Introduction to Computers

Introduction to Computers
Chapter One
Introduction
to Computers
Objectives
After completing this chapter, you will be able to:
1 Explain why computer literacy is vital to success in today’s world
2 Define the term, computer, and describe the relationship between data
and information
3 Describe the five components of a computer: input devices, output devices,
system unit, storage devices, and communications devices
4 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages that users experience when
working with computers
5 Define the term, network, and identify benefits of sharing resources on
a network
6 Discuss the uses of the Internet and World Wide Web
7 Distinguish between system software and application software
8 Differentiate among types, sizes, and functions of computers in each of
these categories: personal computers (desktop), mobile computers and
mobile devices, game consoles, servers, mainframes, supercomputers, and
embedded computers
9 Describe the role of each element in an information system
10 Explain how home users, small office/home office users, mobile users,
power users, and enterprise users each interact with computers
11 Discuss how society uses computers in education, finance, government,
health care, science, publishing, travel, and manufacturing
4
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
A World of Computers
Computers are everywhere: at work, at school,
and at home. As shown in Figure 1-1, people
use all types and sizes of computers for a variety of reasons and in a range of places. While
some computers sit on top of a desk or on the
floor, mobile computers and mobile devices
are small enough to carry. Mobile devices, such
as many cell phones, often are classified as
computers.
Computers are a primary means of local and
global communication for billions of people.
Consumers use computers to correspond with
businesses, employees with other employees and
customers, students with classmates and teachers,
and family members and military personnel with
friends and other family members. In addition
to sending simple notes, people use computers
Figure 1-1 People use all types and sizes of
computers in their daily activities.
to share photos, drawings, documents, calendars,
journals, music, and videos.
Through computers, society has instant
access to information from around the globe.
Local and national news, weather reports, sports
scores, airline schedules, telephone directories,
maps and directions, job listings, credit reports,
and countless forms of educational material
always are accessible. From the computer, you
can make a telephone call, meet new friends,
share opinions or life stories, book flights,
shop, fill prescriptions, file taxes, take a course,
receive alerts, and automate your home.
At home or while on the road, people use
computers to manage schedules and contacts,
listen to voice mail messages, balance checkbooks,
pay bills, transfer funds, and buy or sell stocks.
Banks place ATMs (automated teller machines)
all over the world, so that customers can deposit
Introduction to Computers
and withdraw funds anywhere at anytime. At
the grocery store, a computer tracks purchases,
calculates the amount of money due, and often
generates coupons customized to buying patterns.
Vehicles include onboard navigation systems that
provide directions, call for emergency services,
and track the vehicle if it is stolen.
In the workplace, employees use computers
to create correspondence such as e-mail messages,
memos, and letters; manage calendars; calculate
payroll; track inventory; and generate invoices.
At school, teachers use computers to assist with
classroom instruction. Students complete assignments and conduct research on computers in lab
rooms, at home, or elsewhere. Instead of attending class on campus, some students take entire
classes directly from their computer.
People also spend hours of leisure time using
a computer. They play games, listen to music or
radio broadcasts, watch or compose videos and
movies, read books and magazines, share stories,
research genealogy, retouch photos, and plan
vacations.
As technology continues to advance, computers
have become a part of everyday life. Thus, many
people believe that computer literacy is vital to
success in today’s world. Computer literacy,
also known as digital literacy, involves having a
current knowledge and understanding of computers and their uses. Because the requirements that
determine computer literacy change as technology
changes, you must keep up with these changes to
remain computer literate.
This book presents the knowledge you need to
be computer literate today. As you read this first
chapter, keep in mind it is an overview. Many of
the terms and concepts introduced in this chapter
will be discussed in more depth later in the book.
Chapter 1
5
6
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
What Is a Computer?
A computer is an electronic device, operating
under the control of instructions stored in its
own memory, that can accept data, process
the data according to specified rules, produce
results, and store the results for future use.
Data and Information
Computers process data into information.
Data is a collection of unprocessed items,
which can include text, numbers, images, audio,
and video. Information conveys meaning and
is useful to people.
Many daily activities either involve the use of
or depend on information from a computer. As
shown in Figure 1-2, for example, computers
process several data items to print information
in the form of a cash register receipt.
DATA
Information Processing Cycle
Computers process data (input) into
information (output). Computers carry out
processes using instructions, which are the steps
that tell the computer how to perform a particular task. A collection of related instructions
organized for a common purpose is referred to
as software. A computer often holds data, information, and instructions in storage for future
use. Some people refer to the series of input,
process, output, and storage activities as the
information processing cycle.
Most computers today communicate with
other computers. As a result, communications
also has become an essential element of the
information processing cycle.
The Components
of a Computer
A computer contains many electric, electronic,
and mechanical components known as hardware.
These components include input devices, output
devices, a system unit, storage devices, and communications devices. Figure 1-3 shows some
common computer hardware components.
PROCESSES
• Computes each item’s total price by multiplying the
quantity ordered by the item price (i.e., 2 * 1.49 = 2.98).
• Organizes data.
• Sums all item total prices to determine order total due
from customer (13.12).
• Calculates change due to customer by subtracting the
order total from amount received (20.00 - 13.12 = 6.88).
INFORMATION
Arrow Deli
10 Park Street
Maple River, DE 20393
(734) 555-2939
QTY
2
1
1
1
3
ITEM
TOTAL
Medium Sodas
2.98
Small Turkey Sub 3.49
Caesar Salad
4.49
Bag of Chips
0.99
Cookies
1.17
Total Due
Amount Received
Change
13.12
20.00
6.88
Thank You!
Figure 1-2 A computer processes data into information. In this
simplified example, the item ordered, item price, quantity ordered, and
amount received all represent data. The computer processes the data to
produce the cash register receipt (information).
Input Devices
An input device is any hardware component
that allows you to enter data and instructions
into a computer. Five widely used input devices
are the keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner,
and Web cam (Figure 1-3).
A computer keyboard contains keys you press
to enter data into the computer. For security
purposes, some keyboards include a fingerprint
reader, which allows you to work with the computer only if your fingerprint is recognized.
A mouse is a small handheld device. With the
mouse, you control movement of a small symbol
on the screen, called the pointer, and you make
selections from the screen.
A microphone allows you to speak into the
computer. A scanner converts printed material (such as text and pictures) into a form the
computer can use.
A Web cam is a digital video camera that
allows you to create movies or take pictures
and store them on the computer instead of on
tape or film.
Introduction to Computers
Output Devices
An output device is any hardware
component that conveys information to one
or more people. Three commonly used output
devices are a printer, a monitor, and speakers
(Figure 1-3).
A printer produces text and graphics on a
physical medium such as paper. A monitor
displays text, graphics, and videos on a screen.
Speakers allow you to hear music, voice, and
other audio (sounds).
System Unit
The system unit is a case that contains
the electronic components of the computer
that are used to process data (Figure 1-3).
printer
(output device)
Chapter 1
7
The circuitry of the system unit usually is part
of or is connected to a circuit board called the
motherboard.
Two main components on the motherboard
are the processor and memory. The processor,
also called a CPU (central processing unit), is
the electronic component that interprets and
carries out the basic instructions that operate
the computer. Memory consists of electronic
components that store instructions waiting to
be executed and data needed by those instructions. Although some forms of memory are
permanent, most memory keeps data and
instructions temporarily, which means its
contents are erased when the computer is
shut off.
monitor
(output device)
optical disc drive
(storage device)
screen
Web cam
(input device)
speakers
(output device)
hard disk drive
(storage device)
system unit
(processor, memory,
and storage devices)
keyboard
(input device)
mouse
(input device)
scanner
(input device)
microphone
(input device)
USB flash drive
(storage device)
card reader/writer
(storage device)
external hard disk
(storage device)
modem
(communications device)
memory cards
(storage device)
Figure 1-3 Common computer hardware components include a keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner, Web cam, printer, monitor,
speakers, system unit, hard disk drive, external hard disk, optical disc drive(s), USB flash drive, card reader/writer, memory cards, and
modem.
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Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Storage Devices
Storage holds data, instructions, and
information for future use. For example, computers can store hundreds or millions of customer names and addresses. Storage holds these
items permanently.
A computer keeps data, instructions, and information on storage media. Examples of storage
media are USB flash drives, hard disks, optical
discs, and memory cards. A storage device records
(writes) and/or retrieves (reads) items to and from
storage media. Drives and readers/writers, which
are types of storage devices (Figure 1-3 on the
previous page), accept a specific kind of storage
media. For example, a DVD drive (storage device)
accepts a DVD (storage media). Storage devices
often function as a source of input because they
transfer items from storage to memory.
A USB flash drive is a portable storage
device that is small and lightweight enough to
be transported on a keychain or in a pocket
(Figure 1-3). The average USB flash drive can
hold about 4 billion characters. You plug a USB
flash drive in a special, easily accessible opening
on the computer.
A hard disk provides much greater storage
capacity than a USB flash drive. The average
hard disk can hold more than 320 billion characters. Hard disks are enclosed in an airtight,
sealed case. Although some are portable, most
are housed inside the system unit (Figure 1-4).
Portable hard disks are either external or
removable. An external hard disk is a separate,
freestanding unit, whereas you insert and
remove a removable hard disk from the computer or a device connected to the computer.
An optical disc is a flat, round, portable
metal disc with a plastic coating. CDs, DVDs,
and Blu-ray Discs are three types of optical
discs. A CD can hold from 650 million to
1 billion characters. Some DVDs can store
two full-length movies or 17 billion characters
(Figure 1-5). Blu-ray Discs can store about
46 hours of standard video, or 100 billion
characters.
Some mobile devices, such as digital cameras,
use memory cards as the storage media. You can
use a card reader/writer (Figure 1-3) to transfer
the stored items, such as digital photos, from
the memory card to a computer or printer.
Figure 1-5
A DVD in a DVD drive.
Communications Devices
Figure 1-4
Hard disks are
self-contained devices. The
hard disk shown here must be
installed in the system unit before
it can be used.
A communications device is a hardware
component that enables a computer to send
(transmit) and receive data, instructions, and
information to and from one or more computers or mobile devices. A widely used communications device is a modem (Figure 1-3).
Communications occur over cables, telephone
lines, cellular radio networks, satellites, and
other transmission media. Some transmission
media, such as satellites and cellular radio networks, are wireless, which means they have no
physical lines or wires.
Introduction to Computers
Advantages and Disadvantages
of Using Computers
Society has reaped many benefits from using
computers. A user is anyone who communicates with a computer or utilizes the information it generates. Both business and home users
can make well-informed decisions because
they have instant access to information from
anywhere in the world. Students, another type
of user, have more tools to assist them in the
learning process.
Advantages of Using Computers
Benefits from using computers are possible
because computers have the advantages of
speed, reliability, consistency, storage, and
communications.
• Speed: When data, instructions, and
information flow along electronic circuits
in a computer, they travel at incredibly fast
speeds. Many computers process billions
or trillions of operations in a single second.
Processing involves computing (e.g., adding,
subtracting), sorting (e.g., alphabetizing),
organizing, displaying images, recording audio,
playing music, and showing a movie or video.
• Reliability: The electronic components in
modern computers are dependable and
reliable because they rarely break or fail.
• Consistency: Given the same input and
processes, a computer will produce the same
results — consistently. A computing phrase —
known as garbage in, garbage out — points
out that the accuracy of a computer’s output
depends on the accuracy of the input. For
example, if you do not use the flash on a digital
camera when indoors, the resulting pictures
that are displayed on the computer screen may
be unusable because they are too dark.
• Storage: A computer can transfer data quickly
from storage to memory, process it, and then
store it again for future use. Many computers
store enormous amounts of data and make
this data available for processing anytime it is
needed.
• Communications: Most computers today can
communicate with other computers, often
wirelessly. Computers with this capability can
share any of the four information processing
cycle operations — input, process, output, and
storage — with another computer or a user.
Chapter 1
9
Disadvantages of Using Computers
Some disadvantages of computers relate to
health risks, the violation of privacy, public
safety, the impact on the labor force, and the
impact on the environment.
• Health Risks: Prolonged or improper computer
use can lead to injuries or disorders of the hands,
wrists, elbows, eyes, neck, and back. Computer
users can protect themselves from these health
risks through proper workplace design, good
posture while at the computer, and appropriately
spaced work breaks. Two behavioral health
risks are computer addiction and technology
overload. Computer addiction occurs when
someone becomes obsessed with using a
computer. Individuals suffering from technology
overload feel distressed when deprived of
computers and mobile devices. Once recognized,
both computer addiction and technology
overload are treatable disorders. Read Ethics &
Issues 1-1 for a related discussion.
ETHICS & ISSUES 1-1
How Can People Best Cope with
Technology Overload?
Most people enjoy the benefits that technology
brings to their lives, such as increased productivity.
A growing problem, however, is observed among
those suffering the effects of technology overload.
People overloaded with technology often feel
uncomfortable or nervous when they cannot use
the Internet or a cell phone for even a short length
of time. Some mental health experts believe that
technology overload is a health problem that can be
treated just as other compulsions are treated. While
some disagreement exists over the specific definition, the general consensus is that a person has a
problem with technology overload when the overuse
of technology negatively impacts health, personal
life, and professional life. For some, technology
overload often leads to less time spent with family
and has proven to be as potent a cause for divorce
as gambling or substance abuse. Experts suggest
balancing the use of technology in one’s life and listening to others if they suggest that the overuse of
technology is causing personal problems.
What steps can people or society take to cope with
technology overload? How might one determine if he
or she suffers from technology overload? How can
technology companies help to alleviate the problem
of technology overload? Should those identified as
technology addicts be able to receive health insurance
benefits for counseling services? Why or why not?
Ethics & Issues
For the complete text of
the Ethics & Issues boxes
found in this chapter, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com
and then navigate to the
Chapter 1 Ethics & Issues
resource for this book.
10
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
• Violation of Privacy: Nearly every life event
is stored in a computer somewhere . . . in
medical records, credit reports, tax records,
etc. In many instances, where personal and
confidential records were not protected
properly, individuals have found their
privacy violated and identities stolen.
• Public Safety: Adults, teens, and children
around the world are using computers
to share publicly their photos, videos,
journals, music, and other personal
information. Some of these unsuspecting,
innocent computer users have fallen
victim to crimes committed by dangerous
strangers. Protect yourself and your
dependents from these criminals by
being cautious in e-mail messages and
on Web sites. For example, do not share
information that would allow others to
identify or locate you and do not disclose
identification numbers, passwords, or other
personal security details.
• Impact on Labor Force: Although computers
have improved productivity in many ways
and created an entire industry with hundreds of thousands of new jobs, the skills of
millions of employees have been replaced
by computers. Thus, it is crucial that
workers keep their education up-to-date. A
separate impact on the labor force is that
some companies are outsourcing jobs to
foreign countries instead of keeping their
homeland labor force employed.
• Impact on Environment: Computer
manufacturing processes and computer
waste are depleting natural resources
and polluting the environment. When
computers are discarded in landfills, they
can release toxic materials and potentially
dangerous levels of lead, mercury, and flame
retardants.
