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Essential introduction to computers l.jpg

Essential Introduction to Computers

How to Purchase a Personal Computer


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Objectives

  • Define the term computer and discuss the four basic computer operations: input, processing, output, and storage

  • Define data and information

  • Explain the principal components of the computer and their use

  • Describe the use of hard disks, USB flash drives, floppy disks, and other storage media

  • Discuss computer software and explain the difference between system software and application software


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Objectives

  • Identify several types of personal computer application software

  • Discuss computer communications channels and equipment and the Internet and World Wide Web

  • Define e-commerce

  • Explain how to purchase a personal computer


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What Is a Computer?

  • A computer is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input), process the data according to specified rules (process), produce results (output), and store the results (storage) for future use

  • Information Processing Cycle


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What Are the Components of a Computer?


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Input Devices

  • Any hardware component that allows you to enter data, programs, commands, and user responses into a computer

  • Input Device Examples

    • Keyboard

    • Mouse


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System Unit

  • The motherboard, or system board, is the main circuit board of the system unit

  • The processor, also called the central processing unit (CPU), interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer

  • The control unit interprets the instructions

  • The arithmetic/logic unit performs the logical and arithmetic processes

  • Memory, also called random access memory, or RAM, consists of electronic components that store data, instructions, and information, as needed by the processor


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System Unit


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Output Devices

  • Output devices make the information resulting from processing available for use

  • Output Device Examples

    • Printers

      • Impact

      • Nonimpact

      • Photo

    • Display Devices

      • CRT

      • LCD


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Storage Devices

  • Used to store instructions, data, and information when they are not being used in memory


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Storage Devices

  • Magnetic disks use magnetic particles to store items on a disk’s surface

    • Floppy disks

    • Zip disks

    • Hard disks


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Storage Devices

  • Optical discs

    • CD-ROM

    • CD-R

    • CD-RW

    • DVD-ROM

    • DVD-R

    • DVD+R

    • DVD-RW

    • DVD+RW

    • DVD+RAM

  • Tape


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Storage Devices

  • Miniature mobile storage media


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Communications Devices

  • A communications device is a hardware component that enables a computer to send (transmit) and receive data, instructions, and information to and from one or more computers

  • Communications occur over transmission media, such as telephone lines, cables, cellular radio networks, and satellites


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Computer Software

  • System software consists of programs to control the operations of computer equipment

  • Instructions in the operating system tell the computer how to perform the functions of loading, storing, and executing an application program and how to transfer data

  • When a computer is turned on, the operating system is loaded into the computer’s memory from auxiliary storage, a process called booting

  • Most computers use an operating system that has a graphical user interface (GUI)


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Computer Software


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Computer Software

  • Application software consists of programs that tell a computer how to produce information

    • Word processing software

    • Spreadsheet software

    • Database software

    • Presentation Graphics software


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Computer Software


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Networks and the Internet

  • A network is a collection of computers and devices connected via communications media and devices

  • A local area network (LAN) connects computers in a limited geographic area

  • A wide area network (WAN) covers a large geographical area


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Networks and the Internet

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Local Area Network (LAN)


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Networks and the Internet

  • The world’s largest network is the Internet

  • Most users connect to the Internet in one of two ways:

    • Internet service provider

    • Online service provider


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The World Wide Web

  • One of the more popular segments of the Internet is the World Wide Web, also called the Web

  • A Web page is a document that contains text, graphics, sound, and/or video and has built-in connections, or hyperlinks to other Web documents

  • A Web site is a related collection of Web pages

  • You access and view Web pages using a software program called a Web browser

  • A Web page has a unique address, called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL)


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The World Wide Web


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Electronic Commerce

  • When you conduct business activities online, you are participating in electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce

  • Business to consumer (B2C) involves the sale of goods to the general public

  • Consumer to consumer (C2C) involves one consumer selling directly to another

  • Business to business (B2B) provides goods and services to other businesses


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How to Purchase a Personal Computer

  • Do you want a desktop computer, mobile computer, or personal mobile device?

  • For what purposes will you use the computer?

  • Should the computer be compatible with the computers at school or work?

