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Hardware Trivia

Hardware Trivia Quizzes

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14 Hardware quizzes and 145 Hardware trivia questions.
It Comes Fully Equipped
  It Comes Fully Equipped!   top quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
I don't mean to brag...but I just got the BEST DEAL on a new desktop computer! Sure, I paid a bit more for it but I got all of these nifty gadgets as part of the package. Want to help me set them up?
Average, 10 Qns, kyleisalive, Aug 20 20
kyleisalive editor
Aug 20 20
3771 plays
  Computer components and PC building   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I'm going to walk you through building a new PC from components and along the way, you may learn something about hardware. So come on in and please bring your anti-static wrist strap!
Average, 10 Qns, WesleyCrusher, Nov 16 20
WesleyCrusher editor
Nov 16 20
5223 plays
  Peripheral Potpourri   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Test your knowledge on a variety of peripheral questions, including configuration and troubleshooting (based on a Windows XP operating system).
Average, 10 Qns, polaris101, Jul 22 12
polaris101 gold member
6242 plays
  Let's Talk QWERTY   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Do you use a keyboard most every day? Here are just a few questions on the keyboard and the QWERTY layout (U.S).
Easier, 10 Qns, mlcmlc, Nov 09 17
mlcmlc gold member
Nov 09 17
870 plays
  Hard Drive Basics   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The hard drive is a critical component in a computer system. This is a quiz on some hard drive trivia. Good luck and enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, mlcmlc, Mar 29 24
mlcmlc gold member
Mar 29 24
1464 plays
  Computer Memory   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
There are a lot of different types of memory inside your computer. Test your knowledge of some memory basics!
Average, 10 Qns, tiffanyram, Sep 16 20
tiffanyram gold member
Sep 16 20
1121 plays
  Let's Talk About Specs    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
2020s PC Hardware for Experts and Geeks
Proud owners of a new gaming computer or workstation might gloat and brag about its specs - numbers that indicate just how powerful (and expensive) their new hardware is. To the uninitiated, they however sound like random numbers. Let's shed some light!
Tough, 10 Qns, WesleyCrusher, Jan 03 23
WesleyCrusher editor
Jan 03 23
88 plays
  The Central Processing Unit   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about the basic technology and facts behind any computer's most central component: the main processor. Come in and explore these complex electronic devices!
Difficult, 10 Qns, WesleyCrusher, Sep 11 08
WesleyCrusher editor
1912 plays
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a quiz with a variety of questions on motherboards. Good luck!
Tough, 10 Qns, Lanire, May 22 23
May 22 23
5817 plays
  The Trusty Computer Keyboard    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Okay is an easy quiz which requires you only to look down at your fingertips. The questions focus on the conventional English, American, and European keyboards. Good luck!
Average, 10 Qns, coachpauly, Dec 28 17
Dec 28 17
610 plays
trivia question Quick Question
The most likely cause for random specks of ink on a laser printed page is?

From Quiz "Printer Operations and Components"

  Quiet As a Mouse   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
How much do you know about this common piece of computer hardware?
Tough, 10 Qns, neelie_447, Jun 10 15
2068 plays
  Paint By Numbers    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
From the CRT to LCD, how does a computer monitor give us our colour pictures? Let's see if you know.
Average, 10 Qns, Mercenary_Elk, Apr 17 22
Apr 17 22
512 plays
  The Hard Stuff    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
How much do you know about the actual "nuts and bolts" of your computer system? Take this quiz and find out!
Average, 10 Qns, Snipercatcher, Jan 20 23
Jan 20 23
322 plays
  Printer Operations and Components    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Printers are very simple devices. They exist for the sole purpose of taking data from your computer and placing it on a printed page.This quiz will deal with common types of printers and their Field-Replaceable Units (FRUs).
Tough, 15 Qns, cindynlace, May 10 23
May 10 23
2816 plays

Hardware Trivia Questions

1. The QWERTY keyboard has basically been in use since the late 1870s. How could you tell that the keyboard in front of you uses the QWERTY layout?

From Quiz
Let's Talk QWERTY

Answer: The first 6 letter keys on the top row spell QWERTY

Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) is credited with the development of the first commercially successful typewriter which was sold to E. Remington and Sons in 1873. The QWERTY layout was first produced on a Remington No. 1 in 1873. The Remington No. 2 (1878) also used a QWERTY layout, but it had the ability to print both upper and lower case letters using a shift key. There are many theories about how the layout came to be, but my favorite is that Remington wanted the top row to spell "type writer".