Green computing involves reducing the
electricity consumed and environmental
waste generated when using a computer.
Strategies that support green computing
include recycling, regulating manufacturing
Green Computing
processes, extending the life of computers,
For more information, visit the
and immediately donating or properly
Computer Concepts CourseMate
disposing of replaced computers. When you
Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
purchase a new computer, some retailers
navigate to the Chapter 1 Web
offer to dispose of your old computer
Link resource for this book, and
then click Green Computing.
properly.
QUIZ YOURSELF 1-1
Instructions: Find the true statement below.
Then, rewrite the remaining false statements
so that they are true.
1. A computer is a motorized device that
processes output into input.
2. A storage device records (reads) and/or
retrieves (writes) items to and from
storage media.
3. An output device is any hardware
component that allows you to enter data
and instructions into a computer.
4. Computer literacy involves having a
current knowledge and understanding of
computers and their uses.
5. Computers have the disadvantages of fast
speeds, high failure rates, producing consistent results, storing small amounts of
data, and communicating with others.
6. Three commonly used input devices are a
printer, a monitor, and speakers.
Quiz Yourself Online: To further check your
knowledge of pages 4 through 10, visit the
Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site
at www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the
Chapter 1 Quiz Yourself resource for this
book, and then click Objectives 1 – 4.
Networks and the Internet
A network is a collection of computers and
devices connected together, often wirelessly,
via communications devices and transmission
media. When a computer connects to a network,
it is online.
Networks allow computers to share resources,
such as hardware, software, data, and information. Sharing resources saves time and money.
In many networks, one or more computers
act as a server. The server controls access to
the resources on a network. The other computers on the network, each called a client or
workstation, request resources from the server
(Figure 1-6). The major differences between the
server and client computers are that the server
ordinarily has more power, more storage space,
and expanded communications capabilities.
Many homes and most businesses and
schools network their computers and devices.
Most allow users to connect their computers
wirelessly to the network. Home networks
usually are small, existing within a single
Introduction to Computers
structure. Business and school networks
can be small, such as in a room or
building, or widespread, connecting
computers and devices across a city,
country, or the globe. The world’s
largest computer network is the Internet.
Figure 1-6 A server manages the
resources on a network, and clients
access the resources on the server.
This network enables three separate
computers to share the same printer,
one wirelessly.
client
Chapter 1
client
printer
server
The Internet
The Internet is a worldwide
collection of networks that connects
millions of businesses, government
agencies, educational institutions, and
individuals (Figure 1-7).
Figure 1-7
The Internet is the largest computer network, connecting millions of computers and devices around the world.
11
12
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
The Internet
For more information,
visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for this book,
and then click The Internet.
More than one billion people around the
world use the Internet daily for a variety of
reasons, some of which are listed below and
shown in Figure 1-8:
• Communicate with and meet other
people
• Conduct research and access a wealth of
information and news
• Shop for goods and services
• Bank and invest
• Participate in online training
• Engage in entertaining activities, such
as planning vacations, playing online
games, listening to music, watching
or editing videos, and reading books
and magazines
• Download music and videos
• Share information, photos, and videos
• Access and interact with Web applications
People connect to the Internet to share
information with others around the world.
E-mail allows you to send and receive messages to and from other users (read Ethics
& Issues 1-2 for a related discussion). With
instant messaging, you can have a live conversation with another connected user. In a chat
room, you can communicate with multiple
users at the same time — much like a group
discussion. You also can use the Internet to
make a telephone call.
Businesses, called access providers, offer
users and organizations access to the Internet
free or for a fee. By subscribing to an access
provider, you can use your computer and a
communications device, such as a modem,
to connect to the many services of the
Internet.
The Web, short for World Wide Web,
is one of the more popular services on the
Internet. Think of the Web as a global library
of information available to anyone connected
communicate
research and access information
shop
bank and invest
Figure 1-8 Home and business users access the Internet
for a variety of reasons.
Introduction to Computers
to the Internet. The Web contains billions
of documents called Web pages. A Web
page can contain text, graphics, animation,
audio, and video. The nine screens shown
in Figure 1-8 are examples of Web pages.
Web pages often have built-in connections,
or links, to other documents, graphics,
other Web pages, or Web sites. A Web site
is a collection of related Web pages. Some
Web sites allow users to access music and
videos that can be downloaded, or transferred to storage media in a computer or
portable media player. Once downloaded,
you can listen to the music through speakers, headphones, or earbuds, or view the
videos on a display device.
Many people use the Web as a means
to share personal information, photos, and
videos with the world. For example, you can
create a Web page and then make it available,
or publish it, on the Internet for others to see.
Chapter 1
13
ETHICS & ISSUES 1-2
What Should Be Done about Identity Theft?
Using e-mail and other techniques on the Internet, scam artists are employing a
technique known as phishing to try to steal your personal information, such as credit
card numbers, banking information, and passwords. For example, an e-mail message
may appear to be a request from your bank to verify your Social Security number and
online banking password. Instead, the information you submit ends up in the hands
of the scammer, who then uses the information for a variety of unethical and illegal
acts. Sadly, the result often is identity theft. You can help to deter identity theft in
several ways: 1) shred your financial documents before discarding them, 2) do not
click links in unsolicited e-mail messages, and 3) enroll in a credit monitoring service.
Consumer advocates often blame credit card companies and credit bureaus for lax
security standards. Meanwhile, the companies blame consumers for being too gullible
and forthcoming with private information. Both sides blame the government for poor
privacy laws and light punishments for identity thieves. But while the arguments go
on, law enforcement agencies bear the brunt of the problem by spending hundreds of
millions of dollars responding to complaints and finding and processing the criminals.
Who should be responsible for protecting the public from online identity theft? Why?
Should laws be changed to stop it, or should consumers change behavior? What is
an appropriate punishment for identity thieves? Given the international nature of the
Internet, how should foreign identity thieves be handled? Why?
online training
entertainment
download videos
Web application
share information
At a convenient time and location, the user
listens to or watches the downloaded podcast.
A Web application is a Web site that allows
users to access and interact with software from
any computer or device that is connected to the
Internet. Examples of software available as Web
applications include those that allow you to
send and receive e-mail messages, prepare your
taxes, organize digital photos, create documents,
and play games.
Web sites such as social networking Web sites,
blogs, and Web applications are categorized as
Web 2.0 sites. The term Web 2.0 refers to Web
sites that provide a means for users to share
personal information (such as social networking
Web sites), allow users to modify the Web site
contents (such as some blogs), and/or have software built into the site for users to access (such as
Web applications).
FAQ 1-1
What U.S. Web sites are visited
most frequently?
A recent survey found that Google’s Web site
is visited most frequently, with Microsoft and
Yahoo! not far behind. The chart below shows
the five most frequently visited Web sites, as
well as the approximate number of unique
visitors per month.
Top U.S. Web Sites
160,000,000
140,000,000
120,000,000
100,000,000
80,000,000
60,000,000
40,000,000
20,000,000
AO
L
Ne
ws
On C
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e .
!
oo
Ya
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icr
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of
You also can join millions of people
worldwide in an online community, called a
social networking Web site or an online social
network, that encourages members to share
their interests, ideas, stories, photos, music, and
videos with other registered users (Figure 1-9).
Some social networking Web sites are college
oriented, some business oriented, and others are
more focused. A photo sharing community, for
example, is a specific type of social networking
Web site that allows users to create an online
photo album and store and share their digital
photos. Similarly, a video sharing community is
a type of social networking Web site that allows
users to store and share their personal videos.
Hundreds of thousands of people today also
use blogs to publish their thoughts on the Web.
A blog is an informal Web site consisting of timestamped articles in a diary or journal format,
usually listed in reverse chronological order. As
others read the articles in a blog, they reply with
their own thoughts. A blog that contains video
clips is called a video blog. A microblog, such as
Twitter, allows users to publish short messages,
usually between 100 and 200 characters, for
others to read. To learn more about creating
and using blogs, complete the Learn How To
2 activity on pages 50 and 51.
Podcasts are a popular way people verbally
share information on the Web. A podcast is
recorded audio stored on a Web site that can be
downloaded to a computer or a portable media
player such as an iPod. A video podcast is a
podcast that contains video and usually audio.
og
le
Facebook
For more information, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for
this book, and then click
Facebook.
Introduction to Computers
os
Chapter 1
Number of Unique Monthly Visitors
14
Source: ClickZ
For more information, visit the Computer
Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the
Chapter 1 FAQ resource for this book, and
then click Top Web Sites.
An FAQ (frequently asked question) helps you
find answers to commonly asked questions.
Web sites often post an FAQ section, and
each chapter in this book includes FAQ boxes
related to topics in the text.
Figure 1-9
Facebook is a popular social networking Web site.
Introduction to Computers
Computer Software
Software, also called a program, consists of a
series of related instructions, organized for a
common purpose, that tells the computer what
tasks to perform and how to perform them.
You interact with a program through its user
interface. The user interface controls how you
enter data and instructions and how information
is displayed on the screen. Software today often
has a graphical user interface. With a graphical
user interface (GUI pronounced gooey), you
interact with the software using text, graphics,
and visual images such as icons. An icon is a
miniature image that represents a program, an
instruction, or some other object. You can use
the mouse to select icons that perform operations
such as starting a program.
The two categories of software are system
software and application software. Figure 1-10
shows an example of each of these categories of
software, which are explained in the following
sections.
Chapter 1
15
System Software
System software consists of the programs
that control or maintain the operations of the
computer and its devices. System software serves
as the interface between the user, the application software, and the computer’s hardware.
Two types of system software are the operating
system and utility programs.
Operating System
An operating system is
a set of programs that coordinates all the
activities among computer hardware devices.
It provides a means for users to communicate
with the computer and other software. Many of
today’s computers use Microsoft’s Windows, the
latest version of which is shown in Figure 1-10,
or Mac OS, Apple’s operating system.
When a user starts a computer, portions of
the operating system are copied into memory
from the computer’s hard disk. These parts of
the operating system remain in memory while
the computer is on.
Windows
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Windows.
application
software
icons
system software
Figure 1-10
Today’s system software and application software usually have a graphical user interface.
16
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Utility Program A utility program allows a
user to perform maintenance-type tasks usually
related to managing a computer, its devices,
or its programs. For example, you can use a
utility program to transfer digital photos to an
optical disc. Most operating systems include
several utility programs for managing disk
drives, printers, and other devices and media.
You also can buy utility programs that allow you
to perform additional computer management
functions.
Application Software
Application software consists of programs
designed to make users more productive and/
or assist them with personal tasks. A widely
used type of application software related to
communications is a Web browser, which allows
users with an Internet connection to access and
view Web pages or access programs. Other
popular application software includes word
processing software, spreadsheet software,
database software, and presentation software.
Many other types of application software
exist that enable users to perform a variety
of tasks. These include personal information
management, note taking, project management,
accounting, document management, computeraided design, desktop publishing, paint/image
editing, photo editing, audio and video editing,
multimedia authoring, Web page authoring,
personal finance, legal, tax preparation, home
design/landscaping, travel and mapping, education, reference, and entertainment (e.g., games
or simulations, etc.).
Software is available at stores that sell computer products (Figure 1-11) and also online at
many Web sites.
Figure 1-11
Stores that sell
computer products
have shelves
stocked with
software for sale.
FAQ 1-2
Who plays video games?
The introduction of computer and video games that
cater to a broader audience has greatly increased
the number of people who play them. According to
the Entertainment Software Association, approximately 68 percent of the U.S. population plays video
games. Of these, 40 percent are women. Further,
25 percent of Americans over 50 play video games,
and the average game player is 35 years old.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ resource for this
book, and then click Game Demographics.
Installing and Running Programs
When purchasing software from a retailer, you
typically receive a box that includes an optical
disc(s) that contains the program. If you acquire
software from a Web site on the Internet, you
may be able to download the program; that is, the
program transfers from the Web site to the hard
disk in your computer.
The instructions in software are placed on
storage media, either locally or online. To use
software that is stored locally, such as on a hard
disk or optical disc, you usually need to install the
software. Web applications that are stored online,
by contrast, usually do not need to be installed.
Installing is the process of setting up software
to work with the computer, printer, and other
hardware. When you buy a computer, it usually has
some software preinstalled on its hard disk. This
enables you to use the computer the first time you
turn it on. To begin installing additional software
from an optical disc, insert the program disc in an
optical disc drive and follow the instructions to
begin installation. To install downloaded software,
the Web site typically provides instructions for how
to install the program on your hard disk.
Introduction to Computers
Once installed, you can run the program. When
you instruct the computer to run an installed
program, the computer loads it, which means the
program is copied from storage to memory. Once
in memory, the computer can carry out, or execute,
the instructions in the program so that you can use
the program. Figure 1-12 illustrates the steps that
occur when a user installs and runs a program. To
learn more about starting and closing programs,
complete the Learn How To 1 activity on page 50.
Chapter 1
FAQ 1-3
How do I know if computer software will run on my
computer?
When you buy a computer, the box, the manufacturer’s Web site, or the
order summary will list the computer’s specifications. Similarly, when you
buy software, the software box or the product’s Web site lists specifications. Your computer’s specifications should be the same as or greater than
the software specifications.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate
Web site at www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ
resource for this book, and then click Computer Software.
Installing and Running a Computer Program
Step 1: INSTALL
Step 2: RUN
When you insert a program disc, such as a photo
editing program, in the optical disc drive for the
first time, the computer begins the procedure of
installing the program on the hard disk.
Once installed, you can instruct the computer to
run the program. The computer transfers instructions
from the hard disk to memory.
optical disc
instructions transfer
to memory
Step 3: USE
The program executes so that you can use it.
This program enables you to edit photos.
Figure 1-12
This figure shows how to install and run a computer program.
17
18
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Software Development
Figure 1-13a
(Visual Basic program
instructions)
A programmer, sometimes called a computer
programmer or developer, is someone who
develops software or writes the instructions that
direct the computer to process data into information. When writing instructions, a programmer must be sure the program works properly
so that the computer generates the desired
results. Complex programs can require thousands to millions of instructions.
Programmers use a programming language or
program development tool to create computer
programs. Popular programming languages
include C++, Java, JavaScript, Visual C#, and
Visual Basic. Figure 1-13 shows some of the
Visual Basic instructions a programmer may
write to create a simple payroll program.
QUIZ YOURSELF 1-2
Instructions: Find the true statement below.
Then, rewrite the remaining false statements so
that they are true.
1. A resource is a collection of computers
and devices connected together via
communications devices and transmission
media.
2. Installing is the process of setting up software
to work with the computer, printer, and other
hardware.
3. Popular system software includes Web
browsers, word processing software,
spreadsheet software, database software,
and presentation software.
4. The Internet is one of the more popular
services on the Web.
5. Two types of application software are the
operating system and utility programs.
Quiz Yourself Online: To further check your
knowledge of pages 10 through 18, visit
the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web
site at www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to
the Chapter 1 Quiz Yourself resource for this
book, and then click Objectives 5 – 7.
Categories of Computers
Figure 1-13b
(window appears
when user runs
program)
Figure 1-13
A programmer
writes Visual Basic instructions
to create the Payroll Information
window.
