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Components of a Computer System

A Computer system ideally consists of three major components:
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Humanware
  1. Hardware - Computer components that can be physically touched, such as keyboard, CPU, monitor, mouse etc., are known as computer hardware.
  2. Software - The hypothetical or imaginary part of the computer which is used with hardware to perform computer applications is known as software. Computer software can be divided into the following parts:
    1. Operating System - A set of specialized programs that makes a necessary interface between the user and the computer hardware is known as an operating system. It is a system or a group of programs that is used for controlling the resources and the devices attached to the computer so that they can work under one central control for their better and effective use. Operating system is essential to run a computer. In simple words, an operating system acts as the government of a computer system to manage its resources for their better and effective use. Alternatively, the Operating system can be defined as a set of programs, active all the time in the memory of the computer, to manage the resources of the computer for their better and effective use.
    2. Utility Software: A set of computer programme used to perform certain supporting operations in a computer is called a utility programme. This is also known as system utility
    3. Application Software: The user - oriented programme which is designed and developed for performing certain jobs, such as accounting, word processing and designing, is known as application software. For example, if an enterprise has to maintain its accounts, it shall install accounting software such as Tally or excel. Similarly, if a person has to design, he shall install PageMaker or CorelDraw. And, similarly, for database operation one shall install Oracle, SQL-server, or My-SQL.

      The accounting software or program used in a business depends on the size and requirements of the organization. Softwares available off-the-shelf are Tally, EX and many others. But Tally and EX are the most widely used. The available accounting software are data based and designed for use with Windows as the Operating System.
    4. Language Processors: This is software which is used as an interpreter or translator to convert a program language into machine language, i.e., into a language the machines understand. A computer cannot understand our direct language; it understands only machine language, which consists of coding.
    5. Connectivity Software: This type of software is used to connect one computer to another computer to share its data.
  3. Humanware: People interacting with the computer and executing the programme or software are known as humanware. They pass on the inputs based on which the computer will carry out specified operations in accordance with a set of instructions, i.e., software. They constitute the most important part of the computer systems.
    • As system Analysts - The persons who design data processing systems.
    • As Programmers - The persons who write programs to implement the data processing system design.
    • As Operators - The Persons who participate in operating the computer.

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