Introduction to Computers
- Introduction to Computers
- Week 1: Pre-test and Hardware
- Week 2: Hardware Maintenance & Care
- Week 3: Operating Systems/Networking
- Operating Systems
- Week 4: Web Browsing
- Week 5: Electronic Mail
- Week 6: Office Software
- Word Processing
- Week 7: Societal, Ethical & Safety Issues
- Week 8: Portable computing
- Miscellaneous Links
- Travel safely in bad weather
Get acquainted with the computer, Windows operating system and
common functions. Create a Word document, capture a screen image,
manage files, generate emails and navigate web sites. Computer safety
and back-ups will be discussed.
Week 1: Pre-test and Hardware
- What is a computer?
An electronic device, operating under the control of information, that
can accept data, process the data, produce output and store the results
for future use.
- What is computer hardware?
Any component of the computer you can see, touch, or kick.
- What is a CPU?
Located in the tower, the Central Processing Unit communicates with other devices to perform
tasks. It's the "heart" or "traffic cop" that connects the computer's
- What are peripherals?
External hardware attached to the tower.
- What are input devices?
Devices that let you enter information and communicate with the
- What are output devices?
Devices that let the computer communicate with you.
- What are storage devices?
Devices that store information, and allow the computer to use that
information to perform tasks later. It's the "filing cabinet" of the
- What is RAM?
Random Access Memory is where the computer stores currently running
programs and data for those programs. It's like a "school
desk" for the computer.
Guide to Computers is a Beginner's Tutorial for personal
computers. To learn more about hardware at your own pace, see their
articles on The
2: Hardware Maintenance & Care
- Identify internal PC parts
- Power Supply
- Disk Drives
- Expansion Cards
- Case Fan
- Describe the function of each part.
- Care of computer, keyboard, mouse
- No food or drinks near the computer.
- Care for a monitor
- Don't touch the screen.
- Don't clean with glass cleaner (Windex).
- Care for cables
- 4" minimum bend radius on network cables.
- Don't staple cables.
- Care of drives
- Keep them away from heat, water, magnets & electrical shock.
- What is a Byte?
- The smallest unit of memory storage is called a bit. A bit can be either on or off, like a light switch.
- Eight bits combine to make one Byte. That's enough storage for one letter of the alphabet or a number, etc.
01101000 = 104 = "h"
- What is a Gigabyte, anyway?
- Hard Disk Drives and RAM capacity are both measured in multiples of bytes.
- Thousands, Millions, Trillions, & Quadrillions become Kilo-, Mega-, Giga- & Tera-.
- See: Multiples of bytes on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Read more at Computer Basics: Basic Parts of a Computer
Week 3: Operating Systems/Networking
- An operating system (OS) is software that:
- Is the "traffic cop" for all other software.
- Lets users launch computer programs.
- Manages stored files and computer hardware.
- The most popular Operating Systems are:
- 86% of Desktop and laptop market share
- Upgrade treadmill enforces planned obsolescence after ten years.
- Contributes to frequently misused technical terms:
- Only OS to use the "back(wards) slash"
- Left-click should just be "Click"
- 12% market share
- Initially popular among media creators
- Proprietary hardware is more expensive
- 2% market share
- Can be installed on standard PC hardware
- Open source and Free
- Many flavors or "distributions"
- Keyboard Basics
- Popular OS keyboard shortcuts
- Start with a printed Quick Reference a.k.a. "cheatsheet"
- ❖+D Show Windows Desktop
- ❖+E Launch Windows Explorer
- ❖+Pause Launch System Control Panel
- Ctrl+C Copy selected text onto the clipboard
- Ctrl+V Paste text from the clipboard
- Intermediate OS skills
- Determine OS, RAM, and HD size.
- Identify the Desktop, OS menu, task bar, system tray.
- Launch software and identify which software is running.
- Solve double-click-itis by clicking icon once, then press Enter
- Create folders and name them
- Organizing system for files and folders.
- Save and rename files, and to different drives
- Copy files and format drives
- Determine size of files and programs
- Locate software and files on the HDD
- What is a computer network?
- A system of linked computers.
- Biggest benefit: Shared peripherals.
- What is the Internet?
- The network of computers that connects millions of people
all over the world
- What are popular types of internet connections?
- DSL: Digital Subscriber Line
- Cellular Hotspot
- Residential Fixed Wireless
- What is an IP address?
- Every device connected to a network must have a unique number, just like telephones.
- Visit IP Chicken.com to find your public IP address.
- What is DNS?
