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         The motherboard is a highly complex electronic circuit packed with electronic components which are fixed on an Epoxy resin board. (Epoxy is a resin specially conceived for electronic circuits).
Motherboard        It is a masterpiece of the computer and it contains slots whereupon other cards called extension cards can be attached. These can be a network card, a graphics card and such others.
         These cards are like modules that can be plugged into the motherboard to give it more functions. One can see extension cards near the bottom of the photograph. They are plugged at a right angle with the motherboard and they are also fixed to the computer case so that one can attach all sorts of connectors to them. On the picture you can see numerous connections to the motherboard as well as to extension cards. The bottom card is pegged into a whitish slot of the motherboard (visible on the photo). That one is a TV card. The fat whitish cable that is plugged in at the bottom left is a TV cable. It is connected to the TV card which is plugged into the motherboard and this allows to watch TV on the computer screen, by the way with a better picture quality than with an ordinary TV monitor...

          Hidden behind the big fan lies the heart of the computer: the processor (see picture of one to the left). It's the part of a computer which controls all the other components. It is really where treatment of data occurs. It holds an electronic chip, a micro-circuit containing thousands or even millions of very tiny components. On the photograph you can see tens of connections all around its case which is about one inch big. But the chip inside is only a few 1/16ths of an inch big. It's built with silicium in which various layers of some materials have been diffused according to quite a complex pattern. That way one can build a network of microscopic condensers and transistors making up a circuit conceived to perform all sorts of operations required to handle bits. There is so much activity inside of the chip that temperature goes quickly up in there and without the fan to cool it down it would be quickly damaged and burnt.

          The graphics card is optional as the motherboard itself can normally handle pictures. However for applications that require more performance like games, 3D pictures, TV, etc you need a graphics card as the motherboard would be insufficient. Its purpose is to take care of any graphical data. There is a fat cable (not visible on the photo) that connects the monitor to the graphics card or to the motherboard if there is no graphics card. For the sake of exercise you could locate this one on your computer now.

          The network card also called network adaptor or network interface adaptor allows you to connect your computer to a modem which links with your telephone line or TV cable. This enables you to get access to the Internet. One can also connect several computers together at home or at the office. They would have each a network card and cables connecting them via these network cards. There are also wireless cards fit with a small aerial to communicate bits by electromagnetic waves.


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