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Study Guide

Chapter 1-6
Computers in History
• The history of computers is often referred to in terms of generations
Each new generation is characterized by a major technological development

Generation of Computers Technology Examples


First Generation of Computers Vacuum Tubes COLOSSUS
ENIAC
UNIVAC
Second Generation of Computers Transistors IBM 1401
Third Generation of Computers Integrated Circuits DEC Minicomputer
Fourth Generation of Computers Microprocessors Personal Computers
Fifth Generation of Computers Artificial Intelligence IBM Watson
Types of Computers
• For Desktop Computers, the CPU, also referred to as the “brain” of the
computer is in the System Unit.
• Computers with a tower unit, are referred to as Desktop computers.
• A Laptop can be as powerful as a desktop computer.
• A Smartphone has phone capabilities and includes the same features as other
mobile devices.
• A Tablet is a small flat computer that can be used as a writing or drawing pad.
• A mainframe computer is a powerful computer used in many
large organizations that need to manage large amounts of centralized data.
• Smart appliances are traditional appliances with some type of built-in
computer or communications technology.
The World Wide Web
• A Web browser is a software used to display Web pages
• A Microbrowser is used to access Web pages on your mobile
computing device, and is specially designed for small screens
• A Cookie (or web cookie) is a small text file that a Web page stores on
your computer to identify you
• The term History refers to the list of Web pages your browser maintains
of your Web visits during specified periods of time
• Private Browsing is a mode for surfing the Web without leaving history,
temporary Internet files, or cookies
• Pharming consists of hacking a server to re-route traffic to a fake Web
site to obtain your personal information
Digital Representation – Bits and
Bytes
• Digital Representation is the process of representing data in a digital
form understood by computers
• The language that computers understand is the Binary Language
• The binary numbering system uses only two symbols:
• the digits 0 and 1 to represent all possible numbers.
• A bit is the smallest unit of data that a binary computer can read
• Eight (8) bits grouped together are collectively referred to as a Byte
Files
• File: A named collection of data on a storage medium such as a hard disk or USB flash
drive
• File extension: Part of a file name that usually reflects the file format
• Executable file: Type of file containing instructions that tell your computer how to
perform specific tasks
• Native file: The file format that an application can always open
• File size: A property indicating how much data a file contains
• File sizes depend on file formats. For instance, the types of files below are sorted based on their
file size in descending order (largest to smallest)
• A full length movie
• A 5-minute video file
• A 5-minute audio file
• A word-processing document of 500 words and with an illustration
• A word-processing document of 500 words and no illustration
Memory Lab
• Random access memory (RAM) is the computer’s main memory or
system memory
• uses to store data on a temporary basis
• Stores essential parts of operating system, programs, and data the
computer is currently using
• Volatile (content is erased when the device is shut off). For instance:
• RAM
• DRAM(Dynamic RAM)
• Measured in bytes (amount dependent on CPU and operating system)
Memory
• Volatile means content is erased when the device is shut off.
• Examples of volatile type of memory:
• RAM (Random Access Memory)
• DRAM(Dynamic RAM)
• Example of non Volatile type of Memory include:
• ROM (Read Only memory)
• EEPROM
• Flash memory
• BIOS
Central Processing Unit
• The CPU, called a microprocessor when talking about personal computers, does
the processing for a computer
• Multi-core CPUs such as Dual-core CPUs or Quad-core CPUs allow computers
to work on more than one task at a time
• The number of cores help determine the processor’s performance
• A CPU benchmark is a series of tests designed to measure the performance of a CPU.
• Cache memory is a special group of very fast memory accessible by CPU and
used to speed up processing by storing the data and instructions
• A bus is an electronic path over which data can travel. There are buses inside
the CPU, as well as on the motherboard. A bus width is determined in bits
Storage
• Storage devices are used to store data on or access data from storage
media, such as DVD discs and flash memory cards.
• Virtually all storage devices use Random access (direct access)
• Random access allows data to be retrieved from any location on the storage medium
• Sequential access means that retrieval of data can occur only in the order in which it
was physically stored on the storage medium
• Storage devices can be:
• internal (located inside the system unit)
• external (plugged into an external port on the system unit)
• or remote (located on another computer).
Storage Devices
• Internal hard drives are used to store the Operating system and
application software
• External hard drives can be used for a complete PC backup
• DVD or BD disks can be used for a full length movie
• USB flash drives can be used to store a few files to be transferred
from one computer to another
• Tape drives can be used for corporate data backup
• RAID (redundant arrays of independent disks) is a method of storing
data on two or more hard drives that work together.
Storage Devices
• Types of optical discs include:
• Read-Only Optical Discs: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and BD-ROM Discs can be
written to, but not erased and reused
• come prerecorded with software, music, movies, etc.
• Recordable Optical Discs: CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R, and BD-R Discs can be written
to, but cannot be erased and reused
• Used for backing up files, sending large files to others, and storing
multimedia files
• Rewritable Optical Discs: CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and BD-RE discs can be
written to, erased, and overwritten just like magnetic hard disks
• Appropriate for transferring large files from one computer to another or
otherwise temporarily storing data (disc can be reused)
Input Devices
• An input device is any piece of equipment that is used to input data
into the computer.
Examples of Input Devices Type of data Input
Microphone Voice and sound data
Video Camera Moving images and sound
Scanner Printed material
Digital Camera Still image, such as a landscape
Web Cam Real-time conversations and images
Input Devices
• Mice are examples of pointing devices.
• Common mouse actions include:
Action Description
Click Select an object on the screen
Drag Move an object on the screen
Double-click Issue a command
Right-click Display a shortcut menu