- Domain Name Services allow us to use friendly
names (like Google.com) to connect to IP addresses, much like a
- What is a LAN?
- A Local Area Network connects computers within a limited
area such as a home, school, or office building.
- How do I connect to a wireless network?
- Locate and click on the Wi-Fi icon.
- Choose a wireless Access Point from the list
- Click Connect
- Provide a password if needed.
- IP Chicken - Learn about IP Addresses
- Local area network
Week 4: Web Browsing
- What is the World Wide Web?
World Wide Web (WWW, or the Web) is
an open source information place on the Internet where documents and
other web resources are often connected by hyper-links.
- What is the primary use of a web browser?
- To view web pages on a computer display.
- If the Internet is an "information super-highway", your
browser acts like a vehicle.
- Your "driveway" (PC) should have a spare vehicle (browser)
for rainy days.
- What are popular web browsers?
- What is a web address (URL)?
- A Uniform Resource Locator is used to
specify resource addresses on the World Wide Web.
- Where is the address bar usually found in a web browser?
- The text entry bar that is near the top of the browser.
- What common mistakes would make a web address invalid?
- Modern browsers assume the protocol is http, unless you type otherwise.
- Valid domain names contain only letters, numbers, and hyphens.
- Domain names are not case sensitive, but may be shown with UpperCase.
- Directory and file names are case sensitive.
- How do I visit a web address?
- Place the cursor in the address bar.
- Type the URL.
- Press Enter.
- How to teach yourself anything!
- Visit YouTube.com
- Search for any technical (or other) topic, followed by the
- Example: Windows
- How do I create a bookmark to save favorite web pages?
- Click the star icon in the right end of the address bar.
- How do I set a custom home page?
- Drag and drop the icon left of the web address onto the Home button.
- How do I go back to the default home page?
- Click on the ☰ Menu button
- Click Options
- Click the General tab (default)
- Click on "Restore Default"
- What are cookies and why would I want to delete them?
- A HTTP Cookie is a small file that allows websites to
remember information about you. This can be handy when you
check the box "remember me on this computer" or annoying when
advertisers track your web browsing behavior. Read more about
them on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie
- Firefox allows you to "manage" (view/delete) any or all
of these cookies.
- Browser keyboard shortcuts
- Ctrl++ Enlarge browser text
- Ctrl+0 (Zero) Reset browser text size
- Ctrl+L Move cursor to the address bar
- Ctrl+D Create a new Bookmark
- Ctrl+B Show Bookmarks
- Ctrl+H Show History
Week 5: Electronic Mail
- What is Electronic mail?
- Electronic mail (or e-mail), is a method of exchanging
digital messages from an author to one or more recipients.
- How is Electronic mail like Post Office mail?
- From: my outbox
- relayed to my Post Office (ISP)
- relayed to your Post Office
- To: your inbox
- What are some good Password management guidelines?
- Never use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Never use words found in dictionaries or phone books
- Do not rely only on your brain to remember passwords.
- Have an effective paper system (recipe cards) or...
- Use Password management (like KeePass).
- Try to use randomly generated passwords.
- How do I create an online account?
- Visit the providers home page (google, yahoo, outlook/hotmail, mail)
- Click "Create account".
- Provide real name, desired username, password, birth date
and sometimes mobile phone.
- Be prepared to provide answers to "security questions".
- Record account credentials for later use.
- What is "spoofing"?
When a sender has faked their information.
- Postal mail
- Caller ID
- E-mail safety Tips
- Opening an e-mail message and reading the text is always
- Opening some unexpected attachments can infect your PC
- Clicking hyper-links sent by unexpected sources are also
- To open and respond to an e-mail message:
- Click the Reply button
- Optionally, update the subject line
- To send an e-mail message.
Click Compose, Write, or [pencil icon] button.
||This is my message
- To, Subject, and Body are required
- CC, BCC (Blind Courtesy Copy) are optional
- Date sent is automatically added
- Proper netiquette discourages the use of ALL CAPS as it is considered shouting.
- Send a message with an attachment by:
- Easiest: drag and drop from your file manager
- Otherwise, look for a paper clip icon
- What is spam and what can I do about it?
- Unsolicited Bulk E-mail are advertising messages from
someone you don't know.
- Video: Monty Python - Spam
- Don't delete spam. Click the Spam button.
Week 6: Office Software
- Common Office Software Suites
- Google Office
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Office Online
- What is a Word Processor?
- A computer application for creating, modifying, and printing documents.
- Common Word Processing Features
- Move words or blocks of text within a document
- Automatic page numbering
- Automatic spell checker
- Merge mailing list names into a form letter
- Basic WP Document Tasks
- Open a document
- Easiest: Double-click on the file.
