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GREENBELT INTERNET ACCESS COOPERATIVE
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INDEX
SECTION  1 Welcome
SECTION  2 Hardware
SECTION  3 Software
SECTION  4 Operations
SECTION  5 Questions & Answers



PC BASICS


SECTION  1 Welcome

  • Reason for the class
     
  • Scope of the class
     
  • Terminology (buzzwords)
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SECTION  2 Hardware

  • System unit
     
    • Case / power supply
       
    • System board (motherboard)
       
      • BIOS chip - Basic Input/Output System
        • control program
           
      • CPU chip - Central Processing Unit
        • processes most program instructions
           
      • COPRO chip - Math Coprocessor
        • processes certain program instructions
           
      • RAM chips - Random Access Memory
          - or -
      • SIMM strips - System Inline Memory Modules
        • temporarily holds programs and data for processing (lost when power is off)
        • sizes: 1mb, 4mb, 8mb, 16mb (each SIMM)
           
      • I/O ports - Input/Output ports
        • serial port
          • external connection to mouse, modem, etc.
          • two connector types: 25-pin, 9-pin
          • two UART chip types: 8250, 16550
        • parallel port
          • external connection to most printers
          • two types: unidirectional, bidirectional
        • game port
          • external connection to joystick
        • keyboard port
          • external connection to keyboard
        • mouse port
          • external connection to PS/2-style mouse
             
      • Slots - Expansion slots
        • internal connection for expansion boards
           
    • Expansion boards
      • controllers for internal & external devices
         
    • Floppy disk drive (diskette drive)
      • read-write access
      • program & data storage
      • controlled by FD/HD controller
         
    • Hard disk drive
      • read-write access
      • program & data storage
      • controlled by FD/HD controller
         
    • CD-ROM disk drive
      • usually read-only access
      • program & resource storage
      • controlled by CD-ROM controller or game board
         
    • Modem (internal)
      • data/fax transmission across voice telephone lines
         
    • Other internal components (tape drive, etc.)
       
  • Monitor
    • display output (text and images)
    • controlled by video adapter
       
  • Keyboard
    • connected to keyboard port
       
  • Pointing device (mouse, trackball, etc.)
    • connected to mouse port or serial port
       
  • Pointing device (joystick)
    • connected to game port or game board
       
  • Printer
    • hard copy output
    • usually connected to parallel port
       
  • Modem (external)
    • data/fax transmission across voice telephone lines
    • connected to serial port
    • modem speed constrained by port speed
       
  • Speakers
    • audio output
    • connected to sound board or game board
       
  • Other external devices (removable cartridge drive, etc.)
     
  • Cables (lots of them!)
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SECTION  3 Software

  • Categories
     
    • Operating systems (O/S)
       
      • DOS - Disk Operating System
        • current version 6.22
        • text interface
           
      • Windows 3.x / Windows for Workgroups 3.x
        • current version 3.11
        • graphical user interface (GUI) for DOS
           
      • Windows 95
        • current release ?? (A & B & interims)
        • graphical interface
        • full operating system
        • includes DOS emulation
           
      • Windows 98
        • current release ??
        • graphical interface
        • full operating system with integrated Internet interface
        • includes DOS emulation
           
      • OS/2 - Operating System 2
        • current version 2.11 (?)
        • text & graphical interface
        • full operating system
        • includes DOS emulation
        • includes WIN31 emulation
           
      • OS/2 Warp
        • current version 3.0 (?)
        • text & graphical interface
        • full operating system
        • includes DOS emulation
        • includes WIN31 hosting
           
      • Unix
        • many active versions
        • text interface
           
    • Applications
       
      • Word processing
         
      • Spreadsheet
         
      • Database
         
      • Graphics
         
      • Telecommunications
         
      • Suites
         
      • Vertical market
         
      • Custom
         
    • Utilities
       
      • System maintenance (backup, diagnostic, etc.)
         
      • User interface (menu, file management, etc.)
         
