Computer Basics

For Seniors

Volunteer Instructor: April Edmonds 8/17/2009

Table of Contents
Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 3 Monitor ................................................................................................................................................ 4 Central Processing Unit (CPU)........................................................................................................ 4 Disk or CD-ROM Drive (Storage) .................................................................................................. 4 USB....................................................................................................................................................... 6 Mouse ................................................................................................................................................. 12 Exercise #1: ..................................................................................................................................... 13 Exercise #2: .................................................................................................................................... 14 Exercise #3: .................................................................................................................................... 15 Glossary ............................................................................................................................................. 17 Need extra computer time? ......................................................................................................... 22 Additional Resources...................................................................................................................... 22 References: ...................................................................................................................................... 22

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Computer Basics
Introduction
Course Objective: This course is a basic overview of computers. You will be introduced to computers, computer usage and given the opportunity to become more comfortable with technology.

This is a computer:

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Monitor

Mouse

Keyboard

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Monitor
Every computer has a monitor. The size of the computer screen is expressed in inches. The standard size of a computer screen is 17 inches. A larger screen always makes it easier to see the small elements, such as screens measuring 19 inches or more. New monitors are referred to as “flat screens”. Flat screens use less space and electricity.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The central processing unit, or system unit, is basically a box that stores the computer’s brain. The CPU tells the computer ‘how’ to work properly.

Disk or CD-ROM Drive (Storage)
We will discuss different types of storage: Floppy disks, CD-ROM and SD Cards. A floppy disk is a somewhat floppy coated disk housed inside a plastic case about the size of a square beverage coaster. When the floppy is inserted into the appropriate slot in the computer, it is used to store files. After saving a file on the floppy, the disk can be removed and used on another computer. It can also serve as a backup for files on the computer’s hard drive. Floppy disks only hold 1 mega byte (MB) of storage and many newer computers systems do not have a slot for them anymore. Travel/Flash drive are more popular and fit into the USB slot of the computer. CD-ROM’s are silvery plastic disks that look just like music CD’s. Application software (programs) usually come written on these. Special

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kinds of CD’s (CD-R & CD-RW) can be used to store large amounts of data. Most CD-Rom’s can store around 700-800 MB of data. CD-R is a CD that is writable one time. A CD-RW is a CD that is rewritable, many times. CD’s are excellent for storing photos, music, or backing up your files on your computer. SD Cards are another storage disk. The SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card is a highly-sophisticated memory device about the size of a postage stamp. The most popular usage for SD Cards is for digital cameras. 1 Megabyte (MB) = Piece of Paper 1 Gigabyte (GB) = Ream of Paper 1 Terabyte (TB) = Pallet of Paper Type of Storage Storage Amount

1.4 MB 3 ¼” diskette

CD-ROM

700-800MB

USB Travel/Flash Drive

512 MB – Up to 16GB 512 MB – Up to 16GB

SD Card 5

USB
USB stands for "Universal Serial Bus." USB is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives, just to name a few. USB is usually located in the front of the computer or the back of the computer.

Keyboard

The keyboard is one of the primary input devices for entering data into the computer.

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Enter Key The enter key is usually marked “Enter” however, sometimes it is labeled “Enter”; with only a large arrow or referred to as the “return” key. The enter key now holds two functions It allows us functions: to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line, and it is used to enter commands. It can also be used instea commands. instead of clicking buttons, we call that keyboard shortcuts. Some keyboard shortcuts are listed in the keyboard shortcut section of ard this manual. The other “Enter” key is located by the numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is very similar to how a calculator is set up. The enter key on the numeric pad also functions the same as the other enter key. Space Bar The space bar is used to insert a blank space.

Backspace Key The backspace key will remove or delete the characters to the left of the cursor. Pressing and releasing the key will delete multiple . characters. Holding the backspace down will erase very quickly. Be careful you may erase more than intended. .

Delete Key The delete key is used to delete in various ways. It will remove move characters to the right of the cursor one at a time by pressing and releasing. Also, like the backspace key, it can 7

be used to erase large amounts of text by the highlighting and pressing the delete key.

Shift Key The shift key has two functions. When you press the shift key at the same time as an alphabet key the key, alphabetical will appear as an upper case letter. When you press the shift key at the same time as one of the number keys at the top of the keyboard that includes symbols, it will type the symbols, such as $ and #.

Caps Lock

The caps lock is used for multiple capital letters. It is a turn on or turn off feature.

Tab The tab key is another key with two functions. It is used to indent as well as to move from field to field (or text box to text box) when filling out forms on the computer.

