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A mouse is an input device.

Hardware Components

The terms input and output say if data flow into or out of the computer. The picture shows the major hardware components of a computer system. The arrows show the direction of data flow.

components of a computer system

A bus is a group of wires on the main circuit board of the computer. It is a pathway for data flowing between components. Most devices are connected to the bus through a controller which coordinates the activities of the device with the bus.

The processor is an electronic device about a one inch square, covered in plastic. Inside the square is an even smaller square of silicon containing millions of tiny electrical parts. A processor may contain 100 million transistors. It does the fundamental computing within the system, and directly or indirectly controls all the other components.

The processor is sometimes called the Central Processing Unit or CPU. A particular computer will have a particular type of processor, such as a Pentium or a SPARC.


Say that a computer adds 13 to 27. Where does this activity take place?