We live in a world where we all depend upon digital technology in one way or another. Whether we use technology to complete a class assignment, to connect with people around the world or simply for entertainment purposes, it’s vital for us to learn how digital systems work.
Computer and its peripheral devices
It is a machine made of devices that enables you to enter data (input), process it (CPU), store it (memory) and output the result. Computers allow us to store and view different sorts of data such as numbers, text, images, sounds, animations and videos. But how do they do that? There are several internal system components and peripherals devices available to perform the tasks required for us to communicate with the computer.
The concept of something being peripheral is therefore somewhat fluid. For a desktop computer a keyboard and a monitor are considered peripherals. You can easily connect them and disconnect them and easily reconnect them when needed. For a laptop computer these components are built in the computer system and can’t be easily removed. Peripheral also does not mean that it is not essential for the working of the computer. Some devices like printer can be disconnected from the computer devices while computer would keep on working just fine. However remove the monitor of the desktop computer and it becomes pretty much useless.
Computer peripheral device is a device that is connected to a computer but is not part of the core computer architecture. Core elements of the computer are processing unit, power supply mother board and the computer case that contains those three components. Technically speaking, everything else is considered a peripheral device. However this is a somewhat narrow view since various other elements are required for a computer to actually function such as a hard drive, RAM (Random Access Memory).
Importance of Peripheral Devices
Most people call peripheral to refer to a device that is external to the computer case. You connect the device to the computer to expand the functionalities of the system. Some are essential for the computer to properly function such as a monitor and a keyboard. Others are used for more specialized purposes that allow you to do a lot more with your computer such as mics and headphones. Consider the printer- once the printer is connected to a computer you can print out documents. Another way to look at peripheral devices is that they are dependent on the computer system. For example most printers can do on their own and they only become functional when they are connected to the computer system.
Here is the list of Computer and its peripheral devices.
- Central processing unit, motherboard and power supple are the core computer systems.
- Expansion slots on the motherboard make it possible to connect internal peripherals such as a video card or a sound card.
- Hard disc drive and optical disc drive.
- Scanner, display marker, keyboard and mouse.
- Speakers and a printer.
- Micro phone, web cam, headphones, hard drive and flash drive.
Most computer users have several of these peripheral devices.
Types of Computer and its peripheral devices:
There are many kinds of peripheral devices but they fall into three genres of categories.
- Input devices-
Input devices allow data to enter into the computer. They capture information and translate into a form that can be processed and used by other parts of the computer such as a mouse and a keyboard.
- Output devices-
Output devices take the information within the computer and present it in a form that we can understand such as a monitor and a printer
- Storage devices-
Storage devices store information to be recalled and used at a later time such as a hard drive or flash drives.
Some devices fall into more than one category. Consider a CD ROM drive, you can use it to read data or music (input) and you can use it to write data on a CD (output).
Peripheral devices can be external or internal
External devices can be connected using a wired connection or a wireless connection. As the name suggests a wired connection uses a cable which needs to be plugged in the computer using a connector. The most widely used connector is a universal serial bus or USB connection. But several other types are used depending on the specific computer system and the type of peripheral. E.g. – scanner, display marker and keyboard and mouse. External output peripherals are speakers and a printer.
A wireless connection does not require a cable. The most widely used wireless connections are Bluetooth and WiFi. Bluetooth is good for very short distances so peripherals such as wireless mouse and keyboard used Bluetooth connection. Wifi is good for longer distances. If you have set up a wireless connection in your home or office you may be able to print wirelessly to a printer if it is also connected to the network
Internal peripheral devices are also referred to as integrated peripherals. Peripherals are directly connected to the motherboard. An optical disc drive is typically located inside the computer case. E.g. – hard disc drive and an optical disc drive