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Basic PC Anatomy

Hardware Resources Explained
Hardware devices, such as modems, network circuits, sound circuits, and so on, require system resources such as Interrupt Request (IRQ) lines, Input/Output Port (I/O) addresses, Direct Memory Access Channels (DMA), and a range of Memory Addresses for storing code and data. Each device needs its own set of resources. If two devices attempt to use the same resource, your system may lock up or crash. More ...

PC Disk File Systems
The first PC file system, called FAT because it used a File Allocation Table, was developed in the early 1980?s for floppy disks. The File Allocation Table, a map of the location of files on the disk, is located near the beginning of the disk. More ...

Hard Disk Drive Basics
On a hard disk, data is stored in thin, concentric bands. A drive head, while in one position can read or write a circular ring, or band called a track. There can be more than a thousand tracks on a 3.5-inch hard disk. More ...

Plug and Play Resource Allocation
Early PCs used a bus called Industry Standard Architecture (ISA). ISA devices cannot share resources, each ISA device must have its own IRQ. In 1993, Microsoft and Intel developed Plug and Play (PnP) to solve this problem. More ...

Motherboard Form Factors
The "form factor" of a motherboard defines its dimensions. Make sure that the computer case that you purchase can accommodate the motherboard. It is also wise to select a motherboard with a commonly available form factor in case you need to replace it. Article updated with more information. More ...

Windows Registry Basics
The Windows Registry is a database that stores information about the system, including; installed hardware and its configuration, device drivers, network settings, installed applications and their configuration, and the configuration of each user's desktop. To maintain your own computer, you will need to become familiar with the Registry. More ...

Basic PC Anatomy Inkjet Printers
There are two main inkjet technologies, thermal and piezo-electric. Thermal technology uses silicon wafer heating elements, Epson uses a proprietary piezo electric technology. More ...

PC Technician Street Smarts: A Real World Guide to CompTIA A+ Skills
Hit the ground running with the street-smart training you'll find in this practical book. Using a "year in the life" approach, it gives you an inside look at the common responsibilities of PC Technicians, with key information organized around the actual day-to-day tasks, scenarios, and challenges you'll face in the field. More ...

What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology designed for short range data communications Two or more Bluetooth devices establish a connection and form a small network known as a Piconet. More ...

The RS-232 Serial Port
The RS-232 serial port was used to connect a mouse, modem, and/or printer. The RS-232 serial port is now totally obsolete. I would be very surprised if you ever run into a PC with an RS-232 serial port except possibly in a third-world country. However, I'll briefly describe the it in this article because you may run into a question about it in the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam. More ...

PC Video
The video circuits of a computer take digital data and arrange it for display on a screen. In the past, PCs used CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes) for video display. Today's PCs use LCDs (Liguid Crystal Displays). Whether the display is CRT or LCD, the image is created with a matrix of dots (called pixels for picture elements). More ...

Anatomy of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
Color LCD displays have a sandwich-like structure. One layer of the sandwich has liquid crystal between two glass plates. One glass plate has a matrix of thin film transistors on it. Liquid crystals move depending upon the charge applied to a tiny capacitor by its related transistor. More ...

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