103a-ab PC Lab

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103a-ab Open-it Up! Lab

The main parts inside a computer, and how they work

  • The Mother Board (The Central Nervous System)-The mother board is the central location where everything that runs through the computer is plugged into. It is the main place for information/electricity transfers. [1]
  • The Processor (The Brain and Muscle) [1]- The processor is the brain of the computer located on the motherboard, composed of hundreds of transistors that literally execute the commands, it is the only part of the computer that actually computes. [2] When a command is sent activated the processor sorts through the tons of information saved on one of the multiple source of memory, reads its program and executes the specified directions that are needed to complete the command.The speed which this process is done is measured in MegaHertz and/or GigaHetz.
  • The Memory (Short-term Memory)- Memory, which is commonly referred as RAM (Random Access Memory) temporarily stores information while the computer is on.[1] This allows for a more efficient connection between the processor and the actual programs.[4] The memory is also found on the motherboard and can easily be added or removed for a faster and more efficient computer. [3]
  • The Disk Drivea.k.a. The Hard Drive (Long-Term Memory)- Unlike the RAM, the hard drive stores information permanently. Documents, music, and operating systems are stored here. [1]
  • the CD/DVD drive (The Digestive System)-These drives can read CD-ROMs, audio CDs and DVDs. They can also burn materials on to these disks. [1]
  • The Power-Supply (The Heart)- The power supply works like a heart pumping blood through the body. The power-supply literally allows an electrical current to flow from the wall (or battery) through out the rest of the computer. This device does this by converting the deadly high-voltage alternating current (AC) to a more sustainable and stable direct current (DC). [5]
  • The Battery- The battery is what holds the computer's settings such as time and date. It allows the computer to remember the settings so that it does not have to be re-entered every time the computer is shut off. [6]
  • The Crystal - The crystal is often times a quartz crystal that helps the computer keep time. The quartz crystal vibrates every sixty seconds when electricity is applied to it. This is also located on the Mother Board. [7]
  • The Cables ( The Arteries & Veins)- The cables act like veins and arteries in a human. They send the information and electricity back and forth between different computer components. [1]


[1] Cutter , Dave . The Components of a Quality PC Explained. "The Cutter Gallery ." 2007. The Cutter Gallery and Artists . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.cuttergallery.com/PC_Questions.htm>. (All phrases in parenthesis are quoted from this page) [2]"Computer Hardware: Information About The CPU." Computer Help.com. 2008. Computer Hope . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.computerhope.com/help/cpu.htm>. [3] The Parts of the Computer ."Expedient ." 2004. Expedient Holdings USA. 7 Oct 2008 <http://help.expedient.com/general/computer_parts.shtml>. [4]"Computer Hardware: Information About Computer Memory ." Computer Help.com. 2008. Computer Hope . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.computerhope.com/help/memory.htm>. [5]"Computer Hardware: Information About Power Supply ." Computer Help.com. 2008. Computer Hope . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.computerhope.com/help/ps.htm>. [6]"Information on Computer Batteries." Computer Help.com. 2008. Computer Hope . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.computerhope.com/help/battery.htm>. [7]"Quartz Crystal ." Computer Help.com. 2008. Computer Hope . 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/q/quartz.htm>.

Inside a Computer

CSC 103
First Lab

Name: Adriana C.

Partner: Ellen M.

Lab date: 9/22/2008

Favorite Part of Lab: Pictures

The Beginning/The Dilemma

We started with this -> 103a-ab 101.jpg

But we really wanted this -> 103a-ab 056.jpg

The Journey

Step 1: Opening it Up First we had to open it up to be able to take it apart this first task was easier said then done. After wrestling with the tower for a bit, we eventually cracked that poor thing open, these are some pics of what it looked like.103a-ab 004.jpg 103a-ab 010.jpg

Step 2: Pulling Things Out (and Trying to Identify Them) Once the machine was open the fun started. We were told to locate, remove and name 6 essential pieces of the computer.

  1. After yanking out hundreds of wires we finally pulled out the Hard Drive. 103a-ab 012.jpg 103a-ab 015.jpg
  2. Without harming the equipment too much, we pulled out the green fan cover and the we reached (and ultimately excavated) the power supply. (Ellen is our model in this picture) 103a-ab 017.jpg
  3. We then attempted to pull out the drives (but this was a lot harder then we anticipated). After a 3 minute duel with the tower cover we were finally able to push the drives out of the machine. We took out a DVD drive, a CD drive and to our surprise, a Zip Drive (which I learned was actually a precursor to the Jump Drive/USB Stick). 103a-ab 018.jpg 103a-ab 019.jpg <- This is me103a-ab 021.jpg 103a-ab 024.jpg
  4. The computer began to look really empty, it was kind of sad poor empty tower. We then found our major computer component, the Mother Board.

103a-ab 034.jpg

  1. On the mother board we found the Processor. 103a-ab 042.jpg 103a-ab 044.jpg
  2. One of the last things we pulled out (and the last required pieces) were the memory sticks. Our computer had two of them. 103a-ab 147.jpg
And Finally, we reached the battery.  103a-ab 053.jpg

We Finished

When we finished this is what the inside of the tower looked like. 103a-ab 055.jpg 103a-ab 157.jpg

The End

            103a-ab 152.jpg