Computers are capable of doing more things every year. There are many advantages to knowing how to use a computer, and it is important that everyone know how to use them properly. Using the information I have gathered, and my own knowledge from my 12 years of computer experience, I will explain the many advantages of owning a computer and knowing how to use a PC and I will attempt to explain why you should purchase a computer and learn how to use one properly.
Webster’s New World Compact Dictionary defines a computer as “an electronic machine that performs rapid, complex calculations or compiles and correlates data” (“Computer.”). While this definition gives one a very narrow view of what a computer is capable of doing, it does describe the basic ideas of what I will expand upon. We have been living through an age of computers for a short while now and there are already many people world wide that are computer literate.
According to Using Computers: A Gateway to Information World Wide Web Edition, over 250 million Personal Computers (PC’s) were in use by 1995, and one out of every three homes had a PC (Shelly, Cashman,& Waggoner, 138).
Computers are easy to use when you know how they work and what the parts are. All computers perform the four basic operations of the information processing cycle: input, process, output, and storage. Data, any kind of raw facts, is required for the processing cycle to occur.
Data is processed into useful information by the computer hardware. Most computer systems consist of a monitor, a system unit which contains the Central Processing Unit (CPU), a floppy-disk drive, a CD-ROM drive, speakers, a keyboard, a mouse, and a printer. Each component takes a part in one of the four operations.
The keyboard and mouse are input devices that a person uses to enter data into the computer. From there the data goes to the system unit where it is processed into useful information the computer can understand and work with. Next the processed data can be sent to storage devices or to output devices. Normally output is sent to the monitor and stored on the hard-disk or to afloppy-disk located internal of the system unit. Output can also be printed out through the printer, or can be played through the speakers as sound depending on the form it takes after it is processed.
Once you have grasped a basic understanding of the basic parts and operations of a computer, you can soon discover what you can do with computers to make life easier and more enjoyable.
Being computer literate allows you to use many powerful software applications and utilities to do work for school, business, or pleasure. Microsoft is the current leading producer of many of these applications and utilities.
Microsoft produces software called operating systems that manage and regulate the information processing cycle. The oldest of these is MS-DOS, a single user system that uses typed commands to initiate tasks. Currently Microsoft has available operating systems that use visual cues such as icons to help enter data and run programs. These operating systems are ran under an environment called a Graphical User Interface (GUI’s). Such operating systems include Windows 3.xx, Windows 95, and Windows NT Workstation. Windows 95 is geared more for use in the home for productivity and game playing whereas Windows NT is more business orientated.
The article entitled “Mine, All Mine” in the June 5, 1995 issue of Time stated that 8 out of 10
PC’s worldwide would not be able to start or run if it were not for Microsoft’s operating systems like MS-DOS, Windows 95, and Windows NT (Elmer-Dewitt, 1995, p. 50).
By no means has Microsoft limited itself to operating systems alone. Microsoft has also produced a software package called Microsoft Office that is very useful in creating reports, databases, spreadsheets, presentations, and other documents for school and work. Microsoft Office:
Introductory Concepts and Techniques provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to the four programs included in Microsoft Office.
Included in this package are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is a word processing program that makes creating