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Escape Key The ESC key is located at the top left corner of your keyboard. Sometimes when we click by accident and a menu box will etimes appear, you can use the ESC key to make it go away. Your other option is to merely click away from the menu box using your mouse.

Control Key The Ctrl key is used in combination with other keys in instead of the menu bar. For example, Ctrl+S will save a current document or . Ctrl+S file and Ctrl+P will print the current file or document. See keyboard shortcuts in the keyboard shortcut section of this manual manual.

Alt Key Like the Ctrl key, the Alt key is another combination for menu short cuts. For example, Alt + F will open the File Menu or Alt + E will open the edit menu.

Windows Key The windows key is located between the Ctrl and Alt keys. This button will open your start menu in windows windows.

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Arrow Keys The arrow keys are usually in a grouping between the numeric and main keys. They are beneficial to move the page up and down and move the cursor around in some programs.

Numeric Keypad Most computer keyboards have a numeric keypad on the rig hand side right of the keyboard. The keypad has a number of keys as well as other functions like arrows and page up/down. The numeric pad is controlled by a toggle key marked Num Lock. When the Num Lock is on, the keys functions for entering numbers. When the Num Lock is off, the functions listed below the numbers can be used. The numeric keypad also includes other useful functions, such as the period, slash, plus and minus signs.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Task Copy Cut Paste Undo Delete right of the cursor Delete left of the cursor Close the Current Window Activate the Menu Bar in Programs Show the Start Menu Switch to another Window

Command CTRL CTRL+c CTRL+ CTRL+x CTRL+ CTRL+v CTRL+ CTRL+z Delete Delete ALT+ ALT+F4 (function key) F10 (function key) or ALT ALT-(underscored letter) CTRL CTRL-Esc ALT+ ALT+Tab (repeat as necessary)

TIP: TIP Hold CTRL Key and Letter Key down at the same time.

Helpful when Ctrl+Alt+Delete Computer freezes and will bring up the computer shut down option

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Mouse Along with the keyboard, the mouse is one of the primary input devices long used with today's computers. The computer mouse is omputer available in a wide variety types and colors. The mouse mouse’s main function is to “click”. Each mouse has a left and right button. The left button is for “double click” and “click, hold “double-click” and drag”. The right button is “right “right-click”.

TIP: • Hold the mouse gently with your index finger resting on the left button. • Your thumb is resting on the side. ur • Hold the flat part of your hand lightly on top of the mouse. • Let your wrist rest on the tabletop.

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Exercise #1:
1. Turn the Computer On. You should see a “green” light somewhere indicating the computer is on. 2. Turn the monitor on. 3. Give the Computer time to “boot “boot”. 4. To turn the Computer Off Windows has to go through a “Shut Off, Down” 5. Using your mouse, scroll over and put the pointer arrow on the “Start” and click once.

6. Scroll your mouse over the “Shut Down” area and click once. 7. Scroll your mouse over the “Turn Off” area and click once.

8. Wait for computer to shutdown. 9. Turn computer back on (Step 1), for the rest of class. 13

Exercise #2: Mousing
The purpose of this exercise is to practice your mousing. 1. Click with the right mouse button somewhere on the Desktop computer screen. 2. Click with the left mouse button on Properties 3. Click with the left mouse button on Cancel. 4. Click with the right mouse button on the icon MyComputer 5. Click with the left mouse button on Open. 6. Click with the left mouse button on the hard disk. 7. Teacher will walk everyone through using Solitare.

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Exercise #3: Keyboarding
For this exercise, you will need to use WordPad. WordPad is pre pre-installed on each computer and is a basic word processor. 1. Using your mouse, click on Start. 2. Click on All Programs Programs. 3. Click on Accessories Accessories. 4. Click on WordPad. Hint: Use your mouse - Left-Click
Once

You should now see a blank screen that looks similar to this:

5. Click in the white space area to start typing. 6. Type the following text: 15

My Name is _______. My teacher’s name is April. (Hint: use the space bar between words and sentences.)

7. Move the cursor to the end of the first sentence. 8. Now make a new empty line by using the “Enter” key. 9. Move the cursor to the end of the second sentence. 10. Type the following text:

I will learn more about the computers in this class. 11. In the last sentence, erase the word “the”. (Hint: use the delete or backspace key to erase the word).

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Glossary

Application software Software that helps the user do useful or entertaining things - like write letters, browse the Web, send email, track expenses, and play games.

