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What is Computer?

Computer is an electronic device which

- Takes data from the user as an input
- Process the data
- produce the results to the user as an output
- Stores the data for future use.

What is Hardware?
All the physical components of a computer that are responsible of basic functions of a
computer are called hardware.
- Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Hard Disk etc

What is an Input Device?

The device through which a computer takes data from the user is called input device.
- Keyboard, Mouse, Scanner, Digital Camera, Microphone, Touch Screen,
Joystick, Light Pen, Bar Code Reader etc
What is an Output Device?
The device through which a computer produces the processed data to the user is call
output device.
-Monitor, Printer, Speaker,
What is Software?
Different programs that are used on a computer system are called software.
Software is a program that is used for certain function and run on a computer.
There are Two Types of Softwares
1. Application Software: Application Software is used to do a specific task.
MS Word used for typing (word processing)
MS Access used for Record keeping
MS PowerPoint used for presentations
Calculator used for mathematical calculations
2. System Software: System Software is used to utilize and control the hardware of
computer. System Software is also used to facilitate the application software to run on a
- Windows XP, Antivirus, Disk Manager etc

What are the Uses of Computers?

Computers can be used in different areas. Some of which are as follows.
1. Education: Online Books, Digital Dictionary, Student Information System
2. General Business: Pay Information, Business Sale and Purchase, Stock Record
3. Banking: Check Clearance, Electronic Payment, Loan, Zakat Deduction etc
4. Governmental: Budget Analysis, Taxes, Registration of People and
5. Health Care: Image Processing, Scanning, Medical Tests etc
6. Military: Missile System Control, Radar System etc
7. Personal Usage: Internet, Music, Games, reading etc

Generations of Computers
1. First Generation (1950 – 1959)
At this time computers were used only by professionals. These computers used vacuum
tubes as electronic switches. These computers were bulky, cause tremendous heat
problem, not reliable and inefficient because of a great number of breakdowns.
2. Second Generation (1959 – 1965)
In second generation computers used transistors instead of vacuum tubes. Speed of
transistors is high than vacuum tubes. These systems used magnetic drum for storage.
These computers were speedy, capable of storage, had faster input and output devices,
free of heat problems and small in size as compared to first generation computers.
3. Third Generation (1965 – 1975)
New technology known as Integrated Circuit (IC) was used in the construction of third
generation computers. These computers were speedy, had more storage capacity as
compared to second generation of computers.
4. Fourth Generation (1975 - )
In this generation Micro-Computers were introduced. In this generation
computers became very small. Micro-computers support great input, output, storage and
processing capabilities. In this generation laser technology for storage on CD’s and
DVD’s was introduced.
Types of Keyboards
There are four types of keyboards
1. Traditional Keyboard: These are full sized and rectangular keyboards that
include navigational functions and numeric keys.
2. Flexible Keyboards: These are like Traditional Keyboards but made of soft
material that one can fold or roll up the keyboards. Such type of keyboards is used
for portability due to easy packing.
3. Ergonomic Keyboards: These keyboards are not in rectangular shape. These
keyboards are shaped in a stylish way and at the bottom a space for palm rest is
provided to the user.
4. Wireless Keyboards: These keyboards have no wire connected. These use
wireless signals to connect to the computer.
5. PDA Keyboards: These keyboards are small in size and used with handheld
devices like PDA’a.
Types of Mouse
1. Mechanical Mouse: This is traditional type of mouse. In such type of mouse
there is a ball on the bottom. Mouse pad or smooth surface is needed to use such
type of mouse.
2. Optical Mouse: Laser Light is used to detect mouse movements. Such type of
mouse can be used on any surface.
3. Cordless or wireless mouse: such type does not use any wire or cable to connect
with the computer. Battery power in the mouse and sensor at the CPU are needed
to use such type of mouse.
Define Information Technology?
Information Technology is a modern technology that describes the combination of
traditional computers and communication technologies.
What is an information system?
A system that collects, processes, stores, analyze and distribute information is called an
information system.
There are five parts of an information system.
a. People: Are end users who use computer to make them more productive.
b. Procedures: Are the rules or guidelines for people to follow when using software,
hardware and data. These rules are called manuals or documentations.
c. Software: Are the programs consists of step–by–step interactions that tell the
computer how to do its work.
d. Hardware: The equipments (keyboard, mouse, CPU etc) that process the data to
create information.
e. Data: It is the raw, unprocessed facts including numbers, text, images and sounds.
There is an additional part of information system known as “Connectivity” which is used
to connect computer and share information. For example Internet.
What are the types of computers?
There are four types of computer
a. Supercomputer: are most powerful and high capacity computers. Used by large
organization like NASA for space explorations.
b. Mainframe Computer: Occupy especially wide air-conditioned Room. They also
have great processing power but less than supercomputer. Insurance companies use these
c. Minicomputer: Also knows as midrange computer are refrigerators sized computer.
Normally these computers are special used in production plants.
d. Micro Computer: are the latest powerful most widely used and fastest growing type
of computers examples are desktop; notebook; tablet pc and handheld.
Micro-Computer Hardware
Microcomputer hardware is composed of following
1. System Unit
2. Input/Output Devices
3. Secondary Storage
4. Communication

