Class Notes (834,258)
Canada (508,445)
CIS 1000 (102)
Zoe Zhu (51)

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Computing and Information Science
CIS 1000
Zoe Zhu

Module Notes Page 1 of 37Week 1 Chapter 1 Why Computers Matter to You Becoming Computer LiterateIntroductionComputers have had a greater impact on our civilization than virtually all other inventions with the possible exceptions of the wheel and the printing press Everyday activities are becoming more and more reliant on computers From communication to commerce computers allow us to do more than ever before You can purchase a customized sweater for your mom from a shop in a small town on the south coast of New Zealand while listening to a song being played on the radio in Brazil as your stock portfolio is being reevaluated for the twentieth time today all while you sit in front of the computer brushing your teeth at 645 in the morning Computers have drastically changed our livesMost people agree that there have been more changes in the last twenty years than in any other time in the known history of mankind With so much change and at such a rapid pace becoming literate about such a driving force in our society seems only natural Not only have our personal lives been affected but there are fewer and fewer careers left that do not involve some level of computer knowledge or skill Computers make knowledgeable users more efficient and therefore more productive There are thousands of different careers that list computer competency as a minimal requirement for application It should be known that most of these positions are not for computer scientists or programmers but are for traditional and contemporary careers that may have previously not had any computer involvementNotice that the previous paragraph referred to the knowledgeable user the purpose of this course is to hopefully make you a much more knowledgeable computer userMost people who take a course like this come in with some preexisting knowledge and skillsTo be successful in this course you must take the perspective You dont know what you dont know Build on what you already know and take the time to absorb the new material Try to understand how the various concepts covered in the various modules and chapters in this course are related Virtually everything has connections and understanding these connections will guarantee successThe information age is upon us and every corner of our lives has been affected Everything we doour work our play the way we communicate commerce and our relationshipshas been affected by computers Becoming computer literatebeing familiar enough with computers that you understand their capabilities and limitations and know how to use themhas become a necessity to succeed Becoming computer literate is what this course is all aboutMore than just a jobTechnology today is not just a means for career advancement or just a necessary skill set for survival in society It has become something morea tool that allows an individual to make an impact far beyond his or her own life We want our work and our lives to mean something and benefit othersTechnology on the world stageThanks to technology each of us is empowered with tools and opportunities to impact the world Your reach can go far beyond what you see around youPolitical and global issues of recent times are showing that modern technology is galvanizing groups of people in new ways Social networking is the gathering together of groups of people using online tools to connect and exchange ideas Social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter fueled social unrest in the face of repression and censorship in many countriesHaving an international population armed with cameras and a means to quickly distribute their video allows the invisible to become visible in many ways The Witness Project founded by Peter Gabriel uses this strategy to stop human rights abuses throughout the world Their slogan is See it Film it Change it And video from the Witness Project has changed many lives for example it contributed to the arrest of warlords in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the recruitment of child soldiers Module Notes Page 2 of 37 Efforts similar to those just described are working to document the environmental state of the world Environmental successes can be collected together along with evidence to document ecological crimes What if each of the cell phones distributed around the world was equipped with integrated atmospheric sensorsThen millions of points around the world would be constantly reporting in on air and water qualityTechnology and our societyTechnology is allowing us to redefine very fundamental parts of our social makeup How we think how we connect with each other how we purchase and consume productsall of these areas of our society are shifting rapidly because of technologyFor detail please see the class notes and text bookTechnology and your lifeTechnology is creating huge changes in the world scene as well as how we behave socially The more you understand technology the greater your productivity can be and the better prepared youll be for any careerTechnology now allows you to be very active in critical social and global issues In order to take advantage of such power you need to move beyond being just a casual computer user and achieve computer literacy Being computer literate means being familiar enough with computers that you understand their capabilities and limitations and you know how to use them efficiently For detail please see the class notes and text bookTechnology in Focus The History of PCIn this Technology in Focus feature we look at the history of the personal computer We discuss some developments that helped make the computer powerful and portable as well as the people who contributed to its development We start with the story of the personal computer and how it grew to be as integral to our lives as the automobile is Read text book for details Week 2 Chapter 2 Looking at Computers Understanding the PartsIntroductionIn this weeks material well review the functions of a computer Strictly defined a computer is a data processing device that