ECDL Module 1

Concepts of IT
Windows Vista / Microsoft Office 2007 – Syllabus Five

ECDL Module 1 – Page 2
HARDWARE CONCEPTS Hardware. What is a personal computer? Apple computers Laptop & palmtop computers Features of handheld portable digital devices Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Mobile Phones (cell Phones) Media players Smartphones Parts of a computer The CPU Memory (RAM) ROM-BIOS Disks The Hard (Fixed) Disk INPUT/OUTPUT PORTS Universal Serial Bus (USB) Port Serial Port Parallel Port Network Port FireWire Port COMPUTER PERFORMANCE Factors affecting computer performance CPU Clock speed RAM size Hard disk speed and storage Free hard disk space De-fragmenting files Multitasking considerations CPU speeds MEMORY AND STORAGE What is computer memory? RAM ROM ROM-BIOS Video (graphics) memory Measurement of storage capacity Types of storage media Internal hard disks External hard disks CDs DVDs Recordable CD & DVD drives USB flash drives (memory sticks) Memory cards Network drives and on-line file storage Floppy disks (diskettes) INPUT DEVICES Input devices Keyboard Mouse Scanners Tracker balls Touch pads Joysticks Web cams 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 17 17 17 17 17 18 18

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Digital Cameras Microphones OUTPUT DEVICES Output devices Traditional computer monitor Flat screen computer monitor Flat screen computer screens Projection devices Speakers and headphones Speech synthesizers Printers Different types of printers Laser printers Colour laser printers Inkjet printers Dot Matrix printers INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICES Some devices are both input and output devices SOFTWARE CONCEPTS What is software? What is an operating system? Examples of software applications Word processing applications Spreadsheets applications Database applications Presentation applications E-mailing applications Web browsing applications Photo editing applications Computer games Difference between the operating system and application programs Accessibility options Voice recognition software Screen reader software Screen magnifier software On-screen keyboard NETWORKS NETWORK TYPES LAN (Local Area Network) WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) WAN (Wide Area Network) Client/server networks Internet World Wide Web (WWW) vs. the Internet Intranets Extranets DATA TRANSFER Downloading from & uploading to a network Data transfer rate measurement Broadband vs. dial-up Internet connection services Internet connection options Features of a broadband Internet connection ICT IN EVERYDAY LIFE 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 21 21 21 21 21 22 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 26 27 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30 30 32

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ELECTRONIC WORLD What does ‘Information and Communication Technology’ (ICT) mean? Internet services for consumers E-commerce Advantages of e-commerce Disadvantages of e-commerce E-banking E-government E-learning Uses of computer applications in education Tele-working Some of the advantages of tele-working Some of the disadvantages of tele-working COMMUNICATION Electronic mail (e-mail) Instant messaging (IM) Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds Blogging (web logs) Podcasts VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES Online (virtual) communities Social networking websites Internet forums (message boards / discussion boards) Chat rooms Online computer games Publishing and sharing content online Sharing photos, video and audio clips Precautions when accessing online communities HEALTH What is ergonomics? Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Lighting issues when using a computer Screen and keyboard positioning Seating issues when using a computer Wellbeing when using a computer Make sure that cables are safely secured Make sure that power points are not overloaded ENVIRONMENT Computer recycling options Computer energy saving options SECURITY IDENTITY/AUTHENTICATION Computer logon user name (ID) and password Password policies DATA SECURITY Off-site backups Why do you need to back your computer? Organising your computer for more efficient backups Complete vs. incremental backups What is a firewall? Data theft issues VIRUSES Computer viruses Computer viruses infection issues 32 32 32 32 32 33 34 34 34 34 35 35 36 36 37 37 37 37 37 38 38 38 38 38 38 39 39 39 39 40 40 40 40 40 41 41 41 41 41 42 42 43 43 43 43 43 43 44 44 44 44 44 45 45 45

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Protecting against computer virus infection What to do if you discover a virus on your computer The limitations of anti virus software LEGAL ISSUES COPYRIGHT What is copyright? Copyright Issues when copying files SITE LICENSES Site licences are used by larger organisations Checking software licence status What is an ‘end-user license agreement’ within Office 2007 software Types of licence agreement What is shareware? What is freeware? Open source software DATA PROTECTION Data Protection and Privacy Issues Data Protection Legislation Data protection legislation relating to those that keeps data (data collectors) Data protection legislation relating to individuals about which data is stored (data subjects) ABBREVIATIONS & TERMINOLOGY 45 45 46 47 47 47 47 48 48 49 49 49 49 49 50 50 50 50 51 51 52

Note: The


refers to a video clip that can be found in the folder named clips

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but NOT a PC. Typical Users: Home users. Even the hardware add-ons have to be customised to some extent to be able to be connected to a Mac. What is a Mac? • Hint The Apple Mac is a computer. or in plain Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .ECDL Module 1 – Page 6 Hardwareaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Concepts Hint Hardware • The term hardware refers to the physical components of your computer such as the system unit. In the early days the thing which really distinguished the Mac over the PC was the GUI (Graphical User Interface). Doctors. Education. Capacity: Large hard disks combined with a large working memory (RAM) Speed: Fast. What is a PC? • IBM invented the PC (Personal Computer) way back in 1981. monitor etc. Normally measured in GHz. The term PC compatible relates to PCs manufactured by companies other than IBM which are compatible with the traditional PC specification. keyboard. Costs: Getting cheaper by the day. most PCs ran an operating system called DOS (Disk Operating System). though many extensions have been made. It uses a different operating system. large and small office users. All PCs released since then are in many ways compatible with the original design. These days most PCs will be running a version of Microsoft Windows such as Microsoft Vista. mouse. In fact just about everyone needs to know how to operate a PC these days. and requires special versions of application programs (such as word-processors or spreadsheets). In the early days.

Features of handheld portable digital devices • A range of small portable digital devices are now available including: . What are laptop & palmtop computers? • Laptop computers. Typical Users: Business users. they can now match the power of a Desktop computer. with Microsoft buying a stake in Apple. people on the move. A newer term. rather than a keyboard and can be used for storing and retrieving information. so there is a price overhead when compared to a PC of equivalent power. as the name implies. many can connect to the Internet. rather than the traditional bulky VDUs (Visual Display Units). Cost: Components need to be much more compact. These are especially popular with salespersons on the move or people giving presentations. Speed: Fast. Often speed specifications are less than for a PC of equivalent price. you really had to be a bit of an expert to use and maintain your PC.Mobile (Cell) phones . Like most computer devices.Multimedia players Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) • • • These devices use a special pen. Capacity: Large hard disks combined with a large memory (RAM) – Often less powerful than for a PC of equivalent price. a clock and a calendar Many allow you to to send and receive emails and even browse the web. Palmtops are even smaller computers which can literally fit into the palm of your hand. They use special screens.Smartphones . Normally measured in GHz. PDAs have many built-in features such as a calculator. are small portable computers which can run on batteries as well as mains power. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Recently the differences between the PC and the Mac have blurred. While they tend to still be more expensive than an equivalent Desktop computer. They are extremely compact. simply indicates a VERY small laptop. educational users. In the early days of the PC. which allows for longer battery life as well as portability.Personal digital assistants (PDAs) . “Notebooks”.ECDL Module 1 – Page 7 English the way you could use the mouse to drive the computer.

for example. making and writing on spreadsheets.ECDL Module 1 – Page 8 • PDAs can also be used for accessing the internet. video recording. or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. satellite phone. Smart phones Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . recording survey responses. Short Message Service (SMS). Depending on the architecture of a particular system. Mobile phones connect to a wireless communications network through radio wave or satellite transmissions. Multimedia presentations. often referred to as a cellular phone or cellphone. Most mobile phones provide voice communications. enabling them to be used as mobile phones (smartphones). coverage may include the entire Earth. or extranets via Wi-Fi. Mobile Phone • An electronic telecommunications device. pictures. combine sound. playing computer games. Newer PDA salsa have both colour screens and audio capabilities. sending and receiving e-mails. Capacity: Much smaller storage capacity compared to a PC. web browsers. and newer phones may also provide Internet services such as Web browsing and e-mail. or only specific regions. and videos. Costs: In relative terms expensive when compared to a PC. Typical Users: Mostly business users. • Media players • The form and technology used to communicate information. all of which are different types of media. Many PDAs employ touch screen technology. typewriting and word processing. use as an address book. Multimedia Message Service (MMS). A satellite telephone. Speed: Much less than a PC unless you pay a lot extra. scanning bar codes. and Global Positioning System (GPS). or Wireless Wide-Area Networks (WWANs).

