Chapter 1. Understanding Personal Computers

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Chances are you’re reading this book because you have a new computer. At this point, you might not be totally sure what it is you’ve gotten yourself into. Just what is this mess of boxes and cables—how does it all go together, and how does it work?

We start by looking at the physical components of your system—the stuff we call computer hardware. A lot of different pieces and parts make up a typical computer system, and the pieces and parts differ depending on the type of computer you have.

You see, no two computer systems are identical. That’s because there are several different types of configurations ...

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