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Computers: Tools for

an Information Age

Chapter 1
 Describe the three fundamental characteristics of
 Describe at least four areas of society in which
computers are used
 Identify the basic components of a computer
system: input, processing, output, and storage
 List some common input, output, and storage
 Distinguish data from information
 Describe the significance of networking
 Explain the significance of the Internet
 Explain the various classifications of computers
 Information Age
 Computer Literacy
 Where Computers Are Used
 Computer System
 Network
 Classifications of Computers
Information Age
 Evolving more rapidly than
Industrial Age
 Will continue into the current
 Greater impact will be felt among
network communities

Forging a Computer-Based Society:

 From physical to mental

 From muscle-power to brain-power

What is a computer?
A computer is a special type of
electronic calculating device with
internal storage (RAM- hardware)
capabilities that performs
mathematical and logical
operations (ALU) on the data
through its Central Processing
Unit-CPU, (hardware) based on
the set of program instructions or
language (software) and
produces result in the form of
meaningful and useful output.
 A machine that can be
programmed to accept data
(input), process it into
useful information (output),
and store it away (in
secondary storage device)
for safekeeping or later
 Process is directed by the
software but is performed by
the hardware.
1. High-speed processing - the computer can process
data faster than any other machine with its speed
of 1/1M of a sec
2. Repetitiveness - a computer can perform the same
operation millions of times in exactly the same way.
3. Accuracy - a computer's high-speed processing
gives 99.99% error free results.
4. Arithmetic and Logical Operations - the computer
can make decisions based on alternative course of
5. Store and Retrieve Information - computers can
store information in the memory and use them
when needed.
Limitations of Computer
1. A computer cannot generate information on its
own. It must be told what to do, when to start,
stop, compute, and make the next move via a
2. A computer can detect errors but generally
cannot correct them on its own.
3. Computers cannot combine ideas or take the
best parts or several ideas to come up with a
brand new idea of its own.
4. Computers need periodic maintenance support.
5. A Computer is subject to occasional breakdown
and wear out .
A Computer Now…
 Where is it used?
 Bank withdrawal
 Supermarket and department stores
 Drive the car
 E-Commerce

 Do you need a Personal Computer?

 Many Filipinos have one at home
 Many more use at work

 Will I use a computer in my future career?

 Almost every job will involve use of a computer
Computer Literacy
 Awareness
 Importance
 Versatility
 Pervasiveness in our society
 Knowledge
 What are computers
 How do computers work
 Terminology
 Interaction
 Use some simple computer applications
Where Computers Are Used
 Teaching and testing
 Learning by doing

 Computer-based
 E-Learning and
Distance Learning
Computers in Retailing
 Bar codes for pricing and
 Recording and monitoring in
Computers in Energy

 Locate oil, coal,

natural gas, and
 Monitor the power
 Meter reading or
ground works
Computers for Law Enforcement
 National fingerprint files

 National files on criminal

 Computer modeling of
DNA – Deoxyribonucleic
Computers in Transportation
 Cars- automatic

 Run rapid transit systems- LRT, MRT

 Load containerships

 Track railroad cars

 Monitor airline traffic

Computers in Finance

 Record keeping to monitor expense

 Banking by phone or on-line request

 Credit cards
Computers in Agriculture
 Crop growth information  Feed combinations

 Mixed breeding of plants  Livestock breeding and

Computers in Government
 Forecast weather

 Manage parks

 Process immigrants

 Social Security benefits

 Taxes

 Municipal and City Government Services

Computers at Home
 Educational tool
 Record keeping
 Letter writing
 Budgeting
 Drawing and editing pictures
 Newsletters
 Connecting with others
 Digital Entertainment
Computers in Health and
 Monitor patients

 Electronic imaging

 Diagnose illnesses
 Assist the disabled
Computers for Robotics
 Perform jobs that are dangerous for humans

 Factory work

 Mimic how human works

Where Computers Are Used

The Sciences
 Research
 Simulation
Where Computers Are Used

 Airline pilots
 Railroad engineers
• Term paper
• Record keeping
Computers are all around!
 Grocery store
 School
 Library
 Bank
 Mail

