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ITS 080 Lecture Notes 01


Computer and Internet Basics Unit A



Define Computers

Explore Computer Functions

Categorize Computers

Examine Personal Computer Systems

Explore data, information, and files

Introduce Application and System Software

Define Internet Basics

Connect to the Internet

Understand World Wide Web Basics

Use Browsers

Understand E-mail Basics


A Computer is a device that

accepts input

processes data

stores data

produces output


Computer system consists of:

Hardware: microprocessor

Peripheral devices: input and output

Software: programs, applications


Computer Network

Two or more computers that are connected and/or share data and/or programs

OR computer connected to devices

Computer Functions

Input - Words, symbols, numbers, sound, pictures, program instructions

Process - Program calculates, sorts modifies data, Uses microprocessor or CPU

Output - Results of processing Reports, graphs, documents, pictures Printer or monitor

Store- Memory is temporary holding area (RAM) Storage is permanent (disk)


Categorizing Computers






What is the difference between?

Less Powerful Computers

More Powerful Computers


How Are More Powerful Computers Used?


Supplies network computers with data


Large, expensive, powerful, many users

Reliability, data security, central control important


Fastest and most powerful


Computer System is

Computer + input devices + output devices + storage devices


System Unit

Power Supply

Storage Devices

Circuit Boards


Input/Output Devices






Speakers/sound card


Storage Devices

Floppy disk drive

Hard disk drive

CD-ROM drive

DVD drive

CD writer


Data vs. Information

Data (symbols) used by computers

Information (meaningful) used by people






Binary number system to define electronic data

0 or 1


Byte (8 bits)



Collection of data on a storage medium

Data file (passive)

Executable file (active)

Filename and extension\


System Software

Helps the computer monitor itself in order to function efficiently

Operating system

Master controller of all computer activities

Popular operating systems

PCs: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS

Handhelds: Windows CE and Palm OS

Servers: Linus and UNIX



Microprocessor + Operating system

Mac and PC compatibility is an issue

Apple computer = Mac platform

Original IBM computer = Windows or PC platform


Application Software

Designed to carry out a particular task



Internet Basics (Cyberspace)

Internet is a collection of local, regional, national and international computer networks that are linked together to exchange data and distribute processing tasks.


Internet Terminology

Backbone: defines main Internet routes

Constructed and maintained by major telecommunications companies


Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol


Internet Terminology

Server software

IP Address: unique number for each Internet computer

Packets: small chunks of data ready to travel the Internet

Router: helps send along the packets to correct destination


How can you use the Internet Resources?


Modem Internet Connections

Dial-up connection via modem (56K)

Cable modems

Network card and cable modem required

Always-on and 25 times faster than dial-up


Faster Internet Connections

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)

64K or 128K

Always-on and expensive

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and xDSL

Up to 125 times faster than dialup

DSS (Digital Satellite Service)


Need proximity to a telephone switching station


Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Provides internet access to businesses, organizations and individuals

Provides telecommunications equipment

User ID and password required

Connects you to backbone

Email account monthly fee

Should have local access telephone numbers


World Wide Web Basics

Files interconnected via hypertext

Web pages make up a web site

Home Page

Links or hyperlinks

Web servers


World Wide Web Basics


No spaces and Case sensitive

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

.htm or .html file extension


Using Browsers

Can type URLs

HTML tags tell browser how to display web page data

Back, forward and stop buttons

Setting a home page

Print options

History list

Favorites and bookmarks

Edit and Find


Name some Search Engines


E-mail Basics

Account = Mailbox



ASCII vs HTML format



E-mail System

E-mail servers

Store-and-forward technology


POP (Post Office Protocol) used via ISP

IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol)

Web-based like Hotmail



Power up

ROM runs bootstrap program

POST (Power-on self-test)

Identifies and checks peripherals

ROM loads operating system from hard disk into RAM

Checks configuration and customization startup routines

Safe Mode if this process is not successful