Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Computer Hardware
You notice that the computer ad in Figure 1 does not include a printer, so you make a
note to ask Mr. Paik if your recommendation should include one. If so, you decide to rec-
ommend a color laser printer to print correspondence, advertisements, and brochures.
Multimedia devices are another category of peripheral devices. Multimedia refers to an
integrated collection of computer-based media including text, graphics, sound, animation,
and video. Most personal computers come equipped with a sound card and speakers that
can play digital sounds. The sound card converts sounds so that they can be broadcast
through speakers.
The computer advertised in Figure 1 includes a sound card and speakers that are built
into the monitor. These are also output devices that you need to mention in your recom-
mendation. Mr. Paik will need these output devices for a variety of activities, such as par-
ticipating in teleconferences on product availability attended by suppliers in widespread
locations, or recording announcements that employees can play back at their conve-
nience. Later in this tutorial, you will learn how business users are sharing a variety of
data resources, including digital sound.
Processing Hardware
The most important computer function is processing data. Before you can understand this
function and the hardware that executes it, you first need to learn how the computer
represents and stores data.
Using Files
Data Representation
The characters used in human language are meaningless to a computer because it is an
electronic device. Like a light bulb, the computer must interpret every signal as either
“on” or “off.” To do so, a computer represents data as distinct or separate numbers.
Specifically, it represents “on” with a 1 and “off” with a 0. These numbers are referred to
as binary digits , or bits .
A series of eight bits is called a byte . As Figure 12 shows, the byte that represents the
integer value 0 is 00000000, with all eight bits “off ” or set to 0. The byte that represents
the integer value 1 is 00000001, and the byte that represents 255 is 11111111.
Binary representation of numbers
Figure 12
Number
0
Binary Representation
00000000
1
00000001
2
00000010
3
00000011
4
00000100
5
00000101
6
00000110
7
00000111
8
00001000
253
254
11111101
11111110
255
11111111
Personal computers commonly use the ASCII code to represent character data. ASCII
(pronounced “ASK-ee”) stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange . The
ASCII system translates the decimal numbers 0 through 255 into binary data. Each ASCII code
 
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