Industry experts typically classify computers in
seven categories: personal computers (desktop),
mobile computers and mobile devices, game
consoles, servers, mainframes, supercomputers, and embedded computers. A computer’s
size, speed, processing power, and price determine the category it best fits. Due to rapidly
changing technology, however, the distinction
among categories is not always clear-cut. This
trend of computers and devices with technologies that overlap, called convergence, leads to
computer manufacturers continually releasing
newer models that include similar functionality
and features. For example, newer cell phones
often include media player, camera, and Web
browsing capabilities. As devices converge, users
need fewer devices for the functionality that
they require. When consumers replace outdated
computers and devices, they should dispose of
them properly.
Figure 1-14 summarizes the seven categories
of computers. The following pages discuss
computers and devices that fall in each category.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
Categories of Computers
Number of
Simultaneously
Connected Users
General Price Range
Category
Physical Size
Personal computers
(desktop)
Fits on a desk
Usually one (can be
more if networked)
Several hundred to
several thousand dollars
Mobile computers and
mobile devices
Fits on your lap or in
your hand
Usually one
Less than a hundred
dollars to several
thousand dollars
Game consoles
Small box or handheld
device
One to several
Several hundred dollars
or less
Servers
Small cabinet
Two to thousands
Several hundred to a
million dollars
Mainframes
Partial room to a full
room of equipment
Hundreds to thousands
$300,000 to several
million dollars
Supercomputers
Full room of equipment
Hundreds to thousands
$500,000 to several
billion dollars
Embedded computers
Miniature
Usually one
Embedded in the price
of the product
Figure 1-14 This table summarizes some of the differences among the categories of computers. These
should be considered general guidelines only because of rapid changes in technology.
Personal Computers
A personal computer is a computer that can
perform all of its input, processing, output,
and storage activities by itself. A personal
computer contains a processor, memory, and
one or more input, output, and storage devices.
Personal computers also often contain a
communications device.
Two popular architectures of personal
computers are the PC (Figure 1-15) and the
Figure 1-15
Apple (Figure 1-16). The term, PC-compatible,
refers to any personal computer based on
the original IBM personal computer design.
Companies such as Dell, HP, and Toshiba
sell PC-compatible computers. PC and
PC-compatible computers usually use a
Windows operating system. Apple computers
usually use a Macintosh operating system
(Mac OS).
Two types of personal computers are desktop
computers and notebook computers.
PC and PC-compatible computers usually use a
Windows operating system.
Figure 1-16
Apple computers, such as the iMac,
usually use a Macintosh operating system.
19
20
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Mobile Computers
and Mobile Devices
FAQ 1-4
Are PCs or Apple computers more popular?
While PCs still are more popular than Apple computers, Apple computer sales
have been rising consistently during the past few years. In fact, Apple computer sales now account for more than 20 percent of all computer sales in the
United States, with that number estimated to grow for the foreseeable future.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ resource for this
book, and then click Personal Computer Sales.
Desktop Computers
A desktop computer is designed so that the
system unit, input devices, output devices, and
any other devices fit entirely on or under a desk
or table (Figures 1-15 and 1-16 on the previous
page). In many models, the system unit is a tall
and narrow tower, which can sit on the floor
vertically — if desktop space is limited.
Some desktop computers function as a server
on a network. Others, such as a gaming desktop
computer and home theater PC, target a specific
audience. The gaming desktop computer offers
high-quality audio, video, and graphics with optimal performance for sophisticated single-user and
networked or Internet multiplayer games. A home
theater PC (HTPC) combines the features of a
high-definition video/audio entertainment system
with a desktop computer that is designed to be
connected to a television and includes a Blu-ray
Disc, digital video recorder, and digital cable television connectivity. These high-end computers
cost more than the basic desktop computer.
Another expensive, powerful desktop computer
is the workstation, which is geared for work that
requires intense calculations and graphics capabilities. An architect uses a workstation to design
buildings and homes. A graphic artist uses a
workstation to create computer-animated
special effects for full-length motion pictures
and video games.
FAQ 1-5
Does the term, workstation, have
multiple meanings?
A mobile computer is a personal computer
you can carry from place to place. Similarly,
a mobile device is a computing device small
enough to hold in your hand.
The most popular type of mobile computer
is the notebook computer. The following
sections discuss the notebook computer and
widely used mobile devices.
Notebook Computers
A notebook computer, also called a laptop
computer, is a portable, personal computer often
designed to fit on your lap. Notebook computers
are thin and lightweight, yet they can be as powerful as the average desktop computer. A netbook,
which is a type of notebook computer, is smaller,
lighter, and often not as powerful as a traditional
notebook computer. Most netbooks cost less than
traditional notebook computers, usually only a
few hundred dollars. An ultra-thin is another type
of notebook computer that is lightweight and
usually less than one-inch thick. Some notebook
computers have touch screens, allowing you to
interact with the device by touching the screen,
usually with the tip of a finger.
On a typical notebook computer, the keyboard is
on top of the system unit, and the monitor attaches
to the system unit with hinges (Figure 1-17). These
computers weigh on average from 2.5 to more
than 10 pounds (depending on configuration),
which allows users to transport the computers
from place to place. Most notebook computers
can operate on batteries or
a power supply
or both.
display
keyboard
hinge
Yes. In the computer industry, a workstation can be a
high-powered computer or a client computer on a network.
In an office environment, a workstation can refer to a work
area assigned to an employee.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ resource for this book,
and then click Workstation.
optical disc drive
Figure 1-17 On a typical notebook computer, the keyboard is
on top of the system unit, and the display attaches to the system
unit with hinges.
Introduction to Computers
Tablet PCs Resembling a letter-sized slate,
the Tablet PC, or tablet computer, is a special type of notebook computer that you can
interact with by touching the screen with your
finger or a digital pen. A digital pen looks like a
small ink pen but uses pressure instead of ink.
Users write or draw on a Tablet PC by pressing
a finger or digital pen on the screen, and issue
instructions by tapping on the screen. One
design of Tablet PC, called a convertible tablet,
has an attached keyboard. Another design,
which does not include a keyboard, is called
a slate tablet (Figure 1-18) and provides other
means for typing. Some Tablet PCs also support voice input so that users can speak into
the computer.
Tablet PCs are useful especially for taking
notes in lectures, at meetings, conferences, and
other forums where the standard notebook
computer is not practical.
Figure 1-18
The iPad is a widely used slate tablet.
Mobile Devices
Mobile devices, which are small enough
to carry in a pocket, usually do not have disk
drives. Instead, these devices store programs
and data permanently on special memory
inside the system unit or on small storage
media such as memory cards. You often can
connect a mobile device to a personal computer
Chapter 1
21
to exchange information between the computer
and the mobile device.
Some mobile devices are Internet-enabled,
meaning they can connect to the Internet
wirelessly. With an Internet-enabled device,
users can chat, send e-mail and instant messages, and access the Web. Because of their
reduced size, the screens on mobile devices
are small, but usually are in color.
Popular types of mobile devices are smart
phones and PDAs, e-book readers, handheld
computers, portable media players, and digital
cameras.
Smart Phones and PDAs Offering the
convenience of one-handed operation, a smart
phone (Figure 1-19) is an Internet-enabled
phone that usually also provides personal
information management functions such as
a calendar, an appointment book, an address
book, a calculator, and
a notepad. In addition
to basic phone capabilities, a smart phone
allows you to send and
receive e-mail messages
and access the Web —
usually for an additional
fee. Some smart phones
communicate wirelessly
with other devices or
computers. Many also
function as a portable
media player and include
built-in digital cameras
so that you can share
photos or videos with
others as soon as you
capture the image.
Many smart phones
also offer a variety of
application software
such as word processing,
spreadsheet, and games,
and the capability of
conducting live video
conferences.
Many smart phones
have keypads that contain both numbers and
letters so that you can
use the same keypad
Figure 1-19 Some smart phones have touch
screens; others have mini keyboards.
to dial phone numbers
22
Chapter 1
Camera Phone
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Camera Phone.
Introduction to Computers
and enter messages. Others have a built-in mini
keyboard on the front of the phone or a keyboard that slides in and out from behind the
phone. Some have touch screens, where you
press objects on the screen to make selections
and enter text through an on-screen keyboard.
Others include a stylus, which is similar to a
digital pen but smaller and has less functionality.
Instead of calling someone’s smart phone or
cell phone, users often send messages to others
by pressing buttons on their phone’s keypad,
keys on the mini keyboard, or images on an onscreen keyboard. Types of messages users send
with smart phones include text messages, instant
messages, picture messages, and video messages.
• A text message is a short note, typically fewer
than 300 characters, sent to or from a smart
phone or other mobile device.
• An instant message is a real-time Internet
communication, where you exchange
messages with other connected users.
• A picture message is a photo or other image,
sometimes along with sound and text, sent
to or from a smart phone or other mobile
device. A phone that can send picture
messages often is called a camera phone.
• A video message is a short video clip, usually
about 30 seconds, sent to or from a smart
phone or other mobile device. A phone that
can send video messages often is called a
video phone.
A PDA (personal digital assistant), which often
looks like a smart phone, provides personal
information management functions such as a
calendar, an appointment book, an address book,
a calculator, and a notepad. A PDA differs from
a smart phone in that it usually does not provide
phone capabilities and may not be Internetenabled, support voice input, have a built-in
camera, or function as a portable media player.
As smart phones and PDAs continue a trend
of convergence, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between the two devices.
This has led some manufacturers to refer to
PDAs and smart phones simply as handhelds.
E-Book Readers An e-book reader (short
for electronic book reader), or e-reader, is a
handheld device that is used primarily for reading e-books (Figure 1-20). An e-book, or digital book, is an electronic version of a printed
book, readable on computers and other digital
devices. In addition to books, users typically can
purchase and read other forms of digital media
such as newspapers and magazines.
Most e-book readers have a touch screen and
are Internet-enabled. These devices usually are
smaller than tablet computers but larger than
smart phones.
Figure 1-20
An e-book reader.
Handheld Computers A handheld
computer, sometimes referred to as an
Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC ), is a computer small
enough to fit in one hand. Many handheld
computers communicate wirelessly with other
devices or computers and also include a digital
pen or stylus for input.
Some handheld computers have miniature
or specialized keyboards. Many handheld
computers are industry-specific and serve
the needs of mobile employees, such as
meter readers and parcel delivery people
(Figure 1-21), whose jobs require them to
move from place to place.
FAQ 1-6
How popular is text messaging?
A recent study indicates that people are using their smart phones and cell phones for voice communications and
text messaging more frequently than in previous years. Because of the increase in smart phone sales and the
ease with which individuals can send text messages, approximately two billion text messages are sent each day.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ resource for this book, and then click Text Messaging.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
23
Some portable media players are Internetenabled so that you can access Web sites and
send e-mail messages directly from the device.
Many offer personal information management
functions such as a calendar and address book,
and include a variety of games and other application software.
Portable media players usually include a set
of earbuds, which are small speakers that rest
inside each ear canal. Some portable media
players have a touch screen, while others have
a touch-sensitive pad that you operate with a
thumb or finger, to navigate through digital
media, adjust volume, and customize settings.
Figure 1-21
This handheld computer is a
lightweight computer that enables delivery
people to obtain and record information about
their deliveries.
Portable Media Players A portable media
player is a mobile device on which you
can store, organize, and play digital media
(Figure 1-22). For example, you can listen to
music; watch videos, movies, and television
shows; and view photos on the device’s screen.
With most, you download the digital media
from a computer to the portable media player
or to media that you insert in the device.
Digital Cameras A digital camera is a device
that allows users to take pictures and store
the photographed images digitally, instead of
on traditional film (Figure 1-23). While many
digital cameras look like a traditional camera,
some are built into smart phones and other
mobile devices.
Although digital cameras usually have some
amount of internal storage to hold images, most
users store images on small storage media such
as memory cards. Digital cameras typically allow
users to review, and sometimes modify, images
while they are in the camera. Some digital cameras connect to or communicate wirelessly with
a computer or printer, allowing users to print
or view images directly from the printer. Some
memory cards can connect to a network wirelessly, so that you can transfer photos directly
from the memory card in the camera to the
Internet without requiring a computer.
Often users prefer to download images from
the digital camera to the computer. Or, you can
remove the storage media such as a memory
card from the digital camera and
insert it in a card reader in or
attached to the computer.
Digital Cameras
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navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for this
book, and then click Digital
Cameras.
earbuds
Figure 1-23
Figure 1-22
The iPod, shown here,
is a popular portable media player.
With a
digital camera, users can
view photographed images
immediately through a small
screen on the camera to see if
the picture is worth keeping.
24
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Game Consoles
A game console is a mobile computing
device designed for single-player or multiplayer video games (Figure 1-24). Standard
game consoles use a handheld controller(s)
as an input device(s); a television screen as an
output device; and hard disks, optical discs,
and/or memory cards for storage. Weighing
on average between two and nine pounds,
the compact size of game consoles makes
them easy to use at home, in the car, in a
hotel, or any location that has an electrical
outlet. Three popular models are Microsoft’s
Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii (pronounced wee),
and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Read Innovative
Computing 1-1 to find out how the medical
field uses the Nintendo Wii.
A handheld game console is small enough to
fit in one hand, making it more portable than
the standard game console. With the handheld
game console, the controls, screen, and speakers
handheld game
console
game console
Figure 1-24
Game consoles provide hours of video game entertainment.
are built into the device. Because of their
reduced size, the screens are small — three
to four inches. Some models use cartridges to
store games; others use a memory card or a
miniature optical disc. Many handheld game
consoles can communicate wirelessly with
other similar consoles for multiplayer gaming.
Two popular models are Nintendo DS Lite and
Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP).
In addition to gaming, many game console
models allow users to listen to music, watch
movies, keep fit, and connect to the Internet.
Game consoles can cost from a couple hundred
dollars to more than $500.
INNOVATIVE COMPUTING 1-1
Wii a Welcome Medical Skill Builder
A patient awaiting laparoscopic procedures
may be less tense knowing that the surgeons
have honed their dexterity and coordination
using a Nintendo
Wii. Preliminary
studies have
found that doctors can improve
their fine motor
control by playing video games
that emphasize
subtle hand
movements used in minimally invasive
surgeries. Researchers are developing Wii
surgery simulators that will allow doctors
to practice their skills at home or in break
rooms at hospitals.
The Wii game system is finding a medical
home in other nontraditional places. Physical
therapists urge arthritic patients to use
Wiihabilitation to build endurance and
increase their range of motion. Therapeutic
recreation with the Wii’s sports games
may help patients recovering from strokes,
fractures, and combat injuries.
Researchers in a testing lab in California
are experimenting with using the Wii’s
motion-activated controls in non-gaming
applications, such as allowing doctors to
explain X-ray images to patients.
For more information, visit the Computer
Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the
Chapter 1 Innovative Computing resource
for this book, and then click Medical Wii.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
25
Servers
A server controls access to the hardware,
software, and other resources on a network and
provides a centralized storage area for programs,
data, and information (Figure 1-25). Servers can
support from two to several thousand connected
computers at the same time.
