Think of hardware as the physical components of your computer: the first thing you see when you sit down at a desk. These components contribute to input – what you can control to; output – what you can see - and processing, which includes storage.
Monitor: Display screen. Turning off the monitor by pressing its power button will NOT shut down your computer. It will only cut off your visual access to your work.System Unit: Sometimes called the tower, or the Mother Board, this equipment contains your computer’s brain: the Central Processing Unit, or CPU, which processes data, and the temporary memory (data waiting to be stored) and long-term, permanent storage. If you are familiar with the term “hard drive,” that refers to the primary, largest internal storage device. In a laptop computer, the system unit is not separate from the monitor; instead the storage devices, keyboard, mouse, and monitor are combined to form a single unit. Turning off your CPU by pressing its power button WILL shut down your computer, and it is strongly discouraged. You can lose unsaved work, but you can also damage your computer’s system unit in the long run. Instead, follow the proper shutdown procedure: Start Button > Shut Down / Turn Off Computer. The computer will provide prompts if you have any programs running as you try to shutdown; follow the prompts to close unsaved work. Mouse: An external device that allows you to manipulate what you see on-screen: you make commands to the computer, or respond to computer prompts, by clicking the appropriate mouse buttons Keyboard: Another external command device: make commands or respond to prompts through keystrokes, or input text data when appropriate or necessaryFlash/USB/Thumb drive – Additional method of storage, but this is external: it connects to your computer through one of the USB ports located in the system unit CD/DVD Drive – Plays back stored material on the appropriate disk, or allows you to store files onto an appropriate disk. Save a document to a CD, or music files. If you have ever heard the term “burn a CD,” all it means is transferring a music file to a CD that is located in the CD drive. Printers and speakers are familiar to everyone – keep in mind that they, too, comprise a computer’s hardware, if they are connected to the system unit by cables.
Compressed version of the desktop
2. 3. “Click” refers to mouse actions. Left click means a single click of the left mouse button. Right click means a single click of the right mouse button. Double-click means two clicks in rapid succession of the left mouse button.
What is a mouse? This hand-held device, connected to your computer or laptop by a USB cable, lets you point to, select, and then move objects on your computer. When you want to select the graphic icons on your computer desktop or folders, when you want to select a program in your start menu, when you want to select text in a document, or a button or link on a website: you will need your mouse. Your mouse allows you to interact with your computer – it is essential to navigating your computer!To use the mouse, position it so that it points with the cable up, and the wider, curved part toward the edge of your desk. Place your right palm over the end of the mouse, with your right index finger over the left mouse button, and your middle finger over the right mouse button. Your right thumb should rest on the left side of the mouse, while your right pinkie should rest on the right side of the mouse.
As you move the mouse with your hand, you will see that the cursor – usually shaped like an arrow – will begin to move around the screen. If you ever feel as though you don’t have enough room – if the cursor moves off screen, if it feels like you are pulling the mouse over the edge of your desk, don’t get frustrated! Just pick up the mouse, off the desktop, and reposition it so that you have sufficient room to continue moving the mouse. Move the mouse to position it wherever you want it. Thewheel in the center: If you have a mouse with a wheel between its buttons, as most do, you have a scroll: when you are within a window on your screen, roll the wheel with your index finger. This will move the screen up and down as you do so, which saves you the time of clicking on the scroll buttons in your window.And yes, I will explain what that means in just a few moments. =) Except when needing to drag – to highlight text, to move text or pictures – you do NOT need to move the mouse while you left- or right- click: you only need to have the mouse cursor positioned on the object you want to select. Things to remember:Click means once with the left button, double click means twice with the left button, right click means once with the right button, and drag means click and hold the left button as you literally drag the mouse in the direction you want it to go. Do not hold down either button too hard – it isn’t designed for heavy usage - or for too long – if you intend to click once, holding down the button can actually activate a different function. Similarly, do not double-click with a heavy finger. If it isn’t done quickly, then it will not work.Position the mouse in the way that is most comfortable for you! If you are left handed, transfer the mouse to your left side, and turn it upside down, so that your left index finger is over the left button, and your left middle finger is over the right button. It is not always immediately evident when to use a single click and when to use a double-click. Right-clicks only open shortcut menus: you’ll use them when you know you want the menu to appear. For left-clicks, here are general rules of thumb:One Click:Taskbar Buttons, including the Start ButtonTaskbar Icons, including the Quick Start icons and the program iconsNotification Area iconsStart Menu program listsProgram menu commands, whether they are in an Internet window or another program window. After you have already opened a software program, your mouse commands also typically require only one click. For example, it takes a double-click to open MS Word from the desktop, but once you are in Word, you only have to click once to activate the cut or copy or paste commands. Double-Click:Icons representing a file, folder, or a program, such as Desktop or Storage Libraries iconsPRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Get to know your cursors: they indicate what actions you are able to take, based on the type of object you are trying to select. The hourglass, or circle, indicates that the computer is busy completing a task. PLEASE let the computer finish its task. Trying to work ahead of the computer, or clicking on an object multiple times, only delays the process. BREAK FOR PRACTICE!PRACTICE:Explore the mouse by exploring the desktop: Use the left and right buttons of the mouse to:Left buttons:Single click:Activate the start menu; Access the Quick Start menu; Double-click:Open MS Word;OROpen Internet ExplorerRight button:Hover the pointer over any desktop icon, then right-click to view the shortcut menu.
I spoke just a moment ago about PCs, like this one, running on Windows 7 software. That software is behind-the-scenes, operating software, AKA system software, which keeps your computer running. There are two basic types of software, but the most important thing to remember about it is that, unlike hardware, it is intangible. You use hardware – your mouse, and your keyboard – to locate and use software on the computer, but it is the software that controls the hardware. System software, on the one hand, runs the application software, maintains file management, and transfers data between hardware devicesApplication software, on the other hand, is specific to certain kinds of tasks, and the best way to describe that is to consider the kinds of tasks you want your computer to perform. If you want to print, you need to install a printer using application software that communicates between your computer and your printer. If you want to create a document, you need MS Word: an application. If you want to edit photographs, you need Photoshop: an application. For example, you would use your mouse (hw) to navigate to MS Word on your computer, your mouse (hw) to double-click and open a Word Processing document, and your mouse or keyboard (hw) to save it. However, when you save a document to your desktop, or to your Documents folder, or even to an external drive, like a USB/flash drive, you are using the software to take up space on your hard drive’s memory.
Think of your computer as nothing more than an electronic organizational system – an electronic office. When you first enter an office, the most prominent piece of furniture, the first place you will sit and review your work and your options is your desk.Your computer is no different. The computer desktop is the first thing you see when you start up your computer, and it is the main access point for everything on your computer: essentially, it houses all of your software, both system and application. And, just like a physical desk, the desktop also stores the files that you have created in the form of folders, where you can organize your work by name. The desktop provides visual shortcuts to these programs and files. These small pictures are called icons. You can access the programs and files by using – you guessed it! – your mouse to select and open the icons.Components of the Desktop:The Background Image is called your Desktop Wallpaper – this will differ depending on each computer, and you can change it, by right-clicking on the background, and accessing your system properties shortcut menu. The Recycle Bin stores all of your deleted files. Your files are not permanently deleted until YOU empty the recycle bin. Otherwise, you can restore a file in the recycle bin to continue using it. In addition to programs, you can also store files on your desktop, especially if you want easy access to them. Here, we have icons both for folders, which contain and organize files according to your preference, and icons for individualfiles themselves. The Taskbar, located at the bottom of your screen, keeps track of your application software – some of it active, and some of it working in the background. The taskbar is home to the Start Button; icons for frequently used programs, called the Quick Launch/Quick Start bar; icons for programs that are currently running, and your notification options, most notably the Date and Time. The button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen is your StartButton: clicking once on the button will open your Start Menu, through which all of your installed programs are accessible. What’s this? In the very bottom right-hand corner of your desktop is a small, vertical button. Hover your mouse over it: the message “Show desktop” appears, as will the image of your desktop for as long as the mouse hovers over it. If you click – once! – on the button, you will switch back to your desktop, regardless of the program that you are currently using! It’s a handy way to access files or folders stored on your desktop.
