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Chapter 1 - Introduction to Computers

I. CHAPTER OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize the importance of computer literacy 2. Define the term computer and identify the components of a computer 3. Explain why a computer is a powerful tool 4. Recognize the purpose of a network 5. Discuss the uses of the Internet and the World Wide Web 6. Recognize the difference between installing and running a program 7. Identify the various types of software 8. Describe the categories of computers 9. Determine how the elements of an information system interact 10. Identify the types of computer users 11. Discuss the various computer applications in society II. A World of Computes 1. What does computer literacy mean? 1) Computer literacy entails having knowledge and understanding of computers and their uses. 2) Computer literacy means you can also use a computer. This is implied in the definition above! 2. Objective 1 Recognize the importance of computer literacy It is important for everyone to be computer literate because: 1) Computers are everywhere: at home, at work, and at school. 2) Many daily activities either involve the use of or depend on information from a computer. 3) Computers are a primary means of communication. They allow users to send and access information around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Computers allow users to communicate with other users or computers. 4) Computers allow users to manage schedules, balance a checkbook, pay bills, track personal income and expenses, transfer funds, and buy or sell stocks. 5) Computers allow us to create correspondence, memos, and letters; buy groceries, make a long distance call, or use an ATM. 5) Computers can be used for educational purposes and entertainment. 6) Many believe that computer literacy is vital to success! III. WHAT IS A COMPUTER AND ITS COMPONENTS? 1. Objective 2a - Define the term computer and identify its components. 1) A computer is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input), manipulate (process) the data according to specified rules, produce results (output), and store the results for future use (storage). 2) A computer processes data into information. a) What is data? Data is a collection of unprocessed items, which can include text, numbers, images, audio, and video.

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Page 2 of 9 b) What is information? Information is data that is organized, meaningful, and useful. 3) What is the Information Processing Cycle? The information processing cycle is a series of input, process, output, and storage activities. Since most computers today have the capability of communicating with other computers, communications has become an important element of this cycle. WHAT ARE THE COMMON HARDWARE COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER? What is the difference between computer hardware and software? a) Computer hardware refers to the many electric, electronic, and mechanical components that make up a computer. b) Software is the programs or series of instructions that tell the hardware how to perform tasks. Objective 2b - Identify the components of a computer 1) Input devices 2) Output devices 3) The System Unit a) Keyboard a) Printer a) Chassis or box-like case b) Mouse b) Monitor b) Circuitry c) Microphone c) Speaker c) Motherboard d) Scanner 1) CPU/processor chip e) Digital Camera 2) Memory chips f) PC camera g) Card reader 4) Storage Devices 5) Communication Device a) Floppy disk drive a) Modems b) Hard disk drive c) Zip drive 6) Peripheral Devices d) CD-ROM drive An external device that attaches to the e) CD-RW drive system unit. f) DVD-ROM drive Input Devices 1) An input device is any hardware component that allows you to enter data and instructions into a computer. 2) Six common input devices are: the keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner, digital camera, and the PC camera. Output Devices 1) An output device is any hardware component that can convey information to a user. 2) Common output devices are: a printer, monitor, and speakers. The System Unit 1) The system unit is a box-like case that contains electronic components of the computer that are used to process data. 2) The system unit circuitry is part of or is connected to a circuit board called the motherboard. 3) Two main components of the motherboard are the processor (or CPU) and memory. a) The processor (or CPU, central processing unit) is the electronic component that interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate the computer. b) Memory consists of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed and data needed by those instructions.



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Page 3 of 9 4. Storage Devices 1) Storage devices hold data, instructions, and information for future use. 2) A computer keeps data, instructions, and information on storage meda. 3) Common storage media devices include: a floppy disk, a hard disk, Zip disks, CDs, DVDs, and memory cards. 4) A storage device records (writes) and/or retrieves (reads) items to and from storage media. 5. Communication Devices 1) A communication 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. 2) A widely used communication device is the modem. IV. WHY IS A COMPUTER SO POWERFUL? 1. Objective 3 - Explain why a computer is a powerful tool 1) A computer is so powerful because they can perform the information processing cycle with amazing speed, reliability, consistency, and accuracy. 2) Computers can also store huge amounts of data and information for processing. 3) The computer's speed allows billions of operations to be carried out in a single second. 4) The computer is so reliable and dependable because of its low failure rate. The high reliability of the components enables the computer to produce consistent results. 5) Computers process large amounts of data and generate error-free results, provided the data is input correctly and the instructions work properly. The accuracy of a computer depends on the accuracy of the input -- thus the phrase GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). 6) Storage allows enormous amounts of data to be made available for processing any time it is needed. 7) Communications allow computers to share data, instructions, and information. V. NETWORKS and THE INTERNET 1. A network is a collection of computers and devices connected together via communications devices and transmission media. 2. Objective 4 Recognize the purpose of a network a. The purpose of a network is it allows computers to share resources, such as hardware, software, data, and information. b. A secondary purpose of a network is to save time and money. Networks allow for the sharing of hardware devices, such as a printer. So when many users share one printer companies are saving money! c. When computers connect to a network, they are online. d. In a network, one or more computers act as a server. The server controls access to the resources on the network. e. Computers connected to the network that request resources from the server are called clients or workstations. f. Many homes, schools, businesses network together so they can share resources. This could be a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).

