PDF | 4 hours read | On Nov 9, , Jeleel Adekunle ADEBISI and others published FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPUTER STUDIES. OF COMPUTER STUDIES. Book · November with , Reads. Cite this You can use it to give the computer commands, name folders and files, and type text in. word p rocessing. Late s: Net books Another recent progression in computing history is the documents over the Internet is now easier than ever with the PDF file format. good general overview book; somewhat broader in scope, and Computers programmable with variety of different languages. Registers and the Register File.
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Here we are providing the whole book in the form of slides according to the units as given in the Computer Fundamentals – by aracer.mobi of the. Components of computer hardware—Input/output unit, central processing This book deals only with the digital computer and uses the term computer for them. At one moment you can use the computer to prepare a letter document and in. This book aims to give students an overview about basic computer science, with the basic concepts to understand the rest of this document.
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Basic Computer course book download Description: Table of contents Introduction to computer science Storage Software and hardware Operating system Microsoft Windows Versions and editions Regional and language settings File system Computer networks Communication Internet connections Computer security Encryption and Passwords Viruses and antivirus Internet navigation Data processing What is a program? What is a file? Other manufacturers quickly followed suit, releasing additional models throughout and Some mobile broadband providers have even offered net books for free with an extended service contract.
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The history of computing spans nearly two centuries at this point, much longer than most people realize. From the mechanical computers of the s to the room-sized mainframes of the midth century, all the way up to the net books and smart phones of today, computers have evolved radically throughout their history.
The real answer is that many inventors contributed to the history of computers and that a computer is a complex piece of machinery made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate invention. This series covers many of the major milestones in computer history but not all of them with a concentration on the history of personal home computers.
Mauchly 20, vacuum tubes later Mauchly able to pick presidential winners. Microsoft begins the friendly Microsoft Windows war with Apple. What is a Computer! A computer is an electronic machine that accepts information, stores it until the information is needed, processes the information according to the instructions provided by the user, and finally returns the results to the user.
The computer can store and manipulate large quantities of data at very high speed, but a computer cannot think.
A computer makes decisions based on simple comparisons such as one number being larger than another. Although the computer can help solve a tremendous variety of problems, it is simply a machine. It cannot solve problems on its own. Computer has the following characteristics: Mainframe Computers 2. Minicomputers 3. Microcomputers 4. Supercomputers Mainframe computers are very large, often filling an entire room.
They can store enormous of information, can perform many tasks at the same time, can communicate with many users at the same time, and are very expensive.
The price of a mainframe computer frequently runs into the millions of dollars. Mainframe computers usually have many terminals connected to them. These terminals look like small computers but they are only devices used to send and receive information from the actual computer using wires.
Terminals can be located in the same room with the mainframe computer, but they can also be in different rooms, buildings, or cities. Large businesses, government agencies, and universities usually use this type of computer. Minicomputers are much smaller than mainframe computers and they are also much less expensive.
The cost of these computers can vary from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. They possess most of the features found on mainframe computers, but on a more limited scale. They can store a tremendous amount of information, but again usually not as much as the mainframe.
Medium and small businesses typically use these computers. Microcomputers are the types of computers we are using in your classes at Floyd College. These computers are usually divided into desktop models and laptop models. They are terribly limited in what they can do when compared to the larger models discussed above because they can only be used by one person at a time, they are much slower than the larger computers, and they cannot store nearly as much information, but they are excellent when used in small businesses, homes, and school classrooms.
These computers are inexpensive and easy to use. They have become an indispensable part of modern life. Computer Architecture Computer architecture refers to the definition of basic attributes of hardware components and their interconnections, in order to achieve certain specified goals in terms of functions and performance. The architecture basically defines the logical structure of a computer system.
Without the CPU, you have no computer. Computer CPU's processors are composed of thin layers of thousands of transistors. Transistors are tiny, nearly microscopic bits of material that will block electricity when the the electricity is only a weak charge, but will allow the electricity pass through when the electricity is strong enough. The transistors transition from being a non-conductor resist the electricity to a conductor they conduct electricity when the electrical change is strong enough.
The material the transistor is made of loses its resistance to electricity and becomes a conductor when the electricity gets strong enough. The ability of these materials called semi-conductors to transition from a non-conducting to a conducting state allows them to take two electrical inputs and produce a different output only when one or both inputs are switched on.
