If you use a desktop computer, you might already know that there isn’t any single part called the “computer. A computer is a combination of many components that work together. Basically, a computer must have two parts-
• Hardware and
The physical parts, which you can see and touch, are collectively called hardware. On the other hand, Software is a set of instructions which gives command the hardware to finish a task.
Here we will tell about the fundamental or basic hardware components of a desktop computer:
Computer case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, power cord are the basic parts of a desktop computer.
Computer case: A computer case also known as a “computer chassis”, “tower”, “system unit”, “base unit” or simply “case” is the enclosure that houses mother board, central processing unit (CPU), power supply and many more. Computer case is made of metal, plastic or steel (often SECC — Steel, electrogalvanized, cold-rolled, coil) or aluminum. Other materials such as glass, wood and even Lego blocks have appeared in home-built cases.
Computer case has different shapes and size. A desktop case lies flat on a desk and the monitor is kept on it. A tower case is tall and is kept next to the monitor or on the floor. The front of the case usually has an on/off switch and one or more optical drives. But today, most of the personal computers include tower cases rather than desktop cases; however, some computers are being made with all of the internal components built into the monitor, which completely eliminates the tower.
Monitor: A monitor or a display is an electronic visual display for computers. It displays information in visual form, using text and graphics. The monitor works with a video card which is located inside the computer case, to display images and text on the screen. It consists of the display device, circuitry and an enclosure. The portion of the monitor that displays the information is called the screen. Like a television screen, a computer screen can show still or moving pictures.
In modern monitors, thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) thin panel is used as display device, while older monitors used a cathode ray tube (CRT). Most monitors have control buttons that let you to change your monitor’s display settings, and some monitors also have built-in speakers.
Power cord: The power cord provides the connection between the power outlet and the power supply unit in the computer casing. You have to plug in the power cord to power on your computer. To protect your computer from voltage spikes, you can plug the power cord into a surge protector such as uninterruptable power supply (UPS), which provides temporary power if there is a blackout.
Keyboard: Keyboard is a type-writer style device. A keyboard is used mainly for typing text into your computer. Like the keyboard on a typewriter, it has keys for letters and numbers, but it also has special keys. There are different types of keyboards, e.g wired, wireless, ergonomic, and multimedia. Although there may be differences in the location of some keys or features, keyboards are very similar and let you to accomplish basically the same tasks.
Specific names and functions of different keys of the keyboard are written below:
Functions of different keys in keyboard
Escape (Esc) key: The Escape (often abbreviated as Esc) key allows you to stop a function or action. As most computer users no longer are concerned with the details of controlling their computer’s peripherals, the task for which the escape sequences were originally designed, the escape key was appropriated by application programmers, most often to “escape” or back out of a mistaken command. For example, if a web page is taking a long time to load, you can press the Escape key to stop loading it.
On machines running Microsoft Windows, prior to the implementation of the Windows key on keyboards, the typical practice for invoking the “start” button was to hold down the control key and press escape. This process still works in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
Function keys: The keys labeled F1 through F12 are commonly known as function keys. . Depending on the installed operating system, the function keys may have a variety of different uses or no uses at all. . A program is capable using each of the function keys and combining the function keys with the ALT or CTRL key, for example, Microsoft Windows users can press ALT + F4 to close the currently active program .
Common functions of the functions keys
• It is used as a help key. almost every program opens a help screen when this key is pressed.
• It is used to enter into CMOS Setup.
• Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
• It is used to renames highlighted icon, file, or folder in all versions of Windows.
• In Microsoft Word, when Alt + Ctrl + F2 is pressed, then a document window is opened.
• In Microsoft word, when Ctrl + F2 is pressed, it opens the print preview window.
• It can open a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows.
• In MS-DOS or Windows command line F3 allows to repeat the last command.
• Shift + F3 change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
• Windows Key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
• Open Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.
• It opens the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
• It repeats the last act done (Word 2000+)
• When Alt + F4 pressed, then currently active Microsoft Windows is closed.
• When Ctrl + F4 pressed, the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows is closed.
