PC Technology

SF State Information Technology Program -- Instructor: Lenny Bailes


Day 2 Agenda

    1.     Finish Lab 1: Exploring the PC [20 min]

    Use command-line session:
    Compare DIR command with Windows Explorer listing, discuss long flenames
    Learn a few DIR parameters, also CLS, drive logon and CD
    Run DOS EDIT command and review keyboard keys Ctrl +Home, End, PgUp/Dn, numlock,
    capslock, DEL/INSERT, and PrtScrn, Laptops have extra FN key.
    Enter a key code into the DOS Editor ALT +064=@ ALT 065=A
    Show ASCII tables
    DOS system font has same character set as Windows Terminal font (30 minutes)

    Examine Disk Manager
    Review answers to questions

    2.   Disks and Disk Drives [45 min]

    Computer basics: bits, bytes and kilobytes

    See: How Stuff Works - Hard Disks , IDE,  PC Reference Guide

    Review disk vocabulary;
    Examine FAQ at http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/pc-hardware-faq/enhanced-IDE/part1/faq.html

    3. History of Intel CPUs [30 min]

    See main handout and MCMCSE Study Guide- Processors http://www.mcmcse.com/comptia/aplus/notes/processor.shtml
    Review of CPU vocabulary

    4. Preview of Hardware Identification: [30 min]

    Components to identify
    See MCMCSE Core Hardware Study Guide http://www.mcmcse.com/comptia/aplus/notes/2001notes.shtml

    Power supplies
    System Board (motherboard)
    Memory chips
    Connectors and jumpers (IDE, Serial, Parallel, Mouse, USB)
    Front panel connections
    Expansion slots, ISA, (Local Bus), PCI
    Video Adapter
    Sound card
    Floppy drive cables
    Hard disk, physical installation in case,   (See also labs handout)


    5.  Lab 2:  Testing computers, opening case and identifying components [60 - 90 minutes]
     Review MCMCSE A+ hardware test [15 min]

    6.  PC Memory: DRAM, SIMMS, DIMMS· [30 min]

    See How Stuff Works -- Computer Memory

    7.    System Configuration Files [15 min]
           File attributes
           Windows 2000 System applet

    8.  Lab 4: Exploring CMOS options [60 min]
        See also: PC Mech Bios Reference  http://www.pcmech.com/bios.htm
                       Lycos BIOS troubleshooter    http://howto.lycos.com/lycos/step/1,,139+24491+6247,00.html

    9.  Discuss/review hexadecimal notation for Lab 3 exercise [30 to 45 minutes]

    Explanation for why we learn binary and hex code

    Each byte in memory (or on a disk) is the equivalent of one alphanumeric character (ABCabc1234$^&, etc.).
    A byte has eight binary bits examples: 00000001 (decimal value 1) or 00001111 (decimal value 15).
    There are 256 possible ways (2 to the 8th power) that you can arrange a string of eight "ones" and "zeros"
    to form a byte of information. If you go to a website with a PC character map chart, for instance,


    you'll see that each binary/decimal value between 0 and 127 has a different command or alphanumeric character
    associated with it. (For instance, a capital letter "A" has a value of 65 (or 01000001). The values between 128 and 255
    are reserved for special language alphabet characters and drawing boxes, as you can see in the Extended
    Character chart at


    So knowing a little bit about the relation between decimal numbering and binary numbering can make it easier
    to understand how the computer turns strings of ones and zeros into executable commands and text that
    you see on the screen.(30 minutes)

    9. (Time permitting) Discussion of PC boot process, formatting a disk


      1. Examine PC Hardware identification sheet in LABS handout and see how many components you can identify.
      2. Read sections in PC1 handout on hardware vocabulary review and PC memory types. See how many vocabulary words you can define.
      3. Read "More DOS" section in PC1 handout.
      4. Complete the Lab 3 "Bits, bytes, and kilobytes" exercise in the LABS handout.
      5. Complete the "Exploring the System BIOS" lab in the LABS handout.
      6. Review CPU, Disk, Motherboard, and Operating System vocabulary in handout, using URL references as necessary.
      7. Review information on PC hardware components from URLs & handout material
      8. Preview URL links & handout material on PC troubleshooting.