The Computer Tower also known as the computer case
and the Computer’s Brains
The core part of the computer is called the tower. It has earned this nickname due to the fact that alone they resemble buildings or towers on a city landscape. The tower contains the central processing unit (CPU), the random access memory (RAM), and the long term storage unit also known as the hard drive.
The tower is the most expensive and most important part of a personal computer. It is essentially the “head” of a computer system. The CPU is equivalent to the brain of a computer. It computes and executes commands that you request much like your brain comprises sentences and sends messages to your limbs for movement. If the CPU breaks (which is rare) you will be forced to replace the most expensive part of the system. In most cases, this usually means that your money is better served replacing the whole system.
The RAM (random access memory) as the name suggests is the short term easily accessible memory space of the computer. An example to explain the RAM, and its use, is that it is the portion of the computer that is equivalent to the part of your brain that is used when you try to remember a short grocery list. The information is not meant to be permanent; it is just there until the information can be used and then discarded and replaced with the next list or task to be done. However, the RAM is much more powerful than our short term memories. The RAM can hold and execute complex formulas and programs for the CPU to use and get us the results that we need from our computer processes.
The hard drive is a small box within the tower that holds a disk of writable memory. Much like a classic LP record in that it is a disk that has tracks in concentric circles. Unlike the class LP the tracks of a hard disk can be written and rewritten over and over for the life span of the hard drive. The hard disk is much like the long term storage of a human brain. It is designed to hold and “memorize” information for long time retrieval and use. In many cases, information flows through a computer much like information flows through our own head.
For example, when we learn a new phone number the information is put into the short term memory first (RAM for computers) where we try and repeat (write) and repeat (rewrite) the information until it becomes permanent in our long term memory (hard drive for computer systems). Of course, the main difference is that computers don’t need the repetition. The information is easily moved permanently into the long term memory or hard drive in milliseconds which allow us leverage computers for mass storage, improve our productivity, and in many ways improve out quality of life.
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