Examples: Word, Excel, Quicken.
Boot Term used when the computer is turned on and goes through its sequences of programming commands. Browser A software application which displays Websites and simplifies navigating (browsing) among the many available sites. Examples: Internet Explorer, FireFox or Chrome. CD-ROM These are the silvery plastic disks that look just like music CD’s. Application software (programs) usually come written on these. Special kinds of CD’s (CD-R, & CD-RW) can be used to store large amounts of data. Most CD-Rom’s can store around 700-800 MB of data. CPU (sometimes referred to as System Unit) The part of the computer that is box-like, usually the size of a medium to large briefcase, with slots for disks and connectors on the back. Inside this box are the microprocessor, disk drives and other elements that work together to do the actual computing. 17

E-mail E-mail is a way to communicate, almost instantly, with people anywhere in the world at low or no cost. Text, pictures, sound, and video can be sent via email. Floppy Disk This is a somewhat floppy coated disk housed inside a plastic case about the size of a square beverage coaster. When the floppy is inserted into the appropriate slot in the system unit, it is used to store files. After saving a file on the floppy, the disk can be removed and used on another computer. It can also serve as a backup for files on the computer’s hard drive. Floppy disks only hold 1 MB of storage. Hard disk (or Hard Drive) This is like the computer’s file cabinet. In nearly all cases, it is permanently installed in the system unit and stores both the software the computer uses and the data files the user creates. In order to take a file and use it on a different computer, you must copy the file from the hard disk to a floppy disk or, in some cases, send it to the other computer across a network. Keyboard This is organized like a regular typewriter keyboard and has some extra keys for special functions. It attaches to the system unit with a cord, bluetooth, or wireless.

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Monitor (or display) The monitor is the part of the computer that looks like a small TV and shows you what is going on. Usually it has 2 cords: one for electrical power and the other for connecting to the system unit. Mouse This device is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and allows the computer user to select from options displayed on the screen. By sliding the mouse around on a flat surface (usually a thin foam pad) the user moves a pointer on the screen. When the tip of the pointer is positioned over the desired item, the user clicks the mouse (a single or double click) to select the item. The mouse connects by a single cord, Bluetooth or wireless to the system unit. Network When you have two or more computers connected to each other, you have a network. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between multiple systems. Operating System Software that orchestrates the interactions between the computers’s various parts (the keyboard, display, system unit, mouse, etc.). Examples include Windows, Unix or MacOS for the Macintosh. Program Software which helps the user do useful or entertaining things like write letters, browse the Web, send email, track expenses, play games. Programs are also referred to as applications. 19

RAM This is where your computer keeps the information it is currently using at the moment. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. Information is kept here only as long as it is needed by the application (software) running on the computer. Save To save your work on the computer means to store it on a disk (hard disk, floppy disk, CD-ROM, travel/flash drive) so that it is available for retrieval later. System malfunctions can wipe out text or work that has been entered but not saved, so it’s a good idea to save your work often – perhaps every 15 minutes. Even though you may not have finished, saving your work locks in the progress you’ve made. Software Software is what makes it possible for us to effectively use computers. There are two major functions or types of software. The first deals with the interactions between the various parts (the keyboard, display, system unit, mouse, etc.). This type is called operating system software (examples are Windows, Unix or MacOS for the Macintosh). The second function or type of software helps the user do useful or entertaining things like write letters, browse the Internet, send email, track expenses, play games, and so on. Software packages of this second type are often referred to as programs or applications. System Unit (sometimes referred to as CPU) The part of the computer that is box-like, usually the size of a medium to large briefcase with slots for disks and connectors on the back. Inside 20

this box are the microprocessor, disk drives and other elements that work together to do the actual computing. USB Stands for "Universal Serial Bus." USB is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives, just to name a few. Windows Windows is like a combination translator, conductor and helper. Windows is operating system software that allows the various parts of the computer to work together and it also is the go between that allows the user to start and stop the computer and its programs easily and correctly.

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Need extra computer time? The Leon County Library has computers are available for public use during regular library hours on a first-come, first served basis. Each patron is given 2 - one hour sessions on Internet computers. Printing is available and shall be limited to a reasonable amount. The Tallahassee Senior Center has computers available for seniors use during regular hours. For additional information call: 891-4000. Additional Resources Computer History - http://www.computerhistory.org/ Local Library – http://www.leoncountyfl.gov/LIBRARY Technology Dictionary - http://www.techterms.com/ Mouse Practices – http://www.pbcibrary.org/mousing/

References: 2007. Stuur, Addo. Windows XP for Seniors. ISBN: 978-90-5905-044-0. Http://visualsteps.com Resources provided by the Tallahassee Senior Center Computer Lab. 2002. City of Seattle. Training Manual – Seniors Training Seniors in Technology. Retrieved August 1, 2009, from http://www.seattle.gov/tech/seniors/toc.htm Special thanks to City of

Seattle for allowing permission to use content from their Seniors Training Manual series.
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