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Computer Glossary


What is a Pc ?
A PC is your Personal Computer. You can look at your computer in two basic ways: from a physical viewpoint and from a functional viewpoint. The physical viewpoint uses terms for parts that you can point to for example to a power supply , an adapter board and a cable. The functional viewpoint uses terms such as CPU, interleaved memory, and serial and parallel devices, which relate to how the computer operates. These terms are fairly complex and focus more on the bits, bytes and electronic of the computer systems.

What is a software ?
Software is a collection of command that help users to communicate with the computer or help the computer perform specific tasks for them. Without any type of software the computer would be of no use.

What is a hardware ?
Hardware is best described as a device that is physically connected to your computer or something that can be physically touched. A CD-ROM, Monitor, Printer, and video card are all examples of computer hardware. Without any hardware your computer would not exist and software would have nothing to run on. The image to the right is of a web cam, an example of an external hardware peripheral that allows users to make basic videos, transmit videos of themselves over the Internet, and take pictures.

Main Components of a typical desktop computer:

Central Processing Unit(CPU): The "microprocessor” brain of the computer system is called the central processing unit. Everything that a computer does is overseen by the CPU.

Memory: This is very fast storage used to hold data. It has to be fast because it connects directly to the microprocessor. There are several specific types of memory in a computer.

RAM(Random Access Memory):It is used to temporarily store information that the computer is currently working with.

ROM(Read Only Memory): A permanent type of memory storage used by the computer for important data that does not change.

BIOS(Basic input/output system): A type of ROM that is used by the computer to establish basic communications when the computer is first turned on caching-The storing of frequently used data in extremely fast RAM that connects directly to the CPU.

Virtual Memory: space on harddisk used to temporarily store data and swap it in and out of RAM as needed.

Mother Board: This is the main circuit board that all of the other internal components connect to. The CPU and memory are usually on the motherboard.

Hard Disk: This is large-capacity permanent storage used to hold information such as programs and documents.

AGP(Accelerated Graphics Port):It is a very high speed connection used by the graphic card to interface with the computer.

Sound Card: This is used by the computer to record and play audio by converting analog sound in to digital information and back again.

Graphics Card: This translates image data from the computer in to a format that can be displayed by the monitor.

Common Input–Out Put Devices :

Keyboard: Generally used to type or select an option on the screen. It is an input device.

Mouse: It is an input device which is used to point and select some option on VDU.

Vdu(Visual Display Unit): It is an output device where the output of any command is displayed ie. The screen.

Printer: Is the output device .Different types of printer.
1. Dot matrix printer
2. Inkjet Printer
3. Laser Printer etc.

Floppy Disk Drives: It is a common form of removable storage, floppy disk are extremely inexpensive and easy to save information.

Scanner: It is an input device. A scanner scans an image and transform the image to ASCII Graphics . These codes can be edited, manipulated & than printed.

Cd-Rom Drive: It is an input device. To read a Cd-Rom disk a Cd-Rom drive is required . One can only read from it and cannot write on it.

Dvd-Rom: DVD-Rom is similar to Cd-Rom but is capable of holding much more information.

Cd-Writer: It is input device. To write from other CD to your CD , writer is used.

Display Adaptor: The electronic work behind information of images on the screen is handled by the vision controller. The video controller along with the memory that holds the display data are together referred to as the PC which can represent data on the screen in two modes. One is the text mode on which only text or individual characters can be displayed . The other is graphic mode, Where graphic can be shown by building up a drawing made of dots.

Different Connections : Ports

Parallel: This port is commonly used to connect a printer.

Serial: This port is typically used to connect an external modem, mouse etc.

USB(Universal Serial Bus): This port is becoming most popular external connection, USB ports offer power and versatility and are incredibly easy to use.

Connections Internet/ Network:

Modem: This is the standard method of connecting to the Internet.

LAN(Local Area Network) card: This is used by many computers, particularly those in an Ethernet office network to connected to each other.

Cable modem: Some people now use the cable –television system in their home to connect to the internet.

DSL(Digital Subscriber Line) modem: This is a high speed connection that works over a standard telephone line.

VDSL (Very high bit- rate DSL) modem: A newer variation of DSL , VDSL requires that your phone line have fiber optic cables.

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