IT Essentials I v. 3Module 1 Information Technology Basics 2 © 2004, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Module 1 Information Technology Basics 1.1 - Getting Started in IT 1.2 – Windows Desktop Environment 1.3 – Basic Features of Windows 1.4 – Overview of Software Applications 1.5 – Math for a Digital Age 1.6 – Laboratory Safety and Tools
Computer Systems and Programs • A computer system consists of hardware and software components. • Hardware is the physical equipment such as the case, floppy disk drives, keyboard, monitor, cables, speakers, and printers. • Software describes the programs that are used to operate the computer system. Computer software, also called programs, instructs the computer on how to operate.
Computer Systems and Programs • The two types of software are operating systems and applications. • Application software accepts input from the user and then manipulates it to achieve the output. • Examples of applications include word processors, database programs, spreadsheets, web browsers, web development tools, and graphic design tools.
Computer Systems and Programs • An Operating System (OS) is a program that manages all the other programs in a computer. It also provides the operating environment with the applications that are used to access resources on the computer. • Examples of operating systems include The Disk Operating System (DOS), Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Linux, Mac OS X, DEC VMS, and IBM OS/400.
Computer Systems and Programs • Operating systems are platform-specific. • The Windows operating system (3.1, 95, 98, 2000, or NT) is designed for use with a PC. • The Mac OS will only work with Macintosh computers. • PC and Macintosh are called platforms. A platform is the computer system on which programs can run.
Computer Types • There are two computer types, Mainframes and PCs. • Mainframes are powerful machines that allow companies to automate manual tasks, shorten the time to market for new products, and run financial models that enhance profitability, etc.
Computer Types • The mainframe model consists of centralized computers. End users interface with the computers via "dumb terminals". These dumb terminals are low cost devices that usually consist of a monitor, keyboard, and a communication port to talk to the mainframe. • At its peak in the late 70s and early 80s, the mainframe market was dominated by IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation. These high-powered machines, however, came with high price tags.
Computer Types • Advantages of mainframes: • Scalability, the ability to add more users as the need arises • Centralized management, Centralized backup • Low cost desktop devices (dumb terminals) • High level of security • Disadvantages of mainframes: • Character based applications • Lack of vendor operating system standards and interoperability in multi-vendor environments • Expensive, with a high cost for set up, maintenance, and initial equipment • Potential single point of failure (non-fault tolerant configurations) • Timesharing systems, which means that there is a potential for a bottleneck
Computer Types • With the Personal Computer (PC), the Graphical User Interface (GUI) gained wide introduction to users. • As PC technology has improved, the power of the PC has risen to the point that it can perform enterprise level functions.
Computer Types • Advantages of PC computing: • Standardized hardware • Standardized, highly interoperable operating systems • GUI interface • Low cost devices (when compared to mainframes), low cost of entry • Distributed computing • User flexibility • High productivity applications
Computer Types • Disadvantages of PC computing: • Desktop computers cost, on average, five times as much as dumb terminals • No centralized backup • No centralized management • Security risks can be greater (physical, data access, and virus security) • High management and maintenance costs, although they are generally cheaper to maintain than mainframes
Connecting Computer Systems • A PC is a standalone device, meaning that it is independent of all other computers. • Businesses, government offices, and schools need to exchange information and share equipment and resources. To do this, a “networking” was developed to connect computers. • A network is simply a group of computers that are connected so that their resources can be shared.
Connecting Computer Systems • Networks are not limited to just a building or school campus. Networks can be an entire school district or all of the offices in a company. • A school, for example, is connected to a main district office, as are all the other schools in a district. • The Internet is the ultimate network, connecting millions of smaller networks.
Connecting Computer Systems • Most connections are made by cable, but wireless connections are beginning to gain popularity. Cable can carry voice, data, or both. • Homes may have modems that plug into telephone jacks. The telephone line carries voice signals when the telephone is plugged into the jack, but carries data signals (encoded to appear as if they were voice) when the modem is connected. • Other faster connections to the Internet are available, such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable, and T1, T3, or E1 lines.
Birth of the Internet • In the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recognized the need to establish communications links between major U.S. military installations. • The motivation was to maintain communications if a nuclear war resulted in the mass destruction and breakdown of traditional communication channels.
Birth of the Internet • Throughout the 1970s, more nodes or access points were added, both domestically and abroad. • In 1983 the ARPANET was split, and Military Network (MILNET), which was integrated with the Defense Data Network (DDN), took 68 of the 113 existing nodes. • The DDN had been created the previous year. The Domain Name System (DNS) was introduced in 1984, providing a way to map "friendly" host names to IP addresses. • In 1984, there were more than 1,000 host computers on the network.
Birth of the Internet • During the last half of the 1980s the National Science Foundation (NSF) created supercomputer centers in the United States at Princeton, the University of California, the University of Illinois, and Cornell University. • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was also created during this time. • By 1987, there were 10,000 hosts on the network, and by 1989, that number increased to over 100,000.
Birth of the Internet • In 1990 ARPANET evolved into the Internet. • The National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) backbone was upgraded to T3 speed (that is, 44.736 Mbps) • The Internet Society (ISOC) was formed, and in 1992 more than 1 million hosts existed on the Internet. • By 1995, online advertising had caught on, online banking had arrived, and even a pizza could be ordered over the Internet.
Birth of the Internet • In the late 1990’s, streaming audio and video, "push" technologies, and Java and ActiveX scripting took advantage of higher performance connectivity that was available at lower and lower prices. • Today, there are millions of sites that exist on the World Wide Web, with millions of host computers participating in this great linking.
