Tom Kelliher, CS 102
Apr. 13, 1998
Announcements: Project groups, quiz on Friday.
From last time:
- Finished and published home pages.
- Shopping for a computer.
- A computer, defined. PC components. A computer, itself.
Dave's Guide to Buying a Home Computer.
(Definitely read this.)
A PC Guide That Won't, Technically, Make Your Head Explode.
Introduction to PC Hardware.
Things to consider:
- What do I want to do with the computer? Telecommuting? Word
processing? Graphical design? Games?
- What software do I need?
- Personal productivity: word processing, spreadsheet, presentation
- Reference: encyclopedia.
- Internet clients: e-mail, browser.
- Personal finance.
- PC or Mac?
- Where do I buy it?
- What else do I need?
- Additional software.
- Printer, cable, paper, toner/ink.
- Power protection.
- Removable media ( diskettes).
- Can I return it if I don't like it or if it's a ``lemon?''
- What about the warranty?
- Service and support?
- Recent pricing trends.
- The Intel premium.
Operating systems --- the missing piece:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU):
- Controls all other hardware.
- Executes program instructions.
- Operates on data.
- Memory (RAM)
- Holds currently needed programs and data.
- If too little, backed up by disk storage.
- Input/Output (I/O):
- Communication with external world.
- Everything else: keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, network
adapter, modem, disk, diskette, ...
- Storage: disk holds programs, data until needed. Virtual memory.
- Processor generations: Pentium II, Pentium Pro, Pentium, x486.
- Clock speeds.
- What about MMX?
- Memory: the more the merrier, up to a point.
- What's the minimum?
- Temporary storage.
- When to upgrade: poor performance.
- Disk storage: permanent storage.
- When to upgrade: can't save work, install new programs.
- Disks are delicate.
- How much storage do I need?
- Video card and monitor.
- What size monitor?
- Dot pitch, resolution, refresh rate.
- How much video memory?
- Keyboard and mouse.
- CD-ROM and diskette drive.
- CD-ROM speed.
- The future? DVD and ZIP disks?
- Modem or network card.
- Ink jet or laser? How do they work?
- Resolution, speed, colors.
- Photographic printers.
- Extras: tape backup unit, power protection (surge protector,
uninterrupted power supply), scanner, digital camera, TV tuner.
An inside look at a system unit.
A virtual shopping trip:
(Packard Bell reviews, Compaq and the sub-$1,000 PC, Gateway 2000, Dell.)
How much software comes with it?
Thomas P. Kelliher
Wed Apr 8 10:03:35 EDT 1998