1.The student will discover the logistics in setting up a computer and attaching the appropriate hardware.

2.The student will go over different programs that are vital for the safety and proper maintenance of a computer.

3. The student will examine different procedures involved in caring for a computer and keeping it well maintained.


• Are one of the most important inventions in the 21 st century

• Have gradually been increasing in complexity, processing speed and capability, while decreasing in size

• Are important to maintain and properly setup so the computer and information contained on it stay preserved


• Run best when set up in a clean, cool environment

– only a light cleaning is necessary

• Should be placed near an electrical outlet for the power supply

• Should be placed near a phone or network outlet

– if a phone line or Ethernet connection is required for Internet access

• Should be placed on a stable desk area with plenty of room for attachments such as a printer


• Are set up in the following manner

– Connect the computer’s main power cord from the computer tower to an electrical outlet

• laptops have batteries, but will run more efficiently when plugged into an outlet

• most of today’s computers have color coded cords for an easier setup

Computer tower: The box like object that houses the actual computer


• Is the next item to be setup

• Is considered an output device

– this is because it translates what comes out of the computer to the computer user

• Must be first connected to the computer tower

– the most common method is through a VGA port

• both ends of the VGA cord will be identical along with small screws to hold it in place

VGA port: (Video Graphics Array) most common port for connecting monitors, both ends of the cord are usually identical


• May require the computer user to use a

DVI connector

– this is a more modern version of a VGA port

– DVI connectors are also common on high end HDTV’s

• Requires a separate power source than the computer tower

DVI Connector: (Digital Visual Interface) a more modern version for connecting computer monitors


• May require a separate power source aside from the computer monitor

• Are connected to a computer tower using a small DCIN wire

– this wire will have identical ends

– plug one into the speakers and the other into the computer tower

DCIN wire: Computer cord with identical ends that connects the computer’s speakers to the computer tower


• Is obtained through connecting your computer with an Ethernet cable

– in some cases your connection will be obtained through a phone cord

– this depends on your Internet service provider

– in both cases the Internet cord plugs directly into the wall

• Might be obtained through a router

Ethernet cable: Connects a computer to the Internet

Router: Device that splits up an Internet connection so multiple users are allowed to connect to the Internet 9

• Is completed with the mouse and keyboard attachments

– these are both considered input devices

– these devices are connected to the computer through USB connectors

• the computer tower should have a diagram depicting what connections goes into the appropriate USB port

USB connector: (Universal Serial Bus) connects the mouse and keyboard to the computer, a thin rectangular plug

Input devices: Devices used to give the computer input on what functions it should perform


• Requires many different sources of power

– a power strip or power bar maybe necessary in order to have enough outlets to connect all hardware

– some power strips come with accessories designed to keep an multiple wires looking neat and separated

– be careful not to plug too many power sources into one electrical outlet

• this can cause an electrical fire or a building to blow a fuse

Power Bar: An electrical power cord that allows for the powering of multiple electrical units at the same time


• Is the next hardware device to setup

• Is also considered an output device

• Comes with its own power supply

• Is connected with a USB cable

– plug one end into the computer’s USB port and the other into the computer tower


• May be automatically detected by the computer

– if not than additional steps are required for the printer to function properly with the computer

– consult the instructions that were provided with the printer to ensure proper setup


• May be used to serve as a buffer in between the electrical outlet and your computer

• Protects the computer and all attachments from electrical damage in the event of a power surge

– a power surge is cause by something such as a lighting strike

• Is a relatively inexpensive part that will save hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage

• Should be plugged into the wall outlet and then all computer components needed power should be plugged into it

• This is the last step in computer setup, just press the power button


• Involves two main areas:

– Software Maintenance

• refers to the computer programs that run on a computer

– Microsoft Vista®

– Adobe Photoshop®

– Hardware Maintenance

• refers to the physical parts of a computer

– the monitor

– mouse

– printer

– other physical computer parts


• Involves primarily the upkeep of the operating system

– operating systems are programs such as

Microsoft Vista

® and Mac Leopard


Hardware: Refers to the physical components of a computer

Software: Refers to the computer programs that run on a computer


• Includes the following seven steps will assist in maintaining software:

– virus scanning

– updating anti-virus software

– installing updates

– defragging

– data backup

– uninstalling programs


• Is the process of scanning for computer viruses

• Can be accomplished with the help of a virus scanner such as Norton Anti-Virus


• Should be performed daily

– any viruses are found should be removed using the instructions presented with your antivirus software

– failing to follow instructions may result in the virus reappearing or possibly inflicting significant damage on your computer


• Is the next step in software maintenance

• Involves downloading new definitions or versions of anti-virus software

– because new viruses appear every day, antivirus software engineers put new virus fixes into the anti-virus software daily

– downloading these updates over the Internet keeps your anti-virus software ready to fight the latest and greatest computer threat

