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University of Delhi

Computer Basics


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What is a Computer?

The word Computer literally means to

Compute or to Calculate. Computer is
an electronic device that stores,
retrieves, and processes information
based on the instructions provided, to
generate the desired output.
Computers are available in many sizes
and configurations for various types of
uses such as Desktop, Laptop, Servers,
PDA, etc.
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WELCOME of Computers




Storage Capacity

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Evolution of Computer

Abacus: (2000 years back), a wooden rack holding

two horizontal wires with beads strung on them.
Fast and simple calculations can be carried out by
appropriately placing the beads.

Blaise Pascal: a French mathematician, credited for building the

first digital computer in 1642. He invented the mechanical
calculating machine. Numbers were entered in this machine by
dialing a series of numbered wheels. Another series of toothed
wheels transferred the movements to a dial, which showed the
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Evolution of Computer (cont.)
In 1671, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz , a German
mathematician, invented a calculating machine which was
able to add and perform multiplications. He invented a
special stepped gear mechanism for introducing the addend

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Evolution of Computer (cont.)

In 1822, Prof. Charles Babbage of Cambridge University

designed an automatic calculating machine that he called the
Difference Engine. It was intended to be steam powered and
fully automatic (including printing of result tables), commanded
by a fixed instruction program. It was a prototype of a
computer which was 100 years ahead of time. Prof. Babbage is
considered as the father of modern day computers.
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Evolution of Computer (cont.)
In 1890 Herman Hollerith and
James Powers developed devices
that could read information that
had been punched into cards,
without any human help. This
resulted in reduced reading
errors, increased workflow and
availability of unlimited memory
(punched cards could be used as
easily accessible memory of
unlimited size).

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First Generation Computers (1940 to 1956)
First generation computers relied on machine
language (binary-coded program) to perform
operations and could solve only one problem at a
time. Punched cards and paper tapes were used
to input data and instructions, and output was
displayed on printouts. Vacuum tubes were used
in the circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. Vacuum tube

Early computers like ENIAC, EDVAC and IBM 650 can all be
classified as first generation computers.

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Generation Computers (1956 to 1963)
Transistors (invented in 1950) and
magnetic core memory were used in
second generation computers. Second
generation of computers was also
characterized by allowing
programmers to specify instructions in
symbolic (or assembly) language
rather than cryptic binary machine
High level programming languages like COmmon Business
Oriented Language (COBOL) and FORmula TRANslation
(FORTRAN) were also being developed at this time.
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Generation Computers (1964 to 1971)

Integrated Circuits (ICs),

developed by Jack Kilby, in 1958,
were used in circuitry instead of
transistors. Punched cards and
printouts replaced with devices like
keyboards and monitors making it
easier for the user to interact with
the computer.
Intel 8742, 8-bit

Operating System such as IBM System/360 used to allowed

the device to run various applications at one time.

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Fourth Generation Computers (1971 to present)
In 1970 invent of Large Scale Integration
(LSI) technology and latter Very Large
Scale Integration (VLSI) squeezed
hundreds of thousands of components
onto a single chip. This shrinking trend
continued and led to the introduction of
Intel 80486 DX2
personal computers (PCs).

The IC technology was not only used to construct the processor,

but also for the construction of memory. The first memory chip
(Intel 4004) was constructed in 1970. It was four-bit
Microprocessor and could hold 256 bits.
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Computer Hardware and Software

Hardware Software

The term hardware refers to The software is the

the physical components of instructions that makes the
your computer such as the computer work. Software is
system unit, mouse, keyboard, held either on your
monitor etc. Computer computers hard disk, CD-
hardware cannot perform any ROM, or on a floppy disk and
manipulation or calculation is loaded from the disk into
without being instructed as to the computers memory, as
what to do and how to do it. and when required

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Schematic Representation of a Computer

Central Processing Unit


Input Unit Logic Unit Output
Control Unit


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The input device serves the

purpose of receiving data and
instructions in a form that can be
understood by the computer.

Ex: Keyboards, Mouse, digital pen,


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Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Data and instructions (programs) are stored in the

computers memory after which all the major calculations
and computations are carried out within the CPU. The CPU
is also responsible for controlling the operations of various
units of the computer system.

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): All calculations and

comparisons, based on the instructions provided, are carried
out within the ALU. It performs arithmetic functions like
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and also logical
operations like greater than, less than and equal to.

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Central Processing Unit (CPU) (cont)

Main Memory: The main memory holds data and

instructions after input, till they are needed. It also holds
the processed results that are awaiting output.

Control Unit: The function of the control unit is to execute

the instructions of a program, one by one, in the desired
sequence. It interprets each instruction and then prompts
its execution by one of the units like input, output, ALU,

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Central Processing Unit (CPU) (cont)

CPU or


The system board or mother board containing CPU,

memory, and various other ICs, etc.