A computer CPU is composed of millions and soon billions of transistors. Because CPU's are so small, they are often referred to as microprocessors. So, the terms processor, microprocessor and CPU are interchangeable. Modern CPU's are what are called 'integrated chips'. Each transistor is a receives a set of inputs and produces output. When one or more of the inputs receive electricity, the combined charge changes the state of the transistor internally and you get a result out the other side.
This simple effect of the transistor is what makes it possible for the computer to count and perform logical operations, all of which we call processing. A modern computer's CPU usually contains an execution core with two or more instruction pipelines, a data and address bus, a dedicated arithmetic logic unit ALU, also called the math co-processor , and in some cases special high-speed memory for caching program instructions from RAM.
Generations CPU manufacturers engineer new ways to do processing that requires some significant re-engineering of the current chip design. When they create this new design that changes the number of bits the chip can handle, or some other major way in which the chip performs its job, they are creating a new generation of processors. As of the time this tutorial was last updated , there were seven generations of chips, with an eighth on the drawing board. CPU Components A lot of components go into building a modern computer processor and just what goes in changes with every generation as engineers and scientists find new, more efficient ways to do old tasks.
A computer can process data, pictures, sound and graphics. They can solve highly complicated problems quickly and accurately. Input Unit: Computers need to receive data and instruction in order to solve any problem. Therefore we need to input the data and instructions into the computers.
The input unit consists of one or more input devices. Keyboard is the one of the most commonly used input device. Other commonly used input devices are the mouse, floppy disk drive, magnetic tape, etc. All the input devices perform the following functions. Storage Unit: The storage unit of the computer holds data and instructions that are entered through the input unit, before they are processed. It preserves the intermediate and final results before these are sent to the output devices.
It also saves the data for the later use. The various storage devices of a computer system are divided into two categories. Primary Storage: Stores and provides very fast. This memory is generally used to hold the program being currently executed in the computer, the data being received from the input unit, the intermediate and final results of the program.
The primary memory is temporary in nature. The data is lost, when the computer is switched off. In order to store the data permanently, the data has to be transferred to the secondary memory.
Therefore most computers have limited primary storage capacity. Secondary Storage: Secondary storage is used like an archive. It stores several programs, documents, data bases etc. The programs that you run on the computer are first transferred to the primary memory before it is actually run.
Whenever the results are saved, again they get stored in the secondary memory. The secondary memory is slower and cheaper than the primary memory. Some of the commonly used secondary memory devices are Hard disk, CD, etc. All digital computers use the binary system, i. Each character or a number is represented by an 8 bit code.
The set of 8 bits is called a byte. A character occupies 1 byte space. A numeric occupies 2 byte space. Byte is the space occupied in the memory. The size of the primary storage in a typical PC usually starts at 16MB. Output Unit: The output unit of a computer provides the information and results of a computation to outside world. Other commonly used output devices are floppy disk drive, hard disk drive, and magnetic tape drive.
Arithmetic Logical Unit: It also does comparison and takes decision. Whenever calculations are required, the control unit transfers the data from storage unit to ALU once the computations are done, the results are transferred to the storage unit by the control unit and then it is send to the output unit for displaying results.
There are 4 types of arithmetic operations that the CPU can perform Addition 2. Subtraction 3. Multiplication 4. This is simply a comparison operation. It can compare numbers, letters, and some special characters.
The CPU will then take action based on the outcome of this operation. This is central to the CPU and allows it to be able to tell you things like Control Unit: It controls all other units in the computer. The control unit instructs the input unit, where to store the data after receiving it from the user. It controls the flow of data and instructions from the storage unit to ALU.
It also controls the flow of results from the ALU to the storage unit. The control unit is generally referred as the central nervous system of the computer that control and synchronizes its working. Central Processing Unit: The CPU is like brain performs the following functions: Related Posts: What are its functions?
The computer will be of no use unless it is able to communicate with the outside world. Input Devices: Output Devices: It consists of a set of keys mounted on a board. The functions assigned to these keys differ from one software package to another. These keys are also user programmable keys. Special-function Keys These keys have special functions assigned to them and can be used only for those specific purposes. Functions of some of the important keys are defined below.
It is used to enter a space at the current cursor location. This key is used to move the cursor one position to the left and also delete the character in that position. It is used to delete the character at the cursor position.
