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Inside this Handout

1 Parts of a Computer Parts of a Computer
2 On & Off The parts of a computer are called hardware and a
3 Power Management computer must have several parts to operate. These
4 The Desktop parts may look different depending on the computer.
5 The Start Menu Note that laptops, or notebooks, contain all the parts in
6 Software/Programs a single piece.
7 Files/Folders/Windows
8 Windows/Terminology
9 Terminology

The Monitor

Flat Panel Monitor The monitor displays the content of the computer.
Monitors come in all shapes and sizes. They are most
commonly a flat screen of some sort and have a
widescreen format.

The Computer Components

The computer is the actual collection of internal
Typical Computer Case
components of the computer and is inside the case
itself. Cases can come in many shapes and sizes.

The Mouse & Keyboard

These two parts are how the computer is controlled by
the user. There are many varieties of both.
Mouse & Keyboard

Starting the Computer

Find the power button on the front of the computer to start, or boot, the computer.
The power button will usually have the following symbol on it. The Monitor will have a
similar button that will need to be pressed too. Many times there will be a light by the
button to indicate when the computer is running.

Turning Off the Computer

The power button should NOT be used to turn the computer off unless it has locked up,
or frozen. Instead the Shutdown command is found on the Start Menu. The button on
the Start Menu may have the power symbol as well, depending on the version of
Windows the computer is using. The computer will then shutdown by itself and only
the monitor’s power button should be pressed.

Power Management Options

The computer automatically shuts down when the
power button is clicked. This button can be changed
so that the computer does something else instead of

Click Properties  Right-Click on the Start Menu at the bottom left

corner of the screen and Click Properties on the list
that appears.
 In the window that opens find the Start Menu tab at
the top and then you will see the list of commands
that the power button can perform.
 Make sure to click Apply at the bottom of the
window to save the changes.

These options can also be found in the Control Panel in

Power Options. There are other options to manage the
power functions of the computer here.

Change the function. This

one is set to Shut Down.

The Desktop
The desktop is the base screen for the computer when it is turned on. Everything on
the computer can be accessed from the desktop and everything is displayed on the
desktop. Basic elements of the desktop include; icons, Start Menu, Taskbar, Clock &
Notification bar (this displays active Antivirus, volume, network connectivity, etc…).
Everything on the desktop can be changed to the user’s preferences.

Wallpaper – The background image,

can be changed to image.

Icons – Pictures that are shortcuts to

programs, files or folders. Can be
moved, added & deleted.

The Taskbar – Contains the Start Menu (left), Clock (right)

and Buttons representing open programs/folders (center).

A basic desktop in Windows 7 with some icons and open programs/folders

on the Taskbar.

The Start Menu

The Start Menu is found at the bottom left corner of the screen and is a round button
with the Windows logo. It is the main menu for the computer and contains access to
all programs, options and folders. Icons on the desktop are shortcuts to
programs/folders found within the Start Menu.

Parts of the Start Menu

Clicking on All Programs will open a list of all the
programs installed on the computer. It is near
the bottom left of the menu.

The left side of the menu displays programs and

the search bar at the bottom. Shortcuts can be
“pinned” to the top.

The right side of the menu contains user folders

(where files should be saved for easy access) at
the top and settings (Control Panel), Help and
Power management at the bottom.

Explore the Start Menu on a computer to find out

what is installed and get familiar with the

All Programs list opened on the

Start Menu.

Note: In older versions of Windows (XP and earlier) the Start Menu actually says “Start”
and is not the Windows logo.

Software Programs
A piece of software is a program that runs on the
computer. This is compared to hardware like the
mouse or the monitor. Examples include; Microsoft
Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Mozilla
Firefox, Google Chrome and games.

Microsoft Office Word Opening a Program

Programs can be opened from more than one place
meaning there are different ways to open them.

If there is an icon on the desktop for a program,

double-click on the icon to open the program.

If the program is being opened from the Start Menu

then find the program on the All Programs list and click
once on the name to open the program.

Google Chrome Web Browser

Removing/Uninstalling a Program
Programs that are not being used or are old can be
removed, or uninstalled, from the computer. Click the
Control Panel and then click Programs & Features. A list
will then generate in a window. Select a program and
click the Uninstall to remove the program.


Files & Folders

Folders are the places on the computer where all files are stored. Folders can be
created and deleted at any time. Files are saved objects like images, documents and
audio/video that are stored on the computer in a folder. If a folder is deleted all the
files within it are deleted as well.

A folder can be identified because its icon will look like a file folder. If a folder has files
inside the icon will have papers inside. If a folder has more folders inside then the icon
will have a folder within the folder. See the images below for examples.

NOTE: Images are from Windows 7.

An Empty Folder Folder containing Folder containing

files subfolders

Opening, Creating, Deleting Folders & Files

Folders/Files can be opened by double-clicking on them or right-clicking and selecting
Open from the menu.

Folders can be created by clicking New Folder at the top of the window or right-
clicking in a blank area and selecting New, then Folder from the menu. Files are
created by saving something into a folder, not from inside the folder.

Folders/Files can be deleted by selecting one and clicking Organize at the top of the
window and Delete from the menu or right-click on the folder/files and selected
Delete from that menu.

