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New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers

Published on 23 July 13
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What is a Personal Computer?

Personal Computers, or sometimes called PCs, are used in many aspects of our lives. It can be used for leisure such as playing games, surfing the Internet, watching videos, connecting with friends and families, and many more.


PCs are also used at work. It is used to simplify tasks and get rid of manual processing of documents or activities that may take a long time to complete. For example, instead of using a typewriter, PCs help people type documents faster and makes editing them simpler. When completed, the document can be saved in the PC and can even be shared with others.


For learning purposes, PCs can be used to access study materials that are stored online. Schools nowadays even conduct lessons online so that children need not go to school to attend lessons. Instead, they may do so at the comfort of their homes by viewing a live or recorded lesson using the PC.


Besides those mentioned above, there are millions of other uses of PCs. And you will slowly discover them one by one as you learn how to use personal computers. So letâs begin learning about the basics of using the PC.
Types of PCs
There are three different types of personal computers, and they are called the Desktop, Laptop, and Tablet. They look like this:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 1
Letâs familiarize ourselves with the various parts of the computer, beginning with the desktop.
What makes up a Desktop?
A desktop consists of a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and the Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Desktops are normally placed on the table. Since there are many components, they are not usually moved around. They are also heavy, and need to be plugged to a power outlet to work.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 2
Monitor: Similar to your TV screen, it is used to display text, images and videos.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 3
Mouse: It is used to move the position of the cursor/pointer found in the monitor screen. A cursor typically looks like this . It indicates the position on the monitor to which you are pointing at. You can change the position of the cursor by moving your mouse.

Now that you know what is a cursor, then how to use a mouse?

Usually, a mouse has two buttons and a wheel scroll.
  • The left button is used to click and open applications, menus, icons, etc
  • The Right button opens the menu for shortcuts. You will get different menus when you click on the right button at different applications
  • The Wheel scroll located in between the left and right button, can be used to move up or down a page
Keyboard: It is used to type words, numbers, and characters into the PC. A close-up look of a typical keyboard looks like the picture below. Familiarize yourself with the various keys shown by the arrows. Some keyboards might have a slightly different layout. However, they will definitely have these keys.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 4
Here is a quick explanation on how to use the various keys of the keyboard:

At the centre area of your keyboard you will find the letter keys. As you type, you will get lower-case alphabets. To get upper-case letters, there are two methods you can take:
1. Hold down âShiftâ key while typing the letters
2. Press the âCaps Lockâ key once, to turn on upper-case mode. Then type the letters. Pressing on âCaps Lockâ again will turn off the upper-case mode. (When the âcaps Lockâ is turned on, the second indicator light will lit up)

To put a space in between words, press the âSpace barâ key.

As you continue typing, you might make mistakes. To delete a letter, you may use the âBackspaceâ key to remove letters before the cursor. Or, you may use the âDeleteâ key to remove letters after the cursor.

The âArrowâ keys works like your cursor. You may press on the respective arrows to move your cursor up, down, left, or right.

On the right side of the keyboard, you will find the âNumber padâ. To use it, you have to press the âNum Lockâ key. When turned on, the first indicator light will turn on.

If you do not want to use the number pad, you may still use the number keys found above the alphabets. These numbers have special characters (e.g.: !#$&()@) on them too. To use these, hold-down the âshiftâ key as you type.

Finally, the âEscâ key can be used when you would like to close a menu.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Central Processing Unit (CPU): A hardware that is part of the computer that executes all the instructions. It acts like the brain of the computer. It carries out arithmetic, logical, and input/output operations.
What makes up a Laptop?
A laptop is the handy version of the Desktop. It consists of a screen and a keyboard, which are built into one device. As such it is easy to carry a laptop around. On a laptopâs keyboard, you will find a Touchpad. It is located below the keyboard.

A Touchpad acts like a Mouse. By placing your fingertips on the touchpad and moving your fingers around, you will subsequently move the cursor on the screen. An enlarged image of a Touchpad looks like this:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 5
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 6
The left button below the Touchpad works the same way as the left button on a Mouse. And the right button works the same way as the right button on a Mouse

If you do not like using the Touchpad, you may still use a mouse by plugging it to the USB port, usually located at the side of the laptop.
The USB port looks like this:
What makes up a Tablet?

A tablet is the simplified version of the Laptop. Similarly, all components are built in one device. However, it does not need the use of a mouse or a keyboard. Instead, its screen can be touched. This is called the touchscreen. A touchscreen works similar to a Touchpad. The only difference is, your fingertip will be directly interacting with the screen itself. You can simply tap on the icons or any part of the touchscreen for a response.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 7
Now that you have learnt to distinguish the different types of PCs, you can move on to learn on how to operate them.
How do I turn on my PC?

To turn on a desktop, press the Power button located at the front of the CPU. The exact location may vary on different CPUs.


