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Essential Computer Concepts The components of a computer system The different types of computers Personal computer hardware and its functions Peripheral devices Hardware and software used to establish a network connection Internet, e-mail, and World Wide Web System software

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Essential Computer Concepts

Essential Computer Concepts

course objectives at the end of the course you will understand
The components of a computer system

The different types of computers

Personal computer hardware and its functions

Peripheral devices

Hardware and software used to establish a network connection

Internet, e-mail, and World Wide Web

System software

Popular application software

Data sharing among different application software

Course ObjectivesAt the end of the course, you will understand:

Essential Computer Concepts

what is a computer
What is a Computer?

A computer is a device that :

  • Accepts input
  • Processes data
  • Stores data
  • Produces output
  • A computer executes machine instructions.

Essential Computer Concepts

how a computer works
How a Computer Works

The data you type into the computer is called input.

The result of the computer processing your input is called output.

Essential Computer Concepts

what is a computer5
What is a Computer?

A Computer System is made up of:

  • Hardware—the physical components (physical body of a human being)
  • Software—the programs or lists of instructions (mind, thought of a human being, issuing instructions to control the hardware to work properly)
  • Peripherals (optional, not the core)—the additional components

Essential Computer Concepts

how a computer works6
How a Computer Works

The hardware, software, and you work together to complete tasks.

Essential Computer Concepts

what is a computer7
What is a Computer?

Architecture or configuration is the design of the computer.

As in, what does the computer consist of?

Specification is the technical detail about each component.

As in, how big is the monitor?

Essential Computer Concepts

types of computers
Types of Computers

The categories of computers are:

  • Personal or microcomputers
    • Desktop
    • Notebook, Laptop, Table PC
  • Hand-help or PDAs
  • Mainframes
  • Supercomputers

Essential Computer Concepts

types of computers9
Types of Computers

Personal computers are used for general computing tasks and fit the needs of most users

Essential Computer Concepts

types of computers10
Types of Computers

Hand-held computers fit in the palm of your hand and run on batteries.

Essential Computer Concepts

types of computers11
Types of Computers

Mainframes are used by companies to provide centralized storage, processing, and management for large amounts of data.

Essential Computer Concepts

types of computers12
Types of Computers

Supercomputers are the largest and fastest of computers, and can process an enormous volume of data.

Essential Computer Concepts

computer hardware
Computer Hardware

Computer hardware includes:

  • CPU (processor, microprocessor)
  • Memory
  • Storage devices and media
  • Input devices
  • Output devices
  • Communication devices

Essential Computer Concepts

processing hardware
Processing Hardware
  • The two most important components of personal computers hardware are CPU (the microprocessor) and memory. (Together they can be compared to the brain of a human being.)
  • These two factors directly affect the computer’s price and performance.

Essential Computer Concepts

the microprocessor
The Microprocessor
  • The microprocessor is a silicon chip designed to manipulate data.
  • Its speed is determined by:
    • Clock speed
    • Word size
    • Cache size

Essential Computer Concepts

computer hardware16
Computer Hardware
  • The most important computer function is data processing.
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the processing hardware responsible for executing instructions to process data.

Essential Computer Concepts


Computer memory is a set of storage locations on the motherboard.

There are four types of memory:

  • Random access memory (RAM)
  • Virtual memory
  • Read-only memory
  • Complementary metal oxide semiconductor memory (CMOS)

Essential Computer Concepts


RAM is temporary memory that is constantly changing while the computer is on.

Virtual memory is extra memory that simulates RAM if more is needed.

Essential Computer Concepts


Read-only memory (ROM) is the permanent storage location for a set of instructions the computer uses.

CMOS memory is semi-permanent information about where essential software is stored.

Essential Computer Concepts

processing hardware20
Processing Hardware
  • Computers interpret every signal as “on” or “off.”
  • 1 (“on”) and 0 (“off”) are referred to as bits.
  • Eight bits is a byte. Each byte represents a unique character. For example ‘A’ usually consumes 1 byte.

Essential Computer Concepts

data representation
Data Representation

Storage and memory capacity is the amount of data the storage device can handle.

  • Kilobyte (KB) is about one thousand bytes
  • Megabyte (MB) is about one million bytes
  • Gigabyte (GB) is about one billion bytes

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices
Storage Devices

A storage device receives data from RAM and writes it on a storage medium. Later, it can be read and sent back to RAM.

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices23
Storage Devices

Data is stored as files.

Executable files tell computers how to perform specific tasks.

Data files are created by the user, usually with software.

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices24
Storage Devices

Files are kept on storage devices.

There are:

Magnetic storage devices and

Optical storage devices.

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices25
Storage Devices

Some common magnetic storage devices are:

  • Floppy disks
  • Hard disk drives
  • Tape drives
  • Zip drives

A floppy disk

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices26
Storage Devices

Some common optical storage devices are:

  • CD-ROM drives
  • DVD drives
  • CD-R drives
  • CD-RW drives

Essential Computer Concepts

storage devices27
Storage Devices

CD-ROMs are for “read-only” access.

CD-Rdrives allow you to record data on a CD-R disk.

CD-RW drives allow you to write data on a CD-RW disk and access and modify data.

