What is Computer Hardware – Understanding Computers and How They Work

If you are new to computers, you may have wondered what is computer hardware and how is it different from computer software? Put simply, the hardware is physical equipment, everything that allows the software to function. Aside from the cover components such as case and keyboard, the mouse, the program disks and books, hardware would include all “mechanical, magnetic, electronic and electrical components that make up your system”. (Ref: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn). Power supplies, floppy disks, digital video drives, flash drives, joysticks, cables, wires and audio components are considered to be “hardware” for computer use.

Computer hardware includes all assorted devices that allow capturing and storage of data, that carry out operations or any series of operations on that data, or that produce control outputs. Computer software, on the other hand, is any of your computer’s self-contained or external programs and databases. Computers normally come pre-loaded with operational and some functional software when you purchase them.

Within hardware, there is a lot of variety from which to choose. For example, keyboards can be standard, with or without accessory numeric keypads, they can be split or otherwise ergonomically designed. The mouse also has been modernized from a two click to a wheel style scroll button mouse. External accessory drives are available in many capacities and sizes. Flash drives are available with a range of storage capacity.

What is computer hardware? It is anything you are able to see and touch (from the outside), and interior physical components like the motherboard or drive mechanisms. Software, although you may see and touch the actual disks data is contained on, is neither visible nor touchable. Compare it to your thoughts versus your brain.

Easily visible hardware includes your central processing unit (CPU), speakers, monitor, mouse, screen, cords, and mouse pad. These make up the actual unit. Peripheral devices (hardware) would be your floppy disks, hard drive, floppy drive, CDs, CD drive, and random access memory (RAM) boards. Some of these are removable and/or can be shared and mailed. USB connectors, motherboards, routers and modems are also considered computer hardware.

Computer hardware and software are highly developed and protected materials. Operating systems have evolved along with the computers to be used with ease by most operators. What used to fill entire buildings can now sit on your lap! Larger systems are created for commercial, business, and government use.

There is one more situation to acknowledge, and that is the use of external hardware not located at your computer. This is where you have purchased, for example, a website from a host company, and you are using their equipment accessed remotely from your computer via the internet. You rent space on their computer, benefit from using their equipment, hardware and software far more expensive and intricate than you would have at home. It works well as needed, for website design, back up data storage, and off site data storage.

So, the next time someone asks you “what is computer hardware”, you will be able to answer the question!

Are the Car Rental Firms Affected by the Recession?

Nearly everyone and every industry in today’s climate has been effected one way or another by the credit crunch. The car hire industry is the same as any other.

There have been a lot of changes in the past eighteen months in the car rental sector. Hire firms joining forces or buying over their competitors which means the inevitable location closures, fleet cuts and sometimes branch hours reduced. This house keeping is all about trying to weather the storm and stay afloat and trim line until the recession is over.

Although the amount of cars and vehicles may have been reduced on the car rental fleet. The demand for renting vehicles is still as high. The car hire prices have risen recently but despite this increase the rental companies still appear to be running out of cars to rent at peak and now off peak periods.

If you are budget conscious and wish to still obtain a reasonable price for your car rental after arriving into an airport. Don’t despair you can still manage to achieve this by planning ahead.

1. Book early and avoid disappointment. There has never been a truer saying especially today. Once the airport desks start to run out of cars. They increase their rental prices. If you have booked your flights and accommodation early why not book your car hire in advance too. This will save you time and money. All stress free because you know you have your car rental booked all you need to do now is collect your car from the airport desk.

2. Shop around for car hire on the net. More and more people today have access to the internet in their homes or local libraries. You can search online for the best current deals to suit your travel needs. Try out the car rental agencies they often offer discounted prices if you book in advance.

3. Do you need a large car or can you reduce your luggage capacity and rent a smaller car? This may reduce your car rental price. As the smaller cars run on less fuel.

4. Try keeping your times together. By this I mean collect your car hire at noon and return your car rental at noon. This will save you another days rental as most car hire firms grace period is around thirty minutes from your collection time. Remember the rental day runs on a strict twenty four hour period.

5. Sometimes the rental companies offer a five day special rate if you book the car for seven days.

6. Look out for the weekend specials which are sometimes promoted by advance booking.

7. If you are a member of one the motoring organisations. You may receive a discount by using a certain promotional code or just by saying you are a member and inserting your member number.

I hope the above ideas help you in achieving a relaxed and on rental budget.