For others.Types of memory . Memory (RAM) • The RAM (Random Access Memory) within your computer is where the operating system is loaded to when you switch on your computer and Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . a smartphone is simply a phone with advanced features like e-mail. It is the CPU which performs all the calculations within the computer. Registers: The registers are memory storage areas within the CPU that hold the data that is working on by the ALU.Input and output devices The CPU • The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is normally an Intel Pentium (or equivalent) and it is one of the most important components within your computer. The control unit (CU): The control unit extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them. a 2 GHz Pentium is much faster than say a 1 GHz Pentium CPU. when running programs such as word-processors. Thus. and/or a built-in full keyboard or external USB keyboard and VGA connector. There is no industry standard definition of a smartphone. Bus: The computer bus transports data between the memory and registers. calling on the ALU when necessary.ECDL Module 1 – Page 9 • A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities. For some. spreadsheets and databases. Parts of a computer • Hint You should understand some of the basic elements that make up a computer including: . it is a miniature computer that has phone capability. a smartphone is a phone that runs complete operating system software providing a standardized interface and platform for application developers. often with PC-like functionality (PC-mobile handset convergence). Internet and e-book reader capabilities.Central processing unit (CPU) . Arithmetic logic unit (ALU): The ALU performs the arithmetic and logical operations. It determines how fast your computer will run and is measured by its MHz or GHz speed. In other words.The hard disk .

such as printers. They are much faster than CD/DVDs and can also hold much more data. When you create data. your word processor. Hard disks are installed within the system unit of your computer. As a rule of thumb. The picture shows the inside of a hard disk (which you would not normally see). letters and pictures). Disks • You use disks to store any data that you create. games etc) and your data.Basic Input Output System) chip is a special chip held on your computer's system (mother) board.ECDL Module 1 – Page 10 also where your applications are copied to when you start an application. such as a word processor or database program. the more RAM you have installed in your computer the better. these are initially created and held in RAM and then copied to disk when you save the data. for instance it is responsible for copying your operating system into RAM when you switch on your computer. serial. your application programs (i.g. network and FireWire ports. It contains software which is required to make your computer work with your operating system.e. large data storage area within your computer. ROM-BIOS • The ROM-BIOS (Read Only Memory . Input/output Ports • The Input and Output ports are normally located at the back or on the side of your computer. These days you will commonly find over 2 Gigabytes of RAM installed. These include ports such as USB. This can range from a memo created within a word processor to a video file created using a video camera. (e. parallel. There are many different types of disk. Hard disks are used to store your operating system. scanners and cameras. Hard (Fixed) Disk • Hard disks are the main. You plug cables into these ports to connect your computer to other devices. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .

These days you are more likely to use a USB cable to connect the computer to a printer. or interface. Network Port • The network port allows you to plug a ‘network cable’ into your computer. A single USB port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices. Serial Port • A port. such as mice.ECDL Module 1 – Page 11 Universal Serial Bus (USB) Port • Universal Serial Bus. and keyboards. Firewire Port • A very fast external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of up to 400Mbps (in 1394a) and 800Mbps (in 1394b). These include CPU speed. types of graphics card processor and memory plus the number of applications running. USB also supports Plug-and-Play installation and hot plugging. Parallel Port • A parallel interface for connecting an external device such as a printer. Note: The parallel port used to be the main way the computer connected to a printer. that can be used for serial communication. RAM size. in which only 1 bit is transmitted at a time. Most personal computers have both a parallel port and at least one serial port. Computer Performance Factors affecting computer performance • There are a wide range of factors that can affect the performance of your computer. an external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps. which then lets you communicate with other computers connected to your local network or to other computers via the Internet. modems. It is important to realise that it is not just the speed of the CPU that effect Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .

The clock speed is given in megahertz (MHz). RAM size • As a rule the more memory you have the faster the PC will appear to operate. a task being a program. Hard disk speed and storage • Hard disks are also measured by their speed. To some extent this slowing Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . the worse the issue. De-fragmenting files • When a file is written to a disk. The data storage capacity of hard disks continues to increase as new products are released. The disk storage capacity is measured in Gigabytes (GBytes). Microsoft Windows will create many so-called “Temporary files” which it uses for managing your programs. This is due to the (Random Access Memory). which is measured in milliseconds. defined by the disk access time. In fact. To optimize files for fast access. The further apart on a disk the noncontiguous clusters are. the file cannot be written in contiguous clusters. if you have very little free hard disk space you may find that Microsoft Windows will not be able to run your programs at all. Multitasking considerations • The ability to execute more than one task at the same time. • Defragmentation is the process of moving portions of files around on a disk to defragment files. The higher the MHz speed the faster the computer. that is. The higher the clock speed the faster the computer will work for you. the slower each one will run. 1 GByte is equivalent to 1024 Mbytes. Windows also uses the hard disk a lot. you not only need a fast hard disk but also a large hard disk with plenty of “spare space”. CPU Clock speed • The computer clock speed governs how fast the CPU will run. the process of moving file clusters on a disk to make them contiguous.ECDL Module 1 – Page 12 the overall performance of your computer. so logically the faster the hard disk can operate then again the faster the PC will appear to run. Noncontiguous clusters slow down the process of reading and writing a file. because of the time it takes to move the read/write head of a hard drive. The smaller this access time the faster the hard disk will store or retrieve data. A file with noncontiguous clusters is fragmented. There is no point in having a very fast CPU if the other parts of a computer may slow down the real world performance. However the more programs which are running at the same time. Free hard disk space • To get the most out of your Windows based PC. a volume can be defragmented.

The higher the value the faster the CPU will operate.e. What is the ROM-BIOS? • The 'Read Only Memory Basic Input Output System' chip is a chip located on the computer's system (mother) board. it is copied into RAM. What is ROM? • Hint Read Only Memory (ROM) as the name suggests is a special type of memory chip which holds software which can be read but not written to. 1GHz is a thousand times faster. the information is lost when you switch off the computer). Data which is stored on a hard disk can be permanent. As a rough rule. Data and programs stored in RAM are volatile (i. Often network cards and video cards also contain ROM chips. while data which is being processed is stored in RAM (Random Access Memory). The original IBM PC could only use up to 640 KB of memory (just over half a megabyte). When adverts refer to a computer having 128 Mbytes of memory. CPU speeds • The speed (operating frequency) of the CPU is measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). When you first switch on the computer the ROM-BIOS software performs a selfKullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Editing a large high definition video for instance can take up a lot of CPU time. A good example is the ROM-BIOS chip.77 MHz whereas modern PCs can run at over 4000MHz. a Microsoft Windows based computer will operate faster if you install more RAM. When the operating system loads from disk when you first switch on the computer. This software performs a variety of tasks. Normally when people talk about memory in relation to a PC. it is this RAM which they are talking about. they are talking about RAM. which gives you an idea of how far things have progressed. What is RAM? • Random Access Memory (RAM) is the main 'working' memory used by the computer. Memory and Storage What is computer memory? • You can store data on your hard disk.ECDL Module 1 – Page 13 effect depends on what each program is doing. while data in RAM is only temporary. which contains software. which contains read-only software. • 1 MHz means that the device will run at one million cycles per second. so that 1 GHz = 1000 MHz. Commonly modern computers are supplied with over 2 GB of RAM. whereas a modern computer can effectively house as much RAM as you can afford to buy. The original IBM PC released way back in 1981 ran at 4.

internal hard disk. Bit: All computers work on a binary numbering system. A digital computer uses the numbers 0 and 1 (or on and off if you prefer).ECDL Module 1 – Page 14 diagnostic to check that the computer is working OK. memory cards. these chips are usually located on the video card.000. Humans work in tens (because we have 10 fingers).000 bytes. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Kilobyte: A kilobyte (KB) consists of 1024 bytes. which means that the hardware can process 32 bits at a time. The on-screen pictures are held in special memory chips called video memory chips. 32 bit or 64 bit software. approximately 1. USB flash drives.000 bytes. approximately 1. for instance a flash drive is great for quickly transferring relative small amounts of data from one computer to another.000. either the amount of memory (RAM) or the hard disk capacity we are talking about numbers which are multiples of 0 or 1.000. A modern computer will be supplied with several Megabytes of video memory. To use the jargon humans work in base 10. What is video (graphics) memory? • The picture which you see on your screen is a form of data and this data has to be stored somewhere. Measurement of storage capacity It is important to understand the following terminology: Basic Units of Data Storage: It is important to realise that the term digital computer refers to the fact that ultimately the computer works in what is called binary. network drives and on-line file storage.000. external hard disks.000 bytes. When we talk about computer storage. Some are more suitable than others for a particular job. Terabyte: A terabyte (TB) consists of approximately 1. Megabyte: A megabyte (MB) consists of 1024 kilobytes.e. i. Types of storage media • These days area range of storage media to choose from including CDs. Software is also described as 16 bit. DVDs.000. they process data in ones or zeros. Gigabyte: A gigabyte (GB) consists of 1024 megabytes. This software then loads your operating system from the disk into the RAM.000. Often hardware is specified as a 32-bit computer. Byte: A byte consists of eight bits. This 1 or 0 level of storage is called a bit.

