IT Fundamentals/Introduction

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This lesson introduces IT Fundamentals. Topics include course overview, data, and information concepts.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for the introduction portion of IT Fundamentals certification include:[1]

  • Overview.
    • IT concepts and terminology
    • Infrastructure
    • Applications and software
    • Software development
    • Database fundamentals
    • Security
  • Compare and contrast notational systems.
    • Binary
    • Hexadecimal
    • Decimal
    • Data representation
      • ASCII
      • Unicode
  • Illustrate the basics of computing and processing.
    • Input
    • Processing
    • Output
    • Storage
  • Explain the value of data and information.
    • Data and information as assets
    • Importance of investing in security
    • Relationship of data to creating information
    • Intellectual property
      • Trademarks
      • Copyright
      • Patents
    • Digital products
    • Data-driven business decisions
      • Data capture and collection
      • Data correlation
      • Meaningful reporting

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: CompTIA
  2. Wikipedia: Numeral system
  3. Wikipedia: Character encoding
  4. Wikipedia: Information technology
  5. Wikipedia: Intellectual property

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (FC0-U61) Exam Prep Overview
  2. YouTube: Notational Systems
  3. YouTube: Fundamentals of IT
  4. YouTube: Value of Data & Information
  5. YouTube: Intellectual Property

Activities[edit]

  1. Consider the impact of information technology in your current student or work environment.
    • What information systems do you use? What data is processed? What information is provided?
    • What infrastructure (devices and networks) do you use?
    • What applications and software do you use? Which operating systems are you familiar with (PC, mobile)?
    • What programming experience do you have?
    • What databases have you used?
    • How do you apply computer security best practices? Do you have backups for disaster recovery?
  2. Complete the tutorial Khan Academy: Digital Data Representation. Practice converting values between decimal, binary, and hexadecimal.
  3. Review Wikipedia: ASCII.
    • Windows: Review Wikipedia: Alt code. On a PC with a numeric keypad, open Notepad and then use Alt codes to enter the ASCII value for the characters in your first name. Observe how the ASCII values are converted into standard display characters just as if you had typed those characters on the keyboard.
    • Other: Use Rapid Tables: ASCII Text to Hex Code Converter. Convert your name from ASCII to hex values.
  4. Review Wikipedia: Unicode input. Insert special characters into a text document:
    • Windows: Run the Notepad application and use the Character Map utility to select special characters and paste them into Notepad.
    • macOS: Run the TextEdit application and insert special characters into the text file.
    • Linux: Run the gedit application and use the GNOME Character Map utility to select special characters and paste them into gedit.
  5. Review World Intellectual Property Organization: What is Intellectual Property?. Consider the impact of intellectual property rights in your current student or work environment. What trademarks and patents are you familiar with? What copyrighted resources do you regularly access? Do you access these resources legally?
  6. Review Wikipedia: Data-informed decision-making. Consider the impact of data collection, data analysis, and data reporting in your current student or work environment. Would you describe the impact as "data based decision making" or "data-informed decision making"? What is the difference between these two approaches from your perspective?

Lesson Summary[edit]

Overview[edit]

IT Fundamentals
  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification covers IT concepts and terminology, infrastructure, applications and software, software development, database fundamentals, and security.[2]
  • IT concepts and terminology include data representation, data processing, and information value.[3]
  • Infrastructure includes devices, components, networking, and Internet services.[4]
  • Applications and software include operating systems, applications, and uses.[5]
  • Software development includes programming languages and program structure.[6]
  • Database fundamentals include database concepts and use.[7]
  • Security includes security concepts and best practices, as well as business continuity through fault tolerance and disaster recovery.[8]

Notation systems[edit]

Decimal values
  • A numeral system is a writing system for expressing numbers; that is, a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set, using digits or other symbols in a consistent manner.[9]
  • A binary number is a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system or binary numeral system, which uses only two symbols: typically "0" (zero) and "1" (one).[10]
  • The decimal numeral system (also called base-ten positional numeral system) is the standard system for denoting integer and non-integer numbers using the symbols "0"–"9".[11]
  • Hexadecimal (also base 16, or hex) is a positional system that represents numbers using a base of 16. Unlike the common way of representing numbers with ten symbols, it uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols "0"–"9" to represent values zero to nine, and "A"–"F" (or alternatively "a"–"f") to represent values ten to fifteen.[12]

Data representation[edit]

