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Computers &
Computer Literacy
Computer Concepts BASICS
Lesson 1
Introducing Computers
Computers are most important invention of
this past century!
 Where do we use computers?
 School
& learning
 Video games
 TV, movies (instant replays & special effects!)
 IM, E-mail, Video-conferencing
History of the Computer
1st Computers: invented in
1940s & 1950s
 Great
big machines (as big
as small buildings and cost
millions of $$$)
 Power: less power than your
typical pocket calculator
 Up through early 1970s, only
government & corporations
used these computers
1971: 1st Microprocessor
 Steve
Job & Steve Wozniak
applied this technology to
personal computers
 1976: 1st Apple computer
(developed by both Steves)
 1981: Bill Gates introduced
What are a Computer and
Computer System?
Computer: an electronic device that
 Receives
data (input)
 Process data
 Stores data
 Produces a result (output)
Computer System: includes Hardware,
Software, Data, & People
Hardware: the actual machine, wires,
transistors, circuits, monitors, & printers
Software: instructions or programs used for
controlling the computer
Data: text, numbers, sound, images, video
Information: Process of data going into
computer (input), is processed, stored data, and
output produced.
Users: People who use computers
Examples of a Computer System
Input (receives data): Customer name is
entered into computer, scans ISBN, types info,
uses scanner
Process: Computer uses stored instructions to
process data into information
Outputs Information: a monitor or printer
displays information
Stores data: data & information are stored on a
disk drive or other storage device
John Smith
2358 Smithville Rd.
•Movie 1
•Movie 2
A computer is not overly complicated. It
only performs 2 operations:
 Arithmetic:
add, subtract, multiply, divide and
 Logical: And, Or, Not
Did You Know?
A computer won a
World Chess Championship
playing against a human being
Are Computers Intelligent?
No. They can only do what we ask them to do.
Are there any advantages to using a computer?
– Yes!
 Speed:
can perform billions of calculations per
 Reliability: electronic components are dependable
 Accuracy: IF data is entered correctly, computers
generate error-free results
 Storage: can store/retrieve volumes of
 Communications: can communicate & share
resources with other computers
Classifying Computers
Computers are either Special Purpose or
General Purpose computers.
 Special
Purpose: used to control something
else. Tiny chips are embedded in devices
such as: dishwashers, airport radar system,
bathroom scale
 General Purpose: divided into 5 categories
based upon size, function, cost, performance
General Purpose Computers
Desktop Computer: designed so all components fit
on/under desk. PC & Apple (Mac) are most popular
Mobile Computer: personal computers such as
notebooks (laptops). Designed to be carried from one
place to another.
Mobile devices: fit into the palm of your hand (PDA, hand-helds,
Mid-range server: (minicomputer) used by small
companies that can support hundreds of users
Mainframe computer: large & expensive computer that
can support hundreds/thousands of users
Supercomputer: fastest type of computer. Used by
government & large corporations to process enormous
amounts of data
Computer Software
2 types of software (programs):
 Application
software: a set of programs that
perform tasks for users
Word processing, spreadsheets, databases
 System
software: a set of programs that
controls the operations of the computer
Windows or Mac system software
Graphical User Interface (GUI): what we
see when we start up Windows. Includes
 Icon: small image that represents file,
command, or other function
Communications & Networks
Electronic Communication: technology
that allows computers to communicate
with each other & other devices
 Transmission
of text, numbers, voice, video
1969: 1st message sent via telephone from
Electronic communication requires:
 Sender: computer that is sending
 Receiver: computer receiving message
 Channel: media that carries/transports
message (phone wire, coaxial cable,
microwave signal, fiber-optic cable)
 Protocol: the rules that govern the
transfer of data
Networks: a group of two or more
computer systems linked together via
communication devices
 Allows
computers to “share” printers, data,
information, & programs
Nodes (Clients): computers on a network
 Servers: computers that allocate
resources on a network
Intranet & Extranet
Many companies have intranets in their
 Intranet: a network put together for just
certain people (company, school, etc.)
 Reliable
network, Secure network, no
outsiders can use
Extranet: systems that allow outside
organizations to access company’s
internal information
The Internet
Internet: world’s largest network.
 Originally
a network that included only the
government & universities
 1990: Original network (called ARPANET) was
disbanded & the Internet was born
Technology & Everyday Life
Computers have affected the way we live
our lives.
 They have become a necessary tool in
almost every activity & type of business.
 How does it affect you?
 School,
security, gaming, research, home
appliances, TV, etc.
Computers in our Future
The future is hard to predict, but we can
assume that computers will be more
powerful and less expensive.
 Almost every type of job will somehow
involve a computer
 Connectivity will continue to evolve.
 What is the computer of the future?