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What are the Keyboard Function(computing)

Monday, January 12, 2009

In computing, a keyboard is an input device, partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, which act as electronic switches. A keyboard typically has characters engraved or printed on the keys and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol. However, to produce some symbols requires pressing and holding several keys simultaneously or in sequence. While most keyboard keys produce letters, numbers or signs (characters), other keys or simultaneous key presses can produce actions or computer commands.

In normal usage, the keyboard is used to type text or numbers into a word processor, text editor or other program. In a modern computer, the interpretation of keypresses is generally left to the software. A computer keyboard distinguishes each physical key from every other and reports all keypresses to the controlling software. Keyboards are also used for computer gaming, either with regular keyboards or by using special gaming keyboards, which can expedite frequently used keystroke combinations. A keyboard is also used to give commands to the operating system of a computer, such as Windows' Control-Alt-Delete combination, which brings up a task window or shuts down the machine.

Along the top of your keyboard is a row of keys numbered F1 to F10 or F12. Even though you may never use them, they do have function. In fact, the F stands for Function and they are called Function keys.

Below is a list of what each key does. After the list is a trick that you can use Function keys for. Most of the items on the list below apply only to Windows and Windows' programs, especially Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

Some programs have their own set of functions that they have assigned to the Function keys. You can find these in the menu of the program. The menu items which are assigned a function key have the corresponding function key designated after the item name. If you press that function key, you can perform that function without using the menu or buttons. The program's help or manual should also tell which functions are assigned to the function keys. You might want to try each one of these as you read through them.

Function Keys for Windows

* F1 - Opens Help for the currently displayed program (this does not work on all programs).

* Windows Logo key and F1 - Opens Windows' Help.

* F2 - Highlights the name of a selected object for renaming in Windows Explorer, desktop, and some other Windows' programs. First, you need to select an item that can be renamed (like, a file or shortcut). After pressing F2, you can then type what you want to rename the object to.

* F3 - Brings up Search in Windows Explorer.

* F4 - Drops down the Address bar in Internet Explorer showing your previous locations. This allows you to scroll down and select one.

* Alt and F4 - Closes the currently displayed program.

* F5 - Refreshes the view in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer (in other words, it looks at the source again and reloads the contents), and other programs. In MailWasher it checks the mail (which I guess would be a kind of refresh).

* F6 - moves the cursor around the structure of a program. Pressing it may cycle you from window to window or from place to place within the program. In Windows Explorer it moves you from the left pane to the right pane and back. This is similar to what the Tab key does.

* Alt and F6 - Switches between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window).

* F7 - does not have any functionality in Windows. It may be used in individual programs.

* F8 - accesses Safe Mode if pressed at the right time while the computer is starting. Safe Mode is a trouble-shooting mode, which will start the computer with minimal drivers.

* F9 - does not have any functionality in Windows. It may be used in individual programs.

* F10 - Changes the focus to and from the menu. Pressing the Alt key will also do this. Once the focus is on the menu items, you can use the arrow keys to navigate to an item and the Enter key to select it.

* Shift and F10 - brings up the popup menu in Windows Explorer much like right clicking on an item does.

* F11 - Switches between regular screen mode and full screen mode. Full screen mode is like a maximized screen but with more screen space and less toolbar controls

* F12 - does not have any functionality in Windows. It may be used in individual programs.

You may have noticed that some of the Function keys are not used (F7, F9, F12) in Windows. That doesn't mean that they can't be used. You can assign them or any other key combination to quickly run programs that you frequently use. Here are instructions for doing that.

* Locate the shortcut of that program. The Start menu is a good place to find shortcuts (every icon in the Start menu is a shortcut). If the program doesn't have a shortcut, create one.

* Right click on the shortcut and select the Properties item from the popup menu.

* The Properties dialog will open. Go to the Shortcut tab.

* Put the curser in the Shortcut key textbox and press the Function key or key combination (like Alt + Ctrl + 2) which you want to use to start the program.

* The Function key name or key combination name will appear in the box.

* Click on the Apply button (or the OK button) and close the dialog.

After you have done this, whenever you press that Function key or key combination, that program will start. Please note that if you use a Function key or key combination that is already used by Windows or other programs, it will no longer work in Windows or the other programs as it used to and will instead start your program.

To disable this, follow the above instructions but press Backspace or Delete in the Shortcut key textbox.

The Function keys are there to make your life easier. Now you can start using them.


Basic Computer Operations

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How Computer Work

Input: Information and programs are entered into the computer through Input devices such as the keyboard, disks or through other computers via network connections or modems connected to the Internet. The input device also retrieves information off disks.

Output: Output Devices displays information on the screen or the printer and sends information to other computers. They also display messages about what errors may have occurred and brings up message or dialog box asking for more information to be input. The output device also saves information on the disk for future use.

Processing: The CPU or central processing unit is sometimes called the Control Unit and directs the operation of the input and output devices. The Coprocessor or the Arithmetic-Logic Unit does arithmetic and comparisons. The memory or RAM temporarily stores information (files and programs) while you are using or working on them. The BIOS or basic input/output system controls the dialogue between the various devices.