2. What are the first six (6) letters that appear on the top row of the traditional computer keyboard?

From Quiz The Trusty Computer Keyboard

Answer: QWERTY

The QWERTY format was developed by Christopher Sholes in 1867. Sholes was a newspaper editor and printer living in Milwaukee. He worked on a patent for an early writing machine and found that the QWERTY pattern of letters made it much easier to type quickly and with fewer errors.

3. "I got a brand new Octacore rig, all the bells and whistles", Joan gloats. Okay, "octa-" means eight, but her computer thus has eight of what?

From Quiz Let's Talk About Specs

Answer: Independent processor execution units

Modern computer processors almost universally have multiple cores - each core is effectively a separate processor that can execute one task. Most office computers have four cores while higher-powered machines usually feature six or eight. Top of the line processors can have up to sixteen cores, but usually the benefit of more than eight cores for gaming and video editing - the two most calculation-intensive tasks typically performed by a personal computer - is not that high, because at this level, graphics performance tends to be the limiting factor. In addition to having multiple cores, most 2020s processors feature hyperthreading - a mechanism that allows each core to keep all the necessary data for two separate tasks and keep executing one of them while the other needs to wait for a memory access or other slow task. As fast processors tend to wait a lot, this actually can provide almost as much of a boost as having additional physical cores.

4. The moment you turn on your computer, it begins to access its memory. BIOS, the software that boots up your computer, is located in which type of memory?

From Quiz Computer Memory

Answer: ROM

ROM stands for read-only memory because it cannot be changed or requires special operations to make changes to it. This type of memory storage is permanent and non-volatile, meaning that it is not deleted or lost when the computer shuts off. Once you start your computer, it accesses the ROM to start running BIOS (basic input/output system).

5. The first hard disks, created in the 1950s, could be up to 20 inches in diameter. Which company invented the hard disk?

From Quiz Hard Drive Basics

Answer: IBM

The first commercial hard disks were used on an IBM 305 RAMAC. These original drives were large and usually mounted in a stand-alone rack with special power and cooling. Through the years the physical size of the drives has decreased, but the capacity has continued to grow.

6. "Paint by Numbers"? What do computers have to do with that? My computer has little lights on its screen and they go on and off when I want them to. Fine, then. Do you know what each of those little dots of light are called?

From Quiz Paint By Numbers

Answer: Pixels

A pixel is one of the ways of measuring the resolution of a picture. When a picture that is two inches high has few pixels, it will look like a bunch of coloured squares. When the same two-inch picture has more and more pixels, it will look more and more defined until you realize, "YAY! I have a picture of a kitty!" Beware of having too high a resolution, as it can slow down your computer's processes.

7. We'll start by laying out the largest piece of our computer to be. It is also the one that has the fewest electronic components. Which one is it?

From Quiz Computer components and PC building

Answer: The case

The process of building a computer by yourself requires some patience and skill, but can be quite rewarding and you will be able to buy exactly the components you want. Before starting to actually build anything, read all the instructions that come with the components and make sure everything is complete and looks undamaged. Then, begin by laying out the case and removing all covers - you will be happy you did once you start installing components and don't have to leave anything sensitive lying around unprotected while struggling with an uncooperative screw.

8. When you look at a processor, you normally see a plastic or ceramic case with metal pins and possibly other metal parts. However, the active component inside is made of a different material - which one?

From Quiz The Central Processing Unit

Answer: Silicon

The basis of any computer chip, including the processor, is a semiconductor - made of one of a small family of chemical elements. This material is purified to an extreme degree and then the structures of the chip are created on it. Today, nearly all chips are made of silicon with a small number of specialized devices made of germanium. However, processors are not among the latter category. The prevalence of silicon as the base material for electronics has led to the name "Silicon Valley" for the southern San Francisco Bay Area where a large number of computer and software companies have their headquarters.

9. Which group first used to term "mouse" to describe a computer pointing tool?

From Quiz Quiet As a Mouse

Answer: Stanford Research Institute

The term "mouse" was first used by the Stanford Research Institute to describe a computer tool. This term came from the fact that early mouse models had a cord (or tail) extending from the rear of the device. This suggested a mouse-like look.

10. How wide is the full AT motherboard?

From Quiz Motherboards

Answer: 12 inches

'A motherboard is the physical arrangement in a computer that contains the computer's basic circuitry and components. On the typical motherboard, the circuitry is imprinted or affixed to the surface of a firm planar surface and usually manufactured in a single step.' - from Usually, on a typical motherboard you could find the following parts: CPU, BIOS, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and controllers for keyboard, mouse, and disk drives.

