Computer Basics

The computer is relied upon to do many things in the twenty-first century and is getting faster and smaller. The smartphone can be considered the most recent revolution in computing, but for the most part, all the hardware and software remain the same.  All computers have an operating system which is the most important part of it, also known as a software. Without this system, the computer is useless and would not be able to perform. The operating system has a very important role in getting the computer to function. It is also responsible for all managing all software application used on the computer.

There are different types of operating systems. Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux are the names of some of the most common operating systems used. Microsoft Windows is used on PC, and was introduced in the 1980’s and has upgraded over the years. The most recent versions are Windows 10 (2015),  Windows 8 (2012) , Windows 7 (2009) and Windows Vista (2007). Android is another operating system the has exploded due to the increase in smartphone sales.

Mac OS X is another operating system used to manage the computer. This system was created by Apple and is found on all new Macs. Like Microsoft Windows the Mac OS X has also been upgraded over the years. In Click Here2011 it was the Lion, then it was upgraded to Mountain Lion in 2012, then in again in 2013 it went to Mavericks, Yosemite in 2014  and El Captain was released in 2015. In 2016 Sierra was launched to make the MAC more seamless between devices, faster and easier to use.  It also adds Siri, an intelligent personal assistant that you can speak to.

Linux is the other operating system but unlike Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. This system is free and it is family owned. There are no restrictions so it can be changed by anyone to meet their needs. This system is used less than 2% worldwide.

The key differences between a Mac OS and Windows depend on whether you are a MAC or a PC user in most cases, however the MAC is usually known for its more straightforward approach with less tasks to maintain it.  It is also considered safer, security wise, than Windows and if you use other Apple devices they usually work seamlessly with Apple computers.  The Windows OSs are well known for its ability to be customized and for its gaming capabilities. Most software applications are built for Windows, therefore it’s used more around the world, but the most obvious difference is the price.  MAC is more expensive.

The basic components of a computer are CPU, RAM, Hard Drives, MotherBoards, USB slots,and Peripheral. The CPU (central processing unit) is the brain and by using the keyboard and the mouse, tells the hardware and software what it should be doing. When you press a command on the computer it is going do it. The CPU is square and actually looks like a two-inch ceramic square with the silicon chip. The CPU fits in a motherboard CPU socket.  The CPU Socket help the monitor not to get overheated. The processor speed determines how fast instructions are executed and is measured in megahertz per second. In a processor that is fast, it takes the direction faster. It depends on the computer how much speed it can take.

RAM (random access memory) is a system that only can take short-term memory.The RAM can also do take all the commands in all in once. For an example, you have applications up the  computer can handle the heavy program.  If you have more RAM the computer improve better.

The hard drive is the long term memory of the computer and where all your software, files, and important documents are saved. For instance, if you turn off the computer it stores your document that you save. The computer runs as fast as the hard drive and save files and transfer to RAM and back to hard drives once saved.  It is important to make sure that you unplug the computer before touching any of wire. This is done to avoid overheating. The static can get spread and can cause damage the machine.

The motherboard is the computer’s main circuit board. It’s a thin plate that holds the CPU, memory, connectors for the hard drive and optical drives, expansion cards to control the video and audio, and connections to your computer’s ports (such as USB ports). The motherboard connects directly or indirectly to every part of the computer. If the CPU is the brain then the motherboard is the heart of the computer. Some motherboards, have an expansion slot. There are different types of  expansion cards. PCI (peripheral component interconnect) cards are mostly is for video, sound, and network. The expansion card helps the computer perform better and allows for increased usage on the computer.

The video card and graphics card is what is used to provide a picture on the monitor. The GPU (graphics processing unit) it is built in the computer. The video card is separate from the motherboard. If people like to use a lot video that takes a lot of space the must have a GPU.

 The sound card is also called audio card can work with the headphones. Most of the motherboards that have integrated sound. You can get better quality  sound.Click Here

There are safety practices that prevent viruses and spyware from loading on your computer and also from allowing  access from unauthorized persons.They include:

  • Setting up the computer for automatic updates
  • Installing protective software
  • Choosing strong passwords
  • Regular backups
  • Email and internet safety, like firewalls
  • Secure connections

For more information to prevent viruses Click Here.

It is quite possible to be seriously injured from using a computer. There can be physical discomfort, visual discomfort, stress, and fatigue. In order to prevent any of these from happening, you have to consider the individual using it, whether there are any physical constraints or disabilities, the physical characteristics of the computer and where it is being used. Consideration should be made to:

  • the layout of equipment on the desk. It is import to change your posture frequently to avoid fatigue
  • location of furniture
  • positioning of keyboards, chairs, phones, monitors, speakers, mouse
  • glare and reflection need to be avoided from the lighting. Moving from directly under the light should fix that.
  • keep keystrokes to 12,000 per hour
  • adapt a healthy typing technique, otherwise, it could cause “occupational overuse injury”.

To find more information about to how to work in your station Click Here.

In 2016 computers are used for almost anything from designing a flyer to performing open heart surgery.  I am not sure we can survive without it anymore seeing as we use it even to read the morning paper or just wait to tell what to read when by it.


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