Let's start off slowly. What does PC really stand for?
PC is short for Personal Computer. It is a very basic reference that most people use to describe a computer, however some use PC in the wrong sense. For example, if you have a website that is not hosted on your computer, but is located elsewhere, it is not actually located on a PC, as PC again means personal computer. It is actually hosted on a SERVER, most of the time in a shared environment.
What is a server?
A server is a computer that is built to perform tasks quicker than most personal computer systems. Server towers are referred to as Dedicated Servers, while inside dedicated servers, you can create virtual servers, websites, and more. Most of the time, only businesses or other organizations need server power for their operations.
Breaking down the inside of your computer
Let's say you have a desktop computer. Whether it's build by a manufacturer or yourself, you have to have many different bells and whistles for it to work correctly. This applies to Laptop computers as well, however there are differences between the hardware used in a laptop and the hardware used in a desktop.
- MOBO: A MOBO, is a short code used to describe the Motherboard. The Motherboard of ANY computer or device, is absolutely vital to the operation of your computer. All hard drives, optical drives, and extras need to connect to the motherboard, otherwise they will not run.
- CPU: Central Processing Unit - Think of a CPU like the brain of your computer, while the motherboard would be the nervous system of your computer. The CPU allows you to run programs etc. Modern day CPU's are often dual core, or quad core, meaning there's two or four (depending on your CPU) "Brains" thinking about what you're trying to do while you use your computer, that way it can tell the other hardware what other resources it would need to run properly.
- RAM: Random Access Memory - This is not to be confused with your Hard Drive, as a hard drive is solely for storage of files. The RAM in your computer determines how much programs and other files you can have running. If you do not have enough memory for a program, your computer will slow down, or even grind to a halt. RAM is vital for the operating system and other very important parts of your computer, because without memory, it will not have the resources needed to run what the Motherboard and CPU is telling the rest of your computer to run.
- ROM: Read Only Memory - This is not to be confused with RAM. ROM is typically only found on discs. Dating back to the day before Compact Discs (CD's), we had Floppy Drives and Disks. A floppy disk is actually a Read Only Memory file system. When you have a medium such as a CD that is read only, it basically just means that you can't write additional files to the disc, but you can read the contents of the disk or execute programs that are stored on the disk.
- HDD: Hard Disk Drive (Also known as Hard Drive) - A Hard Drive is where everything happens and is stored. Your hard drive contains your Operating System, and other files belonging to programs installed by yourself, other users of your computer, and even your manufacturer if your PC is ordered from a computer retailer (such as HP, Samsung, etc)
- Power Supply: A power supply is exactly what most perceive it to be. It powers EVERYTHING in your computer, not counting your monitor (if you're using a desktop). If you are one who plays with the hardware in your computer (whether it be upgrading hardware, replacing faulty hardware, etc) you need to make sure that your power supply can output enough power to successfully run your computer. Having a power supply that cannot power all of your computer can lead to a overload on the supply, and literally fry the power supply. (Trust me, I've done it before)
- Optical Drives: Optical drives are like hard disk drives, only different. They are your CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Disk players, etc. These drives empower you to use a CD to install a program, play a game, restore your computer, even reinstall the entire operating system.
- USB: Universal Serial Bus (port) - Just because it has a strange name, doesn't mean it's hard to use. A USB port allows you to plug in other hardware such as keyboards, headsets, pointer devices (also known as a mouse or trackball, etc) and more. Most USB ports support a UPnP feature, which stands for Universal Plug and Play.
- UPnP: Universal Plug and Play - A term used in networking gateways, computer systems and more. UPnP allows for automatic configuration of your devices that way you do not have to manually install the proper drivers, etc. Networking uses UPnP to tell firewalls protecting your system how to react to internet traffic for that specific program to and from your computer (for example, if gaming online, games tell your computer's firewall and router's firewall how to handle the data to keep you online and in the game).
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