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Computer Lessons for Adults

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Computer Lessons For Adults


These lessons are intended for adults to help you understand the basics of how computers work and how to use them. Like everything else you read, these words should not be taken as the gospel truth, just someone's perceptions, and you can use your own abilities to filter and absorb what helps you, and chuck the rest.

Why is it good to learn how computers work?

Inside this head, and inside many other heads, there are two kinds of knowledge; the memory work kind of knowledge and the logical kind of knowledge. People who have their computer knowledge on the memory work side often have problems installing new programs, using someone else's computer or adapting to new operating systems like Windows 95 and many other computer related difficulties.

Things that should live on the memory work side of the brain are such things as "What is the capital of New York state?" and "Who was the King of England in 1675". There is no way that knowledge on the logical side can help you with these. For instance, logically speaking, New York City, a very major place, just has to be the capital of New York state, however it's not. Albany is. You just have to memorize that. And logic is not going to help you with the king question either, I mean, what's logical about kings anyway?

However, can you imagine the state we would be in if you had to memorize the answer to all the mathematical questions? "Okay, students, is there anyone here who hasn't memorized the answer to 457 + 7,985 - 598 ?" You can't memorize them all, but you can learn the logic behind them so you can figure them out. Then you can't be tricked!

It is important that you learn how to figure out things about computers because there are just too many things to be done with them to try to memorize it all. Any ways, as anyone who has studied hard for a test the next day knows, it's always the stuff you didn't memorize that they ask!

So, lets get started on putting your computer knowledge firmly on the 'logical' side of your brain.

Lesson 1 - What Do the Parts Do

Lesson Start

Computer Lessons for Adults

Lesson 1

What do the parts do?

You are pretty familiar with your TV, maybe too familiar! The TV is mostly an output machine or device. This means that the stuff, be it information or junk, flows from the TV out to you. It also has some input controls so that you can give it some input. These are the volume control, the on off switch and the channel changer, which lives under the couch.

So output is the flow of information to you and input is the flow from you to the device.

Now computers. Computers have:

* parts to receive input

* parts to give output

* parts to do work

* parts to remember things while the power is on (short term memory)

* parts to remember things when the power is off (long term memory)

What is kind of surprising is how much effort is spent getting input and giving output, and how little is actually spent on doing work! By work I mean heavy duty arithmetic or searching through long lists for a certain item.

So now, the parts of the computer.

The Parts of a Computer

Item Duty

Monitor (screen) Output

Printer Output

Processor Work

Keyboard Input

Mouse Input

Modem Input and Output

Memory (RAM) Short term storage

Floppy Disks Long term storage

Hard Disks Long term storage

The computers main job is to run programs. Programs are instructions in a language that computers and programmers understand. A programmer, or a team of programmers writes a program and saves it on a long term storage device like a floppy drive, a hard disk or a CD-ROM.

Then, when you want to run that program, you type its name and the computer goes and gets the program off the hard drive, or wherever it is stored, and brings it into its short term storage, called RAM, and runs the program.

We'll look at this in more detail later.

Activity 1E

Using tabs, and margins


1. Open a new word processing document.

2. Save it as activity 1E

3. Change the font to 18pt Times, and Bold.

4. Use the ruler in the menu bar to set the left margin to 2".

5. Enter the following information.

Station: #(tab) Period:

6. Skip one line and type in the following:

Last name, First name


City, State Zip

7. Skip one line and type in the following:

Work phone: (tab)

Home Phone: (tab)

Cell Phone: (tab)

8. Change the font to 12pt.

9. Skip one line and type in the following:

Teacher Name: (two tabs) Time:

10. Skip one line and type in the following underlined column headings:




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