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Computers - Cengagebrain.co.uk
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Microsoft Office 2007
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Page 1
ESSENTIAL
Introduction
to Computers
and How to Purchase
a Personal Computer
OBJECTIVES
After completing this material,
you will be able to:
1. Define the term computer and discuss the four basic
computer operations: input, processing, output, and storage
2. Define data and information
3. Explain the principal components of the computer and
their use
4. Describe the use of magnetic disks, USB flash drives,
and other storage media
5. Discuss computer software and explain the difference
between system software and application software
6. Identify several types of personal computer application software
7. Discuss computer communications channels and equipment
and the Internet and World Wide Web
8. Define e-commerce
9. Explain how to purchase a personal computer
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Page 2
ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
C
omputers are everywhere: at work, at school, and at home. In the workplace, employees
use computers to create correspondence such as e-mail, memos, and letters; calculate payroll; track inventory; and generate invoices. At school, teachers use computers to assist
with classroom instruction. Students complete assignments and do research on computers. At
home, people spend hours of leisure time on the computer. They play games, communicate with
friends and relatives using e-mail, purchase goods online, chat in chat rooms, listen to music,
watch videos and movies, read books and magazines, research genealogy, compose music and
videos, retouch photographs, and plan vacations. At work, at school, and at home, computers are
helping people do their work faster, more accurately, and in some cases, in ways that previously
would not have been possible.
WEB LINK
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?
Computers
For more information,
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weblink and then click
Computers.
FIGURE 1
A computer is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own
memory, that can accept data (input), process the data according to specified rules (process), produce results (output), and store the results (storage) for future use. Generally, the term is used to
describe a collection of hardware components that function together as a system. An example of
common hardware components that make up a personal computer is shown in Figure 1.
Common computer hardware components.
printer
(output device)
portable media player
(output device)
monitor
(output device)
screen
PC video camera
(input device)
CD/DVD drive
(storage device)
hard disk drive
(storage device)
keyboard
(input device)
scanner
(input device)
digital camera
(input device)
card reader/writer
modem
(communications device) (storage device)
system unit
(processor, memory,
mouse
(input device) and storage devices)
microphone
(input device)
USB flash drive
(storage device)
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external hard disk
(storage device)
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Page 3
W H AT D O E S A C O M P U T E R D O ?
COM 3
WEB LINK
WHAT DOES A COMPUTER DO?
Information
Computers perform four basic operations — input, process, output, and storage. These operations
comprise the information processing cycle. Collectively, these operations change data into information and store it for future use.
All computer processing requires data. Data is a collection of unprocessed items, which can
include text, numbers, images, audio, and video. Computers manipulate data to create information. Information conveys meaning and is useful to one or more people. During the output operation, the information that has been created is put into some form, such as a printed report, or it
can be written on computer storage for future use. As shown in Figure 2, a computer processes
several data items to produce a grade report.
People who use the computer directly or use the information it provides are called computer
users, end users, or sometimes, just users.
DATA
73
62
92
HI
81
ST
3
13
B
g
rin
99 A
CTPR-4
0 A
-36
ST
08
HI
20
Sp
FIGURE 2 A computer processes data
into information. In this example, the student
identification number, semester, course
codes, and course grades all represent data.
The computer processes the data to produce
the grade report (information).
PROCESSES
• Computes each course’s grade points by multiplying
the credits earned by the grade value (i.e.,
4.0 * 3.0 = 12.00)
• Organizes data
• Sums all credits attempted, credits earned, and
grade points (10.00, 10.00, and 36.00)
• Divides total grade points by credits earned to
compute term GPA (3.60)
INFORM
ATION
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Information.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
WEB LINK
Computer
Programs
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weblink and then click
Computer Programs.
WHY IS A COMPUTER SO POWERFUL?
A computer derives its power from its capability to perform the information processing cycle with
amazing speed, reliability (low failure rate), and accuracy; its capacity to store huge amounts of
data and information; and its ability to communicate with other computers.
HOW DOES A COMPUTER KNOW WHAT TO DO?
For a computer to perform operations, it must be given a detailed set of instructions that tells it
exactly what to do. These instructions are called a computer program, or software. Before processing for a specific job begins, the computer program corresponding to that job is stored in the
computer. Once the program is stored, the computer can begin to operate by executing the program's first instruction. The computer executes one program instruction after another until the job
is complete.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER?
To understand how computers process data into information, you need to examine the primary
components of the computer. The six primary components of a computer are input devices,
the processor (control unit and arithmetic/logic unit), memory, output devices, storage devices,
and communications devices. The processor, memory, and storage devices are housed in a
box-like case called the system unit. Figure 3 shows the flow of data, information, and instructions between the first five components mentioned. The following sections describe these
primary components.
FIGURE 3 Most devices connected to the computer communicate with the processor to carry
out a task. When a user starts a program, for example, its instructions transfer from a storage
device to memory. Data needed by programs enters memory either from an input device or a
storage device. The control unit interprets and executes instructions in memory and the ALU
performs calculations on the data in memory. Resulting information is stored in memory, from
which it can be sent to an output device or a storage device for future access, as needed.
PROCESSOR
CONTROL
UNIT
ARITHMETIC
LOGIC UNIT (ALU)
instructions
data
information
INPUT
DEVICES
data
MEMORY
information
OUTPUT
DEVICES
instructions
data
information
STORAGE
DEVICES
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COM 5
INPUT DEVICES
INPUT DEVICES
WEB LINK
Input Devices
An input device is any hardware component that allows you to enter data, programs, commands,
and user responses into a computer. Depending on your particular application and requirements,
the input device you use may vary. Popular input devices include the keyboard, mouse, digital
camera, scanner, and microphone. The two primary input devices used are the keyboard and the
mouse. This section discusses both of these input devices.
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Input Devices.
The Keyboard
A keyboard is an input device that contains keys you press to enter data into the computer. A
desktop computer keyboard (Figure 4) typically has 101 to 105 keys. Keyboards for smaller computers, such as notebooks, contain fewer keys. A computer keyboard includes keys that allow you
to type letters of the alphabet, numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, and other symbols such as
the dollar sign ($) and asterisk (*). A keyboard also contains other keys that allow you to enter
data and instructions into the computer.
FIGURE 4 On a desktop computer keyboard, you type using keys in the
typing area and on the numeric keypad.
media controls
F3
key
function keys
additional keys
Internet
controls
NUM
LOCK
key
typing area
WINDOWS
key
CTRL
key
CTRL
ALT
key
ALT
wrist rest
key
APPLICATION
numeric
keypad
key
key
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arrow keys
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Most handheld computers, such as smart phones, PDAs, and Tablet PCs, use a variety of
alternatives for entering data and instructions (Figure 5). One of the more popular handheld
computer input devices is the stylus. A stylus is a small metal or plastic device that looks like a
ballpoint pen, but uses pressure instead of ink to write, draw, or make selections.
Smart phones often include a digital camera so users can send pictures and videos to others
(Figure 6).
FIGURE 5
Users enter data and instructions into a PDA using a variety of techniques.
use one end of
the pen/stylus to
make selections
on the PDA
screen and the
other end to
write on paper
take pictures by
inserting the card
attached to the digital
camera in the PDA’s
card slot
scan documents by
inserting the card
attached to the
scanner in the PDA's
card slot
enter text-based
messages by
pressing buttons
on an on-screen
keyboard
transfer data and
instructions to and
from computer and
PDA in its cradle by
connecting cradle to
computer with a cable
FIGURE 6 Many smart phones
include a digital camera so users can
send pictures and videos to others.
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INPUT DEVICES
COM 7
The Mouse
A mouse (Figure 7) is a pointing device that fits comfortably under the palm of your hand.
With a mouse, you control the movement of the pointer, often called the mouse pointer, on the
screen and make selections from the screen. A mouse has one to five buttons. The bottom of a
mouse is flat and contains a mechanism (ball, optical sensor, or laser sensor) that detects movement of the mouse.
Most notebook computers come with a touchpad, a small, flat, rectangular pointing device near
the keyboard that allows you to move the pointer by sliding a fingertip on the surface of the pad
(Figure 8). Notice in Figure 8 that the notebook computer has the keyboard built into the unit.
FIGURE 7
A laser mouse (a) uses a laser sensor to detect movement of the mouse. It also includes
buttons you push with your thumb to navigate forward and backward through Web pages. A media mouse
(b) also includes buttons to control media presentations.
(b) optical media mouse
(a) laser mouse
wheel button
wheel button
laser
slide show
and media
control buttons
thumb
button
controls
forward
button
back button
optical
sensor
FIGURE 8 Most
notebook computers have
a touchpad that allows a
user to control the
movement of the pointer.
touchpad
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
SYSTEM UNIT
The system unit (Figure 9) is a case that contains electronic components of the computer used to
process data. System units are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The case of the system
unit, also called the chassis, is made of metal or plastic and protects the internal electronic parts
from damage. The motherboard, sometimes called a system board, is the main circuit board of
the system unit. Many electronic components attach to the motherboard, such as the processor,
memory, and expansion slots. The sound card and video card shown in Figure 9 are examples of
adapter cards, which allow a user to enhance the computer system with add-on products.
WEB LINK
Processor
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Processor.
Processor
The processor (bottom right in Figure 9), also called the central processing unit (CPU), interprets
and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. The processor is made up of the control unit and arithmetic/logic unit (Figure 3 on page COM 4). The control unit interprets the
instructions. The arithmetic/logic unit performs the logical and arithmetic processes. High-end
processors contain over 200 million transistors and are capable of performing some operations
10 million times in a tenth of a second, or in the time it takes to blink your eye.
WEB LINK
Memory
Memory
Memory, also called random access memory, or RAM, consists of electronic components that
temporarily store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those
instructions, and the results of processed data (information). Memory consists of chips on a memory module (lower left of Figure 9) that fits in a slot on the motherboard in the system unit.
The amount of memory in computers typically is measured in kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes. One kilobyte (K or KB) equals approximately 1,000 memory locations and one megabyte
(MB) equals approximately one million memory locations. One gigabyte (GB) equals approximately one billion memory locations. A memory location, or byte, usually stores one character
such as the letter A. Therefore, a computer with 512 MB of memory can store approximately 512
million characters. One megabyte can hold approximately 500 letter-size pages of text information
and one gigabyte can hold approximately 500,000 letter-size pages of text information.
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Memory.
The system unit on a
typical personal computer consists
of numerous electronic components,
some of which are shown in this
figure. The sound card and video
card are two types of adapter cards.
FIGURE 9
sound card
drive bays
video card
power supply
memory
processor
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COM 9
OUTPUT DEVICES
OUTPUT DEVICES
Output devices make the information resulting from processing available for use. The output from
computers can be presented in many forms, such as a printed report or displaying it on a screen.
When a computer is used for processing tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, or database
management, the two output devices more commonly used are the printer and a display device.
FIGURE 10
Printers
Printers used with computers are impact or nonimpact. An impact printer prints by striking an
inked ribbon against the paper. One type of impact printer used with personal computers is the
dot-matrix printer (Figure 10).
Nonimpact printers, such as ink-jet printers (Figure 11) and laser printers (Figure 12), form
characters by means other than striking a ribbon against paper. One advantage of using a
nonimpact printer is that it can print higher-quality text and graphics than an impact printer,
such as the dot-matrix. Nonimpact printers also do a better job of printing different fonts, are
quieter, and can print in color. The popular and affordable ink-jet printer forms a character or
graphic by using a nozzle that sprays tiny drops of ink onto the page.
Ink-jet printers produce text and graphics in both black and
white and color on a variety of paper types and sizes. Some ink-jet
printers, called photo printers, produce photo-quality pictures
and are ideal for home or small-business use. The speed of an inkjet printer is measured by the number of pages per minute (ppm)
it can print. Most ink-jet printers print from 6 to 33 pages per
minute. Graphics and colors print at the slower rate.
A laser printer (Figure 12) is a high-speed, high-quality nonimpact
printer that employs copier-machine technology. It converts data
from the computer into a beam of light that is focused on a photoconductor drum, forming the images to be printed. Laser printers
can cost from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for
the home and small office user, to hundreds of thousands of dollars
for large business users. Generally, the more expensive the laser
printer, the more pages it can print per minute.
A dot-matrix printer is
capable of handling
wide paper and
printing multipart
forms. It produces
printed images when
tiny pins strike an
inked ribbon.
continuous-form paper
FIGURE 11 Ink-jet printers are a popular type of color printer used in
the home. Many photo printers, which can produce photo-lab quality
pictures, use ink-jet technology.
