Basic Computer Concepts


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What is a computer? :

What is a computer? An electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory unit, that can accept data ( input ), manipulate the data according to specified rules ( process ), produce information ( output ) from the processing, and store the results for future use.

What does a computer do?:

What does a computer do? Input Process Output Storage Processor Control Unit/Arithmetic Logic Unit Memory Storage Devices Input Devices Output Devices Information Processing Cycle

Input Devices:

Input Devices Any hardware component that allows you to enter data, programs, commands, and user responses into a computer Input Device Examples Keyboard Mouse

Output Devices:

Output Devices Output devices make the information resulting from processing available for use Output Device Examples Printers Impact Nonimpact Photo Display Devices CRT LCD

Storage Devices:

Storage Devices Removable Floppy disk, or diskette Compact Disc CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM DVDs – DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM Zip disk Flash disk/USB drive Tape Non-Removable Hard disk

System Unit:

System Unit The motherboard , or system board , is the main circuit board of the system unit The processor , also called the central processing unit (CPU), interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer The control unit interprets the instructions The arithmetic/logic unit (ALU) performs the logical and arithmetic processes Memory , also called random access memory , or RAM , consists of electronic components that store data, instructions, and information, as needed by the processor

Communications Devices:

Communications Devices A communications 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 Communications occur over transmission media, such as telephone lines, cables, cellular radio networks, and satellites

Types of Computers:

Types of Computers Supercomputers and Mainframes Microcomputers Desktops Laptops (Notebooks) Handhelds


COMPUTER SOFTWARE System software consists of programs to control the operations of computer equipment Instructions in the operating system tell the computer how to perform the functions of loading, storing, and executing an application program and how to transfer data When a computer is turned on, the operating system is loaded into the computer’s memory from auxiliary storage, a process called booting Most computers use an operating system that has a graphical user interface (GUI)

Operating System Tasks:

Operating System Tasks Operations Management Load, store and execute programs Transfer data File Management Files Folder System Maintenance Defragment/Check Disk Virus Check System Monitoring

Application Software:

Application Software Word Processing Spreadsheet Presentation Graphics Database Contact Management Utility Software – anti-virus, data backup, and file compression

Computer Hardware & Software:

Computer Hardware & Software Hardware Operating System Software Applications


NETWORKS A network is a collection of computers and devices connected together so users can share data and resources A local area network (LAN) connects computers in a limited geographic area A wide area network (WAN) covers a large geographical area

Networks and the Internet:

Networks and the Internet The world’s largest network is the Internet Most users connect to the Internet in one of two ways: Internet service provider Online service provider

The World Wide Web:

The World Wide Web One of the more popular segments of the Internet is the World Wide Web , also called the Web. A Web page is a document that contains text, graphics, sound, and/or video and has built-in connections, or hyperlinks to other Web documents A Web site is a related collection of Web pages You access and view Web pages using a software program called a Web browser A Web page has a unique address, called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) A hyperlink is a virtual connection to another place on the Web

More Internet Terms:

More Internet Terms Cookies – a text file created by a Web server and your Web browser, that sits on your hard drive Search engine – a Web site containing a database of web pages and their content Electronic commerce – conducting business online, such as shopping or investing. Portal -- a launching point for browsing online; one of the most well-known is Yahoo!, where you can search the Web, shop, chat, check e-mail, build a Web site, and view news articles.

Web Browsers:

Web Browsers Internet Explorer – built into Windows Netscape – the oldest browser; an all-round communications package for the Internet; free at Opera – free version available at

Uniform Resource Locator (URL):

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) Protocol Domain Site


COMMON APPLICATIONS E-mail--Send messages to other connected users Shop for goods and services Meet and converse with people around the world Instant Messaging, such as ICQ, Windows (MSN) Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger Web browser plug-ins, such as Macromedia Flash and Shockwave Access sources of entertainment and leisure, such as online games, magazines, and vacation planning guides Access information such as news, maps, airline schedules, and stock market data

Electronic Commerce:

Electronic Commerce When you conduct business activities online, you are participating in electronic commerce , also known as e-commerce Business to consumer (B2C) involves the sale of goods to the general public Consumer to consumer (C2C) involves one consumer selling directly to another Business to business (B2B) provides goods and services to other businesses



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