Why You Should Purchase A PC


Why You Should Purchase A PC Essay, Research Paper

Why You Should Purchase A PC

Computers are capable of doing more things every year. There are many

advantages to knowing how to use a computer, and it is important that everyone

know how to use them properly. Using the information I have gathered, and my own

knowledge from my 12 years of computer experience, I will explain the many

advantages of owning a computer and knowing how to use a PC and I will attempt

to explain why you should purchase a computer and learn how to use one properly.

Webster’s New World Compact Dictionary defines a computer as “an electronic

machine that performs rapid, complex calculations or compiles and correlates

data” (”Computer.”). While this definition gives one a very narrow view of what

a computer is capable of doing, it does describe the basic ideas of what I will

expand upon. We have been living through an age of computers for a short while

now and there are already many people world wide that are computer literate.

According to Using Computers: A Gateway to Information World Wide Web Edition,

over 250 million Personal Computers (PC’s) were in use by 1995, and one out of

every three homes had a PC (Shelly, Cashman,& Waggoner, 138).

Computers are easy to use when you know how they work and what the parts

are. All computers perform the four basic operations of the information

processing cycle: input, process, output, and storage. Data, any kind of raw

facts, is required for the processing cycle to occur. Data is processed into

useful information by the computer hardware. Most computer systems consist of a

monitor, a system unit which contains the Central Processing Unit (CPU), a

floppy-disk drive, a CD-ROM drive, speakers, a keyboard, a mouse, and a printer.

Each component takes a part in one of the four operations.

The keyboard and mouse are input devices that a person uses to enter data

into the computer. From there the data goes to the system unit where it is

processed into useful information the computer can understand and work with.

Next the processed data can be sent to storage devices or to output devices.

Normally output is sent to the monitor and stored on the hard-disk or to a

floppy-disk located internal of the system unit. Output can also be printed out

through the printer, or can be played through the speakers as sound depending on

the form it takes after it is processed.

Once you have grasped a basic understanding of the basic parts and

operations of a computer, you can soon discover what you can do with computers

to make life easier and more enjoyable. Being computer literate allows you to

use many powerful software applications and utilities to do work for school,

business, or pleasure. Microsoft is the current leading producer of many of

these applications and utilities.

Microsoft produces software called operating systems that manage and

regulate the information processing cycle. The oldest of these is MS-DOS, a

single user system that uses typed commands to initiate tasks. Currently

Microsoft has available operating systems that use visual cues such as icons to

help enter data and run programs. These operating systems are ran under an

environment called a Graphical User Interface (GUI’s). Such operating systems

include Windows 3.xx, Windows 95, and Windows NT Workstation. Windows 95 is

geared more for use in the home for productivity and game playing whereas

Windows NT is more business orientated. The article entitled “Mine, All Mine” in

the June 5, 1995 issue of Time stated that 8 out of 10 PC’s worldwide would not

be able to start or run if it were not for Microsoft’s operating systems like

MS-DOS, Windows 95, and Windows NT (Elmer-Dewitt, 1995, p. 50).

By no means has Microsoft limited itself to operating systems alone.

Microsoft has also produced a software package called Microsoft Office that is

very useful in creating reports, data bases, spreadsheets, presentations, and

other documents for school and work. Microsoft Office: Introductory Concepts and

Techniques provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to the four programs

included in Microsoft Office.

Included in this package are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft

Access, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is a word processing program

that makes creating professional looking documents such as announcements,

resumes, letters, address books, and reports easy to do. Microsoft Excel, a

spreadsheet program, has features for data organization, calculations, decision

making, and graphing. It is very useful in making professional looking reports.

Microsoft Access, a powerful database management system, is useful in creating

and processing data in a database. Microsoft PowerPoint is “. . a complete

presentation graphics program that allows you to produce professional looking

presentations” (Shelly, Cashman, & Vermaat, 2). PowerPoint is flexible enough so

that you can create electronic presentations, overhead transparencies, or even

35mm slides.

Microsoft also produces entertainment and reference programs. “Microsoft’s

Flight Simulator is one of the best selling PC games of all time” (Elmer-Dewitt,

50). Microsoft’s Encarta is an electronic CD-ROM encyclopedia that makes for a

fantastic alternative to 20 plus volume book encyclopedias. In fact, it is so

popular, it outsells the Encyclopedia Britannica. These powerful business,

productivity, and entertainment applications are just the beginning of what you

can do with a PC.

Knowing how to use the Internet will allow you access to a vast resource of

facts, knowledge, information, and entertainment that can help you do work and

have fun. According to Netscape Navigator 2 running under Windows 3.1, “the

Internet is a collection of networks, each of which is composed of a collection

of smaller networks” (Shelly, Cashman, & Jordan, N2). Information can be sent

over the Internet through communication lines in the form of graphics, sound,

video, animation, and text. These forms of computer media are known as

hypermedia. Hypermedia is accessed through hypertext links, which are pointers

to the computer where the hypermedia is stored. The World Wide Web (WWW) is the

collection of these hypertext links throughout the Internet. Each computer that

contains hypermedia on the WWW is known as a Web site and has Web pages set up

for users to access the hypermedia. Browsers such as Netscape allow people to

“surf the net” and search for the hypermedia of their choice.

There are millions of examples of hypermedia on the Internet. You can find

art, photos, information on business, the government, and colleges, television

schedules, movie reviews, music lyrics, online news and magazines, sport sights

of all kinds, games, books, and thousands of other hypermedia on the WWW. You

can send electronic mail (E-Mail), chat with other users around the world, buy

airline, sports, and music tickets, and shop for a house or a car. All of this,

and more, provides one with a limitless supply of information for research,

business, entertainment, or other personal use. Online services such as America

Online, Prodigy, or CompuServe make it even easier to access the power of the

Internet. The Internet alone is almost reason enough to become computer literate,

but there is still much more that computers can do.

Knowing how to use a computer allows you to do a variety of things in

several different ways. One of the most popular use for computers today is for

playing video games. With a PC you can play card games, simulation games, sport

games, strategy games, fighting games, and adventure games. Today’s technology

provides the ultimate experiences in color, graphics, sound, music, full motion

video, animation, and 3D effects. Computers have also become increasingly useful

in the music, film, and television industry. Computers can be used to compose

music, create sound effects, create special effects, create 3D life-like

animation, and add previous existing movie and TV footage into new programs, as

seen in the movie Forrest Gump. All this and more can be done with computers.

There is truly no time like the present to become computer literate.

Computers will be doing even more things in the future and will become

unavoidable. Purchasing and learning about a new PC now will help put PC’s into

the other two-thirds of the homes worldwide and make the transition into a

computer age easier.

Works Cited

“Computer.” Webster’s New World Compact School and Office Dictionary. 1995.

Elmer-Dewitt, P. “Mine, All Mine.” Time Jun. 1995: 46-54.

Shelly, G., T. Cashman, and K. Jordan. Netscape Navigator 2 Running Under

Windows 3.1.

Danvers: Boyd & Fraser Publishing Co., 1996.

Shelly, G., T. Cashman, and M. Vermaat. Microsoft Office Introductory Concepts


Techniques. Danvers: Boyd & Fraser Publishing Co., 1995.

Shelly, G., T. Cashman, G. Waggoner, and W. Waggoner. Using Computers: A Gateway


Information World Wide Web Edition. Danvers: Boyd & Fraser Publishing Co.,


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