FIGURE 12 Laser printers, which are available
in both black and white and color, are used with
personal computers, as well as larger computers.
color laser printer
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
WEB LINK
Display Devices
Output
Devices
A display device is an output device that visually conveys text, graphics, and video information.
A monitor is a display device that is packaged as a separate unit. Two basic types of monitors
are the flat panel monitor and CRT. The LCD monitor, the most popular type of flat panel monitor, shown on the left in Figure 13, uses a liquid display crystal, similar to a digital watch, to produce images on the screen. Flat panel monitors take up much less desk space and have gained
significant popularity over the past few years. The television-like CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor is shown on the right in Figure 13. The surface of the screen of either a CRT monitor or LCD
monitor is composed of individual picture elements called pixels. A screen set to a resolution of
800 x 600 pixels has a total of 480,000 pixels. Each pixel can be illuminated to form parts of a character or graphic shape on the screen.
Mobile computers such as notebook computers and Tablet PCs, and mobile device such as
PDAs, portable media players, and smart phones, have built-in LCD screens (Figure 14).
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Output Devices.
FIGURE 13 The flat-panel LCD monitor (left), and the CRT monitor (right) are used with desktop
computers. The LCD monitor is thin, lightweight, and far more popular today than the CRT monitor.
FIGURE 14 Notebook computers, Tablet PCs, ultra personal computers, portable media players, and most PDAs and smart phones
have color LCD screens.
ultra personal computer
Tablet PC
notebook computer
portable
media
player
PDA
smart phone
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COM 11
STORAGE DEVICES
STORAGE DEVICES
A storage device is used to store instructions, data, and information when they are not being
used in memory. Four common types of storage devices, sometimes called storage media, are
magnetic disks, optical discs, tape, and miniature mobile storage media. Figure 15 shows how
different types of storage media and memory compare in terms of relative speeds and uses.
faster
transfer
rates
FIGURE 16 Tracks form circles on the surface of a magnetic
disk. The disk’s storage locations are divided into pie-shaped
sections, which break the tracks into small arcs called sectors.
Hard Disk
CDs and DVDs
Software, backups,
movies, music
Tape
track
17
1
2
16
cluster
4
15
slower
transfer
rates
5
14
13
6
12
7
11
10
9
8
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Operating system,
application software,
user data and information, including
pictures, music, and
videos
Digital pictures
or files to be
transported
Floppy Disk
18
Items waiting to
be interpreted and
executed by the
processor
Flash Memory
Cards and USB
Flash Drives
3
sectors
Stores…
Memory
(most RAM)
Storage
Magnetic disks use magnetic particles to store items such as
data, instructions, and information on a disk’s surface. Before any
data can be read from or written on a magnetic disk, the disk must
be formatted. Formatting is the process of dividing the disk into
tracks and sectors (Figure 16), so the computer can locate the data,
instructions, and information on the disk. A track is a narrow
recording band that forms a full circle on the surface of the disk.
The disk’s storage locations consist of pie-shaped sections, which
break the tracks into small arcs called sectors. On a magnetic disk,
a sector typically stores up to 512 bytes of data.
Two types of magnetic disks are floppy disks and hard disks.
Some are portable, others are not. Portable storage medium
means you can remove the medium from one computer and carry
it to another computer. The following sections discuss specific
types of magnetic disks.
FIGURE 15 Comparison of different types of
storage media and memory in terms of relative
speed and uses. Memory is faster than storage, but
is expensive and not practical for all storage
requirements. Storage is less expensive but is
slower than memory.
Memory
Magnetic Disks
Backups
Small files to be
transported
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
WEB LINK
Hard Disks
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Hard Disks.
HARD DISKS A hard disk, also called a hard disk drive, is a storage device that contains one or
more inflexible, circular platters that magnetically store data, instructions, and information. Home
users store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, e-mail messages, Web pages, digital photographs, music, videos, and software on hard disks. The data on hard disks is recorded
on a series of tracks located on one or more platters. The tracks are divided into sectors when the
disk is formatted. Figure 17 shows how a hard disk works. The hard disk platters spin at a high
rate of speed, typically 5,400 to 15,000 revolutions per minute. When reading data from the disk,
the read head senses the magnetic spots that are recorded on the disk along the various tracks
and transfers that data to memory. When writing, the data is transferred from memory and is
stored as magnetic spots on the tracks on the recording surface of one or more of the disk platters.
When reading or writing, the read/write heads on a hard disk drive do not actually touch the
surface of the disk. The distance between the read/write heads and the platters is about two millionths of one inch. This close clearance means that dirt, dust, smoke, or other particles could
cause a head crash, when a read/write head touches a platter, usually resulting in loss of data or
sometimes the entire drive. Although current hard disks are sealed tightly to keep out contaminants, head crashes do occasionally occur. Thus, it is crucial that you back up your hard disk regularly. A backup is a duplicate of a file, program, or disk that you can use in case the original is
lost, damaged, or destroyed.
The number of platters permanently mounted on the spindle of a hard disk varies. On most
drives, each surface of the platter can be used to store data. Thus, if a hard disk drive uses one
How a hard disk works.
FIGURE 17
Step 2:
Step 3:
A small motor spins
the platters while the
computer is
running.
When software requests
a disk access, the read/
write heads determine the
current or new location of
the data.
Step 4:
Step 1:
The circuit board controls
the movement of the head
actuator and a small motor.
The head actuator
positions the read/
write head arms
over the correct
location on the
platters to read
or write data.
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STORAGE DEVICES
platter, two surfaces are available for data. If the drive uses two platters, four sets of read/write
heads read and record data from the four surfaces. Storage capacities of internally mounted fixed
disks for personal computers range from 10 GB to more than 750 GB.
The system unit on most desktop and notebook computers contains at least one hard disk.
Although hard disks are available in removable cartridge form, most hard disks cannot be
removed from the computer.
FLOPPY DISKS Another older form of magnetic storage is the floppy disk, or diskette, an
inexpensive portable storage medium (Figure 18a). The most widely used floppy disk is 3.5 inches
wide and typically can store up to 1.44 megabytes of data, or 1,474,560 characters. Although the
exterior of the 3.5-inch disk is not floppy, users still refer to them as floppy disks. Floppy disks are
not as widely used as they were 15 years ago because of their low storage capacity.
A floppy disk drive is a device that can read from and write on a floppy disk. Floppy disk
drives are either built into the system unit (Figure 18a) or are external to the system unit and
connected to the computer via a cable (Figure 18b).
Data stored on a floppy disk must be retrieved and placed into memory to be processed. The
time required to access and retrieve data is called the access time. The access time for floppy
disks varies from about 175 milliseconds to approximately 300 milliseconds (one millisecond
equals 1/1000 of a second). On average, data stored in a single sector on a floppy disk can be
retrieved in approximately 1/15 to 1/3 of a second.
FIGURE 18
On a personal computer, you insert and remove a floppy disk from a floppy disk drive.
(a) Floppy disk drive installed inside a
desktop computer
(b) External floppy disk
drive attached to computer
with a cable
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
WEB LINK
Optical Discs
CDs
An optical disc is a portable storage medium that consists of a flat, round, portable disc made
of metal, plastic, and lacquer that is written and read by a laser. Optical discs used in personal
computers are 4.75 inches in diameter and less than 1/20 of an inch thick. Nearly every personal
computer today has some type of optical disc drive installed in a drive bay. On these drives, you
push a button to slide the tray out, insert the disc, and then push the same button to close the
tray (Figure 19).
Many different formats of optical discs exist today. These include CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW,
DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD+RAM. Figure 21 on the next page
identifies each of these optical disc formats and specifies whether a user can read from the disc,
write on the disc, and/or erase the disc.
A CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) is a type of optical disc that users can read but
not write on (record) or erase — hence, the name read-only. A typical CD-ROM holds from 650
MB to 1 GB of data, instructions, and information. Software manufacturers often distribute their
programs using CD-ROMs.
To read a CD-ROM, insert the disc in a CD-ROM drive or a CD-ROM player. Because audio
CDs and CD-ROMs use the same laser technology, you may be able to use a CD-ROM drive to
listen to an audio CD while working on the computer. Some music companies, however, configure their CDs so the music will not play on a computer. They do this to protect themselves from
customers illegally copying and sharing the music.
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
CDs.
FIGURE 19 On optical disc drives, you
push a button to slide out a tray, insert the
disc, and then push the same button to
close the tray.
Push the button to
slide out the tray.
Insert the disc,
label side up.
Push the same button
to close the tray.
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COM 15
STORAGE DEVICES
A CD-R (compact disc-recordable) is an optical disc onto which you
can record your own items such as text, graphics, and audio. With a
CD-R, you can write on part of the disc at one time and another part at
a later time. Once you have recorded the CD-R, you can read from it as
many times as you wish. You can write on each part only one time, and
you cannot erase the disc’s contents. Most CD-ROM drives can read
a CD-R.
A CD-RW (compact disc-rewriteable) is an erasable optical disc you
can write on multiple times. A CD-RW overcomes the major disadvantage of CD-R discs, which is that you can write on them only once. With
CD-RWs, the disc acts like a floppy or hard disk, allowing you to write
and rewrite data, instructions, and information onto it multiple times.
Although CDs have large storage capacities, even a CD cannot hold
many of today’s complex programs. Some software, for example, is sold
on five or more CDs. To meet these tremendous storage requirements,
some software companies have moved from CDs to the larger DVDs —
a technology that can be used to store large amounts of text and even
videos (Figure 20).
FIGURE 20
OPTICAL DISC FORMATS
Optical Disc
Read Write Erase
CD-ROM
Y
N
N
CD-R
Y
Y
N
CD-RW
Y
Y
Y
DVD-ROM
BD-ROM
HD DVD-ROM
Y
N
N
DVD-R
DVD+R
BD-R
HD DVD-R
Y
Y
N
DVD-RW
DVD+RW
DVD+RAM
BD-RE
HD DVD-RW
Y
Y
Y
A DVD is an extremely high-capacity optical disc.
DVD
DVD drive
Manufacturers sell CD-ROM and
DVD-ROM media prerecorded (written) with audio,
video, and software. Users cannot change the
contents of these discs. Users, however, can
purchase the other formats of CDs and DVDs as
blank media and record (write) their own data,
instructions, and information on these discs.
FIGURE 21
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COM 16
WEB LINK
DVDs
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DVDs.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
A DVD-ROM (digital versatile disk-read-only memory) is a very high-capacity optical disc
capable of storing from 4.7 GB to 17 GB — more than enough to hold a telephone book containing every resident in the United States. As with the CD-ROM format, you cannot write on an
optical disc that uses the DVD-ROM format. You can only read from it. To read a DVD-ROM,
you need a DVD-ROM drive. Most DVD-ROM drives can also read CDs.
DVD-R and DVD+R are competing DVD-recordable formats, each with up to 4.7 GB storage
capacity. Both allow users to write on the disc once and read (play) it many times. Two newer, more
expensive DVD-recordable formats are Blu-ray (BD-ROM) and HD DVD, with higher quality and
more capacity than standard DVDs. DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD+RAM are competing DVD
formats, each with storage capacities up to 4.7 GB per side, that allow users to erase and write (record)
many times. BD-RE and HD DVD-RW are competing higher-capacity rewriteable DVD formats. To
write to a DVD, you need a recordable or rewriteable DVD-ROM drive.
Tape
WEB LINK
Miniature
Mobile Storage Media
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
Miniature Mobile
Storage Media.
Tape is a magnetically coated ribbon of plastic housed in a tape cartridge (Figure 22) capable of
storing large amounts of data and information at a low cost. A tape drive is used to read from
and write on a tape. Tape is primarily used for long-term storage and backup.
Miniature Mobile Storage Media
Miniature mobile storage media are
rewriteable media usually in the form of
a flash memory card, USB flash drive, or
a smart card. Miniature mobile storage
media allow mobile users to transport
digital images, music, or documents easily to and from computers and other
devices (Figure 23).
FIGURE 22
A tape drive and a tape cartridge.
Many
types of computers
and devices use
miniature mobile
storage media.
FIGURE 23
miniature mobile
storage media
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COM 17
STORAGE DEVICES
Flash memory cards are solid-state media, which means they consist entirely of electronics
(chips, wires, etc.) and contain no moving parts. Common types of flash memory include
CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), xD Picture Card, and Memory Stick (Figure 24).
