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COMPUTER APPRECIATION AND APPLICATION

INTRODUCTION In the world today, computer appreciation is the first step for anybody wanting to do things with computer. From all works of life, there is no area where computer knowledge is not important, especially when trying to make quick decisions. No matter the form of business or the size, computer appreciation plays great roles from the beginning to the end of organisational structure. Recently, computer appreciation has really drawn millions peoples attention, this is because that virtually all human terrain now require the knowledge of the computer. We can see this mostly in the area of employment of labour all over the globe where every vacant position requires computer literacy in addition, in fact a very important requirement. Computer appreciation starts from knowing the common things of the computer like: knowing its components (Central Processing Unit, Visual Display Unit, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, etc.),switching it on and off, working around with the computer packages like: Microsoft (Microsoft word, Microsoft excel, outlook, etc.), PowerPoint, Corel draw, etc. and every other basic knowledge. After this step, someone will be able to really work and produce outputs (results) from the computer like: typing out vital office letters, memo, curriculum vitae (CV), etc. However, some people decided to relent at this stage which they consider is enough for them while others out of curiosity still move on to know or acquire more skills or knowledge of the world acclaimed machine. Being computer appreciated has made many people living and still making living for many others across the globe today. Some people are employed to work with government, multi-national firms, etc. Some researches has shown that by the year 2025,about 85% of the world population will be able to acquire a household computer just like television in families over the world. Looking around us today, without no reasonable doubts we agreed that the computer has really made huge changes in the way we live our lives. Life is more simple and flexible with it, quick decisions are made where necessary and above all, the whole world has been made a global village. All these were possible by our curious minds with the help of computer appreciation and application. COMPUTER APPRECIATION WHAT IS A COMPUTER? A computer is any device that accepts data, processes it, store and supplies an output in a meaningful form. Computers can be classified into four categories. The primary basis of classification is processing power. See table 1 for classification:

1. A microcomputer is a computer that can perform all of its input, process, output, and storage activities by itself. Microcomputers are often known as personal computers (PC) which include desktop computers, tower model computers, notebook computers, handheld computers, and Internet appliances. 2. A minicomputer is often used in situations where a microcomputer is not powerful enough but a mainframe is too expensive. Minicomputers are also known as mid-range servers, which can normally support up to several thousand users at the same time. Users typically access a minicomputer via a personal computer or a terminal. 3. A mainframe is a large, expensive, but powerful computer that can handle hundreds or thousands of connected users at the same time. Typical users of mainframes include banks, insurance companies, and airlines with sophisticated reservation systems. 4. A supercomputer is the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive computer used for applications that require complex and sophisticated mathematical calculations. Typical tasks carried out by supercomputers include weather forecasting, space exploratory projects, and weapons research. Table 1: Categories of Computers Physical Size No of Simultaneously Connected Users Fits on a desk Usually one (can be more if networked) Fits on your lap or in Usually one your hands Small box or hand held One to several device Partial room to a full room of equipment Full room of equipment Miniature Hundreds to thousand s Hundreds to thousands Usually one

Category Personal Computers (desktop) Mobile computers and mobile devices Game consoles Mainframes Super computers Embedded computers

COMPONENTS OF A TYPICAL COMPUTER SYSTEM A contemporary computer system consists of a central processing unit (CPU), primary storage, secondary storage, input devices, output devices, and communications devices. 1. Systems Unit: A case that contains the electronic "brain" of the computer and the main computational components of the computer that is used to process data. 2. Storage Devices: Stores and hold data, instructions & information for future use. 3. Input devices: computer hardware that allows a user to enter data and instructions.

4. Output devices: any hardware component that conveys information to one or more people. 5. Communications devices: hardware components that enable a computer to send & receive data, instructions & information to or from one or more computer.
Primary storage within the CPU Output device

Output devices

Input device

THERE ARE FOUR BASIC FUNCTIONS OF A COMPUTER 1. INPUT- you input data i.e. you provide data; set of instructions. You input data through input devices which are keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc. 2. PROCESSING- the computer processes it i.e. it manipulates the data which is done by the C.P.U 3. OUTPUT- After processing the data the computer displays the result, it gives an output. Output devices are the monitor, in the case of visual output. Speakers, in the case of audio output, printers, etc. 4. STORAGE- You can save your data for future use in the CPU itself which is stored in the computers ROM. There are several other storage devices also like removable disks, CDs, etc. CATEGORIES OF USERS Home user Small office/home office user Mobile user Power user Enterprise user

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING COMPUTERS Computers have both its benefits and drawbacks. ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Speed Information Overload Memory Cost Storage Data Inaccurate Hardware Reliability Software unreliability Consistency Health Risk Violation of Privacy Public Safety Impact of Labour force THE EFFECT OF COMPUTERS ON SOCIETY Computers play a great role in society. Whether at home, in school or in the office, computers significantly help in the accomplishment of various tasks. If you are at work or at home computers have been utilized to perform general or specific activities that enable life to be more convenient and stress-free. Computer in Business In the field of business, computers are very useful. They are used in keeping records of daily sales and profits. Computers are also used to prepare materials to promote the products of the business establishments. Computers in Engineering Engineers use computers to create the design of complex object using computer program for Computer Aided Drafting. Computers in the Government Computers are used to keep record of the people that the government serves. Several government agencies use computers to facilitate the task they are required to give to the people. Computers at Home Computers are used at home for recreational purposes. You can listen to music, watch movies and play games. Children use their computers at home to do their schoolwork. Parent use computers to assist them in doing their daily tasks. If your computer at home has Internet access then you can explore the amazing features of the Internet in the comfort of your home.

