Computer Appreciation Beginner Lesson – Part 1



Computer, machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program.
Programs or application usually reside within the computer and are collected and processed by the computer’s electronics.
The program results are stored in the computer memory and are transferred to output devices, such as monitors or printers.
The computer works on data to produce information

What is Software and Hardware?
Hardware is the physical component of the computer system; parts of the computer you can see and touch. This includes the Monitor, the Casing, Hard Disk, Keyboard, mouse as well as the internal electronic circuitry.
Companies that produce hardware also produce electronics and some of them are:

  • Intel
  • Mercury
  • HP
  • Samsung
  • Toshiba

Software is the non-physical component of the computer. They are files inside the computer that control the computer system.

They also include programs that can be installed and used on the computer such as games, audio files files created by a user etc. For example, if you type and save something on the computer and save it, it stays in the computer system as a file or software.
Companies that produce software are:

  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Macromedia

Microsoft is the leading company that produce most of the softwares and computer programs used in Nigeria.




What is Operating System (Windows)
In computer science, operating system is the basic software that controls a computer. It is the most important software that goes into the computer when the computer is produced.
The operating system has three major functions:
It coordinates and manages computer hardware, such as computer memory, printers, disks, keyboard, mouse, and monitor;
It organizes files on a variety of storage devices, such as floppy disk, hard disc, compact disc, digital video disc (DVD), and flash disc;
It manages hardware errors and the loss of data.

When a computer is produced it is basically empty i.e. it is just hardware. For it to be useful, a software program called the operating system is installed. Sometimes operating system is called Windows because Windows is the most widespread operating system used in Nigeria. Windows operating system is produced by Microsoft.

Examples of Operating System
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows 2000
Windows XP


Types of Computer (to be explained in the class)
In this lesson, you will learn how to differentiate between the various types of computer.
Desktop Computers: This are computers that are kept on the desk as shown in the figure below.
Laptop Computers: This are computers small enough to be kept on the lap as shown in the picture below.


Notebook: Computers the size of a notebook. Smaller laptops are sometimes called notebooks.
Palmtop: Computers that can be held in the hand. See diagram below



In business, computers track inventories with bar codes and scanners, check the credit status of customers, and transfer funds electronically.

In homes, computers in the electronic circuits of most appliances control the temperature, operate security systems and even turn off electronic devices

Computers in vehicles regulate the flow of fuel, thereby increasing gas mileage.
Computer programs, or applications, exist to aid every level of education, from programs that teach simple addition or sentence construction to programs that teach language.

Computers are to track grades and communicate with students; with computer-controlled projection units, they can add graphics, sound, and animation to their communications
In medicine to perform complex operations and surgery.

Advantages of Computers
Helps in education to teach students at a different location
Used in medicine to aid in performing more accurate surgical operations
Helps in transportation to monitor aircrafts in flight
Make access to information easier through the internet
Used in communication to send and receive mails with ease (You will learn how to do this during the internet training)
Used to read e-Books in e-Libraries (You will learn how to do this during the training on use of e-Library
Makes transfer of fund easier