A USB flash drive (Figure 25), sometimes called a pen drive or thumb drive, is a flash memory
storage device that plugs into a USB port on a computer or mobile device. USB flash drives are the
portable storage media of choice among users today, making the floppy disk nearly obsolete, because
they are small, lightweight, and have such large storage capacities. Capacities typically range from
32 MB to 64 GB.
VARIOUS FLASH MEMORY CARDS
FIGURE 24
Media Name
Storage Capacity
Use
CompactFlash
64 MB to 16 GB
Digital cameras, PDAs, smart phones, photo printers, portable
media players, notebook computers, desktop computers
Secure Digital
64 MB to 4 GB
Digital cameras, digital video cameras, PDAs, smart phones,
photo printers, portable media players
xD Picture Card
64 MB to 2 GB
Digital cameras, photo printers
Memory Stick
256 MB to 4 GB
Digital cameras, digital video cameras, PDAs, photo printers,
smart phones, handheld game consoles, notebook
computers
Memory Stick
PRO Duo
128 MB to 4 GB
Digital cameras, smart phones, handheld game consoles
FIGURE 25
flash drive.
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A USB
A variety of flash
memory cards.
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Page 18
ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
A smart card, which is similar in size to a credit card or ATM card, stores data on a thin
microprocessor embedded in the card. When you insert the smart card in a specialized card
reader, the information on the card is read and, if necessary, updated (Figure 26). Uses of smart
cards include storing medical records, tracking customer purchases, storing a prepaid amount
of money, and authenticating users, such as for Internet purchases.
COMMUNICATIONS DEVICES
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. A widely
used communications device is the telephone or cable modem (Figure 1 on page COM 2).
Communications occur over transmission media such as telephone lines, cables, cellular radio
networks, and satellites. Some transmission media, such as satellites and cellular radio networks,
are wireless, which means they have no physical lines or wires. People around the world use
computers and communications devices to communicate with each other using one or more
transmission media.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE
Computer software is the key to productive use of computers. With the correct software, a
computer can become a valuable tool. Software can be categorized into two types: system software
and application software.
System Software
WEB LINK
Operating
Systems
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weblink and then click
Operating Systems.
System software consists of programs to control the operations of computer equipment. An
important part of system software is a set of programs called the operating system. Instructions in
the operating system tell the computer how to perform the functions of loading, storing, and executing an application program and how to transfer data. For a computer to operate, an operating
system must be stored in the computer’s memory. When a computer is turned on, the operating
system is loaded into the computer’s memory from auxiliary storage. This process is called booting.
Today, most computers use an operating system that has a graphical user interface (GUI) that
provides visual cues such as icon symbols to help the user. Each icon represents an application
such as word processing, or a file or document where data is stored. Microsoft Windows Vista
(Figure 27) and Windows XP, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux are four popular personal computer
operating systems.
smart card
FIGURE 26
A smart card and smart card reader.
FIGURE 27 A graphical user interface, such as Microsoft
Windows Vista, makes the computer easier to use.
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COM 19
C O M P U T E R S O F T WA R E
Application Software
Application software consists of programs designed to make users more productive and/or
assist them with personal tasks. Some widely used application software includes Web browsers,
personal information managers, project management, accounting, computer-aided design, desktop publishing, paint/image editing, audio and video editing, multimedia authoring, Web page
authoring, personal finance, legal, tax preparation, home design/landscaping, educational, reference, and entertainment (games, simulations, etc.). Often, application software is available for
purchase from a Web site or store that sells computer products (Figure 28).
Personal computer users regularly use application software. Some of the more commonly used
applications are word processing, electronic spreadsheet, database, and presentation graphics.
WORD PROCESSING Word processing software (Figure 29) is used to create, edit, format,
and print documents. A key advantage of word processing software is that users easily can make
changes in documents, such as correcting spelling; changing margins; and adding, deleting, or
relocating entire paragraphs. These changes would be difficult and time consuming to make
using manual methods such as a typewriter. With a word processor, documents can be printed
quickly and accurately and easily stored on a disk for future use. Word processing software is oriented toward working with text, but word processing packages also support features that enable
users to manipulate numeric data and utilize graphics.
SPREADSHEET Electronic spreadsheet software (Figure 30) allows the user to add, subtract,
and perform user-defined calculations on rows and columns of numbers. These numbers can be
changed, and the spreadsheet quickly recalculates the new results. Electronic spreadsheet software eliminates the tedious recalculations required with manual methods. Spreadsheet information frequently is converted into a graphic form, such as charts. Graphics capabilities now are
included in most spreadsheet packages.
FIGURE 28 Stores
that sell computer
products have shelves
stocked with software
for sale.
WEB LINK
Word
Processing
Software
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
Word Processing
Software.
WEB LINK
Spreadsheet
Software
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
Spreadsheet Software.
FIGURE 29 Word processing
software is used to create letters,
memos, newsletters, and other documents.
FIGURE 30 Electronic spreadsheet software frequently
is used by people who work with numbers. The user enters
the data and the formulas to be used on the data, and the
computer calculates the results.
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COM 20
WEB LINK
Database
Software
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
Database Software.
WEB LINK
Presentation
Graphics
Software
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
Presentation Graphics
Software.
9:24 AM
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
DATABASE
Database software (Figure 31) allows the user to enter, retrieve, and update data in
an organized and efficient manner. These software packages have flexible inquiry and reporting
capabilities that let users access the data in different ways and create custom reports that include
some or all of the information in the database.
PRESENTATION GRAPHICS Presentation graphics software (Figure 32) allows the user to create
slides for use in a presentation to a group. Using special projection devices, the slides are projected directly from the computer.
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 users to share resources, such as hardware, software, data, and information.
Sharing resources saves time and money. For example, instead of purchasing one printer for
every computer in a company, the firm can connect a single printer and all computers via a
network (Figure 33); the network enables all of the computers
to access the same printer.
Most business computers are networked together. These
networks can be relatively small or quite extensive. A network that connects computers in a limited geographic area,
such as a school computer laboratory, office, or group of
buildings, is called a local area network (LAN). A network
that covers a large geographical area, such as one that connects the district offices of a national corporation, is called a
wide area network (WAN) (Figure 34).
client
Database software allows the user to enter,
retrieve, and update data in an organized and efficient manner.
FIGURE 31
client
printer
FIGURE 32 Presentation graphics software allows the
user to produce professional-looking presentations.
server
The local area network (LAN) enables two or more
separate computers to share the same printer.
FIGURE 33
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COM 21
NETWORKS AND THE INTERNET
The Internet
The world’s largest network is the Internet, which is a worldwide collection of networks that
connects millions of businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and individuals.
With an abundance of resources and data accessible via the Internet, more than 1 billion people
around the world use the Internet for a variety of reasons, including the following:
• Communicating with and meeting other people
• Accessing a wealth of information, news, and research findings
• Shopping for goods and services
• Banking and investing
• Accessing sources of entertainment and leisure, such as online games, music, videos, books
and magazines
Most users connect to the Internet through a regional or national ISP, an online service
provider, or a wireless Internet service provider. An ISP (Internet service provider) is an organization, such as a cable company or telephone company, that supplies connections to the Internet
for a monthly fee. Earthlink and AT&T Worldnet are examples of national ISPs. Like an ISP, an
online service provider (OSP) provides access to the Internet, but it also provides a variety of
other specialized content and services such as news, weather, financial data, e-mail, games, and
more. Two popular online services are America Online (AOL) and The Microsoft Network (MSN).
A wireless Internet service provider (WISP) is a company that provides wireless Internet access
to computers and mobile devices such as smart phones and PDAs. Boingo Wireless and Cingular
Wireless are examples of WISPs.
WEB LINK
World Wide
Web
For more information,
visit scsite.com/ic7/
weblink and then click
World Wide Web.
The World Wide Web
One of the more popular segments of the
Internet is the World Wide Web, also called the
Web, which contains billions of documents called
Web pages. A Web page can contain text, graphics,
audio, and video, and has built-in connections, or
links, to other Web documents. Figure 35 on the
next page shows different types of Web pages
found on the World Wide Web today. Web pages
are stored on computers throughout the world. A
Web site is a related collection of Web pages.
Visitors to a Web site access and view Web pages
using a software program called a Web browser. A
Web page has a unique address, called a Uniform
Resource Locator (URL).
FIGURE 34 A wide area network (WAN) can be quite large and
complex, connecting users in district offices around the world.
communications
satellite
cellular
connection
main
office
server
telephone
network
ISP
Internet
branch
office
branch
office
telecommuting
employee
branch
office
mobile
employee
international
office
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9:24 AM
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
(b) news
(c) informational
(a) portal
(e) educational
(d) business/marketing
(f) entertainment
(h) blog
(g) advocacy
(i) wiki
(k) content aggregator
(j) social network
FIGURE 35
(l) personal
Types of Web sites.
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NETWORKS AND THE INTERNET
COM 23
As shown in Figure 36, a URL consists of a protocol, a domain name, sometimes the path to
a specific Web page or location in a Web page, and the Web page name. Most Web page URLs
begin with http://, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol, the communications standard
used to transfer pages on the Web. The domain name identifies the Web site, which is stored on
a Web server. A Web server is a computer that delivers (serves) requested Web pages.
Electronic Commerce
WEB LINK
When you conduct business activities online, you are participating in electronic commerce,
also known as e-commerce. Some people use the term m-commerce (mobile commerce) to identify
e-commerce that uses mobile devices. These commercial activities include shopping, investing, and
any other venture that represents a business transaction. Today, three types of e-commerce exist.
Business to consumer (B2C) involves the sale of goods to the general public. Consumer to
consumer (C2C) involves one consumer selling directly to another. Business to business (B2B)
provides goods and services to other businesses.
protocol
domain name
path
Web page name
http://www.us-parks.com/grand_canyon/scenic_vistas.html
Address box
Web page that is
displayed after Web
address is entered
FIGURE 36 After entering the Web address http://www.us-parks.com/grand_canyon/scenic_vistas.html
in the Address box, this Web page at the US National Parks Travel Guide Web site is displayed.
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E-Commerce
For more information,
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E-Commerce.
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Page 24
How to Purchase
a Personal Computer
A
(a) desktop computer
(b) mobile computer
(notebook computer
or Tablet PC)
Should I buy a desktop
or mobile computer or
personal mobile device?
For what
purposes will I use
the computer?
At some point, perhaps while you are taking this course,
you may decide to buy a personal computer. The decision is
an important one and will require an investment of both
time and money. Like many buyers, you may have little computer
experience and find yourself unsure of how to proceed. You can get
started by talking to your friends, coworkers, and instructors about
their computers. What type of computers did they buy? Why? For
what purposes do they use their computers? You also should answer
the following three questions to help narrow your choices to a specific computer type, before reading this guide. At the end of this
guide, you'll also find tips on purchasing PDAs, smart phones,
portable media players, and other personal mobile devices such as
handheld navigation devices and game consoles.
Do you want a desktop computer or mobile computer?
A desktop computer (Figure 37a) is designed as a stationary
device that sits on or below a desk or table in a location such as a
home, office, or dormitory room. A desktop computer must be
plugged in an electrical outlet to operate. A
mobile computer, such as a notebook computer
or Tablet PC (Figure 37b), is smaller than a
desktop computer, more portable, and has a battery that allows you to operate it for a period
without an electrical outlet.
Desktop computers are a good option if you
work mostly in one place and have plenty of space
in your work area. Desktop computers generally
give you more performance for your money.
Increasingly, more corporations are buying
mobile computers to take advantage of their
portability to work while traveling and at home.
The past disadvantages of mobile computers,
such as lower processor speeds, poor-quality
monitors, weight, short battery life, and significantly higher prices, have all but disappeared.
Today, hard drive speed, capacity, processor
speed, and graphics capability in notebook computers are equal to, if not better than, desktop
computers.
If you are thinking of using a mobile computer
Should the computer
to take notes in class or in business meetings,
I buy be compatible
then consider a Tablet PC with handwriting and
with the computers at
drawing capabilities. Typically, note-taking
school or work?
involves writing text notes and drawing charts,
FIGURE 37
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Page 25
HOW TO PURCHASE A DESKTOP COMPUTER
schematics, and other illustrations. By allowing you to write
and draw directly on the screen with a digital pen, a Tablet
PC eliminates the distracting sound of the notebook keyboard tapping and allows you to capture drawings. Some
notebook computers can convert to Tablet PCs.
Mobile computers used to have several drawbacks, including the lack of high-end capabilities. Today’s high-end notebook computers include most of the capabilities of a good
desktop computer. Manufacturers have made great strides in
improving durability and battery life. Most notebook computers are 1.5 to 2 inches thick and weigh less than 10 pounds,
making them very portable and easy to carry.