In many cases, one server accesses data, information, and programs on another server. In
other cases, people use personal computers or
terminals to access data, information, and programs on a server. A terminal is a device with a
monitor, keyboard, and memory.
Figure 1-25
A server controls
access to resources
on a network.
Mainframes
A mainframe is a large, expensive, powerful
computer that can handle hundreds or thousands of connected users simultaneously (Figure
1-26). Mainframes store tremendous amounts of
data, instructions, and information. Most major
corporations use mainframes for business activities. With mainframes, enterprises are able to
bill millions of customers, prepare payroll for
thousands of employees, and manage thousands
of items in inventory. One study reported that
mainframes process more than 83 percent of
transactions around the world.
Mainframes also can act as servers in a network
environment. Servers and other mainframes can
access data and information from a mainframe.
People also can access programs on the mainframe using terminals or personal computers.
Figure 1-26
Mainframe computers
can handle thousands
of connected
computers and
process millions
of instructions per
second.
Supercomputers
A supercomputer is the fastest, most powerful
computer — and the most expensive (Figure
1-27). The fastest supercomputers are capable
of processing more than one quadrillion instructions in a single second. With weights that
exceed 100 tons, these computers can store more
than 20,000 times the data and information of
an average desktop computer.
Applications requiring complex, sophisticated
mathematical calculations use supercomputers.
Large-scale simulations and applications in medicine, aerospace, automotive design, online banking, weather forecasting, nuclear energy research,
and petroleum exploration use a supercomputer.
Figure 1-27
This supercomputer, IBM’s Roadrunner, can process more
than one quadrillion instructions in a single second.
26
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Embedded Computers
An embedded computer is a special-purpose
computer that functions as a component in a
larger product. Embedded computers are everywhere — at home, in your car, and at work. The
following list identifies a variety of everyday
products that contain embedded computers.
• Consumer Electronics: mobile and digital
telephones, digital televisions, cameras,
video recorders, DVD players and recorders,
answering machines
• Home Automation Devices: thermostats,
sprinkling systems, security monitoring
systems, appliances, lights
• Automobiles: antilock brakes, engine control
modules, airbag controller, cruise control
Adaptive cruise control
systems detect if cars in
front of you are too close
and, if necessary, adjust
the vehicle's throttle,
may apply brakes, and/or
sound an alarm.
Tire pressure monitoring systems
send warning signals if tire pressure
is insufficient.
Figure 1-28
automobiles.
• Process Controllers and Robotics: remote
monitoring systems, power monitors,
machine controllers, medical devices
• Computer Devices and Office Machines:
keyboards, printers, fax and copy machines
Because embedded computers are components
in larger products, they usually are small and
have limited hardware. These computers
perform various functions, depending on the
requirements of the product in which they
reside. Embedded computers in printers, for
example, monitor the amount of paper in the
tray, check the ink or toner level, signal if a
paper jam has occurred, and so on. Figure 1-28
shows some of the many embedded computers
in cars.
Advanced airbag systems have crash-severity sensors that
determine the appropriate level to inflate the airbag, reducing
the chance of airbag injury in low-speed accidents.
Drive-by-wire systems sense pressure
on the gas pedal and communicate
electronically to the engine how much
and how fast to accelerate.
Cars equipped with wireless communications
capabilities, called telematics, include such
features as navigation systems, remote
diagnosis and alerts, and Internet access.
Some of the embedded computers designed to improve your safety, security, and performance in today’s
Introduction to Computers
Elements of an
Information System
To be valuable, information must be accurate,
organized, timely, accessible, useful, and costeffective to produce. Generating information from
a computer requires the following five elements:
• Hardware
• Software
• Data
• People
• Procedures
Together, these elements (hardware, software,
data, people, and procedures) comprise an
information system. Figure 1-29 shows how each
of the elements of an information system in an
enterprise might interact.
The hardware must be reliable and capable of
handling the expected workload. The software
must be developed carefully and tested thoroughly. The data entered into the computer
must be accurate.
Most companies with mid-sized and large
computers have an IT (information technology)
department. Staff in the IT department should
be skilled and up-to-date on the latest technology. IT staff also should train users so that they
understand how to use the computer properly.
Today’s users also work closely with IT staff in
the development of computer applications that
relate to their areas of work.
Finally, all the IT applications should have
readily available documented procedures that
address operating the computer and using its
programs.
Chapter 1
Women in Technology
For more information, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for this
book, and then click Women
in Technology.
How the Elements of an Information System in an Enterprise Might Interact
Step 1
IT staff (people) develop processes (procedures)
for recording checks (data) received from customers.
Step 2
Employees (people) in the accounts receivable department
use a program (software) to enter the checks (data) in
the computer.
Step 3
The computer (hardware) performs calculations required
to process the accounts receivable data and stores the results
on storage media such as a hard disk (hardware).
Step 4
Customer statements, the information, print on a corporate
printer (hardware).
Figure 1-29
27
This figure shows how the elements of an information system in an enterprise might interact.
28
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Examples of Computer Usage
Every day, people around the world rely on
different types of computers for a variety of
Minorities in
Technology
applications. To illustrate the range of uses for
For more information, visit computers, this section takes you on a visual and
the Computer Concepts
narrative tour of five categories of users:
CourseMate Web site at
• Home user
www.cengagebrain.com,
• Small office/home office (SOHO) user
navigate to the Chapter 1
• Mobile user
Web Link resource for
this book, and then click • Power user
Minorities in Technology. • Enterprise user
Home User
In an increasing number of homes, the computer
no longer is a convenience. Instead, it is a basic
necessity. Each family member, or home user,
spends time on the computer for different reasons
that include personal financial management, Web
access, communications, and entertainment
(Figure 1-30).
On the Internet, home users access a huge
amount of information, conduct research, take college classes, pay bills, manage investments, shop,
listen to the radio, watch movies, read books, file
taxes, book airline reservations, make telephone
calls, and play games (read Innovative Computing
1-2 to find out how some retailers use the Internet
to help the environment). They also communicate
with others around the world through e-mail, blogs,
instant messages, and chat rooms using personal
computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices.
Home users share ideas, interests, photos, music, and
videos on social networking Web sites (read Ethics
& Issues 1-3 for a related discussion). With a digital
camera, home users take photos and then send the
electronic images to others. Using a Web cam, home
users easily have live video calls with friends, family
members, and others.
Many home users have a portable media player,
so that they can download music or podcasts, and
listen to the music and/or audio at a later time
personal financial management
Web access
entertainment
communications
Figure 1-30
The
home user spends time
on a computer for a
variety of reasons.
Introduction to Computers
through earbuds attached to the player. They also
usually have one or more game consoles to play
video games individually or with friends and
family members.
Today’s homes also typically have one or more
desktop computers. Many home users network
multiple desktop computers throughout the
house, often wirelessly. These small networks
allow family members to share an Internet connection and a printer.
Home users have a variety of software. They
type letters, homework assignments, and other
documents with word processing software.
Personal finance software helps the home user
with personal finances, investments, and family
budgets. Other software assists with preparing
taxes, keeping a household inventory, setting up
maintenance schedules, and protecting home
computers against threats and unauthorized
intrusions.
Reference software, such as encyclopedias,
medical dictionaries, or a road atlas, provides
valuable information for everyone in the family.
With entertainment software, the home user can
Chapter 1
play games, compose music, research genealogy,
or create greeting cards. Educational software
helps adults learn to speak a foreign language and
youngsters to read, write, count, and spell.
FAQ 1-7
How many households do not use the Internet or related
technologies?
A recent survey estimates that 18 percent of U.S. households have no
Internet access. Furthermore, about 20 percent of U.S. heads of households have never sent an e-mail message. The chart below illustrates the
lack of experience with computer and Internet technology.
Lack of Experience with Technology
Never searched for information
on the Internet
Never sent or received
e-mail messages
Never looked up a Web site
on the Internet
Never used a computer
to create documents
Source: Parks Associates
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate
Web site at www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 FAQ
resource for this book, and then click Experience with Technology.
INNOVATIVE COMPUTING 1-2
E-Receipts Save Paper, Organize Life
You may need to find a new use for the old shoeboxes that are
storing your receipts. Some environmentally conscious retailers
are providing a service that issues receipts electronically so
that consumers never will need to hunt for a little white slip
of paper when returning an item or declaring an expense for
income taxes.
Digital receipts, also called e-receipts, are sent automatically
to an e-mail account or Web site where they can be sorted or
deleted. One service links a consumer’s credit cards to a receipt
account on a specific Web site, so that every time the cards are
swiped for a purchase, a receipt is sent to the consumer’s account.
More than 70 percent of consumers
say they would prefer having an e-receipt
rather than a paper receipt. According to
one estimate, nine million trees would be
saved if no paper receipts were issued for
one year.
For more information, visit the Computer
Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the
Chapter 1 Innovative Computing resource
for this book, and then click Digital Receipts.
ETHICS & ISSUES 1-3
Who Should Look Out for the Safety of Social Networking Web Site Users?
In recent years, social networking Web site
usage by children and adults exploded
as a new means of communicating and
socializing. Not surprisingly, the problems
associated with this exciting way to interact with others mirror some problems in
society in general. Problems include bullying, smear campaigns against individuals,
and inappropriate contact between adults
and minors. Recently, a high-school-aged
girl secretly left the country with the intent
of marrying an adult in a foreign country
whom she met on a social networking
Web site. Fortunately, authorities in the
foreign country intercepted her at the
airport and sent her home. Some parents
claim that the government should intervene
to ensure better monitoring of inappropriate behavior. While some social networking Web site companies have stepped up
monitoring, they often claim that they are
not responsible for the behavior of individuals, and parents and individuals should
be responsible for inappropriate actions.
Many individuals feel that the problems are
simply a matter of personal responsibility
and following some simple guidelines, such
as the “golden rule.”
Should social networking Web sites do
a better job of telling their users what is
safe or unsafe information to share? Why
or why not? What role should parents
play in overseeing their child’s involvement in social networking Web sites?
Why? Should police or other government
authorities be responsible for maintaining order on social networking Web sites
in the same way they are charged with
maintaining order in society in general?
Why or why not?
29
30
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Small Office/Home Office User
Computers assist small business and home
office users in managing their resources effectively. A small office/home office (SOHO)
includes any company with fewer than 50
employees, as well as the self-employed who
work from home. Small offices include local law
practices, accounting firms, travel agencies, and
florists. SOHO users typically have a desktop
computer to perform some or all of their duties.
Many also have smart phones or other mobile
devices to manage appointments and contact
information.
SOHO users access the Internet — often
wirelessly — to look up information such
as addresses, directions, postal codes, flights
(Figure 1-31a), and package shipping rates or
to send and receive e-mail messages or make
telephone calls.
Figure 1-31a
Many have entered the e-commerce arena and
conduct business on the Web. Their Web sites
advertise products and services and may provide
a means for taking orders. Small business Web
sites sometimes use a Web cam to show the world
a live view of some aspect of their business.
To save money on hardware and software,
small offices often network their computers. For
example, the small office connects one printer to
a network for all employees to share.
SOHO users often work with basic business
software such as word processing and spreadsheet
programs that assist with document preparation
and finances (Figure 1-31b). They are likely to
use other industry-specific types of software. An
auto parts store, for example, will have software
that allows for looking up parts, taking orders
and payments, and updating inventory.
(Web access)
Figure 1-31
People with
a home office and employees
in small offices typically use a
personal computer for some or
all of their duties.
Figure 1-31b
(spreadsheet program)
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
31
Mobile User
Today, businesses and schools are expanding
to serve people across the country and around
the world. Thus, increasingly more employees
and students are mobile users, who work on a
computer or mobile device while away from a
main office, home office, or school (Figure 1-32).
Examples of mobile users are sales representatives, real estate agents, insurance agents, meter
readers, package delivery people, journalists, consultants, and students.
Mobile users often have mobile computers
and/or mobile devices. With these computers
and devices, the mobile user connects to other
computers on a network or the Internet, often
wirelessly accessing services such as e-mail and
the Web. Mobile users can transfer information between their mobile device and another
computer, such as one at the main office or
school. For entertainment, the mobile user plays
video games on a handheld game console and
listens to music or watches movies on a portable
media player.
The mobile user works with basic business
software such as word processing. With presentation software, the mobile user can create and
deliver presentations to a large audience by connecting a mobile computer or device to a video
projector that displays the presentation on a full
screen. Many scaled-down programs are available
for mobile devices such as smart phones.
notebook computer
handheld
game
console
smart phone
Tablet PC
Figure 1-32
Mobile users have a variety of mobile computers and devices so
that they can work, do homework, send messages, connect to the Internet, or
play games while away from a wired connection.
Power User
Another category of user, called a power user,
requires the capabilities of a workstation or other
type of powerful computer. Examples of power
users include engineers, scientists, architects, desktop publishers, and graphic artists (Figure 1-33).
Power users often work with multimedia, combining text, graphics, audio, and video into one application. These users need computers with extremely
fast processors because of the nature of their work.
The power user’s workstation often contains
industry-specific software. For example, engineers
and architects use software to draft and design
floor plans, mechanical assemblies, or vehicles. A
desktop publisher uses software to prepare marketing literature. A graphic artist uses software to
create sophisticated drawings. This software usually is expensive because of its specialized design.
Power users exist in all types of businesses.
Some work at home. Their computers typically
have network connections and Internet access.
Figure 1-33 This graphic artist uses a powerful computer to develop
computer games.
32
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Enterprise User
Enterprise Computing
For more information, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for
this book, and then click
Enterprise Computing.
An enterprise has hundreds or thousands
of employees or customers that work in or do
business with offices across a region, the country, or the world. Each employee or customer
who uses a computer in the enterprise is an
enterprise user (Figure 1-34).
Many large companies use the words,
enterprise computing, to refer to the huge network of computers that meets their diverse
computing needs. The network facilitates
communications among employees at all locations. Users access the network of servers or
mainframes through desktop computers, mobile
computers, and mobile devices.
Enterprises use computers and the computer
network to process high volumes of transactions
in a single day. Although they may differ in size
and in the products or services offered, all generally use computers for basic business activities.
For example, they bill millions of customers,
prepare payroll for thousands of employees, and
manage thousands of items in inventory. Some
enterprises use blogs to open communications
among employees, customers, and/or vendors.
Enterprises typically have e-commerce
Web sites, allowing customers and vendors
to conduct business online. The Web site
also showcases products, services, and other
company information.
The marketing department in an enterprise uses desktop publishing software to
Figure 1-34
prepare marketing literature. The accounting
department uses software for accounts receivable, accounts payable, billing, general ledger,
and payroll activities.
The employees in the information technology
(IT) department keep the computers and the network running. They determine when the company requires new hardware or software.
Enterprise users work with word processing,
spreadsheet, database, and presentation software. They also may use calendar programs to
post their schedules on the network. And, they
might use smart phones or mobile devices to
maintain contact information. E-mail programs
and Web browsers enable communications
among employees, vendors, and customers.
Many employees of enterprises telecommute. Telecommuting is a work arrangement
in which employees work away from a company’s standard workplace and often communicate with the office through the computer.