On a laptop, the Power button is located above the keyboard.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 8

For both desktop and laptop, the Power button symbol may look like this:



On a tablet, the Power button may be located at the top or side of the Tablet, and may also have the same symbol as the desktop and laptop.
What happens after I turn on my PC?
After turning on your PC, the Operating System (OS) will start to load. An OS is like the interface that helps people interacts with the machine in our native language.

There are three commonly used OS in the market, and they are called:
⢠Linux OS
⢠Windows OS
⢠Mac OS / Apple OS
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 9
The corresponding logos are as follows:

For the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to use the Windows OS for demonstration.


When a Windows OS starts to load, you will see a screen as below:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 10
When it has finished loading, the Windows Desktop will be shown. There are many versions of Windows. The latest one would be Windows 8. A typical Windows 8 desktop look like this:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 11
Prior to Windows 8 was a much popular version and that is Windows 7:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 12
How to turn off my PC?
Windows 8 OS
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 13
Windows 7 OS
Cick on âStartâ and then on âShut downâ. This rather straightforward process will immediately shut down your PC.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 14
Do take note that beside the âShut downâ button you will find a small right arrow button. When you click on it, you will find other options such as Sleep and Restart.
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 15
For either OS, remember that shutting down your PC would mean that all applications will be closed; hence the machine completely turns off. So, ensure that all work is saved before shutting down.

Another option to turn off your PC is to put it to âSleepâ mode. Putting your PC to sleep will use very little power and your PC will start up faster. When it starts, you will be instantly brought back to where you left off. You donât have to worry that your battery will be drained because Windows automatically saves all your work and turns off the PC if the battery is too low.

Restart: To restart your PC means to completely shut down the machine and start it again automatically.
Does my PC have a Camera?

Well, that depends. Most laptops and tablets have a built-in camera. You can find the camera above the screen. Please refer to the image below:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 16

Some desktops on the other hand, do not come with a built-in camera. In such case, you will have to buy a separate camera and plug it in to your CPU USB port. The plug-in camera may look like this:
New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 17

The camera enables you to have face-to-face conversations with your friends or families over the Internet using some applications such as Skype, MSN, Oozoo etcâ¦
Conclusion
This tutorial has covered all the basic components, features and functions of personal computers, including;
⢠Types of Personal Computers
⢠Various parts of Personal Computers
⢠Turning On & Off the Personal Computer
⢠Operating System (OS)
⢠Built-in Camera

Now you should be able to operate your personal computer on your own. Good luck!! :)























What is a Personal Computer?

Personal Computers, or sometimes called PCs, are used in many aspects of our lives. It can be used for leisure such as playing games, surfing the Internet, watching videos, connecting with friends and families, and many more.

PCs are also used at work. It is used to simplify tasks and get rid of manual processing of documents or activities that may take a long time to complete. For example, instead of using a typewriter, PCs help people type documents faster and makes editing them simpler. When completed, the document can be saved in the PC and can even be shared with others.

For learning purposes, PCs can be used to access study materials that are stored online. Schools nowadays even conduct lessons online so that children need not go to school to attend lessons. Instead, they may do so at the comfort of their homes by viewing a live or recorded lesson using the PC.

Besides those mentioned above, there are millions of other uses of PCs. And you will slowly discover them one by one as you learn how to use personal computers. So letâs begin learning about the basics of using the PC.

Types of PCs

There are three different types of personal computers, and they are called the Desktop, Laptop, and Tablet. They look like this:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 1

Letâs familiarize ourselves with the various parts of the computer, beginning with the desktop.

What makes up a Desktop?

A desktop consists of a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and the Central Processing Unit (CPU).

Desktops are normally placed on the table. Since there are many components, they are not usually moved around. They are also heavy, and need to be plugged to a power outlet to work.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 2

Monitor: Similar to your TV screen, it is used to display text, images and videos.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 3

Mouse: It is used to move the position of the cursor/pointer found in the monitor screen. A cursor typically looks like this . It indicates the position on the monitor to which you are pointing at. You can change the position of the cursor by moving your mouse.

Now that you know what is a cursor, then how to use a mouse?

Usually, a mouse has two buttons and a wheel scroll.

  • The left button is used to click and open applications, menus, icons, etc
  • The Right button opens the menu for shortcuts. You will get different menus when you click on the right button at different applications
  • The Wheel scroll located in between the left and right button, can be used to move up or down a page


Keyboard: It is used to type words, numbers, and characters into the PC. A close-up look of a typical keyboard looks like the picture below. Familiarize yourself with the various keys shown by the arrows. Some keyboards might have a slightly different layout. However, they will definitely have these keys.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 4

Here is a quick explanation on how to use the various keys of the keyboard:

At the centre area of your keyboard you will find the letter keys. As you type, you will get lower-case alphabets. To get upper-case letters, there are two methods you can take:

1. Hold down âShiftâ key while typing the letters

2. Press the âCaps Lockâ key once, to turn on upper-case mode. Then type the letters. Pressing on âCaps Lockâ again will turn off the upper-case mode. (When the âcaps Lockâ is turned on, the second indicator light will lit up)

To put a space in between words, press the âSpace barâ key.