COM 25
you purchase a specific computer, along with software,
peripherals, and other accessories.
Many of the desktop computer guidelines presented also
apply to the purchase of a notebook computer and a Tablet
PC. Later in this guide, sections on purchasing a notebook
computer or Tablet PC address additional considerations
specific to those computer types.
This guide concentrates on recommendations for
purchasing a desktop computer or mobile computer.
HOW TO PURCHASE A DESKTOP
COMPUTER
For what purposes will you use the computer?
Having a general idea of the purposes for which you
want to use your computer will help you decide on the type
of computer to buy. At this point in your research, it is not
necessary to know the exact application software titles or version numbers you might want to use. Knowing that you plan
to use the computer primarily to create word processing,
spreadsheet, database, and presentation documents, however,
will point you in the direction of a desktop or notebook computer. If you want the portability of a smart phone or PDA,
but you need more computing power, then a Tablet PC may
be the best alternative. You also must consider that some
application software runs only on a Mac, while others run
only on a PC with the Windows operating system. Still other
software may run only on a PC running the UNIX or Linux
operating system.
Should the computer be compatible with the
computers at school or work?
If you plan to bring work home, telecommute, or take distance education courses, then you should purchase a computer that is compatible with those at school or work.
Compatibility is primarily a software issue. If your computer runs the same operating system version, such as
Microsoft Windows Vista, and the same application software, such as Microsoft Office, then your computer will be
able to read documents created at school or work and vice
versa. Incompatible hardware can become an issue if you
plan to connect directly to a school or office network using
a cable or wireless technology. You usually can obtain the
minimum system requirements from the Information
Technology department at your school or workplace.
After evaluating the answers to these three questions, you
should have a general idea of how you plan to use your
computer and the type of computer you want to buy. Once
you have decided on the type of computer you want, you
can follow the guidelines presented in this guide to help
Once you have decided that a desktop computer is most
suited to your computing needs, the next step is to determine specific software, hardware, peripheral devices, and
services to purchase, as well as where to buy the computer.
Determine the specific software you want to
use on your computer.
Before deciding to purchase software, be sure it contains
the features necessary for the tasks you want to perform.
Rely on the computer users in whom you have confidence
to help you decide on the software to use. The minimum
requirements of the software you select may determine the
operating system (Microsoft Windows Vista, Linux, UNIX,
Mac OS X) you need. If you have decided to use a particular operating system that does not support software you
want to use, you may be able to purchase similar software
from other manufacturers.
Many Web sites and trade magazines, such as those listed
in Figure 38 on the next page, provide reviews of software
products. These Web sites frequently have articles that rate
computers and software on cost, performance, and support.
Your hardware requirements depend on the minimum
requirements of the software you will run on your computer.
Some software requires more memory and disk space
than others, as well as additional input, output, and storage
devices. For example, suppose you want to run software
that can copy one CD’s or DVD’s contents directly to
another CD or DVD, without first copying the data to your
hard disk. To support that, you should consider a desktop
computer or a high-end notebook computer, because the
computer will need two CD or DVD drives: one that reads
from a CD or DVD, and one that reads from and writes on
a CD or DVD. If you plan to run software that allows your
computer to work as an entertainment system, then you
will need a CD or DVD drive, quality speakers, and an
upgraded sound card.
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COM 26
Page 26
ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Type of
Computer
Web Site
Web Address
PC
CNET Shopper
shopper.cnet.com
PC World Magazine
pcworld.com
BYTE Magazine
byte.com
PC Magazine
pcmag.com
Yahoo! Computers
computers.yahoo.com
MSN Shopping
shopping.msn.com
Dave’s Guide to Buying
a Home Computer
css.msu.edu/PC-Guide
Macworld Magazine
macworld.com
Apple
apple.com
Mac
Switch to Mac Campaign apple.com/switch
For an updated list of hardware and software reviews and their Web
site addresses, visit scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 38
Hardware and software reviews.
Know the System Requirements of the
Operating System.
After deciding what software you want to run on your
new computer, you need to determine the operating system you want to use. If, however, you purchase a new
computer, chances are it will have the latest version of
your preferred operating system (Windows Vista, Linux,
UNIX, Mac OS X). Figure 39 lists the minimum computer
requirements of Windows Vista versions.
Windows
Vista Versions
Minimum
Computer Requirements
Windows Vista Home Basic
• 800 MHz processor
• 512 MB of RAM
• DirectX 9 capable graphics
processor
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows Vista Business
Windows Vista Enterprise
• 1 GHz processor
• 1 GB of RAM
• DirectX 9 capable graphics
Windows Vista Enterprise
• 40 GB of hard disk capacity
(15 GB free space)
• DVD-ROM drive
• Audio output capability
• Internet access capability
FIGURE 39
Hardware requirements for Windows Vista.
Look for bundled software.
When you purchase a computer, it may come bundled with software. Some sellers even let you choose which
software you want. Remember, however, that bundled software has value only if you would have purchased the software even if it had not come with the computer. At the
very least, you probably will want word processing software and a browser to access the Internet. If you need
additional applications, such as a spreadsheet, a database,
or presentation graphics, consider purchasing Microsoft
Works, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, or Sun StarOffice,
which include several programs at a reduced price.
Avoid buying the least powerful computer
available.
Once you know the application software you want to use,
you then can consider the following important criteria about
the computer’s components: (1) processor speed, (2) size and
types of memory (RAM) and storage, (3) types of input/
output devices, (4) types of ports and adapter cards, and
(5) types of communications devices. You also need to consider if the computer is upgradeable and to what extent you
are able to upgrade. For example, all manufacturers limit the
amount of memory you can add. The information in
Figures 40 and 41 can help you determine what system
components are best for you. Figure 40 (on COM 27 to
COM 28) outlines considerations for specific hardware
components. Figure 41 (on page COM 29) provides a Base
Components worksheet that lists PC recommendations for
each category of user discussed in this book: Home User,
Small Office/Home Office User, Mobile User, Power User,
and Large Business User. In the worksheet, the Home User
category is divided into two groups: Application Home User
and Game Home User. The Mobile User recommendations
list criteria for a notebook computer, but do not include the
PDA or Tablet PC options.
Computer technology changes rapidly, meaning a computer that seems powerful enough today may not serve
your computing needs in a few years. In fact, studies show
that many users regret not buying a more powerful computer. To avoid this, plan to buy a computer that will last
you for two to three years. You can help delay obsolescence
by purchasing the fastest processor, the most memory, and
the largest hard disk you can afford. If you must buy a less
powerful computer, be sure you can upgrade it with additional memory, components, and peripheral devices as
your computer requirements grow.
Consider upgrades to the mouse, keyboard,
monitor, printer, microphone, and speakers.
You use these peripheral devices to interact with your computer, so you should make sure they are up to your standards. Review the peripheral devices listed in Figure 40 on
pages COM 27 to COM 28 and then visit both local computer
dealers and large retail stores to test the computers on display. Ask the salesperson what input and output devices
would be best for you and whether you should upgrade
beyond what comes standard. Consider purchasing a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse to eliminate bothersome
wires on your desktop. A few extra dollars spent on these
components when you initially purchase a computer can
extend its usefulness by years.
Copyright 2008 Thomson Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
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Page 27
COM 27
HOW TO PURCHASE A DESKTOP COMPUTER
CD/DVD Drives: Most computers come with a CD-RW drive. A CD-RW drive allows you to create your own custom
data CDs for data backup or data transfer purposes. It also will allow you to store and share video files, digital photos,
and other large files with other people who have access to a CD-ROM drive. An even better alternative is to upgrade
to a DVDRW combination drive. It allows you to read DVDs and CDs and to write data on (burn) a DVD or CD. A
DVD has a capacity of at least 4.7 GB versus the 650 MB capacity of a CD. An HD DVD has a minimum capacity of 45 GB.
Card Reader/Writer: A card reader/writer is useful for transferring data directly to and from a removable
flash memory card, such as the ones used in your camera or audio player. Make sure the card reader/writer
can read from and write on the flash memory cards that you use.
Digital Camera: Consider an inexpensive point-and-shoot digital camera. They are small enough to
carry around, usually operate automatically in terms of lighting and focus, and contain storage cards
for storing photographs. A 5-megapixel camera with a 512 MB storage card is fine for creating images
for use on the Web or to send via e-mail.
Digital Video Capture Device: A digital video capture device allows you to connect your computer to a camcorder or VCR and
record, edit, manage, and then write video back on a VCR tape, a CD, or a DVD. To create quality video (true 30 frames per
second, full-sized TV), the digital video capture device should have a USB 2.0 or FireWire port. You also will need sufficient
storage: an hour of data on a VCR tape takes up about 5 GB of disk storage.
External Hard Disk: An external hard disk can serve many purposes: it can serve as extra storage for your
computer, provide a way to store and transport large files or large quantities of files, and provide security
by allowing you to keep all of your data on the external disk without leaving any data on the computer.
External hard disks can be purchased with the same amount of capacity as any internal disk. If you are going
to use it as a backup to your internal hard disk, you should purchase an external hard drive with at least as
much capacity as your internal hard disk.
Hard Disk: It is recommended that you buy a computer with 60 to 80 GB if your primary interests are browsing the Web
and using e-mail and Office suite-type applications; 80 to 100 GB if you also want to edit digital photographs; 100 to
200 GB if you plan to edit digital video or manipulate large audio files even occasionally; and 200 to 500 GB if you will
edit digital video, movies, or photography often; store audio files and music; or consider yourself to be a power user.
It also is recommended that you use Serial ATA (SATA) as opposed to Parallel ATA (PATA). SATA has many advantages
over PATA, including support for Plug and Play devices.
Joystick/Wheel: If you use your computer to play games, then you will want to purchase a joystick or a wheel.
These devices, especially the more expensive ones, provide for realistic game play with force feedback,
programmable buttons, and specialized levers and wheels.
Keyboard: The keyboard is one of the more important devices used to communicate with the computer. For this
reason, make sure the keyboard you purchase has 101 to 105 keys, is comfortable and easy to use, and has a
USB connection. A wireless keyboard should be considered, especially if you have a small desk area.
Microphone: If you plan to record audio or use speech recognition to enter text and
commands, then purchase a close-talk headset with gain adjustment support.
Modem: Most computers come with a modem so that you can use your telephone line to
access the Internet. Some modems also have fax capabilities. Your modem should be rated at 56 Kbps.
Monitor: The monitor is where you will view documents, read e-mail messages, and view pictures.
A minimum of a 17” screen is recommended, but if you are planning to use your computer for graphic
design or game playing, then you may want to purchase a 19” or 21” monitor. The LCD flat panel monitor
should be considered, especially if space is an issue.
Mouse: As you work with your computer, you use the mouse constantly. For this reason, spend a few extra dollars, if
necessary, and purchase a mouse with an optical sensor and USB connection. The optical sensor replaces the need for a
mouse ball, which means you do not need a mouse pad. For a PC, make sure your mouse has a wheel, which acts as a
third button in addition to the top two buttons on the left and right. An ergonomic design is also important because your
hand is on the mouse most of the time when you are using your computer. A wireless mouse should be considered to
eliminate the cord and allow you to work at short distances from your computer.
FIGURE 40
Hardware guidelines.
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May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
(continued next page)
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COM 28
Page 28
ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
(continued from previous page)
Ports: Depending on how you are using your computer, you may need anywhere from 4 to 10 USB 2.0 ports.
USB 2.0 ports have become the connection of choice in the computer industry. They offer an easy way to
connect peripheral devices such as printers, digital cameras, portable media players, etc. Many computers
intended for home or professional audio/video use have built-in FireWire ports. Most personal computers come
with a minimum of six USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire ports.
Port Hub Expander: If you plan to connect several peripheral devices to your computer at the same time, then you need
to be concerned with the number of ports available on your computer. If your computer does not have enough ports, then
you should purchase a port hub expander. A port hub expander plugs into a single FireWire port or USB port and gives
several additional ports.
Printer: Your two basic printer choices are ink-jet and laser. Color ink-jet printers cost on average between $50
and $300. Laser printers cost from $200 to $2,000. In general, the cheaper the printer, the lower the resolution and
speed, and the more often you are required to change the ink cartridge or toner. Laser printers print faster and with a
higher quality than an ink-jet, and their toner on average costs less. If you want color, then go with a high-end ink-jet
printer to ensure quality of print. Duty cycle (the number of pages you expect to print each month) also should be a
determining factor. If your duty cycle is on the low end — hundreds of pages per month — then stay with a high-end
ink-jet printer, rather than purchasing a laser printer. If you plan to print photographs taken with a digital camera, then
you should purchase a photo printer. A photo printer is a dye-sublimation printer or an ink-jet printer with higher
resolution and features that allow you to print quality photographs.