Page 4 of 9 1. A local area network (LAN) connects computers in a limited geographic area, such as a school computer laboratory, office, or group of buildings. 2. A wide area network (WAN) is a network that covers a large geographical area, such as one that connects the district offices across the country. 3. What is the Internet? a. The Internet is the worlds largest network. Specifically, the Internet is a worldwide collection of networks that connects millions of businesses, governmental agencies, educational institutions, and individuals. b. Objective 5 - Discuss the uses of the Internet and the World Wide Web The Internet is used daily for the following purposes: 1) For communication with and to meet other people 2) For accessing information, news, and research finding 3) For shopping for goods and services 4) For banking and investment services 5) For taking a class 6) For entertainment 7) and to access the WWW (World Wide Web). c. What is the World Wide Web? 1. You can think of the Web, short for World Wide Web, as one of the more popular services on the Internet. Think of the Web as a global library of information. 2. The World Wide Web contains billions of documents called Web pages that contain text, graphics, audio, video, and built-in links to other Web pages. 2. A Web site is a collection of related Web pages. 3. To access the WWW you must have a Web browser - a program that allows you to access and view web pages. Two of the most popular are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. VI. COMPUTER SOFTWARE 1. Computer software, also called a computer program, is a series of instructions that tells the computer what to do and how to do it. 2. When you purchase computer software you must install and run the program. 3. Objective 6 Recognize the difference between installing and running a program a. Installing is the process of setting up the software to work with the computer, printer, and other hardware components. Normally your are given instructions with the software on how to install the program(s). b. Once the software is installed, you can use, or run, the program. When you run the program (software), it is loaded into memory from a storage device (normally disk), and then once it is in memory the computer can carry out, or execute, the instructions in a program. 4. Software is the key to productive use of computers. 5. Objective 7 - Identify the types of software a) There are two categories of software: 1) System Software

Page 5 of 9 2) Application Software b) System Software 1) System Software consists of the programs that control or maintain the operations of the computer or its devices. 2) System Software serves as the interface between the user, the application software, and the computer's hardware. 3) There are two types of system software: operating systems and utility programs. a. An operating system is a set of programs that coordinates all the activities among computer hardware devices. b. A utility program allows a user to perform maintenance-type tasks usually related to managing a computer, its devices, or its programs. c) Application Software 1) Application software consists of programs that perform specific tasks for users. 2) Popular application software includes a web browser, a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, database software, and presentation graphics software. d) A computer programmer is someone who develops application or system software. VII. CATEGORIES OF COMPUTERS 1. Objective 8 - Describe the categories of computers a. The five major categories of computes are personal computers, mobile computers and mobile devices, mid-range servers, mainframes, and supercomputers. b. Category 1 - A Personal Computer 1) A personal computer is a computer that can perform all of its input, processing, output, and storage activities by itself. 2) A personal computer contains a processor, memory, and one or more input, output, and storage devices. 3) Two popular types of personal computers are the PC and the Apple computer 4) The desktop and notebook computer are personal computers 5) A personal computer normally fits on a desk or on your lap. (Physical size) 6) A personal computer normally has one user and can be networked 7) A personal computer costs several thousand dollars or less. c. Category 2 Mobile computers and Mobile devices 1) A mobile computer is a personal computer that you can carry from place to place. A mobile device is a computing device small enough to hold in your hand. 2) Mobile computers or devices normally cost several thousand dollars or less but normally cost more than a desktop computer. 3) The physical size of mobile computers and devices are small enough to fit on your lap or in your hand. 4) They usually have one user but can be networked. 5) The most popular type of mobile computer is the notebook or laptop computer. 6) The Tablet PC is a special type of notebook computer that allows you to write on the screen using a digital pen or you can tap on the screen. Most run with or without a keyboard. 7) Web-enabled devices allow you to connect to the Internet wirelessly and some are mobile devices.

