Monday, 25 July 2016

BASIC COMPUTER TUTORIAL - Part 1

A computer is an electronic machine made up of devices used for input, processing, storage and output. Let us learn about the parts of a computer and acquaint ourselves with some terms.

PARTS OF A COMPUTER

The basic parts of computer are the hardware and the software.
Hardware is the physical parts of computer that you can feel and touch. Examples are; monitor, CPU, mouse, keyboard, speaker, motherboard etc.
While software is the parts of computer that you can see and use but you cannot touch. Examples are: Windows, Microsoft Office, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop etc.

TERMS TO REMEMBER 

Data: The raw facts or figures entered in a computer. 
 Input: Data entered in a computer. 
 Processing: Working (by a computer) on the input data according to the instructions. 
 Storage: Recording or saving data entered in a computer. You can retrieve (get back) this data whenever you need it. 
 Output: Information generated by processing data, which is displayed by a computer screen or printed by an output device like a printer. 
 Program: A set of instructions (ordered) given to a computer to perform. 
 Hardware: All the computer devices and equipment such as the mouse, CPU box, keyboard, printer, monitor, microchips, wires, etc. which you can see and touch. 
 Software: Information or program stored in a computer. 
 Operating System: The software that is used to run a computer.
THE KEYBOARD
The keyboard is an input device. It is used to enter data or give instructions to the computer.
The keyboard has keys for letters (A B C), numbers (1 2 3), symbols (= / >) and punctuation marks (, . ?).
Besides, there are Cursor keys, Function keys and Special keys.
Parts of the keyboard are:
LETTER KEYS
The keys are used to type text. All the letters on these keys are in upper case (capital letters).
If you press a letter key, that letter is displayed on the screen in lower case (small letters).
NUMBER KEYS
The number keys display numbers on the screen. These keys have symbols above the numbers.
SPACE BAR
The Space bar is the longest key on the keyboard. It is used to put spaces between characters (letters) or words while typing.
ENTER
If you press the Enter key after typing a word or a sentence, the cursor moves to the next line.
CAPS LOCK  
The Caps Lock key is used to type all the characters (letters) or words in upper case (capital letters).
When you press the Caps Lock key, the Caps Lock Indicator (top right hand side) will glow to indicate that the Caps Lock key is ON. All the characters (letters) or words that you type will be in upper case (capital letters).
If you again press the Caps Lock key, the indicator will go off to indicate that the Caps Lock key is OFF. Now all the characters (letters) or words that you type will be in lower case (small letters).
SHIFT
The Shift key indicates a shift or change in case.
The Shift key is pressed along with a letter key to type the letter in capital letter (upper case).
Ø  For instance :
                                  
Shift          +    T             : T (T is in upper case)

The screen displays the symbol given above that number after you have pressed the Shift and number keys.
Ø  Examples:
Shift                +   !
                             1:! (Exclamation mark)
Shift                %
                        5: % (per cent)
If a particular key has two options on it, the Shift key is used along with that key to type the option given at the top of the key.
Ø  Examples:
Shift          +   ?
                       / : ? (Question mark)
Shift          +   +
                       = : + (addition)
BACKSPACE
The Backspace key is used to erase a character (letter) to the left of the cursor. It erases one character at a time.
DELETE
The Delete key erases a character (letter) to the right of the cursor. It erases one character at a time.
CURSOR KEYS
The four keys with arrows are the Cursor keys or Arrow keys.
The Up Arrow key moves the cursor to a line above the current line.
The Down Arrow key moves the cursor to a line below the current line.
The Left Arrow key moves the cursor to the left of a character.
The Right Arrow key moves the cursor to the right of a character.
HOME
The Home key brings the cursor to the where the sentence begins.
In Windows programs like WordPad and MS-Word, when you press Ctrl + Home, you can go to the beginning of a document. 
END
The End key moves the cursor to the end of a line.
In Windows programs like WordPad and MS-Word, when you press the Ctrl + End, you can go to the end of a document.
PAGE UP
The Page Up key is used to move across the previous pages or screens of a long document.
PAGE DOWN
The Page Down key is used to move to the next pages or screens of a long document.
TAB
The Tab key is used to move the cursor to the right along a line. It is also used to set or adjust the margin of a paragraph. It moves the cursor faster than the Space bar.
CTRL
The Ctrl (Control) key is always used with some other key to give certain commands.
Ø  Examples: In WordPad’
                     Ctrl + N = opening a new document.
                     Ctrl + O = opening an existing document.
                     Ctrl + S = saving a document.
FUNCTION KEYS
The key labeled from F1 to F12 are called Function keys. These keys are used as shortcuts to some special commands in operating systems like Windows.
NUMERIC KEY PAD
The Numeric key pad includes Number keys, Cursor keys, the Enter key, Page Up key, Page Down key, End key, Home key, Delete key and keys for mathematical operations like division(/),subtraction (-),addition (+) and multiplication (*). 
Press the Num Lock key to make use of the numbers on the numeric key pad, The Num lock indicator will glow which indicates that an make use of numbers displayed on the Numeric key pad.
Pressing the Num lock key again puts of the indicator indicating that the key is locked and cannot be used. But if u press the number keys now, the Home key, End key, Page Up key, Page Down key and the Cursor keys on them will be effective.



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