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Output Unit

The processed data, stored in

the memory of the computer is
sent to the output unit, which
then converts it into a form that
can be understood by the user.

Output Devices: Display

monitor, printer, etc.

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Secondary Storage

Also termed as auxiliary or backup

storage, it is typically used as a
supplement to main storage. It is
much cheaper than the main storage
and stores large amount of data and
instructions permanently.

Secondary Storage Devices: Magnetic

tapes, Hard Disks, Floppy Diskettes,
CD, DVD, Memory sticks, etc.

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Computer Peripherals

Scanner UPS

Pen Drive
Joystick Plotter
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A BIT (an abbreviation for BInary DigiTS), is smallest unit of
data in a computer and can either store a 0 or 1

BYTES are typically a sequence of eight bits put together to

create a single computer alphabetical or numerical character.
Bytes are used to quantify the amount of data digitally stored
(on disks, tapes) or transmitted (over the internet), and are
also used to measure the memory and document size.

Kilobyte: A kilobyte (KB) consists of 1024 bytes. Megabyte: A

megabyte (MB) consists of 1024 kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes.
Gigabyte: A gigabyte (GB) consists of 1024 megabytes or
1,073,741,824 bytes.
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Types of Computer Software

Operating System (OS):

OS consists of programs that control the operations of the

computer system itself. It consists of a group of programs
that control the operations of a computer equipment
including functions like managing memory, managing
peripherals, loading, storing. OS also provides an interface
between the application programs and the computer.

Ex: DOS, MS Windows, UNIX, Linux, Macintosh etc.

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Types of Computer Software (cont)

Application Software:

Application software are written to perform a specific task

for the user, such as word processing, accounting,
budgeting or payroll. Application programs run on top of an
operating system and are used to carry out specific

Ex: MS Word (used for word processing), MS Excel (used as

spreadsheets), Oracle (used for database management),

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Microsoft (MS) Windows

MS Windows is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based

operating system having commands and options represented
on the screen in the form of small images, commonly known
as icons. MS Windows performs three major functions:
It controls and coordinates the various resources of
the computer like memory, storage and input/output
It manages all the files and folders and allows a user
to perform various file and disk management tasks.
It also acts as an interpreter between other software
and hardware.
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Various Versions of Windows

Windows 1.0 1985

Windows 2.0 1987
Windows 3.0 1990
Windows 3.1 1992
Windows NT 3.1 1993
Windows 95 1995
Windows NT 4.0 1996
Windows 98 1998
Windows 2000 2000
Windows ME 2000
Windows XP 2001

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WELCOMEof Mouse buttons
Scroll while Right button

Left button
Mouse Actions
Left Click : Used to select an item.
Double Click : Used to start a program or open a file.
Right Click : Usually used to display a set of commands.
Scroll while: Used to scroll the pages.

Drag and Drop : It allows you to select and move an item from one
location to another. To achieve this place the cursor over an item on
the screen, click the left mouse button and while holding the button
down move the cursor to where you want to place the item, and then
release it.

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of a keyboard
Function keys
Numeric keypad

Alphanumeric keypad/ Space Bar

Special function keys Cursor Moment

Other Important keys: Enter, Backspace, Delete,

Insert, Shift, Caps Lock, Tab, Ctrl, Alt, Esc

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Start button Quick lunch bar Clock

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Control Panel

Control Panel is like a dashboard of your computer. It

contains various tools which are used to load/ unload
software, creating users and groups, change
configuration and settings such as; Date and Time,
Desktop background, Screen Saver, Localization, Display,

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Windows Explorer

You may use Windows Explorer

and to explore and mange Files Maximize
and Folder stored in your Close

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Computer Networking

Connecting two or more

computers together to exchange
information is known as
computer networking.

A network can be as simple as

linking two computers or may
consist of hundreds and
thousands of different types of
computers and peripherals,
connected directly or indirectly.

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Use of Computer Network

1. Easy and real time data transferring.

2. Data or information sharing.

3. Resource sharing.

4. Centralized computer administration and


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of Networking
Local Area Network (LAN): small computer network such
as; computers connected in a college lab or in office. UTP
cabling or WiFi are used to connect the computers.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) or Campus Network: a

computer network spread all over a city or a campus.
Computers being connected through OFC, UTP, WiMax
and WiFi.
Wide Area Network (WAN): a very large computer
network spread across a big city or over many cities.
Various technologies such as; RF link, OFC, UTP, WiMax
etc. are used to connect computers.

