A computer is an electrical machine that uses the characteristics of electricity called Voltage (Electron Pressure), Amperes (Electron Flow) and Magnetism to input, process, and output (IPO) raw data/symbols in a form that humans can understand.  Computers are fast, accurate and can function like a typewriter, TV, file cabinet, phone, etc.  Computers come in six basic sizes. Cell Phone, Personal Digital Assistant(PDA),  Personal Computers,  Mini Computers (Mini) , Mainframes, and  Supercomputers which are the largest, fastest, and most expensive. There are two major components to computers:  Hardware and Software.

Hardware is the physical parts of a computer.  Such as floppy disk, monitors, hard drive, cd's, keyboard, chips, circuits (bus), printer, scanner, barcode reader, atm card,  mouse, and modem to name of few.  Hardware is divided into Input, Processing, and Output devices.  Many hardware devices are functionally input and output devices.   

Software is the programmed instructions and data stored on floppy disk, hard disk, and cd's. Software falls into several categories.

1. Operating Systems - programs that control the devices on a computer. 
    a. DOS - disk operating system - runs on a stand alone pc.
    b. NOS - network operating systems such as Novell, Win98, Win2000, WINME and WinXP are Graphic User Interface's (GUI)  with DOS and a pc peer to peer networking program for Local Area Networks (LAN).
    c. IOS - Internet Operating System - Unix, Linex and Windows.net is a cross platform operating system that runs on cell phone, pda's, pc's, mini, mainframes, and supercomputers on LAN, Wide Area Networks (WAN), Intranet (privately owned world wide network) and Internet (publicly owned world wide network). TCP/IP is the internet protocol used for moving data across the enterprise. 

Window Explorer:

    We will be working with windows file management system which is called explorer.  In explorer we can format and copy floppy disk drives, create folders, mark single files, contiguous blocks of files, and noncontiguous blocks to be copied, moved, deleted or rename.  We will set the display attributes of explorer, use alt-print scrn to capture the screen and move it into the clipboard and then past it into word.  

    Additionally we will work with the system tools of clean disk, scandisk, defrag disk, and backup.

    We will also be working with paint the graphics program that comes with windows to create graphics.


2. Application Programs which allow specialized functions to be carried out by the computer.
    a. Word Processing is used for  the creation of documents. Word, Wordperfect and Wordstar are current word processing programs.
    b. Spreadsheets are used for  financial management using general ledgers, what if scenarios, and charts. Lotus 123, Foxpro, and Excel are current spreadsheet programs. Spreadsheet are compose of columns and rows. 
    c. Databases are used for storing and manipulating large masses of data.  Dbase IV, Oracle, SQL, and Access are current database programs. Data bases generally have tables that are comprised of fields and records, forms that allow the creation of a GUI into the table, queries that allow the extraction of data from the tables based on the contents of fields, reports which allow formatted output, pages which allow the creation of static, dynamic, and interactive web pages, macros which allow the automation of often repeated task, and modules which allow programming of functions and sub routines. 
    d. Graphics are used for drawing picture objects.  Paint, MS publisher, Harvard Graphics, and PowerPoint are current graphic programs being used.
    e. Telecommunications are used to communicate between users on different computers and networks.  Outlook Express (e-mail), Eudora (e-mail), Netscape and Internet Explorer are examples of current telecommunication programs. 
    f. Educational applications are used for teaching users many different things.   The tutorials that come with our books are examples of educational programs.  There are many math, english, history, etc. programs available today.
    g. Games are used for entertainment and education.  Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City are centers of employment for developers of gambling computer games.  Currently contest are held on the internet playing various games.  Sales of computer games is a billion dollar industry.

CIS 1 students will also spend six weeks working with the programming language Visual Basic..