The following points summarize the key concepts in this chapter:
- The function of the case is to house the computer's internal components, connect the computer to the outside world with ports and connectors, and to protect the computer from damage.
- To prevent electromagnetic interference, avoid running a computer without the cover on.
- The motherboard defines the capabilities of a computer.
- Not all motherboards are the same. Some manufacturers have proprietary motherboards that can be used only in their own computers. They will also require proprietary parts for expansion. Generally, these motherboards are of higher quality (and price).
- BIOS chips are used to provide data to the CPU; this data tells the CPU how to operate specific devices.
- CMOS is a BIOS chip that can have its data updated. The CMOS setup program is used to make these changes.
- CMOS chips require a battery to save the data when power to the computer is off.
- Some of the newer BIOS chips are updatable. These are called flash BIOS.
- A device driver is a program that acts as an interface between the operating system and the control circuits that operate the device.
- On machines running MS-DOS, device drivers are loaded by the CONFIG.SYS file.
- Computers running Windows 95, 98, or 2000 load their own device drivers and do not require a CONFIG.SYS file.
- POST is used to check a computer before it boots.
- POST errors are indicated by beeps before the video is checked and by text after the video check.