Basic Computer Operations

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Certificate Course in Computer Studies
Dharmaraja Computer Division – Aluthgama
Instructor: Amila Kularathne (B.Sc (Curtin), Na.Dip IT, CCNA/S, MCTS) This lesson introduces key concepts related to how computers work. Computer related terms are defined and basic computer functions are explained. In particular, the following topics are addressed.

• What is a computer?
• What are the components of a computer?
• How does a computer work?
• How does the software work?
• How does a computer process information?
• How does the computer’s memory work?
• How is data stored?
• What are viruses?
Please remember, this introductory lesson is not intended to provide a comprehensive explanation of the technical details of computerization. Information is provided in order to introduce you to key computer concepts and provide an overview of computerization. Overview of the Computer

What are computers?
Computers are machines that perform tasks or calculations according to a set of instructions, or programs. The first fully electronic computers, introduced in the 1940s, were huge machines that required teams of people to operate. Compared to those early machines, today's computers are amazing. Not only are they thousands of times faster, they can fit on your desk, in your lap, or even in your pocket. Computers work through an interaction of hardware and software. Hardware refers to the parts of a computer that you can see and touch, including the case and everything inside it. The most important piece of hardware is a tiny rectangular chip inside your computer called the central processing unit (CPU), or microprocessor. It's the "brain" of your computer—the part that translates instructions and performs calculations. Hardware items such as your monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and other items are often called hardware devices, or devices. Types of Computers

The Desktop
A computer is referred to as "desktop" when it is relatively small enough to be positioned on top of a table where a person is working. Such a computer can also be placed on the floor or somewhere under, or aside of, the table, in which case the monitor would be placed on top of the table. This is the most common type of computers used in the office or at home. The Laptop

A computer is called laptop when it combines the CPU, the monitor, the keyboard, and the mouse in one unit to be so small that you can carry it on your laps when traveling or commuting. A laptop is also called a notebook. Other parts, such as an external mouse, an external keyboard, a monitor, or peripherals such as a printer or a projector, can be connected to the laptop. A laptop is only physically smaller than a desktop but, everything considered, it can do anything that a desktop can do. The Server

A server is a computer that holds information that other computers, called workstations, can retrieve. Such workstations are connected to the server using various means. This means that they could be connected using cable, wireless connection, etc. Only computers that maintain a type of connection with the server can get the information that is stored in the server. The Mainframe

A mainframe is a computer, usually physically big, that does almost all the jobs for other types of computers that are connected to it. This is a broad definition but other aspects are involved. Like a server, the program (operating system) that runs in the mainframe defines its role.

Basic Computer Operations - How Computers Work
Input: Information and programs are entered into the computer through Input devices such as the keyboard, disks, or through other computers via network connections or modems connected to the Internet. The input device also retrieves information off disks.

Output: Output Devices displays information on the screen (monitor) or the printer and sends information to other computers. They also display messages about what errors may have occurred and brings up message or dialog box asking...
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