Introduction to computers
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Introduction to Computers. Essential Understanding of Computers and Computer Operations. Topics. The term “computer”  Four basic computer operations  Data and information  Principal components of computer  Data storage devices and usage  Software  The Internet & WWW .

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Introduction to computers

Introduction to Computers

Essential Understanding of Computers and Computer Operations


  • The term “computer” 

  • Four basic computer operations 

  • Data and information 

  • Principal components of computer 

  • Data storage devices and usage 

  • Software 

  • The Internet & WWW 

What is a computer
What is a Computer?

  • A programmable machine that inputs, processes, and outputs information

  • An electronic device for storing and processing data

  • Composed of hardware and software

  • Can exist in a variety of sizes and configurations

What do computers do
What Do Computers Do?

  • Input, Process, Output, & Store data




Store Data

What is data
What is Data?

  • The raw material of information

  • Contain facts w/o interpretations

  • The information entered into, and stored within a computer or file

  • Used by applications to accomplish tasks

  • Unprocessed information

  • E.g. text, numbers, images, audio, & video

What is information
What is Information?

  • Contains meaning, knowledge, instruction, communication, & representation of data

  • Result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the person receiving it

  • The output of information systems

Flow of computing
Flow of Computing

  • Data Processing Information

  • Example

Retrieve data

Calculate weekly wage:$25 X 40 hours = $1000

Send information to output device

Pat Brown1001 Jump StreetShoreline, WA 98123$25 per hour40 hours

Principal components of computer
Principal Components of Computer

  • Input devices

  • System units

  • Storage (memory) devices

    • Importance of Saving

  • Output devices

Input devices
Input Devices

  • Keyboard, mouse, scanner, & etc

System units
System Units

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

  • Secondary Storage Devices

Central processing unit cpu
Central Processing Unit (CPU)

  • Main processor of a computer that makes everything work

  • Interprets & carries out the basic instructions

  • Performs all the instruction, logic, & mathematical processing

Storage memory devices
Storage (memory) Devices

  • Two types:

    • Primary & Secondary

  • Primary:

    • Temporary memory for dynamic access by the processor (CPU)

    • RAM (Random Access Memory)

  • Secondary:

    • For large data storage, e.g. hard disk drive

  • RAM is much faster than disk drives for dynamically interacting with the processor

Random access memory ram the primary memory
Random Access Memory (RAM) – the Primary Memory

  • Temporarily stores instructions and data waiting to be processed by the processor

  • Memory units are measured in kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes

  • 1 kilobytes = 1,000 bytes = 1,000 memory locations ≈ 1,000 characters

  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million memory locations

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion memory locations

  • E.g. 512 MB = 512 million characters1 MB can hold approx. 500 pages of text

Secondary memory semi permanent
Secondary Memory (Semi-permanent)

  • Magnetic Disks

    • Hard disks, floppy disks, zip disks

  • Optical Disks

    • CD-ROM, CD-R (Recordable), CD-RW, DVD

  • Flash Memory Cards

    • USB flash drive: Small, lightweight, & large storage capacity

Importance of saving and saving often
Importance of Saving and Saving Often

  • When using an application, data is stored in RAM temporarily

  • When the file, application, or computer closes, the data in the RAM is erased

  • Where do I save the files?

    • At the Lab: Removable disks such as floppy, zip, or USB.

    • At home: Hard drive (C:\) or any removable disk.

  • Never remove a disk while the light flashes

  • Saving on an existing file replaces the old data with new (Save vs. Save As)

Importance of data backup
Importance of Data Backup

  • All secondary storage devices such as floppy and hard drive disks eventually fail, and you lose the data

  • Make backup files weekly, if not daily

  • If you have a computer, use the hard drive or a removable disk as your backup

  • Otherwise, use the second removable disk

Output devices
Output Devices

  • Printers

  • Monitors

  • and more

Personal computers
Personal Computers

  • PC, Mac, and other microcomputers

  • Desktop, Laptop, PDA

  • Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.

  • Increasingly more capable, portable, affordable, and mobile

System software
System Software

  • Manages computer operations

  • Instructs computer how to perform functions of loading, storing, and executing an application software and how to transfer data

  • Examples: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, & etc.

Application software
Application Software

  • Programs that tell a computer how to perform tasks and produce information

  • Categories:

    • Word processing

    • Spreadsheet

    • Database

    • Presentation graphics

    • Web and Internet access

    • Desktop publishing / image editing / multimedia editing

The internet and www
The Internet and WWW

  • The Internet is the world’s largest network

  • Uses:

    • Send messages (e-mail)

    • Access a wealth of information

    • Electronic commerce

    • Online meeting

    • Access entertainment and multimedia

  • WWW (World Wide Web)

    • The more popular component of the Internet

    • Web page: A document containing text, hyperlinks, images, & other multimedia contents

    • Web site: A collection of Web pages

Communications devices
Communications Devices

  • Modem

  • Network card

  • Router

  • Wireless modem, network card, & router