Computer Monitors

new computer monitor

new computer monitor (Photo credit: arellis49)

Monitors are an extremely important part of a computer, without it you won’t be able to see your computer function (on the software end). There is a lot to learn about monitors, because there is a lot of technology involved. I will have fun with this post and I hope you will as well.

Monitors can also be called a display and it is obviously an “electrical visual display”. Simple enough right? Inside the case of the display is the circuitry and the case is obviously the enclosure. Most modern displays we see today are LCD or liquid crystal displays.

Monitors as well as televisions have aspect ratios and over generations they have evolved from 4:3, to 16:9 and now to 16:10.

*History Time*

Older displays used a cathode ray tube which used one or more electron guns and a fluorescent screen to display visual information.

Definitions…

As a writer you begin to appreciate words AND their definitions. Here are some definitions for you if you did not know.

electron – a unit of charge equal to the charge on one electron.

fluorescent – strikingly bright, vivid, or glowing.

Different technologies

  • Cathode ray tube (CRT) – the first few computer monitors used this technology. These monitors were monochrome (cool right?) The highest resolution using this technology was 640×350. Tiny right?
  • Light emitting diodes (LED) – a bunch of red, green and blue diodes are pushed together to form colorful square pixels. You may also think of LED lights which can be used for design purposes when you think of LED.
  • Liquid Crystal (LCD)TFT-LCD (thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display) is a version of LCD which is a dominant technology for computer monitors.
  • IPS (In-Plane switching) Panels – accurate viewing angles, good for touch screen devices, high speed signals, and has clear images. Some disadvantages is that they are prone to the ghosting effect which means that there is a replica of a transmitted image like this.

220px-TV_ghosting_interference

Performance

  • Aspect ratio – ratio of horizontal length to vertical length. (4:3, 5:4, 16:9, 16:10)
  • Luminance – photometric measure luminous(light) intensity per unit area of light which is traveling in a certain direction. basically it is the measure of emitted light being passed from a certain area. It is measured using the SI unit candela per square meter (cd/m^2)
  • Size of image – usually measured diagonally.
  • Resolution – Number of pixels in each dimension.
  • Dot pitch (pixel pitch) – Measured using millimeters, it is the distance between the same color subpixel. If you have a small dot pitch the image will appear sharper because the subpixels are closer together. makes sense right?
  •  Refresh Rate – Ever mess around with your monitor settings and run into this and was confused by what it means? This is the number of times in a single second that the monitor/display is illuminated (lite up). The RF is constricted by the response time of the display, which we will hit next.
  • Response Time – measured in milliseconds, is the time it takes for a pixel to alternate from white (active) to black (inactive) and back to white again. You want your response time to be fast (lower number) so that you can have fluid transitions between images/frames.
  • Contrast ratio – you all know the contrast setting on your TV/Monitor right? This is the ratio of the brightest color white to the darkest color black. Good brights and darks means a great contrast ratio.
  • Power Consumption – which is measured in watts. You don’t want your monitor to draw up the electric bill right?
  • Delta-E – this represents color accuracy, the lower the better. please check out link to learn more.
  • Viewing Angles – ever get up from your laptop to grab something and look back to see what you were looking at before and see strange colors? These are issues with viewing angles. This is the maximum angle at which images on the monitor can be viewed. It is measured in degrees, horizontally and vertically, hence the word “angle”.

Top Monitor manufacturers 

  • Dell
  • HP
  • Acer
  • Lenovo
  • Ag Neovo
  • AOC Monitors
  • Apple
  • Asus
  • AU Optronics
  • BenQ
  • Chi Mei
  • Compaq
  • Eizo
  • Hanns-G
  • iZ3D
  • LaCie
  • LG
  • NEC
  • Planar Systems
  • Samsung
  • Sceptre Incorporated
  • Sharp
  • Shuttle Inc.

There is a ton of information on monitors and I highly encourage you to check out all the links and read more about each of them. If you want to learn more about history please visit this link as well. Monitors can be a very complex topic, but once you start understanding everything about them they become very interesting and fun to choose from! If I missed anything please leave a comment. Comments are 100% appreciated and welcome, and I am always open to more knowledge and information.

For more information on Monitors in general.

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The Hardware…

This post will give you a brief over view of the different types of hardware inside the case. For peripherals, please visit that section of the blog.

Computer Parts 

  • Computer Case
  • Power Supply
  • Motherboard
  • HDD – Hard Drive Disk
  • SSD – Solid State Drive
  • Memory – RAM – Random Access Memory
  • Sound Card (Optional)
  • Video/Graphics Card
  • CPU – Central processing Unit
  • Optical Disc drive (Optional)
  • Any other optional devices

I believe that is everything if I missed something, feel free to add a lovely comment below! These are the main hardware components that we will be going over individually.

Inside the Computer Case

Now that you understand the computer case basics we are going to go more in depth with the inside of a computer case. What makes a Corsair case different then a Cooler Master case? There is a lot going on on the inside of the case.