CDs • Most computers are now supplied with a CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory) drive. The other big advantage of CDROMs is that they are interchangeable. Modern entries into the market consist of standard SATA. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Recordable CD &DVD Drives • CD-ROMs are read-only devices. They are much faster than CD-ROMs and can also hold much more data. The advantage of a CDROM is that it can hold a vast amount of data (equivalent to the storage capacity of over 450 floppy disks). These also transfer the data from the disk to the computer far faster. DVD Drives • Short for "Digital Versatile Disk”. External Hard Disk • An external hard disk drive is a type of hard disk drive which is externally connected to a computer.5 GB. your word processor. This means that you can own a range of different CD-ROMs and choose which one to insert into your CD-ROM drive. while a single-layer. These devices require the purchase of special CDs to which you can write.7 GB of data. Similar to CD-ROM drives but allows you to use DVD disks. your application programs (i. music or video to your own CDs. but increasingly people are purchasing a special type of CD drive unit which allows you to record data.ECDL Module 1 – Page 15 Internal Hard Disk • Hard disks are the main. A double-sided DVD increases the storage capacity to 17 GB (or over 25 times the data storage capacity of a CD-ROM). single-sided DVD can store 4. IEEE 1394 Firewire. games etc) and your data. Hard disks are used to store your operating system.e. allowing you to watch movies on your computer screen. The two-layer DVD standard allows a capacity of 8. CD-ROM discs look exactly like music CDs but contain computer data instead of music. or SCSI hard drives in portable disk enclosures with SCSI. USB. The picture shows the inside of a hard disk (which you would not normally see). eSATA client interfaces to connect to the host computer. A CD-ROM can store 650 MB of data. Hard disks are installed within the system unit of your computer. which contain vastly more information than a traditional CD-ROM disk. IDE. called CD-R (Compact Disc – Recordable). large data storage area within your computer.

Input Devices Input devices. as diskettes are notoriously unreliable this is not the best way of backing up valuable data (but is better than nothing).e. This means that your data is safely backed up for you. handheld devices and other small electronic devices. However. USB flash drives are touted as being easy-to-use as they are small enough to be carried in a pocket and can plug into any computer with a USB drive. This allows you to store your data centrally.ECDL Module 1 – Page 16 USB flash drives (memory sticks) • A small. They are very slow compared to hard disks or CD-ROMs. • Floppy disks (diskettes) • Floppy disks are also known as diskettes. Sometimes people will backup (i. but they are smaller and more durable because they do not contain any internal moving parts. Alternatively you may create and store your data on your own PC or laptop and periodically copy it across the network to be stored safely on a central network server. Network drives and on-line file storage • Within an office it is normal that the computers are connected together via a network. • Input devices allow you to input information into the computer and include things such as the keyboard and mouse. that is the memory card will not lose its data when removed from the device. and hold relatively small amounts of data (1. In many companies network software automatically backs up selected folder or each computer to the central server. USB flash drives have less storage capacity than an external hard drive.44 Mbytes). including digital cameras. portable flash memory card that plugs into a computer’s USB port and functions as a portable hard drive. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Memory cards • Memory cards are a popular storage medium for many of today's consumer electronics devices. Flash memory is nonvolatile. This network server should be backed up by the IT support staff on a daily basis. and the cards can also be erased or reformatted and reused. on a network server. cellphones. copy) important data from their hard disk to floppy disks.

You can scan pictures and then manipulate these inside the PC using a graphics application of your choice. digital artwork. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Before this. Touch Pads • A touch pad is a desktop device and responds to pressure. Scanners • A scanner allows you to scan printed material and convert it into a file format which may be used within the PC. generically called OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programs which are specifically designed for converting printed text into editable text within your applications. There are a number of specialist programs. it should be robust and easy to use. the operating system (DOS) would normally be controlled via the keyboard. They may take a while to get used to if you are used to the traditional mouse. you can scan printed text and convert this not just to a picture of the text but also to. a commonly used model now has a small wheel on it which when combined with the correct software allows additional functionality and fine control over the use of your applications. The Mouse • The mouse came into common use on a PC with the introduction of the Microsoft Windows operating system. There are many different types of mice. Used in conjunction with a special pen they can be used by graphic artists wishing to create original.ECDL Module 1 – Page 17 The Keyboard • The keyboard is still the commonest way of entering information into a computer. including those specially designed for use with Microsoft Windows. In addition. There are a number of different types. These days it is vital to be a competent mouse user. Tracker balls often give much finer control over the movement of the items on the screen. actual text which can be manipulated and edited as text within your word-processor. Tracker Balls • A tracker ball is an alternative to the traditional mouse and favoured by graphic designers. The quality of the keyboard is often overlooked when buying a PC. but offer a lot in terms of added flexibility.

Like most things in life you get what you pay for with joysticks and it is worth investing in a good. While not yet considered a standard piece of PC kit. Currently they are limited by the quality of the image recorded and the number of pictures which you may store within the camera. due to the limitations of the software combined with hardware limitations. strongly constructed model. as well as having a number of configurable buttons. where you train the software to respond to your particular voice. the more sophisticated respond to movement in 3 axis directions. Whilst still not perfect this is a key technology of the future. There are many different types. Microphones • Early voice recognition systems offered very poor results. It takes an awful lot of CPU processing power to convert the spoken word into text which appears on the screen. especially bearing in mind that children will hammer these devices whilst playing games. Output Devices Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .ECDL Module 1 – Page 18 Joysticks • Many games require a joystick for the proper playing of the game. These pictures can easily be transferred to your computer and then manipulated within any graphics programs which you have installed on your computer. You can now use a small digital movie camera (a Web cam) mounted on the PC monitor to allow two-way communication involving not just text communication but sound and video communication as well. Most of these systems require an initial training period. it is only a matter of time … Digital Cameras • A digital camera can be used in the same way a traditional camera can. the Web has become increasingly interactive. the images are stored digitally in memory housed within the camera. Web Cams • Ever since it was invented. but instead of storing images on rolls of film which require developing. Things are changing rapidly however and recent systems allow you to talk to a PC and see text appear on the screen.

Flat screen computer screens • Flat panel displays encompass a growing number of technologies enabling video displays that are lighter and much thinner than traditional television and video displays that use cathode ray tubes. printers. common sizes range from 15” to 21” screens.ECDL Module 1 – Page 19 Output devices • Include items such as screens (monitors. They are best used in combination with presentation programs. The original computer monitors were TV type screens on which you viewed your programs. Traditional computer monitor • An output device. and digital cameras. • Computer presentation projection devices • These are projection devices which can be attached to your computer and are useful for displaying presentations to a group of people. whatever disadvantages exist are overcome by the portability requirements. cellular phones. They are used within education and are also very popular for sales presentations. They were supplied in different sizes. They can be divided into two general categories: Volatile or Static. and are usually less than 4 inches (100 mm) thick. Flat panel displays balance their smaller footprint and trendy modern look with high production costs and in many cases inferior images compared with traditional CRTs. as well as the cost of replacement bulbs. speakers and headphones. In many applications. specifically modern portable devices such as laptops. When purchasing one of these devices the two things to look out for are the resolution (go for a minimum of XGA) and the brightness of the lamp (the brighter the better). Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . such as Microsoft PowerPoint. Other factors to be aware of are the quietness (or otherwise) of the device. The price of these devices has dropped dramatically recently. You should be aware that poor quality or badly maintained monitors could harm your eyesight.

In large organisations. Whilst these systems are far from foolproof they are getting better as more advanced software is being made available. Most common are ink jet and laser printers both of which can now produce coloured output (at a cost) Different types of printer • • There are many different types of printers. Ink jet printers can work out even more expensive to run. Laser printers Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . it is now possible to use a microphone to talk to the computer and for the computer to directly convert the spoken word into text which will be displayed within say your word-processor. This enhances the value of educational and presentation products and can now be considered a standard PC component. the monitor may have speakers built directly into the unit. When you buy a printer. Each computer connected to the network can print using a particular shared printer. you could receive a text email from a colleague and the system could read that email to you. Printers • Most data is printed once you have created it and there are a vast number of different printers available to accomplish this.ECDL Module 1 – Page 20 Speakers and headphones • • Most computers are sold with the capability to add a pair of speakers to your system unit. On the flip side. In fact. Speech synthesizers • A recent development is the ability not only to display text on a monitor but also to read the text to you. the printers are connected to the computers via a network. In most organisations. This is of enormous benefit to the visually impaired when using a computer. one of the things the salesperson will not necessarily stress is how much it will cost to keep that printer running. Laser printers do not use ink: they use something called toner which is normally supplied in a sealed unit called a toner cartridge is very high. Thus. laser printers are most commonly used because they can print very fast and give a very high quality output. in some cases. Most computers allow you to plug headphones into one of the computer sockets. This is useful as the sound will then not annoy others in the room. This means that each person with a computer does not require his or her own printer.