Employees who telecommute have flexible
work schedules so that they can combine
work and personal responsibilities, such as
child care.
Putting It All Together
The previous pages discussed the hardware
and software requirements for the home user,
small office/home office user, mobile user,
power user, and enterprise user. The table in
Figure 1-35 summarizes these requirements.
An enterprise can have hundreds or thousands of users in offices across a region, the
country, or the world.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
33
Categories of Users
User
Hardware
Software
Home
• Desktop or notebook computer
• Smart phone or other mobile device
• Game consoles
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Business (e.g., word processing)
Personal information manager
Personal finance, online banking, tax preparation
Web browser
E-mail, blogging, instant messaging, chat rooms, and online
social networking
Internet telephone calls
Photo and video editing
Reference (e.g., encyclopedias, medical dictionaries, road atlas)
Entertainment (e.g., games, music composition, greeting cards)
Education (e.g., tutorials, children's math and reading software)
Small Office/Home Office
• Desktop or notebook computer
• Smart phone or other mobile device
• Shared network printer
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Business (e.g., word processing, spreadsheet, database)
Personal information manager
Company specific (e.g., accounting, legal reference)
Network management
Web browser
E-mail
Internet telephone calls
Mobile
bil
• Notebook computer equipped with
a wireless modem, or a netbook or
Tablet PC
• Video projector
• Smart phone or other mobile device
• Handheld game consoles
•
•
•
•
Business (e.g., word processing, note taking, presentation)
Personal information manager
Web browser
E-mail
Power
• Workstation or other powerful
computer with multimedia
capabilities
• Smart phone or other mobile device
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Desktop publishing
Multimedia authoring
Computer-aided design
Photo, audio, and video editing
Personal information manager
Web browser
E-mail
Enterprise
• Server or mainframe
• Desktop or notebook computer
• Industry-specific handheld computer
• Smart phone or other mobile device
• Business (e.g., word processing, spreadsheet, database)
• Personal information manager
• Accounting
• Network management
• Web browser
• E-mail
• Blogging
Figure 1-35 Today, computers are used by millions of people for work tasks, school assignments, and leisure activities. Different
computer users require different kinds of hardware and software to meet their needs effectively.
34
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Computer Applications
in Society
The computer has changed society today as
much as the industrial revolution changed society
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
People interact directly with computers in
fields such as education, finance, government,
health care, science, publishing, travel, and
manufacturing. In addition, they can reap the
benefits from breakthroughs and advances in
these fields. The following pages describe how
computers have made a difference in people’s
interactions with these disciplines. Read
Looking Ahead 1-1 for a look at how embedded
computers may improve the quality of life.
LOOKING AHEAD 1-1
Embedded Computers May Improve
Quality of Life
The weather forecast may be as close as your
fingertips if plans to integrate embedded computers
in everyday objects become a reality. Researchers
are envisioning an umbrella
with an embedded cell phone
in the handle that will dial
and then download the local
forecast. The handle will glow
green for good weather and
flash red for imminent storms.
Dancers can pin a small
flower with an embedded
motion-detecting co
computer to their clothes. When
they move, the embedded computer senses action
and then synchronizes the tempo of music to this
movement. Other embedded computers woven into
clothing can monitor heart and breathing rates.
Wearing hidden embedded computers can help
the elderly and people recovering from accidents
and surgeries monitor their walking stride and
pace. When their steps are uneven, the embedded computer can sound a warning and perhaps
prevent a fall. Other embedded computers can give
subtle feedback on the quality of physical activity.
For more information, visit the Computer
Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the
Chapter 1 Looking Ahead resource for this
book, and then click Embedded Computers.
Education
Education is the process of acquiring
knowledge. In the traditional model, people
learn from other people such as parents,
teachers, and employers. Many forms of
printed material such as books and manuals
are used as learning tools. Today, educators
also are turning to computers to assist with
education (Figure 1-36).
Many schools and companies equip labs
and classrooms with computers. Some schools
require students to have a mobile computer or
mobile device to access the school’s network or
Internet wirelessly. To promote education by
computer, many vendors offer substantial student discounts on software.
Sometimes, the delivery of education occurs
at one place while the learning occurs at other
locations. For example, students can take a class
on the Web. Some classes are blended; that is,
part of the learning occurs in a classroom and
tthe other part occurs on the Web. More than
7
70 percent of colleges offer distance learning
cclasses. A few even offer entire degrees online.
Figure 1-36 In some schools, students have mobile
computers on their desks during classroom lectures.
Finance
Many people and companies use computers
to help manage their finances. Some use finance
software to balance checkbooks, pay bills, track
personal income and expenses, manage investments, and evaluate financial plans. This software
usually includes a variety of online services. For
example, computer users can track investments
and do online banking. With online banking,
users access account balances, pay bills, and copy
monthly transactions from the bank’s computer
right into their personal computers.
Many financial institutions’ Web sites also
offer online banking. When using a Web site
instead of finance software on your computer,
all your account information is stored on
the bank’s computer. The advantage is you
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
35
can access your financial records from anywhere
in the world (Figure 1-37).
Investors often use online investing to buy
and sell stocks and bonds — without using a
broker. With online investing, the transaction
fee for each trade usually is much less than
when trading through a broker.
Government
A government provides society with direction
by making and administering policies. To provide citizens with up-to-date information, most
government offices have Web sites. People in
the United States access government Web sites
to file taxes, apply for permits and licenses,
pay parking tickets, buy stamps, report crimes,
apply for financial aid, and renew vehicle
registrations and driver’s licenses. To provide
these services, some Web sites require users
provide personal information (read Ethics &
Issues 1-4 for a related discussion).
Employees of government agencies use
computers as part of their daily routine. North
American 911 call centers use computers to
dispatch calls for fire, police, and medical assistance. Military and other agency officials use
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s
network of information about domestic security
threats to help protect against terrorist attacks.
Law enforcement officers have online access to
the FBI’s National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) through in-vehicle notebook computers, fingerprint readers, and mobile devices
(Figure 1-38). The NCIC contains more than
52 million missing persons and criminal records,
including names, fingerprints, parole/probation
records, mug shots, and other information.
Figure 1-37
An online banking Web site.
Figure 1-38
Law enforcement officials have in-vehicle computers
and mobile devices to access emergency, missing person, and criminal
records in computer networks in local, state, and federal agencies.
ETHICS & ISSUES 1-4
Should You Surrender Privacy for Convenience, Security, Money, or Social Connections?
The chief executive officer of a large
computer software company once
declared, “Privacy is dead, deal with it.”
While a vast majority of people demand
increased privacy, many of those same
people do not hesitate to surrender personal information in exchange for some
short-term benefit. In a recent study, onethird of Internet users admitted to making
detailed personal information available
on the Internet. Personal information has
become similar to a currency that people
give up in order to obtain a benefit.
Benefits might be in the form of increased
convenience, increased security, money
savings, or social connections online. For
example, increased convenience may be
in the form of an automated toll collection device that also can track the user’s
location and speed, and allow the government to maintain a record of the user’s
whereabouts. Insistence on safety or security may mean tolerating video cameras
in many public and private places. The
use of a grocery store affinity card saves
a few dollars but also allows the store to
track an individual buyer’s every purchase.
Signing up for an online social network
often requires the divulgence of personal
information so that the service better
can locate other members with similar
interests. In each of these examples, some
measure of privacy is sacrificed.
Should people limit the amount of personal
information they exchange? Why or why
not? What are the dangers and disadvantages of giving up some amount of privacy
in exchange for a short-term benefit? What
are some possible alternatives to exchanging privacy for a perceived benefit? Should
companies or government organizations be
required to purge your personal information if you request so? Why or why not?
36
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Health Care
Nearly every area of health care today uses
computers. Whether you are visiting a family doctor for a regular checkup, having lab work or an
outpatient test, or being rushed in for emergency
surgery, the medical staff around you will be using
computers for various purposes:
• Hospitals and doctors use computers and mobile
devices to maintain and access patient records.
• Computers monitor patients’ vital signs in
hospital rooms and at home.
• Robots deliver medication to nurse stations in
hospitals.
• Computers and computerized devices assist
doctors, nurses, and technicians with medical
tests (Figure 1-39).
• Doctors use the Web and medical software to
assist with researching and diagnosing health
conditions.
• Doctors use e-mail to correspond with patients.
• Pharmacists use computers to file insurance
claims.
• Surgeons implant computerized devices, such as
pacemakers, that allow patients to live longer.
• Surgeons use computer-controlled devices
to provide them with greater precision during
operations, such as for laser eye surgery and
robot-assisted heart surgery.
Figure 1-39
Doctors, nurses, technicians, and other
medical staff use computers and computerized devices to
assist with medical tests.
Many Web sites provide up-to-date medical,
fitness, nutrition, or exercise information. These
Web sites also maintain lists of doctors and
dentists to help you find the one that suits your
needs. They have chat rooms, so that you can
talk to others diagnosed with similar conditions.
Some Web sites even allow you to order prescriptions online.
Two forms of long-distance health care
are telemedicine and telesurgery. Through
telemedicine, health-care professionals in separate
locations conduct live conferences on the computer. For example, a doctor at one location can
have a conference with a doctor at another location to discuss a bone X-ray. Live images of each
doctor, along with the X-ray, are displayed on
each doctor’s computer.
With telesurgery, also called remote surgery, a
surgeon performs an operation on a patient who
is not located in the same physical room as the
surgeon. Telesurgery enables surgeons to direct
robots to perform an operation via computers
connected to a high-speed network.
Science
All branches of science, from biology to
astronomy to meteorology, use computers
to assist them with collecting, analyzing, and
modeling data. Scientists also use the Internet
to communicate with colleagues around
the world.
Breakthroughs in surgery, medicine, and
treatments often result from scientists’ use of
computers. Tiny computers now imitate functions of the central nervous system, retina of
the eye, and cochlea of the ear. A cochlear
implant allows a deaf person to listen. Electrodes
implanted in the brain stop tremors associated
with Parkinson’s disease. Cameras small enough
to swallow — sometimes called a camera pill —
take pictures inside your body to detect polyps,
cancer, and other abnormalities (Figure 1-40).
A neural network is a system that attempts
to imitate the behavior of the human brain.
Scientists create neural networks by connecting
thousands of processors together much like
the neurons in the brain are connected. The
capability of a personal computer to recognize
spoken words is a direct result of scientific
experimentation with neural networks.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
37
How a Camera Pill Works
Step 1
A patient swallows a tiny capsule that
contains a miniature disposable camera,
lights, a transmitter, and batteries. The
camera is positioned at the clear end of
the capsule.
Step 3
The doctor transfers the data on the
recording device to a computer so
that it can be processed and analyzed.
Step 2
As the capsule moves through the inside of the
patient’s body, the camera snaps about 50,000
pictures, which are transmitted to a recording
device worn as a belt on the patient’s waist.
Figure 1-40
This figure shows how a camera pill works.
Publishing
Publishing is the process of making works
available to the public. These works include
books, magazines, newspapers, music, film, and
video. Special software assists graphic designers
in developing pages that include text, graphics,
and photos; artists in composing and enhancing
songs; filmmakers in creating and editing film;
and journalists and mobile users in capturing
and modifying video clips.
Many publishers make their works available
online (Figure 1-41). Some Web sites allow you
to copy the work, such as a book or music, to
your desktop computer, mobile computer, smart
phone, or other mobile device.
Figure 1-41
Many
magazine and newspaper
publishers make the
content of their publications
available online.
38
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
Travel
OnStar
For more information, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
Web Link resource for this
book, and then click OnStar.
Whether traveling by car or airplane, your
goal is to arrive safely at your destination. As
you make the journey, you may interact with
some of the latest technology.
Vehicles manufactured today often include
some type of onboard navigation system, such
as OnStar. Many mobile devices such as smart
phones have built-in navigation systems. Some
mobile users prefer to carry specialized handheld navigation devices (Figure 1-42). For
a technical discussion about how navigation
devices determine your location, read the
High-Tech Talk article on page 40.
In preparing for a trip, you may need to
reserve a car, hotel, or flight. Many Web sites
offer these services to the public. For example,
you can order airline tickets on the Web. If you
plan to drive somewhere and are unsure of the
road to take to your destination, you can print
directions and a map from the Web.
time used to manufacture a particular product.
The computers process this data and automatically update inventory, production, payroll, and
accounting records on the company’s network.
Figure 1-43
Automotive factories use industrial
robots to weld car bodies.
QUIZ YOURSELF 1-3
Instructions: Find the true statement below. Then,
rewrite the remaining false statements so that they
are true.
1. A desktop computer is a portable, personal
computer designed to fit on your lap.
Figure 1-42
This handheld navigation device
gives users turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions
to a destination.
Manufacturing
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM )
refers to the use of computers to assist with
manufacturing processes such as fabrication and
assembly. Industries use CAM to reduce product development costs, shorten a product’s time
to market, and stay ahead of the competition.
Often, robots carry out processes in a CAM
environment. CAM is used by a variety of industries, including oil drilling, power generation,
food production, and automobile manufacturing.
Automobile plants, for example, have an entire
line of industrial robots that assemble a car
(Figure 1-43).
Special computers on the shop floor record
actual labor, material, machine, and computer
2. A personal computer contains a processor, memory,
and one or more input, output, and storage devices.
3. Each enterprise user spends time on the computer
for different reasons that include personal financial
management, Web access, communications, and
entertainment.
4. A home user requires the capabilities of a
workstation or other powerful computer.
5. Mainframes are the fastest, most powerful
computers — and the most expensive.
6. The elements of an information system are
hardware, e-mail, data, people, and the Internet.
7. With embedded computers, users access account
balances, pay bills, and copy monthly transactions
from the bank’s computer right into their personal
computers.
Quiz Yourself Online: To further check your knowledge
of pages 18 through 38, visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 Quiz Yourself resource for
this book, and then click Objectives 8 – 11.
Introduction to Computers
Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 introduced you to basic
computer concepts such as what a
computer is, how it works, and its
advantages and disadvantages (read
Ethics & Issues 1-5 for a related
discussion). You learned about the
components of a computer. Next,
the chapter discussed networks, the
Internet, and computer software. The
many different categories of computers, computer users, and computer
applications in society also were
presented.
This chapter is an overview. Many
of the terms and concepts introduced
will be discussed further in later
chapters. For a history of hardware
and software developments, read the
Timeline feature that follows this
chapter.
Chapter 1
ETHICS & ISSUES 1-5
Should Recycling of Electronics Be Made Easier?
Experts estimate that more than one billion computers have been discarded to date.
The discarded items often are known as e-waste. As technology advances and prices
fall, many people think of computers, cell phones, and portable media players as
disposable items. These items often contain several toxic elements, including lead,
mercury, and barium. Computers and mobile devices thrown into landfills or burned
in incinerators can pollute the ground and the air. A vast amount of e-waste ends up
polluting third world countries. One solution is to recycle old electronic equipment, but
the recycling effort has made little progress especially when compared to recycling
programs for paper, glass, and plastic.
