Getting Your Computer Up And Running


Computers have come a long way. About six years ago, you had to perform a little ceremony to start your computer; insert a startup disk, search for hidden power switches, and even swap floppy disks in and out of your computer as you ran it. Nowadays, turning on a computer is about as simple as turning on a television set. You just press a couple buttons, and watch your computer leap into action.To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  
You’ll learn how to turn on all the computers parts in the proper order. As an added bonus, I’ll tell you the proper names of all the parts, just in case you encounter one in your next crossword puzzle.

When you’re sitting at the computer, you really don’t need to know the names of all the parts to explain your frustration when something doesn’t work the way you think it should. You can simple point and say, “That things there started grinding, so I pressed this button, and now I can’t find anything.” Or, “I stuck one of these flat things in this here hole, and now I can’t get it out”. However, when people start talking computers at a cocktail party, you better know your part names.

Although the system unit doesn’t look any more impressive than a big shoe box, it contains the following elements that enable your computer to carry out the most complex operations:
Memory Chips: Also called RAM (random-access memory), these chips electronically store program instructions and data, so your computer can grab the information in a hurry. When you turn off your computer, information stored in RAM is lost.
Central Processing Unit: CPU, pronounced “see-pea-you” is your computer’s brain. If it’s real smart, it’s called a Pentium. Otherwise, it might be called a 486, 386, or 286
Input and Output Ports: Located at the back of the system unit are several outlets into which you can plug your keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, modern and other devices.
Floppy Disk Drives: A hard disk drive is usually inside the system unit, so you can’t see it or stick anything in it. The hard disk itself acts as a giant floppy disk, storing hundreds of times more information than any floppy disk can store.
CD-ROM drive: most new computers come with a CD-ROM drive that acts a lot like a CD player. This CD player, however, can play programs, games, video clips, sound and music.
– Other goodies: The system unit might also contain a modem (for connecting to other computers using the phone), a sound card (for playing audio), and other electronic gadgets.

The monitor is your computer’s windshield. As you drive your computer, the monitor lets you see where you’re going. It even collects about as much dirt as your car’s windshield-everything from tiny bits of dust to globs of unidentified gunk.

The keyboard has more keys than a high school custodian (another product of the human penchant to overcomplicate). Although the locations of keys on you keyboard may vary, all PC keyboards contain these loyal standards
– Alphanumeric Keys: The keys you use to key
– Function Keys: The 10 or 12 F keys (“eff keys) at the top or left side of the keyboard: F1 F2 F3 and so on. You se these keys to enter commands quickly.
– Arrow Keys: Also known as cursor-movement keys, these keys move the cursor (the blinking line or box) around on-screen
– Numeric Keypad: A group of number keys positioned like the keys on an adding machine. You use these keys to type numbers or to move around on-scream
– Ctrl and Alt Keys: The Ctrl (Control) and Alt (Alternative) keys make the other keys on the keyboard act differently from the way they normally act. For example in Windows, you can press Alt+F4 (Hold down the Alt key while pressing F4) to exist a program.
– Esc Key: You can use the Esc (Escape) key in most program to back out of or quit whatever you’re currently doing.

The mouse, also called a “Mexican hairless,” is a critter that sits next to the keyboard. You slide the mouse over your desktop or mouse pad to move a pointer around the monitor. The buttons on the mouse let you select commands and other objects that appear on the monitor. You usually use the mouse to click or double-click. Click means you point to something (usually a menu command), and then press and release either the right or left mouse button. In this book, always click the left button, unless I specifically say otherwise. With a double click, you press and release the mouse button twice real fast.

In search f the perfect pointing device, computer manufactures have toyed with other ideas: trackballs, joysticks, touchpads, and IBM’s little red button. The trackball is basically an upside-down mouse; you roll a ball to move the pointer across the screen. A joystick looks the flight-sticks you see on arcade games; it’s the best pointing device for most computer games. A touchpad is a pressure-sensitive square that you slide your finger across to move the pointer (very popular in the touchy-feely 90’s)
A couple years ago, IBM came up with the ultimate pointing device (at least IBM though so). It’s sort of like a tiny red joystick/button that sits in the middle of the keyboard (typically on laptop computers). You move the button around in little circles to move the pointer. Trouble is, most businessmen couldn’t find the button.

