Before we begin using the computer to help us complete our various jobs in this class, lets first take a moment to review what the computer actually does, and how it works.
The following imformation is from an article by Chris Woodford. Last updated: December 15, 2013. on a website called "explainthatstuff.com"
What is a computer?
A computer is an electronic machine that processes information—in other words, an information processor: it takes in raw information (or data) at one end, stores it until it's ready to work on it, chews and crunches it for a bit, then spits out the results at the other end. All these processes have a name. Taking in information is called input, storing information is better known as memory (or storage), chewing information is also known as processing, and spitting out results is called output.
Once you understand that computers are about input, memory, processing, and output, all the junk on your desk makes a lot more sense:
- Input: Your keyboard and mouse, for example, are just input units—ways of getting information into your computer that it can process. If you use a microphone and voice recognition software, that's another form of input.
- Memory/storage: Your computer probably stores all your documents and files on a hard-drive: a huge magnetic memory. But smaller, computer-based devices like digital cameras and cellphones use other kinds of storage such as flash memory cards.
- Processing: Your computer's processor (sometimes known as the central processing unit) is a microchip buried deep inside. It works amazingly hard and gets incredibly hot in the process. That's why your computer has a little fan blowing away—to stop its brain from overheating!
- Output: Your computer probably has an LCD screen capable of displaying high-resolution (very detailed) graphics, and probably also stereoloudspeakers. You may have an inkjet printer on your desk too to make a more permanent form of output.
What is a computer program?
What makes a computer different from a calculator is that it can work all by itself. You just give it your instructions (called a program) and off it goes, performing a long and complex series of operations all by itself.
Today, most computer users buy, download, or share programs like Microsoft Word and Excel.
I have prepared some notes for you to download and study from.
Download Basic Knowledge Notes
Please answer these questions to demonstrate your understanding: