Once you turn the computer on, the monitor will go through a series of tasks before it is ready for you to interact with it (this process is called “startup”). This will last for about 1-2 minutes. If the computer is not working correctly, you may see an error message during startup.
In the picture to the left, the process is called a “Log On” window and it means that the computer is password protected. If you do not see this window upon starting the computer, you can assume that your computer is NOT password protected and can be accessed by anyone. To log on simply enter your username and password.
Most computers have a mode called “Sleep Mode”, in which the computer is on, but it has assumed an energy-efficient, minimal power mode. To “wake” it up simply move the mouse around or press the space bar on the keyboard, and it will “wake up” and return to the exact same place that it was when it went to sleep.
To turn a computer on if it is off, simply press the power button one ( No need to hold the button, just press and release)
Let’s get started! As you sit down at your desk, you can assume that your computer system is one of the three states :
OFF: This is exactly what it sounds like. The computer is off, and no parts are running or working. The monitor is black (no images), there is no “whirring” sound from the CPU, and the computer is unresponsive to the movements of the mouse or pressing keys on the keyboard. The power button would not be lit up.
ON: When a computer is on, you should see images on the monitor, you will most likely hear a “whirring” noise coming from the CPU (hopefully not too loud!), and the pointer on the screen (the small white arrow) should respond when you move the mouse.
Computer uses both hardware and software but in this course, we are going to look into hardware. Think of hardware as the physical pieces of a computer – the monitor,the CPU, all the pieces and parts inside the CPU, the mouse, the keyboard etc.
This is another way to interact with your computer. Most mice have buttons, a right and a left buttonj and a scrolling wheel. This applies to ‘desktop’ computers, and not a ‘laptop’ computer. A laptop computer is simply a more compact version of a desktop, designed to be able to be carried around from place to place (e.g., to class or to a coffee shop)
The keyboard is one of the two ways to interact with your computer. The keys should mostly mimic a traditional typewriter. Nowadays, there are ususally more forms in which a typewriter comes in.
Computer Processing Unit (CPU) : The tower houses the machinery that allows your computer to work. Think of this as the ‘brains’ of the computer. The CPU can also be upgraded, inrespective of the chipsets involved.