Keyboard Layout and Data Entry

ENTER or RETURN - Moves the cursor down one line and to the left margin. Enter also process commands such as choosing an option in a dialog (message) boxes and submitting a form.

DEL or DELETE - Deletes the character at cursor and/or characters to the right of the cursor and all highlighted (or selected) text.

BKSP or BACKSPACE - Deletes the character to the left of cursor and all hightlighted text.

SPACE BAR - Moves the cursor one space at a time to the right

SHIFT KEY - Use the shift keys to type capital letters and to type the upper character on keys with two characters on them

CAPS LOCK - Locks the keyboard so it types capital letters (a light goes on when caps lock is on)

TAB - Moves the cursor five spaces to the right (number of spaces are usually adjustable). Tab moves to the next field in a form or table (Shift-Tab for previous field).

ESC or ESCAPE - Cancels a menu or dialog box

ARROW KEYS - Moves the cursor around document without changing text

FUNCTION KEYS or F KEYS - Access commands by themselves or in combination with the three command keys; CTRL, SHIFT, and ALT

Command or Special Keys

Command keys normally do nothing on their own but work in combination with other keys. Each piece of software uses the command keys differently though there is a move to standardize some functions. The Control key or Ctrl is often used to access commands. The Alternative key or Alt is often used to access menus. The Shift key is used to type CAPITAL LETTERS. As well the command keys are all used to move through documents and edit text faster and easier. As well many computers have Special keys design specifically for the particular computer. Apple computers have the Apple keys and Macs have Command keys. Many keyboards now have a Windows key specifically for Windows 9x and newer systems. Many older computers also have special keys used for a variety of different functions.

Some Notebook or Laptop keys are left out because of space limitations and they usually have a Special function key which allows other keys to double for the missing ones.

Basic Typing Rules

Place one space between each word, after a punctuation mark and at the end of a sentence. Always start a sentence with a capital letter. Use capitals for names, addresses, provinces and countries, places, organizations, businesses, associations, schools, colleges, universities, days of the week, months, holidays, nationalities, ethnic groups and languages.

Learning the keyboard is the first step to learning computers. Learning involves practice. It really is as simple as that. There are two kinds of typing.

The first is called Touch Typing. The Touch Typist uses the Home Keys (asdf for the left hand and jkl; for the right) and all the fingers on both hands as well as the thumbs for the Space Bar while typing. There are many commercial and public domain programs that are designed to teach this method.

The other method is some times called 'Hunt and Peck' or depending on finger strength 'Search and Destroy'. This involves using one or more fingers on one or two hands to type. It is a perfectly acceptable way of using a computer and many people get along fine with this technique.


Computer Applications with Security

Security, Privacy, and Ethics


Computers can store both public and private data. You ensure that what is stored on your computer is secure you can use a password to protect the material. User names and passwords can also protect the information stored on a computer. When using the Internet, one should use caution when giving out personal information.

Information Privacy

Intellectual property is a product someone creates based upon his or her thoughts or ideas. Copyright laws exits to protect those who create an idea or product. When using computers, one must respect the property, rights, and privacy of others.

One of the problems related to privacy is the tendency to regard anything displayed on a computer screen as public information. Although most people, including students, would never pick up and read a document lying on someone else's desk, many people do not hesitate to read someone else's computer screen. As word-processing and other tool software becomes more and more common, we must extend the courtesy of privacy from written documents to material displayed on computer screens or stored on disks.

Ethics and the Information Age

Ethics are the standards of honest, morality, and fairness. These standards relate to using computers. One has a responsibility to respect the property, rights, and privacy of others in the way you use computers. Today in the Information Age, one must follow a code of ethics to respect others properties and others personal information.

The legal aspects of computing are complex and multilayered. Teachers can help society by practicing ethical computer use, avoiding software piracy, and providing direct instruction on ethical computing practices.


Computer Applications in Education

Monday, January 5, 2009

Computer Applications in Education


Computers are used in a variety of ways in the educational field. Computers can be used in school management such as budget, inventory, student records, communications, library circulation, and library public access catalog.

Learning and Instruction

Computer applications can be used in education for learning and for instruction. Instruction and learning can be divided into two major areas, teacher-centered instruction and student-centered learning.

Teacher-centered instruction examined the computer as the object of instruction as well as a tool of instruction and the management of instruction. It is subdivided into the categories of computer literacy, CAI, CMI, and design of teaching materials.

Student-centered learning views the computer as a tool for the student to use to create, access, retrieve, manipulate, and transmit information in order to solve a problem. Understanding the concept of the computer as an information tool relies on accepting the fact that the computer is a productivity tool for the student and the teacher alike.

Educational Research

Computers are used widely in educational research. Educational research includes functions relating to information gathering and processing. The teacher/researcher may examine student performance data in new and revealing ways. Bibliographic citations of studies performed by educators around the world can be acquired and perused from the desktop computer.