Processor: For a PC, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor at 2.66 GHz is more than enough processor power
for application home and small office/home office users. Game home, large business, and power users
should upgrade to faster processors.
RAM: RAM plays a vital role in the speed of your computer. Make sure the computer you purchase has at
least 512 MB of RAM. If you have extra money to invest in your computer, then consider increasing the RAM
to 1 GB or more. The extra money for RAM will be well spent.
Scanner: The most popular scanner purchased with a computer today is the flatbed scanner. When evaluating
a flatbed scanner, check the color depth and resolution. Do not buy anything less than a color depth of 48 bits
and a resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi. The higher the color depth, the more accurate the color. A higher resolution
picks up the more subtle gradations of color.
Sound Card: Many computers come with a standard sound card that supports Dolby 5.1
surround and is capable of recording and playing digital audio. Make sure it is suitable
in the event you decide to use your computer as an entertainment or gaming system.
Speakers: Once you have a good sound card, quality speakers and a separate subwoofer that
amplifies the bass frequencies of the speakers can turn your computer into a premium stereo system.
PC Video Camera: A PC video camera is a small camera used to capture and display live video
(in some cases with sound), primarily on a Web page. You also can capture, edit, and share
video and still photos. The camera sits on your monitor or desk. Recommended minimum
specifications include 640 x 480 resolution, a video with a rate of 30 frames per second, and a
USB 2.0 or FireWire port.
USB Flash Drive: If you work on different computers and need access to the same data and information, then this
portable miniature mobile storage device is ideal. USB flash drive capacity varies from 16 MB to 4 GB.
Video Card: Most standard video cards satisfy the monitor display needs of application home and
small office users. If you are a game home user or a graphic designer, you will want to upgrade to
a higher quality video card. The higher refresh rates will further enhance the display of games,
graphics, and movies.
Wireless LAN Access Point: A Wireless LAN Access Point allows you to network several computers,
so they can share files and access the Internet through a single cable modem or DSL connection. Each device that you
connect requires a wireless card. A Wireless LAN Access Point can offer a range of operations up to several hundred feet,
so be sure the device has a high-powered antenna.
Copyright 2008 Thomson Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
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Licensed to: iChapters User
3/6/07
9:32 AM
Page 29
COM 29
HOW TO PURCHASE A DESKTOP COMPUTER
BASE COMPONENTS
HARDWARE
Processor
RAM
Cache
Hard Disk
LCD Flat Panel
Video Card
CD/DVD Bay 1
CD/DVD Bay 2
Printer
PC Video Camera
Fax/Modem
Microphone
Speakers
Pointing Device
Keyboard
Yes
Backup Disk/Tape Drive
USB Flash Drive
Sound Card
Network Card
TV-Out Connector
USB 2.0 Port
FireWire Port
SOFTWARE
Operating System
Application Suite
Application Home User
Game Home User
Small Office/Home Office User
Mobile User
Large Business User
Power User
Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.66 GHz
512 MB
512 KB L2
250 GB
17" or 19"
256 MB
CD-RW
Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.93 GHz
1 GB
512 KB L2
500 GB
19" or 21"
256 MB
CD-RW
Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.33 GHz
1 GB
512 KB L2
100 GB
17" Wide Display
256 MB
CD-RW/DVD
Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.66 GHz
1 GB
512 KB L2
500 GB
19" of 21"
256 MB
CD-RW
Intel Core 2 Extreme
2 GB
2 MB L3
1.5 TB
23"
256 MB
Blue-ray or HD DVD reader/writer
DVD+RW
Color Ink-Jet
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
5.1 Dolby Surround
IntelliMouse
or Optical Mouse
Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.93 GHz
4 GB
512 KB L2
300 GB
21"
512 MB
Blue-ray or HD DVD
reader/writer
DVD+RW
Color Ink-Jet
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
5.1 Dolby Surround
Laser Mouse
and Joystick
DVD+RW
18 ppm Laser
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
5.1 Dolby Surround
IntelliMouse
or Optical Mouse
DVD+RW
50 ppm Laser
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
5.1 Dolby Surround
IntelliMouse
or Optical Mouse
External or Removable
Hard Disk
256 MB
Sound Blaster Compatible
Yes
Yes
6
2
Yes
External or Removable
Hard Disk
512 MB
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Yes
Yes
8
2
Yes
External or Removable
Hard Disk
512 MB
Sound Blaster Compatible
Yes
Yes
6
2
DVD+RW
Portable Ink-Jet
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
Stereo
Touchpad or
Pointing Stick
and Laser Mouse
Built-In
External or Removable
Hard Disk
512 MB
Built-In
Yes
Yes
4
1
4 GB
Sound Blaster Compatible
Yes
Yes
9
2
DVD+RW
10 ppm Color Laser
Yes
Yes
Close-Talk Headset With
Gain Adjustment
5.1 Dolby Surround
IntelliMouse
or Laser Mouse
and Joystick
Yes
External or Removable
Hard Disk
2 GB
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Yes
Yes
10
2
Windows Vista Home Basic
Windows Vista Home Premium Windows Vista Business
Windows Vista Business
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows Vista Ultimate
Office Standard 2007
Office Standard 2007
Office Small Business 2007
Office Professional 2007
Office Small Business 2007
Yes
Tape Drive
Office Professional 2007
Antivirus
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Yes, 12-Mo. Subscription
Internet Access
OTHER
Surge Protector
Warranty
Cable, DSL, or Dial-up
Cable or DSL
Cable or DSL
Wireless or Dial-up
LAN/WAN (T1/T3)
Cable or DSL
Yes
3-Year Limited, 1-Year Next
Business Day On-Site Service
Yes
3-Year Limited, 1-Year Next
Business Day On-Site Service
Yes
3-year On-Site Service
Portable
3-Year Limited, 1-Year Next
Business Day On-Site Service
Yes
3-year On-Site Service
Yes
3-year On-Site Service
Wheel
Postage Printer
Docking Station
Carrying Case
Fingerprint Scanner
Portable Data Projector
Other
Optional Components for all Categories
802.11g Wireless Card
Graphics Tablet
Bluetooth Enabled
Biometric Input Device
IrDA Port
Card Reader/Writer
Multifunction Peripheral
Digital Camera
Photo Printer
Digital Video Capture Device
Port Hub Expander
Digital Video Camera
Portable Data Projector
Dual-Monitor Support with
Second Monitor
Ergonomic Keyboard
External Hard Disk
Graphics Tablet
Plotter or Large-Format Printer
Portable Media Player
Scanner
TV/FM Tuner
Uninterruptible Power
Supply
FIGURE 41 Base desktop and mobile computer components and optional components. A copy of the Base Components worksheet is
part of the Data Files for Students. To obtain a copy of the Data Files for Students, see the inside back cover of this book for instructions.
Determine whether you want to use telephone
lines or broadband (cable or DSL) to access
the Internet.
If your computer has a modem, then you can access the
Internet using a standard telephone line. Ordinarily, you
call a local or toll-free 800 number to connect to an ISP (see
Guideline 7 on the next page). Using a dial-up Internet connection is relatively inexpensive but slow.
DSL and cable connections provide much faster Internet
connections, which are ideal if you want faster file download
speeds for software, digital photos, and music. As you would
expect, they also are more expensive. DSL, which is available
through local telephone companies, also may require that
you subscribe to an ISP. Cable is available through your local
cable television provider and some online service providers
(OSPs). If you get cable, then you would not use a separate
Internet service provider or online service provider.
Copyright 2008 Thomson Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
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COM 30
3/6/07
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
If you are using a dial-up or wireless connection to connect to the Internet, then select an
ISP or OSP.
You can access the Internet via telephone lines in one of two
ways: an ISP or an OSP. Both provide Internet access for a
monthly fee that ranges from $6 to $25. Local ISPs offer
Internet access to users in a limited geographic region,
through local telephone numbers. National ISPs provide
access for users nationwide (including mobile users), through
local and toll-free telephone numbers and cable. Because of
their size, national ISPs generally offer more services and
have a larger technical support staff than local ISPs. OSPs furnish Internet access as well as members-only features for
users nationwide. Figure 42 lists several national ISPs and
OSPs. Before you choose an ISP or OSP, compare such features as the number of access hours, monthly fees, available
services (e-mail, Web page hosting, chat), and reliability.
Use a worksheet to
compare computers,
services, and other
considerations.
You can use a separate sheet of
paper to take notes on each vendor’s computer and then summarize the information on a
worksheet, such as the one
shown in Figure 43. You can use
Figure 43 to compare prices for
either a PC or a Mac. Most companies advertise a price for a
base computer that includes
components housed in the system unit (processor, RAM, sound
card, video card), disk drives
(hard disk, CD-ROM, CD-RW,
DVD-ROM, and DVD6RW), a
keyboard, mouse, monitor,
printer, speakers, and modem.
Be aware, however, that some
advertisements list prices for
computers with only some of
these components. Monitors and
printers, for example, often are
not included in a base computer’s price. Depending on how
you plan to use the computer,
you may want to invest in additional or more powerful components. When you are comparing
the prices of computers, make
sure you are comparing identical
or similar configurations.
Company
Service
Web Address
America Online
OSP
aol.com
AT&T Worldnet
ISP
www.att.net
Comcast
OSP
comcast.net
CompuServe
OSP
compuserve.com
EarthLink
ISP
earthlink.net
Juno
OSP
juno.com
NetZero
OSP
netzero.com
MSN
OSP
msn.com
Prodigy
ISP/OSP
myhome.prodigy.net
For an updated list of national ISPs and OSPs and their Web site
addresses, visit scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 42
National ISPs and OSPs.
PC or MAC Cost Comparison Worksheet
Dealers list prices for computers with most of these components (instead of listing individual component costs). Some dealers do not supply a monitor. Some dealers
offer significant discounts, but you must subscribe to an Internet service for a specified period to receive the dicounted price. To compare computers, enter overall
system price at top and enter a 0 (zero) for components included in the system cost. For any additional components not covered in the system price, enter the cost in the
appropriate cells.
Items to
Purchase
OVERALL SYSTEM
Desired
System (PC)
Desired
System (Mac)
Overall System Price
HARDWARE
Processor
RAM
Cache
Hard Disk
Monitor/LCD Flat Panel
Video Card
USB Flash Drive
CD/DVD Bay 1
CD/DVD Bay 2
Speakers
Sound Card
USB 2.0 Port
FireWire Port
Network Card
Fax/Modem
Keyboard
Pointing Device
< $2,000
< $2,000
Intel Core 2 Duo
1 GB
256 KB L2
250 GB
20 Inch
256 MB
1 GB
CD-RW
DVD+RW
Dolby 5.1 Surround
Sound Blaster Compatible
6
2
2
Yes
56 Kbps
Standard
IntelliMouse
Intel Core 2 Duo
1 GB
256 KB L2
250 GB
20 Inch
256 MB
1 GB
DVD+RW
NA
Dolby 5.1 Surround
Sound Blaster Compatible
6
Microphone
Printer
SOFTWARE
Operating System
Application
Software
Antivirus
OTHER
Card Reader
Digital Camera
Internet Connection
Joystick
PC Video Camera
Port Hub Expander
Scanner
Surge Protector
Warranty
Wireless Card
Wireless LAN Access
Point
Total Cost
Close-Talk Headset with
Gain Adjustment
Color Ink-Jet
Local
Dealer #1
Local
Dealer #2
Online
Dealer #1
Online
Dealer #2
Comments
Yes
56 Kbps
Apple Pro Keyboard
Intellimouse or
Apple Pro Mouse
Close-Talk Headset with
Gain Adjustment
Color Ink-Jet
Windows Vista Ultimate
Office 2007 Small
Business
Yes - 12 Mo. Subscription
Mac OS X
Office 2007 for Mac
5-Megapixel
1-Year Subscription
Yes
With Microphone
5-Megapixel
1-Year Subscription
Yes
With Microphone
3-Year On-Site Service
Internal
LinkSys
3-Year On-Site Service
Internal
Apple AirPort
Yes - 12 Mo. Subscription
$
-
$
-
$
-
$
-
FIGURE 43 A worksheet is an effective tool for summarizing and comparing components
and prices of different computer vendors. A copy of the Computer Cost Comparison Worksheet
is part of the Data Files for Students. To obtain a copy of the Data Files for Students, see the
inside back cover of this book for instructions.