Definitions: New versions of software


• Is the third step in software maintenance

• With both Mac and Microsoft is simple because both come installed with applications that automatically update each operating system

– the operating system is stored on your computer’s hard drive

– a hard drive is the main storage device in your computer

– the hard drive contains magnetic disks that store large amounts of information


• Is also called defragmenting your hard drive

• Works to clean up your hard drive

• In Microsoft Windows®, a program called

ScanDisk® assists in defragging a hard drive

• Is possible with other programs such as Norton


– this also provides a defragmentation option

Defragmentation: Erases gaps created from file removal and moves the gaps closer together


• Is used because when you use your computer it writes and saves information to the hard drive

– this info is usually stored in continuous sections on the hard drive

– when you delete files, gaps are created in the sections

• Erases gaps, moving files closer together

– this creates a healthy hard drive and a faster computer


• Is the seventh and last step to ensuring your computer software is operating at the full potential

• Should be used when you no longer need a program

• Should be done through the control panel

– rather than moving it into the recycle bin

• Using the uninstall feature in the control panel is more efficient in completely removing the program and related files


• Is completely different from software maintenance

– software maintenance is mainly concerned with optimizing computer processes themselves

– such as:

• making a video game run smoother

• opening a PowerPoint® presentation faster

– most of the above problems are virtual or within the computer operating system

• Concerns tasks you can perform in the real physical world to help your computer


• Is concerned with three main areas of an environment:

– the amount of:

• moisture

– hurts a computer because the components are electric

– computer should be kept in a relatively humidity free environment

• dust

– can get into a mouse or keyboard or even the computer tower and cause operational problems

– keep computer area well dusted


• Is removed from a computer’s components by the computer’s internal parts

– this is important because computers can generate extreme amounts of heat inside their cases causing damage to electrical components

– dust can clog the vents of the fan causing overheating

• it is important to periodically remove the computer case and clean the vents of the fan


• Is accomplished by getting inside the computer case:

– first unplug the computer from the power source

– next unscrew the case using a Phillips screwdriver

– lastly, carefully slide the case apart

– finally, you are ready to clean the vents of the fan

• Is easily accomplished using a can of compressed air


• Can be found at electronics stores to clean your monitor

• Designed for household use should not be used, neither should water

– On a laptop, be sure to be gentle to not harm the thin glass behind the screen


• Is the study of designing equipment to fit humans

– For example, a car manufacturer may go through significant research to determine the optimum seat height, seat firmness, and steering wheel size

– likewise, fitting your computer to yourself is also important

– doing so will decrease fatigue, increase good posture, and prevent undue physical strain

Ergonomics: Is the study of designing equipment to fit humans 29

• Has three important areas concerning computer ergonomics:

– chair height

– keyboard positioning

– monitor angle

• Combines proper chair height, keyboard positioning, and monitor height preventing injury from long amounts of use

– it is important that you do not sit at your computer for extended amounts of time

– taking short breaks will prevent injury and may even boost productivity


• Should be high enough so the arms are perpendicular to the keyboard

– improper keyboard use can result in straining of the wrists and fingers

– special ergonomic keyboards and mice can reduce the strain of your hands

• in addition, some keyboards come with wrist rests to help alleviate stress on your wrists


• Should not have a glare from lights

– this can result in eye strain

• Can be viewed optimally from a monitor stand

– monitor stands raise a monitor so that it is taller

• Should not be stared at for extended periods of time

– this can cause headaches


• Are important to have knowledge of because:

– it makes you better informed about your computer

– it can help you describe a problem to another person, if something were to arise

– it will save you money when buying a new computer or fixing an old one

• that way, the Geek Squad at Best Buy will not sell you ROM when you need RAM

• when they are talking about expansion slots and

BIOS chips, you will know exactly what they are talking about


• All have specific functions

– the power supply converts power from the electrical outlet to power the computer can use

• if you are using a laptop it is easy to see where the battery is located

– the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives allow users to play CD’s or DVD’s on their computer

• Laptops also have CD ROM drives

– the mother board contains the computer’s most expensive components

• is the main circuit board inside a computer

• the CPU is inside the mother board


– the mother board contains the computer’s most expensive components

• is the main circuit board inside a computer

• the CPU is inside the mother board

Mother Board : is the main circuit board inside a computer


• Stands for Central Processing Unit

• Works as the computer’s brain performing millions of operations and calculations per second

– the speed of CPU’s, also called processors, were recently measured in megahertz (MHz)

– due to advances in processor manufacturing, the speed and complexity of CPU’s have increased exponentially


• CPU speed is now measured in gigahertz


– one gigahertz = 1000 megahertz

• the more gigahertz a computer has, the faster the processor

• Generates a large amount of heat, so the CPU fan is used to cool it

CPU: Works as the computers brain performing millions of operations and calculations per second

