Computer Basics

1. Introduction: How to use a computer

How to use a computer

Naming the different parts

  • Input devices: Keyboard, Mouse
  • Output devices: Monitor, Printer, Headphone
  • Optical drive: CD, DVD
  • Plugs & Sockets: Mostly there is only one way for a proper connect, any different and violence will break them easily. Be careful!

Note: Especially the hard disk inside the computer is a very sensitive device, so avoid to move the computer while it is running.

Exercise: connect and disconnect different plugs, handle CD/DVD
Do you want to know more? go to PC inside

How to power the PC on and login

Press the Power Button
Start up, Login Screen and login, log out, shut down

Getting used to how the mouse works

  • movement, mouseover or hover (moving the mouse over an item) shows description box or pops-up windows
  • mouse buttons: left, right mouse button for context menu, middle click, double click
  • “drag & drop”: clicking and dragging
  • copy and paste
  • How to clean a mouse

Exercise: BBC-Computer Tutor film and sound (flash plugin), turn on subtitle. about keyboard, mouse. funny exercises


german keyboard layout

  • Normal Keys: letters
  • Space
  • Back Space / Delete difference
  • Return
  • How to use 2 keys
    • Shift Key: punctuation
    • Modifier Keys: shift, caps lock; ctrl/strg, alt
  • tab
  • Function Keys: F1 – F12
  • Cursor Keys/Arrow Keys
  • Number Pad – Number Keys
    • Num Lock On and Off difference concerning cursor function

Tuxtype is an educational typing tutor for children.
advanced Typing exercises german

Operating System Introduction

An operating system (OS) is software that runs on computers and manages the computer hardware and provides common services to run application software.

  • Microsoft Windows 85%
  • Mac OS (based on Unix) 10%
  • Linux (based on Unix) 5%
    Why using Linux?


  • background
  • icons
  • menubar
  • taskbar
  • quick launch
  • system tray


A Window is a central element of most Operating Systems

  • Title Bar
  • Menue Bar: access to commands. menue > drop down menue – little pointing triangle > sub menue
  • Toolbar: quicker command access. a row of pictures ~ Icons: mouse over: information label.
  • moving and resizing (Minimise, Maximise/Restore, Close), mouse over, click&drag, swapping, moving, mouse click on title bar)
    • active/inactive windows, task bar, switch between windows
  • scrollbar

Mouse Pointers and Selection

arrow, cursor, hand

  • buttons
  • selecting
    • radio buttons (one option)
    • check boxes (more options)
    • drop down lists +/- button “go”