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ICAICT101A Operate a Personal Computer
A computer is an electronic device that allows you to process and store data (information)… 2
Data is entered into the computer by using a variety of input devices : keyboard, scanner, mouse Once entered, the data can then be processed eg to produce a report The information can then be made available on a variety of output devices : computer screen, printer Data can also be stored saved for future use
Hardware refers to the physical components of the computer – the things you can actually touch Keyboard Monitor (screen) Mouse Speakers Printer 4
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a chip or the “brain” of the computer and directs activities on the computer. Its job is to receive and carry out instructions millions of times every second. 5
A peripheral device is a device that is attached to the computer by port or wireless. It usually performs some input or output task, eg printer, scanner, speakers, internal/external DVD or hard drive. 6
Peripheral devices are attached to the computer via ports located at the back or front of the computer, or by wireless technology. The most common type of physical port used today is a USB port. 7
Computer devices are classed as either input, output or sometimes even both I/O (input/output). Input devices get data into the computer, eg mouse, keyboard, scanner. Output devices get data out of the computer, eg monitor, printer, speakers. Devices such as USB drives, DVD burners are both input and output. 8
Software refers to the instructions or programs that make the computer work. You can’t actually touch the software. Software tells the computer what to do. 9
Operating (system) Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP Linux Application (program) Microsoft Office: Word Excel Outlook PowerPoint Accounting, eg MYOB Games 10
If the computer is turned off or if there is a power failure, all the data that is stored in Random Access Memory (RAM) is lost! If you want to keep data to use again later you must save it. You can save it to a permanent storage device such as the hard disk (C:) a USB, a DVD/CD or an external hard drive. 11
Computers come with a built-in DVD burner and hard disk drive. These storage devices allow you to save data as a file for future use. The hard disk is a fixed disk installed inside the computer. Most hard disks store between 250gb and 4tb. DVD and CD drives store data digitally and can hold as much as 17gb. 12
USB / flash drives are small, portable devices that are good for storing data or transferring data between different computers. They plug into a USB port and range in capacity from 1gb to 64gb. External hard drives plug into a USB port and are good for keeping backup copies of data. The range in capacity from 500gb to 16tb. 13
Storage capacity is measured in bytes. 1 byte equals approximately 1 typed character. Kilobyte (kb) approximately 1024 bytes Megabyte (mb) approximately 1 million bytes Gigabyte (gb) approximately 1,000 million bytes Terabyte (tb) approximately 1 trillion bytes (1,000 gb) 14
A computer file is an electronic document. When a file is saved it needs to be correctly named. Every file name ends with a dot(.) followed by an extension of 3 or 4 letters. Windows operating system automatically puts the correct extension on a file for you. You must never use a dot (.) in a filename. A file saved in MS Word will have an extension of.docx, Excel.xlsx, PowerPoint.pptx. A picture file is likely to have an extension of.jpg. 15
After a while you will become familiar with the various file extensions and recognise what program a file was created in. Files also have different icons to help identify the program they were created in: Filenames can include upper and lower case characters and/or numbers, but cannot include most symbols, eg / \ : * ? “ ” 16
System files are used by the computer and should never be renamed, deleted or altered. Some system file extensions include:.com.exe.bat.sys.dll.cfg 17
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