Everything Linux



The computer as we know it is a group of pieces of hardware put together to  get a job done faster. To accomplish its various tasks, the computer is made of different parts, each serving a particular purpose in conjunction with other parts. You don't necessarily need to know how these parts operate, at least not at this time, but you should be aware of their co-dependence to take advantage of their various characteristics.

The "computer" is an ensemble of different machines that you will be using to get your job done. A computer is primarily made of the Central Processing Unit (usually referred to as the computer), the monitor, the keyboard, and the mouse. Other pieces of hardware, commonly referred to as peripherals, can enhance or improve your experience with the computer.
This web site assumes that you have a computer ready to be used and that all the necessary parts are connected; but we don't care if you are using a desktop, a laptop, a server, whether you work from home, in an office, while commuting, taking a class, or using a computer at a public library.
To use the computer, you must first turn it on. To do this, the first thing you should find is the power switch that is used to put the unit on. Nowadays, it is usually located in front of the computer. Pushing it would start the computer.
The computer works by receiving and giving instructions (in future lessons, we will learn that an instruction or a group of instructions is actually called a program). For example, when you press the power button, you give the instruction to the electricity to "wake" up the computer. This instruction causes the computer to start giving its own instructions to internal parts. One of the instructions is called BIOS (it stands for Basic Input/Output System). The BIOS instruction starts checking "everybody", asking "Are you OK?", "Are you OK?", "What about you?". If a certain part that is important doesn't respond (for example if a certain important object such as the keyboard or mouse is not connected, which means it will not respond when the BIOS asks, "Are you OK?"), then the BIOS may interrupt everything, or it may continue checking. If the BIOS comes to a conclusion that this computer is not worth using, it would display an error and may not let you do anything significant. If the BIOS "thinks" that everything is alright and that the computer can be used, then it gets the hardware parts ready.
Depending on the computer you are using, when it comes up, it may directly display the desktop or it may ask you to log in. Because there are so many scenarios, we cannot review all of them. If you are using Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Millennium, or XP, the desktop may display once the computer is ready. Some installations of Windows 98 may first display a logon window to you, you can just click OK and you will be fine. Again, there are too many scenarios, we cannot review all of them.
From now on, we will consider that you are able to start your computer just fine.

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