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Computer Basics
Learn about the workings of your computer.
 Chapter 1 - Computer Basics
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  Your computer doesn't have to be just a tool, it can be your friend - aaawww. The more you know and understand what your friend is thinking and how he/she thinks, the better you can understand them. The better you understand him/her the less likely you are to become frustrated with them.

Your Computer ( your new "friend" ) is an appliance that processes instructions and "spits-out" computed material in various ways. Why don't we look at the thought process a little deeper. All the thinking of your computer is done within that box or tower where you insert CD's and floppy disk. Inside this box is the guts and brain of your entire system. The vast majority of the thinking or processing is done by... can you guess it?, the processor. The processor is more or less the Grand Central Station of your system. It does the thinking and routes everything to it's place. There are other parts inside that box that are very important to your system. RAM is a kind of memory that works very close with your processor. They know each other very well. RAM, or Random Access Memory, is kind of like your "off the top of your head" memory. It is used so that whenever your processor is processing something it doesn't have to stop what it is doing and rely on your Hard-Drive for the required information.

Think of it like this. RAM is like your office desk. Your Hard-Drive is like your filing cabinet with vast quantities of information stored away. Now if you are working on a specific task, wouldn't it be nice to pull all the information you're going to need from the filing cabinet which is across the room and place all the needed files right there on your desk while you are going to be using them. This way everything is at arms reach, so your work gets done much faster. RAM allows you to do this. RAM is also one of the best and cheapest ways to upgrade your computer. Just think, increase the size of your office desk and you can really cut down on the number of times you have to get up and walk across the room to dig a file out from your filing cabinet.

Now if you remember when you bought your computer, or if you still have the factory information laying around, here is how these components are usually measured.
- Processor is measured in MHz ( Megahertz or now GigaHerts ) - This is the speed at which your processor can handle information.
- RAM is usually measured in MB ( Megabytes ) - This is the amount of easy access memory you have, the more the better!
- Hard Drive is expressed in GB ( Gigabytes ) - This is the size of your filing cabinet.

Your Processor and RAM is located on something called your motherboard inside your computer. This board has most of your essential components mounted onto it. The motherboard also is where all of your system comes together. When you plug things into the back of your computer, or when you place a CD in your CD-ROM, all these are connected directly to your all important motherboard. Enough of all this guts talk, huh.

The other main parts of your computer include your: Monitor, Keyboard, and your Mouse. Your monitor is NOT your computer, it is just a display device or a glorified TV. I think this is sometimes a common misconception. Even the computer systems that look like they only have a monitor and keyboard, have their processor and Hard Drive just included in with the case the monitor is in. Do not buy these! They are almost impossible to upgrade. Next is your Keyboard. I hear they use to put something like a keyboard on something called a typewriter. I don't know, I never paid attention in History class. This is used to as an input device to your CPU. Finally there is your mouse. That lovely little animal that just invites you to click away. Just think how difficult it would be to get anything done without it.

I think I'll stop there for now. Lets learn how that darn Internet works shall we?

 end of Chapter 1
next >
chapter - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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