Dot matrix printers are used for high volume / low quality printing.g. e. Input and Output Devices Input/Output devices • Some devices are both input and output devices. The more pins the print head has the higher the quality of the print. Dot Matrix printers • Dot matrix printers work by firing a row of pins through an ink ribbon onto the paper. and accept input when people touch the menus displayed on the screen. It can also be used for uploading and sending emails. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Colour laser printers • Originally. Inkjet printers are very quiet in operation and produce print quality comparable to that of laser printers.g. A touch screen can display a menu system (output device). printing letters in a small office or in the home.ECDL Module 1 – Page 21 • Laser printers produce high print quality at high speed. Inkjet printers • Inkjet printers work by using tiny jets to spray ink onto the paper. most modern dot matrix printers have 24 pins. you should be aware of the fact that the "price per page". Unfortunately. though laser printers still have the edge in terms of speed. More recently colour laser printers have dropped in price and are entering wide spread use. There is a wide range of laser printer manufacturers and one buzzword to be aware of is Postscript. While many of these produce excellent results. Inkjet printers are ideal for low volume printing where high quality print is required and speed is not a high priority. dot matrix printers can generate a lot of noise and do not produce a very high quality of print. printing company pay slips. They are called "laser printers" due to the fact that they contain a small laser within them. A modem can be used for downloading information from web sites and receiving emails. most laser printers would only print in black and white (mono). the inkjet printer has now largely replaced the dot matrix printer. especially when printing graphics. a type of printer which is designed to give very high quality reproduction of pictures. e. especially if you are using a lot of colour on a page can be very high compared to the cost of printing in black and white. As a result.

IBM produced an operating system called OS/2 but this was largely ignored and is only used by a few companies.ECDL Module 1 – Page 22 Softwarea aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Concepts What is software? • Hint The software is the collection of instructions which makes the computer work. What is an Operating System? • Hint The operating system is a special type of program which loads automatically when you start your computer. This operating system was very basic. The operating system allows you to use the advanced features of a modern computer without having to learn all the details of how the hardware IBM OS/2: http://www. Later on. there are a number of different types of Windows.e. Later. there are a number of different types of Windows. Microsoft introduced Windows and this is the operating system which is most widely used on PCs today. as and when required. It was NOT user-friendly. when you type in words via the The first widely used version of Windows was called Windows 3. Microsoft Windows: Microsoft: http://www. The IBM PC (Personal Computer) was introduced way back in 1981 and was originally supplied with an operating system called DOS (Disk Operating System). Most people are today running either Windows XP or Windows Vista.e. CD-Rom. Other types of Linux: http://www. To complicate matters further.1. copied) from the disk into the computers RAM (Random Access Memory). This was more powerful than DOS and far easier to you could 'drive' it using a mouse and drop down menus. the software is responsible for displaying the correct letters.linux. such as those manufactured by Apple have a completely different operating system. and you had to be a bit of a computer expert just to understand how to use • • • • Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . different releases of Windows were introduced. For instance. Software is held either on your computer’s hard disk. It had a Graphical User Interface (GUI). UNIX and Linux are other examples of operating systems which may be run on PCs.www. There are a number of different types of operating system in common use. To complicate matters further. DVD or on a diskette (floppy disk) and is loaded (i. i. in the correct place on the screen.

advertisements. Microsoft Excel http://www.nsf/welcome/wordpro WordPerfect http://www. It enables you to make 'what if' type projections of how the company will fair in the future and to forecast how changes in prices will affect databases (for organising large amounts of information).com/ Microsoft Word http://www.www. You can easily mail merge a list of names and addresses to produce mass UNIX: http://www. games programs and graphics programs (for producing pictures. spreadsheets (for doing accounts and working with numbers).nsf/welcome/lotus123 Databases • A database program (such as Microsoft Access) allows you to compile information and then to search this information to extract just the Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . memos. It is important that you recognise examples of application programs covering the following areas: Word processing Spreadsheets Databases Presentations E-mailing Web browsing Photo editing Computer games • Word processing • A word processing program (such as Microsoft Word) allows you to produce letters.htm Lotus Word Pro http://www. individually addressed to customers or subscribers.unix.ECDL Module 1 – Page 23 Linux: http://www.corel. Examples include word-processing programs (for producing letters. manuals etc).microsoft. expenditure and then calculate the Spreadsheets • A spreadsheet program (such as Microsoft Excel) allows you to work out a company’s What is an application program? • An application program is the type of program which you use once the operating system has been loaded. memos etc).linux.. Lotus 123 http://www. etc. Examples include Photoshop from Adobe and Paint Shop Pro from Correl. Computer games • Computer games started off as simple bat and ball games and today have evolved into an enormous worldwide You can remove defects such the red eye effect often caused when using a Web browsing • Applications used to view and interact with the World Wide Web (WWW). Microsoft Internet Explorer http://www. contact and colour balance. to the ‘shoot them up’ Mozilla Firefox http://www. You can adjust items such as the picture Lotus Freelance Photo editing • These programs allow you to edit digital Lotus Approach http://www. You can apply interesting special effects and filters to visually enhance your photographs. Microsoft PowerPoint http://www. which can be printed out directly onto slides for use with an overhead projector. Microsoft Access http://www.ECDL Module 1 – Page 24 information you require. There are many different types of games renging from the Presentation • A presentation program (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) allows you to produce professional looking presentations.mozilla. For instance. As the name suggests you use these to send and receive emails. Another well know example is the Thunderbird email program. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . The level of graphical detail on screen gets better each year. Microsoft Outlook is supplied within Microsoft Office.nsf/welcome/freelance E-mailing • There are many emailing programs available. you can display your presentations directly on a computer screen or via a computerised projector. if you have a database of all the equipment housed within an office you can very simply produce a report listing only the equipment above a certain Netscape Navigator http://www.

Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . These cover: -Voice recognition software -Screen reader software -Screen magnifier software -On-screen keyboard. not that it understands what is being said. whether a video monitor is present or not).ECDL Module 1 – Page 25 There are many different formats available for games. For instance Microsoft Word is designed as a word processing program. Difference between the operating system and application programms • • The operating system works closely with the hardware that you have installed within your computer. Comprehending human languages falls under a different field of computer science called natural language processing. • In addition many web sites are now written to be compatible with software designed to increase accessibility. • Screen reader software • A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or. The most powerful can recognize thousands of words. They are specific to a particular task. A number of voice recognition systems are available on the market. while others require a dedicated console such as a Sony Playstation Famous example include Doom (a shoot them up game) and Simms (a game where you build your own little world within the computer). If interprets the input via the mouse or keyboard and outputs data to the screen. sent to standard output. The application programs sit above the operating system. more accurately. However. Voice recognition software • The field of computer science that deals with designing computer systems that can recognize spoken words. they generally require an extended training session during which the computer system becomes accustomed to a particular voice and accent. Such systems are said to be speaker dependent. Accessibility options • There are a range of options to improve computer accessibility. Note that voice recognition implies only that the computer can take dictation. while Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. and make use of the functionally built into the operating system. Some games can be played on a standard computer.

and the role of organizations like charities. such as screen magnifiers. Try searching the web for ‘screen reader software’ for an idea of what is available. visually impaired. Screen reader choice is contentious: differing priorities and strong preferences are common. or a Braille output device.S.ECDL Module 1 – Page 26 This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech. making it easier to read for the visually impaired. cost (even to upgrade a screen reader can cost hundreds of U. dollars). The Window XP Narrator options look like this: • There are many rival commercial option available. The options include the following: Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Microsoft Windows has basic screen magnifier software included. Screen readers are a form of assistive technology (AT) potentially useful to people who are blind. sound icons. including platform. illiterate or learning disabled. schools. and employers. • A person's choice of screen reader is dictated by many factors. Screen magnifier software • This type of software magnifies the screen contents. often in combination with other AT.

