Techways

Computer basics - Getting Started with using a Computer

Ronewa Sivhaga

Ronewa Sivhaga

E-learning Manager - TechWays

Computer basics -

Getting started with using a computer

What is a computer?

 Here is a step-by-step guide on using a computer for a complete beginner:

1. Turning on the computer

Find the power button on the computer case or on the keyboard and press it.
Wait for the computer to boot up and load the operating system.

2. Navigating the desktop

Once the computer has been turned on, you will see the desktop, which is the main screen of your computer.

You can access files, programs (e.g. Google Chrome ), and settings from the desktop.
To open a program, double-click on its icon.

3. Using the mouse

The mouse is a device used to move the cursor on the screen and select items.
To move the cursor , simply move the mouse. 
To select an item, position the cursor over it and click the left mouse button.

 

4. Using the keyboard

The keyboard is used to type text and enter commands.
You can open programs, create documents, and perform many other tasks using the keyboard.
To type a letter or number, simply press the corresponding key.


5. Browsing the internet

To browse the internet, open a web browser such as Google Chrome  or Mozilla Firefox.
Type in the address of the website (e.g. www.techways.online) you want to visit in the address bar and press Enter button on the keyboard.
Use the mouse to click on links and navigate the website.

6. Shutting down the computer

To shut down the computer, click on the Start button , then click on the power button and select Shut Down.

Congratulations, you have just learned the basics of using a computer! Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different programs and settings to discover what your computer is capable of.

TechWays gives high school learners a window to the world of technology in a way that is accessible, affordable and gives them relevant skills for what the market needs. Let them build their own website, mobile app or ‘from scratch’ game – by the time our high school learners matriculate they will have a portfolio of real-project experience and certifications to be proud of! 

Whitespace – basically empty space (like spaces, tabs, or enter button) that makes the code look neat and organized, but the computer doesn’t care about it.

 A User – is any person that interacts (by inputs) with a program without having to write the code directly. For example, you are the user to the code that makes your browser/website run. When you clicked on this pop-up, that was the input that made this explanation come up when the code detected it.

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All learners who are aspiring web developers will have an opportunity to build a website for a live NGO or charity client as part of their community service hours. This project will be run jointly with Community Hours – so all your time spent counts towards your LO credits. This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers.

TechWays will be providing the WordPress course and web dev resources for free to any learner wanting to participate. 

Besides the amazing community service you’ll be doing for a charity in need – you’ll also be building your portfolio of web dev skills. Who knows – web dev could become a side hustle for extra income?

Book your spot HERE

Indentation – In the written form of many languages, an indentation or indent is an empty space at the beginning of a line to signal the start of a new paragraph.

Text editor – is the part of the IDE where you write the code. Most text editors highlight words with different properties like functions to help you distinguish them from one another. 

Homogeneous – of the same kind; alike throughout.

Heterogeneous – diverse in character or content; containing different things

Prompt – to  cause or bring about; to make something happen. For example making someone to say or write something.

Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem in order to solve it, and make the product or process operational again.

String Built-in Functions/Methods

There are a lot of strings functions/methods in Python. Find full list in course manual. Here’s are some that you find useful in this course:

Functions

  • len(varName) – Returns the length of a list, string
  • join(varName) – Converts the elements of an iterable into a string.