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Computer Connectivity Options

UTP Cabling:
Data transfer rate: 100-
150 MBPS
Max. cable length: 100mt
Use: LAN


UTP Cable with RJ45

connector Star Topology

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont.)

Optical Fibre Cabling (OFC):

Data transfer rate: 100-150 MBPS Max. cable length:
MM: 500mt
Use: LAN Backbone, MAN, Campus Network

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont..)

Dial-up provides connecting a
device to a network using
modem over the public
telephone network. Maximum
data transfer rate over a dial-
up connection is limited to 56
kbps (56,000 bits per

Use: Home PC connectivity

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont..)

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

ISDN, is a digital communications line. It allows for

transmission of data, voice, video and graphics, at
very high speeds, over standard communication lines.
ISDN is not restricted to public telephone networks,
but can use packet switched networks, CATV
networks, telex etc.

Use: On demand high speed Internet

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont..)

Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL)

A DSL connection is a very high-speed

connection that uses the same wires
as a regular telephone line. The
download speed of DSL ranges from
128 kilobits per second (Kbit/s) to A typical DSL Modem
24,000 Kbit/s. and the connection can
be left open, while you use your phone
line for voice calls!

Use: Home TV or high speed Internet

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont..)

Leased Line

It is like a private circuit between the two machines.

A leased line can be a twisted pair, coax cable, or a
fibre optic cable. Leased lines have 1.544 Mbps data
transfer rate.

Use: Connecting two branches of any office, all time

Internet connectivity

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Computer Connectivity Options (cont..)

Radio or RF Link

Point to point Radio

Point to Multipoint Radio.

Frequency Band: 2,700-2,900 MHz.

Throughput: 4 Mbps.

Use: WAN

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Internet Protocols
Protocol defines a set of rules or code of behavior. In the
context of networking, protocol defines a language of
conventions and rules that specify how the data will be
packaged, sent and acknowledged.
IP Address
The Internet Protocol (IP) address is an unique number that
defines the location of your computer, such that it is an
identifiable machine within all the computers connected to the
Internet. This is a 32-bit number and is divided into four octets.
For example, the IP address (
00001010 00000000 00000000 00000010
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Domain Naming System (DNS)

Domain Naming System (or Service), commonly known as the

DNS, is an Internet service that translates domain names to
or from IP addresses.
Abbreviation What It Represents
com Commercial organization
org Non-profit organizations
net Networking organizations
gov Government agencies
edu Educational institutions
ac Academic
in Indian organization
Commonly Used Abbreviations
in Domain Names

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The Internet is simply a series of computers, linked to

one another around the world, communicating almost
instantaneously with one another. It comprises tens
and thousands of computer networks communicating
with each other like a big net or web. It can be
termed as a network of networks. These computer
networks are physically linked with one another
through telephone, radio, cable lines, satellite, or even
fiber optic.

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Wide Web (www)

World Wide web is commonly known as the Web it consists

of Internet servers that are connected through hypertext.
These texts are created in a language called HTML
(HyperText Markup Language) which supports links to other
documents, as well as graphics, audio and video files.
Hyperlinks allow the user to navigate from one document to
another without having to worry about the actual location of
the document (which could be the same or another server
located miles away).

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The web can be understood as a collection of thousands

and millions of information locations connected to each

other. Each such location is called a website. A website

comprises web pages . A website can be created by an

individual or by an organization.

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Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

An URL defines the address of a site on the Internet.

It is an abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, and
states the global address of documents and other
resources on the World Wide Web.

For example :

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Internet Browser or Web Browser

Internet browsers are application software

used for Internet browsing or web surfing.
Examples: Internet Explorer, Motzilla,

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Search Engines
Search Engines are specific type of

websites used to search information on


For Example:

Within the search engine you enter a

word or phrase and it will retrieve

documents from the Internet based on

the information you typed in.

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E-mailing is one of the most common and popular uses of the Internet.

You can send or receive mails from anywhere in the world almost

instantaneously. Through e-mail, you can send and receive any type of

file image, video, sound, and plain text. It is a very versatile and open

medium with the advantage of being a low cost one.

If you wish to send and receive e-mails, you will need to create an e-mail

account for yourself, using a website that offers such services.

Examples of E-mail sites:,,

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Internet Chat

Internet Chat allows you to type in a message, and your friend

(anywhere in the world, but logged on to the Net at the same time

on the same chat site) would receive it almost instantaneously who

can then respond in the same way.

There are various free chat sites that you can use to communicate

with other people for example:,

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WELCOME Information from Internet

Many websites provide information for download

(moving copy of the file from website server to your PC).
You may download that files from the server and store
in your computer.