ECDL Module 1 – Page 27 On-screen keyboard • • An on-screen keyboard is a representation of the physical keyboard on the screen. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . It is designed for use by individuals that are not able to use a physical keyboard. Windows has a basic on-screen keyboard option located within the Accessories group.

and now exploited by the commercial world. but rather the network is connected by radio waves and/or microwaves to maintain communications. Even more useful is the ability to share information when connected to a network. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . is less powerful. the whole world). other devices such as modems or scanners can be shared. What is the Internet? • Hint A collection of networks started by and for the US military to enable them to 'survive' a nuclear war. What is a WAN? • A WAN (Wide Area Network) as the name implies allows you to connect to other computers over a wider area (i. the office can have a single printer and all ten people can print to it. WLAN (Wireless local Area Network) • Wireless is the term used to describe any computer network where there is no physical wired connection between sender and receiver. Later adopted by the educational system. while each client workstation. In a similar way. In this way. For instance if ten people are working together within an office it makes sense for them all to be connected.ECDL Module 1 – Page 28 Networks aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Network Types What is a LAN (local Area Network)? • A LAN (Local Area Network) is a system whereby individual PCs are connected together within a company or organisation. which the users have. What does client/server mean? • This term relates to the type of network where resources are kept centrally on the server and used locally by the client. The server tends to be a very powerful PC (or group of PCs).e.

you will find there is plenty of information available. An Intranet uses Internet technologies to allow users to access company documents.ECDL Module 1 – Page 29 • The Internet is a global network of interconnected networks. this has interesting possibilities. Data Transfer Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . If you publish material on the Web.). It is possible for a small company to sell products and services worldwide. closed version of the Internet. As a marketing tool. email and newsgroups. you have no idea how accurate or up to date a lot of the information you access really is. Also. it also includes FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Whether you are gathering information about a rival company on the other side of the world. a web browser. which can only be accessed by authorised members of an organisation. Once a company has installed a comprehensive Intranet many users need only one piece of software on their PC. What is the difference between the Internet and an Intranet? • An Intranet is a smaller. The WWW is basically the text and pictures which you can view using your web browser. The unique thing about the Internet is the sheer amount of information which you can access from it. What is the difference between an Intranet and an Extranet? • An Extranet is an Intranet which is partially accessible to authorised outsiders. such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. or Netscape Navigator. Whatever your interest. An Intranet is normally only accessible by members of the same company or organisation. What is the difference between the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet? • The World Wide Web (WWW) is just a small part of the Internet as a whole. you can search for and find information on the most obscure topics. an extranet also allows outsiders who have been issued with a password to gain limited access to information held on a company network. These days the problem is often not finding information but rather dealing with the sheer amount of information which is available. or are looking for information about your family tree. For research the Internet is an incredibly valuable tool. Extranets are being used as a way for business partners to share information. without the need for a single sales-person. Intranets are becoming an increasingly popular way to share information within a company or other organisation. as well as the WWW. The Internet relates to all the hardware and software involved. it can be accessed by everyone on the Web (providing they can find it. search databases. schedule meetings and of course send emails.

mainframe. and allows much faster transfer rates than when using modems. or network. Cable TV. you must upload the files from your PC to the network. . you can transfer 64 Kbit or 128 Kbit of data per second. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . • Data transfer rate measurement • The speed with which data can be transmitted from one device to another. uses broadband transmission.ECDL Module 1 – Page 30 Downloading from & uploading to a network • Hint To transmit data from a computer to a bulletin board service. dial-up Internet connection services • Broadband connection: A type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once. Dial-up access is really just like a phone connection. except that the parties at the two ends are computer devices rather than people. for example. Dial-up connection: Refers to connecting a device to a network via a modem and a public telephone network. To copy data (usually an entire file) from a main source to a peripheral device.ISDN stands for "Integrated Services Digital Network. The term is often used to describe the process of copying a file from an online service or bulletin board service (BBS) to one's own computer. Broadband vs.000 bits per second).Megabits per second (mbps) High speed data transfer is measured im megabits per second. For example. the maximum data rate with dialup access was 56 Kbps (56.Kilobits per second (kbps). In the past. if you use a personal computer to log on to a network and you want to send files across the network. Because dial-up access uses normal telephone lines. . . It is based on traditional 'copper wire' technology and can transmit analogue voice data." ISDN dates back to 1984.Bits per second (bps).PSTN (or Public Switched Telephone Network) is the technical name for the public telephone system. Downloading can also refer to copying a file from a network file server to a computer on the network. Data rates are often measured in: . • Internet connection options • Phone line: . Very slow connections will be quoted in bits per second. the quality of the connection is not always good and data rates are limited. Using ISDN.

Wireless Internet Connections: Wireless Internet.ECDL Module 1 – Page 31 . A satellite is placed at a static point above the earth's surface. Cable: Through the use of a cable modem you can have a broadband Internet connection that is designed to operate over cable TV lines. IoS is slightly slower than high-speed terrestrial connections over copper or fiber optic cables. • • Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . It is typically more expensive and mainly available in metropolitan areas. A more recent technology which allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines. and it may be difficult to find a wireless service provider in some areas. you use radio frequency bands.5 to 50 Mbps when receiving data (called the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (called the upstream rate). in a fixed position. Instead of using telephone or cable networks for your Internet connection. but requires a special ADSL modem. Satellite: Internet over Satellite (IoS) allows a user to access the Internet via a satellite that orbits the earth. ADSL allows data transfer rates of ranging from 0. a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access. • • Mobile phones: newer phones may also provide Internet services such as Web browsing and e-mail. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines. Cable Internet works by using TV channel space for data transmission. with certain channels used for downstream transmission. Wireless Internet provides an always-on connection which can be accessed from anywhere — as long as you geographically within a network coverage area.ADSL is short for 'Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line'. and other channels for upstream transmission. Wireless access is still considered to be relatively new. or wireless broadband is one of the newest Internet connection types. Because of the enormous distances signals must travel from the earth up to the satellite and back again.

E-commerce • The phrase e-commerce is a buzzword which relates to buying or selling via the Internet.ECDL Module 1 – Page 32 ICT in Everyday Life aaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Electronic world What does ‘Information and Communication Technology’ (ICT) mean? • Information and Communications Technology. Detailed product information: Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Large stock range: A larger range of stock can be carried than a conventional store. either by exchanging e-mail messages or by participating in online conferences (forums). Increasingly you can purchase directly via a Web site by selecting the goods or services which you require and entering your credit card details. but rather it can be held in one central distribution warehouse. accessing all this data carries a price. Advantages of e-commerce There are many advantages using e-commerce: Services available 24 / 7: Unlike a normal shop which closes in the evening. news stories hot off the wire.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator) will normally inform you (via a popup) when you are entering or leaving a secure server. Internet services for consumers • Hint A business that provides its subscribers with a wide variety of data transmitted over telecommunications lines. In addition. Subscribers can get up-to-date stock quotes. The stock does not have to be distributed and duplicated over many physical stores. you can shop via the Internet 24 hours a day. When you send your credit card details these SHOULD be encrypted by the site operators so that no one can intercept your details. and 365 days a year. the service can connect users with an almost unlimited number of third-party information providers. 7 days a week. in fact. Online services provide an infrastructure in which subscribers can communicate with one another. almost any information that has been put in electronic form. Most sites which accept credit card payment are on secure services and your Internet browser program (i. articles from many magazines and journals. it is the study or business of developing and using technology to process information and aid communications. Of course.

When it comes to credit card fraud there is basically one rule 'wherever humanly possible the bank never pays: someone else does'. is unlikely to go bust tomorrow. Right to return defective goods: Most e-commerce web sites will have a 'Returns Policy' and it is advisable to read this prior to purchase. You can use the information on these sites to compare prices. Each country may have its own laws relating to consumer protection.ECDL Module 1 – Page 33 A detailed product description for each product. along with a picture can be given. BEFORE you make an online purchase. Just because you see trade association logos on a site. make sure that someone is not you. How are you covered when you purchase goods from another country? This is a minefield. Ask for references from other customers. who pays to return them. you know that the company is well respected. which can later be sold to criminals so that they can make purchases with your money. Equal delivery to town and country: The fact that you may live in the countryside. But what about when you purchase online from a company you have never heard of? Look for clues. Are full contact details provided? If in doubt ring the phone numbers provided on the site and try to decide whether the company sounds genuine. far from the nearest town makes no difference at all when shopping via the Net. Check the small print on your credit card agreement. There can even be links to the product manufactures own web site. do not assume that the use of these logos is Is there a client list on the site? How long has the company been trading. What about returning faulty goods?: If the goods arrive and are substandard. Is the web site genuine?: When you purchase from a company such as amazon. and above all will not attempt to 'run off with your money'. Be warned! Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . In many cases you will find that the law gives you a right to return defective goods or even goods which are not quite as you expected. Ability to compare prices: Many sites claim to offer you the very best prices. Disadvantages of e-commerce Includes the following: Possible Credit card Fraud: Some web sites have been set up solely to trick you into providing your credit card details. Where do you return them to? Be sure you know about a company’s returns policy. There are organisations now whose sole purpose is to verify that other web sites belong to honest companies.

with no face-to-face interaction. and other arms of government. The computer eventually turned up in February. in good time for Christmas. Uses of computer applications in education • Student registration and timetabling: There are many specialist programs designed to computerise these otherwise time consuming tasks. or telephoning them. making it a very profitable operation for the bank. but was unable to talk to a real person and was forced to rely solely on email contact with the company. Computer Based Training (CBT): Computer Based Training (CBT) offers a low cost solution to training needs where you need to train a large amount of people on a single subject. transactions and interactions with citizens. where technology is used to support the learning process. However. E-learning • E-learning (or sometimes electronic learning or eLearning) is a term which is commonly used. These programs are normally supplied on CD-ROM / DVD and combine text.ECDL Module 1 – Page 34 Can you talk to a real person? I recently heard a radio presenter who purchased a computer online. also much broader definitions are common. For example. businesses. it may include all types of technology-enhanced learning (TEL). graphics and Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien • . Never buy from a company which does not provide you with full contact details including a telephone number. E-banking • The phrase e-banking relates to managing your money online. with numerous examples of poor security coupled with sloppy operations. Instead of having to go to the local branch. As Christmas due near he tried to find out what was happening. There are security considerations relating to online banking. online government or transformational government) is a diffused neologism used to refer to the use of information and communication technology to provide and improve government services. you can pay your bills online and move money from one place to another. digital government. through a very well known PC manufacturer. but does not have a common definition[1]. E-government • e-Government (short for electronic government. also known as e-gov. He purchased the computer for his daughter. Most frequently it seems to be used for web-based distance education. Some online banks have no physical branches at all.