1. System Unit:
System Unit is also known as system cabin or CPU. It contains electronic components of
the computer. Microprocessor and memory lies in this unit.
(a) Microprocessor: All the processing is made through microprocessor. Micro
processor can be further divided into to parts. That are (i) Arithmetic Logic Unit and (ii)
Control Unit.
(i)Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): Performs Arithmetic operations such as
Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division ( + , - , * , / )
Perform Logical Operations that make comparison between data items and make
logical decision based on the result of the comparison. Logical operations can be
Equal to ( = ), Less than ( < ), Greater than (>), Less than or Equal to ( < = ),
Greater than or Equal to ( > = ) and not equal to ( < > ).
(ii)Control Unit (CU): It is the overall director of the computer system. It
controls the input/output devices, interpret and implement software instructions,
keep track of the software execution and allow CPU to communicate with the rest
of the computer system.
(b) Memory: Memory is also known as primary storage. It is used for storage purpose.
Memory holds data, instructions and information. There are three types of primary
memory i.e. RAM, ROM
(i) RAM (Random Access Memory): RAM chip holds the programs (sequence
of instructions) and data that the CPU (Central Processing Unit) is presently processing.
RAM is called temporary or volatile storage because it lost data as soon as the computer
is turned off.
(ii). ROM (Read-only Memory): ROM chip has programs built into them at the
factory. ROM chips are not volatile and can not be changed by the users. Read only
means that the CPU can only read or retrieve data and programs from ROM however it
can not write data or information to ROM.
2. Input/Output Devices
Input devices are used to translate data and programs to computer understandable format.
Output devices are used to translate data and programs to human understandable form.
Examples of input devices are keyboard and mouse and output devices are monitors and
3. Secondary Storage:
Provides permanent or non-volatile storage means it can store data and programs even if
the computer is turned off. Common characteristics of secondary storage devices are:
a. Media or Medium: The actual physical material that holds data and programs.
b. Capacity: How much data can be stored on a device.
c. Storage Devices: The hardware that reads or writes data from the media.
d. Access Speed or Access Time: The amount of time required to retrieve
data and programs from storage device.
4. Communication
By communication we mean connection on one computer with another. Different
computers can be connected for the purpose of sharing resources. For communication we
use Fax modems and LAN Cards (Ethernet Cards).
What is Data?
Data: Are the unorganized facts which are stored in files. There are four types of data
a. Document Files: Are created by word processors to save documents.
b. Worksheet Files: Are created by electronic speed sheets to analyze budgets and
c. Database Files: Are created by database management programs which are used to
store data in organized form.
d. Presentation Files: are created by presentation graphics programs to save presentation
Q: Write note on Secondary Storage:
Provides permanent or non-volatile storage means it can store data and programs even if
the computer is turned off. Common characteristics of secondary storage devices are:
a. Media or Medium: The actual physical material that holds data and programs.
b. Capacity: How much data can be stored on a device.
c. Storage Devices: The hardware that reads or writes data from the media.
d. Access Speed or Access Time: The amount of time required to retrieve
data and programs from storage device.
There are four commonly used types of secondary storage devices namely floppy disks,
hard disks, optical disks and flash disks.