Unicode
  • Character encoding is used to represent a repertoire of characters by some kind of encoding system. Depending on the abstraction level and context, corresponding code points and the resulting code space may be regarded as bit patterns, octets, natural numbers, electrical pulses, etc.[13]
  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is a character encoding standard for electronic communication used to represent text in computers, telecommunications equipment, and other devices.[14]
  • Unicode is an information technology standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems.[15]
  • Unicode can be implemented by different character encodings. The Unicode standard defines UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32.[16]
  • UTF-8 is the dominant encoding used on the World Wide Web and uses one byte for the first 128 code points, and up to 4 bytes for other characters.[17]
  • The first 128 Unicode code points represent the ASCII characters, which means that any ASCII text is also a UTF-8 text.[18]

Information Systems[edit]

Input - Processing - Output - Storage
  • Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information.[19]
  • A data processing system is a combination of machines, people, and processes that for a set of inputs produces a defined set of outputs. The inputs and outputs are interpreted as data, facts, information etc. depending on the interpreter's relation to the system.[20]
  • Input/output or I/O (or, informally, IO) is the communication between an information processing system, such as a computer, and the outside world, possibly a human or another information processing system.[21]
  • Inputs are the signals or data received by the system and outputs are the signals or data sent from it.[22]
  • Processing includes any computations performed by an information system on the inputs in order to generate the associated outputs.[23]
  • Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media that are used to retain digital data.[24]
  • In practice, almost all computers use a storage hierarchy which puts fast but expensive and small storage options close to the central processing unit (CPU) and slower but less expensive and larger options further away.[25]
  • Generally the fast volatile storage technologies (which lose data when power is off) are referred to as "memory", while slower persistent technologies are referred to as "storage".[26]
  • A peripheral or peripheral device is an ancillary device used to put information into and get information out of the computer.[27]

Data and information[edit]

Intellectual property
  • Data is any sequence of one or more symbols given meaning by specific act(s) of interpretation. Data requires interpretation to become information.[28]
  • Information is associated with data, as data represents values attributed to parameters, and information is data in context and with meaning attached.[29]
  • A digital asset is anything that exists in a binary format and comes with the right to use.[30]
  • Information security, sometimes shortened to infosec, is the practice of protecting information by mitigating information risks.[31]
  • Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.[32]
    • A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others.[33]
    • Copyright is the exclusive right given to the creator of a creative work to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time.[34]
    • A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention.[35]
  • Digital products are those represented and stored using the binary number system of ones (1) and zeros (0).[36]
  • Data-informed decision-making (DIDM) gives reference to the collection and analysis of data to guide decisions that improve success.[37] Data-informed decision-making is based on a sequence of data collection, data analysis, and data reporting.
    • Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on targeted variables in an established system, which then enables one to answer relevant questions and evaluate outcomes.[38]
    • Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusion and supporting decision-making.[39]
    • Data reporting is the process of collecting and submitting data which gives rise to accurate analyses of the situation.[40]

Key Terms[edit]

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A character encoding standard for electronic communication used to represent text in computers, telecommunications equipment, and other devices.[41]
DRM (Digital Rights Management)
A set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works.[42]
Unicode
An information technology standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems.[43]
UTF (Unicode Transformation Format)
A Unicode encoding that maps code points to byte sequences. Encodings include UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32.[44]

Assessments[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  2. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  3. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  4. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  5. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  6. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  7. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  8. CompTIA: IT Fundamentals (ITF+) Exam Objectives FC0-U61
  9. Wikipedia: Numeral system
  10. Wikipedia: Binary number
  11. Wikipedia: Decimal
  12. Wikipedia: Hexadecimal
  13. Wikipedia: Character encoding
  14. Wikipedia: ASCII
  15. Wikipedia: Unicode
  16. Wikipedia: Unicode
  17. Wikipedia: Unicode
  18. Wikipedia: Unicode
  19. Wikipedia: Information technology
  20. Wikipedia: Data processing system
  21. Wikipedia: Input/output
  22. Wikipedia: Input/output
  23. Wikipedia: IPO model
  24. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  25. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  26. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  27. Wikipedia: Peripheral
  28. Wikipedia: Data (computing)
  29. Wikipedia: Information
  30. Wikipedia: Digital asset
  31. Wikipedia: Information security
  32. Wikipedia: Intellectual property
  33. Wikipedia: Trademark
  34. Wikipedia: Copyright
  35. Wikipedia: Patent
  36. Wikipedia: Digital data
  37. Wikipedia: Data-informed decision-making
  38. Wikipedia: Data collection
  39. Wikipedia: Data analysis
  40. Wikipedia: Data reporting
  41. Wikipedia: ASCII
  42. Wikipedia: Digital rights management
  43. Wikipedia: Unicode
  44. Wikipedia: Unicode