Welcome to Module 1: Concepts of Information Technology. This module provides necessary theoretical knowledge to understand the functioning of a modern computer, its capabilities and applications in everyday life. It also discusses information networks, data security and copyright issues.
Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
- Understand what hardware is, know about factors that affect computer performance and know about peripheral devices.
- Understand what software is and give examples of common applications software and operating system software.
- Understand how information networks are used within computing and be aware of the different options to connect to the Internet.
- Understand what Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) is and give examples of its practical applications in everyday life.
- Understand health, safety and environmental issues in relation to using computers.
- Recognise important security issues associated with using computers.
- Recognise important legal issues in relation to copyright and data protection associated with using computers.
- Hardware: The physical part of a computer, including its digital circuitry.
- Personal Computer (PC): A general-purpose computer whose price, size and capabilities make it useful for individuals.
- Central Processing Unit (CPU): Device that controls the operations of all the hardware of the system and is responsible for storing and retrieving information on disks and other media.
- Primary Memory: Provides temporary storage of programs in execution and the data being processed.
- Random Access Memory (RAM): Memory that holds information for the operating system and applications while the computer is running.
- Read Only Memory (ROM): Forms the basic instruction set for operating the hardware in the system.
- Bit: The smallest unit of computer data, represented by a zero or one.
- Byte: A set of eight bits.
- Input: The process of getting data into a computer through devices such as a keyboard, mouse, or scanner.
- Output: The process of getting data out of a computer through devices such as a monitor or printer.
- Storage: Devices that store computer data for a long term, such as hard drives, CD-ROM, or flash memory.
- Software: The non-physical part of a computer; programs and documentation that play a part in a computer system’s operation.
- Systems Software: Programs that enable the computer to function, improve its performance and access the functionality of the hardware.
- Application Software: Programs that enable the user to achieve specific objectives such as create a document, use a database, produce a spreadsheet or design a building.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI): Simplifies the work of the user whether by providing an interface that includes icons, folders and point-and-click functionality.
- Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC): The stages of development of computer programs.
- Local Area Network (LAN): A group of computers within the same building, or within a group of buildings that are in close proximity, that are connected together.
- Wide Area Network (WAN): A group of widely dispersed computers that are connected together.
- Client-Server Network: A network of computers that have special dedicated tasks (servers) and computers that make use of the services (clients).