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standard ways of working.
involves understanding the purpose of significant pieces of computer equipment
links with other components. You will practise choosing and setting up different
of components for a range of purposes and potential users.
select and install hardware, you must understand the purpose of each of the
be able to connect them. How you connect them will depend on the required
you will be given the components and asked to assemble them.
other occasions you will be required to choose, from a selection of given
that meet the requirements of a particular user’s needs.
activities require a good knowledge and understanding of the hardware components
ICT system. You will need to be able to specify, using reference materials, any
components to create an ICT system to meet specified user requirements:
main processing unit
your experience you will learn how different systems meet different purposes and
importance of particular components. You will also learn to judge the
designed for similar purposes. Examples are how different types of RAM are more
and how different sound cards and speakers affect the quality of sound coming
terms are used extensively in ICT. You do not need to acquire extensive
knowledge about these terms, but you will need to understand how they are used
system specifications and how the items listed below affect the selection and
relating to memory such as:
relating to the main processing unit such as:
tower, desk unit
bus (address, data)
relating to disk drive storage systems such as:
IDE, SCSI, etc.
relating to optical disks such as:
relating to printers, plotters and VDUs such as:
colour mode (bits)
relating to connector plugs and sockets such as:
DIP, DIL switches
jumpers and settings.
will need to be able to safely install, configure and test complete systems and
of a system, including:
main processing unit
speaker and microphone
disk or optical drive
expansion cards (video, sound or network).
will need to be able to configure hardware such as:
DIP, DIL switches
systems use consumable materials. You must be able to identify and use suitable
operates the computer system as soon as it is switched on. You must know
the minimum software needed in a computer to enable a user to communicate with
must be able to change (configure) various settings, such as setting the right
and more important settings such as establishing a password that users must
enter for the
to work, calling up a device driver or choosing between alternative operating
incorrect configurations are easily put right. Others could delete all the
make the system unusable. You have to learn to configure systems safely.
are many different types of software. You will need to know what is available
the purpose of each type, including:
ROM-BIOS start-up software
graphic user interfaces (GUIs)
ROM-BIOS is used when the hardware first powers up. Access has to be initiated
the system. You will need to understand what this start-up software controls and
to set or define parameters to meet requirements, such as:
select start-up (boot) disk drive
define a new disk drive
set system password
configure a new card (for example, video).
time and date
virus protection configuration
directory (folder) structure and settings
checking and setting system properties
printer, mouse and keyboard configuration
GUI desktop and display set-up
application software icons
disk diagnostics and tools
network facilities and configuration
is a wide variety of applications software to meet user needs. You will need to
type of software suits a particular processing activity. You will have to be
install and configure software most suited to a specified need, including:
document (word) processing
database (record structure)
spreadsheet (numeric structure)
(eg geometric objects)
(eg photo images).
enable users to make immediate and effective use of the system you will also
need to be
to configure the application software in different ways, including preparing or
preferences (or configuration files)
toolbars and the buttons available
directory structures and defaults
saving and backup security
menu layout and contents
borders, rules and scroll bars.
systems and software occasionally crash. You must learn to record common
your attempts, successful or not, at solutions. Records of this nature provide
material for you and others when problems occur repeatedly.
is also important that you record your experiences in setting up and configuring
dates of undertaking work
configuration tasks undertaken
faults and problems experienced
support services accessed
diagnostic software used.