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Sandycove Computer Club

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Presentation on theme: "Sandycove Computer Club"— Presentation transcript:

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Introduction to Computers Computer components Hardware/Software Terminology Programs Operating System/Applications

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Computer Components – Hardware Items you can touch, both inside and outside the main computer (whether desktop, laptop or “all-in-one”). e.g. keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, speakers, tower, screen, hard drive, modem, memory chips, flash drive, external drive, CD/DVD, router, etc.

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1(cont.) Computer Components – Software Operating Systems and Application Programs which are downloaded into your computer in order to make it a useful tool. e.g. Windows-XP, Windows-7, Microsoft Word, M/S Excel, Picasa, programs, genealogy systems, etc.

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Terminology Desktop – The type of PC when you have a ‘box’ (tower) with separate keyboard, mouse and screen. Laptop/Notebook – Like the one I’m using now. Can have separate keyboard, mouse & screen. All-in-one – The newer type of PC with most components incorporated into the screen housing. Usually a ‘touch-screen’ and separate keyboard/mouse.

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Terminology (cont.) Tablet – A computer consisting of a “touch-screen” – i.e. touch-sensitive – plus its electronics. Some telephones – “Smart” phones with internet access, built-in cameras, etc. Netbook – A smaller, less-expensive laptop with limited functionalities.

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Terminology (cont.) Tower – The box which houses your desktop computer. Hard Drive or Hard Disk – The main storage medium inside your computer where all the software is stored. The hard disk also stores all the documents, pictures, etc. that you have created. Usually your ‘C’-drive’.

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Hard Drive

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Terminology (cont.) Flash Drive or Thumb Drive – The (small) device that you plug into your computer in order to transfer data into or out of your machine. It can also be used as an external storage device. Port (e.g. USB Port) – A port is a gateway into and out of your computer to enable communication with outside media.

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Terminology (cont.) Download – The name given to when you transfer something – e.g. a program, picture, document, etc – on to your PC, usually using the internet, a flash drive or a CD/DVD. Upload – The action of transferring something from your machine for use or delivery elsewhere.

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Terminology (cont.) USB Hub – A means of converting a single USB Port into multiple USB Ports. Can take the form of a small box with multiple USB Ports connected to your PC by a short cable, or else several USB Ports, each with its own cable, again connected to your PC by a short cable. Your PC can handle up to 128 USB Ports.

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Terminology (cont.) External Drive – An additional storage device - usually plugged into a USB port - to enable you to transfer large amounts of data for safe-keeping outside of the actual computer. Can be used for personal materials like pictures, etc., or to serve as a backup for just about anything or everything in your computer.

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Terminology (cont.) CD/DVD Drive – The drawer that pops out of your machine to enable you to access information on disks. In or out. Floppy Drive/Floppy Disk – An out-of-date storage medium that was a predecessor to the Flash Drive. (Icon representing the ‘Save’ option in the toolbar of many application programs.)

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Terminology (cont.) Modem – Modulator/Demodulator – A device that translates electrical signals into a format which is usable by your computer. Memory – ‘Memory Chips’. The part of your PC where all the (internal) work is actually done! Instructions are executed here. Memory chips plug-in to your machine. The ‘brains’ of your PC.

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Terminology (cont.)

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Terminology (cont.) RAM – Random Access Memory. This is the computer memory used by you. ROM – Read Only Memory. That part of the memory used only by the computer. This portion of RAM is dynamically allocated by your machine.

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Terminology (cont.) Important Note – Don’t confuse Memory with Storage. Whatever is in the PC’s memory is lost when it’s switched-off. Storage refers to data stored on disks, flash drives, DVDs, CDs, external drives, etc. - all of which are more permanently stored.

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Terminology (cont.) Memory Card – The type of small card used by digital cameras that is capable of recording/storing a large number of pictures. These cards are re-usable so that you can transfer the pictures into your computer and then erase all traces from the memory card. Can also be used simply to store copies of the pictures.

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Terminology (cont.) Motherboard – A (relatively) large board with printed circuits and other complicated electronic elements inside your computer. The “Head Office” of your PC into which all other components are directly or indirectly plugged.

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Terminology (cont.) CPU – Central Processing Unit. If the motherboard is your computer’s Head Office, the CPU is the Chief Executive Officer’s office. It’s the CPU which determines how fast your computer is able to process the information going through it.

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Terminology (cont.) Cards – Each of the major functions of your computer is controlled by a card plugged-in to the motherboard – e.g. sound card, communications card, graphics card, etc.

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Terminology (cont.) Webcam – A small camera either built-in to, or clipped-on to the top of your screen. Desktop – Your main screen that is your starting point when using the computer. Icons – The small pictures on which you click to access programs, games, files, individual functions of a program, etc.

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Terminology (cont.) Scanner – A device which enables you to record an image into your computer. All-in-one Printer – A multi-function add-on to your computer which typically scans, copies and sometimes faxes documents and/or images, as well as printing them.

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Terminology (cont.) Internet – Your doorway to a wealth of knowledge stored electronically all over the world. (www - World Wide Web.) – (Electronic mail) A means of electronically exchanging messages and pictures with family and friends who also have access to facilities.

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Terminology (cont.) Bits & Bytes – A Bit is the smallest unit of storage in a computer and is a binary entity that can only have one of two values – either ‘on’ or ‘off’. A Byte is the smallest addressable unit of storage and consists of eight bits, each of which is either ‘on’ or ‘off’. The combination of ‘ons’ and ‘offs’ determines what that byte contains.

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Terminology (cont.) Multiple Bytes: Kilobyte = 1,000 bytes Megabyte = 1,000 kilobytes (1,000,000) Gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes (1,000,000,000) Terabyte = 1,000 gigabytes (1,000,000,000,000)

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Terminology (cont.) Bits & Bytes (cont.) – A Byte is equal to one letter, number or special character. A printed page consists of approximately 100 kilobytes. A picture is approximately 2-to-5 megabytes. A movie takes up approximately 5 gigabytes.

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Terminology (cont.) Router – A Router is a device which is capable of receiving and sending electrical impulses (instructions) without the use of connected wires. It enables you to print on a printer in a different room to your computer.

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Terminology (cont.) LAN / WAN – Local Area Network or Wide Area Network. It enables you to print on a printer in a different room to your computer. A LAN is used to connect the peripherals in your office. A WAN connects your PC to the outside world.

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Terminology (cont.) Power Supply – This is a little box inside your computer which directs electrical power to the different components inside your PC.

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3. Programs – O/S & Applications Operating System – Software that organizes the use of all hardware and software components of your system to enable them to work together. You may think of the Operating System as the “boss” of all the other software. Virtually all of us use some version of Microsoft Windows as our Operating System.

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3. Programs – O/S & Applications (cont.) Application Systems – Software systems (programs) that are specialized to enable the user to achieve specific objectives like writing letters (M/S Word), creating spreadsheets (M/S Excel), organize pictures (Picasa 3), play games (Spider Solitaire), protect our machines (M/S Security Essentials), etc.

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