Page 6 of 9 8) A handheld computer, also a mobile computer, is a computer small enough to fit in one hand while you operate it with another. 9) The PDA (personal digital assistant) is one of the more popular lightweight mobile devices in use today. It can be used as a calendar, appointment book, address book, calculator, and a notepad. d. Category 3 - A mid-range server 1) A mid-range server is more powerful and larger than a workstation computer. 2) Supports several hundred and up to a few thousand connected computers. 3) Were known as minicomputers 4) Normally contained in a small cabinet (physical size) 5) Cost is $5,000 to $850,000. e. Category 4 A Mainframe computer 1) A mainframe is a large, expensive, very powerful computer that can handle hundred or thousands of connected users simultaneously. 2) Mainframes store tremendous amounts of data, instructions, and information 3) IBM is noted for its mainframe computers. 4) Cost ranges from $300,000 to several million dollars. 5) Can occupy a partial room to a full room of equipment f. Category 5 - Supercomputer 1) A supercomputer is the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive computer. 2) It is capable of processing more than 100 trillion instructions in a second 3) Used for applications requiring complex, sophisticated mathematical calculations. 4) Size - takes up an entire room 5) Users - allows hundreds to thousands of connected users 6) Cost - $500,000 to more than $85 million dollars VIII. Objective 9 Determine how the ELEMENTS OF AN INFORMATION SYSTEM interact The five elements hardware, software, data, people, and procedures are referred to as elements of an information system. For an information system to provide accurate, timely, and useful data each element must be present and all of the elements must work together. The hardware must be reliable and capable of handling the expected workload. The software must be carefully developed and tested. The data must be entered correctly for processing to be accurate. Properly trained information systems personnel are required to run most medium and large computer systems. Users are often required to enter the data and verify its accuracy. Users are also the ones using the processed informational reports; often verifying the accuracy of the reports. Finally, all information processing applications should have documented procedures covering not only the computer operations but other related procedures as well. IX. EXAMPLES OF COMPUTER USAGE Objective 10 - Identify the types of computer users 1. What are the 5 categories of computer usage? 1) Home User 2) Small office / Home office (SOHO) 3) Mobile User

Page 7 of 9 4) Large Business 5) Power User Home User 1) A home user is a family member who uses the computer for a variety or reasons, such as budgeting and personal finance, home/business management, entertainment, personal and business communication, Web access, and entertainment. 2) What hardware meets a home users needs? - Desktop computer - PDA 3) What software is used by a home user? - Business (e.g., word processing) - Personal information manager - Personal finance, online banking, tax preparation - Web browser - E-mail, instant messaging, and chat rooms - Reference (encyclopedias, medical dictionaries, road atlas) - Entertainment (games, music composition, greeting cards) - Educational (foreign language tutorials, children's math and reading software) Small Office / Home Office User (SOHO) 1) A small office/home office user includes any company with less than 50 employees, as well as self-employed people who work from home. 2) What hardware meets a SOHO users needs? - Desktop computer - PDA - Shared network printer 3) What software is used by a SOHO user? - Business (e.g., word processing, spreadsheet, database) - Personal information manager - Company specific software - Network management - Web browser - E-mail Mobile User 1) Mobile users are employees and students who work on a computer while away from the office or school. Examples of mobile users are sales representatives, marketing managers, real estate agents, insurance agents, meter readers, package delivery people, journalists, consultants, and students. 2) Mobile users are usually equipped with a notebook computer with a modem, a video projector, a Web-enabled PDA, or a smart phone (A smart phone is a Web-enabled telephone that offers the convenience of one-handed operation and to send and receive e-mail and access the Internet). 3) Mobile users use the basic business software that allows for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics. They also use a personal information manager, a Web browser, and e-mail software. Large Business User





Page 8 of 9 1) Large business users are employed by a business having hundreds or thousands of employees in offices across the country or around the world. 2) The hardware/network needs of a large business include a mid-range server or mainframe. Most employees may also have a desktop or notebook computer and/or a PDA. The business normally has a kiosk, a network, and Internet connections. 3) The software used by a large business user may include: desktop publishing software; multimedia authoring software; computer-aided design software; photo, audio, and video editing software; a personal information manager; Web browsing software; and E-mail capability. 4) Many users telecommute in a large business. Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees work away from a company's standard workplace and communicate with the office through the computer. 6. Power User 1) A power user requires the capabilities of a workstation or other powerful computer with multimedia capabilities. A power user may also have a PDA. 2) Examples of power users include engineers, scientists, architects, desktop publishers, and graphic artists. 3) Typically power users work with multimedia, in which they combine text, graphics, sound (audio) and video into one application. 4) Most have the following software packages: desktop publishing; multimedia authoring; photo, audio, and video editing; communications and Web browser; computer-aided design; and e-mail. XI. COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN SOCIETY Objective 11 Discuss various computer applications in society You may interact directly with computers in the following fields: education, finance, government, health care, science, publishing, travel, and industry. In education, students will normally use application software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, or PowerPoint to assist with learning or completing their assignment. They may also take a class on the Web that requires the use of a Web browser. Some students may even take a distance learning class that requires the use of a computer and additional software applications. In the field of finance, people use their computers for on-line banking, for buying, selling, or trading shares of stock; or may use Microsoft Money or Intuits Quicken to pay bills and manage their finances. People can also use tax application software to help them prepare their tax returns and quickly electronically mail them to the IRS. You book also mentions you can check your account balances with your banks and others you owe or have money with. In the field of government, you have access to most government offices over the Internet and can access many governmental Web sites. With many of these web sites you can apply for permits, buy stamps, report crimes, apply for financial aid, and renew vehicle registrations or drivers licenses.

Page 9 of 9 In health care, computers are used to maintain patient records, assist doctors with medical tests and research, file insurance claims, and provide greater precision during operations.