Computer System Basics – A Combination of Hardware & Software

Many people are confused by what makes up a computer system to allow it to operate the way it does, whether it be a desktop or notebook system. In this article I will cover the basics on what a computer system is actually made of and how an integration of software and hardware provides us what we now call today the modern computer!

The first thing you need to understand is the difference between software and hardware. Both software and hardware are needed for any type of system to exist, period! A computer system in itself is comprised of various hardware components to create a working computer system, which by know if you had not figured out is classified as a piece of hardware! Both notebook and desktop pc are constructed from the following main hardware components:

Hardware in a computer

A motherboard

This can be referred to as the pizza base! A motherboard allows all hardware components of a computer to connect and interact with each other. Without a motherboard you have no computer.


The brains of the computer. A processor performs all the necessary calculations and actions so that all other additional hardware and software can operate. As stated, see the processor as the human brain


Standing for ” Random Access Memory”, these are memory chips in rectangular form that come in various sizes and speeds and act as a buffer for data being transferred to the brain of the computer, the processor. RAM is necessary for any computer to operate and provides the processor with the necessity sized chunks of data it needs to operate.

Hard drive

This is a hardware device that stores all the software and personal files you need as well as most importantly the operating system. Without a hard drive you wouldn’t have a place for your operating system to operate whether it be windows or linux.

The 4 main hardware components listed above are necessary for any computer to operate and be a computer. Now lets move on to software and it’s meaning.

Software in a computer

Software is what allows any device to operate whether it be a computer or any other sort of electronic device. In the case of a computer the main bit of software that they all require to operate is the operating system. The operating system allows the user to interact with the computer as well as provide instructions for your computer to follow. Hardware can’t exist without software, and without no software hardware would not not operate. Windows and Linux are 2 forms of operating system software that are available on the market, with windows being the most popular and favoured amongst mass consumers. Just like the pc system itself, the operating system is a piece of software that is made of various other software components to allow it to operate effectively, of course the difference being that software is code and hardware is physical.

When you break things down as I have done you understand clearer about how a combination of software and hardware allow a computer to operate the way it does. You will find the basic principles that I have covered in this article apply to any other electronics device. Devices such as televisions, dvd players, mp3 players and more all basically operate in the same way.

Tools You Should Have When Constructing Your Wooden Playhouse

So you’ve chosen your location and the type of wood you’ll be using for your wooden playhouse. The next most important step is to make sure you have the right tools. Just like my previous article about choosing the right wood type, this article will not be going into specifics (ie brand names, etc), as the right tools can be fairly cheap, or unbelievably expensive! In the case of tools, you really do get what you pay for. If you decide to go cheap and nasty, you may be making a few trips back to the hardware store to buy replacements. If you go expensive, your costs will be blown out of the water! Do you need to spend $500 on that tool that you may only use once or twice a year, or will the $150 version be enough? Finding the median is very important.

Tools you will likely need:

1) Cordless drill – probably the most used tool for building a wooden playhouse, as you can get into tight spaces without worrying about a cord. However, beware of cheap ones, as they may not provide enough torque (or ‘grunt’!) to drive screws into the wood for an extended period of time.

2) Normal drill – in case the battery runs out on your cordless drill, (and it will!) this is a great backup, or in case you need that extra bit of power.

3) Hammer – this is pretty obvious. However, the top-of-the-line hammer isn’t really necessary, so long as whatever one you have that is comfortable in your hands will suffice.

4) Drill bits – generally you’ll find you’ll be using screws rather than nails when constructing your wooden playhouse. The crucial factor is that the bits need to be as sharp as possible! Cheap drill bits will become dull very quickly, so a good quality set of bits are a good investment

5) Builder’s level – although your wooden playhouse will not have to be built to strict building standards and codes, every effort to ensure it is level will be worth it, both for safety and aesthetics. If you have a level foundation, everything else will fall into place when building the rest. A builder’s level is one commonly used by concreters and is about a metre long. It can allow you to see if there are any warps in longer pieces of wood. However, a normal level will also be sufficient.

6) A tape measure – the main rule anyone should go by when building anything is “Measure twice, cut once”.

7) A circular saw – This tool will give you a very straight cut if used properly. If you have a workbench, a compound Mitre saw will give you the most accurate cut, as well as being very quick and efficient. Although a handsaw is much cheaper and can be used instead of a circular saw, you will be taking more time to do your cutting and also risking a sore shoulder by the end of the day!

This list is not an exhaustive one, but can give you an idea of what you’ll need. There will other bits and pieces required, so the best move is to ask at your local hardware store.

