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Topic 4

Computer Hardware


  1. Computers can only do three things

    1. Store and retrieve data; data is information

    2. Manipulate the data; math and logic functions

    3. Move data from one device to another; Movie - DVD drive to a monitor

  2. Computers have two components

    1. Software - programs for the computer; tells computer how to process information

    2. Hardware - physical devices

      • Light Crystal Display - displays information

      • CD-Rom and DVD drives - device that reads optical disks

        • Devices tend to be slow

        • Used to store data

      • Hard drive - stores large volume of data

        • Very slow

        • Very reliable

      • Keyboard, mouse, etc.

  3. Internal hardware

    1. Central processing Unit (CPU) - process the information

      • Brain of the computer

      • Processor

        • Speed - defined in megahertz or gigahertz

        • Mega is million and giga is billion; the old days it was kilo, or thousands

        • The time for a computer to process instructions

          • Important but not reliable

          • CPU can execute multiple instructions at the same time

            • 2.1 gigahertz AMD processor

          • CPU has 2,100,000,000 cycles per second

    2. Random Access Memory (RAM) - temporary memory for the computer

      • Directly connected to the CPU

      • RAM is very fast; programs are loaded from other devices to RAM

      • CPU gets its information from the RAM

      • RAM has speed and capacity

        • The more the better until you hit a limit

        • Speed ranges from 100 MHz to 1,000 MHz

        • Double Data Rate (DDR) - DDR, DDR2, and DDR3

    3. The Chip Set

      • Northbridge - a chip that connects the CPU to the RAM and display chip

        • Very fast

        • Two designs - the video chip needs memory for display information

          • The CPU and display chip share the RAM

            • Slows down the system

            • Many laptops and low budget computers

Graphics chip shares RAM with CPU

          • The display chip has its own memory

            • System if very fast

            • Gaming laptops; more expensive

            • Laptops - the display chip is inside the north bridge

Graphics chip has its own RAM or GRAM

      • Southbridge - a chip that connects the other devices

        • Tends to be slower

    1. Motherboard - all internal components connect to the board


Web Browsers and Websites


  1. Web browsers

    1. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - the web address displayed in the browser

    2. As of August 2010

      • Firefox Mozilla                         45.8%

      • Internet Explorer Microsoft      30.7%

      • Chrome Google                       17.0%

      • Safari Apple                              3.5%

      • Opera                                       2.3%

    3. Handheld devices can display webpages

      • Ipads,Epads, and cellular phones

      • Iphone and Google's Android

      • Called Microbrowsers

      • Can use slim down versions of browsers above

  2. Websites and homepages

    1. A website has a homepage

      • Called index.php or index.htm

      • You never enter this. When you go to a website, this is the fist page that is loaded

    2. Website may have links that branch from the main page

      • Link - connection to any webpage

      • More will be said at the end of the course

    3. Websites vary in design

      • Ranges from simple designs and content to very complex

  3. Types of Websites

    1. Portal - offers services like free email, weather, etc.

    2. News - website geared for news

    3. Informational website - information from government or organizations

    4. Business/Marketing site - sells products and services

    5. Educational - teach and train; universities, colleges, and employer training

    6. Entertainment - games, videos, music, etc.

    7. Advocacy - websites geared for a cause

    8. Blog - opinions of website's author

    9. Personal website - people show the world their interest

  4. Search Engines - a website that allows people to find specific web content on the internet

    • Keywords - are the search criteria

    • Every website differs in how websites are referenced and indexed

    • Businesses pay money to search engines to display their website at the top of the list

    • Most popular search engines

      1. Google                                           85.4%

      2. Yahoo                                            6.3%

      3. Bing (Microsoft - replaced MSN)      3.3%


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