From USB connectors to motherboards, the HowStuffWorks Computer Hardware Channel will help you find explanations, reviews, videos and prices for the parts you need.
Smart dust sounds like something out of a Disney movie, but it's definitely not. Also called a mote or a wireless sensing network, this new technology is intriguing everyone from military personnel to vineyard owners.
Think you know how routers work? These devices use intricate formulas to figure out exactly where to send a packet and how to get it there. Learn all about routing algorithms.
C programming can create a formula for a computer to generate a random number, but there are other ways to. Check out this explanation and diagram.
Chances are good that your operating system includes virtual memory. It makes your computer act like it has a lot more RAM than actually it does. Find out what virtual memory is and how it increases the speed of your PC.
We've all used one, and most of us are sitting in front of one right now. Curious to know what's going on inside that ever-present PC? Here's your chance to find out -- without prying open your own.
Removable memory has unchained us from our PCs -- we can now carry gigabytes of data wherever we go in a device the size of a matchbox. Learn about the three major digital storage technologies.
Silicon microprocessors are about to reach the limit to their storage capacity. But one technology may extend the life of the silicon microchip -- it's called extreme-ultraviolet lithography, and it may keep silicon useful for a few years longer.
This special PCI card lets you access digital television on your computer monitor, and you're still free to surf and run whatever programs you want. Here's how to get started.
A computer is full of buses -- highways that take information and power from one place to another. While USB is good when utilizing small electronic devices, sometimes you need something bigger. That's where SCSI comes in.
Voice over Internet Protocol lets you make free long-distance phone calls using your computer. It's essentially a phone network that uses the Internet infrastructure already connecting computers all over the world. Learn all about the technology behind VoIP and how you can set it up on your PC.
As we move closer to intelligent computers, they may begin to follow us wherever we go. Learn how ubiquitous networking will allow our data and information to travel with us.
Essentially, a bus is a channel or path between the components in a computer. And having a high-speed bus is as important as having a good transmission in a car.
If your computers are in different rooms, phone-line networking may be a good way to connect them. Learn all about the pros and cons of using a phone-line network.
No new wires! Power-line networking uses the wiring already in your house to connect your computers. Learn about the pros and cons of a power-line network and how to set one up.
If you're thinking of networking the computers in your home, you have several options to explore. Will you go wired or wireless? And what's the best way to ensure the safety of your network?
The images you see on your monitor are made of tiny dots called pixels. At most resolution settings, a screen displays over a million pixels, and the computer has to decide what to do with every one in order to create an image.
The Integrated Drive Electronics interface is the most popular way to connect a hard drive to a PC. Find out where IDE came from and how it works today.
The power supply in your PC provides all of the different voltages your computer needs to operate properly. Find out how it puts the pieces together and troubleshoot your power supply problems.
Did you know it takes two full weeks for a microprocessor plant to produce one silicon-based microprocessor? Imagine being able to make one yourself by downloading designs and then printing it on your desktop fabrication machine.
Sound cards truly ushered PCs into the world of multimedia. Before the invention of the sound card, a PC could only beep! Learn how a sound card allows a computer to create and record high-quality sound.
Floppy disks were the first portable computer storage devices, created in 1967. They may be obsolete these days, but they definitely made computer history.
When you delete files from your computer and empty it out of the Recycle Bin, can it be recovered? Learn about computer recycling bins and file recovery.
The serial port was an integral part of most computers for more than 20 years, but new computers usually have USB connections instead. Serial ports are still used for most modems, as well as a few other electronic devices.
If you're reading this via the Internet you're probably using Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT helps reuse IP addresses and improve security -- find out how it works.
When your PC tries to access your floppy disk drive, there could be a number of reasons. Luckily, they're pretty simple to solve -- we'll show you how to troubleshoot and fix this problem.