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Technology In Action Introductory

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Prentice Hall
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For introductory courses in computer concepts or computer literacy, often including instruction in Microsoft Office. A Computer Concepts Text Focused on Today's Student! Technology in Actionengages students by covering topics in a progressive approach and providing rich companion media.

Author Biography

Three professors from Montgomery County Community College traveled with the Prentice Hall Information Technology team for over two years to uncover what students and professors today wanted and needed in an Intro to Computer Concepts text. After meeting with more than 1,000 students and instructors they developed Technology in Action. Due to overwhelming success, they recently published Technology in Action 9/e!

Alan D. Evans, M.S., CPA

Alan Evans is currently a faculty member at Moore College of Art and Design and Montgomery County Community College teaching a variety of computer science and business courses.  He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Rider University and an M.S. in Information Systems from Drexel University, and he is a certified public accountant.  After a successful career in business, Alan finally realized his true calling was education.  He has been teaching at the college level since 2000.  Alan enjoys giving presentations at technical conferences and meets regularly with computer science faculty and administrators from other colleges to discuss curriculum development and new methods of engaging students. 

Kendall E. Martin, Ph.D.
Kendall has been teaching since 1988 at a number of institutions, including Villanova University, DeSales University, Arcadia University, Ursinus College, County College of Morris, and Montgomery County Community College, at both the undergraduate and master’s degree level. Kendall’s education includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She has industrial experience in research and development environments (AT&T Bell Laboratories) as well as experience from several start-up technology firms. At Ursinus College, Kendall developed a successful faculty training program for distance education instructors, and she makes conference presentations during the year.

Mary Anne Poatsy, MBA, CFP
Mary Anne is an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery County Community College, teaching various computer application and concepts courses in face-to-face and online environments. Mary Anne holds a B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Mary Anne has more than nine years of educational experience, ranging from elementary and secondary education to Montgomery County Community College, Muhlenberg College, and Bucks County Community College, as well as training in the professional environment. Prior to teaching, Mary Anne was a vice president at Shearson Lehman Hutton in the Municipal Bond Investment Banking department.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Using Technology to Change the World

More Than Just a Job

Technology on the World Stage

      Political Issues

      Human Rights

      The Environment

      The Digital Divide

      ETHICS IN IT: The Digital Divide and the Mobile Bridge

Technology and Our Society

      Technology Impacts How We Think

      How We Connect

      How We Consume

Technology and Your Life

      Boost Your Productivity

      Be a Savvy Computer User

      Prepare for Your Career

      Dig Deeper: Making Reality Even More Real

Technology In focus: The History of the PC


Chapter 2: Looking at Computers: Understanding the Parts

Understanding Your Computer

      Computers Are Data Processing Devices

      Bits and Bytes: The Language of Computers

      Types of Computers

Input Devices


      Mice and Other Pointing Devices

      Touch Screens

      Image Input

      Sound Input

      ETHICS IN IT: What Is Ethical Computing?

Output Devices



      Dig Deeper: How Touch Screens Work

      Sound Output

Processing and Memory on the Motherboard



Storing Data and Information

      Hard Drives

      Flash Storage

      Optical Storage

Connecting Peripherals to the Computer

      High-Speed and Data Transfer Ports

      Connectivity and Multimedia Ports

      Adding Ports: Expansion Cards and Hubs

Power Controls

Setting It All Up

      TRENDS IN IT: Innovations in Printing


Chapter 3: Using the Internet: Making the Most of the Web’s Resources

The Origin of the Internet

The Internet and How It Works

Communicating and Collaborating Through the Internet

      Social Networking


      Instant Messaging

      Weblogs (Blogs) and Video Logs (Vlogs)


      Podcasts and Webcasts

Web Entertainment

      TRENDS IN IT: The Internet Makes Business Startups Affordable

Conducting Business over the Internet: E-Commerce

      E-Commerce Safeguards

Accessing the Web: Web Browsers

Getting Around the Web: URLs, Hyperlinks, and Other Tools


      Hyperlinks and Beyond

      Favorites, Live Bookmarks, and Tagging

Searching the Web Effectively

      Search Engines

      Evaluating Web Sites

      ETHICS IN IT: Plagiarism and Copyright Violation: What Can You Borrow from the Internet?

      Dig Deeper: Discovering the Semantic Web

Technology In focus: Information Technology Ethics


Chapter 4: Application Software: Programs That Let You Work and Play

The Nuts and Bolts of Software

Web-Based Applications

Productivity Software for Home and Office

      Word Processing Software

      Spreadsheet Software

      Presentation Software

      Database Software

      Note Taking Software

      Personal Information Manager (PIM) Software

      Productivity Software Features

      Software Suites

      Personal Financial Software

Business Software for Home and Office

      Home Business Software

      Large Business Software

      Specialized Business Software

Media Software for Home

      Digital Image Editing Software

      Digital Audio Software

      Dig Deeper: How Cloud Computing Works

      Digital Video Editing Software

      Media Management Software

Software for Home

      Gaming Software

      Educational Software

      Drawing Software

     TRENDS IN IT: “There’s an App for That!”

