banner unit 1

In this first unit our goal is to have you understand how information is represented electronically and how computers manipulate it in this form.
To accomplish this you will learn the answers to these questions:
When you complete this unit you’ll be able to explain these things clearly to another person in non-technical terms. This chapter also has a practical side. What are some of the most popular computing devices in the world today? The answer is tablet computers, a grown up version of the smart cell phone and iPod--sometimes called "phablets" as phones and tablets merge into one device. We look at the way these devices have mushroomed in popularity since the invention of the iPad in 2010. We also look at the similarities and differences between tablet computers and e-readers that can store hundreds of books and let you read them. Last we look at some of the unique terminology of modern computing: the words used to describe computer speed, capacity, and flexibility.

This web page was last revised April 7, 2018. If you have any problems using this page or discover any broken links, please text or call Jim Janossy at (872) 205-0642 or email

ornament  Required reading and viewing in Contemporary Computing, 4th edition
Learn about each topic by reading the page in the workbook. Each underlined page number below is an active hyperlink to a video mini-lecture or other web learning resource; each hyperlink leads to required viewing.
Click here to download a printable Unit 1 Summary Form (USF) for optional (ungraded) note-taking use.
  1. In the beginning  4
  2. One if by land, two if by sea  5  (this video is optional)
  3. Representing information with signals  6
  4. Expanding the possibilities  7
  5. Symbols and alphabets: pictographic writing  8
  6. Alphabetic writing is more flexible  9
  7. The English alphabet represented in binary code  10
  8. ASCII bit patterns for letters, numbers, and punctuation  11
  9. How is information created in ASCII form?  12
  10. Algorithms and the "stored program" concept  13
  11. What manipulates electronic charge bits?  14
  12. Information stored as bits can be copied or moved!  15
  13. How digital information is organized in files  16
  14. The avalanche of tablet computers begins  17 
  15. Computer technology definitions  19
  16. Common "size" prefixes in the world of computers  23
  17. Information Technology (IT) careers  24
  18. Ethics of the information technology industry  25
  19. IMPORTANT! How to organize a factual comparison  26, 27
  20. Information about your repeatable online exercises  28
  21. Exercise 1 question content for note-taking  29-33     (Download and print these to use to keep notes of your responses; this can help you be more productive in repeating the exercise to achieve 100%!) 
  22. Background and advice about the learning exercises  33
  23. Projects (you must read and view ALL PROJECTS even though all may not be assigned!)
ornament  Required assignments
Repeatable online Exercise 1
Access the exercise system at this link; the first time, you will have to create a free account for yourself and establish your own password.
Projects 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 are required
(and one more Unit 1 project of your choice can be done for extra credit)

(C) 2018 James Janossy - All rights reserved