Taught: Fall 2008, 2010, Spring 2011
We start this course by learning basic and advanced computer concepts with an emphasis on both the personal computer and enterprise computing. The course provides the student with a comprehensive view of what a computer can achieve and how it is being utilized throughout the society at large, i.e., at home, school, work, and play.
Chapter 1 is an introduction to computers; it describes the main computer components, networks and the internet. We will cover the Internet and the World Wide Web in more details in chapter 2. The difference between application software and system software will be the object of chapter 3. We will present in this chapter different applications allowing text processing (Word), spreadsheet (Excel), database management (Access) and oral presentations (PowerPoint). Training with these applications and reinforcement of these applications will be conducted in the laboratory through several projects. The description of the computer system unit including motherboard, control unit, registers, and the system clock will be laid in chapter 4. In this very chapter, we will also cover data representation and the notions of buses and ports. The different input devices will be introduced in chapter 5. The output devices such as printers, speakers, headphones will be the object of chapter 6. The storage devices such as magnetic disks, optical disks and tape will be laid in chapter 7. Finally, we conclude this course by chapter 8 in which we present different system utilities and major operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista, Unix, and Linux.
Gary B. Shelly, Misty E. Vermaat, Discovering Computers 2009, Course Technology Cengage Learning, 2008