Followup to Lesson1

Followup to Lesson1

May 31, 2018 2 By Muhammad

This is the followup to our first lesson. You can think of this as lesson two. In this lesson we shall be learning some functional computer terms, more about the keyboard, mouse, monitor and computer programs (structured commands to perform tasks). Whenever I use a computer term, I shall put its meaning in brackets after it. In the previous lesson, I told you that the computer is a programmable instrument and we shall explore this concept further in this lesson. In the last  lesson, you were advised to practice using the keyboard and the mouse to see the range of functions each gave you. The mouse especially, would have shown you a wide range of functions as compared to the keyboard. This is because the mouse has unlimited range of functionality. The mouse is an input device with unlimited potential. The keyboard, not so much. For the output of the keyboard to be readable and make sense to it’s users, it has to show its output (letters and symbols)  in a readable format. That is the main reason for its limitations. The mouse, on the other hand, is a specially invented input device created to make utmost use of computerized machines. You may have seen that activating a mouse key anywhere on the monitor (computer screen) gave you a response of some sort.

Icons and programs

In this series of free online computer classes, beginners may wonder why their computer screens display a series of little icons (pictures) in rows and what they mean. Some of the icons look like little folders. Computer monitors (screens) are referred to as ‘desktops’, representing the ancient tool for doing one’s tasks. The icons are arranged on the desktop to be easily used. These icons represent  programs ( tasks that the computer has already been provided instructions to perform) and show in which folder on your computer they are stored .The computer stores its programs and files (information) in folders similar to a regular file-cabinet. Its storage machinery is called a hard-drive.


screenshot of computer with programs

A program essentially tells the computer how the task is to be performed and how to display the results. Once the program is run (activated), then the computer simply follows each step, with the user’s input (data or information) where needed, to complete the task in question. Some programs do not require any input from the user. These are called autonomous programs. However, most programs do need some sort of input from the user.  Each program icon comprises a picture containing a startup sequence to activate its program. A double-click of the mouse is usually all it takes to activate the icon. When a computer is purchased, it usually is pre-programmed with some programs. Other needed programs can be purchased prepackaged to extend the computer’s capabilities. That’s what makes the computer one of today’s greatest tools ever!

Suggested activity: Use the mouse to activate a program on your monitor.

Basic Structure of A Program

Because a computer is a programmable machine, it is highly dependent on clearly-defined steps to be able to perform every task, without exception. Therefore every program is confined to operating within basic rules of structure, clarity and completeness. If you examine each program, you will find a menu (navigation bar) that shows all the functions available to users of the program. Functions not available in the program are not listed. Within each function in the menu are usually other sub-functions. The final results of the program should be accessible to the user through the “print” or output function. As demonstrated above, computers for seniors and youth are readily accessible to either segment of the society depending on their specific needs and purposes. The programs used should be based on the mental development of the user since programs are available for all ages and abilities. There is no need for fear and trepidation about computer usage at any age once basic precautions are taken. My decision to offer free basic computer training online is designed to dispel these unfounded fears, and I hope they have so far helped you.

Terms to know:

Here is a list of common terms that all online computer classes beginners should know to help avoid confusion concerning the technology.

  1. Computer: any machine using a processor, including personal computers
  2. Processor: main electronic device used for computing,
  3. PC: personal computer, various name brands,
  4. Mac: name for a particular computer manufactured by Apple Inc,
  5. Laptop: a portable PC,
  6. Windows PC: a PC manufactured by Microsoft Corp,
  7. Hard drive: PC storage equipment,
  8. GB or gigabyte: computer storage capacity. Larger the number, the more the storage space,
  9. MB or megabyte: Smaller storage capacity for computers’
  10. Flash drive or pen drive: modern portable storage for computer,
  11. mouse: electronic input device for computer,
  12. Monitor: a computer screen,
  13. Earphones: listening device for computers, radios, etc
  14. Printer: electronic device for outputting computer result in written form
  15. External hard drive: form of external hard drive for computer,
  16. CD or DVD: Types of compact Disc used for recorded storage,
  17. DVD recorder/player: computer attachment used for recording or playing CDs or DVDs

Advice for all home computer training seniors.

A word of advice for all home computer training seniors. Patience is required. The older you are, the more patience is required to master the skill of home computing, You might have come from a highly skilled professional background, you might even have been a highly skilled typist before, but mastering computing is going to require some personal patience. The computer’s keyboard itself presents its own challenges. The mouse management may, at first, be absolutely befuddling, but in a short while you will be able to overcome all challenges. Remember that this is a multi-functional tool with which you are interacting. The imaginary depictions on television are mainly that, imaginary. The reality may not be as glamorous, but it will be more than satisfactory in the end. So exercise patience, my friends.


To all online computer classes beginners

In today’s lesson, we covered some functional computer terms, some more about the keyboard, mouse and monitor and explored computer programs. This is just the tip of the iceberg in learning computing, but it is a lot. Practice and explore the ideas we covered today, and should you ave a question, send me an email and I will respond to you within 24 hrs. Until our next session of free basic computer training online, have fun.
Suggested Activity: Explore mouse and program functions.

If this lesson has helped you, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

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