This saves time (and money) for the employee and reduces environmental overheads. the e-learning tutorials may not be available for some time following the release of a new version of software. • Using the Internet as a homework resource: The Internet is the ultimate resource for getting the information necessary to complete a student’s homework. or a new certification syllabus. .If the training is solely computer based. .Often e-learning solutions are cheaper to provide than other more traditional teaching methods. through to advanced use of video images with sound.The download speed may be too slow for some forms of e-learning .There may be no opportunity to ask a question of a real person. . • Tele-working • Tele-working is a broad term which refers to people working at home connected to the rest of the organisation via a computer network. Advantages include: .Because of the increased time required to produce some types of elearning packages. The Internet can also be used to set and collect homework (via email).One trainer can train many people at many different locations. Communication is via email or the telephone. . Also the teaching can be at any time. Disadvantages include: . 24 hours a day.The Internet connection may temporarily fail for some reason. . Packages range from general encyclopaedias right through to learning a foreign language.ECDL Module 1 – Page 35 sound. This arrangement has advantages and disadvantages to both the employer and the employee. In many cases there can be real-time two-way communication between the teacher and the student. as less commuting means less car pollution. Some of the advantages of tele-working • Advantages include: Reduced or zero commuting time. 7 days a week. and repeat parts of a course which they do not understand.You may have to pay for the connection time. As an alternative to training via CD-ROM / DVD. Distance learning systems: E-learning is a term used to describe studying via the Internet. It means that the employee does not arrive at work already stressed Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . then the students can work at their own pace. by the minute. It can take many forms ranging from a simple web version of printed books. CBT can also be delivered via the Internet.

as long as the job gets done. which will allow them to uniquely access their own work stored within the computer system. Flexible schedules: In many cases. there are many disadvantages for tele-workers. It also means that work can be finished in the evening if required. Greater ability to focus on one task: As there are fewer interruptions from low priority phone calls. People simply sit at any desk and log on to the networked computers using their own ID. which include: Lack of human contact: Many people cite this as the single biggest factor when switching from a regular office job. Communication Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Some large companies using teleworking restrict trade union activity (or if they can. or at sites outside the main office complex. but come the evening you may not feel like working. To some extent this is offset by video links and by occasional gettogether meetings. just so that people can keep in touch. ban it altogether). If it is a beautiful day. such as picking up the kids from school. to tele-working. and finish your work later. In fact many companies now arrange company gossip networks. it does not matter when the job gets done. there is a greater ability to concentrate and focus. "Hot Desking" is a term used to indicate that people do not have a desk dedicated to their exclusive use.ECDL Module 1 – Page 36 from car jams or late train connections. why not take advantage of the weather. This means there is time for other activities. Hot Desking is popular where staff spend a proportion of their time working at home. Possible Employee Exploitation: If workers are isolated from each other there is the possibility for companies to take advantage. Negative impact on teamwork: If you never see the rest of the team it is hard to feel part of the team. Reduced office desk space requirements: The cost of Office space can be very high and tele-working can help to reduce these costs if a proportion of the staff work at home. Self-discipline: It can take a lot to work from home and remain focused on work. It is all very well saying 'I will take the afternoon off and work this evening'. Some of the disadvantages of tele-working • As well as advantages.

You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual. a type of communications service that enables you to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the Internet. As well as sending a text message. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds • RSS is the acronym used to describe the de facto standard for the syndication of Web content. "Blog" can also be used as a verb. anywhere in the world. RSS is an XML-based format and while it can be used in different ways for content distribution. descriptions of events. Internet telephony. meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. It requires both computers to be connected to the Internet.ECDL Module 1 – Page 37 Electronic mail (e-mail) • Hint Email allows you to send a message to another person almost instantly. its most widespread usage is in distributing news headlines on the Web. or other material such as graphics or video. headlines. excerpts from discussion forums or even corporate information. communication. A user that can read RSS-distributed content can use the content on a different site. Other terms frequently encountered and synonymous with VoIP are IP telephony. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other packet-switched networks. not voice-based. Instant messaging (IM) • Abbreviated IM. A Web site that wants to allow other sites to publish some of its content creates an RSS document and registers the document with an RSS publisher. project updates. and broadband phone. Blogging (web logs) • A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog")[1] is a type of website. files can be sent as email attachments. voice over broadband (VoBB). the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. Typically. news stories. analagous to a telephone conversation but using text-based. events listings. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary. broadband telephony. Syndicated content can include data such as news feeds.

With podcasting however. e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media such as newsletters. and a technological evolution of the dialup bulletin board system. you have a set of subscriptions that are checked regularly for updates and instead of reading the feeds on your computer screen. including text-based chatrooms and forums that use voice. educational or other purposes. internet social network service or instant messages rather than face to face. Chat rooms • The term chat room.ECDL Module 1 – Page 38 Podcasts • Podcasting is similar in nature to RSS. it is called an online community. is primarily used by mass media to describe any form of synchronous conferencing. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact. video text or avatars. or message board. professional. forums or boards are web applications managing user-generated content. for social. or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . such as e-mail and instant messaging services. Virtual Communities Online (virtual) communities • Hint A virtual community. occasionally even asynchronous conferencing. telephone. The term can thus mean any technology ranging from real-time online chat over instant messaging and online forums to fully immersive graphical social environments. Social networking websites • A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities. Internet forums (message boards / discussion boards) • An Internet forum. which allows subscribers to subscribe to a set of feeds to view syndicated Web site content. you listen to the new content on on your iPod (or like device). email. From a technological standpoint. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board. Virtual and online communities have also become a supplemental form of communication between people who know each other primarily in real life. If the mechanism is a computer network. Many means are used in social software separately or in combination. is an online discussion site. or chatroom. Significant sociotechnical change may have resulted from the proliferation of such Internet-based social networks.

It can be uploaded to a website or FTP server for easy download by others. Publishing and sharing content online • A computer file can be e-mailed to customers. making online games a form of social activity beyond single player games. but games have always used whatever technology was current: modems before the internet. multi-media (photos. The expansion of online gaming has reflected the overall expansion of computer networks from small local networks to the Internet and the growth of Internet access itself. video and audio clips • File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information. this almost always means the Internet or equivalent technology.ECDL Module 1 – Page 39 Online computer games • An online game is a game played over some forms of computer network. World Wide Web-based hyperlinked documents. such as computer programs. Online games can range from simple text based games to games incorporating complex graphics and virtual worlds populated by many players simultaneously. access to the file may be controlled by user authentication. refers to techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer or transferred online cannot be read or Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . colleagues and friends as an attachment. At the present. for example. It can be put into a "shared location" or onto a file server for instant use by colleagues. or electronic books. transmission. audio. the transit of the file over the Internet may be obscured by encryption. and hard wired terminals before modems. and money may change hands for access to the file. and the use of distributed peer-topeer (P2P) networking. The load of bulk downloads to many users can be eased by the use of "mirror" servers or peer-topeer networks. The price can be paid by the remote charging of funds from. Common methods are manual sharing using removable media. documents. It may be implemented in a variety of storage. Many online games have associated online communities. centralized computer file server installations on computer networks. In any of these cases. Sharing photos. and distribution models. Precautions when accessing online communities • In the computer industry. a credit card whose details are also passed— usually fully encrypted—across the Internet. video).

