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<< ^^>>Basic Computer Operations How Computers Works... Input: Information and programs are entered into the computer through Input devices such as the keyboard, disks, or through other computers via network connections or modems connected to the Internet. The input device also retrieves information off disks. ENTER or RETURN - Moves the cursor down one line and to the left magin.
Output

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<< ^^ >> Hardware The hardware are the parts of computer itself including the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and related microchips and micro-circuitry, keyboards, monitors, case and drives (hard, CD, DVD, floppy, optical, tape, etc...). Other extra parts called peripheral components or devices include mouse, printers, modems, scanners, digital cameras and cards (sound, colour, video) etc... Together they are often referred to as a personal computer. Central Processing Unit - Though the term relates to a specific chip or the processor a CPU's performance is determined by the rest of the computer's circuitry and chips. Currently the Pentium chip or processor, made by Intel, is the most common CPU though there are many other companies that produce processors for personal computers. Examples are the CPU made by Motorola and AMD. Though there were many computers using many different processors previous to this I call the 80286 processor the advent of home computers as these were the processors that made computers available for the average person. Using a processor before the 286 involved learning a proprietary system and software. Most new software are being developed for the newest and fastest processors so it can be difficult to use an older computer system. Keyboard - The keyboard is used to type information into the computer or input information. There are many different keyboard layouts and sizes with the most common for Latin based languages being the QWERTY layout (named for the first 6 keys). The standard keyboard has 101 keys. Notebooks have embedded keys accessible by special keys or by pressing key combinations (CTRL or Command and P for example). Ergonomically designed keyboards are designed to make typing easier. Hand held devices have various and different keyboard configurations and touch screens. Some of the keys have a special use. There are referred to as command keys. The 3 most common are the Control or CTRL, Alternate or Alt and the Shift keys though there can be more (the Windows key for example or the Command key). Each key on a standard keyboard has one or two characters. Press the key to get the lower character and hold Shift to get the upper. Removable Storage and/or Disk Drives - All disks need a drive to get information off - or read - and put information on the disk - or write. Each drive is designed for a specific type of disk whether it is a CD, DVD, hard disk or floppy. Often the term 'disk' and 'drive' are used to describe the same thing but it helps to understand that the disk is the storage device which contains computer files - or software - and the drive is the mechanism that runs the disk.Mouse

Chip With faster processors the clock speed becomes more important. Compared to some of the first computers which operated at below 30 megahertz (MHz) the Pentium chips began at 75 MHz in the late 1990's. Speeds now exceed 3000+ MHz or 3 gigahertz (GHz) and different chip manufacturers use different measuring standards (check your local computer store for the latest speed). It depends on the circuit board that the chip is housed in, or the motherboard, as to whether you are able to upgrade to a faster chip. The motherboard contains the circuitry and connections that allow the various component to communicate with each other.
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<< ^^ >> Software The software is the information that the computer uses to get the job done. Software needs to be accessed before it can be used. There are many terms used for process of accessing software including running, executing, starting up, opening, and others. Computer programs allow users to complete tasks. A program can also be referred to as an application and the two words are used interchangeably. Examples of software programs or applications would be the Operating System (DOS, Windows 9x/Millenium/XP/Vista, O/S2, UNIX, MacOS 9.x/10.x and various others), Wordprocessor (typing letters), Spreadsheet (financial info), Database (inventory control and address book), Graphics program, Internet Browser, Email and many others. As well any document that you create, graphic you design, sound you compose, file you make, letter you write, email you send or anything that you create on your computer is referred to as software. All software is stored in files. Software is stored on a disk, card, tape or one of the dozens of other storage devices available. There are millions of different pieces of software available for almost every conceivable need. Software is available commercially through stores and mail order and also available on the Internet. Software is also available through an Open Source license which allows anyone to use the Open Source software free of charge as long as the license is maintained. If you can't find the application that you need software development companies can custom design software for you. The largest software companies offer packages of software or suites that include many of the programs that the average person or business needs. Software packages or suites contain programs that work together and share information, making it easier to combine that information in versatile ways. For example when writing a letter you can get the mailing address from an address book, include a letterhead from a graphics program and included a financial chart from a spreadsheet and combine this collection of information in the body of the letter. The three basic types of software are; commercial, shareware and open source software. Some software is also released into the public domain without a license. Commercial software comes prepackaged and is available from software stores and through the Internet. Shareware is software developed by individual and small companies that cannot afford to market their software world wide or by a company that wants to release a demonstration version of their commercial product. You will have an evaluation period in which you can decide whether to purchase the product or not. Shareware software often is disabled in some way and has a notice attached to explain the legal requirements for using the product. Open Source software is created by generous programmers and released into the public domain for public use. There is usually a copyright notice that must remain with the software product. Open Source software is not public domain in that the company or individual that develops the software retains ownership of the program but the software can be used freely. Many popular Open Source applications are being developed and upgraded regularly by individuals and companies that believe in the Open Source concept. Operating Systems All computers need some sort of Operating System (OS). The majority of modern home computers use some form of Microsoft's operating systems. The original Microsoft operating system was called DOS (Disk Operating System) though most computers use Windows. Windows comes in various versions beginning with version 3.x then 95, 98, ME and currently XP. A few computers use IBM's O/S2. Apple's Mac use their own operating system beginning with OS 1 though most modern Macs use version 8.x or 9.x. Apple's latest version is OS 10.1.x. In the past large companies and institutions would have an operating system design exclusively for them but as the commercial operating systems become more sophisticated the benefits of this practice is becoming less apparent. Some computer prof

Digital flash drives work slightly differently as they use memory cards to store information so there are no moving parts. Digital cameras also use Flash memory cards to store information, in this case photographs. Hand held devices use digital drives and many also use memory cards.

Mouse - Most modern computers today are run using a mouse controlled pointer. Generally if the mouse has two buttons the left one is used to select objects and text and the right one is used to access menus. If the mouse has one button (Mac for instance) it controls all the activity and a mouse with a third button can be used by specific software programs. One type of mouse has a round ball under the bottom of the mouse that rolls and turns two wheels which control the direction of the pointer on the screen. Got problems with your pc?Got problems with your pc?

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