A computer is a sophisticated computing machine, and since its beginning it has evolved into being much else. While man has been using various mechanisms since the earliest times to help in mathematical calculations, the abacus being the best example, a proper ‘calculating machine’ took a lot of man’s ingenuity. It was not until Charles Babbage’s ‘Calculating Machine’ in the latter part of 19th century that a theoretical foundation of computer was formed, although Babbage himself could not complete the hardware structure. The first functional computers came out slowly and falteringly through the middle decades of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that by this time such sophisticated achievements, like the Titanic, the aircraft, the early missiles, the automobile, and the first experimental space probes, had already been made. Perhaps this lateness of innovation gives an idea of the difficulty of making the computer hardware.
A computer consists of two parts – the hardware and the software. The hardware is the machine, the structure, the parts – one can touch them and feel them, and being un-modifiable, they are ‘hard’. The software, on the other hand, is the ‘soft’ part – the programs, the data and information, the RAM contents, etc. Building the computer hardware has been a challenging task, but once enough momentum had been gained, regular breakthroughs in hardware components have mainly driven the computer revolution. The famous Moore’s law predicted that every 18 months the speed of the computer would double, and despite technological barriers, it has held its claim. The competition between the various hardware manufacturers is much fiercer than between software manufacturers.
In this section of the web directory, we provide various resources, from discount vendors of computer parts, to guides and reviews on computer hardware, etc.