Computer parts are divided into two categories: hardware and software. The physical components are known as computer hardware, while programs, data, and other intangible instructions are known as software. Basic computers have at least the following five pieces of hardware: a CPU or Central Processing Unit, a hard disk, input devices, memory, and output devices. The CPU is the powerhouse of the computer; it executes your commands. These commands are given by the user with an input device, such as a keyboard or a mouse. Data, programs, and other instructions from the user that are currently running are stored in the memory of the computer. Larger amounts of data can be permanently contained in a mass storage device, such as a hard disk. An output device, such as your monitor, permits you to see what your computer is doing and use any open programs. There are other internal hardware devices such as the bus. The bus, similar to a transit bus, acts as a vehicle to transport data from one internal device to another, such as the input device to the CPU. To access and communicate via the Internet, computers use an additional piece of hardware called a modem. A modem is an internal or external device which transmits and receives information over telephone lines. For more information, consult a computer professional.
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