Insert key is used to toggle between insert and overwrite mode during data entry. This key is used to type capital letters when pressed along with an alphabet key. Also used to type the special characters located on the upper-side of a key that has two characters defined on the same key. Caps Lock: Cap Lock is used to toggle between the capital lock features. Tab is used to move the cursor to the next tab position defined in the document. Also,it is used to insert indentation into a document.
Also like the control key, Alt key is always used in combination with other keys to perform specific tasks. This key is usually used to negate a command. Also used to cancel or abort executing programs. Numeric Keypad: This keypad is provided to support quick entry for numeric data.
Cursor Movement Keys: These are arrow keys and are used to move the cursor in the direction indicated by the arrow up, down, left, right. The mouse is a small device used to point to a particular place on the screen and select in order to perform one or more actions.
It can be used to select menu commands, size windows, start programs etc. The most conventional kind of mouse has two buttons on top: Mouse Actions Left Click: Used to select an item. Double Click: Used to start a program or open a file. Right Click: Usually used to display a set of commands. Drag and Drop: It allows you to select and move an item from one location to another. To achieve this place the cursor over an item on the screen, click the left mouse button and while holding the button down move the cursor to where you want to place the item, and then release it.
Joystick is used as an input device primarily used with video games, training simulators and controlling robots d Scanner Scanner is an input device used for direct data entry from the source document into the computer system. It converts the document image into digital form so that it can be fed into the computer. Capturing information like this reduces the possibility of errors typically experienced during large data entry.
Hand-held scanners are commonly seen in big stores to scan codes and price information for each of the items. They are also termed the bar code readers. Bar Code Readers are used to input data from bar codes. Most products in shops have bar codes on them. Bar code readers work by shining a beam of light on the lines that make up the bar code and detecting the amount of light that is reflected back. It is quite like the mouse in its functionality but uses a light pen to move the pointer and select any object on the screen by pointing to the object.
Common examples of touch screen include information kiosks, and bank ATMs. Pictures taken using a digital camera are stored inside its memory and can be transferred to a computer by connecting the camera to it. A digital camera takes pictures by converting the light passing through the lens at the front into a digital image.
To operate it we require using a microphone to talk to the computer. Also we need to add a sound card to the computer. A speech recognition program can process the input and convert it into machine- recognized commands or input. The monitor is associated with a keyboard for manual input of characters and displays the information as it is keyed in.
It also displays the program or application output. Like the television, monitors are also available in different sizes. Its advantages like low energy consumption, smaller and lighter have paved its way for usage in portable computers laptops. Based on the technology used, they can be classified as Impact or Non-impact printers. Impact printers use the typewriting printing mechanism wherein a hammer strikes the paper through a ribbon in order to produce output.
Dot-matrix and Character printers fall under this category. Non-impact printers do not touch the paper while printing. They use chemical, heat or electrical signals to etch the symbols on paper. Inkjet, DeskJet, Laser, Thermal printers fall under this category of printers. When we talk about printers we refer to two basic qualities associated with printers: Print resolution is measured in terms of number of dots per inch dpi.
Print speed is measured in terms of number of characters printed in a unit of time and is represented as characters-per-second cps , lines- per-minute lpm , or pages-per-minute ppm. It interprets computer commands and makes line drawings on paper using multicolored automated pens. It is capable of producing graphs, drawings, charts, maps etc. Sound Cards and Speakers: The Audio output is the ability of the computer to output sound.
Two components are needed: Sound card — Plays contents of digitized recordings, Speakers — Attached to sound card. It gives a detailed listing of the various types of input devices and the output devise.
First Generation Computers: The First Generation Computers was marked by the use of vacuum tubes for the electronic components and by the use of electrostatic tubes or mercury delay lines for storage.
The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, and were often enormous, taking up entire rooms. They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity, generated a lot of heat, which was often the cause of malfunctions. First generation computers relied on machine language to perform operations, and they could only solve one problem at a time.
Input was based on punched cards and paper tape, and output was displayed on printouts. Census Bureau in Their outstanding features were: Quite large, generated lot of heat and required special housing. The medium of internal storage was magnetic drum. Punched cards and paper tapes were used for secondary storage. Continuous maintenance is required; produces lot of heat hence requires special air conditioning. Applications-pay roll and other single applications in large companies.