The main idea of this article to is ensure that you have considered what tools you’ll need to build your kids’ wooden playhouse. If you spend a bit of time making a list of what tools you have vs. which tools you’ll need, you’ll save ten times the time going back and forth to the hardware store!

The History of Listed Building’s Guidelines

Not only this, many feel historic buildings also add a feeling of quality to our towns, villages and countryside as they are a staple piece of history.

There are a number of ways we can protect heritage assets to ensure they are passed onto future generations for their enjoyment. One way is by legal protection through national designation: all assets which have this appear on the National Heritage List for England.

In England, the English Heritage Association is designated to assess the building in order to accept an application for a building to become listed. However The Minister has overpowering discretion to whether to accept or reject an application.

What are the guidelines?

Over the past 50 years the criteria has changed dramatically, with the list being very strict in the Victorian era, however, despite the post war developments, many buildings have managed to survive from that era, more so than any other periods of time. The guidelines state that a building must have:

• Architectural interest: buildings of importance because of their examples of design, decoration and craftsmanship
• Historic interest: buildings which illustrate an aspect of the nation’s social, economic, cultural or military history
• Craftsmanship: They could be an early example of a specific building type with a pioneering form of construction
• Group value: buildings that form part of an architectural ensemble, such as squares, terraces or model villages
• Historic association: buildings that demonstrate close historical association with nationally important people or events

Don’t panic if you can’t relate any of these to your property. In broad terms, buildings that are eligible for listed status are broken down more easily into these categories:

• All buildings that are built before 1700 that survive in anything like their original condition, not necessarily faultless
• It includes most buildings built between the era of 1700-1840, although selection is necessary
• Properties constructed between 1840 and 1914, but only if the building in question is of definite quality and character; the selection is intended to include the major works of all principal architects
• Anything that is constructed between 1914 and 1939 as they select buildings of high quality or historic interest
• However, there are a very limited number of exceptional buildings built after 1939 that make it onto the list, although they tend to be at least ten years old, and in most cases more than 30 years old

What’s your grade?

Now the terms of grading are often thrown around by those who own these properties.

A Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, often considered to be the most globally important as there are only 2.5% of all listed buildings, making them rare and exclusive. An example is St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol which attracts thousands of visitors a year to her pews in order for people to see the intricate architecture.

The difference between that and a Grade II* is very little, however, these building are of particular importance and are more than a special interest. This comprises of just over 5.5% of all listed buildings; Hammersmith Bridge, London was declared a Grade II*.

Finally a Grade II is the most commonly found type of listing as it accounts for 92% of all listed buildings, these are nationally important and are of special interest, with it most likely being a grade of listing for a home owner; Radar Training Station, Lancs, is well known for being Grade II listed.

Builder Hardware Association

The builders hardware industry trade association provides information on builders hardware manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, manufacturing associations and professional associations in all sectors of the building industry. It provides access to international network resources by bringing together the representatives of the hardware industry that fosters the growth and global well being of its member companies, while disseminating up-to-date management, manufacturing and technical information. These associations provides complete information solutions and offer users quick access to a vast amount of timely and relevant information and knowledge-based application tools. The association represents the hardware and joinery industry and helps in promoting business and exports.

It is very essential for the trade associates to have a bunch of quality information that provides a better insight to the trends and challenges of the global hardware industry. It also endeavors to promote the general development and welfare of the builders hardware industry. From past decade the builder hardware associations are working towards building and improving relations within the hardware industry. The associations provides professionals in all sectors of the building industry with a single source for technical expertise with the ultimate aim of assuring progress and maintaining standards throughout the industry, some of the associations are also called as the choice and voice of independent thinking. The association is full of resourceful information where you can actually browse and explore the latest creations of the builder hardware industry.

Just to inform you we will just have a quick review on some of the associations which are highly informative and provides relevant information in respect to builders hardware product certification construction codes, online certified products directory, manufacturers list, training programs etc…

The Hardware Association of Western Australia (HAWA) offers joint membership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of western Australia. It works towards building and improving relations within the hardware industry.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association of U.S which represents approximately 25,000 merit shop construction and 78 construction-related firms. ABC is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing America’s business community and the U.S. construction industry.

United Association Manufacturers Representatives (UAMR) emphasis on various kinds of fields such as Home furnishings, decorative housewares, hardware, general merchandise etc.. The motto of this association is bringing “manufacturer’s and representatives together for mutual benefit.

American Hardware Manufactures Association [AHMA] offers training programs and a variety of services such as industry conferences, technology up gradation etc. for member firms.

Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) promotes the development and welfare of the builders hardware industry and its member companies.

The Association General Contractors (AGC) is known as “voice and choice” of the construction industry. AGC vision is to promote a better industry for the professionals.

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