examples for input devices are keyboard, mouse and microphone. Various input devices have their own function too. I had learnt more about the computer hardware and the input devices after the lecture class. Before attending this class, I didn’t know anything about which of the devices is input devices and I also didn’t know what is the in depth usage of these devices. Looking back, I just use keyboard for typing essay while ignoring the other keys such as the page up and page down keys. Now, I know how to scroll my page simpler. Besides, I know how to drag item and use double-click via computer mouse. Times flies, technology improves. Nowadays, people also use high technology devices such as smart phone, Ipad, etc. to enter or input their data. After learning the knowledge about these devices, it influenced me a lot in my daily life. I know how to scroll my screen with the use of mouse wheel. Besides, I also know how to search information via voice recognition. I can access and search material or information more faster, easier than before.
In conclusion, I thanks to my lecturer for teaching me so much useful knowledge.

(Word Count : 1757 words)

Gary B. Shellly, Misty E. Vermaat. Discovering Computer Complete. United States of America: Course Technology, 2012.
James A. O'Brien, George M. Marakas. Management Information System 10th edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2011.
Kenneth C. Laudon, Jane P. Laudon. Essentials of Management Information Systems Eighth Edition. United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc, 2009.

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