Buying Software

      Software Licenses

      ETHICS IN IT: Can I Borrow Software That I Don’t Own?

      Pre-Installed Software

      Discounted Software

      Freeware and Shareware

      Software Versions and System Requirements

Installing, Uninstalling, and Starting Software

Getting Help with Software


Chapter 5: Using System Software: The Operating System, Utility Programs, and File Management

System Software Basics

Types of Operating Systems

      Real-Time Operating Systems

      Operating Systems for Networks, Servers, and Mainframes

      Operating Systems for Mobile Devices

      Operating Systems for Personal Computers

What the Operating System Does

      The User Interface

      TRENDS IN IT: Open Source Software: Why Isn’t Everyone Using Linux?

      Processor Management

      ETHICS IN IT: Sugar: The Sweet OS for Every Child

      Memory and Storage Management

      Hardware and Peripheral Device Management

      Software Application Coordination

The Boot Process: Starting Your Computer

      Step : Activating BIOS

      Step : Performing the Power-On Self-Test

      Step : Loading the Operating System

      Step : Checking Further Configurations and Customizations

      Handling Errors in the Boot Process

The Desktop and Window Features

      Organizing Your Computer: File Management

      Organizing Your Files

      Viewing and Sorting Files and Folders

      Naming Files

      Working with Files

Utility Programs

      Display Utilities

      The Programs and Features Utility

      File Compression Utilities

      System Maintenance Utilities

      System Restore and Backup Utilities

      Dig Deeper: How Disk Defragmenter Utilities Work

      The Task Scheduler Utility

      Accessibility Utilities

Technology In focus: Computing Alternatives


Chapter 6: Understanding and Assessing Hardware: Evaluating Your System

Your Ideal Computer

Evaluating the CPU Subsystem

Evaluating the Memory Subsystem: RAM

      Adding RAM

Evaluating the Storage Subsystem

      Hard Drive

      Optical Storage

      Dig Deeper: How a Mechanical Hard Drive Works

Evaluating the Video Subsystem

      Video Cards

Evaluating the Audio Subsystem

      Sound Card

Evaluating System Reliability

      ETHICS IN IT: Free (as in Speech, not Beer)

Making the Final Decision

     TRENDS IN IT: Thunderbolt


Chapter 7: Networking: Connecting Computing Devices

Networking Fundamentals

Network Architectures

      Describing Networks Based on Network Administration

      Describing Networks Based on Distance

Network Components

      Transmission Media

      Network Adapters

      ETHICS IN IT: Sharing Your Internet Connection with Your Neighbors: Legal?

      Ethical? Safe?

      Network Navigation Devices

      Networking Software

Connecting to the Internet

      Broadband Connections

      Dial-Up Connections

      Choosing the Right Internet Connection Option

Home Networks

      Ethernet Home Networks

      Home Network Cabling

      Wired and Wireless on One Network

Configuring Home Network Equipment

      Routers and Switches: Moving Data Around Your Network

      Connecting Devices to Routers

Securing Wireless Networks

Connecting Devices to Networks

      Connecting Computers

      Network-Ready Devices

      Digital Entertainment Devices on a Network

      Specialized Home Networking Devices

Configuring Software for Your Home Network

      Windows Configuration

      TRENDS IN IT: Where Should You Stone Your Files? The Cloud is Calling

      Wireless Node Configuration and Testing

      Troubleshooting Network Problems

Technology In focus: Under the Hood


Chapter 8: Digital Lifestyle: Managing Digital Data and Devices

A Digital Lifestyle

Digital Telephony

      Cell Phones and Smartphones

      How Cellular Works

      Cell Phone Components


      Text Messaging

      Mobile Internet

      Cell Phone/Smartphone Security

      Voice over Internet Protocol

Digital Media and Information

      Digital Publishing

      Digital Music

      Digital Photography

      Digital Video

      ETHICS IN IT: Managing Your Copyrights: Copyleft Might Simplify Your Life

      Digital Navigation

      Digital Convergence

      TRENDS IN IT: Near Field Communication


Chapter 9: Securing Your System: Protecting Your Digital Data and Devices


Computer Threats: Computer Viruses

      Types of Viruses

      Virus Classifications

Computer Safeguard: Antivirus Software and Software Updates

Computer Threats: Hackers

Restricting Access to Your Digital Assets

      Dig Deeper: Computer Forensics: How It Works

Managing Online Annoyances

Protecting Yourself    from Yourself!

Protecting Your Physical Computing Assets

Technology In focus: Careers in IT


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