If you plan on being hip, your computer should have a modem, so you can connect to the internet and go to places such as The modem sits inside or outside the computer, and connects to your phone jack. It can dial numbers for you and connect to computers all over the world. I would go into more detail about the wonders of modem and telecommunications.

Most new computers come with a sound card and a CD-ROM drive, so the dealers can boast that they sell multimedia computers (computers that can play sound, pictures and video). If your computer has sound card, it’s installed insider the system unit. If you spin your computer around and look at the back, you’ll see a couple jacks where you can plug in a set of speakers or headphones.
The CD-ROM drives is next to the floppy disk drive on the front of the system unit. This drives plays compact discs (CDs), which look like just the CDs you see in your local music stores. In fact, most CD-ROM players can play music CDs as well as computer. CDs, so you can listen to your favourite tunes while playing Solitaire. What makes CDs so important is that a single CD can store as much information as can be stored on a mid-size hand disk, so software companies can put huge programs, killer computer games, or an entire set of encyclopedia’s on a single disk.

The printer’s job is to transform the electric burps and beeps in your computer into something that normal human-type people can read. Printer range from inexpensive dot-matrix types, which print each character as a series of dots, to expensive laser printer, which operates like copy machines. In between are inkjet printers, which spray ink on the page (sound messy, but it’s not).

Before your computer can do anything useful, it needs an education – some instruction that tells it what to do. In the computer world, these instructions are called software. I could bore you with a complete explanation of software, but all you need to know are the following facts:
– Computers need a special type of software called the operating systems software in order to start. Common operating systems are DOS, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.
– Once the computer starts, you can run other software, called applications. Applications include processors, spreadsheets, games and any other program that lets you do something specific.
– If you just purchased a computer, it has the operating system software on its hard disk. When you turn on your computer, the operating system runs automatically.
– New computes typically comes with applications as well, you can purchase additional applications at your local computer store.
– Software normally comes on floppy disks or CDs. You must install the software (place it on your hard disk), before you can use it.

You’ve probably started your computer a hundred times already. You don’t need a book to tell you how to do it, right? Well, maybe you’re not turning it on properly. Run through the following procedures to make sure you’re turning on all the parts in the right order:
1. All you equipment should be plugged into a surge-protector power strip. Make sure the power strip is on.
2. Press the button on the monitor or flip its switch to turn it on. Computers manufactures recommend that you on the monitor first. This allows you to see the startup messages, and it prevents the monitor’s power surge from passing through the system unit’s components. The monitor will remain blank till you turn on the system unit.
3. If you plan on printing, turn on the printer. Otherwise, leave it off. The printer consumes a lot of power, you can turn it on later, just before you decide to print.
4. If you turned on the printer, make sure its ON line light is lit (not blinking). If the light is blinking, make sure the printers has paper, and then press the On lien button.
5. If you have speakers or other devices connected to your computer, turn them on.
6. Make sure your floppy drive is empty. If it has a floppy disk in it, press the eject button on the drive and then gently remove the disk.
7. Press the power button or flip the switch on the system unit.
8. Ahh, this is where the fun starts. Stuff appears on-screen. Light flash; disk drives grind. You’ll hear beeps, burps gurgles, and grunts. Eventually, your system settles down, and you see something useful on your screen.
If you hear some rude grinding and you see a message on-screen telling you to insert a system disk in drive A, don’t worry. You (or someone else) may have left a disk in drive A when you turned off the computer. The computer can’t find the system information it needs to wake up. No biggy, remove the disk from drive A and press Enter.