Back to the Taskbar. Pinned to the bottom of your desktop and to the bottom of your screen no matter what programs you have open, the Taskbar contains not only the Start Button and the Start Menu, but also the Quick Start mini-task bar, and your Notification Area.The Quick Start bar shows the frequently used programs and folders: in Windows 7, you will find the icons for the Windows Explorer,where you can access all the major storage folders on the computer; Internet Explorer, to browse the web; and the Windows Media Player, which plays music files. You can add or remove items to your Quick Start bar based on how often you use these programs. To remove a program from Quick Star, right click on its icon to pull up a shortcut menu. The Windows Explorer, or Libraries View,opens your computer’s library of files, everywhere a file or a folder is, and can be, stored. The computer continue the desktop analogy by storing files in system folders. Some are pre-determined by the operating system. Others you create, according to your personal organizational needs. When you save a file, give it a memorable, relevant name, and store it in an area that makes the most sense to you. If you want to save your files on your desktop, you can do that. If you have many files saved to your desktop, you can organize them by creating a folder that unites them in a meaningful way. For example, if you have several versions of your resume saved, you could create a Desktop folder called Resumes. To create a new folder, right-click somewhere on the desktop background (NOT on an existing icon).To store your files in the new folder, you can use the drag action on your mouse to drop the desired files into that folder. Don’t feel limited, however, to saving files to the desktop. Windows 7 comes pre-loaded with Libraries that are ideal for storing files according to their function, and each of those libraries can be expanded to suit you: you can create new folders within each library. Once a folder exists, you can save new files to that folder, or you can move existing files – using drag and drop – into that new folder. For example, if you don’t want to save your resumes to your desktop, you can:Open your Windows Explorer (one-click)Open the Documents Folder (double-click)Right-click within the open Documents Folder. In the sub-menu, click on New, then click on Folder. A New Folder will appear. Type in a new, meaningful name for it (such as Resumes). You can then store files in the Resumes folder, which is a sub-folder of the Documents Library.The Windows Explorer allows you to see all of the possible storage locations on your computer, or on external storage devices (such as flash drives), at once. Even if you are searching for a file in one library, on the left-hand menu of this Window, you will still see the main categories of storage locations. If you insert a flash/USB drive into your computer, it will appear until the Computer headingDouble-click on a libraryicon –including the Desktop! - to see which folders and/orfiles are stored there, and double-click on a file icon to open that file. If you don’t see the file or folder you want, click (once) on any of the named locations on the navigational panel on the left side to view the folders and files in those locations. If you know the name of the file, you can use the Search box in the upper right-hand corner of the Windows Explorer Window, and type in the file’s name to search. To delete a file – or send it to the Recycle Bin – click on it once and press the Delete button on your computer’s keyboard, or right click on its icon and select Delete from the shortcut menu. Back to the Taskbar:Once you open a program, or once you open a file that uses a particular program, the icon representing the program and the file will appear on the Taskbar, as shown.Not only can you can see all your open programs, but you can also move between them: when you hover your mouse – with the pointer – over a Quick Start icon, you will see all its active windows (I’ll explain windows in just a moment!) for that program. Click on one of the windows to make it full screen. The Notifications provide information about background programs – the computer’s functions that are running, but do not necessarily require you to activate and maintain them. For example, anti-virus software notifications are available here. If you plug in external hardware, such as a USB drive or a printer, an icon will appear in the Notifications Area to let you know that new devices have been detected. Volume control is in the Not. Area. If you are printing, its progress is tracked in the N.A. Please note! Only the folder and file icons require a double-click. The Quick Start and Notification Areas are single left click actions.
