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The computer that we use in our homes and places of business usually consists of a box containing the computer, a mouse, a couple of disks with drivers, a monitor for output and a keyboard for input. We may connect the computer to any number of local or remote peripherals of other computers, but here is the foundation of the computer. It is here that everything starts, and here is where all of the innovations and ideas of the present day have been started. For the moment let's assume that sufficient processing takes place inside the computer, and look at how things get in and out.
Keyboards are one of the most important input devices for a computer. They serve as your primary means of communication with your computer. Most keyboards have an ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) layout, which includes a numeric keypad, special function keys, special control keys, as well as typing keys. The typing keys are just the keys containing the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. These keys have a QWERTY setup. QWERTY stands for the first six letters in the top row of the standard letter keys. It was designed so that the most commonly used letters would not be near each other. There are also other parts to the keyboard such as the numeric keypad, the function keys, and the control keys. The numeric keys are a group of 17 keys located on the right of your keyboard that includes all of the numbers from 0-9, a plus sign, a minus sign, and other assorted keys. Since many computers are used for business purposes and to input numbers into a computer, the numeric keypad was designed which made it easier and faster to input numbers. The control keys are intricate keys like del (delete), ctrl (control), alt (alternate), shift, and enter. The delete (or backspace) key is used to erase characters in a document. The esc (escape) key is normally used to exit out of a program or application, while when you strike the enter key, a task or command is carried out. The tab key is primarily used to indent in a document. The shift key is often used in combination with other keys. Lastly, there are the ctrl and alt keys. Like the shift key, these are also used in combination with other keys, and they typically perform functions related to those of the function keys.
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Evans, A., Martin, K., Anne Poatsy, M.,(2008)
Technology in Action. New Jersey: Prentice Hall