02_Computer_Concepts(1).docx - 1 PC Basics 2012...

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1 Metropolitan Community College PC Basics 2012
2 Table of Contents The Essentials Hardware and Software Overview ........................................................................................................................ 3 Computer Overview .............................................................................................................................................. 5 Input Devices - Mice, Keyboards, and Touchpads ................................................................................................ 6 Output Devices - Monitors, Webcams, and Speakers ........................................................................................... 7 Printer Basics ........................................................................................................................................................ 8 Storage - Portable Storage Devices ...................................................................................................................... 9 Memory/Storage Measurement ........................................................................................................................... 10 Types of Computers ............................................................................................................................................ 11 Inside of the Computer ........................................................................................................................................ 12 Computer Ports ................................................................................................................................................... 13 Computer Performance ....................................................................................................................................... 15 What is the Cloud? .............................................................................................................................................. 16 Buying a Computer ............................................................................................................................................. 17 Metropolitan Community College
3 Hardware and Software Overview Your desk probably contains a jumble of equipment commonly known as a computer. But what is all that stuff? What does a computer do? Unlike many other tools or appliances that have limited purposes, a computer can do any number of things: Write letters Browse the Internet Send e-mail messages to people around the world Play games Help you balance your budget …and that’s just the beginning of what you can do with a computer! Two basic components make up a computer: hardware and software . You simply can’t have one without the other. Hardware All computer parts that you can physically see or touch are called hardware . Hardware includes the computer’s monitor, case, keyboard, mouse, and printer. Computer programs that tell hardware how to operate are called software . Software is divided into two major categories: Operating system An operating system is a software program that loads automatically and controls just about everything on your computer. There are a number of operating systems out there, including MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Linux. Application software An application program helps you accomplish a certain task, such as writing a letter, browsing the Internet, or playing a game. Examples include word-processing programs, spreadsheets, databases, and games. You may have used software such as Microsoft Excel or Corel WordPerfect in the past. So breathe a giant sigh of relief—you don’t have to know how to program a computer to use one. A computer programmer has already done the work for you by writing the program (software). All you have to do is tell the software what you’re trying to do, and the software then directs the work of the hardware. The image on the right shows an example of a typical computer setup and its components, but don’t worry if your setup is different. More than likely, you have all the parts that you need, and those parts are properly connected. In any case, the table on the following page provides more details about each individual component. IT, short for Information Technology , is the broad subject related to computers and managing and processing information, especially within large organizations. Many large companies have departments full of computer experts called IT departments.

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