Computers in Manufacturing Computers are used in manufacturing to manipulate machine that perform dangerous task or tasks that are repeatedly done. Computers in School Computer education is one subject taught in school toady. Teachers use computers to classroom instruction, in computing grades and preparing visual aids, Students use computers to study various computer applications. Libraries are connected to the Internet and students access the Internet to do research. Computers in Science Computers are used in science to stimulate experiments, which are dangerous to perform in real life. Computers are also used to record data and information derived from experiments. COMPUTER APPLICATION THE INTERNET The Internet is one of the most important changes that has happened to the way we live and work in the last fifteen years. It began life in a small American laboratory; its inventors could never have forseen how it would develop over time. The Internet now spans the world, connecting billions of people in their everyday lives. What is the Internet? The internet is made up of millions upon millions of small computer networks all brought together to form the vast "Inter-Network". A large part of the Internet is the 'World Wide Web" ( WWW).This is made up of web sites that have one or more web pages. This is the part of the Internet that you probably use most of the time. But the Internet isn't just the web pages that you use every day. It also consists of: Forums where people can seek help and advice about a topic Research databases used by universities and large companies USENET - discussion groups about a specific subject from the latest boy band to favorite pets - for example Google Groups Email and Instant Messaging systems Note that no-one 'owns' the Internet. This is because each part of it is made up of individual networks that someone has put together and then linked to the Internet.

It is really important to understand that the Internet is not the same as the WWW. The Internet is to the World Wide Web as Africa is to Nigeria. One is the container; the other is an item within the container. Software and ISPs Web browsers

The basic function of a web browser is to allow you to view text, images, and videos from web pages. There are a number of web browsers available. The most popular are, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape (note: Google is NOT a web browser). ISP ISP stands for 'Internet Service Provider'. An ISP is a company that provides Internet access. For a monthly fee they will offer you a broadband connection to the Internet. Without this service, most businesses and individuals would not be able to use the Internet. Often, they provide other services as well such as email, web site building and web site hosting. Examples of ISPs are BTinternet, AOL, Tiscali etc. Uses of the Internet Research and homework The internet is a fantastic place to research information for a project or piece of homework. It doesnt matter what topic you have been set, you can guarantee that you will find something on the subject. Communication The internet opens up many different possible ways to communicate with others. Here are some: Email Blogs Social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Myspace, Bebo Chatrooms Forums 6

Shopping Whatever you want to buy, you can pretty much guarantee that you can find it for sale somewhere on the internet. Leisure and Entertainment There are many different ways that you can choose to spend your time online and amuse yourself. Here are a few: Playing online games Listening to music Reading online books Watching online videos e.g. YouTube Looking for holidays or concert tickets Reading about your hobbies Keeping up-to-date with the news and sporting events Benefits of the Internet Always available The Internet is always available for you to use, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don't have to wait for it to open or wait for someone to make it available. It is just there, when you need it and for whatever you need. Vast range of information Think of any search term and type it into a search engine. We can pretty much guarantee that you will find web sites with information on that term. It doesn't matter what you want to know about, you will find something on the Internet that can provide the information you need. Easy to contact people The Internet provides many ways to enable you to keep in contact with people at all hours of the day and night. From email, forums, chat rooms, telephone calls and video conferencing. You are almost spoilt for choice. Access to other cultures The Internet enables you to look at sites about or written by people in other countries. You can look at photographs of where they live and read about their way of life. This enables you to get a unique insight into their culture, something that just wouldnt' be possible without actually visiting them in person.

Up-to-date One of the main advantages of the Internet is how fast things can be updated. When a news story breaks, the BBC website can have that news on its pages within a couple of minutes. They can keep adding more information as it becomes available. If that were a newspaper, you would have to wait up to a day to read about the news. Even news on the television takes longer to get to you than the Internet. Issues with the Internet Information overload There is almost too much information on the Internet. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is out there. When you type a search term into a search engine, you won't just get a few results, you will get millions! Search engines do a good job at prioritising which are the most relevant sites for your search term. However that one piece of information that you are after might be on page 345 of results. There is very little chance that you are going to find it. Information can be biased No one owns the Internet and there is nothing to stop people posting their opinions and points of view on web pages, forums, blogs. Many people believe what they read on the Internet. You need to be careful and think about what you are reading. An awful lot of material and web sites are biased and only give you one point of view. Information can be inaccurate With a book or encyclopaedia, you can be pretty confident that what you are reading has been checked, cross referenced and is correct. But with the Internet, no one checks what has been written. The website that looks like it has all of the answers to your questions might just be incorrect. You need to double check things out for yourself - don't just believe what you read. Offensive material No matter how careful you are when using the Internet, there is always the possibility that you will come across some sites that contain offensive or even illegal material. The police spend a lot of time trying to track down and shut sites which have unsuitable images of children on them. But as soon as they close one, another one pops up.

Addiction There has been a worrying increase in the number of people who are becoming 'addicted' to the internet. Every spare moment they have is spent online, some even go without proper sleep so that they don't have to log off. There have been reports of families breaking up and people losing their jobs because of this problem. Future of the Internet The internet is going to continue to expand as developing countries set up their own networks that become part of the internet. The way you access the internet will also change. Wi-Fi hot spots will become so widespread that you will expect to be able to connect from almost anywhere on Earth. As well as connecting with computers, connecting with mobile devices will become commonplace. Not only mobile phones but also brand new gadgets will be invented to let you hook into the internet on the move. The internet will become faster. Instead of 8 Megabits per second, by the year 2020 you will be connecting at 1 thousand Megabytes per second, basically instantly. The future is bright!