Copyright 2008 Thomson Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
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3/6/07
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Page 31
COM 31
HOW TO PURCHASE A DESKTOP COMPUTER
If you are buying a new computer, you have
several purchasing options: buying from your
school bookstore, a local computer dealer, a
local large retail store, or ordering by mail via
telephone or the Web.
Each purchasing option has certain advantages. Many college
bookstores, for example, sign exclusive pricing agreements
with computer manufacturers and, thus, can offer student
discounts. Local dealers and local large retail stores, however,
more easily can provide hands-on support. Mail-order companies that sell computers by telephone or online via the Web
(Figure 44) often provide the lowest prices, but extend less
personal service. Some major mail-order companies, however, have started to provide next-business-day, on-site services. A credit card usually is required to buy from a
mail-order company. Figure 45 lists some of the more popular
mail-order companies and their Web site addresses.
If you are buying a used computer, stay with
name brands such as Dell, Gateway, HewlettPackard, and Apple.
Although brand-name equipment can cost more, most brandname computers have longer, more comprehensive warranties, are better supported, and have more authorized
centers for repair services. As with new computers, you can
purchase a used computer from local computer dealers, local
large retail stores, or mail order via the telephone or the Web.
Classified ads and used computer sellers offer additional outlets for purchasing used computers. Figure 46 lists several
major used computer brokers and their Web site addresses.
If you have a computer and are upgrading to
a new one, then consider selling or trading in
the old one.
If you are a replacement buyer, your older computer still
may have value. If you cannot sell the computer through
the classified ads, via a Web site, or to a friend, then ask if
the computer dealer will buy your old computer. An
increasing number of companies are taking trade-ins, but
do not expect too much money for your old computer.
Other companies offer free disposal of your old PC.
Be aware of hidden costs.
Before purchasing, be sure to consider any additional costs associated with buying a computer, such as an
additional telephone line, a cable or DSL modem, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), computer furniture, a USB
flash drive, paper, and computer training classes you may
want to take. Depending on where you buy your computer,
the seller may be willing to include some or all of these in
the computer purchase price.
Type of Computer Company
Web Address
PC
CNET Shopper
shopper.cnet.com
Hewlett-Packard
hp.com
CompUSA
compusa.com
TigerDirect
tigerdirect.com
Dell
dell.com
Gateway
gateway.com
Apple Computer
store.apple.com
Macintosh
ClubMac
clubmac.com
MacConnection
macconnection.com
PC & MacExchange
macx.com
For an updated list of mail-order computer companies and their Web
site addresses, visit scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 45
Computer mail-order companies.
Company
Mail-order companies, such as Dell, sell
computers online.
FIGURE 44
Web Address
Amazon.com
amazon.com
TECHAGAIN
techagain.com
American Computer Express
americancomputerex.com
U.S. Computer Exchange
usce.org
eBay
ebay.com
For an updated list of used computer mail-order companies and their
Web site addresses, visit scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 46
Used computer mail-order companies.
Copyright 2008 Thomson Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part.
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Licensed to: iChapters User
COM 32
3/6/07
9:33 AM
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Consider more than just price.
The lowest-cost computer may not be the best longterm buy. Consider such intangibles as the vendor’s time in
business, the vendor’s regard for quality, and the vendor’s
reputation for support. If you need to upgrade your computer often, you may want to consider a leasing arrangement,
in which you pay monthly lease fees, but can upgrade or add
on to your computer as your equipment needs change. No
matter what type of buyer you are, insist on a 30-day, noquestions-asked return policy on your computer.
HOW TO PURCHASE A NOTEBOOK
COMPUTER
If you need computing capability when you travel or to use
in lectures or meetings, you may find a notebook computer
to be an appropriate choice. The guidelines mentioned in
the previous section also apply to the purchase of a notebook computer. The following are additional considerations
unique to notebook computers.
Purchase a notebook computer with a
sufficiently large active-matrix screen.
Avoid restocking fees.
Some companies charge a restocking fee of 10 to 20
percent as part of their money-back return policy. In some
cases, no restocking fee for hardware is applied, but it is
applied for software. Ask about the existence and terms of
any restocking policies before you buy.
Use a credit card to purchase your new
computer.
Many credit cards offer purchase protection and extended
warranty benefits that cover you in case of loss of or damage to purchased goods. Paying by credit card also gives
you time to install and use the computer before you have to
pay for it. Finally, if you are dissatisfied with the computer
and are unable to reach an agreement with the seller, paying by credit card gives you certain rights regarding withholding payment until the dispute is resolved. Check your
credit card terms for specific details.
Consider purchasing an extended warranty or
service plan.
If you use your computer for business or require fast resolution to major computer problems, consider purchasing an
extended warranty or a service plan through a local dealer or
third-party company. Most extended warranties cover the
repair and replacement of computer components beyond the
standard warranty. Most service plans ensure that your technical support calls receive priority response from technicians.
You also can purchase an on-site service plan that states that
a technician will come to your home, work, or school within
24 hours. If your
computer includes
a warranty and
service agreement
for a year or less,
think about extending the service for
two or three years
when you buy the
computer.
Active-matrix screens display high-quality color that is viewable from all angles. Less expensive, passive-matrix screens
sometimes are difficult to see in low-light conditions and
cannot be viewed from an angle. Notebook computers typically come with a 12.1-inch, 13.3-inch, 14.1-inch, 15.4-inch, or
17-inch display. For most users, a 14.1-inch display is satisfactory. If you intend to use your notebook computer as a
desktop computer replacement, however, you may opt for a
15.7-inch or 17-inch display. Dell offers a notebook computer
with a 20.1-inch display that looks like a briefcase when
closed. Notebook computers with these larger displays
weigh seven to ten pounds, however, so if you travel a lot
and portability is essential, you might want a lighter computer with a smaller display. The lightest notebook computers, which weigh less than 3 pounds, are equipped with a
12.1-inch display. Regardless of size, the resolution of the
display should be at least 1024 768 pixels. To compare the
monitor size on various notebook computers, visit the company Web sites in Figure 47.
Type of
Notebook
Company
Web Address
PC
Acer
global.acer.com
Dell
dell.com
Fujitsu
fujitsu.com
Gateway
gateway.com
Hewlett-Packard
hp.com
Lenovo
lenovo.com/us/en/
NEC
nec.com
Sony
sony.com
Toshiba
toshiba.com
Apple
apple.com
Mac
For an updated list of companies and their Web site addresses,
visit scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 47
Companies that sell notebook computers.
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HOW TO PURCHASE A NOTEBOOK COMPUTER
Experiment with different keyboards and
pointing devices.
Notebook computer keyboards are far less standardized than
those for desktop computers. Some notebook computers, for
example, have wide wrist rests, while others have none, and
keyboard layouts on notebook computers often vary.
Notebook computers also use a range of pointing devices,
including pointing sticks, touchpads, and trackballs. Before
you purchase a notebook computer, try various types of keyboard and pointing devices to determine which is easiest for
you to use. Regardless of the pointing device you select, you
also may want to purchase a regular mouse to use when you
are working at a desk or other large surface.
Make sure the notebook computer you
purchase has a CD and/or DVD drive.
Most notebook computers come with a CD and/or a DVD
drive. Although DVD drives are slightly more expensive,
they allow you to play CDs and DVD movies using your
notebook computer and a headset.
If necessary, upgrade the processor, memory,
and disk storage at the time of purchase.
As with a desktop computer, upgrading your notebook
computer’s memory and disk storage usually is less expensive at the time of initial purchase. Some disk storage is
custom designed for notebook computer manufacturers,
meaning an upgrade might not be available in the future. If
you are purchasing a lightweight notebook computer, then
it should include at least an Intel Core Duo processor,
512 MB RAM, and 80 GB of storage.
The availability of built-in ports and a port
extender on a notebook computer is important.
A notebook computer does not have a lot of room to add
adapter cards. If you know the purpose for which you plan
to use your notebook computer, then you can determine
the ports you will need. Most notebooks come with common ports, such as a mouse port, IrDA port, serial port, parallel port, video port, a FireWire port, and multiple USB
ports. If you plan to connect your notebook computer to a
TV, however, then you will need a PCtoTV port. If you want
to connect to networks at school or in various offices via a
network cable, make sure the notebook computer you purchase has a network port. If your notebook computer does
not come with a network port, then you will have to purchase an external network card that slides into an expansion
slot in your notebook computer, as well as a network cable.
While newer portable media players connect to a USB port,
older ones require a FireWire port.
COM 33
If you plan to use your notebook computer for
note-taking at school or in meetings, consider a
notebook computer that converts to a Tablet PC.
Some computer manufacturers have developed convertible
notebook computers that allow the screen to rotate
180 degrees on a central hinge and then fold down to
cover the keyboard
and become a
Tablet PC (Figure 48).
You then can use a
stylus to enter text or
drawings into the
computer by writing
on the screen. Some
notebook computers
have wide screens
for better viewing
and editing, and
some even have a
screen on top of the
FIGURE 48 The HP Compaq tc4200
unit in addition to
Tablet PC converts to a notebook
computer.
the regular screen.
Purchase a notebook computer with a built-in
wireless network connection.
A wireless network connection (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi a/b/g,
WiMAX, etc.) can be useful when you travel or as part of a
home network. Increasingly more airports, hotels, and cafes
have wireless networks that allow you to connect to the
Internet. Many users today are setting up wireless home
networks. With a wireless home network, the desktop computer functions as the server, and your notebook computer
can access the desktop computer from any location in the
house to share files and hardware, such as a printer, and
browse the Web. Most home wireless networks allow connections from distances of 150 to 800 feet.
If you are going to use your notebook computer for long periods without access to an
electrical outlet, purchase a second battery.
The trend among notebook computer users today is power
and size over battery life, and notebook computer manufacturers have picked up on this. Many notebook computer
users today are willing to give up longer battery life for a
larger screen, faster processor, and more storage. In addition, some manufacturers typically sell the notebook with
the lowest capacity battery. For this reason, you need to be
careful in choosing a notebook computer if you plan to use
it without access to electrical outlets for long periods, such
as an airplane flight. You also might want to purchase a
second battery as a backup. If you anticipate running your
notebook computer on batteries frequently, choose a computer that uses lithium-ion batteries, which last longer than
nickel cadmium or nickel hydride batteries.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Purchase a well-padded and well-designed
carrying case.
An amply padded carrying case will protect your notebook
computer from the bumps it will receive while traveling. A
well-designed carrying case will have room for accessories
such as spare CDs and DVDs, a user manual,
pens, and paperwork (Figure 49).
For improved security, consider a fingerprint
scanner.
More than half a million notebook computers are stolen or
lost each year. If you have critical information stored on
your notebook computer, then consider purchasing one
with a fingerprint scanner (Figure 51) to protect the data if
your computer is stolen or lost. Fingerprint security offers a
level of protection that extends well beyond the standard
password protection. If your notebook computer is stolen,
the odds of recovering it improve dramatically with antitheft tracking software. Manufacturers claim recovery rates
of 90 percent or more for notebook computers using their
product.
A welldesigned notebook
computer carrying case.
FIGURE 49
If you travel overseas, obtain a set of electrical
and telephone adapters.
Different countries use different outlets for electrical and
telephone connections. Several manufacturers sell sets of
adapters that will work in most countries.
If you plan to connect your notebook computer to a video projector, make sure the
notebook computer is compatible with the video
projector.
You should check, for example, to be sure that your notebook computer will allow you to display an image on the
computer screen and projection device at the same time
(Figure 50). Also, ensure that your notebook computer has
the ports required to connect to the video projector. You
also may consider purchasing a notebook computer with a
built-in video camera for videoconferencing purposes.
FIGURE 51 Fingerprint scanner technology offers greater
security than passwords.
FIGURE 50 A notebook computer connected to
a video projector projects the image displayed on
the screen.
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H O W T O P U R C H A S E A TA B L E T P C
HOW TO PURCHASE A TABLET PC
The Tablet PC (Figure 52) combines the mobility features of
a traditional notebook computer with the simplicity of pencil and paper, because you can create and save Office-type
documents by writing and drawing directly on the screen
with a digital pen. Tablet PCs use the Windows Tablet
Technology in Windows Vista operating system. A notebook computer and a Tablet PC have many similarities. For
this reason, if you are considering purchasing a Tablet PC,
review the guidelines for purchasing a notebook computer,
as well as the guidelines below.