Software -- General Information

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Application Software

Application software programs work with the operating system software to help you use your computer to do specific types of work such as word processing to type a letter.

    1. Used by people to solve general problems
      • Can be used to do more than one thing - adapted to a wide variety of tasks
      • Some common tasks done by general purpose application software
        • Planning
        • Writing
        • Record keeping
        • Calculating
        • Communicating
        • Drawing
        • Painting
      • What can be done with general purpose application software is only limited by the imagination of the user.

    2. Examples of general purpose application software
      • Word Processing Software

      • Database Software

      • Spreadsheet Software

      • Desktop Publishing Software

      • Paint and Draw Software


Utilities allow you to complete certain tasks on your computer. Examples of some of these tasks are file organizations.

  • Specific purpose application software used to help a computer work better or to avoid problems.
  • Some utility programs are built into the operating system
    • Scandisk in the Windows operating system
    • Disk formatting software
  • Examples of utility programs
    • Anti-virus software
    • Disk maintenance software
  • File management programs
  • Security software


Software -- General Information

Friday, January 2, 2009

How Software is Inputted Into Computer

  1. Built into the computer's circuits, the ROM chips.
  2. Loaded into the computer from a secondary storage device, like a floppy disk or hard disk drive.
  3. Typed in from the keyboard.
    • Usually need to use a programming language to create the software.
    • Rarely done by most computer users today.

System Software

System software is a type of program that acts like a conductor in an orchestra. It directs all the activities and sets all the rules for how the hardware and software work together. MS DOS and Microsoft Windows are examples of system software or operating system software.

Some System Software is built into the computer.

  1. ROM chips and BIOS.
  2. Helps to setup the computer and start it.

Operating Systems

  1. The operating system is usually located on a disk.
    • Can be on either the hard disk drive, a floppy disk, or CD-ROM disk.
    • Must be loaded into RAM before it can be used.

  2. Used by the computer's hardware to work with its parts.
    • Tells the computer how to:
      • display information on the screen.
      • use a printer.
      • store information on a secondary storage device.
    • The system software that controls peripherals are called drivers.

  3. An operating system works with application software.
    • Does basic tasks, like printing a document or saving a file
    • The operating system starts (launches) the application software so that it can be used.

User Interfaces

  1. The user interface is how the computer's operating system presents information to the user and the user gives instructions (commands) to the computer.

  2. There are two kinds of User Interfaces
    • Text Interface
      • Presents information to the user in the form of text.
      • Have to type in commands or select commands from a menu displayed as text on the screen.
      • Hard to use or learn, because the user must memorize and type in commands.
      • Examples:
        • MS-Dos (MicroSoft Disk Operating System)
        • ProDos (Professional Disk Operating System)
      • Many of the Text Interfaces had shells placed over them.
        • A shell was more of a Graphic User Interface.
        • Made using the Text Interface easier to use.
    • Graphic User Interface (GUI)
      • Presents information to the use in the form of pull-down menus and icons.
        • Pull-down menus the user clicks on to display the menu
        • Icons are small pictures that stand for something, like a file, volume, trash, or program
      • The user gives commands to the computer by selecting items from a menu or by clicking on an icon when using a pointing device.
      • GUIs are easy to learn and use
      • Examples:
        • Windows 98
        • Windows 2000
        • MacOS


Software -- General Information

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Computer software provides instruction that tell the computer how to operate.

    1. Software are also called programs.
    2. Programs are usually created using other software called programming languages.

There are two (2) main types of software

  1. System Software
    • Used by the computer to accomplish a task.
    • What system software does:
      • controls the internal function of the computer
      • controls other devices connected to the CPU

  2. Application Software
    • Used by people to accomplish a specific task.
    • Some common kinds of application software
      • Word Processor software
      • Database software
      • Spreadsheet software
      • Games
      • Web Page Browsers

Kinds of Software

  1. Public Domain Software
    • Has no copyright - no one owns the right to control who can make copies of the software.
    • Free to use or make copies of.
    • Can be copied, used in other programs, or changed by anyone.

  2. Freeware
    • Has a copyright - someone owns the right to determine who can make copies of the software.
    • Free to use and make copies of.
    • Can only give away exact copies of the software.
    • Can not be changed or used in another program without the copyright holder's permission.

  3. Shareware
    • Has a copyright.
    • Allowed to use the software before paying for it.
      • Can be a demo - which limits some major features like the Save command.
      • Can set an amount of time you can use the software.
      • Can trust that you will pay for it if you like the software.
    • Can only give away exact copies of the software.
    • Can not be changed or used in another program without the copyright holder's permission.

  4. Commercial Software
    • Has the most resistive copyright.
    • Have to buy the software before you can use it.
    • Can usually make one copy of the software as a backup copy.
      • A backup copy is used in case something goes wrong with the original software.
      • Can not give away or sell the backup copy.
    • Can not copy, look at the program's code, change, or use the software in another program without the copyright holder's permission.
    • Commercial Software is the best software in the world.


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