The Cost of Technology: More and More for Less and Less • The cost of the increasingly sophisticated technology has fallen. • For under $1,000 users can buy a computer system that is capable of doing much more, and doing it better and faster than the $500,000 mainframe version of 20 years ago. • Internet access at speeds equivalent to T1 is available through Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or cable modem for U.S. $30 to $40 per month, and prices are falling.
Starting, Shutting Down, and Restarting Microsoft Windows • Starting a computer is also referred to as booting the system. A "cold boot" is performed when the PC is turned on using the power button. At the end of this process, a single beep tone will sound and the Windows operating system desktop will be displayed. • Restarting a PC that has already been powered up is referred to as a "warm boot". This can be achieved by pressing the reset button on the front panel.
Starting, Shutting Down, and Restarting Microsoft Windows • To shut down the computer, click on the Start button on the lower left corner of the Windows Taskbar and select Shut Down. • Or press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and click Shut Down from the menu that displays.
Starting, Shutting Down, and Restarting Microsoft Windows • Do not turn the computer off until a message displays indicating that it is safe to do so. Important data that is stored in memory while the system is running needs to be written to the hard disk before turning off the computer. • It is important not to power off the computer with the power switch. Most operating systems like Macintosh and Windows have a specific method for turning the system off.
Windows Explorer • Windows Explorer file manager in Windows 95/98/NT4/2000 provides the ability to create, copy, move and delete files and folders. • Explorer displays the hierarchy of folders stored on the hard disk or other storage device in the left window. When a user clicks on a folder in the left Explorer window, its contents will display in the right window.
Windows Explorer • Explorer can be accessed in Windows 2000 by choosing Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer, from the Windows desktop • With Windows 9X (95, 98, and Millennium), choose Start > Programs > Windows Explorer from the menu that displays. • Another way to open Windows Explorer is to right-click on Start and select Explore.
The Desktop • The main display screen in Windows is known as the desktop. • The Windows desktop has remained consistent for most versions of Windows including 95, 98, 98 SE, Millennium (ME), NT, and 2000.
The Desktop • Clicking on the My Computer icon gives access to all the installed drives. • My Documents is a shortcut to personal, or frequently accessed files, and Network Neighborhood allows the users to see neighboring computers in a networked environment.
The Desktop • Located at the bottom of the desktop is the taskbar. • The taskbar contains the Start button, quick launch buttons, and the clock. • The Start button displays the Start menu. This menu allows access to virtually every program and function on the PC. • Quick launch buttons are similar to desktop icons as they are also shortcuts to applications.
Working with Icons • Icons are shortcuts to programs or files on the computer desktop that improve navigation. • To create a shortcut (icon), right-click the program or file (in Windows Explorer) and select Create Shortcut. Explorer can be accessed in Windows 2000 by choosing Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer, from the Windows desktop.
Working with Icons • With Windows 9x (95, 98, and Millennium), choose Start > Programs > Windows Explorer from the menu that displays.
Working with Icons • To move the created icon or any desktop icon to another position on the desktop, click on it and then drag it to the desired location. • The icon becomes semi-transparent while being dragged. • To restore the icon to full intensity, click on an empty part of the desktop.
Working with Icons • If the icon does not move, disable the Auto Arrange function on the desktop. • Right-click on an empty space of the desktop and choose Arrange Icons. • Uncheck the Auto Arrange selection.
Working with Icons • To select several icons at once to move, hold down the Ctrl key and click on all the icons that are to be moved. • Drag the group of icons to the new location and let go of the mouse button. • Unselect the icons by clicking on an empty part of the desktop.
Working with Icons • Rename icons and folders by clicking on the name once and then typing in a new name.
Recognizing an Application Window • Application windows typically have a title bar, tool bar, menu bar, status bar, and scroll bar. • WordPad will be used to demonstrate the features common to most Windows applications. • WordPad, or Notepad on some Windows computers, is a word processing program located in the Start > Programs > Accessories directory of a Windows environment.
Recognizing an Application Window • Title Bar – Displays the name of the document and application. In this example, it is "Document - WordPad". • Also located in the title bar are the Minimize, Maximize, and Exit buttons that will be discussed in this chapter. • Menu Bar – Contains menus for manipulating the document, such as creating new documents, copying text, inserting images, and so on.
Recognizing an Application Window • Status Bar – Located at the bottom of the window, the status bar shows useful information, such as page number, whether the file is being saved, how to access the Help feature, etc. • Scroll Bar – Windows may have scroll bars that appear on the right side, the bottom of the window, or both. • Clicking on the arrows on either end of the scroll bar moves the images or text through the window.
Resizing a Desktop Window • Windows that display applications like WordPad can have sizes ranging from very tiny to full screen. • To resize a window, move the cursor to any corner or side of the application window. • A double-headed arrow will appear. Click and drag on it to change the window size.
Cursors • There are many types of arrows, pointers, cursors, and other items, that can be used to navigate around in Windows. • To modify mouse pointers, go to My Computer > Control Panel > Mouse > Pointer.
Switching Between Windows • When more than one window is open, the user can switch between windows by pressing Alt +Tab. • While holding down the Alt button, keep pressing Tab to find the desired window.
Viewing a Computer's Basic System Information • To view information about the system, go to the Start menu and choose Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information. • These steps are similar for Windows 2000 and Windows 98/ME.
Viewing a Computer's Basic System Information • The window that opens gives the Operating System (OS) name and version, the system manufacturer and model, the processor type and manufacturer, the BIOS version, and the memory.
Viewing a Computer's Basic System Information • This information can be saved as a text file by selecting Action from the toolbar and Save As Text File (When using Windows 2000). • Where the file is to be saved can be specified.
Viewing a Computer's Basic System Information • This shows the System Info.txt file in the directory. • Double-click on the file System Info.txt. The document will open in Notepad text editor.