You should consider using the best (i. For detailed work.ECDL Module 1 – Page 40 compromised by any individuals without authorization. Data encryption is the translation of data into a form that is unintelligible without a deciphering mechanism. ergonomics plays an important role in the design of monitors and keyboards. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . too bright or appears to flicker. You may want to consider the use of a pad on which you can rest your arms. then get a qualified technician to take a look at it. you should also consider using a large screen rather than the 'standard' 14" or 15" screens which are in common use. You should take regular breaks to help avoid this type of injury. Health What is ergonomics? • The science concerned with designing safe and comfortable machines for humans. You may wish to use a filter attached to the screen to reduce glare. If the screen is badly focused. More information: http://www. as opposed to always gazing at a screen a few inches from your eyes.e. Most security measures involve data encryption and passwords. In many Lighting issues when using a computer • You should take regular breaks to avoid staring constantly at the screen and straining your eyes. A password is a secret word or phrase that gives a user access to a particular program or system. This is a condition caused by constant use of the keyboard or mouse. In the computer field.rsi-center. which will help to some extent. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) • Often referred to as RSI. your employer has a legal duty to pay for eye tests for employees as and when they request it. The better the monitor the better the screen resolution and the higher the refresh rate. You should periodically refocus into the distance. You can get filters which fit in front of the screen and reduce glare. Screen and keyboard positioning • Your screen: Your screen should be fully adjustable so that your eyes are at the same height as the top of the screen. one branch of ergonomics deals with designing furniture that avoids causing backaches and muscle cramps. most expensive) monitor which you or your company can afford. For example.

It should have an adjustable back. Avoid long trailing cables as you or other people can easily trip over them and cause injury to yourself or others. Seating issues when using a computer • Your chair: Your chair should be fully adjustable. Network cables tend to be delicate and easily damaged and the most common cause of failure to log onto a network server is that someone has accidentally dislodged or damaged the network cables. • Wellbeing when using a computer • • Take regular breaks. If you need more power sockets. Make sure that cables are safely secured • You should always use the power cables which were supplied with your computer or cables of a similar quality. and be able to be moved up or down. which may produce ozone when printing. Apart from personal injury. Make sure that power points are not overloaded • Overloading of a power point is dangerous and a potential fire hazard. Ventilation is especially important if you are using a laser printer.ECDL Module 1 – Page 41 • Your keyboard: Use a good keyboard and you may also wish to use a wrist pad to relieve pressure on your wrists. Make sure that the cables are safely secured at the back of the desk and that you have power points located near the desk. Make sure that the area where you are using the computer is adequately lit and well ventilated. Your feet: You may wish to use a footpad to rest your feet while using the computer. Environment Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . have them properly installed by a qualified electrician. accidentally pulling out a power cable could cause your computer to lose power and you will lose data as a result. If your desk has a cable ducting system make sure that you use it. have regular eye tests and get a good desk and chair to maintain good posture.

rather than printed manuals. You may also wish to consider the use of recycled toners in your printers (but be aware that in some cases this may invalidate the printer’s guarantee). • Computer energy saving options • Many monitors and other peripherals will automatically switch into 'sleep' mode after a period of inactivity. in fact some charities now collect spent toner cartridges.ECDL Module 1 – Page 42 Computer recycling options • • You should have a separate bin for paper which can be sent for recycling (be sure that sensitive material is first shredded). Printer toner cartridges can be sent for recycling. will save on the amount of paper consumed. Where possible the use of on-screen manuals and help systems. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . and send them for recycling. This equates to less trees being cut down. it will consume less power. This means that even though the computer is still switched on.

which is known as electronic vaulting or e-vaulting. off-site data protection. the network administrators often have access rights to just about every computer.e. or vaulting. connected) to the rest of your computer network. accidental error. printer. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . or computer network. It is important to choose a password which cannot be easily guessed by other people. It is also recommended that you change your password regularly. You on the other hand may have access rights to print to only certain. is the strategy of sending critical data out of the main location (off the main site) as part of a disaster recovery plan. In addition you use a password which is only known to you. or share. The idea of access rights is that you only have the ability to connect to. modem etc on the network. Ideally a password should be at least 8 characters long & contain a mixture of words and numbers. Once you have logged on (i.ECDL Module 1 – Page 43 Securityaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Identity/Authentication Computer logon user name (ID) and password • Hint A User ID is normally used to logon to a computer. Sending backups off-site ensures systems and servers can be reloaded with the latest data in the event of a natural disaster. Password policies • Your password is the only thing which will prevent someone else logging into a computer using your user ID and impersonating you. The password guarantees that no one can access the network and impersonate you (in theory). specified printers and you may be able to access only certain data held on the network. Your network administrator will have defined these access rights. you will have been assigned access rights to the network. Data Security Off-site backups • In computing. It uniquely identifies you to the network. Sending backups off-site also ensures that there is a copy of pertinent data that isn’t stored on-site. Data can also be sent electronically via a remote backup service. devices which you have authority to use. Off-site backup services are convenient for companies that backup pertinent data on a daily basis (classified and unclassified). Data is usually transported off-site using removable storage media such as magnetic tape. or system crash. some computer systems will require you to change your password periodically. In other words.

but suffers from the disadvantage that this process can take a long time if your computer contains a lot of data. you have a computer containing many programs and also a large amount of data which you have created.ECDL Module 1 – Page 44 Why do you need to back your computer? • The most important thing which you store on your computer is information. copy your files to a floppy disk and make sure that these backup disks are stored away from the computer. you only backup files which have been newly created or modified since the last backup. In smaller organisations. networked computer. where the data is normally held on a centralised. If the hard disk stops working one day you could lose all those years of work. it is often up to the individual to organise some sort of data backup. This has the advantage that the entire hard disk can be backed up. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet. Complete vs. saving time. An incremental backup means that once a week you can perform a complete backup. If you create a folder structure which contains only data then only this directory (plus any sub-directories of this directory) needs to be backed up. ideally off-site. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall. With the right backup software. If nothing else is available. Data theft issues Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria. especially intranets. or a combination of both. Often the contents of a hard disk can represent years of work. In large organisations this backup procedure is normally performed automatically by your computer support team. then it is only the data which really needs to be backed up. this process is automatic. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software. incremental backups • A complete backup means which you backup all the data on your computer. and normally you only have to select full or incremental. but every night for the rest of the week. if your backup disks are stored next to the computer they too will be incinerated. For this reason it is VITAL that you take regular backups of the information which is stored on the computer. Organising your computer for more efficient backups • When you think about it. What is a firewall? • A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. If there is a fire and your office burns down.

ECDL Module 1 – Page 45 • Data theft is a growing problem primarily perpetrated by office workers with access to technology such as desktop computers and hand-held devices capable of storing digital information such as flash drives.mcafee. or misuse it while they are still in employment. Different viruses are activated in different ways. Many anti-virus programs. It is vital to keep your virus monitoring software up to Dr Solomon anti-virus software http://www. or over a computer network. such as Norton Anti Virus allow you to update the program so that the program can check for recently discovered viruses. either via use of infected floppy disk. BEWARE: Viruses can destroy all your data. Viruses Computer viruses • Hint Viruses are small programs which hide themselves on your disks (both diskettes and your hard disk). Since employees often spend a considerable amount of time developing contacts and confidential and copyrighted information for the company they work for they often feel they have some right to the information and are inclined to copy and/or delete part of it when they leave the company. The worst thing about a computer virus is that it can spread from one computer to Norton Anti-virus software http://www. Computer viruses infection issues • Viruses hide on a disk and when you access the disk (either a diskette or another hard disk over a network) the virus program will start and infect your computer. Unless you use virus detection Protecting against computer virus infection • There are a number of third party anti-virus products available. What to do if you discover a virus on your computer Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . iPods and even digital cameras. The main thing about your virus checker is that it should be kept up to date. For instance. the famous Friday the 13th virus will activate only when it is both a Friday and the 13th of the month. the first time that you know that you have a virus is when it activates. Many companies supply updated disks on a regular basis or allow you to receive updates automatically via the Internet. The Internet allows you to access files from all over the world and you should never connect to the Internet unless you have a virus-checking program installed on your computer. More Information: McAfee Anti-virus software http://www.

The other common method of infection is via emails. • The limitations of anti virus software • Anti virus software can only detect viruses (or types of viruses) which the software knows about.ECDL Module 1 – Page 46 • If you discover a virus on your computer don’t panic. you should have a company IT support group which will come and rid your computer of viruses. Be sure that you are familiar with your company’s policy regarding viruses. If your virus checker alerts you to a virus. For instance you may insert a diskette into your computer and the virus checker should automatically scan the diskette. If the diskette contains a virus. If you work within a larger company. As such it is vital that you keep your anti virus software up to date so that it can detect new viruses which are constantly appearing. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . a message will be displayed telling you that the diskette is infected. and it should automatically remove the virus. then the chances are that it has caught the virus before the virus could infect your computer and cause damage.

