There are many fancy add-ons that can be incorporated into a computer, but before these can be installed the basic components of the computer must be connected and operating correctly. If one of these main components is missing the computer will not operate.
Computer memory is a storage area for both program code and data which is currently in use. Computer programs can write and retrieve information from memory in any order, allowing for fast data retrieval and manipulation.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is often described as the 'brain' of the computer. Perhaps describing it as the 'engine' may be more appropriate - it has no innate intelligence of its own, and more powerful CPUs cannot do more complex work; they simply work faster.
There are many ways to store computer data. Most of the data is kept on hard drives which are permanently installed in the computer case. Data can also be stored on removable media such as floppy disks, memory sticks, CDs and DVDs.
Every year computers are becoming more important as multimedia entertainment stations. We are seeing computers move from the office into the living room and replacing the stereo system, the video player, the karaoke machine, and even the TV.
In order to interact with a computer (enter information and see the results) we need both an input device and an output device. We enter information with the keyboard, mouse, or microphone (to name a few), and the computer outputs sound and/or visuals.