Some lawmakers prefer an aggressive approach, such as setting up a recycling
program that would be paid for by adding a small fee to the purchase price of computers
and computer equipment, or forcing computer manufacturers to be responsible for
collecting and recycling their products. California already requires a recycling fee for any
products sold that include certain electronic equipment. Manufacturers have taken steps,
such as offering to recycle old computers and using energy efficient and environmentally
friendly manufacturing techniques, but some claim that consumers should bear the
responsibility of disposing of their old computer parts. While some companies have set
up recycling programs, many claim that forcing them to bear the cost of recycling
programs puts the company at a competitive disadvantage when compared to foreign
companies that may not be forced to maintain a recycling program.
Why is electronics recycling not as popular as other types of recycling? How can
companies make it easier to recycle electronics while being compensated fairly for the
cost of recycling? Should the government, manufacturers, or users be responsible for
recycling of obsolete equipment? Why? Should the government mandate a recycling
program for electronics? Why or why not?
Computer Usage @ Work
Transportation
What is transportation like without computers? Delivery
drivers use clipboards to hold their records. Human navigators use paper maps to track routes for pilots. Ship
captains rely solely on experience to navigate through
shallow waters. Today, the transportation industry relies
heavily on computer usage.
As presented in this chapter, many vehicles include
onboard navigation systems to help you navigate from
one location to another. These systems also usually
provide other services such as dispatching roadside assistance, unlocking the driver’s side door if you lock the keys
in your vehicle, and tracking the vehicle if it is stolen.
The shipping and travel industries identify items during
transport using bar codes, which are identification codes
that consist of lines and spaces of different lengths.
When you ship a package, the shipping company, such
as UPS or FedEx, places a bar code on the package to
indicate its destination to a computer. Because a package
might travel to its destination by way of several trucks,
trains, and airplanes, computers automatically route the
package as efficiently as possible.
When you travel by airplane, baggage handling
systems ensure that your luggage reaches its destination on time. When you check in your baggage at the
airport, a bar code identifies the airplane on which
the bags should be placed. If you change planes,
automated baggage handling systems route your bags
to connecting flights with very little, if any, human
intervention. When the bags reach their destination,
they are routed automatically to the baggage carousel
in the airport’s terminal building.
Pilots of high-technology commercial, military, and
space aircraft today work in a glass cockpit, which
features computerized instrumentation, navigation,
communication, weather reports, and an autopilot. The
electronic flight information shown on high-resolution
displays is designed to reduce pilot workload, decrease
fatigue, and enable pilots to concentrate on flying safely.
Boats and ships also are equipped with computers
that include detailed electronic maps, help the captain
navigate, as well as calculate the water depth and
provide a layout of the underwater surface so that the
captain can avoid obstructions.
As you travel the roadways, airways, and waterways,
bear in mind that computers often are responsible for
helping you to reach your destination as quickly and
safely as possible.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 Computer Usage @ Work
resource for this book, and then click Transportation.
39
40
Chapter 1
Introduction to Computers
High-Tech Talk
Triangulation: Can You Find Me Now?
Have you wondered how a Nintendo Wii
game console is able to determine the precise location of a Wii Remote while a player
interacts with a game? How does the Wii
console know where the player is pointing
the Wii Remote, swinging it like a golf club,
or motioning as if you are throwing a bowling ball? The answer is triangulation.
Triangulation is the process by which you
can use trigonometry to determine the location of an object by measuring the angles
from two or more fixed points. Surveyors
often use triangulation to measure distance.
Starting at a known location and elevation,
surveyors measure a predetermined length
to create a base line and then use an instrument called a theodolite to measure the
angle to the unknown point from each side
of the base line. The length of the base line
along with the two known angles allows
a computer or individual to determine the
exact location of the third point (Figure 1-44).
Electronic theodolites calculate angles automatically and then send the calculated angles
to a computer for analysis.
In Figure 1-44, the distance between
points A and B is known. The theodolite
calculates angle CAB (α) and also calculates
angle ABC (ß). A human or computer can
calculate the location of point C by determining the distance between points A and C and
between points B and C. The formula used to
determine the location of an object will vary
depending upon the number of fixed points
used in the measurement. With two fixed
points, a relatively simple formula calculates
the location of the third point. As the number of fixed points increases, the calculation
becomes more complex.
Similarly, the Nintendo Wii game console
uses triangulation to determine the location of a Wii Remote. When you set up a Wii
game system, you place a sensor bar, which
contains two infrared transmitters, near or on
top of a television set. While you are using
a Wii Remote, the Wii console determines
the remote’s location by calculating the distance and angles between the Wii Remote
and the two transmitters on the sensor bar.
Determining the location of a Wii Remote is
relatively simple because the sensor bar only
contains two fixed points: the transmitters.
A more complex application of triangulation occurs in global positioning systems.
A global positioning system (GPS ) is a navigation system that consists of one or more
earth-based receivers that accept and analyze
signals sent by satellites in order to determine the receiver’s geographic location. GPS
receivers are found in handheld navigation
devices and many vehicles. GPS receivers
use triangulation to determine their location
relative to at least three geostationary
satellites. Geostationary satellites, the fixed
γ
A
α
β
B
Figure 1-44
Triangulation example.
C
points in the triangulation formula, remain in
the same location above the earth. Because
24 geostationary GPS satellites orbit the
earth, a GPS receiver can increase its accuracy by using more than three satellites to
determine its location by measuring the
distance from each of the satellites, which
always are a fixed distance apart, that are in
range. In addition to determining position,
GPS receivers also are able to calculate the
speed of a moving object by recording its
change in location from each satellite during a period of time. For instance, if a GPS
receiver determines that you travel twohundredths of a mile in one second, it automatically would be able to calculate that you
are traveling at a rate of 72 miles per hour.
Another form of triangulation also can
be used to determine the exact location of
certain cell phones, usually after a caller dials
for emergency assistance. Although some
cell phones are not equipped with a GPS
receiver, computers still can determine the
phone’s distance from other known locations,
which might include cell towers. Because the
location of two or more cell towers within
range are known, computers easily can calculate the location of the cell phone. If you
are unsure of whether the position of your
cell phone can be determined automatically,
always be prepared to give your location to
an emergency dispatcher.
The next time you are
passing a surveyor, playing
a Nintendo Wii, following
a prescribed route on a
vehicle’s navigation system,
or observing emergency
personnel respond to an
accident, keep in mind
that none of it might have
been possible without the
concept of triangulation.
For more information, visit
the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1
High-Tech Talk resource for
this book, and then click
Triangulation.
Introduction to Computers
Companies on the Cutting Edge
APPLE Innovative Industry Products
Apple recently sold a record 5.2 million of its latest
iPhone models in one quarter, establishing the company’s appeal to both consumer and corporate cell
phone users. Apple is noted for introducing innovative
products, starting with the Apple II, which was the first
mass-marketed personal computer, in 1977 and the
Macintosh, which featured a graphical user interface,
in 1984.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in
1976 when they marketed the Apple I, a circuit board
they had developed in Jobs’s garage. Under Jobs’s
direction as CEO, Apple developed the OS X operating
system; iLife for working with photos, music, videos, and
Web sites; and iWork, a collection of business programs.
Apple also is leading the digital media revolution with
its iPod portable media players, iPad tablet computer,
and iTunes online store, which is the most popular Web
site selling music. More than 10 million downloads
occur each day from Apple’s App Store, for a total
download count exceeding 7 billion.
AMAZON Retailer Focused on Consumers
Online shoppers can find practically any product they
desire on Amazon.com. Billing itself as the “Earth’s most
customer-centric company,” it offers books, movies,
electronics, clothing, toys, and many other items.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1995 knowing that
book lovers would gravitate toward a Web site offering
the convenience of browsing through millions of book
titles in one sitting. He fulfilled orders for customers in
every U.S. state and 45 additional countries during the
first 30 days of business, all shipped from his Seattlearea garage.
The company has grown to permit third parties to sell
products on its Web site. Its Kindle portable reader wirelessly downloads more than 450,000 books along with
blogs, magazines, and newspapers to a high-resolution
electronic paper display. Recently, it launched Kindle
Singles, which are Kindle books with up to 30,000 words,
the equivalent of two chapters of a typical book.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com and then
navigate to the Chapter 1 Companies on the Cutting Edge resource for this book.
Technology Trailblazers
BILL GATES Microsoft Founder
When Bill Gates stepped down from his day-to-day
activities at Microsoft in 2008, his action marked the end
of an era that shaped the computer world. He remains
the company’s chairman and advisor, but he now
devotes much of his time directing the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, a philanthropic organization working to help people worldwide lead healthy, productive
lives. His foundation currently is awarding $3 billion in
grants to improve education and graduation rates via
technology, with an emphasis on online learning.
Gates learned to program computers when he
was 13 years old. Early in his career, he developed
the BASIC programming language for the MITS Altair,
one of the first microcomputers. He founded Microsoft
in 1975 with Paul Allen, and five years later they
licensed the first operating system, called PC-DOS,
to IBM for $80,000. This decision to license, rather
than sell, the software is considered one of the wisest
business decisions Gates ever made. Today, Microsoft’s
Windows and Office products dominate the software
market.
TOM ANDERSON MySpace Cofounder and President
Having more than 11 million friends is all in a day’s
work for Tom Anderson, the current president and one
of the founders of MySpace, one of the world’s largest
online social networks. Every MySpace account includes
Anderson as a default first friend who is invited to view
each personal network.
When Anderson’s own rock group failed, he needed
a place to post his songs. He started MySpace in 2003
with his friend, Chris DeWolfe, as a free tool to help
musicians promote their songs and allow music lovers
to create their own Web pages devoted to sharing their
favorite music with like-minded admirers. Two years
later they sold the business to Rupert Murdoch’s News
Corporation for $580 million. Anderson graduated from
the University of California – Los Angeles in 2001 with
a master’s degree in film and from the University of
California – Berkeley in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree
in English and rhetoric.
For more information, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com and then
navigate to the Chapter 1 Technology Trailblazers resource for this book.
Chapter 1
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Chapter 1
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Introduction to Computers
Chapter Review
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
4
The Chapter Review reinforces the main concepts presented in this chapter.
To listen to an audio version of this Chapter Review, visit the Computer Concepts
CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com and then navigate to the Chapter 1
Chapter Review resource for this book.
1. Why Is Computer Literacy Vital in Today’s World?
Computer literacy, or digital literacy, involves having
current knowledge and understanding of computers and
their uses. The requirements that determine computer
literacy change as technology changes. As computers
become more a part of everyday life, many people believe
that computer literacy is vital to success.
2. What Is a Computer, and What Is the Relationship
between Data and Information? A computer is an
electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data, process the data according to specified rules, produce results,
and store the results for future use. Data is a collection
of unprocessed items, which can include text, numbers,
images, audio, and video. Information conveys meaning
and is useful to people.
3. List and Describe the Five Components of a Computer.
The electric, electronic, and mechanical components of
a computer, or hardware, include input devices, output
devices, a system unit, storage devices, and communications devices. An input device allows you to enter data or
instructions into a computer. An output device conveys
information to one or more people. The system unit
is a case that contains the electronic components of a
computer that are used to process data. A storage device
records and/or retrieves items to and from storage
media. A communications device enables a computer
to send and receive data, instructions, and information to
and from one or more computers.
4. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages That
Users Experience When Working with Computers?
A user is anyone who communicates with a computer or
utilizes the information it generates. Computers have the
advantages of speed, reliability, consistency, storage, and
communications. They perform operations at incredibly fast speeds, are dependable and reliable, consistently
generate error-free results, can store enormous amounts
of data, and can share processing with other computers.
Disadvantages of computers relate to health risks, the
violation of privacy, public safety, the impact on the labor
force, and the impact on the environment.
Visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 Quiz
Yourself resource for this book, and then click Objectives 1 – 4.
5. What Is a Network, and What Are Its Benefits?
A network is a collection of computers and devices
connected together, often wirelessly, via communications
devices and transmission media. Networks allow computers to share resources, such as hardware, software, data,
and information. Sharing resources saves time and money.
The world’s largest computer network is the Internet.
6. How Are the Internet and World Wide Web Used?
The Internet is a worldwide collection of networks that
connects millions of businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and individuals. People use the Internet to
communicate with and meet other people; conduct research
and access information and news; shop for goods and services; bank and invest; participate in online training; engage
in entertaining activities; download music and videos; share
information, photos, and videos; and access and interact with
Web applications. The Web, short for World Wide Web, is
a global library of documents containing information that is
available to anyone connected to the Internet.
7. How Is System Software Different from Application
Software? Software, also called a program, is a series
of related instructions, organized for a common purpose,
that tells the computer what actions to perform and how to
perform them. System software consists of the programs
that control or maintain the operations of a computer and
its devices. Two types of system software are the operating
system, which coordinates activities among computer hardware devices, and utility programs, which perform maintenance-type tasks usually related to managing a computer,
its devices, or its programs. Application software consists
of programs designed to make users more productive and/
or assists them with personal tasks. Popular application
software includes Web browsers, word processing software,
spreadsheet software, database software, and
presentation software.
Visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate
Web site at www.cengagebrain.com,
navigate to the Chapter 1 Quiz
Yourself resource for this book,
and then click Objectives 5 – 7.
1
2
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Introduction to Computers
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Chapter 1
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8. What Are the Differences among the Types, Sizes,
and Functions in the Following Categories: Personal
Computers (Desktop), Mobile Computers and Mobile
Devices, Game Consoles, Servers, Mainframes, Supercomputers, and Embedded Computers? Industry
experts typically classify computers in seven categories:
personal computers (desktop), mobile computers and
mobile devices, game consoles, servers, mainframes,
supercomputers, and embedded computers. A personal
computer is a computer that can perform all of its
input, processing, output, and storage activities by itself.
A mobile computer is a personal computer you can
carry from place to place, and a mobile device is a
computing device small enough to hold in your hand. A
game console is a mobile computing device designed
for single-player or multiplayer video games. A server
controls access to the hardware, software, and other
resources on a network and provides a centralized storage
area for programs, data, and information. A mainframe
is a large, expensive, powerful computer that can handle
hundreds or thousands of connected users simultaneously and can store tremendous amounts of data,
instructions, and information. A supercomputer is the
fastest, most powerful, and most expensive computer and
is used for applications requiring complex, sophisticated
mathematical calculations. An embedded computer is a
special-purpose computer that functions as a component
in a larger product.
9. What Is the Role of Each Element in an Information
System? An information system combines hardware,
software, data, people, and procedures to produce
timely and useful information. People in an information technology (IT) department develop procedures
for processing data. Following these procedures, people
use hardware and software to enter the data into a
computer. Software processes the data and directs the
computer hardware to store changes on storage media
and produce information in a desired form.
10. How Do the Various Types of Co
Computer Users Interact
with Computers? Computer users
u
can be separated
into five categories: home user, ssmall office/home office
user, mobile user, power user, and enterprise user. A
home user is a family member who uses a computer
for a variety of reasons, such as budgeting and personal financial management, Web access, communications, and entertainment. A small office/home office
(SOHO) includes any company with fewer than 50
employees, as well as the self-employed individual who
works from home. SOHO users access the Internet to
look up information and use basic business software
and sometimes industry-specific software. Mobile
users are employees and students who work on a
computer while away from a main office, home office,
or school. A power user uses a workstation or other
powerful computer to work with industry-specific
software. Power users exist in all types of businesses.