- Launch WP; Then click File > Open.
- Save a document
- Click File > Save.
- or, press Ctrl+S.
- Print a document
- Click File > Print.
- or, press Ctrl+P.
- Create a document
- Intermediate Tasks
- Save using different file formats, including TXT and PDF
- Edit and format a document using copy, paste, cut, spell check,
change fonts, size, style menus.
- Create headers, footers, page numbers.
- What is a Spreadsheet?
- Computer software used for storing and analyzing data in columns and rows.
- Was easiest using Google PicasaWeb... until they killed it.
- Think of these as word processing pages turned sideways
and projected onto a screen.
Week 7: Societal, Ethical & Safety Issues
- What is a Hacker?
- A smoker with a chronic cough?
- An electronics tinkerer?
- The proper term for a black hat hacker is a "cracker", like a safe-cracker.
- People who use those same tech skills to fight cybercrime are called white hat hackers.
- Choose secure passwords
- Your mother's maiden name isn't secure!
- Don't click on untrusted e-mail links
- They frequently use Phishing tactics to bait or trick you into revealing your confidential information.
What is a Computer Virus?
- If it seems to good to be true...
- Pay attention to news reports for common scams in our area.
- Always request postal verification from telephone debt collectors.
- Check out a charity before you donate.
How to secure a PC running Windows
- One of several types of malicious software (malware) programs that can infect unprotected computers.
- They may corrupt files, steal private information, and/or display unwanted advertisements.
- Because virii are software, they can not damage hardware.
Browse With Care
- Obtain, install, and update a quality anti-virus programs.
- Obtain, install, and update one or more anti-spyware programs.
- Run Windows update
- Use the Adblock add-on under Firefox or Chrome
- Uninstall Flash & Java plugins
- Beware of pop-ups offering free music, games, or antivirus software
- Just because it has been published on the Internet doesn't mean it is legal to download.
- There are two types of computer users:
If your data is not important, don't make backups
If your data never changes, don't backup frequently
3-2-1 Backup Rule
- Those who make backups
- Those who wish they had made a backup
- 3 copies of anything you care about - Two isn't enough if it's important.
- 2 different formats - For example, CD/DVD + online backup service or external HDD + USB Drive
- 1 off-site backup - How will you get your memories back if there is a fire, flood, tornado, or thief? Backups must have geographic diversity.
- To mitigate power outages, buy a Smart Uninterruptible Power Supply
- Place a sticker on the UPS dated three years from the installation date reminding you to replace the battery.
Week 8: Portable computing
- What are the differences in mobile devices?
- Laptops run full versions of desktop grade software. They are expensive to maintain & difficult to upgrade.
- Tablets run touch-centric software and connect via Wi-Fi. Best suited for web browsing, e-mail and social media.
- Smart phones are tablets with added GPS & Cellular radios. Like Tablets, they are designed to wear out in 4 years.
- Wearables include watches and smart sneakers. They usually partner with a smart phone.
- What are popular mobile Operating Systems?
- Android by Google
- iOS by Apple
- Windows Mobile by Microsoft
- What is an App Store?
- An online directory of commercial and free mobile software applications.
- What is Social Media?
- Web-based and mobile applications that allow users to create content, publish it, and interact with each other.
- What are popular Social Media sites?
- Not MyFace
- Web cameras
- Any camera attached or built-in to a computing device can make video calls
- Google Hangouts
- How do I move files from a digital camera to my PC?
- Easiest: Buy a portable USB memory card reader; then drag and drop the photos
- Harder: Install the proprietary software that came on the CD-ROM, then connect the USB cable.
- Where do I go from here?
- Stay inquisitive!
- Review our class notes and your pre-test answers.
- See the "Tutorials for Beginners" section of our Newbie
- WPL Technology Classes
- Visit: http://www.wichitalibrary.org/Services/Pages/Technology-Classes.aspx
- Old way: http://wichita.evanced.info/signup/EventCalendar.aspx?df=list
- Click "Event Type", "All Event Types", then scroll so you can click on "Technology".
- Set the "Date" to list events in the next two months.
- Click the Search button.
- Tech Headlines
safely in bad weather
You can use free websites to find out when bad weather has made it unsafe to travel.
Real-time map of Wichita Snowplows
WICHway. - Wichita highway cameras and major accidents map
KanDrive Portal - Kansas road conditions and construction zones map
Full screen weather radar
WestarEnergy Outage Map
Contact the Instructor.
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