• Biometric readers are used to input biometric data such as an individual’s


fingerprint or voice
• Speech recognition systems enable the device being used to recognize
voice input as spoken words.
Using the Keyboard to Input Data
• Keyboards keys include:
Key Description
F1 A function key used to display the Help system in many programs
ALT A modifier key used in conjunction with other keys to issue a command
/ This key is used to represent division on the numeric keypad
ESC A key that cancels an operation or closes a dialog box in many programs
HOME This navigation key is used to move to the beginning of a screen, document, or file
Output Devices
• An Output Device is any piece of equipment that is used to generate
output (information) from the computer.

• Many display devices are flat panel monitors.


• Displays produce soft copy output.
• Printers produce hard copy output.
• Laser printers are generally faster and have better quality output than ink-jet
printers
• A projector lets you display computer output on a wall.
• A voice synthesizer is an audio output device that converts text to speech.
System Software
• The term Software refers to the programs or instructions used to tell
the computer hardware what to do.
• System Software consists of the Operating System and Utility
Programs that control a computer system and allow you to use that
system
Operating Systems
• A computer’s Operating System is the primary system software program; it
manages the computer system’s resources and acts as an interface between the
computer and the user.
• For instance:
• Operating systems will determine whether you can run two programs at the same
time or connect your computer to a network
• Operating systems manage and coordinate the activities taking place within the
computer.
• Processes are of programs that run in the background.
• Buffering or Spooling – refers to placing data in a buffer so it can be
retrieved later
• A Buffer is an area in RAM or on the hard drive designated to hold data that is
waiting to be used by the computer
Operating System
• DOS (Disk Operating System) was the first operating system for personal
computers
• Windows became popular after the release of Windows 3.1 in 1992
• OS allow users to communicate with the computer thru a Graphical User
Interface - GUI or a Command line interface
• Graphical User Interfaces allow the user to issue commands by
selecting icons, buttons, menu items, and other objects—typically
with a mouse, pen, or finger.
• Most operating systems today use a graphical user interface
• Command line interfaces require the user to input text-based
commands using the keyboard
Operating System
• Each device connected to a computer must have Device drivers.
• Device Drivers are small programs used to communicate with
peripheral devices, such as monitors, printers, portable storage
devices, and keyboards.
• When you connect a new hardware device to your computer, the
operating system uses a feature called Plug and Play so you can use
the new hardware immediately.
Operating System
• Operating Systems include file management programs that allow the
user to manage the files typically found on a computer’s hard drive by
organizing them into folders
• File management utility programs such as Windows Explorer, Apple
Finder provide an overview of your files and let you rename, delete,
move, and copy files and folders.
Utility Programs
• Utility program perform a specific task, usually related to managing or maintaining the
computer system. Common utility programs include:
• A disk cleanup utility finds and removes unnecessary files such as those stored in the
Recycle Bin or Trash. Ie. Disk Cleanup
• Not emptying the Recycle Bin lets files remain on your computer and take up space
• A search utility finds files that meet criteria you specify, such as characters in a file
name. ie. Windows Search Box
• Use a file compression utility to reduce the size of a file so it takes up less storage space
on a disk. ie. WinZip
• A defragmentation utility reorganizes the files on a hard disk so the OS can access data
more quickly. ie. Disk Defragmentation
• Antivirus program: Software that scans incoming messages and programs to protect
your computer against malwares such as viruses, adwares (programs that display
unsolicited advertisements in banners or pop-up windows), etc..
Application Software
• Application Software (apps) are programs that allow users to perform
specific tasks on a computer, such as writing a letter.
• Local (or Desktop) are installed on your computer’s hard drive
• Web-based (or cloud) applications are accessed over the Internet
• Mobile applications run on smartphones and tablet computers
