Introduction to Computers

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1 Introduction to Computers Parts of a computer Monitor CPU 3 Keyboard Mouse 3 4 Monitor The monitor displays the content and operations of the computer. It is the visual display of what the computer is doing. CPU The Central Processing Unit is where the internal components of the computer are stored. It is the heart and brain of your computer. Keyboard The keyboard is an input device allowing you to communicate with the computer. Not only can you type words and numbers, but also control your computerʼs actions. Mouse The mouse is another input device that allows you to communicate your intent and actions to the computer.

2 The Keyboard Keyboards come in many different shapes and sizes, and the exact layout of the keys can very. However, once you learn the basic layout, youʼll be able to use any keyboard Escape The Escape (Esc) key allows you to stop a function or action. Tab The Tab key is primarily used to create indents in writing programs. However it is also very useful when filling out a form online. The tab key allows you to switch to the next field. Ctrl, Alt and Shift The Control (Ctrl), Alternate (Alt) and Shift keys are designed to work in combination with other keys as shortcuts. Alphanumeric Keys The main part of the keyboard includes letters, numbers, and the space bar. Backspace The Backspace button erases the character to the left of the cursor. Enter The Enter key carries out commands. For example, while on the internet, you can type in a website address and then press Enter to go to the site. Cursor Control The cursor control keys include Insert, Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down. However, the most useful key is Delete, which erases the character to the right of the cursor. Numeric Keypad The numeric keypad resembles a calculator keypad. Some people prefer to type in numbers this way.

3 The Mouse The mouse is a handheld device that allows you to communicate with the computer. Using a mouse, you can point and click on items displayed on the screen to open, select, move or otherwise change them. Holding the Mouse The most important thing to remember is to choose a position that is comfortable and convenient for you. You may have to play around with different positions, before you find the right one. To try the standard mouse grip lay your index finger on the left button and your middle or ring finger on right button. Select and open. Options menu. Left and Right Buttons The left and right mouse buttons have different functions. The left mouse button is used for selecting and opening items. This is the button you will use most often. The right mouse button is used less often and generally opens an options menu. 3 3

4 Basic Mouse Skills Single Click Clicking once with the left mouse button is called a single click. Single clicks are used to select options from menus, position a cursor, or click a hyperlink. Double Click Clicking twice with the left mouse button is called a double click. Double clicks are mainly used to open programs from the desktop. Double clicking takes practice, as you have to click quickly without moving the mouse. If double clicking is too difficult, you can also click once on an icon to highlight and then press Enter on your keyboard to open the application. Right Click Clicking once with the right mouse button is called a right click. Right clicks are used to open options menus. Within an options menu, left click to select an option. Click and Drag To click and drag, press and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse. When the cursor reached the desired location, release the left mouse button. Clicking and dragging is used to highlight text or to move objects around the screen. Understanding the cursor The position of the mouse is represented on-screen by a cursor. The cursor takes on different appearances based on the available options. It is important to be familiar with a few of the basic cursors. select I - beam Hyperlink Insertion Point The arrow pointer is used to choose and higlight commands, programs, files, or folders. This is the only cursor with which you should double click. The capital ʻIʼ pointer is used whenever text that you can edit or select is present, such as in word processing programs and search boxes. The hand-shaped cursor indicated the presence of a hyperlink. Clicking on text or an image with the hand-shaped cursor will open a webpage. The insertion point is a vertical blinking line. It tells the Busy The hourglass cursor means that the computer is busy so the user should not touch the keyboard or click the mouse until it disappears. 4 4

5 More resources for using the mouse Getting comfortable with the mouse is one of the most difficult and also one of the most important computer skills. Below are internet resources that help you build skill with a mouse. You can try them at home or bring this handout into the library and ask for help. Harware vs. software All computers consist of two basic parts: hardware and software. So far, we have only looked at hardware, the physical components of the computer. Equally important is software, the instructions that tell the hardware what to do. Examples of software include programs fro playing games, searching the internet, and writing a document. Anything you buy for your computer can be classified as either hardware or software. hardware software motherboard Word processor mouse Web browser 5 5