We interact with computers

Computer System Components




 Computer programmer – person who
writes programs

 Users or End-users – make use of the

computer’s capabilities

 Programs- such as Windows

Operating System, MS-Office

 Set of instructions that directs the

hardware to do a required task and
produce the desired results
Basic Components of a
Function of Computer System
Data handling
I Input
P Process
O Output
S Storage
Input devices
 Accept data or commands and convert them to
electronic form
 Getting data into the computer
 Typing on a keyboard
 Pointing with a mouse
 Scanning with a wand reader or bar-code reader
 Terminal
Output devices
• Convert from electronic form to some other
• May display the processed results
• Usable information
Monitor or screen Printer
 Text  Black and white
 Numbers  Color
 Symbols
 Art
 Photographs
 Video
The Processor
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
 Converts data to useful information

 Interpret and execute instructions

 Communicate with input, output and

Two Types of Storage

 Secondary storage
long-term storage

 Primary storage or memory

temporary storage
Memory / Primary Storage
 RAM - Temporary storage
 Holds input to be processed
 Holds results of processing
 Contains the programs to control the
computer and manipulate input into
 Volatile
Secondary Storage
 Long-term storage
 Non-volatile
 For safekeeping and later re-use
Secondary Storage Examples
 Magnetic disks – read and written by magnetic disk
 Hard disk
 Diskette

 Optical disks – read and written by optical disk drives

 Magnetic tape – read and written by magnetic tape
 Primarily used for back-up
Computer System
 Computer
 Memory

 Peripheral equipment
 Connected to the computer by a cable
 Input, output, storage
 Definition
 A system that uses communications equipment to
connect computers and their resources.
 Types
 Local area network (LAN) – connects computers in
close proximity, within a building or a particular
 Metropolitan area network (MAN) – connect
computers between buildings in the same geographic
 Wide area network (WAN) – connects computers over
great distances
 Collection of networks
 No ownership
 No central source for services available
 No comprehensive index of what information is

Connects Everyone!
Individuals Libraries
Businesses Research labs
Organizations Government
Getting Connected
 User’s computer must connect to a server

 Server must communicate using TCP/IP

 The user can purchase access to a server

from an ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Internet – What Can You Do?
 WWW – World Wide Web

 FTP – File Transfer Protocol

 E-mail

 UseNet

 IRC – Internet Relay Chat

 Bulletin Boards
World Wide Web
• Browser – program that allows the user
to move around and explore the
• Use the mouse to point and click on
text and graphics
• Web page
• Web site
• Home page
Classifications of Computers

 According to purpose
 According to data handled
 According to size
According to purpose
 General purpose- a machine that can be
used to process many types of
applications. Ex microcomputers
 Special purpose- a machine that can be
used for a specific application or just ONE
application. Ex: Weather Forecasting and
Airlines Reservation
According to data handled
 Analog computers- a computer that
manipulates continuous or approximate
types of data
 Digital computers - a computer that
manipulates discrete types of data
 Hybrid computers- a computer that can
manipulate both analog or digital types of
According to size or capacity
 Microcomputer – smallest in size and the cheapest.
It can handle thousands of records.
 Minicomputer – the medium size computer, bigger
and more expensive than the microcomputer
 Mainframe – a large computer that can handle
millions of data, Support multiple user, does server
 Supercomputer – is a very large computer that
manipulates billions of data
Classifications of Computers
 Use the computer that fits your needs
 Based upon
 Size
 Speed
 Cost
 Portability
 Number of simultaneous users supported
 Available software
 Typical use
Personal Computers
 Other names
 PC
 Microcomputer
 Home computer

 Categories
 Low-end functional
 Fully powered
 Workstations
 Net computer or net box (Web TV)

 Desktop Models
Notebook Computers
 Portable
 Lightweight
 Fits in a briefcase
 Battery operated

 Laptop
 Larger
 Heavier

 More expensive that

desktop models
Handheld Computers
 Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
 Scheduling
 Addresses
 Handwritten input
 May offer wireless e-mail and fax

 Pocket
 More power than PDA
 Runs basic productivity software