• Mobile devices typically come pre-installed with “standard” apps like Web
browsers, media players, and mapping programs.
• Operating systems of mobile devices can not support full-scale software
programs like Microsoft Word or Excel.
• A mobile app designed for an Apple iPhone will not work on an Android phone.
• Portable applications are stored on and run from removable storage
devices like CDs, DVDs, or flash drives
Application Software
• A Software Suite is a collection of software programs bundled
together and sold as a single software package.
• Office suites or productivity software suites allow to produce
documents and contain the following programs:
• Word processing software
• Spreadsheet software
• Database software
• Presentation graphics software
Application Software
Spreadsheet Software
• Spreadsheet Software is used to create documents called spreadsheets
(or worksheets) that typically include a great deal of numbers, calculations
and charts
• A worksheet is made up of cells organized in a grid of rows and columns.
• A cell address describes the location of a cell based on its column and row
location
• Rows are typically represented by numbers and contain data for individual
records.
• A(n) absolute reference refers to a fixed cell location that never changes.
• The format of a worksheet defines its appearance.
Application Software
Database Software
• A database is a collection of related data that is stored in a manner that
allows information to be stored and retrieved as needed
• A Database Management System (DBMS) such as Microsoft Access is a database
software that allows the creation and manipulation of databases
• A database file is a collection of related objects including:
• Table: A collection of related records (or rows)
• A record (or row) is a collection of related fields
• A field (or column) is a single type of data to be stored in a database
• Form: A data entry tool you use to input data into a database
• Query: A data retrieval tool that finds specified data within a database
• View: The display format that you choose when working with a database object
on the screen. For instance: design View, datasheet view
Application Software
Database Software
• A database is a collection of related data that is stored in a manner that
allows information to be stored and retrieved as needed
• A Database Management System (DBMS) such as Microsoft Access is a database
software that allows the creation and manipulation of databases
• A database file is a collection of related objects including:
• Table: A collection of related records (or rows)
• A record (or row) is a collection of related fields
• A field (or column) is a single type of data to be stored in a database
• Form: A data entry tool you use to input data into a database
• Query: A data retrieval tool that finds specified data within a database
• View: The display format that you choose when working with a database object
on the screen. For instance: design View, datasheet view
Software License
• When a software program is purchased, individual users receive a
software license authorizing them to use the software.
• For most software programs, the licensing agreement or terms of use
agreement is usually displayed and must be agreed to by the end user
at the beginning of the software installation.
Software
• Commercial software is copyrighted software that are developed and sold for a
profit.
• Shareware consists of copyrighted software that is distributed free on a trial basis
with the understanding that the user may need or want to pay for it later.
• Freeware consists of copyrighted software that is available to use free of charge;
However, the author retains the ownership rights to the program
• Public domain software is not copyrighted; is free and can be used, copied,
modified, and distributed to others without restrictions; its ownership rights are
public property
• Open source software are programs made of source code that is available to the
general public. ie.Linux
• Custom software refers to program designed to meet the unique needs of an
organization.
(Additional key terms from video training)
Term Definition
Safe mode Mode for rebooting your computer that runs only essential programs so you can isolate
problems
Sleep or Mode that stores the current state of open programs and documents and then uses low
Hibernate mode power instead of shutting down.
Antivirus software Software that protects your computer from malware
Replicate Term used for reproducing a problem while troubleshooting
Software patch Updated software code that fixes a known bug
Service pack A collection of software patches