Know Thy Computer!

This full day workshop will explain how a computer works from hard drive to printing. You will learn about the various parts of a computer and how they work together to perform so many tasks at such fast speeds. During the training, you will also gain an understanding of what to look for when shopping for a new computer and some basic troubleshooting skills every user should know. We will discuss operating systems, free resources you can use to help your computer run more efficiently.

Here's a quick video explanation of how the hardware of a computer all works together:

Introduction Presentation - on

Atomic Learning Training - includes training on over 170 different software applications for Mac and PC. It is similar to Safari Montage but all videos are technology training videos. Each video offered is less than 4 minutes (usually) and is a great way to get extra learning if you have a few moments of time.

The username is kerrville
Password is learn

Login with that information and then click on Training Library (left link on blue bar), Technology Skills, and then select your language.

It will then list in alphabetical order all the software apps out there including Google Earth, Office 2007, SMART Boards, iTunes, etc.

If you go back up to the blue bar and click on Training Library, go to 21st Century Skills, Workshops and they offer specific training just on: Blogging, Wikis, PC Maintenance and Security; Podcasting, and Web 2.0 Tools

Resource Videos for How Things Work - provided by The Common Craft Show
  • Blogs - A website where regular entries are made (such as in a journal or diary); offer commentary on particular topics; combine text, images, links, embedded media. One author usually with comments posted by viewers.
  • Computer Hardware >
  • Computer Software
  • Online Photo Sharing
  • Open Source - Refers to software tools available with the source code open for anyone to study, change, and improve it as well as distribute the changed versions.
  • Phishing Scams
  • Podcasting - A method for distributing multimedia files such as audio and video over the Internet using RSS/Atom feeding tools. Podcasts can be played on computers or portable media devices.
  • RSS - Web feed format for subscribing to specific information on the Internet that is "fed" to your computer or device
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking
  • Twitter
  • Twitter Search
  • Viral Video - Video content that gains notoriety quickly by getting shared quickly via the web
  • Web 2.0 - The "Read/Write" web which allows users to read sites and add content to them.
  • Web Search Strategies
  • Wikis - A type of website that allows users to add, remove, or edit content quickly and easily; can embed text, images, links, and embedded media. More than one author can edit and collaborate on content.
  • World Wide Web

Walter Kronkite's report on the computer and the fears of computers in our personal lives (no date on this video)

KISD Technology NOW:
What we buy now: Dell GX760 desktop
What we are investigating: Dell Netbooks; Dell Latitude Mini 10; M&A Companion PC Document Cameras
Projectors: Mitsubishi XL2550U Classroom Projector ceiling mounted

What's coming in the new year:
Robust infrastructure; new ISP from 6 MBS to 20 MBS.
Microsoft Office 2007
Software evaluation and inventory
Online alert system
High school student Live Drive and email
Individual student accounts
Updated Acceptable Use Policy includes smartphones, voicemail, web presence

Considerations: EoY Course Testing; 1:1 computing; digital media streaming; Web 2.0 resources; NCLB: TCO & Energy savings

Walk Thru Lesson: How Things Work with Computers: Parts
Motherboard - what everything plugs into
Processor - the brain of the computer that processes the data
Drive Controllers - controllers that sit between motherboard and drives
Drivers - software that "drives" hardware
Memory - the "short term" memory of the computer - the more you have the more windows you can open and work between windows with speed
Hard Drive - the "long term" memory that stores the data on your computer
Hardware - all the physical stuff of the computer
Software - programs that run on the computer
Bugs - basic design flaws built-in to software
Patches - small fixes to bugs
Updates - a version of software that incorporates several patches to fix flaws (
Upgrades - a completely new version of the software that includes all updates, more changes, enhancements....and its own variety of bugs (ie: Windows Vista is an upgrade to Windows XP)

What Happens When You Start a Computer: Process
1. Finds all hardware
2. Simple checks

BIOS - Basic Input Output System - small software app that controls the startup process of a computer (Y2K problem a few years ago was about BIOS)
POST - Power On Self Test - simple check to test memory, keyboard, mouse, drive controllers, and drives. It used to beep when a POST was done on startup.
Plug n Play - No drivers required

Get to know the GUI (gooey): The Operating System
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS Leopard & Snow Leopard, Linux, Ubuntu
The Future of the Operating System: BumpTop; Surface; Web OS

Discussion: Difference between an Apple & a PC

Troubleshooting Basics

Avoiding Startup Problems:
1. Shut down correctly
2. Run a system scan/defrag occasionally
3. Get a virus/malware/antispam/adware scanner that updates and scans weekly

Start with the most OBVIOUS suspect and then move on to the next suspect.

Problems and where to start:
1. When I hit the power button on my computer, nothing happens.
2. Each time I turn on my computer, there is a "Non-System Disk Error" on a black screen.
3. I can't get to the Internet for some reason.
4. My mouse isn't working right. It runs jagged across the screen.
5. I am trying to play a video but there is no sound.
6. I put a CD in my computer but it isn't recognizing it. I can't open it and it makes this strange whirring sound.
7. I can hear my computer on and its lights are flashing but there is nothing showing on my screen.

Strange things happening? Ask if the person installed new software, ran an update, or plugged in a new device.

REBOOTING a computer solves about 90% of all computer problems. Shut it down, count to 10 and restart. Still problems? Shut it down, unplug it and count to 20 seconds.
If you are going to adjust hardware:
1. Shut down the computer and unplug it. Remember there is electricity flowing through everything. Safety first!
2. Static is not good so if you are working inside a computer's parts, get rid of static

Repair Standards: HB2833 and Patriot Act

File Formats: doc, xls, ppt, pdf, dmb, xml, html, htm, exe, zip, csv, txt, docx, xlsx, pptx, jpg, gif, tiff, png, bmp, etc.

Versions of Office: Microsoft Office 97, 2000, 2003, 2004 (Mac), 2007, 2008 (Mac), LIVE
How does Web 2.0 apply to all these (and other) office tools? What does this mean for our student populations?

Web 2.0 Applied in FREE Office Alternatives
Google Documents
Adobe Buzzword
Slide Story
Slide Rocket

Working Together - A brief understanding of networking

Network is made of 2 or more connected computers that share data

Models: Mainframe & the dumb terminal; Client/Server; Web Based & Collaborative; Server-Based

Hardware: NIC, Cat 6, Hub, Switch, Router

1. Check the NIC for lights
2. Check the Cat 6
3. Check the Hub for Power or the Switch if you can see it.

Most switches and routers are locked away so you can't get to them.


user is the joel.adkins information after the @ is the domain the user belongs to

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - Sends the mail
POP3 - Post Office Protoco - receives the mail

Email and the Public Domain

Email attachments and viruses

Mailing Lists


SPAM - unsolicited email messages offering products or services

Virus - malicious attack that causes damage to computers and networks

Trojan - malicious attack that comes in the form of something that doesn't look like it would harm you

Zombie - malicious attacks that look as if they come from addresses you know; it is a mimic

10 Tools I can't live without:
Delicious - online social bookmarking
StumbleUpon - refers sites to me based on my interests
Google Documents - online office tools and collaboration
Flickr - online photo storage and sharing site
A Feed Reader
Google Earth
A Professional Learning Network - TCEA NING