Essential Computer Concepts

computer hardware28
Computer Hardware

Some input devices are:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Wireless pointer
  • Touch pad
  • Track point

Cordless mouse

Essential Computer Concepts

computer hardware29
Computer Hardware

Output devices are:

Monitors and Printers are common output devices.

CRT monitors and LCD (or flat panel display) monitors are two types of monitors.

Essential Computer Concepts

computer hardware30
Computer Hardware

Factors that influence a monitor’s quality are:

  • Screen Size
  • Resolution
  • Dot Pitch

Essential Computer Concepts

types of printers include
Types of Printers include:
  • Laser
  • Ink-jet
  • Dot Matrix

Essential Computer Concepts

other media devices
Other media devices
  • Media devices are generally related to storage, input and output functionalities.
  • Multimedia devices are peripheral devices that include text, graphics, sound, animation, and video.
  • Speakers and sound cards are common multimedia output devices

Essential Computer Concepts

data communications
Data Communications

Data Communications is the transmission of text, numeric, voice, or video data from one computer to another.

Essential Computer Concepts

data bus
Data Bus

The data bus is the communication between microprocessor, RAM, and the peripherals.

Essential Computer Concepts

data bus35
Data Bus

Computer expansion ports

Essential Computer Concepts

data bus36
Data Bus

USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports replace numerous connectors with one plug and port combination. The device you install must have a USB connector.

Essential Computer Concepts


A network connects one computer to other computers and peripherals.

In a local area network (LAN), computers and peripherals are close to each other.

Essential Computer Concepts


A client/server network is a network with a file server. A file server acts as the central storage location.

A network without a file server is a peer-to-peer network. All of the computers are equal.

Essential Computer Concepts


Essential Computer Concepts


Each computer that is part of the network must have a network interface card and network software.

Then it becomes a workstation.

Any device connected to the network is called a node.

Essential Computer Concepts


Telecommunications is communicating over a telephone. In the telecommunications process, the modem converts digital signals to analog signals at the sending site and a second modem converts them back at the receiving site.

For example, if you dialup to the Internet from your home, it is a kind of telecommuncation.

Essential Computer Concepts


Essential Computer Concepts

the internet
The Internet

The Internet is the world’s largest network.

E-mail and the World Wide Web are two benefits of the Internet.

Essential Computer Concepts

the internet44
The Internet

A hyperlink is a place on a Web page allowing you to connect to a particular file.

Essential Computer Concepts

the internet45
The Internet

A Web browser is

the communications software that allows you to navigate the WWW.

Essential Computer Concepts

computer software
Computer Software

Software is the instructions and data that direct the computer to accomplish the task. It can refer to a single program or a package.

Essential Computer Concepts


Software bridges the human beings’ world and machines’ world.

Two levels

  • Operating system software
  • Application software

Essential Computer Concepts

system software
System Software

System software helps the computer carry out it s basic operating tasks.

Application software helps the user carry out a variety of tasks.

Essential Computer Concepts

system software49
System Software

The operating system controls the I/O or input/output, the flow of data from microprocessor to memory to peripherals.

The operating system makes multitasking possible.

Essential Computer Concepts

If you have a computer, then you must have heard of operating systems, since you are actually interacting with them everyday.

Essential Computer Concepts

Any desktop or laptop PC that you buy normally comes pre-loaded Windows XP or its variants.
  • Macintosh computers come pre-loaded with its proprietary operating system – MAC OS X.
  • Many corporate mainframe servers use the Linux or UNIX operating systems.

Essential Computer Concepts

The operating system (OS) is the first thing loaded into a computer’s main memory to be run by CPU and is the most important program that runs on a computer.
  • The "OS" performs basic tasks such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.
  • It provides a stable, consistent way for applications to deal with the hardware without having to know all the details of the hardware.

Essential Computer Concepts

functionalities of operating system
Functionalities of Operating System

Essential Computer Concepts

application software
Application software
  • Built upon system software, application oriented.
    • Office 2003 suite (What we will learn!)
    • Photoshop, photo processing software
    • Winzip, a tool which can compress your file.
    • Too many to list

Essential Computer Concepts

office 2003 application software
Office 2003 Application Software

Enables you to perform specific tasks.

Office 2003 suite software includes:

    • Document production software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Database management software
    • Graphics and presentation software
    • Personal web page development
  • An earlier version of Office 2003 is Office XP

Essential Computer Concepts

application software56
Application Software

Document production software includes word processing, desktop publishing, and Web authoring software that assist you in writing and formatting documents.

Essential Computer Concepts

application software57
Application Software

It often has grammar and spell-checking, thesaurus, search and replace, and template features.

Essential Computer Concepts

application software58
Application Software

With spreadsheet software, you can create formulas that perform calculations. Spreadsheet software creates worksheets with columns and rows. The intersection of a column and row is a cell.

Essential Computer Concepts

application software59
Application Software

Database management software creates structured databases to contain information.

Graphics and presentation software allow you to create illustrations, diagrams, and charts to be presented or transmitted. Most allow you to include graphics.

Essential Computer Concepts

application software60
Application Software

Multimedia authoring software allows you to record digital sound files, video files, and animations that can be included in presentations and other documents.

Essential Computer Concepts

application software integration
Application Software Integration

Object linking and embedding (OLE) is the ability to use data from another file, called the source.

This integration between applications has become an important skill in business.

Essential Computer Concepts