Computer chassis

First we will start to learn about drive bays.

drive bays

Drive bays are an important part of the case because depending on how many, what size, and the location they are in can really differentiate a lot of things about the case. For instance some cases have a lot of drive bays allowing for many different internal or external devices such as  DVD drives or card readers etc. while other cases have a lot of drive bays in unique locations or even allow you to remove excess bays to increase case airflow(which can be really important).

Anyway, lets get down to the pure knowledge. The common case would have at the least one or more external 5.25″ drive bays. This would fit the normal sized optical disc drives such as CD or DVD drives. A floppy disk drive which is pretty much obsolete  would fit into a 3.5″ bay. Hard drives also can fit into 3.5″ bays. Here is a list for you.

Drive Bays

  • Bays for optical disc drives and other larger external/internal devices – 5.25″ bays
  • Bays for hard drives or other smaller internal/external devices – 3.5″ bays

* Another factor to note is that different cases have different style drive bays, allowing for easy installation of devices.

Front  and Top Panel Ports

These are a specific group of I/O ports that can be located either on the front or top of the case. Most cases i have seen have them located on the front of the case. Different cases have different I/O options on these panels.

Most Front and Top Panels contain these ports

  • USB Ports – Universal Serial Bus
  • Audio Ports (Speaker and Headphones etc.)
  • Some could have FireWire
  • Then any other ports the manufacturer decides to add (which can make particular cases unique).

1-8-inch-mini-jacks-audio-ports1

Case Cooling

This in my opinion is one of the most important factors of a case. You want to make sure the case design allows for adequate air flow so the case can stay cool and keep your components safe inside.

Obviously every component generates some sort of heat. I mean electric current runs through them! The more resources within the case that allow for adequate air flow the better the case!

Fans

Since computers produce a lot of heat, computer cases come with fans to help keep the computer cool. There are different size fans as well.

  •       80 or 90mm fan (Usually located at front of case)
  •       120mm fan or 90mm fans located at the rear.
  • There can also be 92mm, or 200mm fans

Having these fans allows the computer have have good airflow within the case. Certain cases allow you to add more fans to the case when necessary.

Pure knowledge time! A 120mm fan can run at lower speeds which is measured with RPM or revolutions per minute and it can still provide the same amount of cooling performance as a smaller fan. Another factor to keep in mind is that some cases can only fit specific fan sizes so understanding the importance of size is crucial.

Understanding Intake and Exhaust

Fans within the case can be installed as an intake fan (pulls air in) or  an exhaust fan(pushes air out).  Depending on how you install these fans (which direction you install it) that will help with airflow inside the case.

Some fans have an arrow to help you know which direction the air will flow or exhaust out of. When that is not the case though you can look at the direction of the fan blades in order to tell which direction that the fan will push air. The direction that the blades are curved in the air will exhaust out of.

Case Materials

Most cases are either made of steel, plastic, acrylic, and aluminum. Each type of case has their disadvantages and advantages such as weight and heating dissipation. You can do further research into this if this interests you.

Side Panels

Different cases come with different style side panels. Some allow you to remove the panel with ease while others come with a nice window that allows you to see your components from the outside. Sweet right? Some people customize their own side panels and install LED lights etc. into the case.

That is the basics of the inside of the case. There is a lot to think about when it comes to computer cases and I hope you have learned a lot about them. If I missed anything or if you have something to add please leave a comment. Comments are 100% appreciated!

Resources

Newegg case Buying Guide

Check this site out for more information

Computer Cases – The Basics

The first piece of hardware we are going to focus our attention on is the computer case. Obviously, it is what holds everything together in one secure space.

case parts

Above this is an image of an older computer case and tags describing each of the parts inside the case. It is important to understand the case because without basic understanding of the case it would be a lot harder to put together a computer.

A computer case has many names. I will list out the many names people refer to computer cases with. Feel free to share more in the comments.

Case Names

  • chassis (pronunciation is chas-ee, -is) which its definition is simply the construction forming the sides, top, and bottom of something, like a case.
  •  tower
  • system unit
  • base unit
  • Now the most obvious one, simply a case

No matter what you call the case its main job is to enclose most of the core components within a computer. There are a lot of different types of cases as well.

Rack – Mounted (19-inch rack)

220px-Chassis-Plans-Rack

Blade Server cases

Enclosure_proliant

These are just some examples of other cases out there.  Case form factors change dependent on the size of components you are going to be using inside the case, obviously. Take this picture for example.

VIA_Mini-ITX_Form_Factor_Comparison

If you were building a computer that uses a Micro-ATX board then you wouldn’t really need a huge case that can fit a Standard-ATX board, so you could save money and get a smaller form-factor case. That is how simple the case logic works. Of course it can get more complicated when different brands come into the picture because different brands make different kinds of cases. That takes us to our next topic.

Go here if you want more information on smaller – form factors, but I will mainly focus my attention on the Standard-ATX form-factor. It never hurts to learn more though.

The basic names for the different desktop computer case form factors would be Mini-towers, Mid-Towers(Which is the standard), and Full-towers.

For most Modern desktop computers you would usually go for an ATX case which would be the standard. You would only go larger or smaller for special or specific builds. You will learn more about these terms when we dive into motherboards.