The StartButton displays the Start Menu, and the Start Menu contains shortcuts to all programs installed on your computer – whether they are application programs or system utilities. You can also find your files: you have access to your main storage folders from the Start Menu as well. The Start Menu shows you the programs you most often access on the left. On the right, you will see shortcuts to common areas of the computer – storage locations, computer utilities, and your Shut Down button. To see a list of every program, not just the ones you have recently or frequently used, simply hover over, or click on, the All Programs option to see a menu list of – literally – all the application programs installed on your computer. Remember, this is a single-click operation! Your storage libraries are available here, organized by type of file - Documents, Pictures, and Music. If it is stored somewhere on your computer besides your desktop, you can access the main library from the Start Menu. One important feature to remember about the libraries – which we’ll explore in a moment - is that accessing one folder does not prevent you from seeing all other folders in the computer. If you are in one, you can easily find the others thanks to the Windows Explorer. Right arrows:When you see a small arrow next to the name of a program, it means that there is a sub-menu: in the Start Menu, it indicates recently-opened files for that particular program. Click once on any of these files to open it. If you are in the All Programs menu, it indicates that some software programs contain others – the best example of this is Microsoft Office. Office itself Is a program software suite, while MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and so forth, are themselves application software programs within Office. Click once on any of these programs to open it. Hoverover the arrows to see these sub-menus; to close a sub-menu, click on the arrow.To close the Start Menu, click once on the Start button, or click once, anywhere on your desktop except the Start menuAnd again, remember that for these actions, you only have to click the mouse once! PRACTICE THIS TECHNIQUE!
Title Bar: This indicates the document name (when applicable), and the name of the program. Menu Bar: Though designed according to MS Office specifications – rendered here as a tab system, instead of in the more familiar drop-down menus, it still contains your basic program commands. The Scroll Bar remains the same.Minimize/Maximize/Closeremain the same.Note: Your Taskbar remains pinned to the bottom of your screen! Remember: To use any of these features, you only need to click once!
Though the content of windows can change based on the program you use, they share some common components, which you can control using your mouse.Title Bar: Shows the Name of the program, and, if you have created or saved a file, the name of that file. Internet files no longer have title bars indicating the name of a website page, but if you hover over your browser’s Quick Start icon, it will indicate the name of the page, and the type of browser you are using. Menu Bar: Commands suitable for the actions you can take in this type of window. The File > Edit > View drop-down menu is common to Internet browsers, while Microsoft Office uses tabs to indicate different groups of commands (next slide)Scroll Bar: Move the window up and down, or from side to side, to see everything displayed. Use the left button of your mouse to click the up or down arrows, which will slowly move the screen up or down, or use the drag technique to slide the scroll bar up and down in the desire direction. Minimize: This button will reduces your screen so that it drops to your taskbar. Click on the program icon in the taskbar to retrieve your screen.Maximize/Restore: If your window takes up the entire screen, clicking the Maximize/Restore button will shrink the window so that other program windows are visible. If you want the window to fill the screen again, click the Maximize/Restore button once more.Close: The Red X closes your window. If you are in a program that requires you to save your work, you will be prompted at this time to save your file. Where is the menu bar? Different web browsers have different default displays. Google Chrome, the example shown here, hides its menu. Internet Explorer (demonstrate) and Firefox keeps its visible. You can adjust the settings so that they are the same each time you open the web browser.Window features specific to Internet browsers:Opening one window starts one Internet session, and it opens, initially, only to one web page. The web address of your homepage will appear in the address bar, which is always locatedat the top of an Internet browser window. You can navigate to another web page by positioning your mouse over the address bar. When the I-beam appears, click once. This will highlight the website address in blue, and you can begin typing a new web address to replace the current one. Hit the ENTER button on your keyboard to go to the new web address. For example, to go to the Google Homepage, type in www.google.com .However, you do NOT need to open another window if you want to visit another web page without leaving the first. Internet browsers now utilize tabs to organize multiple web pages, so that you do not need to keep track of multiple windows. If you want to visit a second page, simply click on the New Tab button, which is directly to the right of the open tab. This will open a blank tab, with a blank address bar. You can then type in the address of the new web address. Hit the ENTER button on your keyboard to go to the new web address.Note that your Taskbar remains pinned to the bottom of your screen! Remember: To access any of these commands, you only need to click once!
For optimal functions, please shut down your computer according to its designated procedure. Demonstrate the shut-down procedure:- Start Button (One click)- Shut Down (One click)What happens if I hit the arrow next to the Shut Down button?You will receive a list of options for alternatives to shutting down your computer altogether. What happens if I choose Log Off instead of Shut Down or Turn Off Computer? You will log out of your current session and return to the opening screen on your computer. It will ask you to log in again. What happens if I hit Restart instead? Restart shuts down but immediately restarts your computer.