Before I can tell you what to do next, you have to figure out which operating system you have (if you don’t know already). Most new computers are set up to run Windows 95 automatically, in which case, you’ll see a Start button in the lower left corner of your screen. If you have an older system, you’ll see Window 3.1 (which display a bunch of tiny icons) or the DOS prompt, which look like C:/> n( or something similar). The figure at the end of the section will help you identify your operating system.
If you don’t see any of these common displays, scan the following lists to find out what’s going on.
– If your screen is still blank, make sure the monitor is on. If it’s on, the brightness knob may be turned way down. Try turning the brightness up. The brightness controls are usually on the front, back or side of the monitor.
– If you see a list of choices, the dealer probably set up something else on your computer to confuse you. Read the screen; it usually tells you what to do.
– If you see your kid’s Christmas list, she knows a lot more about computer than she’s letting on.

At any given moment in time, your computer may lock up, refusing to do any more work. You press Esc, click the mouse everywhere, press the F1 key, and press all the other keys, and it give you the same blank stare.
When this happens, you will be tempted to turn the computer off and then on. Resist the temptation. Try to warm boot the computer first. Warm booting forces the computer to reread its startup instructions without turning the power off and on. To warm boot the computer hold down the Ctrl key and the Alt key while pressing the Del key. This key combination Ctrl+Alt+Del, is commonly referred to as the “three key salute” warm booting is preferred to cold booting, because it doesn’t jolt your computer with another startup surge.

If you try to warm boot from Windows, you get a warning screen that explains the potential risks and your options. Read the entire screen before proceeding. In most cases your computer is busy performing some task, or one of the applications you’re running is conflicting with Windows. You can probably regain control without rebooting. Simply by existing the program that caused your computer to lock up.

Sometimes, the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination doesn’t work. You press the combination, and nothing happen. What next? If your computer has a Reset button, try pressing the Reset button to reboot your computer. Like Ctrl+Alt+Del, the Rest button reboots your computer without turning the power off and on.

If a ctrl+Alt+Del doesn’t work and your computer doesn’t have a reset button, you will have to cold boost your computer. To cold boost your computer, start by flipping the system unit power switch to the off positions. (don’t turn off the monitor or any other devices, just the system unit)
Wait 30 to 60 seconds for the system to come to a complete rest and to allow the system to clear everything from memory. Listen to your computer carefully, and you’ll be able to hear it “power down” for a few seconds. You may also hear the hard disk drive spin to a stop. This is important, because if your flip the power back on before the hard disk drive stops spinning, the “needle” (read/write head) in the drive might crash down on the “record” (disk) and destroy your data. After the sound of powering down ends, flip the system unit power switch to the On position.

Although your computer may look like nothing more than a fancy TV, you can’t just turn it off when you’re finished working. Doing so could destroy data and foul up your programs. Here’s the right way to turn off your computer.
1. Save any files you have open on a disk. When you have a file open, your work is stored in RAM, which is like brain cells that require electricity to work. If you turn off the electricity without saving your work on a disk, your computer forgets your work-and you probably won’t remember it either.
2. Quit any programs you are currently using. When you close a program, it make sure you’ve saved all your work to disk, and then it shuts itself down properly. To exist most program, you open the program’s file menu and select Exit
3. Put your floppy disk away. Floppy disks can become damaged if you leave them in the drive drives. First, make sure the floppy drive goes off. Then, remove the floppy disk from the disk drive and put it away.
4. Make sure the hard disk drive light is off, and then turn off the system unit.
5. Turn off the monitor and any other devices that are connected to the system unit.
6. Pour libations to the computer gods. Without divine intervention, no computer task is possible.

In this post, you learned about the basic parts that make up a computer and how to turn on your computer. If you don’t want to pack your memory full of details, at least remember the following:
– Your computer consists of hardware, such as the monitor and system unit and software (instructions that comes on disk)
– Every computer needs two types of software: operating system software and application software
– Before you turn anything on, make sure everything is plugged in and the power strip (if you have one) is turned on.
– Turn on the monitor first: then turn on the system unit
– If you turn on your computer and it displays the message Non System disk or disk error, you probably left a disk in the floppy disk drive by mistake. Remove the disk and press Enter on the keyboard
– If your computer locks up, try to work boot it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del.
– Before you turn off your computer, save any work you’ve done and quit any programs you were using.

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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