Computer Fundamental

Fundamental Computer designed to develop the basic computer
required in today's technological world. Basic computer is
no longer a nicety, but rather a necessity. As computers and software
have become more powerful, it seems almost human nature to want
the biggest and fastest toy one can afford. This course includes an
overview of many of the components of a computer including the
motherboard, disk drives, memory
and more. Interactive instructions
and presentations
are provided for downloading and updates,
software applications
from the Internet with the basics of files
and folders using the features of Computer and to create and save
a basic document, run multiple programs, use shortcuts and to
customize desktop.

What is Computer?
A computer is a device that accepts information (in the form of digitalized data) and manipulates it for some result based on a program or sequence of instructions on how the data is to be processed.
The following schematic diagram gives the layout of a Personal Computer (PC); most single user systems follow this general design:
IPO cycle [Input-Process-Output cycle]

Computer Generation
Development of is known as Generation of Computer. Development of computers is categorized into five Generation depending upon size, technology used, storage capacity , computing capacity etc.
Which is first computing Device?
The computing device you will be surprised to know that it was built 2600 years ago in China and is known as Abacus. In 1623 Wilhelm Schickard built the first mechanical calculator. Since his machine used techniques such as cogs and gears first developed for clocks, it was also called a 'calculating clock'. In 1642 Blaise Pascal created Pascaline and after 30 years of Pascaline Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz created another mechanical computing device in 1671.In the early 1820’s , Charles Xavier Thomas created the first successful, mass-produced mechanical calculator, known as Arithmometer, that could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. In 1822’s Charles Babbage designed a calculating machine called Difference engine. In 1835 planned to design first programmable calculating machine named Analytical Engine .This machine was incomplete until his death in 1871. In 1880-90 Herman Hollerith invented a tabulating machine using punch cards and formed his company for manufacturing tabulating machine that is known as IBM now days.
All this development of computing devices is known as zeroth Generation of Computer.
Generation : First Generation
Technology Used : Vacuum Tubes.
Duration : 1944-1955
First Generation of computer was big on size with less computing power. Computer of this generation consume a lot of power produces a lot of heat, very big in size and weight in range of tons and there computing capacity was less then today’s calculators and they can only store a few hundred words.
Generation : Second Generation
Technology Used : Transistor
Duration : 1956-1965
Computer of this generation can actually be called computers. Computers of this generation were small in size (ie small as Refrigerator). They consume less electricity in comparison to 1st generation computers and there computing capacity was far better then 1st generation computers.
Generation : Third Generation
Technology Used : IC(Integrated Circuit)
Duration : 1966-1977
A major breakthrough was achieved in mid 60’s by migrating thousand of circuit on a single chip. This made computer small in size, increased their computing capacity decreased power consumption and thus resulted in enhanced computing experience. Computers of this generation were less expensive in comparison to 1st and 2nd generation computers and accessible for a common man.
Generation : Fourth Generation.
Technology Used : VLSI & ULSI.
Duration : 1978-1995.
Computers of this generation are very small in size, you can even put it on your desktop. Computers of this generation are designed to suite a small piece of space. They are less expensive and there computing and storage capacity is much more then other generation computer. They can process million of instruction per second and store billions of word in there memory. Its mode of operation was based on silicon of very large silicon integrated circuit (VLSI) and ultra large silicon integrated circuit.(ULSI).
Generation : Fifth Generation.
Duration : 1995- running
So how about a computer controlled house that doesn’t wait for your instruction to control the fire that occur in any part of house. Yes that is what fifth generation computers are going to have there own intelligence. Fifth generation is about Robots and more Intelligent Computers. Its about Artificial Intelligence. When practically implemented these computers will have there own intelligence, ability to make decision without any human interaction. Like ASIMO from Sony.

