Chapter 1

Introduction to the World of Computers

Understanding Computers, Ch. 1


Learning Objectives

Explain why it's essential to learn about computers today. Discuss several ways computers are integrated into our business and personal lives. Define a computer and describe its four primary operations. List some important milestones in computer evolution.

Understanding Computers, Ch. 1


Learning Objectives, Cont’d.

Identify the major parts of a computer system, including input, processing, output, storage, and communications hardware. Describe the purpose of a network and what the Internet is. List the five basic types of computers, giving at least one example of each type of computer and stating what that computer might be used for. Discuss the societal impact of computers, including some benefits and risks related to their prominence in our society.
Understanding Computers, Ch. 1 3

Ch. 1 4 .Overview  This chapter covers:  What computers do and how they work Computer terminology Different categories of computers    Societal impacts of computers Understanding Computers.

1 5    . Knowledge of computers assists the consumer to purchase the right computer. save money on repairs and use the computer to maximum benefit. Understanding Computers. in the school. Uses of computers include word processing. in the workplace. shopping. and on the go. playing games and many other applications. collection.Computers in Your Life  Computers are prevalent in the home. e-mail exchange. evaluation and dissemination of information. Ch. Most professional jobs and skilled trades heavily depend on the creation. research. investments management.

Processing—performing operations on the data.  Input—entering data into the computer. programs. Storage—saving data. 1 6 . Output—presenting the results.    Understanding Computers.What Is a Computer and What Does It Do? A computer is a programmable electronic device that accepts data and performs operations on that data. Ch. or output for future use.


Understanding Computers. The history of computers is often referred to as generations.   Each new generation is characterized by a major technological development. 1 8 . from pre-computers and early computers (before 1945) to fifth generation computers (now and the future). Ch.Computers Then and Now  The computer as we know it is a fairly recent invention.

Internal hardware is located within the main box (system unit) of the computer. Ch.Hardware  The physical parts of a computer are collectively known as hardware.   Understanding Computers. 1 9 . External hardware is located outside the system unit and plug into connectors called ports located on the exterior of the system unit.

1 10     . The main processing device is the central processing unit (CPU). Understanding Computers. A processing device performs calculations and comparisons necessary for processing.  An input device is used to input data into the computer. Ch. programs or output. An output device presents the results to the user. Cont’d. Communication devices allow the user to communicate with others and access remote information. Storage devices are used to save data.Hardware.


Application software performs specific tasks or applications. System software allows a computer to operate and run application software.   Understanding Computers. 1 12 . Ch.Software  The programs or instructions used to tell the computer hardware what to do.


audio. or video.  Information = data that has been processed into a useful form.Data and Information  Data = raw. Ch. Understanding Computers. graphics. 1 14 .  Can be in the form of text. unorganized facts.

are the people who use a computer to obtain information.  Understanding Computers. 1 15 . Programmers are computer professionals whose job it is to write the programs that computers use.Computer Users and Professionals  Computer users. Ch. or end users.

as well as electronically communicate with each other. Clients are computers on the network that access resources via the network server. and homes. software.Computer Networks and the Internet  A computer network links computers together so that users can share hardware. Ch. 1 16    . and data. schools. Network servers manage resources on a network. Understanding Computers. Computer networks are commonly found in businesses.


  Understanding Computers. 1 18 . E-mail and accessing Web pages are two of the most common Internet activities. Ch.The Internet  The Internet is the largest and most well-known computer network in the world. Individuals connect to the Internet using an Internet service provider (ISP).

Understanding Computers. Software (often built into the operating system) allows you to log on to the network and access resources. Ch. 1 19    .Accessing a Network  Need a modem or network adapter to connect to the network. Many networks and Internet connections require a user ID and password to log on to the network. Need an ISP and Web browser to access Internet resources.

1 20     .Computers to Fit Every Need  Five basic categories  Mobile devices Personal computers Midrange servers Mainframe computers Supercomputers Understanding Computers. Ch.

Mobile Devices  Very small computing devices.   Understanding Computers. 1 21 . Many can be used to access e-mail and Web pages. Ch. Usually based on a wireless phone or pager.

Macintosh—a type of personal computer manufactured by Apple.Personal Computers  Microprocessors allow for the creation of computers small enough to fit on a desk or lap. PC compatible—based on the original IBM PC. 1 22 . Ch.   Understanding Computers. typically run the Windows operating system.

Can use:  Desktop case Tower case All-in-one case   Understanding Computers. Cont’d.  Desktop computers—small enough to fit on or next to a desk. Ch. 1 23 .Personal Computers.

Ch. Cont’d.  Notebook computers  Tablet PCs (either slate or convertible) Handheld computers (pocket computers)  Understanding Computers.  Portable PCs—designed to be carried around. 1 24 .Personal Computers.

Ch. 1 25 .Understanding Computers.

 PCs designed for just network use are referred to as network computers (NCs) or thin clients. Ch.  Understanding Computers.Personal Computers. Cont’d. 1 26 . Devices designed just for Internet access are called Internet appliances.

also called minicomputers or midrange computers. Ch. 1 27 . Fall between microcomputers and mainframes in processing power.  Understanding Computers.Midrange Servers  Medium-sized computers.

1 28 . Understanding Computers. Ch. Specialize in high-volume processing of business transactions.Mainframe Computers  Standard choice for most large organizations.   Also called high-end servers or enterpriseclass servers.

Commonly created today by connecting hundreds of smaller computers to form a supercomputing cluster. Offer very fast speeds and extreme degrees of accuracy. Ch. Understanding Computers. 1 29   .Supercomputers  Used for applications that have extraordinary demands for processing power.

ethical. 1 30 . There are many benefits of a computer-oriented society. Ch. and privacy concerns. security.Computers and Society  The information age = the prominence of information technology. including making many tasks in our lives go much faster. Risks include health.   Understanding Computers.

1 31     . Ch.Summary Slide  Computers in your life What is a computer and what does it do? Computers networks and the Internet Computers to fit every need Computers and society Understanding Computers.

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