Processors: the speed of CPU’s; measured in megahertz


• Are hardware pieces that process the video and audio requirements of a computer

– the video card plugs into the Accelerated

Graphics Port, or AGP

– other types of cards, such as network cards and audio cards plug into connectors called PCI slots

– network cards and wireless cards allow the computer to connect to the Internet

Accelerated Graphics Port: the port into which the video card is plugged

PCI Slots: slots into which network and audio cards plug into


• Stands for Basic Input Output System

• Is a chip that holds all of the information necessary for a computer to start up

• Is in charge of controlling all of the hardware on the computer

– expansion slots allow a computer user to upgrade memory if needed

BIOS Chip: Is a chip that holds all of the information necessary for a computer to start up


• Comes in two types


• stands for Random Access Memory

• used by computer programs when the computer is operating

• for example, if you were to copy a sentence in

Microsoft Word, the computer would save the sentence using RAM

RAM: Used by computer programs when the computer is operating



• stands for Read-Only Memory

• holds memory for information that must be kept when the computer is turned off

– RAM memory is erased when the computer is turned off

– By upgrading RAM such as in an expansion slot, you can raise the performance level of a PC

ROM: holds memory for information that must be kept when the computer is turned off


• Is used to hold information

– the storage capacity for hard drives in measured in gigabytes, commonly referred to as “gigs”

– for example, this external hard drive is 160 gigs

• it is called a giga-byte because it holds a billion bytes

• technically it holds 1,024,000,000 bytes

• May be inside the computer, which are called internal hard drives

• May be outside the computer, which are called external hard drives


Hard Drive:

Computer part used to hold information; storage capacity measured in gigabytes

External Hard Drives:

Hard drives outside the computer

Internal Hard Drives:

Hard drives inside the computer


• Is purely electronic

– meaning it can only understand electronic signals

• Has a storage capacity

– the smallest amount of storage capacity is a bit

– a bit is either a zero or a one, and that’s it

• that is where we get all of the zeros and ones craziness, such as in the movie the Matrix

• this is called binary code

– it is the basis for all computer programs

Bit: the smallest amount of storage capacity; is either a zero or a one.


• Receives an electrical current

– the computer codes this as a “1”, and if not, a


– by arranging all of these zeros and ones computers were first used to solve math problems

– later, they helped take us to the moon and beat a grand chess master

– all by zeros and ones, called a bit

– once you get eight bits the computer scientists decided to call this a “byte”


• Can hold exactly one character, or letter

– from there:

• a kilobyte (KB) is equal to 1024 bytes

• a megabyte (MB) is equal to 1024 KB

• a gigabyte (GB) is equal to 1024 MB, or one billion bytes

• a terabyte is equal to 1024 gigabytes

Byte: eight bits; can hold exactly one character or letter


• Are generally measured in gigabytes

– just a few years ago RAM was measured in megabytes

– due to recent advances in technology, it is now measured in gigabytes


• Are devices that can connection to your computer and add functionality

– for example, graphic tablets, speakers, digital cameras, and printers are all examples of computer peripherals, with the printer being the most popular


• Connect to a computer through the

USB port, in most cases

– your cell phone and external hard drive also probably connect using the USB port

• Are generally plug-and-play

– that is to say, you plug them in and they work - simple as that

Computer Peripherals: devices that can connection to your computer and add functionality


• Are located at various locations throughout the computer tower

– there are usually a few ports in the front for easy access and a few ports in the back of the tower for items like the mouse and keyboard

– if you are using a laptop, they too have

USB connections

• they are usually located on the side or back


• Are often referred to as Jump drives

• Provide computer users with a fast way to access and save information

• Are essentially tiny hard drives

• Have smaller capacities than other hard drives

– usually between the 128 MB to 4 GB range

– their capacity will continue to increase as technology makes their storage capacity larger


1.Hardware refers to the _______ parts of the computer such as a CD-ROM drive.

a. physical b. non-physical

2.The BIOS chip stands for: a. Basic Input Output System b. Basic Input Operating System c. Basic Internal Operations System d. Beginning Internal Output System


3. Which of the following are major enemies of computer electronics?

a. dust b. water c. heat d. all of the above

4. Which of the following would hold the most information?

a. 50 gigabytes b. 3 megabytes c. 1,000,000 bytes d. 5 bits


5. A device that protects your computer from electrical strikes is called a: a. electrical outlet b. surge protector c. power bar d. ROM

6. A DVI connector is used for many high end electronics, such as plasma televisions. It may also used to setup your computer: a. keyboard b. BIOS chip c. monitor d. speakers


7.True or false: defragmentation involves cleaning your computer of viruses.

a. true b. false

8.True or false: RAM holds the memory of information for when the computer is turned off.

a. true b. false


9.An example of a computer peripheral is: a. printer b. mouse c. external hard drive d. all of the above


True or false: ergonomics is the study of how humans use computers.

a. true b. false


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