Q: Define System Software in details:

A. System Softwares provides an interface for end users with application softwares and
computer hardware to handle different tasks. System softwares commonly consist of
operating systems, utilities (service programs) and device drivers.

Q: What is an Operating system ?

An operating system is a system software that controls the hardware of the computer. It is
the collection of softwares that facilitate the other application software to run on
computer. It is an interface between the computer hardware and the user.

What are the Functions of Operating Systems: The functions of an operating system
can be divided into three major categories:
1. Managing Resources: These programs are responsible to provide a means of fair
distribution of computer system resources among different running programs. The
computer system resources include memory, processor, storage and input/output
devices. These programs also monitor the performance, security and startup of the
computer system.
2. Providing User Interface: Users interact with application programs and
computer hardware through a user interface. The older operating system (like
DOS and UNIX) had provided with a character based user interface in which
the command were provided on a prompt in written form like dir, copy etc. These
interfaces are also called command-line-interface (CLI). The newer operating
systems (like Windows XP, LINUX etc.) are provided with a graphical-user-
interface (GUI). GUI uses icons and windows dialog boxes and other graphical
3. Running Applications: These programs load and run application programs such
as word processors and spreadsheets. Most operating systems support multi-
tasking that is the ability to switch between different running applications stored
in memory. The example of multitasking is to have MS Word and Excel both
running at the same time. The program which we are currently working-in is
described as running in the foreground and the other program or programs are
running in the back ground.

Q: What are the Features of Operating Systems:

Operating systems have several features in common which are:
1. Icons: Graphical representations for a program or function.
2. Pointer: Controlled by a mouse and changes shape depending upon its current
function. For example when its shape is like an arrow then it can be used to select
items such as an icon.
3. Windows: Rectangular areas for displaying information and running programs.
4. Menus: Provides a list of options or commands.
5. Dialog Boxes: Provide information or request input.
6. Help: Provides online assistance for operating system functions and procedures.

What are the Categories of operating systems?

There are three basic categories of operating systems namely embedded operating
systems, network operating systems and stand-alone operating systems.
1. Embedded Operating Systems: Are used for handheld computers and smaller
devices like PDAs and mobile phones. The entire operating system is permanently
stored on ROM within in the device. Examples are Windows CE.NET and Palm OS.
2. Network Operating Systems: These operating systems are used to control those
computers which are linked together with each other in the form of a network.
Network operating systems are typically located on one of the connected computer’s’
hard disks called network server. Server coordinates all communication among the
connected computers.
3. Stand-Alone Operating Systems: Also called desktop operating systems, control a
single desktop or notebook computer. These operating systems are located on the
computers hard disk. When a desktop computer with stand-alone operating system is
connected with a network it becomes a network client and its operating system is
called client operating system.
Define Utilities:
Utilities are the special programs used to make the use of computer easier. Some
common utilities programs are:
2.1. Common Utilities
2.1.1. Troubleshooting or Diagnostics: Theses programs recognize and correct
2.1.2. Antivirus: These programs secure the computers against viruses (unwanted
2.1.3. Uninstall: Which allows us to safely and completely remove unneeded programs
and files from our computers
2.1.4. Backup: Programs that make the copies of files to be used in case of originals are
lost or damaged.
2.1.5. File Compression: Programs that reduces the size of files so that they occupy less
storage space.
2.2. Windows Utilities:

2. Device Drivers:
Every device connected to a computer, such as mouse or printer, has a special
program associated with it. This program is called a device driver or simply driver.
Driver works with the operating system to allow communication between the device
and the rest of the computer system. On the startup of a computer the operating
system loads the drivers at first.
Basic Application Softwares (Chapter 3)
Application software can be defined as end-user software used to perform a verity of
tasks. The basic application softwares are also known general purpose application and
productivity application are widely used in every field of life. The basic application
softwares include word processors, spread sheets, database management systems and
presentation graphics.