An enterprise user works in or interacts with a company with many employees and uses a computer and
computer network that processes high volumes
of transactions in a single day.
11. How Does Society Use Computers in Education,
Finance, Government, Health Care, Science, Publishing,
Travel, and Manufacturing? In education, students
use computers and software to assist with learning
or take distance learning classes. In finance, people use
computers for online banking and online investing.
Government offices have Web sites to provide citizens with up-to-date information, and government
employees use computers as part of their daily routines. In health care, computers are used to maintain
patient records, monitor patients, deliver medication
to nurse stations via robots, assist with medical tests
and research, correspond with patients, file insurance
claims, provide greater precision during operations,
and as implants. All branches of science use computers
to assist with collecting, analyzing, and modeling data
and to communicate with colleagues around the world.
Publishers use computers to assist in designing pages
and make the content of their works available online.
Many vehicles use some type of online navigation
system to help people travel more quickly and safely.
Manufacturers use computer-aided manufacturing
(CAM ) to assist with manufacturing processes.
Visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 Quiz
Yourself rresource for this book, and then click Objectives 8 – 11.
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
Chapter Review
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Chapter 1
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
Key Terms
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Introduction to Computers
You should know the Primary Terms and be familiar with the Secondary Terms. The list below helps focus
your study.
To see an example of and a definition for each term, and to access current and additional information
from the Web, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at www.cengagebrain.com and then
navigate to the Chapter 1 Key Terms resource for this book.
Primary Terms
Secondary Terms
(shown in bold-black characters in the chapter)
(shown in italic characters in the chapter)
application software (16)
communications device (8)
computer (6)
computer literacy (5)
computer-aided
manufacturing (38)
data (6)
desktop computer (20)
digital camera (23)
e-book reader (22)
embedded computer (26)
enterprise user (32)
game console (24)
graphical user interface
(GUI) (15)
green computing (10)
handheld computer (22)
hardware (6)
home user (28)
information (6)
input device (6)
installing (16)
Internet (11)
Internet-enabled (21)
laptop computer (20)
mainframe (25)
mobile computer (20)
mobile device (20)
mobile users (31)
network (10)
notebook computer (20)
online (10)
online banking (34)
online investing (35)
output device (7)
blog (14)
CAM (38)
camera phone (22)
client (10)
convergence (18)
convertible tablet (21)
CPU (central processing unit) (7)
developer (18)
digital literacy (5)
digital pen (21)
e-book (22)
e-commerce (30)
e-reader (22)
enterprise computing (32)
execute (17)
FAQ (14)
gaming desktop computer (20)
garbage in, garbage out (9)
handhelds (22)
home theater PC (HTPC) (20)
icon (15)
information processing cycle (6)
information system (27)
information technology (IT)
department (32)
instant message (22)
instructions (6)
loads (17)
memory (7)
handheld computer (22)
PDA (22)
personal computer (19)
photo sharing community
(14)
portable media player (23)
power user (31)
program (15)
run (17)
server (25)
small office/home office (30)
smart phone (21)
social networking Web site
(14)
software (15)
storage device (8)
storage media (8)
supercomputer (25)
system software (15)
system unit (7)
Tablet PC (21)
telecommuting (32)
user (9)
video sharing community
(14)
Web (13)
Web 2.0 (14)
Web application (14)
Web page (13)
Web site (13)
microblog (14)
multimedia (31)
netbook (20)
neural network (36)
online social network (14)
operating system (15)
PC-compatible (19)
personal digital assistant (22)
picture message (22)
podcast (14)
processor (7)
programmer (18)
publish (13)
remote surgery (36)
resources (10)
server (10)
slate tablet (21)
SOHO (30)
telematics (26)
telemedicine (36)
telesurgery (36)
text message (22)
tower (20)
Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) (22)
utility program (16)
video blog (14)
video message (22)
video phone (22)
Web cam (30)
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Introduction to Computers
Checkpoint
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Chapter 1
45
The Checkpoint exercises test your knowledge of the chapter concepts. The page number containing the
answer appears in parentheses after each exercise. The Beyond the Book exercises will help broaden your
understanding of the concepts presented in this chapter.
To complete the Checkpoint exercises interactively, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site
at www.cengagebrain.com and then navigate to the Chapter 1 Checkpoint resource for this book.
True/False
Mark T for True and F for False.
_____
1. Many people believe that computer literacy is vital to success in today’s world. (5)
_____
2. Hardware consists of a series of instructions that tells the computer what actions to perform and how to perform
them. (6)
_____
3. The circuitry of the system unit usually is part of or is connected to a circuit board called the server. (7)
_____
4. Green computing involves reducing the electricity consumed and environmental waste generated when using a
computer. (10)
_____
5. The client controls access to the resources on a network. (10)
_____
6. Web pages rarely have built-in connections, or links, to other documents, graphics, other Web pages, or Web sites. (13)
_____
7. A video sharing community is a type of social networking Web site that allows users to store and share their
personal videos. (14)
_____
8. A text message is a short note, typically fewer than 300 characters, sent to or from a smart phone or other mobile
device. (22)
_____
9. Because embedded computers are components in larger products, they usually are small and have limited
hardware. (26)
_____ 10. Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees work away from a company’s standard workplace and
often communicate with the office through the computer. (32)
_____ 11. With online investing, the transaction fee for each trade usually is much more than when trading through a broker. (35)
Multiple Choice
Select the best answer.
1. Computer literacy, also known as digital literacy, involves
having a current knowledge and understanding of _____.
(5)
a. computer programming
b. computers and their uses
c. computer repair
d. all of the above
2. _____ is/are a collection of unprocessed items, which can
include text, numbers, images, audio, and video. (6)
a. Data
b. Instructions
c. Programs
d. Information
3. A _____ is a specific type of social networking Web site
that allows users to create an online photo album and
store and share their digital photos. (14)
a. vodcast
b. blog
c. photo sharing community
d. chat room
4. A _____ is recorded audio stored on a Web site that can
be downloaded to a computer or portable media player.
(14)
a. podcast
b. social networking Web site
c. blog
d. speaker
5. _____ consists of the programs that control or maintain
the operations of the computer and its devices. (15)
a. System software
b. A communications device
c. A graphical user interface (GUI)
d. Application software
6. A(n) _____ message is a real-time Internet
communication, where you exchange messages with
other connected users. (22)
a. text
b. instant
c. picture
d. video
7. Many large companies use the word(s), _____, to refer to
the huge network of computers that meets their diverse
computing needs. (32)
a. information technology
b. enterprise computing
c. telecommuting
d. multimedia
8. _____ is a system that attempts to imitate the behavior of
the human brain. (36)
a. Telemedicine
b. A kiosk
c. E-commerce
d. A neural network
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
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Chapter 1
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Introduction to Computers
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
Checkpoint
Matching
Match the terms with their definitions.
_____ 1. processor (7)
a. interprets and carries out basic instructions that operate a computer
_____ 2. storage device (8)
b. carry out the instructions in a computer program
_____ 3. online social network (14)
c. combines text, graphics, audio, and video into one application
_____ 4. application software (16)
d. programs designed to make users more productive and/or assist them with
personal tasks
_____ 5. install (16)
e. a system that attempts to imitate the behavior of the human brain
_____ 6. execute (17)
_____ 7. portable media player (23)
_____ 8. digital camera (23)
_____ 9. multimedia (31)
_____ 10. neural network (36)
f. mobile device on which you can store, organize, and play digital media
g. online community that encourages members to share their interests, ideas,
stories, photos, music, and videos with other registered users
h. set up software to work with a computer and other hardware components
i. device that allows users to take pictures and store the photographed images
digitally, instead of on traditional film
j. records (writes) and/or retrieves (reads) items to and from storage media
Short Answer
Write a brief answer to each of the following questions.
1. What is a computer? ____________ What is the information processing cycle? ____________
2. Describe two health risks posed by computers. ____________ How might computers have a negative effect on the
environment? ____________
3. What is a Web application? ____________ What are some features of a Web 2.0 site? ____________
4. What are seven categories of computers? ____________ What determines how a computer is categorized?
____________
5. How do Web sites benefit individuals’ health care? ____________ How does telesurgery differ from telemedicine?
____________
Beyond the Book
Follow the book element instructions below; present your findings (brief report, presentation, discussion, or other means).
1. Ethics & Issues — Select an Ethics & Issues in this
chapter (9, 13, 29, 35, 39), find a recent newspaper/
magazine article that supports one point of view
presented, and then evaluate the article.
2. Computer Usage @ Work — Use the Web or a recent
newspaper/magazine to locate three additional unique
usages of computer technology in the transportation industry (39). What makes the use of these
technologies unique to the transportation industry?
3. Companies on the Cutting Edge and Technology
Trailblazers — Use the Web or a recent business
newspaper/magazine to locate an interesting fact about
Apple, Amazon, Bill Gates, or Tom Anderson that was
not presented in the chapter (41).
4. High-Tech Talk — Locate a recent newspaper/
magazine article that discusses topics related to
Triangulation (40). Would you recommend the article
you found? Why or why not?
5. FAQs and Web Links — Use the Web or a recent
newspaper/magazine to locate three additional facts
about an FAQ (14, 16, 17, 20, 22, 29) and Web Link
(10, 12, 14, 15, 22, 23, 27, 28, 32, 38) that were not
presented in the chapter.
6. Looking Ahead — Use the Web or a recent
newspaper/magazine to discover additional uses of
the technology presented in Embedded Computers
May Improve Quality of Life (34).
7. Innovative Computing — Use the Web or a recent
newspaper/magazine to locate two additional
interesting facts about Wii a Welcome Medical Skill
Builder (24) and E-Receipts Save Paper, Organize
Life (29).
8. Making Use of the Web — Visit three of the Fun
and Entertainment Web Sites (125) and outline the
information on each Web site and the possible uses
for each Web site.
9. Timeline — Select an event from the Timeline (54)
and then research the history surrounding the event
using the Web or a magazine article.
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Introduction to Computers
Learn It Online
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The Learn It Online exercises are interactive Web exercises designed to reinforce and expand your
understanding of the chapter concepts. The descriptions below briefly summarize each exercise.
To complete the Learn It Online exercises, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com, navigate to the Chapter 1 resources for this book, click the link for the
exercise you want to complete, and then read the instructions.
1 At the Movies — Computer History in a Barn
Watch a movie to tour the Digibarn Computer
Museum and then answer questions about the
movie.
2 Video and Audio: You Review It — Social
Networking
Search for, choose, and write a review of a
video, podcast, or vodcast that discusses social
networking.
3 Student Edition Labs — Using Input Devices
and Using Windows
Enhance your understanding and knowledge about
input devices and the Windows operating system
by completing the Using Input Devices and Using
Windows Labs.
4 Practice Test
Take a multiple choice test that checks your knowledge
of the chapter concepts and review the resulting study
guide.
5 Who Wants To Be a Computer Genius2?
Play the Shelly Cashman Series version of this
popular game by answering questions to find out if
you are a computer genius. Panic buttons are available
to provide assistance during game play.
6 Wheel of Terms
Identify important key terms presented in this chapter
by playing the Shelly Cashman Series version of this
popular game.
7 You’re Hired!
Embark on the path to a career in computers by answering
questions and solving puzzles related to concepts discussed
in this chapter.
8 Crossword Puzzle Challenge
Complete an interactive crossword puzzle to reinforce
concepts presented in this chapter.
9 Windows Exercises
Step through the Windows 7 exercises to learn how to
use help, improve mouse skills, and identify computer
information.
10 Exploring Computer Careers
Read about a career as a computer salesperson, search for
relevant employment advertisements, and then answer
related questions.
11 Web Apps — Google Maps
Learn how to locate businesses in your area, view a
location’s surroundings via satellite, and find directions
from one location to another using Google Maps.
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
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Chapter 1
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Introduction to Computers
Problem Solving @ Home
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
7
The Problem Solving @ Home exercises extend your knowledge of the
chapter concepts by seeking solutions to practical computer problems that
you may encounter at home or school. The Collaboration exercise should be
completed with a team.
In the real world, practical problems often can be solved in multiple ways. Provide one solution to each of the following
problems using available resources, such as articles on the Web or in print, blogs, podcasts, videos, television, user guides,
other individuals, and electronics and computer stores. You may need to use multiple resources to obtain an answer.
Present your solutions in the form requested by your instructor (brief report, presentation, discussion, or other means).
1. Incorrect Grade Report Your grade report came
in the mail today. On the grade report, your grade
point average (GPA) is not what you expect. After
computing it manually, you discover that the GPA
on your grade report is incorrect. What might be
causing the error?
2. Suspicious Charges Your credit card company
called to inform you that your account has a
suspicious charge. Upon further investigation, you
realize that the charge does not belong to you.
What will you do?
3. Shared Printer Error At the beginning of
the semester, your roommate configured your
computer so that it could print on the printer in
his bedroom. He left for vacation three days ago,
and you recently have noticed that you are unable
to print to his printer from your computer. Each
time you attempt to print, you receive an error
message stating that the printer is unavailable.
What might be wrong?
4. Software Installation
Trouble You have purchased a
new video game for your home
computer and attempt to install it.
Upon inserting the installation disc,
however, nothing appears to happen
on your computer. What is your
next step?
5. Problematic Player After charging your portable
media player overnight, you turn it on only to find
that it is reporting a low battery. Seconds later, it
shuts off automatically. What might be wrong?
6. Inaccessible Media You insert an optical disc
with digital photos from your most recent family
vacation, and discover that your computer will not
read the optical disc. What might be wrong?
7. Bank Account Postings While reviewing your
checking account balance online, you notice that
debit card purchases have not posted to your account
for the past several days. Because you use online
banking to balance your account, you become
concerned about your unknown account balance.
What steps will you take to correct this situation?
8. GPS Error You are driving to your friend’s house
and are using your GPS receiver for directions.
While approaching your destination, you realize
that the GPS receiver instructed you to turn the
wrong way on your friend’s street. How could this
have happened?
9. Shopping for Software You are shopping for
software that will assist with your home landscape
design. The package for the program you would like
to purchase states that it was designed for the most
recent version of Windows, but an older version is
installed on your computer. How can you determine
whether the program will run on your computer?
Collaboration
10. Unsolicited Communications Lately, you have been receiving many unsolicited e-mail messages, text
messages, instant messages, and telephone calls. These messages not only are annoying, but they also are
consuming large amounts of your time. Form a team of three people and decide what steps are necessary
to minimize these unsolicited communications. One team member should research how to stop unsolicited
e-mail messages, one team member should research how to stop unsolicited text messages and instant messages,
and another team member should research how to stop unsolicited telephone calls. Finally, all team members
should research where these unsolicited calls and messages might be originating and how to prevent being
added to distribution lists in the future.