Uses batch processing technology, to process the data. Jack St. Clair Kilby and Robert Noyce of Texas Instruments manufactured the first integrated circuit, or chip, which is a collection of tiny little transistors. Second Generation Computers: The second generation computers are initially marked by either magnetic drum or magnetic core storage and later by the use of the transistor in the place of vacuum tubes.
Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. The transistor was invented in but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 50s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors.
Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.
Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.
Main features of the second generation computers are: Magnetic core was used as primary storage device and tape as secondary storage. Used transistor circuits, hence the size of the computer was small compared to that of first generation computer. Greater reliability and higher speed, when compared to that of first generation computers. Uses high level procedural languages viz.
They are small, faster and required less power to operate. Payroll, Inventory, Accounts Receivable, in large and medium sized companies: Thomas Kurtz and Dr. John Kemeny. Third Generation Computers The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers. Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the memory.
Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors. The following are the features of this generation: Further reductions in size of computer. Increased internal core memory capacity. Processor speeds are rated in nano seconds. The use of high level languages became common e. Multiprogramming operating system was developed. Magnetic disk was used as secondary storage.
Transistors were replaced with integrated circuits — hence increased miniaturization. Computers were capable of performing both scientific and business tasks with high speed and reliability. Input and Output devices are improved. Order Processing, air line reservation, real-time inventory control etc.
Uses online, real time processing and multiprogramming operating system. The Internet is started. Ted Hoff developed the famous Intel microprocessor G chip. Intel released the first microprocessor, a specialized integrated circuit which was able to process four bits of data at a time. It also included its own arithmetic logic unit.
Fourth Generation Computers: The introduction of micro technology and significant software developments, Micro technology gave rise to the development of micro computers, work processors and intelligent terminals. The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand.
In IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors. As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.
Features of this fourth generation are: Integrated Circuits are replaced with very large scale integrated circuits. Semiconductors used as primary storage. Dramatic decrease in the size of computer — development of micro computers, personal computer.
Development of electronic spread sheet. Development of database management systems. Development of distributed data bases and virtual storage operating system. Increased use of data communications and computer networks. The computers are compact, faster, and cheaper and are more reliable. Corporate modeling, decision support system, electronic funds transfer, electronic spread sheet, word processing and small business applications.
So they did and from the sale, Microsoft was born. Cray developed the Cray-I supercomputer G. Jobs and Wozniak designed and built the first Apple II microcomputer. Apple III was also released. Time magazine chooses the computer instead of a person for its "Machine of the Year. Apple introduced the Macintosh computer, which incorporated a unique graphical interface, making it easy to use. Compaq released the DeskPro computer, the first to use the microprocessor. A nondestructive worm was introduced into the Internet network bringing thousands of computers to a halt.
The Intel became the world's first 1,, transistor microprocessor. The Energy Star program, endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA , encouraged manufacturers to build computer equipment that met power consumption guidelines. When guidelines are met, equipment displays the Energy Star logo.
The same year, Several companies introduced computer systems using the Pentium microprocessor from Intel that contains 3. Artificial Intelligence Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computers in years to come.
The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learn The Fifth Generation Computer Systems project FGCS was an initiative by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, begun in , to create a "fifth generation computer" see history of computing hardware which was supposed to perform much calculation utilizing massive parallelism. It aimed to create an "epoch-making computer" with supercomputer-like performance and usable artificial intelligence capabilities.
The term fifth generation was intended to convey the system as being a leap beyond existing machines. Computers using vacuum tubes were called the first generation; transistors and diodes, the second; ICs, the third; and those using microprocessors, the fourth. Whereas previous computer generations had focused on increasing the number of logic elements in a single CPU, the fifth generation, it was widely believed at the time, would instead turn to massive numbers of CPUs for added performance and self-organization.
Future Computers since By the end of , the computers were used every where, in automobiles, appliances, business information systems, and military hardware. With electronic technology advancing rapidly, the use of computers expected to grow in coming years.
With the increased user requirements, the technology has evolved with outstanding features. Some of the important features of the future computers are: Future Computers use organic chips to process the data. Both the software and hardware costs are decreasing at a high speed, so that the computers can be used by every common man within the reach of common man.
The computers have high speed, and storage capacity. Has the capacity to make decisions. Auto decisions. Uses non procedural software, which is very user friendly.
Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Large Scale Corporate modeling, oil exploration, star wars system and personal robots. Advantage And Disadvantages The main advantages of computerizing the activities of business organization are as follows: Computerization helps in processing the data placed in several data files in no time.
This is possible due to the high speed of computers for processing data and CPU of the computer works at the speed of electricity which is the highest ever attainable speed. The data processed by the computer are highly accurate. The programs written on the system checks and controls data before and during processing. It detects invalid data and ensures high degree of accuracy and reliability of output reports. The modern digital computers can be used for a variety of purposes.
Choice of Configuration: Wide ranges of peripherals are available for many computer systems, which allow business organization to select those which most suit its processing requirements. Storage capacity: Large volumes of data can be conveniently stored, accessed and altered. Management information: They can be used to provide useful information of management for control and decision making.
Data Processing: Computer has lifted the heavy data processing constraint with the manual system and has opened up new avenues for planning, control and data experimentation.
Computers can store volumes of data and can retrieve the desired information quickly. This is very useful in the areas like insurance, bank accounts etc where large number of documents is handled every day.
Computer facilities the establishment of database. Such a database integrates data records and reduces data redundancy. Reduction in paper work: The use of computers for data processing has helped the management of business organizations to cope with increasing problem of paper handling.
The computers have speeded up the process and have eliminated the paper needs through the storage of data in elaborately constructed data bases and files. Reduced cost: Though the initial investment for installing a computer is high, but it substantially reduces the cost of each of its transaction.
Cost reduction occurs due to processing of huge data and record keeping. Facilitates report preparation: Computer facilitates the preparation of various types of reports required by organizational executives for the purpose of decision making and control.
Reduce the space requirements: The use of computer for office activities reduces the requirements of office space which otherwise is required. Reduces the manpower requirement: The number of persons required for performing various organizational activities will be reduced by using a computer system. Increased ability to perform computations: Computers perform computations with a very high speed.
Being a machine, it does not suffer from boredom, tiredness or lack of concentration, even if millions of computations are to be performed by a computer. It performs the calculations with same accuracy and speed. Installing the computer requires a grueling and expensive task of system analysis and design. There is a scarcity of computer professionals to do this. Management tends to treat computer like ordinary equipment Viz. Computer pervades the working of the entire organization and unless managements involve themselves fully during the system development effort and the employees, the customers, the vendors etc.
The initial investment can be very high though this can be mitigated to some extent by the rental and tax concessions. The need to obtain stand by facilities in the event of breakdown of any computerized systems.
Manual systems, though slow, are vastly flexible. If the format of a report, for example has to be changed, it can be readily done by communicating the necessary instruction to the concerned staff whereas in a computerized system, this would have to go through all the stages of systems analysis and design before it is effected System Software And Application Software Software is a set of instructions, programs which enable the computer to perform specified task.
In other words, software is nothing but binary code instructions which control the hardware. In most of the organizations the computer is a valuable resource. Among the resources that a computer has are processing time, storage space, printers, terminals and information. The management of these resources is performed largely by a type of system software called an operating system.
When users interact with the computer the interaction is with system software. System software is a set of programs that manage the resources of a computer system, so that they are used in an optimal fashion, provide routine services such as copying data from one file to another and assist in the development of applications programs.
System software consists of programs that assist the computer in the efficient control, support, development and execution of application programs. Application software on the other hand, performs specific tasks for the computer user.
System software: They can be broadly classified in to three types. System control programs control the execution of programs, manage the storage and processing resources of the computer and perform other management and monitoring functions. Other examples are DBMS and communication monitors. System support programs provide routine service functions to the other computer programs and computer users.
Libraries, utilities, job accounting etc. System development programs assist in the creation of application programs. System programs are developed and sold by both computer companies and specialized software firms. Application Software: It is a program written for, or by, a user to perform a specific job. General purpose application software such as electronic spreadsheet has a wide application. Specific purpose application software, such as payroll and sales analysis is used only for the application for which it is designed.
The system software controls the execution of the application software and provides other support functions such as data storage. What is an operating system? The operating system is a program that acts as an interface between the user and the hardware.
It is a collection of programs that coordinates the operations of computer hardware and software. Functions of an operating system: Starting the Computer: In addition, ROM contains a bootstrap loader program that is used to start a computer. When the computer is turned on, it automatically begins to execute the boot program. This program first runs diagnostic programs to check the status of RAM and of each of the attached system devices.
