Let’s begin learning about computers.

February 18, 2010

I love to teach people about computers, one of the things I try to get people to learn first is the names of the computer parts. One thing that irritates support specialists more than anything else is talking to someone about problems with the customers “modem” and what the customer meant was the actual computer itself. I’ll give you an example of what I mean.

Customer: I’m having a problem with my modem.

Tech: I assume it’s an external modem? It’s outside the computer?

Customer: Yes it won’t turn work.

Tech: Okay, is it plugged in?

Customer: Yes

Tech: What happens when you try to dial-up the Internet does it give you an error?

Customer: What do you mean dial-up? I have cable Internet.

You can see how this would confuse the tech and cause frustration for the customer. So lets begin by learning the parts of the computer so that you can impress your friends and help smooth the process of diagnosing your computer problem the next time you have to call customer support.

First, almost everyone knows what the mouse is. 

Almost everyone gets keyboard correct.

Now the next couple of parts is where most “newbies” get a little confused.

This is a monitor, it can also be called the screen, this is not the computer unless it’s an all in one where everything is built into the monitor. Like this…

Now comes the heart of the computer system.

The CPU, or desktop, or tower, or computer. There are other parts that make up this part of the system. Most of what you’ll hear talked about on the CPU are the ports in the back of the computer where you plug in the monitor and mouse and keyboard. You also may use the CD-Rom drive from time to time. The computer pictured has a floppy drive that is pretty much obsolete. Many computers now have usb and audio output and input ports on the front for easy access. USB ports are where you may plug your digital camera, or other such device.

Pretty simple stuff huh? Well, I promise you when you call the parts if the computer by it’s correct name, you’ll make some computer tech that’s trying to help, you very appreciative.