performs four major functions1 It gathers data or allows users to input data 2 It processes that data into information 3 It outputs data or information 4 It stores data and informationThen we investigate how to process data into information and be stored in your computer system In order to process data into information computers need to work in a language they understand This language called binary language consists of just two digits 0 and 1 Everything a computer does is broken down into a series of 0s and 1s Each 0 and 1 is a binary digit or bit for short Eight binary digits or bits combine to create 1 byte In computers each letter of the alphabet each number and each special character such as thesign consists of a unique combination of 8 bits or a string of eight 0s and 1s As it turns out if 8 bits are put together there are 256 possible combinations that they can be in That number of combinations allows for a code that can include all the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet all 10 digits punctuation marks and many other muchused symbols We call these 8 bits working together a byte Bytes are the basic measurement for storage in a computer It is important to understand what the various hardware elements do for the effective use of your computerModule Notes Page 3 of 37Most of the components in your computer are directly involved in the information processing cycle In addition to understanding what these components do it is necessary to acknowledge that most have Chapters Megabytes Gigahertz etc associated with them Understanding how these components and their Chapters are related will help you determine the potential and limitations of your own system Input and output devices are the hardware components which allow us to get data into and out of a computer system This weeks reading will introduce both common and not so common devices with a brief discussion of eachUnderstanding Your ComputerStrictly defined a computer is a data processing device that performs four major functions1 Input It gathers data or allows users to enter data 2 Process It manipulates calculates or organizes that data into information 3 Output It displays data and information in a form suitable for the user 4 Storage It saves data and information for later useFor detail please see the class notes and text bookYour Computers HardwareInput devices enable you to transform information into a digital representation that the computer can process Output devices transform processed digital information into forms that make sense to humans In this chapter the student will explore the basic computer system by looking at the various hardware components that can be attached to a computer Hardware components consist of the system Chapter and peripheral devices those devices such as monitors and printers that are connected to the computer Other hardware devices such as routers help a computer communicate with other computers to facilitate sharing documents and other resources Together the system Chapter and peripheral devices perform four main functions they enable the computer to input data process that data and output and store the data and information A variety of common input output and storage devices are explored and explained The most commonly used input device is one of the many variations of the standard keyboard Many of these are ergonomically designed Pointing devices which address the point and click nature of many operating systems include the mouse touchpad TrackPoint and trackball There are also specialized pointing devices for games designers and kiosks such as the joystick graphics tablet and touch screen There are also many special purpose input devices to meet specific requirements Many input devices directly capture digital information and some convert the information into digital form such as scanners digital cameras digital videos audio digitizers and sensors Output devices such as screen monitors printers and audio devices are peripherals used to communicate back to usThe system Chapter is the box that contains the central electronic components of the computer including the computers processor its memory and circuit boards Youll also find the power source and all the storage devices CDDVD drive and hard drive in the system Chapter Your system has a poweron button on the front panel Although you use this button to turn on your system you dont want to use it to turn off your system You turn off the power by clicking on a shutdown icon on the desktop When your computer enters Sleep mode all the documents applications and data you were using are in RAM where they are quickly accessible upon starting to use your computer again Hibernation is another powersaving mode that stores your data in memory and saves it to your computers hard disk If youre using Windows Vista you can restart the computer when you click the right arrow button next to the lock button on the Start menu This is called a warm boot You might need to perform a warm boot if the operating system or other software application stops responding or if you have installed new programs The hard disk drive is your computers primary device for permanent storage of software and documents The hard disk drive is a nonvolatile storage device meaning it holds the data and instructions your computer needs permanently even after the computer is turned off Originally all hard disk drives were installed inside the system Chapter Today external hard drives are readily available Flash drives sometimes referred to as jump drives USB drives or thumb drives are the new alternative to storing portable data They plug into USB ports Several manufacturers now also include slots on the front of the system Chapter in which you can insert portable flash memory cards Many notebooks also include slots for flash memory cards Flash memory cards let you transfer digital data between your computer and devices such as digital cameras PDAs smartphones video cameras and printersInput DevicesAn input device enables you to enter data text images and sounds and instructions user responses and commands into the computer
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