[<< wikibooks] The Computer Revolution/Chapter 1
How Computers Work: 3 Key components
1. The purpose of the Computer: - Basically to turn raw data into useful information
Data: consists of the raw facts and figures that are processed into information, i.e., the votes for a presidential election, which are used to decide who has won.
Information: is data that has been summarized or otherwise manipulated for use in decision making.
2. The difference between Hardware and Software.....
Hardware: consists of all the machinery and equipment in a computer system, i.e. the mouse, monitor, hard drive, keyboard etc
Software: "programs" all the electronic instructions that tell the computer how to perform a task. Such as a CD ROM, with instructions and or setup programs.
3. The basic Operations of a Computer:

Input operation: Is whatever is put into the computer system
Processing operation: The manipulation a Data into information
Storage operation: "memory"
Primary Storage- holds data waiting to be processed
Secondary Storage- Refers to devices that store data/info permanently4. Output Operation: Basically what the results of processing, usually info
5. Communications operation: Online Communications, email, MSN, etc.