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Computer and Hardware

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Electronic-mail or Email is the process of sending messages electronically using your computer. You can send messages when it is convenient for you - even at 2 am. Your recipient responds at his convenience.

Email can be sent anywhere in the world using your computer and a modem. Email is almost instant in its delivery and it is very cheap to use especially for international messages, costing only the price of the telephone connection to the Internet Service Provider. You may send many messages at one time or just one to a designated location.

Messages can be sent internally on a local area network that might cover a building or an organisation like Northern Institute. For example in this Institute people on all 6 campuses can at no cost exchange email over the computer network that joins all the campuses.

By using email you will be able to electronically

 send messages or memos

 receive and read messages

 reply to messages

 forward messages

 send the same message to a list of people with one stroke

 attach a text file such as a report to your email message

 save mail to a file and print the message


Whilst email is associated with the Internet you do not necessarily have to have an Internet connection to be able to send and receive email. For example many organisations have email facilities within their own local area networks, but do not have Internet links. However usually email is part of your Internet connection and it is one of the most used Internet facilities.

Email Address

In order to receive or send email you need to have an email address and you need to know the address of the person to whom you wish to send a message.

Addresses are made up in a standard way using the following elements:

 User identification eg. Joelg your name or a name you wish to choose. It is usual to have part of your own name to make it easily identifiable

 the @ or at symbol to locate the person

 the domain name of the computer receiving your mail eg. gcit for Gold Coast Institute of Tafe

 the type of organisation eg. edu for an educational institution or gov for government

 and finally au to locate the address in Australia

the final address will look like this:

How Email Works

An electronic mailing system works in much the same way that the postal service we are used to operates.

Australia Post uses mail boxes, post offices and letters in envelopes with addresses on them, trucks, letter boxes and lots of people.

With email you will complete the same sort of operation sitting at your computer.

You will compose the message on your computer using your email package, (there are many packages available and we will direct you to individual tutorials on these later).

You will address your message by using simple commands from your email screen. At the receiving end your message will be received by a mail server which is a computer set aside for this function.

The mail server acts like a post office for the person receiving the mail, the message is held there ready for delivery. But instead of the Postie taking it to the house or business location of that person, he or she will collect it the next time they turn on the computer and look at their mail box to see if there are any new messages.


Memos have one purpose in life: as the authors of Business Writing Strategies and Samples put it, "Memos solve problems."

Memos solve problems either by informing the reader about new information, like policy changes, price increases, etc., or by persuading the reader to take an action, such as attend a meeting, use less paper, or change a current production procedure. Regardless of the specific goal, memos are most effective when they connect the purpose of the writer with the interests and needs of the reader. This handout will help you solve you memo-writing problems by discussing what a memo is, presenting some options for organizing memos, describing a the parts of memos, and suggesting some hints that will make your memos more effective.

What Is a Memo?

When you think of a memo, what do you think of? Is it a little piece of paper with a cute letterhead that says something like:

"From the desk of ..." or "Don't forget ..." or "Reminders ..."

The message itself may be very simple--something like:

"Buy more paper clips" or "Meet with President at 2:30" or "Mom, we're out of fudge pops."

While these memos are informative or persuasive, and may serve their simple purposes, more complex memos are often needed in an office setting. But don't let that worry you. Even though business memos may be more formal and complicated, the intention in writing one is still the same. You want to achieve your purpose with your reader effectively. This handout will show you how.

Basic Memo Plans

Standard office memos can be approached in different ways to fit your purpose. Here are three basic plans:

1. The direct plan, which is the most common, starts out by stating the most important points first and then moves to supporting details. This plan is useful for routine information and for relaying news.

2. The indirect plan makes an appeal or spews out evidence first and arrives at a conclusion based on these facts. This plan is best used when you need to arouse your reader's interest before describing some action that you want taken.

3. A combination



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