Computer Classification
Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows:
Personal computer:
A small, single-user computer based on a microprocessor. In addition to the microprocessor, a personal computer has a keyboard for entering data, a monitor for displaying information, and a storage device for saving data.
Personal computers first appeared in the late 1970s. One of the first and most popular personal computers was the Apple II, introduced in 1977 by Apple Computer. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, new models and competing operating systems seemed to appear daily. Then, in 1981, IBM entered the fray with its first personal computer, known as the IBM PC
The principal characteristics of personal computers are that they are single-user systems and are based on microprocessors. However, although personal computers are designed as single-user systems, it is common to link them together to form a network.
A powerful, single-user computer. A workstation is like a personal computer, but it has a more powerful microprocessor and a higher-quality monitor.
Workstations generally come with a large, high-resolution graphics screen, at least 64 MB (megabytes) of RAM, built-in network support, and a graphical user interface. Most workstations also have a mass storage device such as a disk drive, but a special type of workstation, called a diskless workstation, comes without a disk drive.
In terms of computing power, workstations lie between personal computers and minicomputers, although the line is fuzzy on both ends. High-end personal computers are equivalent to low-end workstations. And high-end workstations are equivalent to minicomputers.
Like personal computers, most workstations are single-user computers. However, workstations are typically linked together to form a local-area network, although they can also be used as stand-alone systems.
A multi-user computer capable of supporting from 10 to hundreds of users simultaneously.
A midsized computer. In size and power, minicomputers lie between workstations and mainframes. In the past decade, the distinction between large minicomputers and small mainframes has blurred, however, as has the distinction between small minicomputers and workstations. But in general, a minicomputer is a multiprocessing system capable of supporting from 4 to about 200 users simultaneously.
A powerful multi-user computer capable of supporting many hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously.
A very large and expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds, or even thousands, of users simultaneously. In the hierarchy that starts with a simple microprocessor at the bottom and moves to supercomputers at the top, mainframes are just below supercomputers. In some ways, mainframes are more powerful than supercomputers because they support more simultaneous programs. But supercomputers can execute a single program faster than a mainframe. The distinction between small mainframes and minicomputers is vague, depending really on how the manufacturer wants to market its machines.
An extremely fast computer that can perform hundreds of millions of instructions per second.
The fastest type of computer. Supercomputers are very expensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. For example, weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. Other uses of supercomputers include animated graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration.
The main difference between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs as fast as possible, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently.

Basic Computer Operation
Like all electronic devices, the computer has an ON-OFF switch to bring power into it. You will find either a pushbutton switch located on the front of the CPU housing, or a toggle switch located on the back of the CPU housing.
Chances are that the monitor and the computer are not powered by the same switch. It the monitor has an ON-OFF switch, it should be on before the CPU is brought to life. The same is true for any peripherals that the computer will be using. It is best to have them turned on so that the computer can find them as it runs through its start up instructions.
The operating system of a modern PC is very complex and may take over a minute or two to completely prepare itself for use. Once the computer has completed the startup procedure, it is ready to take orders from its! Most of what you will do with the computer after it starts can be accessed using the "Start" button at the lower left corner of the screen.
When you are ready to stop using the computer, you must take it through a shutdown procedure. Fortunately, this only involves selecting the "Start" button and choosing the lowest selection on the menu. . ."Shutdown". The following dialogue screen will appear:
Wait for the computer to complete its internal shutdown instructions before switching off the power.

Windows Desktop
Windows Desktop Items:
1. Start Button: Used to access program menu.
2. Quick Launch Toolbar: Consist quick launch button for various application.(Optional)
3. Taskbar: Display list of tasks currently running.
4. System Tray: Display icon for tasks like: Network Connectivity, System Clock etc.
5. Desktop ICONS :

Hardware, Software & Firmware
Computer Hardware
Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry, as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data, which are "soft" in the sense that they are readily created, modified or erased on the computer. It provides a platform for software to execute.
The hardware are the parts of computer itself including the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and related microchips and micro-circuitry, keyboards, monitors, case and drives (floppy, hard, CD, DVD, optical, tape, etc...). Other extra parts called peripheral components or devices include mouse, printers, modems, scanners, digital cameras and cards (sound, color, and video) etc...
A Personal Computer Hardware consists of various things:
1. System board (most often called Motherboard) with slots for expansion cards and holding parts including:
• BIOS(Basic Input Output System)
• Buses
2. Power supply [SMPS: Switch mode power Supply] - a case that holds a transformer, voltage control, and (usually) a cooling fan.
3. Storage controllers - that control Hard Disk , floppy disk, CD-ROM and other drives; the controllers sit directly on the motherboard (on-board) or on expansion cards.
4. Video display controller that produces the output for the computer display. This will either be built into the motherboard or attached in it's own separate slot (PCI, PCI-E or AGP), requiring a Graphics Card.
5. Computer Bus
6. Input Devices
7. Output Devices.
The term software describes the programs that run on your system. This includes your computer operating system and other computer programs which run. Software is written in a computer language (such as Basic, C, Java, or others) by programmers. The computer language is in a text format and can be read by a person although if you do not understand the structure and rules of the language you may not understand it very well. Once a program is written, an operation is performed on it which is called compiling. Compiling is the process of changing the textual written language into a binary language which can be understood by the computer.
Definition: In computing, Firmware is software that is embedded in a hardware device.
The term "Firmware" was originally coined to indicate a functional replacement for hardware on low cost microprocessors. Firmware in many devices can now be updated without the need for additional hardware, often through the use of vendor-provided software.
For example: The BIOS [Basic Input Output System] found in Personal Computers;