COM 35
use the search capabilities on the home page of the companies listed to locate information about the Tablet PC.
Decide whether you want a convertible or
pure Tablet PC.
Convertible Tablet PCs have an attached keyboard and look
like a notebook computer. You rotate the screen and lay it
flat against the computer for note-taking. The pure Tablet
PCs are slim and lightweight, weighing less than four
pounds. They have the capability of easily docking at a
desktop to gain access to a large monitor, keyboard, and
mouse. If you spend a lot of time attending lectures or
meetings, then the pure Tablet PC is ideal. Acceptable specifications for a Tablet PC are shown in Figure 54.
TABLET PC SPECIFICATIONS
The lightweight Tablet PC, with its
handwriting capabilities, is the latest addition to the family
of mobile computers.
FIGURE 52
Make sure the Tablet PC fits your mobile computing needs.
The Tablet PC is not for every mobile user. If you find yourself in need of a computer in class or you are spending more
time in meetings than in your office, then the Tablet PC may
be the answer. Before you invest money in a Tablet PC, however, determine the programs you plan to use on it. You
should not buy a Tablet PC simply because it is an interesting
type of computer. For additional information on the Tablet
PC, visit the Web sites listed in Figure 53. You may have to
Company
Web Address
Fujitsu
fujitsu.com
Hewlett-Packard
hp.com
Microsoft
microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc
ViewSonic
viewsonic.com
For an updated list of companies and their Web site addresses, visit
scsite.com/ic7/buyers.
FIGURE 53
Web sites.
Companies involved with Tablet PCs and their
Dimensions
12" 3 9" 3 1.2"
Weight
Less than 5 Pounds
Processor
Pentium M Processor at 2 GHz
RAM
1 GB
Hard Disk
60 GB
Display
12.1" TFT
Digitizer
Electromagnetic Digitizer
Battery
6-Cell High Capacity Lithium-Ion
USB
3
FireWire
1
Docking Station
Grab and Go with CD-ROM,
Keyboard, and Mouse
Bluetooth Port
Yes
Wireless
802.11a/b/g Card
Network Card
10/100 Ethernet
Modem
56 Kbps
Speakers
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Operating System
Windows Vista
Application Software
Office Small Business Edition
Antivirus Software
Yes – 12 Month Subscription
Warranty
1-Year Limited Warranty Parts and
Labor
FIGURE 54
Tablet PC specifications.
Be sure the weight and dimensions are
conducive to portability.
The weight and dimensions of the Tablet PC are important
because you carry it around like a notepad. The Tablet PC
you buy should weigh four pounds or less. Its dimensions
should be approximately 12 inches by 9 inches by 1.2 inches.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Port availability, battery life, and durability are
even more important with a Tablet PC than
they are with a notebook computer.
Make sure the Tablet PC you purchase has the ports
required for the applications you plan to run. As with any
mobile computer, battery life is important especially if you
plan to use your Tablet PC for long periods without access
to an electrical outlet. A Tablet PC must be durable because
if you use it the way it was designed to be used, then you
will be handling it much like you handle a pad of paper.
Experiment with different models of the
Tablet PC to find the digital pen that works
best for you.
The key to making use of the Tablet PC is to be comfortable
with its handwriting capabilities and on-screen keyboard. Not
only is the digital pen used to write on the screen (Figure 55),
you also use it to make gestures to complete tasks, in a manner similar to the way you use a mouse. Figure 56 compares
the standard point-and-click of a mouse with the gestures
made with a digital pen. Other gestures with the digital pen
replicate some of the commonly used keys on a keyboard.
FIGURE 55 A Tablet
PC lets you handwrite
notes and draw on the
screen using a digital pen.
Mouse Unit
Digital Pen
Point
Point
Click
Tap
Double-click
Double-tap
Right-click
Tap and hold
Click and drag
Drag
FIGURE 56 Standard point-and-click of a mouse compared
with the gestures made with a digital pen.
Check out the comfort level of handwriting in
different positions.
You should be able to handwrite on a Tablet PC with your
hand resting on the screen. You also should be able to
handwrite holding the Tablet PC in one hand, as well as
with it sitting in your lap.
Make sure the LCD display device has a
resolution high enough to take advantage of
Microsoft’s ClearType technologies.
Tablet PCs use a digitizer under a standard 10.4-inch
motion-sensitive LCD display to make the digital ink on
the screen look like real ink on paper. To ensure you get the
maximum benefits from the new ClearType technology,
make sure the LCD display has a resolution of 800 3 600 in
landscape mode and a 600 3 800 in portrait mode.
Test the built-in Tablet PC microphone and
speakers.
Although most application software, including Microsoft
Office, recognizes human speech, it is important that the
Tablet PC’s built-in microphone operates at an acceptable
level. If the microphone is not to your liking, you may want
to purchase a close-talk headset with your Tablet PC.
Increasingly more users are sending information as audio
files, rather than relying solely on text. For this reason, you
also should check the speakers on the Tablet PC to make
sure they meet your standards.
Consider a Tablet PC with a built-in PC video
camera.
A PC video camera adds streaming video and still photography capabilities to your Tablet PC, while still allowing
you to take notes in lectures or meetings.
Review the docking capabilities of the
Tablet PC.
The Tablet Technology in Windows Vista operating system
supports a grab-and-go form of docking, so you can pick
up and take a docked Tablet PC with you, just as you
would pick up a notepad on your way to a meeting (Figure
57).
Wireless access to the
Internet and your
e-mail is essential with a
Tablet PC.
Make sure the Tablet PC
has wireless networking
(Bluetooth, Wi-Fi a/b/g,
WiMAX, etc.), so you can
access the Internet and
FIGURE 57 A Tablet PC docked to
your e-mail anytime and
create a desktop computer with the
anywhere. Your Tablet PC
Tablet PC as the monitor.
also should include standard network connections, such as dial-up and Ethernet connections.
Review available accessories to purchase
with your Tablet PC.
Tablet PC accessories include docking stations, mouse
units, keyboards, security cables, additional memory and
storage, protective handgrips, screen protectors, and various types of digital pens.
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Page 37
HOW TO PURCHASE A PERSONAL MOBILE DEVICE
HOW TO PURCHASE A
PERSONAL MOBILE DEVICE
Whether you choose a PDA, smart phone, ultra personal
computer, or portable media player, handheld navigation
device, or handheld game console depends on where, when,
and how you will use the device. If you need to stay organized and in touch when on the go, then a smart phone or
ultra personal computer may be the right choice. Choose a
handheld navigation device if you often need directions or
information about your surroundings. If you plan to relax
and play games, then a handheld game console may be right
for you. Busy professionals who are on the move often carry
more than one personal mobile device.
This section lists guidelines you should consider when
purchasing a PDA, smart phone, ultra personal computer,
portable media player, handheld navigation device, or
handheld game console. You also should visit the Web sites
listed in Figure 58 on the next page to gather more information about the type of personal mobile device that best suits
your computing needs.
Determine the programs you plan
to run on your device.
All PDAs and most smart phones can handle basic organizer-type software such as a calendar, address book, and
notepad. Portable media players and handheld navigation
devices usually have the fewest programs available to run
on them. Ultra personal computers usually have the most
number of programs available because the devices can run
almost any personal computer software. The availability of
other software depends on the operating system you
choose. The depth and breadth of software for the Palm OS
is significant, with more than 20,000 basic programs and
more than 600 wireless programs. Devices that run
Windows-based operating systems, such as Windows
Mobile may have fewer programs available, but the operating system and application software are similar to those
with which you are familiar, such as Word and Excel. When
choosing a handheld game console, consider whether your
favorite games are available for the device. Consider if you
want extras on the device, such as the capability of playing
media files.
Consider how much you want to pay.
The price of a personal mobile device can range
from $100 to more than $2,000, depending on its capabilities. Some Palm OS devices are at the lower end of the cost
spectrum, and ultra personal computers often are at the
higher end. A PDA will be less expensive than a smart
phone with a similar configuration. For the latest prices,
capabilities, and accessories, visit the Web sites listed in
Figure 58.
COM 37
Determine whether you need wireless access
to the Internet and e-mail or mobile
telephone capabilities with your device.
Smart phones often give you access to e-mail and other data
and Internet services. Some PDAs, smart phones, ultra personal computers, and handheld game consoles include wireless networking capability to allow you to connect to the
Internet wirelessly. These wireless features and services allow
users to access real-time information from anywhere to help
make decisions while on the go. Most portable media players
do not include the capability to access Internet services.
For wireless devices, determine how and
where you will use the service.
When purchasing a wireless device, you must subscribe to a
wireless service. Determine if the wireless network (carrier)
you choose has service in the area where you plan to use the
device. Some networks have high-speed data networks only
in certain areas, such as large cities or business districts. Also,
a few carriers allow you to use your device in other countries.
When purchasing a smart phone, determine if you plan to
use the device more as a phone, PDA, or wireless data device.
Some smart phones, such as those based on the Pocket PC
Phone edition or the Palm OS, are geared more for use as a
PDA and have a PDA form factor. Other smart phones, such
as those based on Microsoft Smartphone or Symbian operating systems, mainly are phone devices that include robust
PDA functionality. Research in Motion Blackberry-based
smart phones include robust data features that are oriented to
accessing e-mail and wireless data services.
Make sure your device has enough memory
and storage.
Memory (RAM) is not a major issue with low-end devices
with monochrome displays and basic organizer functions.
Memory is a major issue, however, for high-end devices that
have color displays and wireless features. Without enough
memory, the performance level of your device will drop dramatically. If you plan to purchase a high-end device running
the Palm OS operating system, the device should have at
least 32 MB of RAM. If you plan to purchase a high-end
device running the Windows Mobile operating system, the
PDA should have at least 64 MB of RAM. An ultra personal
computer can have 512 MB of RAM or more while a handheld navigation device may have over 2 GB of flash memory.
An ultra personal computer can have 512 MB of RAM or
more while a handheld navigation device may have over
2 GB of flash memory.
Many personal mobile devices include a hard disk for storage. Portable media players, ultra personal computers, and
some smart phones include hard disks to store media and
other data. Consider how much media and other data you
need to store on your device. The hard disk size may range
from 4 GB to more than 80 GB.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Practice with the touch screen, handwriting
recognition, and built-in keyboard before
deciding on a model.
To enter data into a PDA, smart phone, and some ultra
personal computers and handheld game consoles, you use
a pen-like stylus to handwrite on the screen or a keyboard.
The keyboard either slides out or is mounted on the front
of the device. With handwriting recognition, the device
translates the handwriting into a computerized font.You
also can use the stylus as a pointing device to select items
on the screen and enter data by tapping on an on-screen
keyboard. By practicing data entry before buying a device,
you can learn if one device may be easier for you to use
than another.You also can buy third-party software to
improve a device’s handwriting recognition.
Decide whether you want additional
functionality.
In general, off-the-shelf Microsoft operating system-based
devices have broader functionality than devices with other
operating systems. For example, voice-recording capability,
e-book players, and media players are standard on most
Windows Mobile devices. If you are leaning towards a Palm
OS device and want these additional functions, you may
need to purchase additional software or expansion modules
to add them later. Determine whether your employer permits
devices with cameras on the premises, and if not, do not consider devices with cameras. Some handheld game consoles
include the capability to access the Web. High-end handheld
navigation devices may include destination information, such
as information about restaurants and points of interest, an
e-book reader, a media player, and currency converter.
Decide whether you want a color display.
PDAs, ultra personal computers, some handheld
navigation devices, and some handheld game consoles
usually come with a color display that supports as many as
65,536 colors. Smart phones also have the option for color displays. Having a color display does result in greater on-screen
detail, but it also requires more memory and uses more
power. Resolution also influences the quality of the display.
Compare battery life.
Any mobile device is good only if it has the power
required to run. For example, smart phones with monochrome screens typically have a much longer battery life
than Pocket PC devices with color screens. The use of wireless networking will shorten battery time considerably. To
help alleviate this problem, most devices have incorporated
rechargeable batteries that can be recharged by placing the
device in a cradle or connecting it to a charger.
Seriously consider the importance of
ergonomics.
Will you put the device in your pocket, a carrying case, or
wear it on your belt? How does it feel in your hand? Will
you use it indoors or outdoors? Many screens are unreadable outdoors. Do you need extra ruggedness, such as would
be required in construction, in a plant, or in a warehouse? A
smart phone with a PDA form factor may be larger than a
typical PDA. A smart phone with a phone form factor may
be smaller, but have fewer capabilities.