The boot program then reads in the operating system executive program from the disk. The layout of the memory at this stage is shown in figure. Running application programs: To run an application programs such as word processing program, the user types the name of the program after getting the Dos prompt on the screen.
When the application program is in RAM, the operating system executive program gives control of the computer system to the applications programs. The computer then executes the application program. When the application program is running the operating system manages the allocation of memory.
When a user requests that a program be run, the operating system allocates the memory required for the program instructions and for data. Running utility programs: An operating system includes utility programs that give the user control over various features of the computer system. The utility programs are either resident or transient. Disk Copy A: Managing files: Information on the disk is organized into files. A file is collection of Bytes.
What are assembly languages? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Assembly Languages are structurally similar to machine language and the programmer uses symbolic names than numerical representation of operations.
This reduces coding time and the amount of information the programmer has to remember. They use assembler to convert the program in to machine language object program.
Assembly languages are also known as symbolic languages as they use symbols to represent the arithmetic and logical operations. Instead of using machine code operation numbers, the programmer can use mnemonics and symbolic operands which are very easy to learn and remember. They are not portable. There are many low level languages. They are machine dependant. For example IBM — Assembly language. ICL — System 4 user code.
Honey well — Easy coder. What is Hardware Hardware is best described as a device that is physically connected to your computer or something that can be physically touched. A perfect example of hardware is a computer monitor, which is an output device that lets you see what you're doing on the computer. Without any hardware, your computer would not exist, and software would not be able to run. In the image to the right, are a webcam and an example of an external hardware peripheral that allows users to make videos or pictures and transmit them over the Internet.
What are hardware upgrades? A hardware upgrade is any new hardware that replaces or adds to old hardware in the computer. A good example of a common hardware upgrade is a RAM upgrade, where the user is increasing the computers total memory, which will increase its overall speed and efficiency. Another good example is doing a video card upgrade, which is the act of removing the old video card and replacing it with a new video card that is much more capable than the previously installed video card, again increasing the capabilities of the computer.
Your PC Personal Computer is a system, consisting of many components. Some of those components, like Windows XP, and all your other programs, are software. The stuff you can actually see and touch, and would likely break if you threw it out a fifth-story window, is hardware. Not everybody has exactly the same hardware.
But those of you who have a desktop system, like the example shown in Figure 1, probably have most of the components shown in that same figure. Those of you with notebook computers probably have most of the same components. Only in your case the components are all integrated into a single book-sized portable unit. Figure 1 The system unit is the actual computer; everything else is called a peripheral device.
Your computer's system unit probably has at least one floppy disk drive, and one CD or DVD drive, into which you can insert floppy disks and CDs. There's another disk drive, called the hard disk inside the system unit, as shown in Figure 2. You can't remove that disk, or even see it. But it's there. And everything that's currently "in your computer" is actually stored on that hard disk. We know this because there is no place else inside the computer where you can store information!
Your computer's hard disk can store as much information as tens of thousands of floppy disks, so don't worry about running out of space on your hard disk any time soon. As a rule, you want to store everything you create or download on your hard disk. Use the floppy disks and CDs to send copies of files through the mail, or to make backup copies of important items. During the average session sitting at the computer, you'll probably use only a small amount of all that's available.
The stuff you're working with at any given moment is stored in random access memory often abbreviated RAM, and often called simply "memory". Much faster than any disk. For you, "fast" translates to less time waiting and more time being productive. So if RAM is so fast, why not put everything in it? Why has a hard disk at all? The answer to that lies in the fact that RAM is volatile. As soon as the computer is shut off, whether intentionally or by an accidental power outage, everything in RAM disappears, just as quickly as a light bulb goes out when the plug is pulled.
So you don't want to rely on RAM to hold everything. A disk, on the other hand, holds its information whether the power is on or off. The Hard Disk All of the information that's "in your computer", so to speak, is stored on your computer's hard disk.
You never see that actual hard disk because it's sealed inside a special housing and needs to stay that way. Unlike RAM, which is volatile, the hard disk can hold information forever -- with or without electricity. Most modern hard disks have tens of billions of bytes of storage space on them. Which, in English, means that you can create, save, and download files for months or years without using up all the storage space it provides?