The bar at the top of the window containing options for the window.

Closing a Window
To close an open window simply find the Close button on the top right of the window.
It is a red button with an X in it. All open windows with few exceptions have this button
at the top right. Click it to close a window.

Computer Terminology
Application – Another word for program. Examples include Microsoft Word and
Mozilla Firefox.

Boot – Means to start up a computer. The Computer is loading the Operating System
and performing tests to ensure that all components are functioning properly during this

Browser – An application that enables the viewing of images, sound & videos on
websites. The most popular are Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Byte – The amount of space needed to represent a single character. One keyboard
character equals one byte.

CD-ROM – Compact Disc-Read Only Memory. A storage device capable of holding

up to 650 MB of data, or the equivalent of 500 floppy discs or 300,000 pages of text. A
CD-ROM drive must be installed on the computer in order to use a CD-ROM.

CPU – Central Processing Unit. An electronic device (computer chip) comprised of

millions of electronic components that carry out the basic functions of a computers.

Click – To press and release a mouse button quickly in order to make a selection or
perform an action. When used as a command, it usually refers to pressing the left
mouse button once.

Crash – When a computer unexpectedly stops or freezes while being used. The
computer will not respond to any keyboard or mouse commands. A crash may be
caused by any number of problems with the hardware, software or a virus. The
computer will need to be rebooted after a crash.

Cursor – A special character in an application that shows where the next character
will appear when something is typed. In most cases it is a vertical blinking bar.

Desktop – The visible area on the monitor where you can access, view and interact
with icons, applications, files, folders and peripherals. After the computer completes
the boot process the desktop will be displayed.

Dialog box – A window that will display a message or prompt the user to make a
selection. Some kind of action must be taken before the dialog box will close and
permit the user to continue.

Disc Drive – The mechanism that reads and writes information from or to a disc. Types
of disc drive include floppy disc drive (A:), CD-ROM drive, hard disc drive (C:).

Download – To transfer a copy of a file from a remote computer onto the user’s
computer. Usually downloaded from the Internet to a computer hard drive.

Dragging – To select something with the mouse, hold the button down and move
whatever is selected to another location on the screen or computer.

Drop-down menu – A list of options that will display when you click on a downward
facing arrow in an application.

Email – Electronic mail. Messages that are sent and received betweens computers
using the Internet.

File – A collection of information, such as a document, that is stored for future use.
Files can be stored on removable media like discs and the hard drive.

Gigabyte (GB) – Equal to 1 billion bytes, or 1000 MB in the context of storage.

Hard disc drive (HDD) – A piece of hardware that is a storage device inside the
computer used to save files. Modern HDDs are capable of storing terabytes of
information (1 TB = 1000 GB).

Hardware – All of the physical components of the computer system. Hardware

includes things like the moniter, CPU, printer, mouse, video cards and more.

Hyperlink (link) – An object that is connected to another object in a separate

location. When selected the user is taken to the second object from the first. Links
can be images, text or other symbols and can be identified by the mouse pointer
turning into a pointing hand.

Icon – A small picture used to represent things like files, folders, applications,
commands and other objects. Icons are used as shortcuts for opening an item or
starting an operation.

Internet – A worldwide network of computer networks. This network enables computer

users to electronically communicate with each other, view websites and access

Internet Service Provider (ISP) – A company that provides subscribers with a

connection to the Internet. A fee is typically charged for connection services.

Megabyte (MB) – Equal to 1024 kilobytes or more than 1 million bytes.

Memory (RAM) – Random Access Memory. An internal component of the computer

where files, software applications and other data can be saved/stored. A minimum of
1GB of RAM is recommended for current Operating Systems to run properly. More
RAM will ensure that the computer will run applications faster.

Menu – A list of commands or options from which the user can make a selection.
Menus contain different commands depending on what program the menu is from or
where on the computer a menu is accessed.

Microsoft Windows – The Operating System that runs on most personal computers. It
uses icons and pull-down menus so that users can interact with files, folders,
applications and functions more easily. Windows 7 is the current generation.

Modem – A piece of communications hardware that enables computers to exchange

electronic data with each other. A modem is the data transmission device for
connecting to the Internet.

Mouse – A device that controls the movement of the pointer. The mouse is used to
perform various functions on the computer.

Network – Two or more computers that are connected for the purpose of sharing files,
folders, printers and other resources.

Operating System – The software that runs, monitors and controls every function
performed on a computer.

Peripheral – An external hardware component that is attached to the computer such

as; mice, keyboards, printers, monitors and other devices.

Reboot – To turn off and restart the computer. Necessary when computer freezes or
when new software has been installed.

Scroll bar – A vertical or horizontal bar on the right side or bottom of the window that
enables the user to move to parts of the window that are not within immediate view.

Software – A program that is installed or can be installed a computer.

Terabyte (TB) – Equal to 1 trillion bytes, or 1000 GB, in the context of storage.

Virus – A program that is considered malicious software. The intent of viruses is

generally to cause serious file damage on a computer. Antivirus software is required
to help protect a computer.

Revised 11/10 FB

Grafton-Midview Public Library

983 Main Street
Grafton, OH 44044-1492
Tel: 440-926-3317
Fax: 440-926-3000
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