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Introduction to Computers
Problem Solving @ Work
15
Chapter 1
The Problem Solving @ Work exercises extend your knowledge of the
chapter concepts by seeking solutions to practical computer problems
that you may encounter at work. The Collaboration exercise should be
completed with a team.
In the real world, practical problems often can be solved in multiple ways. Provide one solution to each of the following
problems using available resources, such as articles on the Web or in print, blogs, podcasts, videos, television, user guides,
other individuals, and electronics and computer stores. You may need to use multiple resources to obtain an answer.
Present your solutions in the form requested by your instructor (brief report, presentation, discussion, or other means).
1. Insufficient Disk Space Recently, you purchased
a USB flash drive that you plan to use to store
work-related files. When you attempt to store a file
on the USB flash drive, the computer displays an
error message indicating that the file will not fit.
How could a brand new USB flash drive not have
enough room to store the first file you attempted
to store on it?
2. Computer Replacement The technical support
department at your company has informed you
that you will be receiving a new computer within
the next week. Before they will replace your
computer, they told you to back up anything that
is important. What types of files do you feel are
important to back up?
3. Power Outage The power in your office has been
out for the last two hours and has just come back
on. When you attempt to start your computer by
pressing the power button, nothing happens. What is
your next step before calling technical support?
4. Incorrect Login Credentials Upon returning to
the office from a well-deserved two-week vacation,
you turn on your computer. Upon entering your
user name and password, an error message appears
stating that your password is incorrect. What are
your next steps?
5. Software Installation You are attempting to
inserting the installation disc and specifying that
you would like to begin the installation, your
computer appears to begin
installing the software.
Halfway through the
installation process, an
error message appears
stating that you must have
administrative privileges
to perform the installation.
Why were you not informed
immediately upon beginning
the installation? What are
your next steps?
6. Dead Battery While traveling for business, you
realize that you forgot to bring the battery charger
for your notebook computer. Knowing that you
need to use the notebook computer to give a
presentation tomorrow, what will you do to make
sure that you have enough battery power?
7. Discarding Old Computer Equipment Your
company has just given you a new computer to
replace your current, outdated computer. Because
of the negative environmental impact of throwing
the computer away, your supervisor has asked you
to suggest options for its disposal. How will you
respond?
install a program on your office computer. After
Collaboration
8. Computers in Transportation Your project team has been accepted to present a business proposal to a
group of potential investors. Because the presentation will take place in San Francisco, CA, you will need to
transport people and ship some materials to that location. Form a team of three people and determine how
to use technology to ship materials and how to make travel arrangements. One team member should research
the steps required to use a Web site to make flight reservations, one team member should determine the steps
necessary to print a UPS shipping label from his or her computer and track the package while it is en route,
and another team member should find directions from San Francisco International Airport to a nearby hotel.
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STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
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Introduction to Computers
Learn How To
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
3
The Learn How To activities step you through fundamental technology skills when using a computer.
The Learn How To exercises enable you to become more proficient with these skills.
Premium Activity: To relate this Learn How To activity to your everyday life, see a visual demonstration
of the activity, and complete a short assessment, visit the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site at
www.cengagebrain.com and then navigate to the Chapter 1 Learn How To resource for this book.
Learn How To 1: Start and Close a Program
You can start any program by using the Start button.
Complete these steps to start the Web browser program
called Internet Explorer:
) at the left of the
1. Click the Start button (
Windows taskbar on the bottom of the screen to
display the Start menu.
2. Click All Programs on the Start menu to display the
All Programs list (Figure 1-45).
3. Click the Internet Explorer in the All Programs list to
start Internet Explorer (Figure 1-46).
An item in the All Programs list might have an open
folder icon next to it. When this occurs, click the item and
another list will appear. Click the program name in this list
to start the program. Some program names might appear
on the Start menu itself. If so, click any of these names to
start the corresponding program.
The Start menu displays the names of the programs
recently opened on the computer. You can start any of these
programs by clicking the name of the program.
) in the
To close a program, click the Close button (
upper-right corner of the window. If you have created
but not saved a document, Windows will ask if you want
to save the document. If you do not want to save it, click
the No button in the displayed dialog box. If you want to
save it, refer to Learn How To 1 in Chapter 3 on page 188.
Internet Explorer
All
Programs
list
Start
button
Figure 1-45
Internet Explorer
Close button
Figure 1-46
Exercises
1a. Using the Start button, start the program named WordPad found in the Accessories list in the All Programs list. WordPad is a word
processing program. Type the following: To start a program, click the program name in the All
Programs list and then type your name. Print the document, and then submit the printout to your instructor.
1b. Close the WordPad program. If you are asked if you want to save changes to the document, click the Don’t Save button. Start the
WordPad program again, type some new text, and then close the WordPad program. When the dialog box is displayed, click the Cancel
button. What happened? Now, close the WordPad window without saving the document. Submit your answer to your instructor.
2. Using the Start menu, start the e-mail program on the computer. What is the name of the e-mail program? In the program
window, what menu names are displayed on the menu bar at the top of the window? Close the e-mail program. Submit your
answers to your instructor.
Learn How To 2: Create and Use Your Own Blog
A blog can contain any information you wish to place in it.
For example, blogs contain addresses, thoughts, diaries, and
anything else a person or group wants to share.
Once you have created a blog, you can update it.
A variety of services available on the Web can help you
create and maintain your blog. One widely used service is
called Blogger. To create a blog using Blogger, complete
the following steps:
1. Start your Web browser, type blogger.com in the
Address bar, and then press the enter key to display
the Blogger home page (Figure 1-47).
2. Click the CREATE A BLOG button.
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Introduction to Computers
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Chapter 1
51
3. Enter the data required on the ‘Create Blogger Account’
page. Your e-mail address and password will allow you
to change and manage your blog. Your Display name is
the name that will be shown on the blog as its author.
Many people use their own names, but others use
pseudonyms as their “pen names” so that they are not
readily identifiable.
4. Click the Continue arrow and then enter your Blog title
and Blog address. These are the names and addresses
everyone will use to view your blog.
5. Click the Continue arrow to display the ‘Choose a
template’ screen.
6. Choose a template for your blog and then click the
Continue arrow to create your blog.
7. When the ‘Your blog has been created!’ screen appears,
click the START BLOGGING arrow.
8. When the screen appears, you can post items for
or view your blog, specify settings, and change the
layout.
9. When you are finished, click the Sign out link at the top
right of the screen to log out.
10. To edit your blog and add or change information on it,
visit the Blogger home page, sign in by entering your
user name and password, and then make changes.
11. Others can view your blog by entering its address in the
browser’s Address bar and then pressing the enter key.
CREATE A
BLOG button
Take a quick
tour link
Figure 1-47
Exercises
1. Start your Web browser and visit blogger.com. Click the ‘Take a quick tour’ link and go through all the screens that explain about a
blog. What did you learn that you did not know? What type of blog do you find most compelling — a group or an individual blog?
Why? Submit your answers to your instructor.
2. Optional: Create your own blog. Carefully name it and begin your posts at this time. What is your blog name and address? What is
its primary purpose? Is it an individual or group blog? Write a paragraph containing the answers to these questions and any other
information you feel is pertinent. Submit this paragraph to your instructor.
Learn How To 3: Use the Computer Concepts CourseMate Web Site
for Discovering Computers
The Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site for
Discovering Computers provides a variety of activities,
exercises, and other resources. To use the site, you first
must create a student account and then register this book,
as described in the following steps:
1. Start the Web browser, type the Web address of
www.cengagebrain.com in the browser Address
bar, and then press the enter key to display the
CengageBrain home page.
2. If you do not have an account, follow the on-screen
instructions to sign up for a new account. If you have an
account, log in with your user name and password.
3. Register this book by entering its Access Code in the
appropriate text box and then clicking the corresponding
button.
4. To open the resources for this book, click the button
corresponding to Computer Concepts CourseMate Web
site for Discovering Computers.
Exercise
1a. With a student account created and this book registered, type www.cengagebrain.com in the Address bar of your browser,
press the ENTER key to display the CengageBrain home page, and then log in to your student account with your user name and password.
1b. Open the resources for this book by clicking the button corresponding to Computer Concepts CourseMate Web site for Discovering
Computers.
1c. Select Chapter 1 and then click each resource listed below the chapter title to display the content associated with the selected resource.
1d. Write a report that describes the use of each of the Chapter 1 resources for this book. Which resource do you think will prove the most
valuable to you when using the book and the Web site? Why? Which will be the least useful? Why? Submit your report to your instructor.
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
Learn How To
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Chapter 1
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STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
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Introduction to Computers
Web Research
1
3
The Web Research exercises broaden your understanding of the chapter concepts by
presenting questions that require you to search the Web for answers.
Search Sleuth
Use one of the search engines listed in Figure 2-10
in Chapter 2 on page 85 or your own favorite search
engine to find the answers to the following questions. Copy and paste the Web address from the
Web page where you found the answer. Some questions may have more than one answer. If required,
submit your answers to your instructor. (1) What
company was the first to sell a USB flash drive? (2)
What is the significance of the Universal symbol
on Apple’s Mac application programs? (3) Which
retailers offer to dispose of old computers and
other electronic products properly to help protect
the environment? (4) What are three Illustrative
Grant Commitments the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation has made? (5) According to Fortune, at
what company do MBA students most want to work
when they graduate? (6) Who created the first set
of icons for the Macintosh computer? What sound
does her Clarus the Dogcow make? (7) What company manufactured the first notebook computer, the
UltraLite, in 1989?
Green Computing
Computer usage requires electricity, whether
to power the system unit and monitor, recharge
batteries, or print. In addition, the computer manufacturing process depletes natural resources and
often uses toxic chemicals. As you learned in this
chapter, many environmentally conscious people
practice green computing by attempting to reduce
electricity and environmental waste. Examine
your computing practices, and determine 10 ways
that you can use less power on your computing
equipment at home, work, and school. Consider
how often you use the printer and the types of
documents you print. Examine your monitor,
system unit, and printer. Do you see any notation
indicating they are environmentally sound? Do
they hibernate or go into a power save mode when
not being
used? Write
a 50-word
summary of
the green
computing
practices in
your life.
3
Social Networking
One of the more popular social networking Web sites
is Facebook. This quickly growing service differentiates itself from other online social networks by having
widespread privacy controls. In addition, its development platform, called f8, allows developers to create
programs (called applications) that users can add to
a Web page. Hostels, for example, lets world travelers research and rate hostels and includes photos and
descriptions. Visit the Facebook site (facebook.com),
click the About link at the bottom of the page, and
then read about Facebook’s features. What are three
of Facebook’s top features? What information is given
in the recent Facebook blog posts? Visit the AppRate
Web site (apprate.com) and then summarize three
Facebook application reviews and ratings.
4
Blogs
Blogs profiling the music industry discuss new
technologies, legal issues, podcasts, and business
news. Visit the CNET blog (blogs.cnet.com) and
then read and summarize at least three of the articles
in the Most Recent Posts section. Locate the Crave,
Gaming and Culture, and Green Tech features and
then read and summarize at least one story from each
blog. Then visit the iLounge (ilounge.com) Web site
and read reviews of at least three new products for
the iPhone. Would you purchase any of the products
discussed? What books and buyer’s guides are available to download from the Library? Which iPod
cases and speakers received favorable reviews? Read
and summarize at least three stories and associated
comments in the News section.
5
Ethics in Action
The Internet has increased the ease with which
students can plagiarize material for research paper
assignments. Teachers are using online services, such
as Turnitin and PlagiarismDetect.com, to help detect
plagiarized papers and to help students understand
how to cite sources correctly. Visit the Turnitin Web
site (turnitin.com) and then write a summary of how
this service is used. How does this service attempt
to prevent plagiarism through the Turnitin Write
Cycle? How prevalent is plagiarism on your campus?
What is your school’s official policy on disciplining
students who submit plagiarized papers? Does your
school have an honor code? If required, submit your
summary to your instructor.
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Introduction to Computers
Critical Thinking
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The Critical Thinking exercises challenge your assessment and decision-making skills by
presenting real-world situations associated with the chapter concepts. The Collaboration
exercise should be completed with a team.
To evaluate the situations below, use personal experiences and available resources such as articles on the Web or in print, blogs,
podcasts, videos, television, user guides, other individuals, and electronics and computer stores. You may need to use multiple
resources to form conclusions and make recommendations.
1. Class Discussion — Reactions to Computer
Problems Virtually everyone who works with
computers has experienced problems with computer
software. Problems can range from not being able
to install the software
on your computer
to installed software
producing unanticipated
results. Depending on the
situation and time these
problems occur, it can
result in a great amount of
user stress. Some people
compare these types of
problems to a craftsman’s tools malfunctioning in the
middle of a project. On the other hand, many people
feel reactions to computer software problems tend
to be more extreme than reactions to problems with
other tools they use. Evaluate situations in which
you have seen people react to computer software
problems. Discuss how these users can reduce their
frustration when dealing with such problems.
2. Class Presentation — Technology in Education
You are a member of your local school district’s
board of education. During the past year, the number
of computers purchased by the district increased
by 85 percent, while the supply of library books
declined by almost 10 percent. School officials claim
that computers extend learning opportunities and
develop the computer literacy needed in today’s
technological world. Yet, some parents complain
that computer purchases represent frivolous,
status-seeking spending. Notebook computers are
purchased for teachers, while textbooks and library
books are too old, too worn, and too scarce. Analyze
how computers are being used in schools, and then
present your recommendation of the percentage of
the instructional materials budget that should be
spent on computers versus the percentage that should
be spent on library books and textbooks. Note the
factors that influenced your decision.
3. Research — Energy Efficiency Increases in fuel
prices result in increases in energy prices. When
this occurs, many individuals and companies look
at purchasing energy-efficient computers. These
energy-efficient computers require less energy to
operate and often look and perform similarly to
equivalent computers that are not as energy efficient.
Find two computers of identical configuration, where
the only difference is energy consumption. How
much energy does the energy-efficient computer
save? Are energy-efficient computers more or less
expensive? Will the difference in cost (if any) alter
your preference to purchase an energy-efficient
computer instead of one that is not energy efficient?
What other ways might you be able to configure your
computer to save energy? Compile your findings into
a brief report and then submit it to your instructor.
Collaboration
4. Recommending Technology Solutions People use computers in a variety of fields, including education,
finance, government, health care, science, publishing, travel, and manufacturing. Although the way people use
computers varies, each use of a computer involves computer hardware, computer software, and normally some
type of communications capability over networks, such as the Internet. Form a three-member team and choose
a field in which you all are interested. Assign one member of your team to investigate hardware used in the field,
another member to investigate software used in the field, and the third member to investigate communications
capabilities used in the field. Each team member should develop a list of related items that may be used in the
selected field. After the team’s investigation, characterize a hypothetical business or organization in the field. Based
on your investigation, recommend specific hardware, software, and networking capabilities that would be best for
the business or organization. Each team member should provide an explanation for each selected item. Be sure
to include comparisons of specific items. Prepare a report and/or presentation summarizing your investigations,
describing the hypothetical business or organization, and outlining and supporting your recommendations.
STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
1
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