Because CD-ROM writers have become so widely available. or movie clips from Star Trek. Many people will buy a copy of a game and make a copy for their friends or other family member. it may be illegally copied. publisher.ECDL Module 1 – Page 47 Legal Issuesaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbibaa Copyright What is copyright? • The legal right granted to an author. such as FAST (the Federation Against Software Theft).don't' is the safe rule. Some are genuine and have the authority to offer you a free download of images. composer. you could find yourself being prosecuted. which are dedicated to preventing the illegal copying of software. There are numerous organisations. or distributor to exclusive publication. If you can download a film for free before it is even officially available on video/DVD. There are many sites offering free graphics and clipart. Get written permission to used downloaded materials and 'if in doubt .startrek. Even downloading sound clips to replace the bleeps which Microsoft Windows makes is often illegal. sale. Most text which you will find on the Internet is copyrighted. sound clips. Abbreviated as (c) or ©. if your manager tells you to copy software. Even lending your program disks or CD-ROM to other people may be breaking the law in most cases. production. ALWAYS first make sure that you have a licence which entitles you to copy the software. • • • Copyright Issues when copying files • Transferring files across a LAN: You need to be careful that you do not accidentally make copies of Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . you will be personally liable for damages. In a business situation. Never copy text without authority to do so and always quote your sources. because in many countries. it is a pretty good bet that the site is unauthorised. Popular examples are pictures. Cover yourself. Many sites however may not have this authority. Some sites even allow the 'free' download for complete films or music tracks. Always be careful of software which you may find advertised at very cheap prices. or distribution of a you will see that use of images. If you do so you may be breaking the law and if caught. and even the name 'Star Trek' is protected and may not be used on 'fan sites'. playwright. If you visit the official Star Trek site (www. Most programs which you purchase are copyrighted and you must not copy them. This is also normally unlawful. or artistic work. games or data. Do not do this. dramatic. musical. it has become possible to copy entire CD-ROMs which can contain software.

It is often fully functional. The more copies you make the more the user licence will cost. in some cases be allowed to make a single. This user licence allows you to make copies and install them on each computer. instead they will buy a site licence. • • • • Site Licenses Site licences are used by larger organisations • Many large companies do not go out and buy a certain amount of 'shrink-wrapped' copies of each software product which they need. You are not allowed to distribute copies to family and friends. or better: you can purchase a user licence. backup copy of disk. does not necessary mean that the owners of the Internet site have the authority to allow you to do this. or in some cases it may stop working altogether after the trial period. Sometimes the shareware versions may be fully functional. It is very important not to confuse freeware and shareware. even entire movie films. You are certainly not allowed to copy and re-sell commercial software. but after a time period will either start to display an annoying message. where the aim was not to profit from the software. then you can either purchase a separate copy of the software you require for each PC.ECDL Module 1 – Page 48 software via your Local Area Network (unless of course you are authorised to make such copies). Shareware: This is where you can use software for a free trial period. Just because a site may say you are free to download materials from the site. asking you to register (i. User Licences: If you have more than one PC. you may. It is possible to download entire software packages from the net. Freeware: This is software which can be copied or downloaded for free. pay for) your software. In many cases however it is not legal to do so. These site licences are different in Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . Examples may include software developed by organisations such as Universities. • Downloading files from the Internet: You need to be VERY careful when downloading files from the Internet. but the cheaper the effective cost per PC. Copying diskettes / CD-ROMs / DVD / ZIP disks: If you purchase software. This 'try before you buy' method of getting software is becoming increasing popular with the major software suppliers.e.

Contractual confidentiality is another way of protecting software. Demonstration disks often come under this category. irrespective of whether it is in the public domain. After this period. but generally mean that the companies purchasing the licence can make a fixed numbers of copies available to their staff. More information: http://shareware.ECDL Module 1 – Page 49 their small print. It also defines how many copies of the software you are entitled to. Types of licence agreement • Some software comes with the license when purchased off the shelf or an OEM license when bundled with hardware. normally via a company network. The features that distinguishes them are significant in terms of the effect they have on the end-user's rights. Software licenses can generally be fit into the following categories: proprietary licenses and free and open source licenses. This agreement can be very large and is drawn up to protect the manufacturers of a product from being prosecuted due to faulty software. All software is copyright protected. or pay an amount to the producers of the What is freeware? • Some software is made freely available. Software can also be in the form of freeware or shareware. for a limited period while you decide if you like it or not. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . What is an ‘end-user license agreement’ within Office 2007 software • Normally when you install software these days there is a step within the installation routine in which you have to agree to be bound by the end user licence agreement. a lot of software is produced by the educational community and is made freely available.cnet. which include free software licenses and other open source licenses. What is shareware? • Shareware is software which is freely available and is designed to let you use the product for free. Always read any licences supplied with such software very carefully before use. In addition. Checking software licence status • A software license (or software licence in commonwealth usage) is a legal instrument (by way of contract law) governing the usage or redistribution of software. I recently printed out a Microsoft end user agreement and it was over 15 pages long. you must legally either remove it. A typical software license grants an end-user permission to use one or more copies of software in ways where such a use would otherwise constitute copyright infringement of the software owner's exclusive rights under copyright law.

In the same way doctors. which is both sensitive and private. government departments and credit agencies often hold vast amounts of information about the general public. then you have a moral and legal duty to treat that information with respect.ECDL Module 1 – Page 50 Open source software • An open source license is a copyright license for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and redistribution without having to pay the original The information to be contained in personal data shall be obtained. Personal data shall be held only for one or more specified and lawful purposes. This is meant as an illustration only and should NOT be used for determining liability or operating principles. In a free society you have the right to ensure that the information held about you is not Data Protection Data Protection and Privacy Issues • If your computer system holds information about individuals.hmso. For instance if a police force computer is used by unscrupulous people to gain unauthorised information about a person’s private life. You must read the full details of the act if you are considering legal http://www. Personal data held for any purpose or purposes shall be adequate. that would be a clear breach of In many countries. relevant and not excessive in relation to that purpose or those Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . this right is enshrined under data protection laws. One popular (and sometimes considered normative) set of open source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).gov. Data Protection Legislation • Listed below are the main principles of the UK Data Protection Act. For more information about the UK data protection act please access the following Web sites: http://www. Personal data held for any purpose or purposes shall not be used or disclosed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes. and personal data shall be processed. Such licenses may have additional restrictions such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and the copyright statement within the code. fairly and lawfully.

and where appropriate. . personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of personal data. An individual shall be entitled at reasonable intervals and without undue delay or expense to be informed by any data user whether he holds personal data of which that individual is the subject. Appropriate security measures shall be taken against unauthorised access to. Personal data held by data users or in respect of which services are provided by persons carrying on computer bureau. and the mistake causes harm to them. where necessary. Personal data held for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes. When we fill in a form. and access to any such data held by a data user. These include the right to: . whether it is simply our name and contact details. disclosure or destruction of. we are invariably providing information about ourselves. Personal data shall be accurate and. Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . or alteration. to have such data corrected or erased. in order to collect all kinds of information.ECDL Module 1 – Page 51 purposes. Data protection legislation relating to individuals about which data is stored (data subjects) • Data subjects have a number of rights. . Data protection legislation relating to those that keeps data (data collectors) • Forms and questionnaires are used frequently in the business of the university.sue if data is wrong.alter inaccurate or incorrect data. kept up to date. including personal information about individuals.see data held on them on request.

Local Area Network Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .Recordable Compact Disk . Gigahertz Graphical User Interface Hertz ( this is a measurement of frequency (i. A kilobyte (KB) consists of 1024 bytes.ECDL Module 1 – Page 52 ABBREVIATIONS & TERMINOLOGYvvv vv Item ADSL Bit BPS Byte CBT CD CD-R CD-ROM CPU DAT DOS DSL DVD FTP GByte GHz GUI Hz IS ISDN IT KByte LAN Meaning Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 1 or 0 level of storage is called a bit Bits Per Second A measurement of storage capacity Computer Based Training Compact Disk Compact Disk . speed).e.Read Only Memory Central Processing Unit Digital Audio Tape Disk Operating System Digital Subscriber Lines Digital Versatile Disk File Transfer Protocol Gigabyte. A gigabyte consists of 1024 MBytes Measurement of computer speed. Information Systems Integrated Services Digital Network Information Technology Kilobyte.

A terabyte (TB) is one million MBytes Uninterruptible Power Supply Universal Serial Bus Visual Display Unit Wide Area Network World Wide Web • Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien . A megabyte (MB) is one million bytes Million Hertz Personal Computer Public Switched Telephone Network Random Access Memory Read Only Memory Read Only Memory .Basic Input Output System ROM-BIOS RSI TByte UPS USB VDU WAN WWW Repetitive Strain Injury Terabyte.ECDL Module 1 – Page 53 MByte MHz PC PSTN RAM ROM Megabyte.

ECDL Module 1 – Page 54 Kullegg San Gorg Preca – Liceo Subien .

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