• Computer Structure
• Switches: e Basic Hardware Building Blocks
• Computer System Components
• Computer Categories
WHY THIS CHAPTER MATTERS
You know about information system (computer) hardware. You’ve used it for years. Nobody
has to tell you what a printer is, or that the cost of ink adds up if you print a lot.
What you know about hardware probably comes from using it. You’ve used personal
computers: smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops. Businesses use other types of com-
puters, too. Your ability to make business decisions about hardware depends on knowing
about types of computers and components that you probably haven’t seen or used, and will
probably never have a personal reason to see. ose computers work on the same basic
principles as the ones you’ve used, but their pieces are organized in dierent ways for rea-
sons that aren’t always obvious. When you make decisions that involve tens of thousands,
or millions, of dollars, these dierences matter.
Also, when we learn something by using it, we seldom take time to understand its prin-
ciples. is leads to gaps in what we know. Gaps can be problems when you make business
Finally, your uency with computer technology concepts and with the vocabulary of
technical professionals will help you in discussions with them. If you use terms correctly,
they’ll respect your knowledge and listen to what you say. If you make elementary mis-
takes, they’ll think you don’t know much. is is human nature. ey’ll react that way even
if the subject you’re discussing doesn’t depend on those terms and concepts.