Section 1.1 exercises

EXERCISE 1 – Basic parts and functions of the computer

  1. a) Why does the computer need to have enough RAM (random access memory)?
    b) How much random access memory is there in your computer?
  2. a) What is a hard drive and where is it generally located?
    b) How much storage space is there on your computer’s hard drive?
  3. Inside the computer case, there is a part that all the major components of the computer are attached to. What is this part called?
  4. Which part executes commands given to the computer?

Look at the computer you are using and consider the following:

  1. Does the computer you are using have a DVD or BluRay drive? If, which one?
  2. If there is a mouse connected to the computer; or does it have a touchpad, or a pointing stick – or maybe all of these?

EXERCISE 2 – Main connection ports

This exercise considers the different ports and plugs of a computer.
  1. a) How many USB ports can you find on the computer you are using?
    b) Are there any ports in the front panel of the computer?
  2. a) Does the computer have a port for headphones, one for sound-in, and one for a microphone?
    b) Are any peripheral devices connected to the above ports?
    c) If no peripheral devices have been connected, connect e.g. headphones to your computer.
  3. Does the computer you are looking at have a LAN i.e. Ethernet connection port?
  4. Is it possible to use a WLAN with your computer?

EXERCISE 3 – Peripheral devices and storage media

This exercise takes a look at peripheral devices for the computer.
  1. Which printer is more cost-effective when printing large volume, an inkjet or laser printer?
  2. What do you need if you want to transfer a text from a paper document to a word processing program where you can modify the text?
  3. You often use both your computer at home and a computer at the university for processing the same material. What storage medium is most suitable for your needs?
  4. You have finished a project that is 48 MB in size. You want to archive it and make a backup copy of it. Which storage media are most suitable for this?
  5. You have a large photograph that you want to save to some storage medium. The photo is 2405 KB. On which storage medium should you save it?
  6. Why is it easier to use a USB stick than a DVD disc as storage medium?
  7. How much does a USB memory stick with 16 GB storage capacity cost? Find out online!
With the following exercises, you can try saving data to different storage media.

Simulation, saving to the computer hard drive
Simulation, saving to removable storage media

EXERCISE 4 – Operating systems and user interfaces

At this point, you will work with some programs on your computer.
  1. a) What is the significance of the operating system for the use of the computer?
    b) Which operating system has been installed into your computer?
  2. How does the operating system start up?
  3. What is a user interface and what is the different between a text user interface and a graphical user interface?
  4. Find out the following:
    a) Are there shortcuts on the desktop of your operating system?
    b) Open the Start menu and find out which programs your computer has.
    c) Find out which icons you have showing in your task bar.

EXERCISE 5 – Managing the operating system

These exercises will go through the use of operating-system settings (the instructions are adapted to the Windows OS). Please be careful when changing your settings; carelessly made settings may even freeze the computer! The exercises are mainly made from the Control Panel (or Settings) window in the Start menu.
  • Bring up the menu window where you can change regional settings. From the drop-down menu, select English (United Kingdom) as your region. Check how this changes the presentation of numbers and dates. Do not accept this setting, but exit the window by clicking Cancel.
  • Look at the reading material to find out how you can change the font size of the letters in menu windows.
  • Change the display settings of your computer and see how this affects program windows. Change back to the display setting you started with (instructions).

EXERCISE 6 – Installing and removing programs

  • Check the amount of free space on your hard drive before starting to install a program. If there are several gigabytes left, there is enough space.
  • If you have a computer, log in to the university’s Download Centre. Find a program which is of interest to you and install it on your computer.

EXERCISE 1 – Basic parts and functions of the computer

  • a) If the computer has too little RAM (random access memory), the programs will be very slow.
  • a) The hard drive is a storage medium inside the computer. Usually the computer’s operating system and programs are stored on it. You can also save your own files to the hard drive.
  • The motherboard
  • A processor

EXERCISE 3 – Peripheral devices and storage media

  • A scanner or a multi-function printer as well as a text recognition or OCR software if this functionality is not provided by the printer.
  • A USB memory stick
  • A CD or DVD or a USB memory stick
  • On e.g. a USB stick, an external hard drive, on a CD or DVD – but not on a diskette (without extra measures).

Data can be saved to a USB stick in the same way as to a hard drive. In order to save to a DVD, you need a DVD burner in your computer, and the storage is usually done with a separate storage operation.

EXERCISE 4 – Operating system and user interface

  • The operating system handles e.g. the cooperation between peripheral devices and programs, and the function of the file system (saving files, reading them, etc)
  • The operating system starts automatically when the computer is turned on: the BIOS program searches storage drives connected to the computer (e.g. hard drives) for the operating system. If BIOS finds the OS, it starts to load the OS into the RAM.
  • In a text user interface, commands are given by writing, in a graphical user interface, they are given with the help of a mouse, usually.