Methods 

  • varName.capitalize() – Converts the first character to upper case.
  • varName.center(length) – Returns a centered string
  • varName.count(“?”) – Returns the number of times a specified value (?) occurs in a string (varName).
  • varName.endswith(“?”) – Returns true if the string ends with the specified value.
  • varName.find(“?”) – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the position of where it was found.
  • varName.format(placeholder = value) – Formats specified values in a string.
  • varName.index(“?”) – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the position of where it was found.
  • varName.isalnum() – Returns True if all characters in the string are alphanumeric.
  • varName.isalpha() – Returns True if all characters in the string are in the alphabet.
  • varName.isascii() – Returns True if all characters in the string are ascii characters.
  • varName.isdecimal() – Returns True if all characters in the string are decimals.
  • varName.isdigit() – Returns True if all characters in the string are digits.
  • varName.isidentifier() – Returns True if the string is an identifier.
  • varName.islower() – Returns True if all characters in the string are lower case.
  • varName.isupper() – Returns True if all characters in the string are upper case.
  • varName.isnumeric() – Returns True if all characters in the string are numeric.
  • varName.isprintable() – Returns True if all characters in the string are printable.
  • varName.isspace() – Returns True if all characters in the string are whitespaces.
  • varName.istitle() – Returns True if the string follows the rules of a title.
  • varName.ljust(value) – Returns a left justified version of the string.
  • varName.rjust() Returns a right justified version of the string.
  • varName.lower() – Converts a string into lower case.
  • varName.upper() – Converts a string into upper case.
  • varName.strip() – Returns a trimmed version of the string.
  • varName.lstrip() – Returns a left trim version of the string.
  • varName.rstrip() Returns a right trim version of the string.
  • varName.partition() – Returns a tuple where the string is parted into three parts.
  • varName.replace(“old”, “new”) – Returns a string where a specified value is replaced with a specified value.
  • varName.rfind() – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the last position of where it was found.
  • varName.rindex() – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the last position of where it was found.
  • varName.rpartition() – Returns a tuple where the string is parted into three parts.
  • varName.rsplit() – Splits the string at the specified separator, and returns a list.
  • varName.split() – Splits the string at the specified separator, and returns a list.
  • varName.splitlines() – Splits the string at line breaks and returns a list.
  • varName.startswith() – Returns true if the string starts with the specified value.
  • varName.swapcase() – Swaps cases, lower case becomes upper case and vice versa.

String Special Characters

There a number of special string characters that have different functions when used inside ” “. Here’re some useful and common ones:

  • \n – Newline – Everything after it goes to next line.
  • \t – Horizontal tab – creates a tab space, similar to when you use ‘tab’ on keyboard.
  • \b – backspace – deletes the character before the it.
  • \r – carriage return – same as \n

In programming Concatenation is a process of appending one string to another. 

\ – escape character is a string character that tell Python that the next character after it should be taken as a string and not as an instruction.

str ( ) is a built-in function that converts and sequence of characters (numbers especially) in to text. 

Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game created by Leonard Stern and Roger Price. It consists of one player prompting others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story before reading aloud.

type ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) that determines the Data Type of any data presented. 

input ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) allows a user to insert info into a program/the code. 

print ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) that executes data inside the brackets. The results get printed out on the console/results section.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – A digital environment used to develop games, software, hardware, that offers integration from debugging to compiling. Essentially where you write, edit, and run to test your code. 

Variables

More about variables

Info about variables

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#WOW – What Outstanding Work – Awards: join us to learn from our students. 

Our top 20 learners are from St Andrews for Girls, Reddam Umhlanga, Evolve Online, Nova Pioneer and Sutherland High

Learners will be presenting their final projects. Come celebrate their successes and lessons learnt with us at our TechWays #WOW Awards.

This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers. Book your spot HERE

To book your spot – click here

 

Calling on all high schoolers interested in tech as a career. Join us on Thursday 22 September at 5:30pm.

 

We will be sharing:

  • Some “hot button/in-demand” career pathways – including Automation
  • the skills needed to access these careers
  • some of the job realities in these careers

There are only 100 spaces – so book your spot now – please RSVP here Book

To access the recording – click here

Calling on all high schoolers interested in tech as a career to join us on 16 September at 5:30pm. If you missed it, we’ll host another one on 18 November. 

We covered the following:

  • general tech career tips
  • a few “hot button/in-demand” career pathways and jobs
  • the skills needed to access these careers
  • some of the job realities in these careers

To access the recording – click here

To book your spot – click here

We will be talking to Noelene Kinsley from GC Network. Noelene has been specialised in the exciting career of Genetic Counseling and wants to share her passion for making the world a healthier place using genetics….and data science technology. 

Let’s hear more about the trends in the health/genetics industries, where jobs are moving to and what kind of skills you’ll need in this exciting world of opportunities out there. 

This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers. Book your spot HERE

To book your spot – click here

We will be talking to Jason Suttie from Devson. Jason has been in the tech world since he was six years old. He headed IT innovation unit at RMB and has since left to start up his own software consulting company – solving problems and building solutions for clients around the world. 

Let’s hear more about the trends in the software and programming industries, where jobs are moving to and what kind of skills you’ll need in this exciting world of opportunities out there. 

Book your spot HERE

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