Useful Computer Knowledge



Useful knowledge for all computer users. In this article we cover useful information that will not only make using technology easier but it could save you time and money.

Originally Published: 30th of January, 2014
  Last Updated: 30th of January, 2014


Main Computer Components

CPU (Central Processing Unit) - The 'brain' of the computer, this does most of the processing and calculations.

HDD (Hard Drive) - The place where files are stored, This includes programs, documents, pictures and anything else that your computer needs to keep.

SSD (Solid State Drive) - This performs the same function as a hard drive, only it's a newer technology and works much better, but is also more expensive.

RAM (Random Access Memory) - This is your computers short term memory, whenever you are working on a document or file, your computer will move the file from the HDD to RAM, as RAM is much faster. Though unlike a HDD RAM can only store data temporarily.

Graphics Card - This is sometimes called the GPU (though technically speaking the GPU is a component of a graphics card), This component processes any visual data such as pictures, videos and anything that shows on your screen. It's much better at processing graphics compared to a CPU.

Tower / Computer / Laptop - These terms refer to all the components when they are together.

Monitor / Screen - The device you look at when using your computer. This device does not perform any processing, its function is to show you what the computer tells it to. Some computers are built into a screens casings, these are known as "all-in-ones".


Storage Units

Everyone uses files but often people are unsure of how big a file is and how much space it takes up. Below are the storage units used to measure the size of digital files and programs.

1024 Kilobytes (KB) = 1 Megabytes (MB)

1024 Megabytes (MB) = 1 Gigabytes (GB)

1024 Gigabytes (GB) =  1 Terabyte (TB)

Just Remember KB, MB, GB, TB and remember that each contains about thousand of the previous size of units. Therefore 3.5GBs is ~ 3500MBs.

Some examples of files and their sizes:

Word Document - about 5KB to 200KBs

Music -  about 5MBs

Standard Definition Movie File - about 700MBs (Even When Compressed).

High Definition Movie File - about 5GBs (Even When Compressed).


Technology Terms

Wi-Fi - This is local wireless internet used by a device to connect to a receiver located nearby, which in turn would connect to a wired internet connection.

3G, 4G - This is best described as long distance phone internet that works by connecting to the closest telephone tower.

Malware - A term that refers to Viruses, Worms, Trojans and any kind of software designed to do damage and be malicious.

Upload - The opposite of downloading. This is when you send a file or information onto the internet from your computer.


Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts - Windows Only

These are supported by most programs but not all, why not try them out?

Pressing Ctrl and S keys will save your document.

Pressing Ctrl and Z keys will undo the last action you did.

Pressing Ctrl and X keys will "Cut" whatever is selected.

Pressing Ctrl and C keys will "Copy" whatever is selected.

Pressing Ctrl and V keys will "Paste" whatever you previously cut or copied.

Pressing Shift and Enter keys will create a 'Line Break' Instead of a new paragraph when editing text.

Pressing Windows-Key and D keys will minimise all your windows and show you the desktop