• In all modern Internet browsers refresh or reload the page or document window by pressing F5.
• It opens the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
• It moves the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and most other Internet browsers.
• Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.
• It is usually used for checking spell and grammar of a document in Microsoft programs e.g Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.
• Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the highlighted word.
• This function key is used to enter the Windows startup menu.
• It is commonly used to access Windows Safe Mode.
• It is used to refresh documents in Microsoft Word
• It is used to send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook.
• F9 opens the measurements toolbar in Quark 5.
• Pressing the Fn key and F9 at the same time opens Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.
• In Microsoft Windows,F10 is used to activate the menu bar of an open application.
• Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
• This function key is used to access the hidden recovery partition on HP and Sony computers.
• Like F1 key, it is also used to enter into CMOS Setup.
• In all modern Internet browsers, by pressing F11 full screen mode is activated.
• It allows to access the hidden recovery partition on eMachines, Gateway, and Lenovo computers.
• It opens the “Save as” window in Microsoft Word.
• Ctrl + F12 is pressed to open a document In Word.
• Shift + F12 is pressed to save the Microsoft Word document (like Ctrl + S).
• Ctrl + Shift + F12 is pressed to print a document in Microsoft Word.
• F12 is also used to preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web
• By pressing F12 Firebug is opened.
• With an Apple running Mac OS 10.4 or later F12 shows or hides the Dashboard.
Print Screen, Scroll Lock, & Pause/Break keys:
These 3 keys are on the upper right corner of the key boards.
Print screen key: Print screen key allow you to take a screenshot and you can save or edit edit it by using graphics program.
scroll lock key: Screen lock key is intended to temporarily stop the scrolling of text or halt the operation of a program, e.g- Microsoft Excel is a software program that uses this key. If scroll lock is enabled on the keyboard when you press any of the arrow keys the screen will move in that direction but the selected cell will not change.
pause key: Pause key allows users temporarily to halt the actions of the program being run or the scrolling of text. For example, the pause key is commonly used momentarily to stop a computer game while the user steps away.
But Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys are rarely used today, so some keyboards don’t have them.
Backspace key: The Backspace key is used to erase the character to the left of the cursor
Tab key : Tabulator key or tabular key is commonly abbreviated as tab key which is used to advance the cursor to the next tab stop.
Alphanumeric Keys: Alphanumeric keys contain numerals 0 through 9 and letters A through Z. These keys allow you to enter values and characters into a program.
Cursor Control Keys: Cursor control keys usually include Insert key, Delete key, Home and End key, page up and page down key
Insert key: Insert key switches between insert mode and overtype mode.
Delete key: It deletes the character to the right of the cursor.
Home and End key: These keys move the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line.
Page Up and Page Down key: These keys scroll a document or webpage up or down.
Enter key: In word processing program, enter key is used to start a new line. Another function of enter key is carrying out command.
Ctrl, Alt, and Shift: The Control (Ctrl), Alternate (Alt), and Shift keys work in combination with other keys. Typically, you hold down Ctrl, Alt, or Shift and then type another key to do a specific task. For example, in many programs, typing Ctrl+S will save a file. Keyboards that are designed for Macs have a Command key which is often used instead of the Control key.
Arrow Keys: The arrow keys are used for scrolling a document, moving the cursor or controlling a game.
Numeric Keypad: The numeric keypad resembles a calculator keypad. Many people find that it is easier to type numbers using this keypad. On some keyboards, these keys double as arrow keys
Mouse: Mouse is a pointing device. It is used to point objects on the screen, click on them and move them. There are two types of mice –
• Optical mouse and
• Mechanical mouse
An electrical eye is used to detect movement in an optical mouse. Optical mouse is easier to clean. On the other hand, in a mechanical mouse, there are a primary and a secondary button with a rolling ball to. Mechanical mouse is cheaper than the optical mouse but it is easier to clean the optical mouse than the mechanical mouse. Typically, a mouse connects to the computer using a USB or PS/2 connection. However, you can also buy a wireless mouse.