Introduction to Computers
Chapter 1
Nicholas Smalarz
Chris Cahill
Daniel Upbin
What is Computer?
Components of a Computer
Why is a Computer so Powerful?
Computer Applications and Society
Examples of Computer Usage
Networks and Internet Computer Software
Categories of Computers
Computer Applications and Society
What is a Computer?
• Computer- An electronic device, operating under
the control of instructions stored in its own
memory, that can accept data, manipulate the
data according to specified rules, produce
results and store the results for future use.
Here’s A Computer!
In 1969 for $5975
In 2004 for $699
Components of a
• Hardware
– Input Devices
• Keyboard, Mouse, Microphone, Digital Camera
– Output Devices
• Monitor, Speaker, Printer
– System Unit
• The computer casing (inside includes the motherboard with a
processor and memory)
– Storage Devices
• Hard Drives, CD/DVD-ROM Drives, Floppy Disk Drives, USB
Drives and memory cards
– Communication Devices
• Modems, Networking Cards
Why is a Computer so
• Speed
– Circuits
– Billions of operations in a single second
• Reliability and Consistency
– Low failure rate
– Consistent results
• Accuracy
– Depends on input
Why is a Computer so
Powerful Cont.
• Storage
– Transfer data quickly
– Store enormous amounts of data
• Communications
– Computers can share information
– Processing cycles
Networks and Internet Computer
– Is a collection of computers and devices connected together via
communications devices and transmission media. Networks allow computers to
share resources such as:
• Hardware, software, data, and information
– Is a worldwide collection of networks that connects millions of businesses,
government agencies, educational institutions, and individuals. Uses for the
internet include:
Communicating with other people
Access information, news, and research findings
Shop for goods
Banking and Investing
Entertainment (online games, movies, music, etc.)
Systems Software
– Consists of programs that control or maintain the operations of the computer
and its devices.
• Operating System-is a set of programs that coordinates all the activities among
computer hardware devices.
– Microsoft’s Window’s
– Apple’s Macintosh
Networks and Internet Computer
Software Continued
Application Software
– Consists of programs that perform specific tasks for users.
• Popular types of application software include:
Word Processing Software
Spreadsheet software
Database software
Presentation graphics software
Software Development
– A programmer is someone who develops application or system software.
• Popular program languages include:
– C++, C#, Visual Basic .NET 2003, and JavaScript.
– Programs require thousands to millions of instructions.
• Use programming language or program development to create computer
Examples of Computer
Small Office/Home Office
Large Business
Home/Small Office
• Home
– Desktop Computer
– Uses
Word Processing
• Small Office
– Desktop Computers
– Network
– Uses
Internet use
Manage finances
• Types
– Notebook Computer
– Cell Phone
• Usually wireless
• Uses
– Communication
– Presentations
– Organization
Large Business/Power
• Large Business
– Massive network
• IT Department
– Types
• Kiosk
• Desktop
• Mobile
– Uses
• Accounting
• Business
• Network Mgt.
• Power
– Workstation
– Industry standards
– Used by
• Engineers
• Architects
– Uses
• Publishing
• Editing
• Internet
Categories of Computers
Personal Computers (PC)
– Is a computer that can perform all of its input, processing, output, and activities
by itself.
• Two types of personal computers are:
– PC (personal computer) based on the IBM personal computer design, which Dell,
Gateway, and Toshiba manufacture.
– Apple computers
Desktop Computers
– Is designed so the system unit, input devices, output devices, and any other
devices fit entirely on or under a desk or table.
• System Unit- Is a tall and narrow tower, that can sit upright or could lye
sideways with the system monitor on top.
Mobile Computers and Mobile Devices
– A mobile computer and a mobile device are both capable of being taking place to
place by just carrying them. A mobile device is small enough to hold in your
• Notebook computers (laptop computer) is a portable, personal computer
small enough to fit on your lap.
• Tablet PC is a special type of notebook computer that allows you to write or
draw on the screen using a digital pen.
Categories of Computers
Midrange Servers
– Are more powerful and larger than a workstation computer.
• Store data and programs
• Typically support several hundred PC’s at the same time
– Are large, expensive, very powerful computers that can handle hundreds or
thousands of connected users simultaneously.
• Banks, airlines, and insurance companies use mainframes
– Are the fastest, most powerful computer-and most expensive.
• Capable of processing more than 100 trillion instructions in a single second.
• Can store more than 16,000 times the average desktop computer.
– Supercomputers are used to compute applications in:
» Medicine
» Aerospace
» Weather forecasting
» Nuclear energy research
Computer Applications
and Society
Health Care
Computer Applications and
– Is the process of acquiring knowledge. So in today’s technological world,
educators turn to computers to assist in education.
• Students use software to assist with learning or to complete assignments.
• Drop in computer cost have allowed educators to equip school science labs
and classrooms with computers.
• Some schools require students to have a notebook computer or PDA.
– Learning takes place in classroom and the other part occurs on the Web.
• 70 percent of college offer some type of distance learning classes.
– Computers are used to manage finances for individuals and companies.
• Online Banking- users can access account balances, pay bills, copy monthly
transactions from the bank’s computer right into their computers.
– Web-based financial institutions:
» Transfer cash to another person’s account or bank account
» Companies use it for rebates and refunds
• Online Investing- buying and selling of stocks without the use of a broker.
– Transaction fee’s are much less than trading with a broker
Computer Applications and
Society Continued
Health Care
– Nearly every area of health care uses computers.
• Maintain patient records
• Monitor patient vital signs
• Assist doctors, nurses, and technicians in medical test
• To file insurance claims
• Surgeons use computer-controlled devices to aid in some surgeries
– Provides society with direction by making and administering policies. As a part of
the daily job, government employees use computers everyday to run there
respected agencies.
• About 62% of the people in the United States access government Web sites.
– File taxes
– Apply for permits and licenses
– Renew driver license
• Government computers store vital records, such as fingerprints and criminal
Computer Applications and
Society Continued
– All branches of science, from biology to astronomy to
meteorology, use computers to assist them with in:
• Collecting
• Analyzing
• Modeling data
– Communication with other scientist.
– Is the process of making works available to the public
printed in:
• Books
• Magazines
• Newspapers
– Publishers use computer software to layout text,
graphics, and photographs.
• Journalist carry:
– Notebook computers
– Digital Cameras
– Many publishers today make these printed materials
available on the internet.
• Copy them to your desktop computer
• Handheld computer
Computer Applications and
Society Continued
– Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
• The use of computers to assist with manufacturing processes such as
fabrication and assembly. Reason for using CAM in Industries include:
– Reducing product development cost
– Shorten a product’s time to market
– Stay ahead of competition
– CAM is used by a variety of industries that include:
• Oil drilling
• Automobile Manufacturing
• Food production
– Onboard navigation systems are built into many cars today.
• Enable the driver to:
– Get directions
– Call for help (emergency situations)
– Track vehicle if stolen
– The Web allows anyone to prepare for a trip very easily.
• Purchase airline and train tickets online
• Book hotel rooms
• Pull directions off
The End

Introduction to Computers Chapter 1