Different Case Manufacturers

If you want further information on these specific manufacturers please refer to the Wikipedia links.

Well, that is the computer case everyone. I hope you learned something about computer cases. If you have anything to add or that you feel is missing please leave a respectful comment. Comments are 100% appreciated. Next we will dive inside the computer case!

90px-Modified-pc-case

Read more about cases

Read more about form factors

Here is some extra information about the two most common form factors.

Form factors for desktop motherboards which greatly influence the case you would choose.

ATX – Advanced Technology Extended

  • micro-ATX
  • Flex ATX
  • EATX – Extended ATX – usually used with servers or large workstations

A computer case that fits a Standard-ATX board should be able to fit   all smaller ATX boards as well.

BTX – Balanced Technology Extended – these boards utilize newer heat and airflow technologies.

  • microBTX
  • picoBTX

Introduction To Computer Hardware

Computer Hardware

Computer Hardware (Photo credit: Cyberslayer)

A Computer has a lot of components inside. Together they all work together to give us an amazing system that we can do so much on. We can’t really begin to appreciate everything a computer can do until we can fully understand how all the internal hardware inside works together. This is why I decided that the easiest way to begin learning together is to focus on each component inside one at a time and slowly piece together everything about until we have built a working knowledge on that particular component.

If we were to do this for each component we would have a better understanding of computer hardware. We may even go in depth about building computers in the future!

How will this work?

I want to run this blog as a place to share knowledge found all over the world about computers. So I will do my research and you can do yours and this is where it will all be shared. Everything I find I will take that knowledge and share it with you in simplistic ways that hopefully you can understand. My goal is to put all these wonderful resources (websites, images, videos etc) into one place, this blog, so this information can be easy to access and understand.

To begin the Hardware exploration I am going to start with the PC case. We will begin by going in depth with he type of cases, companies that sell cases etc. Enjoy!

Finding Inspiration…

So we have come to the conclusion that you are a computer geek or that you inspire to be one, great we can finally move on.  Now we need to work on a few important factors before we can proceed. What is it that you feel deep inside that motivates you?

You need to really think about this because in order to continue along this journey with me you need to make sure you have a few concepts in mind. For instance I have decided that computing is an area of study I am passionate about, as well as blogging. So why not mix the two together? So in order to really allow myself to take the much needed steps to begin my learning journey I realized that I needed:

1. Patience

2. Confidence

3. Determination

4. Motivation

5.Time Management

6. Organized Goals and Aspirations

Of course if I wanted to I could keep this list going and going, but let us try to be somewhat reasonable here. Although I am a perfectionist I know that I am not perfect, but this is a great start. You should make sure that if you do not have all six of these that you at least make sure you have some sort of “working motivation”.

What is “working motivation”? Working motivation would be easily defined as a strong urgency or desperate, yet sane, feeling of reason to do something (in our case learn something). I have motivation because I have developed an immense passion for computers. A passion that urges me not only to learn as much as I can about them, but as long with a passion that urges me help others learn as well.

If you do anything before we continue on I urge you to develop some sense of working motivation. If your motivation doesn’t work, in other words is broken, you may find yourself stuck at some point because you don’t have enough drive to push you along. I wouldn’t want you to get stuck. Although the other five are important I believe that without motivation the rest have no chance.

So stop doing whatever you are doing, (God forbid it isn’t important), and write down (yes write it down, I mean if you can read you should be able to write. right?) what motivates you to learn in general. Then after about a minute start to get more specific about what makes you want to learn about computers. If you can get down more than a few sentences worth, you may have just enough motivation. If not try again and keep trying. Motivation is important. Either way, I hope you feel more encouraged about your learning journey than you did before you read this. Let the learning begin!

Here is a great quote that always motivates me!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

– Benjamin Franklin

I would hope that this blog encourages everyone to not only read and remember topics about computers, but more importantly inspire you to get involved.

What is a Geek?

Tags

What is a Geek?Image

 
       What does it really mean to be a geek? For some people it would mean that a person already has a lot of expertise in a particular subject. That may be true, but my definition of a geek is a lot more encouraging.

       From now on and for the rest of the duration of this blog I want you to forget everything you knew previously about being a geek, or learning in general. I want you to challenge yourself to continue on open-minded and intelligently. Brace yourselves, here comes my definition.

       A geek is any individual with a strong well-developed passion to learn and involve themselves with something. That something can be anything. It can be books, movies, chess, drawing, video games, academics, science etc. The list can go on and on. The point I am making is that if you truly want to learn something, and you want to put the hard work and time into something you are a geek beginning a new and amazing geeky journey. This site is going to be focused on learning and understanding computers, inside and out.

       The amazing part about this is that, I am not an expert or a know it all. I simply have a passion to learn about computers and if you do as well and want a friendly and resourceful environment to do it in, this is the place for you. Day by day and week by week we will venture into the world of computers. I welcome you to learn with me, and I hope you will in fact stick around. Computer Technology is always evolving and it is never too late to dive in. Now enough of that, and Welcome to the journey of computer geek.