Monday, February 4, 2013

Hardware / Software 

Computers use both hardware and software to perform their work. Think of hardware as the physical pieces of a computer—the monitor, the CPU, all the pieces and parts inside the CPU, the mouse, the keyboard, etc. Software, on the other hand, consists of programs that we use to interact with the computer. You can’t physically touch software like you can the keyboard, but you can still interact with it. A word processing program like Microsoft Word is a piece of software that you could use to type a grocery list. Games that you play on your computer are also considered software—it doesn’t have to be workrelated!

Information / Data 

Computers are designed to work with a type of information commonly referred to as “data.” Data comes in many forms, whether it is written data (such as a letter to a friend), audio data (like a song), video data (like a popular movie or DVD), and more. Certain types of software programs work with different types of data. For example, iTunes works primarily with audio data, while Microsoft Word, a word processing program, works
primarily with written data.The keyboard is just one of the ways in which you can create, interact with, and modify data. There are many ways to get data off of the computer, such as printing it out on
paper, copying it to a CD or flash drive, or publishing it to the Internet.

“My Computer is Possessed!”

It is a common misconception that computers have “a mind of their own.” Although computers can perform certain tasks much more easily and faster than humans (like counting, performing mathematical calculations, etc.), they are, in the end, machines and can’t think for themselves. It is safe to say that the computer cannot do anything that you do not tell it to do. Remember that you are in control of the computer, in the same way that you are in control of your car. Your car won’t move until you press your foot on the accelerator, and it won’t stop until you press the brake. Computers work in the same way.

Keeping Your Computer Healthy

In the end, computers are machines just like any other. Sometimes, although not often, they may malfunction, become stuck (or “frozen”), or may have a part that breaks and needs to be replaced. Just like your car or lawnmower, computers need to be maintained.Keeping your virus software up-to-date, installing updates for your operating system (e.g., Windows updates), and refraining from installing unnecessary programs will keep
your computer running smoothly and efficiently for a longer period of time. Consider it like an oil change.

Key Facts About Computers 

 A computer does not need to access the Internet in order to run properly.

 The Internet is a way of connecting to other computer users. You can connect to the internet using a phone line, a cable connection, or by using a wireless connecting device (wi-fi). For most home computer users, this is a paid service, though you can use the Internet for free in some public locations, like the library or a coffee shop.

 A computer will be able to perform most common functions (play music, type documents, edit pictures) and run programs without an Internet connection. However, to view a web page or send an e-mail, you will need an Internet connection.

 A computer needs an Operating System in order to work, though any new computer that you purchase will come with an operating system already installed. The most common operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS X



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