1. Common Features of Basic Application Softwares:

a. User Interface: It is the portion of the application that we work with.
b. Graphical User Interface (GUI): It displays the graphical elements like:
c. Icons: Used to represent the programs.
d. Pointers: Are controlled by a mouse, used to start any program.
e. Window: Window is rectangular area which shows a document, program or message.
f. Menus: Are used to represent list of commands.
g. Menu Bar: All the menus are represented by a menu bar.
h. Pull down or Dropdown Menu: It is appeared when a menu in the menu bar is
i. Dialog Box: They show information or take input from users.
j. Help: It is one of the commands of menu bar. It provides access to help features.
k. Tool Bars: They are just below the menu bar. They contain small area called Buttons,
which are used to provide access common command.
l. Standard Tool Bar: Contains a verity of common commands which are frequently
m. Speech Recognition: This feature provides the facility to accept voice as input to
select menu options and dictate text.

2. Web-Based Applications
It is an application program or service, provided to the users by Application Service
Providers (ASPs) using World Wide Web. ASPs allow access to different types of
application programs. To use web-based applications, we connect to the ASP; copy the
application program to the computers’ memory and then run the application. For
Windows Messenger
3. Word Processors
Word processors create text based documents and are flexible and most widely used.
They are also used to create memos, letters, newsletters, manuals, brochures and faxes.
Almost all the organizations use them for their work.
a. Word Wrap: It is used to move and adjust the text automatically.
b. Spelling Checkers: Are used to correct the misspelled words.
c. Grammar Checkers: Are used to correct grammatical errors like capitalization,
punctuations and sentence structure.
d. Thesaurus: It provides the synonyms, antonyms for the selected words.
e. Find and Replace: It is used to locate and replace a selected word quickly.
f. Format: It is used to change the appearance of the document.
g. Font: It is used to change the font style, font size and other characteristics of the
words; like to make selected text bold, italic and underline.
h. Bulleted and Numbered Lists: Are used to give sequence and numbers to elements in
the text.

4. Spreadsheets
Spreadsheet program and manipulate numeric data. It is used to organize, analyze and
graph data such as budgets and financial data. It is commonly used by accountants,
marketing companies etc.
a. Workbooks: It contains one or more worksheets.
b. Worksheets or Spreadsheets: It is a rectangular grid of rows and columns.
c. Rows: Rows are used to represent data horizontally.
d. Columns: Columns are used to represent data vertically.
e. Cells: It is the intersection of a row and column which contains numeric or text
f. Ranges: It contains the selected data (text or numbers) for any further operations.
g. Formulas: A formula is an instruction or process to perform some calculation on the
selected range of data.
h. Functions: These are prewritten formulas provided by the spreadsheet program that
performs calculation like to add a series of cells.
i. Charts or Analytical Graphs: It is the visual or graphical representation of data.
j. Recalculation: If the data is changed with in the area where any function or formula
is already applied then the all the calculations will be automatically updated, this is
called recalculation.
k. What-if Analysis: The process of observing the effects of changing data in one or
more cells is called what-if analysis.

5. Database Management Systems

1. Database: It is a collection of related data. Data is stored in database files in the form
of tables i.e. rows and columns.
2. Database Management Systems (DBMS) or Database Manager: It is a program
that sets up or structure a database. It also provides tools to enter, edit and retrieve data
from the database. Its use is common world wide.
a. Relation Database: It stores and organizes data in the form of tables.
b. Tables: It’s the collection of rows and columns which stores data.
c. Records: A row in a table is called a record.
d. Fields: The columns of the tables are called fields.
e. Sorting Tool: A sort tool is used to rearrange the data according to the selected field.
f. Query: A query is a question for a specific data within the database.
g. Forms: Forms are displayed on monitors’ screen. Forms are used to enter data in
records within a table.
h. Reports: Reports are used to display data on screen or they can also be printed.

6. Presentation Graphics
Presentation graphics are used to create interesting and professional presentations. These
are programs that combine a verity of visual objects to create attractive and visually
interesting presentations.
a. Slides: Electronic presentations are consisted of a series of slides which contains the
actual contents of presentation.
b. Auto Content Wizard: Used to guide the users to automatically create the
c. Design Template: Provides the professionally selected combinations of color
schemes, slide layouts and special effects.
d. Master Slides: It is a special slide which is not included in the presentation. But it is
used to control the format and placement of all slides in the presentation.

Q. What is Information Technology?

Information Technology is the application of computer science and communication
technology in terms hardware and software.