1. Open the website and Click

the download link.
2. Click Save in File Download
3. Specify the folder and click

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Internet Explorer Security
Internet Explorer (IE) provides a number of features that
help to protect your privacy and make your computer and
your personally identifiable information more secure.
Privacy settings:
1.Specify how your computer deals with cookies.
Cookies are files created by a Web site that store
information on your computer, such as your
preferences when visiting that site. Cookies may also
store personally identifiable information, such as your
name or e-mail address.
2.Privacy alerts that let you know when you try to gain
access to a site that doesn't meet the criteria in your
privacy settings.
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Internet Explorer Security (cont.)

Security features:
1. Help to prevent people from gaining access to information
that you have not given them permission to access, such
as credit card information you enter when shopping on
the Internet.
2. Security features can also protect your computer from
unsafe software.
3. Block most pop-up windows.
4. Update, disable, or re-enable Web browser add-ons.
5. Enhanced security features to warn you when a Web site
is trying to download files or software to your computer.
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Internet Explorer Security (cont.)

Configuring Security features of IE:

1. Open Internet Explorer and click
2. Click Internet Options, and go to
Security tab. Here you may define
security for Internet and Local
Intranet. You may also list the names
of Trusted and Restricted sites.
3. You can use Custom Level button to
set the level of security according to
your need.

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What is a Virus?

A virus is a program that can be hidden

inside another file it replicates itself
and spreads to other files and computers.

Source of Virus:
Shared files, networks, floppy disks
E-mail attachments
Web-based e-mail
Malicious Web sites

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can Virus do?
1. A virus (worm) can copy itself multiple times and infect
your computer by occupying hard disk space, choking
your network bandwidth etc.
2. Some viruses contain code that inflicts extra damage by
deleting files or lowering your security settings, inviting
further attacks.
3. A virus even format hard disk of your computer.
4. A type of virus (called Trojan Horses) can scan your hard
disk and send important information to the source.
5. An e-mail virus can scan your address book and send e-
mails using your e-mail account.
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Antivirus (cont)

Your most important defense against viruses

is antivirus software: Install it, use it, and
keep it up to date. This software is essential
as a defense against viruses.

Antivirus software is designed to detect known viruses. When a

new virus hits the world, the antivirus software manufacturers
normally have an update available for download on their Web
sites within hours. In addition to using up-to date antivirus
software, you should also make sure that it has a "real-time
scanning" feature. Setting up your e-mail and Internet browsing
software so that it is more difficult for files containing viruses to
make their way onto your computer at all is another good step.

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Windows Update

Windows Update is the online extension

of Windows that helps us to keep our
computer up-to-date. We may use
Windows Update to updates our
Click Windows Update
computers operating system, software,
in All Programs list.
and hardware drivers. New content is
added to the Microsoft site
regularly, so anyone can always get
the most recent updates and fixes to
protect his/ her computer.

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Windows Update (cont.)

Setting your PC for automatic

1. Double click System in Control
2. Click Automatic Updates tab and
select other parameters
according to your preference.

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PC Maintenance

Tasks required in order to maintain and improve

performance of your PC:
1. Data and System Backup
2. Detecting and Repairing Disk errors.
3. Disk cleaning.
4. Disk De-fragmentation.

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You may create System Recovery

Disk, which is required to restore
the system after major crash. You
can also take backup of your data,
and favorites, desktop and cookies

1. Click Start, then click

All Programs.
2. Click Accessories, and
then click
Imran Tools.
Repairing Disk.

Detecting and Repairing Disk

1. Open My Computer, and select
the local disk you want to check.
2. On File menu, click Properties.
3. On the Tools , under Error-
checking, click :Check Now.
4. Under Check disk options,
select the Scan for and attempt
recovery of bad sectors check

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Cleaning Disk

Disk Cleanup:
This tool will detect your PC for
temporary files, old setup files, and for
not required application software and
remove it from your PC.

You may run Disk Cleanup tool in

System Tools of Accessories tab
available in All Programs.

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The scattering of parts of the same

disk file over different areas of the
disk occurs over a period of time
mainly due to deletion and addition of
files on disk. It slows disk access and
Degrades the overall performance of Click Start, then click All
disk operations. You can use Disk Programs.
Defragmenter tool to analyze local Click Accessories, and
volume (hard disk space), and to then click System Tools.
Locate and Consolidate fragmented Double click Disk
files and folders. Defragmenter.

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PC Maintenance
WELCOME and Security-Tips
1. Work with your computer with user logon, not with
administrator logon for day-to-day work.
2. Keep your computer updated with the latest critical
updates and security patches.
3. Keep your Antivirus up-to-date and run regularly.
4. Keep your Office update with the latest critical
5. Keep your Firewall always ON.
6. Back up data regularly.
7. Download files only from trusted sites.
8. Run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter tools

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