This Unit is about the Computer System and how it works.

A system is a set of things working together for a common goal. Failure of one of the system components may imply failure for the whole system.

Since computing requires input, processing, storage and output, there are many items that do something specifically at each of the stages.

The computer system basically consists of hardware, software, and human ware.

Other components are data and, communication.

The computer system (Illustration)

Computer Hardware

This is a term used to describe all the various physical devices in the system

Computer hardware components are tangible (they can be touched).

Computer hardware includes

Input devices like the keyboard and mouse,

Processing devices like the Microprocessor Chip,

Storage devices like the Hard disks and the CDs,

Output devices like the monitor and the printer.

Computer software

Software is a term for electronic instructions that tell the computer how to perform a task.

These are a series of programs (instructions) that tell the computer what and how to work.

Computer software can be grouped into System software and Application software.

System software like the Operating system manages and coordinates all the computer resources and activities.

Application software like Games, Calculator and Media Player solve the specific or exact needs of the user.

Computer human ware /Users

This is the most important component of a computer system.

Human ware refers to the people who operate and initialize instructions to the computer system

They design and develop computer systems, operate the computer hardware, create the software, and establish procedures for carrying out tasks.

Kinds of Computer Users

There are two kinds of Computer Users:

Ordinary user – is someone without much technical knowledge of computers but uses computers to produce information for professional or personal tasks, enhance learning, or have fun. Ordinary users include Computer students, Typists (Secretaries), etc.

Professional user -is a person in a profession involving computers who has had formal education in the technical aspects of computers; Examples include Computer programmers, webmasters, etc.

Computer data

Data refers to raw facts and figures that are entered into the computer for processing.

Data is anything in a form suitable for input into a computer for processing.

Data can also be grouped into two:

Unprocessed data Like Letters, digits and symbols (e.g., a, b, c, &, …), Musical notes, etc.

Processed data (Information) Like words (e.g boy), a mathematical formula, grades, a piece of music, a song etc.

Computer communication

Computer communication is the transmission of data and information over a channel between two computers.

Computer communication allows sharing of hardware, software, data and human ware among computers in a network like the Internet.

It also facilitates communications between people e.g. through e-mail.

Communications devices are used for enabling computer communication.

They include

  • Cables
  • Switches
  • Routers
  • Modems





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