11. In what phase of the EP printing process is the photosensitive drum erased?

From Quiz Printer Operations and Components

Answer: Cleaning

The cleaning process removes left-over toner and erases the drum.

12. Though many other keyboard layouts have been developed, QWERTY continues to be the most popular. Which of the layouts below was developed and proposed during the 1930s?

From Quiz Let's Talk QWERTY

Answer: Dvorak

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is only one of the many different layouts that have been developed through the years. Dvorak's system was tested against the QWERTY layout, but even today folks don't agree on the results. Many operating systems now provide the option of configuring your system to utilize the Dvorak layout. This is between you and your keyboard, try it out if you're interested.

13. "I overclocked my machine to 5.6 gigahertz turbo", Stephen brags. Most of the other users just shrug - high clock speeds are nowhere as important as they once were. Why is this?

From Quiz Let's Talk About Specs

Answer: Processors can maintain high speeds only very briefly

Modern processors have several nominal clock speeds - one for sustained load on multiple cores, a higher one for sustained load on a single core and finally a turbo speed that allows for a few seconds of extreme performance but cannot be maintained for a long time. Turbo speed can be very important for specialized tasks that need maximum responsiveness, but in most cases, the sustained speeds are far more important. It is also important to realize that a processor will not run at full speed unless there is actually enough load to require it. Each core can have its own speed so that, during a complex calculation, maybe four of six cores run at their nominal speed to churn out results while the other two will run less intensive tasks at half speed or less.

14. So my computer screen is made up of pixels. Whoopdedo? My pretty pictures and advanced video games are just little dots of light randomly changing colours. Well, no. Not exactly. In one pixel, how many different colours of light are there?

From Quiz Paint By Numbers

Answer: Three

The three colours are red, green and blue: the basics of the spectrum of light. Any colour visible to the human eye can be made my adding different amounts of each of the three colours. The key to making graphics is discovering the CORRECT amounts.

15. The component we need to install next is one that could be opened without damaging it, but it could be very dangerous for your health to do so. Also, it has a substantial impact on the noise level of your new PC. Which one is it?

From Quiz Computer components and PC building

Answer: The power supply

Many cases come with a pre-installed power supply, but you should be sure to study tests and reports since case vendors often install cheaper devices that waste energy and do not deal well with inevitable small fluctuations of mains power. If the case of your choice comes with a noisy or inefficient power supply, try getting it without one. Also, when selecting a power supply, make sure it is strong enough to power all components, but do not overshoot - a 400 watts supply working at 80% is much more energy efficient than an 800 watts one working at 40%. At this point, I also have a warning for you: Do not EVER open a power supply! Even after disconnecting it from the mains, several components still hold high voltage charges and can continue to do so for several hours. These charges are strong enough to give you dangerous electric shocks.

16. The first mouse packaged with and intended for use with a computer came with what computer?

From Quiz Quiet As a Mouse

Answer: Xerox Star 1981

The Xerox Star 1981 was just one in a line of computers marketed by the 8010 Star Information System. Individual computers in this line usually sold for $16,000. Though only 25,000 unit were sold (the price was too high), many people today claim that the system was ingeniusly ahead of it's time.

17. In Windows XP, how do you change your settings so you can use the keyboard to control the cursor on the screen?

From Quiz Peripheral Potpourri

Answer: Control Panel, Accessibility Options, Mouse

The mouse is normally used to control the movement of the cursor, or pointer, on the display monitor. However, it is possible to change your computer's settings to use the numeric keypad on your keyboard for this purpose. From the Control Panel, click Accessibility Options, then the Mouse tab. Check the 'Use MouseKeys' box, and then OK.

18. Which company invented the ATX form factor?

From Quiz Motherboards

Answer: Intel

'The form factor of the motherboard describes its general shape, what sorts of cases and power supplies it can use, and its physical organization.' - from ATX form factor was invented in 1995 by Intel and by 1998 was the most popular choice in the new systems.

19. The most likely cause for random specks of ink on a laser printed page is?

From Quiz Printer Operations and Components

Answer: Photosensitive drum is dirty

If the drum is not properly scraped clean in the cleaning phase, then specks or streaks will result.

20. Inside the hard disk drive, where is the data actually stored?

From Quiz Hard Drive Basics

Answer: platters

Hard disks generally have a tower of platters mounted on a spindle. The platter is the "hard" surface that gave the hard disk its name, as opposed to "floppy" disks. The platter spin speed is measured in revolutions per minute or rpm.