  • Should the computer be a Mac or PC?


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How to Purchase a Desktop Computer

  • Determine the specific software you want to use on your computer

  • Look for bundled software

  • Avoid buying the least powerful computer available

  • Consider upgrades to the mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, microphone, and speakers

  • Determine whether you want to use the telephone lines or broadband (cable or DSL) to access the Internet


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How to Purchase a Desktop Computer

  • If you are using a dial-up or wireless connection to connect to the Internet, then select an ISP or OSP

  • Use a worksheet to compare computers, services, and other considerations

  • If you are buying a new computer, consider your several purchasing options

  • If you are buying a used computer, stay with name brands such as Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple

  • If you have a computer and are upgrading to a new one, then consider selling or trading in the old one


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How to Purchase a Desktop Computer

  • Be aware of hidden costs

  • Consider more than just price

  • Avoid restocking fees

  • Use a credit card to purchase your new computer

  • Consider purchasing an extended warranty or service plan


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How to Purchase a Notebook Computer

  • Purchase a notebook computer with a sufficiently large active-matrix screen

  • Experiment with different keyboards and pointing devices

  • Make sure the notebook computer you purchase has a CD and/or DVD drive

  • If necessary, upgrade the processor, memory, and disk storage at the time of purchase


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How to Purchase a Notebook Computer

  • The availability of built-in ports on a notebook computer is important

  • If you plan to use your notebook computer for note-taking at school or in meetings, consider a notebook computer that converts to a Tablet PC

  • Consider purchasing a notebook computer with a built-in wireless card to connect to your home network

  • If you are going to use your notebook computer for long periods without access to an electrical outlet, purchase a second battery


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How to Purchase a Notebook Computer

  • Purchase a well-padded and well-designed carrying case

  • If you travel overseas, obtain a set of electrical and telephone adapters

  • If you plan to connect your notebook computer to a video projector, make sure the notebook computer is compatible with the video projector

  • For improved security, consider a fingerprint scanner


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How to Purchasea Tablet PC

  • Make sure the Tablet PC fits your mobile computing needs

  • Decide whether you want a convertible or pure Tablet PC

  • Be sure the weight and dimensions are conducive to portability

  • Port availability, battery life, and durability are even more important with a Tablet PC than they are with a notebook computer


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How to Purchasea Tablet PC

  • Experiment with different models of the Tablet PC to find the digital pen that works best for you

  • Check out the comfort level of handwriting in different positions

  • Make sure the LCD display device has a resolution high enough to take advantage of Microsoft’s ClearType technologies

  • Test the built-in Tablet PC microphone and speakers


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How to Purchasea Tablet PC

  • Consider a Tablet PC with a built-in PC video camera

  • Review the docking capabilities of the Tablet PC

  • Wireless access to the Internet and your e-mail is essential with a Tablet PC

  • Review available accessories to purchase with your Tablet PC


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How to Purchase a Personal Mobile Device

  • Determine the programs you plan to run on your device

  • Consider how much you want to pay

  • Determine whether you need wireless access to the Internet and e-mail or mobile telephone capabilities with your device

  • For wireless devices, determine how and where you will use the service


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How to Purchase a Personal Mobile Device

  • Make sure your device has enough memory

  • Practice with the touch screen, handwriting recognition, and built-in keyboard before deciding on a model

  • Decide whether you want a color display

  • Compare battery life


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How to Purchase a Personal Mobile Device

  • Seriously consider the importance of ergonomics

  • Check out the accessories

  • Decide whether you want additional functionality

  • Determine whether synchronization of data with other devices or personal computers is important


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Summary

  • Define the term computer and discuss the four basic computer operations: input, processing, output, and storage

  • Define data and information

  • Explain the principal components of the computer and their use

  • Describe the use of hard disks, USB flash drives, floppy disks, and other storage media

  • Discuss computer software and explain the difference between system software and application software


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Summary

  • Identify several types of personal computer application software

  • Discuss computer communications channels and equipment and the Internet and World Wide Web

  • Define e-commerce

  • Explain how to purchase a personal computer


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Essential Introduction to Computers

Complete


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