Check out the accessories.
Determine which accessories you want for your personal mobile device. Accessories include carrying cases,
portable mini- and full-sized keyboards, removable storage,
modems, synchronization cradles and cables, car chargers,
wireless communications, global positioning system modules, digital camera modules, expansion cards, dashboard
mounts, replacement styli, headsets, microphones, and more.
Determine whether synchronization of data
with other devices or personal computers is
important.
Most devices include a cradle that connects to the USB or
serial port on your computer so you can synchronize data
on your device with your desktop or notebook computer.
Increasingly more devices are Bluetooth and/or wireless
networking enabled, which gives them the capability of
synchronizing wirelessly. Many devices today also have an
infrared port that allows you to synchronize data with any
device that has a similar infrared port, including desktop
and notebook computers or other personal mobile devices.
Web Site
Web Address
CNET Shopper
shopper.cnet.com
iPod
ipod.com
Palm
palm.com
Microsoft
windowsmobile.com
pocketpc.com
microsoft.com/smartphone
Oqo
oqo.com
MobileTechReview
pdabuyersguide.com
Nintendo
nintendo.com/channel/ds
Research in Motion
rim.com
Garmin
garmin.com
Symbian
symbian.com
Wireless Developer Network
wirelessdevnet.com
Sharp
www.myzaurus.com
For an updated list of reviews and information about personal mobile
devices and their Web addresses, visit scsite.com/ic7/pda.
Web site reviews and information about personal
mobile devices.
FIGURE 58
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Page 39
CASE STUDIES
COM 39
Learn It Online
INSTRUCTIONS
To complete the Learn It Online exercises, start your
browser, click the address bar, and then enter the Web
address scsite.com/ic7/learn. When the Essential
Introduction to Computers Learn It Online page is displayed, click the link for the exercise you want to complete
and then read the instructions.
Chapter Reinforcement TF, MC, and SA
A series of true/false, multiple choice, and short answer
questions that test your knowledge of the chapter content.
Flash Cards
An interactive learning environment where you identify
key terms associated with displayed definitions.
Practice Test
A series of multiple choice questions that test your knowledge
of chapter content and key terms.
Who Wants To Be a Computer Genius?
An interactive game that challenges your knowledge of
chapter content in the style of a television quiz show.
Wheel of Terms
An interactive game that challenges your knowledge of
chapter key terms in the style of the television show Wheel of
Fortune.
Crossword Puzzle Challenge
A crossword puzzle that challenges your knowledge of key
terms presented in the chapter.
Case Studies
1. Computers are ubiquitous. Watching television, driving a
car, using a charge card, ordering fast food, and the more
obvious activity of typing a term paper on a personal computer, all involve interaction with computers. Make a list
of every computer you can recall that you encountered
over the past week (be careful not to limit yourself just to
the computers you see). Consider how each computer is
used. How were the tasks the computers performed done
before computers existed? Write a brief report and submit
it to your instructor.
2. The Internet has had a tremendous impact on business.
For some businesses, that influence has not been positive.
For example, surveys suggest that as a growing number of
people make their own travel plans online, travel agents
are seeing fewer customers. Use the Web and/or printed
media to research businesses that have been affected negatively by the Internet. What effect has the Internet had?
How can the business compete with the Internet? Write a
brief report and submit it to your instructor.
3. People use personal computers for many reasons – for
work, for school, for entertainment, and much more. What
are your main reasons for using a personal computer?
With these in mind, research your ideal personal computer
system using one or more local computer stores or online
computer Web sites. Create a list of the hardware and software that would be included, the cost of each item, the
total cost for the entire system, and your main reasons for
using this computer system.
4. Today the functional lines between personal mobile
devices seem blurred. Your cell phone has a digital
camera; your PDA has wireless Internet access and plays
digital music; and your game console plays videos. These
are examples of technological convergence, a process in
which separate technologies merge in single products.
Write a brief report on how your favorite personal mobile
device is an example of convergence, listing the various
technologies that it uses.
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ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
INDEX
access points, wireless, COM 27
active-matrix screens, COM 32
adapters for overseas computer use,
COM 34
application software, COM 19–20
arithmetic/logic unit, COM 8
backups, COM 12
Base Components worksheet, COM 29
batteries for computers, COM 33,
COM 38
booting process, COM 18
browsers, Web, COM 21
bytes, COM 8
cable, broadband, COM 29
cameras, digital, COM 2, COM 6,
COM 27
card readers/writers, COM 2, COM 27
CD/DVD drives, COM 2, COM 27
CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW discs, COM 14
commerce, electronic, COM 23
communication devices, COM 18–20
computers
See also specific type
components of, COM 2, COM 4
operations of, COM 3
PC vs. Mac, COM 30
purchasing. See purchasing
consumer-to-consumer (C2C)
e-commerce, COM 23
control unit, COM 8
CPU (central processing unit), COM 8
data
described, COM 3
synchronization, COM 39
database software, COM 20
desktop computers, COM 24–32
devices
See also specific device
communication, COM 18–20
display, COM 10
input, output, COM 5–10
storage, COM 11–18
digital cameras, COM 2, COM 6, COM 27
digital pens, COM 36
discs, optical, COM 14–16
disks, storage, COM 2, COM 11–13
display devices, COM 10
drives
CD/DVD, COM 2, COM 27
CD-ROM, COM 14
DVD-ROM, COM 16
floppy disk, COM 13
hard disk, COM 2
USB flash, COM 2, COM 17
DVD-ROM media, COM 15–16
electronic commerce (e-commerce),
COM 23
electronic spreadsheet software, COM 19
ergonomics, COM 38
external hard disks, COM 2, COM 27
fingerprint scanners, COM 34
flash memory, COM 17
flat panel monitors, COM 10
floppy disks, COM 13
formatting magnetic disks, COM 11
gigabyte (GB), COM 8
hard disks/drives, COM 12–13, COM 27
HD DVDs, COM 16
impact printers, COM 9
information, processing cycle, COM 3,
COM 4
ink-jet printers, COM 9
input device types, COM 5–7
Internet, and networks, COM 20–23
ISPs (Internet service providers),
COM 21, COM 30
joystick/wheel devices, COM 27
keyboards, COM 2, COM 5, COM 27,
COM 33
LAN (local area networks), COM 20,
COM 27
LAN access points, COM 27
LCD monitor, COM 10
Mac computers vs. PCs, COM 30
magnetic disks, COM 11
megabyte (MB), COM 8
memory
cards, COM 17
computer, COM 8, COM 26
on personal mobile devices, COM 37–38
and storage devices, COM 11
microphones, COM 2, COM 26, COM 27,
COM 36
miniature mobile storage media, COM 16
mobile computers, COM 24–25
modems, COM 2, COM 27, COM 29
monitors, COM 2, COM 10, COM 26,
COM 27
motherboard, COM 8
mouse, COM 26, COM 27
networks and the Internet, COM 20–23
notebook computers, COM 7,
COM 32–34
online
computers, COM 20
service providers (OSPs), COM 21,
COM 30
operating systems, COM 18, COM 25,
COM 26
optical discs, COM 14–16
OSPs (online service providers), COM 21,
COM 30
output device types, COM 9–10
PC video cameras, COM 2, COM 28
PCs vs. Macs, COM 30
PDAs (personal digital assistants),
COM 6, COM 37
personal computers, COM 24–25
personal mobile devices, COM 37–39
photo printers, COM 9
pointer, mouse, COM 7
portable storage medium, COM 11
ports, COM 33, COM 36
power supply, notebook computers,
COM 33
presentation graphics software, COM 20
printers, COM 2, COM 9, COM 26
programs, COM 3–4
purchasing
computers generally, COM 24–25,
COM 31
desktop computers, COM 25–32
notebook computers, COM 32–34
personal mobile devices, COM 37–39
tablet PCs, COM 35–36
reviews of software products,
COM 25–26
scanners, COM 2, COM 28, COM 34
screens (monitors), COM 2, COM 32
security, fingerprint scanners, COM 34
servers, Web, COM 23
smart phones, cards, COM 6, COM 18
software, COM 3, COM 4
types of, COM 19–20
product reviews, COM 25–26
speakers, computer, COM 26, COM 36
storage device types, COM 11–18
synchronization of data, COM 39
system software, COM 18
system units, COM 2, COM 4, COM 8
tablet PCs, COM 24–25, COM 35–36
tape, tape drives, COM 15–16
touch screens, COM 38
touchpads, COM 7
transmission media, COM 18
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators),
COM 21, COM 22
USB flash drives, COM 2, COM 17
video cameras, COM 2, COM 27,
COM 36
video cards, COM 27
Vista operating system, COM 26
Web browsers, pages, servers,
COM 21–23
WANs (wide area networks), COM 20–21
wireless
Internet service providers (WISPs),
COM 21
LAN access points, COM 27
media, COM 18
synchronization of data, COM 39
tablet PC access, COM 36
worksheet, Base Components, COM 29
World Wide Web, COM 21
PHOTO CREDITS
Opener: Courtesy of SanDisk Corporation, © Medioimages / Alamy, Courtesy of Intel Corporation, Courtesy of Intel Corporation, Courtesy of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc, Courtesy of
Microsoft Corporation, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Sony Electronics Inc, Courtesy of Acer America Corp, Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation; Figure 1 Courtesy of
Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of D-Link Systems, Courtesy of Logitech, Inc, Courtesy of Maxtor, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Sandisk Corporation,
Courtesy of SanDisk Corporation, Courtesy of Motorola, Courtesy of Sony Electronics Inc, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, © David Young-Wolff/Photo Edit; Figure 2 © Bill Aron /
PhotoEdit ; Figure 4 Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation; Figure 5 Courtesy of Veo Intl, Courtesy of Socket Communications Inc, © Gustaf Brundin/istockphoto.com, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard
Company; Figure 6 © Kaluzny-Thatcher/Getty Images; Figure 7 Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation, Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation; Figure 8 © Yo/Getty Images; Figure 9 Courtesy of Intel
Corporation, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. © 2002, Courtesy of Creative Labs, Inc. Copyright © 2003 Creative Technology Ltd.
(SOUND BLASTER AUDIGY 2S). All rights reserved, Courtesy of Matrox Graphics Inc; Figure 10 Courtesy of Oki Data Amercas, Inc; Figure 11 Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy
of Xerox Corporation, Courtesy of Epson America, Inc; Figure 12 Courtesy of Xerox Corporation; Figure 13 Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics
Display of America Inc; Figure 14 Courtesy of Acer America Corp, Image courtesy of TabletKiosk, Courtesy of Archos, Courtesy of Nokia, Courtesy of Palm, Inc; Figure 17 Courtesy of Maxtor
Corporation; Figure 18 © Masterfile (Royalty Free Div.) www.masterfile.com, Photo Courtesy of Iomega Corporation. Copyright (c) 2005 Iomega Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Zip is a
registered trademark in the United States and/or other countries. Iomega, the sylized "i" logo and product images are property of Iomega Corporation in the United States and/or other
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Products, Inc, Courtesy of DeLorme; Figure 22 Courtesy of Sony Electronics Inc; Figure 23 Sam Lee/istockphoto.com, © Marianna Day Massey/ZUMA/Corbis, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard
Company, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Scrambled/istockphoto.com; Figure 24 Courtesy of SanDisk Corporation; Figure 25 Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc; Figure 26
ITAR-TASS/Alexander Bundin /Landov; Figure 28 ©Mark Richards / Photo Edit ; Figure 33 Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Fujitsu Siemens Computers; Figure 37 Courtesy
of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Wacom, © Darrin Klimek/Getty Images; Figure 40 Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of SanDisk Corporation, Courtesy of HewlettPackard Company, Courtesy of Avid Technology, Courtesy of Seagate Technology, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Logitech, Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation, Courtesy of
Zoom Technologies Inc, Courtesy of ViewSonic Corporation, Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company, Courtesy of
Intel Corporation, Courtesy of Kingston Technology, Courtesy of UMAX, Courtesy of Logitech, Courtesy of Logitech, Courtesy of SanDisk Corporation, Courtesy of 3Com Corporation, Courtesy
of D-Link Corporation/D-Link Systems, Inc; Figure 48 PRNewsFoto/Mindjet LLC; Figure 49 Courtesy of Fujitsu-Siemens Computers; Figure 50 Courtesy of InFocus Corporation; Figure 51
© Digital Archive Japan / Alamy; Figure 52 © Patrick Olear / PhotoEdit; Figure 55 Courtesy of Motion Computing; Figure 57 Courtesy of Motion Computing.
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