Input device
Input Devices are used to input [feed /provide] data to computer. Depending upon data to be input, we use different input device. Some input devices are:
• Computer mouse
• Keyboard
• Trackball (or roller ball)
• Joystick
• Light pen
• Touchpad
• Joystick
• Yoke (aircraft)
• Image scanner
• 3D scanner
A mouse (plural mice or mouses) is a computer pointing device; it is designed to detect two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface and consists of a small case, to be held under one of the user's hands, and one or more buttons. It sometimes features other elements, such as "wheels", which allow the user to perform various system-dependent operations, or extra buttons or features can add more control or dimensional input. The mouse's motion typically translates into the motion of a pointer on a display.
A Keyboard is a basic input device for a computer. Keyboards are designed for the input of text and characters and also to control the operation of a computer. In normal usage, the keyboard is used to type text into word processor, text editor, or any other textbox. A keyboard is also used to type commands in a computer. Under Linux, MS-DOS and some older versions of Windows, Ctrl+Alt+Del performs either a 'cold' or 'warm' reboot.
Track Ball
A trackball is a pointing device consisting of a ball housed in a socket containing sensors to detect rotation of the ball about two axes—like an upside-down mouse with an exposed protruding ball. The user rolls the ball with the thumb, fingers, or the palm of the hand to move a cursor. Large tracker balls are common on CAD workstations for easy precision. Before the advent of the touchpad, small trackballs were common on portable computers, where there may be no desk space on which to run a mouse. Some small thumb balls clip onto the side of the keyboard and have integral buttons with the same function as mouse buttons.
Touch Pad
A touchpad is an input device commonly used in laptop computers. They are used to move the cursor, using motions of the user's finger. They are a substitute for a computer mouse. Touchpads vary in size but are rarely made larger than 20 square centimeters (about 3 square inches). They can also be found in PDA [Personal Digital Assistant] . Touchpads commonly operate by sensing the capacitance of a finger, or the capacitance between sensors. It is a relative motion device.
Touchpads are primarily used in portable laptop computers, because the usual mouse device requires a flat table adjacent to the keyboard not always available away from the office. But touchpads have some advantages over the mouse, particularly that the pad's position is fixed relative to the keyboard, and very short finger movements are required to move the cursor across the display screen. Some computer users prefer them for such reasons, and desktop keyboards with built-in touchpads are available from specialist manufacturers.
Joy Stick
A joystick is a personal computer peripheral or general control device consisting of a handheld stick that pivots about one end and transmits its angle in two or three dimensions to a computer.
Joysticks are often used to control games, and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer.
Joystick elements:
1. Stick
2. Base
3. Trigger
4. Extra buttons
5. Autofire switch
6. Throttle
7. Hat Switch (POV Hat)
8. Suction Cup
Light Pen
It is a input device in the form of a light-sensitive wand used in conjunction with the computer's CRT monitor. It allows the user to point to displayed objects, or draw on the screen, in a similar way to a touch screen but with greater positional accuracy. A light pen can work with any CRT-based monitor.
In computing, a scanner is a device that analyzes an image (such as a photograph, printed text, or handwriting) or an object (such as an ornament) and converts it to a digital image.
Types of Scanner
Hand scanner
Flatbed scanner
Drum scanners
3D scanner
A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly color. The collected data can then be used to construct digital, three dimensional models that are used in a wide variety of applications. These devices are used extensively by industry in the production of such things as movies and video games. Other applications include industrial design and prototyping, computer vision and documentation of cultural artifacts.

Special Input Devices
Bar Code Readers
A bar code is a specialized code represented by sets of parallel bars of varying thickness and separation. This is used for fast identification of items with an optimal scanner. The optical scanner is called a bar code reader. The bar code reader is a photoelectric scanner that read the bar code.
Magnetic Data Entry
MICR Reader
There are two technologies in magnetic data entry. A magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) technology reads iron oxide ink preprinted or encoded on checks, deposit slips or on documents. An MICR reader electronically captures data, by first magnetizing the magnetic ink characters and then sensing the signal.
Magnetic Stripe Reader
Another form of magnetic data entry is the magnetic stripe technology that makes computers read credit cards. The dark magnetic stripe on the back of credit cards is the iron oxide coating. A magnetic stripe reader reads this magnetic stripe.
Voice and Video Data Input Devices
A mike can be used to input sound (user voice etc) into computer and can be used with voice based application or record sound and in varity of ways where there is a need of sound.
Digital Camera
A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store photographs electronically instead of using photographic film like conventional cameras.
Web Camera
A webcam is a real-time camera whose images can be accessed using the World Wide Web, instant messaging, or a PC video calling application. Normally used in video chatting or video calling etc.

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