6 Desktops vs. laptops The difference between a desktop and laptop computer is their portability. A desktop computer is split into its components. A laptop computer is smaller and integrates the monitor, CPU, and keyboard into one machine. Mac vs. PC Mac, macintosh, or apple refers to computers designed and produced by the company Apple. The term PC originally referred to any personal computer, but also means a computer that is not made by Apple. PC includes Dell, IBM, and many other brands of computers. 6 6

7 The Desktop The desktop is your work surface. It is the screen you see once your computer has finished booting up and you are ready to get started. The start menu is a button in the bottom left corner of the desktop thatcan be used to access all the programs and content on your computer The small pictures are called icons. They are shortcuts to programs on your computer that allow you to access the internet, write a document, or play a game. Double-click icons to start a program. The blue bar across the bottom of the screen is the task bar. Here you can see the clock in the far right and also what programs are open on your computer. When a program is open, it usually appears on your desktop as information within a box. This box is called a window. window icon task bar start menu 7 7

8 Open a program There are two primary ways to open up a program. Double-click on the programʼs icon. If you have trouble double-clicking, click once on the icon, then hit Enter on the keyboard. Choose the program from the start menu. Click once on the button that says Start in the bottom left corner of the Desktop. A menu will appear above the taskbar. Click once on All Programs or Programs to view the programs available on your computer and then click on the program you wish to open. start menu 8 8

9 Close a program There are two primary ways to close a program. Click once on the white X in the red box that appears in the upper right corner of any program window. The other buttons are also important. The button farthest to the left that looks like a single white line in a blue box is the minimize button. This hides your program as a tab in the taskbar. The window will no longer appear on your desktop, but can still be accessed by clicking on its name in the task bar. Minimizing a program window does not close the program. The button in the center is called the maximize button. It expands the window to fill the entire screen or contracts it to is normal size. minimize close maximize Choose file from the menu at the top of the program window. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose Exit or Close. file exit 9 9

10 Save a File Select the file menu and choose save as. save vs. save as save as: use this when saving a document for the first time or to save it in a different place on the computer. Save: use this to save changes to a document. A dialog box will appear. In the field next to File name, type the name of your document. Click on the save button in the bottom right corner. save File name 0 0

11 Troubleshooting FAQ Can I leave my computer on all the time? Generally, yes. If you use your computer frequently throughout the day then you will want to keep it on. You may want to at least turn your monitor off to prevent screen burn. However, if you are on your computer for an hour or two per day, then shutting your computer off when you are finished is better, What should I do when everything freezes and the mouse and the keyboard donʼt work? First, make sure the mouse and keyboard did not come unplugged from the back of the computer. If that is not the problem, try pressing the ESC key in the upper left corner of the keyboard. You can also press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to open the Task Manager. Click on the program that is not responding and then click on END TASK. If nothing seems to help then you will have to re-start your computer. The computer is on, but the screen is blank. Check to be sure the monitor is on, plugged in, and connected to the computer. If the computer has not been in use for several minutes a screensaver may have started. Jiggle the mouse or press the space bar to stop the screensaver. Suddenly while I was typing everything came out in capital letters. You probably pressed the Caps Lock key on the keyboard by mistake. Press it again to turn of the caps lock. Suddenly while I was typing the words I am yyping are replacing other words. You probably pressed the Insert key by mistake. Press it again to turn off Insert and stop typing over existing text.

12 Safety tips Donʼt touch the screen. The oils from your fingers will leave fingerprints that are hard to remove. Keep drinks and food away from the computer. One cup of coffee or can of pop can ruin your keyboard. Keep magnets away from your computer. Magnets can destroy your hard drive. Use a surge protector. Plug all your computer components into a surge protector. Then plug the surge protector into the wall outlet. The surge protector will protect your computer against power surges that can short out the system. Do not unplug any components until the computer is turned off and unplugged. This includes turning off and unplugging your surge protector. This is to prevent electric shock. Protect yourself from computer viruses. A computer virus is a program that was written to intentionally harm your computer. Viruses are spread through or other infected files, sometimes just from visiting a webpage. You can protect yourself by avoiding suspicious s from people or organizations you donʼt know, scanning files before downloading, and installing anti-virus software. Protect yourself from spyware and adware. Spyware and Adware are small files or programs that track your internet surging and send that information back to another website. The programs slow your machine down and make it unstable. You can adjust your browser setting to reject the cookies that transfer these files or programs. There are also programs built specifically to protect your program from spyware and Adware.

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