Example of a Laptop Computer
Example of a Desktop Computer
Mousepad (sometimes known as
Common Computer Questions:
What’s the Difference Between…
…hardware and software?
Hardware: basic components of the computer – essentially, anything you can physically touch. Your monitor:
hardware. Your keyboard: hardware. Your mouse: hardware. Your printer: hardware. Even something as small as
a thumb/flash/USB drive: hardware.
Software: programs that can be installed onto your computer to control essential functions of the hardware. If
you have a printer connected to your computer by a cable, for example, that printer cannot be used until you add
software that communicates between your computer and the printer. For more information about Software, see
… a PC and a Mac?
PC simply stands for “personal computer,” which means a desktop computer, a laptop computer, or a netbook.
Mac refers to computers, both desktop and laptop, that are manufactured by the Apple company. PCs typically
run on Microsoft Windows operating software, such as Windows XP, or 7, or now 8. Macs typically operate on a
different operating system – OS X, Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion. You can immediately tell whether a computer
Is running on a Windows or a Mac OS system, by their different desktop and icon appearances. The Mac even has
slightly different keyboard features.
…left-click, right-click, and double-click?
See the next two slides for information on mouse clicks!
But how do I…
Click (Left-click or
Press the left button of your
mouse once. Let go.
This allows you to select an icon or
Press the left button of your
mouse twice very rapidly.
Select and open/activate
Press the right button of
your mouse once. Let go.
Access a shortcut menu, tailored to
the object you have selected
Hold down the left button
of your mouse, as you move
the mouse. When the
mouse is in a chosen
location, let go.
Move your selections: text, an image,
or another object
Quick Tip! Is your cursor off screen? Are you pulling the mouse over the edge of your desk? Don’t get frustrated! Just lift the mouse off
the desktop, and reposition it further from the edge so that you have sufficient room to move it around.
Cursors indicate which tasks are appropriate
for which selections.
Arrow: The arrow, or the pointer, is the default cursor. Use it to follow the movements of
your mouse across the screen. If it appears over an icon or object, that icon or object is
capable of being selected, with one click, and opened, with two clicks.
Pointing finger: The hand with the pointing finger indicates a web link, either in
the form of text or in the form of an icon. It only takes one click to activate a link.
Hourglass: The hourglass, or circle, indicates that the computer is busy completing a
task. PLEASE let the computer finish its task. Trying to work ahead of the computer, or
clicking on an object multiple times, only delays the process.
I-Beam Pointer: The I-beam or I-cursor indicates text fields. If you want to select
and highlight text, position your mouse over the area you want to select and use the drag
option (one click, hold down, and move the mouse ). If you would like to enter text into a
field, such as a search box, a text box, or an address bar, click once. This will activate the
blinking cursor, which indicates where you can enter text.
What is Software?
Two Basic Types
System Software: Keeps your computer functioning, and asks your computer to
carry out basic tasks. For example, Windows (whether it is Vista, XP, 7, or 8) is
operating system software.
Application Software: Helps you perform certain tasks
Ex.: Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
Allow you to create, store, and print word processing
documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
Ex.: Internet Explorer:
Connects you to and allows you to browse the Internet, or World Wide
Web – hence the term web browser
Icon: Recycle Bin
Background, or Wallpaper
Icon: Program (Software)
Icon: Folder (Files)
Software Program Icons
The Desktop Taskbar:
1. Click the Start Button.
2. View your most frequently
used programs on the left.
3. Click on the small arrows: these
display a list of the files most
recently opened in that
4. On the right are listed common
file directories: the main
storage folders for this
The Window (Sample - Word)
Minimize, Maximize, and Close
The Window (Sample - Internet)
Minimize, Maximize, and Close
Simple Shut Down*
1. Start Button
2. Shut Down
*Turning off your CPU by pressing its power button WILL shut
down your computer, but it is strongly discouraged. You can
lose unsaved work, but you can also damage your computer’s
system unit in the long run. Instead, follow the proper
shutdown procedure: Start Button > Shut Down / Turn Off
Computer. The computer will provide prompts if you have any
programs running as you try to shutdown; follow these
prompts to close unsaved work.