As you continue typing, you might make mistakes. To delete a letter, you may use the âBackspaceâ key to remove letters before the cursor. Or, you may use the âDeleteâ key to remove letters after the cursor.

The âArrowâ keys works like your cursor. You may press on the respective arrows to move your cursor up, down, left, or right.

On the right side of the keyboard, you will find the âNumber padâ. To use it, you have to press the âNum Lockâ key. When turned on, the first indicator light will turn on.

If you do not want to use the number pad, you may still use the number keys found above the alphabets. These numbers have special characters (e.g.: !#$&()@) on them too. To use these, hold-down the âshiftâ key as you type.

Finally, the âEscâ key can be used when you would like to close a menu.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Central Processing Unit (CPU): A hardware that is part of the computer that executes all the instructions. It acts like the brain of the computer. It carries out arithmetic, logical, and input/output operations.

What makes up a Laptop?

A laptop is the handy version of the Desktop. It consists of a screen and a keyboard, which are built into one device. As such it is easy to carry a laptop around. On a laptopâs keyboard, you will find a Touchpad. It is located below the keyboard.

A Touchpad acts like a Mouse. By placing your fingertips on the touchpad and moving your fingers around, you will subsequently move the cursor on the screen. An enlarged image of a Touchpad looks like this:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 5

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 6

The left button below the Touchpad works the same way as the left button on a Mouse. And the right button works the same way as the right button on a Mouse

If you do not like using the Touchpad, you may still use a mouse by plugging it to the USB port, usually located at the side of the laptop.

The USB port looks like this:

What makes up a Tablet?

A tablet is the simplified version of the Laptop. Similarly, all components are built in one device. However, it does not need the use of a mouse or a keyboard. Instead, its screen can be touched. This is called the touchscreen. A touchscreen works similar to a Touchpad. The only difference is, your fingertip will be directly interacting with the screen itself. You can simply tap on the icons or any part of the touchscreen for a response.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 7

Now that you have learnt to distinguish the different types of PCs, you can move on to learn on how to operate them.

How do I turn on my PC?

To turn on a desktop, press the Power button located at the front of the CPU. The exact location may vary on different CPUs.

On a laptop, the Power button is located above the keyboard.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 8

For both desktop and laptop, the Power button symbol may look like this:

On a tablet, the Power button may be located at the top or side of the Tablet, and may also have the same symbol as the desktop and laptop.

What happens after I turn on my PC?

After turning on your PC, the Operating System (OS) will start to load. An OS is like the interface that helps people interacts with the machine in our native language.

There are three commonly used OS in the market, and they are called:

⢠Linux OS

⢠Windows OS

⢠Mac OS / Apple OS

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 9

The corresponding logos are as follows:

For the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to use the Windows OS for demonstration.

When a Windows OS starts to load, you will see a screen as below:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 10

When it has finished loading, the Windows Desktop will be shown. There are many versions of Windows. The latest one would be Windows 8. A typical Windows 8 desktop look like this:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 11

Prior to Windows 8 was a much popular version and that is Windows 7:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 12

How to turn off my PC?

Windows 8 OS

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 13

Windows 7 OS

Cick on âStartâ and then on âShut downâ. This rather straightforward process will immediately shut down your PC.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 14

Do take note that beside the âShut downâ button you will find a small right arrow button. When you click on it, you will find other options such as Sleep and Restart.

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 15

For either OS, remember that shutting down your PC would mean that all applications will be closed; hence the machine completely turns off. So, ensure that all work is saved before shutting down.

Another option to turn off your PC is to put it to âSleepâ mode. Putting your PC to sleep will use very little power and your PC will start up faster. When it starts, you will be instantly brought back to where you left off. You donât have to worry that your battery will be drained because Windows automatically saves all your work and turns off the PC if the battery is too low.

Restart: To restart your PC means to completely shut down the machine and start it again automatically.

Does my PC have a Camera?

Well, that depends. Most laptops and tablets have a built-in camera. You can find the camera above the screen. Please refer to the image below:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 16

Some desktops on the other hand, do not come with a built-in camera. In such case, you will have to buy a separate camera and plug it in to your CPU USB port. The plug-in camera may look like this:

New Tools for Old Age (Tit-bITs 1 of 11) - How to Use Personal Computers - Image 17

The camera enables you to have face-to-face conversations with your friends or families over the Internet using some applications such as Skype, MSN, Oozoo etcâ¦

Conclusion

This tutorial has covered all the basic components, features and functions of personal computers, including;

⢠Types of Personal Computers

⢠Various parts of Personal Computers

⢠Turning On & Off the Personal Computer

⢠Operating System (OS)

⢠Built-in Camera

Now you should be able to operate your personal computer on your own. Good luck!! :)

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations , Digital Media & Games and Hardware Community

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