Parts of a PC – part 1
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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary.
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In this podcast, I’m going to talk about computers – well, the different parts of a computer. I was looking at the English Vocabulary Profile at B2 wordlists and there are lots of items related to computers at this level. I use a computer every day and I think that most people do these days so knowing what to call the different parts should be useful. There are loads of words related to parts of a computer so I’m going to split this over two B2 podcasts. Today,
I am going to start with the peripherals – that is, the things that plug into a computer case and then talk next week, I’m going to talk about the things you need inside a PC.
OK, so what are the different things that you can plug into a computer? Firstly, you need a monitor. This is your screen. In the UK, we don’t use inches to measure many things any more, but for some reason, we talk about screen sizes in inches. Screens are measured diagonally from the bottom left corner to the top right corner, or the other way around. I have a 23 inch monitor on my desk. As well as the size, monitors are sold with different resolutions, that is different pixel density. So you can get a 4k monitor or a full HD monitor. If you play really fast computer games, you will want a monitor that refreshes quickly, that is, that has a fast refresh rate. This is measured in hertz which is the number of times something happens in a second. Good gaming monitors refresh 144 times a second or have a refresh rate of 144hz.
Keyboard and mouse
The next thing to talk about is your keyboard. This is the thing you use to type. And then ther e’s your mouse which is, well, the device you use to move the pointer on your screen, but I think that the name is pretty much the same everywhere. You can have a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse. I have a wired keyboard. This means, there’s a wire that comes out of my keyboard and plugs into a USB port on my computer. I should quickly explain USB. That’s the little rectangular hole on your computer that you plug things into. USB stands for universal serial bus, but everyone uses the abbreviation: USB.
My mouse is wireless and came with a tiny USB dongle that plugs into another USB port. My mouse was made by a company called Logitech and they don’t call the little dongle that plugs into your computer a dongle. They call it a USB unifying receiver, but I think that most people call them dongles. Generally dongles are devices you plug into your computer that are used to connect to other devices or to the internet, but they are less common in the UK these days.
OK so I’ve looked at the words monitor, keyboard, wired and wireless, mouse and dongle. I also have a USB interface to plug my microphone into my computer. The word interface means a device that connects to a computer so you can control the computer. I think that a keyboard is an interface, but nobody calls it an interface because we just say keyboard. However, I also have a musical keyboard that I can plug into my computer. That’s called a midi keyboard and midi stands for musical instrument digital interface.
I have a drawing tablet connected to my computer. I do some design work and like to use a stylus, that is a digital pencil and tablet. My first smartphone had a little stylus that you had to use to control it. Now, some expensive tablets come with styluses and Apple make a stylus they call a pencil. My tablet is not very expensive, but it’s really good and nice to use.
The last thing that I have plugged into my computer is my webcam. I think that this is also the same word in most languages these days, but just in case, the camera with a little microphone that’s plugged into your computer so you can talk on skype or zoom or teams is a webcam.
I think I’ve covered all the peripherals now, let me check… monitor, keyboard, wired and wireless, mouse, dongle, USB interface, midi keyboard, tablet and webcam.
Next week, I’m going to talk about the things inside my computer. I’ll talk about the motherboard, memory, hard drives, the processor and the cooler, power supply and the graphics card.
So there you have lots of B2 vocabulary. I hope you have found it useful.
If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review and don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk.
Thanks for listening.