      • Many others
         
  • Acquisition
     
    • Licensed software
       
    • Shareware
       
    • Freeware
       
  • Sources
     
    • Retail
       
    • Mail order
       
    • Download
       
    • Piracy
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SECTION  4 Operations

  • BOOT - Bootstrap startup of the computer
     
    • Cold boot (power on/reset)
      • includes POST (Power On Self Test)
      • resets all boards and controllers
         
    • Warm boot ( <Ctrl-Alt-Del> )
      • bypasses POST
      • resets motherboard
      • may not reset some expansion boards
         
  • Boot or initialization (.INI) files
    • configure hardware/software environment on startup
    • details depend on operating system
       
  • Hardware environment
     
    • Device drivers
      • control programs for expansion boards & devices
      • loaded by boot or initialization files
      • Plug & Play (computer, O/S, device)
         
    • Ports
      • parallel  LPT1  LPT2  PRN
      • serial  COM1  COM2  COM3  COM4
         
    • Drives
      • A:  B:  C:  D:  E:  etc.
      • drive types & capacities
         
    • Directories (folders)
      • names delimited by \ or / (depends on O/S)
      • root directory
      • subdirectory
         
    • File specifications
      • filename
      • extension
      • path
         
    • O/S drive table
       
  • Software environment
     
    • DOS prompt (text interface)
      • DOS internal commands
      • DOS external commands
      • executable programs (.EXE, .COM)
      • batch files (.BAT)
      • run a program by typing the name
         
    • DOS menu (text interface)
      • organized access to commands & programs
      • main menu & submenus
      • run a program by selecting from menu
         
    • Windows 3.x desktop (graphical interface)
       
      • Program Manager
        • organized access to commands & programs
        • groups & icons
           
      • Created by application SETUPs
         
      • Icons equivalent to menu items
         
      • DOS program information files (.PIF)
         
      • Desktop management
         
        • Windows SETUP
          • video resolution (pixels & colors)
          • video driver
             
        • Control Panel
          • desktop background (solid or pattern)
          • desktop colors & features
          • wallpaper (centered or tiled)
          • screen saver
             
        • Program Manager (size)
          • maximize / minimize / restore
          • groups (open or closed)
             
        • Groups (size, arrangement & properties)
          • drag / maximize / minimize / restore
          • cascade / tile
             
        • Icons (arrangement & properties)
          • auto arrange
             
        • Save settings
           
      • Running programs
         
        • Double-click the icon
           
        • Type the name
          • File Run
          • MS-DOS prompt (DOS shell)
          • MS-DOS prompt (exit Windows)
             
        • Startup group
           
      • Closing programs & groups
        • File Exit or double-click icon
           
      • File Manager
        • Manipulate files & directories
           
      • Print Manager
         
      • Keyboard shortcuts
         
      • Windows help
        • Menu help (context-sensitive)
        • Windows tutorial
           
    • Windows 95 desktop (graphical interface)
       
      • My Computer, Recycle Bin
         
      • Shortcuts
         
      • Taskbar (Start Button & Notification Area)
         
      • Start Menu
        • Programs
        • Documents
        • Settings
        • Find
        • Help
        • Run
        • Shut Down
        • Others (optional)
           
      • Desktop management
         
        • Properties (right-click)
           
        • Control Panel
          • video resolution (pixels & colors)
          • desktop background (solid or pattern)
          • desktop colors & features
          • wallpaper (centered or tiled)
          • screen saver
             
        • Groups (size, arrangement & properties)
          • drag / maximize / minimize / restore
          • cascade / tile
          • list / small icons / large icons
             
        • Icons (arrangement & properties)
          • arrangement options
             
        • Save settings (automatic)
           
        • Shortcuts
           
      • Running programs
         
        • Double-click the icon
           
        • Type the name
          • Run
          • MS-DOS prompt (DOS shell)
             
        • Startup group
           
      • Closing programs & groups
        • File Exit or Close button or double-click icon
           
      • Windows Explorer
        • Manipulate files & directories
           
      • Print Manager
         
      • Keyboard shortcuts
         
      • Windows help
        • Menu help (context-sensitive)
        • Windows 95 online tour
           
    • Windows 3.x equivalents in Windows 95
       
      • Program Manager
        • Start / Programs
           
      • File Manager
        • Start / Programs / Windows Explorer
           
      • MS-DOS prompt
        • Start / Programs / MS-DOS Prompt
           
      • Control Panel
        • Start / Settings / Control Panel
           
      • Print Manager
        • Start / Settings / Printers
           
      • File Run
        • Start / Run
           
    • Mouse skills
      • Click (select)
      • Double-click (execute)
      • Right-click (properties)
      • Drag (move)
      • Ctrl-drag (copy)
      • Ctrl-click (select multiple items from list)
      • Shift-click (select range of items from list)

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SECTION  5 Questions & Answers

 
    


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//www.greenbelt.com/giac/classes/pcbasics.htm     Updated 4-7-99