Computers on the Farm: Components of a Microcomputer by@takiffsmith

Computers on the Farm: Components of a Microcomputer

The CPU stores memory of several kinds. Part of the memory is wired into the computer permanently by the manufacturer. This is called Read Only Memory (ROM). It contains such things as the operating system and program language. Random Access Memory (RAM) is the memory bank that includes the computer program or instructions, as well as the data. Your storage devices—tape cassettes, floppy disks, or hard disks—that store computer programs and data, are sometimes called external memory. The computer system also needs input devices and output devices. Your keyboard is an input device; disk drives and tape drives are also input devices. The output will probably be a cathode ray tube (CRT), which looks like a video monitor. The printer is the other output device you may choose to include in your computer system.
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Deborah Takiff Smith

Computers on the Farm

USDA Farmers' Bulletin No. 2277: Computers on the Farm, by Deborah Takiff Smith is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here: [LINK TO TABLE OF LINK]. Components of a Microcomputer

Components of a Microcomputer

One way to understand how a microcomputer works is to see its key components.

The central processing unit (CPU) is the silicon chip that is the "brain" of the computer. It does all the computation and controls all the other processing.

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The CPU stores memory of several kinds. Part of the memory is wired into the computer permanently by the manufacturer. This is called Read Only Memory (ROM). It contains such things as the operating system and program language. Random Access Memory (RAM) is the memory bank that includes the computer program or instructions, as well as the data. Your storage devices—tape cassettes, floppy disks, or hard disks—that store computer programs and data, are sometimes called external memory.

The computer system also needs input devices and output devices. Your keyboard is an input device; disk drives and tape drives are also input devices. The output will probably be a cathode ray tube (CRT), which looks like a video monitor. The printer is the other output device you may choose to include in your computer system.

Make sure the microcomputer has an adequate number of input and output ports for future needs.

If you use your computer for communications, you'll need a telephone modem.

Here is a possible shopping list of hardware for a farmer's starting microcomputer system:

CPU (computer) with 48K or 64K of memory.

CRT or monitor with adequate character width for the programs you plan to use.

One or two disk drives, either 5¼ or 8 inches in diameter.

Dot matrix printer (optional).

Modem for communication with large computer (optional).

About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.

Smith, Deborah Takiff. 2019. USDA Farmers: Bulletin No. 2277: Computer on the Farm. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved May 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/59316/59316-h/59316-h.htm#Components_of_a_Microcomputer

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license.html.

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