In fact, if that message appears, it won't until you're down to about MB of free space. And MB of empty space is equal to about blank floppy disks.
That's still plenty of room! The Mouse Obviously you know how to use your mouse, since you must have used it to get here. But let's take a look at the facts and buzzwords anyway. Your mouse probably has at least two buttons on it. The button on the left is called the primary mouse button, the button on the right is called the secondary mouse button or just the right mouse button.
I'll just refer to them as the left and right mouse buttons. Software is the general term for information that's recorded onto some kind of medium. For example, when you go to the video store and rent or download a tape or DVD, what you're really getting is the software that's stored on that tape or disk.
Your computer is a hardware device that reads software too. Most of the software on your computer comes in the form of programs.
A program consists of "instructions" that tell the computer what to do, how to behave. Just as there are thousands of albums you can download on CD for your stereo, and thousands of movies you can download to play on your VCR or DVD player, there are thousands of programs that you can download to run on your computer.
You usually get some programs. For example, when you download a computer it will probably have an operating system like Windows XP already installed on it. If you do download a specific program, it would be to perform some specific task. For example, you might use a graphics program to touch up photos, or you might use a word processing program to write text.
You're using your Web browser program right now to read this text assuming you're not reading a printed copy on paper. Just as there are umpteen different brands of toothpaste, there are umpteen different brands of word processing programs, graphics programs, and Web browsers.
For example, all graphics programs are designed to help you work with pictures. When you download a program, you get the program stored on a CD as in the example shown at left. You may not have seen any boxes containing software when you bought your computer.
That's because the software that came with your computer has been pre-installed onto your computer's hard disk for you. You don't need to use the CD to run a program that's already installed on your computer. You only need to keep the CDs as backups, in case something goes wrong with your hard disk and you need to re-install the programs. What Programs Do I Have?
Perhaps you're wondering what programs are installed on your computer. Usually when you download a computer, they tell you what programs you're getting with it. So if you were to go back to the original ad from which you bought your computer, you'd probably find the names of programs you already have listed there. Though there's no need to do that, because every program that's currently installed on your computer is listed in your All Programs menu assuming you're using Windows XP.
When you first open the Start menu, the left column lists programs you've used the most recently Figure a1. If your computer is brand new, then the programs listed there will just be some examples. Not by a long shot. The All Programs option on the Start menu provides access to all your installed programs. When you first click on or just point to the All Programs option, the All Programs menu that appears Figure a2 will show icons and name of program groups, as well as some programs.
Figure a2 It's easy to tell the difference between a program and a program group. When you click on, or point to, a program group, icons and names of programs within that group appear on a submenu.
The submenu will contain programs within that group, and perhaps some more program groups. The submenu that opens contains more program groups, and specific programs you can run.
Figure a3 Your Start menu won't look exactly like the one shown in the figures, because different computers have different programs installed. Just like different people who own CD players own different CDs. Running Programs When you click on the icon for a program, the program opens. Which means the program appears on the screen, so you can use it. Each program will appear in its own program window on the Windows desktop. For example, in Figure a4 the photograph in the background is the Windows desktop.
Floating about on top of that desktop are four different program, each in its own separate program window. Figure a4 Elements of Program Windows While not two programs are exactly alike, most program windows contain certain similar elements.
Stretched across the top of the program window is the title bar, which usually shows the name of the program that's inside the program window. Beneath the title bar is the menu bar, which gives you access to the tools and capabilities of that specific program. The toolbar provides quick one-click access to frequently-used commands in the menu bar.
The status bar at the bottom of a program provides general information. Figure a5 shows, in animated form, the title bar, menu bar, toolbar, and status bar of several different sample programs. Figure a5 Software is often divided into two categories: Includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. Includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software.
An Operating System is a set of programs that help in controlling and managing the Hardware and the Software resources of a computer system. A good operating system should have the following features; 1.
Help in the loading of programs and data from external sources into the internal memory before they are executed. The main functions of DOS are to manage disk files, allocate system resources according to the requirement. Basically, DOS is the medium through which the user and external devices attached to the system communicate with the system.
DOS translate the command issued by the user in the format that is understandable by the computer and instruct computer to work accordingly. It also translates the result and any error message in the format for the user to understand.
DOS recognize two wildcard characters: CD Displays the name of or changes the current directory.