21. If the processor is the brain of the PC, the component installed next is its spine - both for its function of mechanically connecting various pieces and for its capability to do some low-level, reflex-like processing.

From Quiz Computer components and PC building

Answer: The motherboard

Thinking of the motherboard as the spine of your computer is a very useful analogy for a non-technical person because it really fills the same functions as your spine does in your body. It connects the processor (the brain) to all other parts of the computer (the body), both mechanically and electrically. It also contains the needed electronics to make the processor's instructions understandable to those peripherals, just like the spinal cord further processes the brain's commands while relaying them to the limbs. When installing the motherboard, take care you are installing all the needed spacers and feet, but do not yet screw the board to the case as you will want to take it out again to install the processor. Also, make sure the rear connector cutout of the case (the flimsy metal covering) fits the layout of your board and if necessary, exchange it for the one supplied with your motherboard.

22. The processors you can find in a modern PC are often referred to as dual core or even quad-core. This means what?

From Quiz The Central Processing Unit

Answer: The single processor chip contains two or four independent complete and equal processors

A core in the context of processor design is a complete CPU with all components. Multiple such complete processors can be put on a single chip. These processors share the same memory but are otherwise independent and thus cannot work the same program (the technically more correct term is thread instead of program - threads are independent sub-programs within a larger program). Thus, a machine with a dual core CPU will not be significantly faster while running a single CPU-intensive task like video encoding unless the program is specifically written to take the multiple CPUs into account and break down the work for them. However, you can give a computer such a CPU-intensive task and still continue using it for a second task like playing on FunTrivia without it getting any slower on that.

23. Who invented the mouse?

From Quiz Quiet As a Mouse

Answer: Douglas Engelbart

Douglas Engelbart, who worked for the Stanford Research Institute, invented a basic computer mouse in 1964. It was a bulky device with two perpendicular wheels. Engelbart patented the device in 1970 (US Patent 3541541).

24. What does 'refresh rate' refer to when speaking about your computer monitor?

From Quiz Peripheral Potpourri

Answer: how often the screen's image is redrawn

The refresh rate, or vertical frequency, determines how many times per second the screen is updated, or redrawn. If the rate is 75Hz, the screen is being drawn 75 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the less flicker you see on your monitor. Your video card must be able to support whatever setting you change the monitor to.

25. What is one of the differences between AT and ATX form factors?

From Quiz Motherboards

Answer: ATX started to use 20 - pin connectors rather than 6 - pin connectors

The other differences between AT and ATX are that in ATX there is an integrated PS2 mouse connector, better power supply connector, 3.3V power support, and better air flow.

26. Which cable has a DB-25 male connection on one end and a 36-pin female connection on the other?

From Quiz Printer Operations and Components

Answer: Centronics

The description is for a Centronics cable used in parallel printing.

27. DSL and ISDN transmissions can both be sent over ordinary telephone wire. Which metal is most often inside these cables?

From Quiz The Hard Stuff

Answer: Copper

Copper is most often used in telephone and network cabling. Kryptonite does not exist except in "Superman" comics, movies and TV shows.

28. Prior to graphical user interfaces and scroll bars, there was often a need to pause a display. What prompt did the user see?

From Quiz Let's Talk QWERTY

Answer: Press any key to continue...

Before graphical user interfaces, the text on the monitor would continue scrolling until the executing program paused. The DOS prompt "pause" displayed "Press any key to continue..." until the user pressed the appropriate key. For some this was intuitive, but for others problematical. Firstly, all keys didn't resume operation (e.g., Shift, Lock, etc.). Secondly, some folks thought there should actually be a key labeled "any".

29. A computer's cache will hold data that is used most often to make it faster to access. There are various levels of cache, the first of which is a small amount of memory found inside the what?

From Quiz Computer Memory

Answer: Central processing unit (CPU)

The cache helps to make up for the lag between how long it takes memory to go from the memory modules to the CPU and how fast the CPU processes that data. Since it takes longer for the information to travel, the cache allows the CPU to access the information it uses most at a faster rate.

30. When a user formats a disk, they are generally performing a high-level format which prepares the drive to hold data. When a low-level format is performed, how does it divide the platter?

From Quiz Hard Drive Basics

Answer: sectors and tracks

The sectors and tracks provide the map for the drive and how the data will be stored and retrieved. The tracks are created in concentric circles from the outer to inner data area. The sectors divide the tracks into pie-shaped areas. The high-level format usually organizes the disk so that the OS (operating system) knows where to find data. The OS format is different for each, such as MS Windows, Linux, etc.

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Last Updated Apr 22 2024 10:59 AM
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