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In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered.
When using the word 'computer' in the context of this training course, I'm referring to the entire package of everything you need to actually accomplish tasks. Some people refer to a computer as just the actual unit housing the main components of the hard drive, processor, memory, and so on. But to really use a computer, you also need a monitor, so you can see what you're doing. Now some computers, like the iMac or Apple's notebook computers have built-in monitors, but it's important to not confuse the monitor with the computer itself. The monitor, sometimes also called the display, doesn't do any of the work or processing of the computer.
It simply displays the computer's interface, which is still an essential component of the entire system. You also need a keyboard and a mouse, so you can enter text and commands and control your computer. You'll often need speakers or headphones so you can hear the sounds your computer makes. Some computers have built-in speakers, while others don't. Computers also need to have an operating system, which is the software that manages the entire operation of your entire computer system. We'll talk more about operating systems in a later movie. To use a computer, you also need applications, which are programs that you run on your computer, like word processing, spreadsheet or photo editing applications.
Many computers come with built-in software applications, and you can purchase and install thousands of other applications you might want, or need. You may also need additional hardware to have your computer perform other tasks. For example, you'll need a printer in order to have paper copies of your documents, or a scanner to create electronic versions of your documents, although, these days, your printer and scanner may, in fact, be the same device. If you want to get online, you'll need a web browsing software, a modem, and you'll need to subscribe to an Internet service provider. So at the very least, you need the computer unit itself, a monitor, an operating system, and the keyboard and mouse to have a computer system.
But all of these things and more can make up your computer system, and generally, when we talk about computers, we're talking about any configuration that involves these basic and essential components.
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