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The computer

Before you start

  1. Match the computer parts with the words below.

floppy disk □ scanner mouse □ keyboard □

tower □ monitor □ CD-rewriter □ printer


  1. Read the text quickly. Match the headings (a-d) with the paragraphs (1-4).

a Memory □ c PCs and Notebooks □

b Speed □ d Hardware/Software □

  1. The parts of a computer you can touch, such as the monitor or the Central Processing Unit (CPU) are hardware. All hardware except the CPU and the working memory are called peripherals. Computer programs are software. The operating system (OS) is software that controls the hardware. Most computers run the Microsoft Windows OS. MacOS and Linux are other operating systems.

  2. The CPU controls how fast the computer processes data, or information. We measure its speed in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). The higher the speed of the CPU, the faster the computer will run. You can type letters and play computer games with a 500 MHz CPU. Watching movies on the Internet needs a faster CPU and a modem.

  3. We measure the Random Access Memory (RAM) of the computer in megabytes (MB). RAM controls the performance of the computer when it is working and moves data to and from the CPU. Programs with a lot of graphics need a large RAM to run well. The hard disk stores data and software programs. We measure the size of the hard disk in gigabytes (GB).

  4. Computer technology changes fast, but a desktop PC (Personal Computer) usually has a tower, a separate monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. The CPU, modem, CD-ROM and floppy disk drives are usually inside the tower. A notebook is a portable computer with all these components inside one small unit. Notebooks have a screen, not a monitor, and are usually more expensive than desktops with similar specifications

  1. Look at these words from the text. Write h (hardware), p (peripheral), s (software) or m (measurement) next to each one.

Before you start 1

Reading 1

Vocabulary 7

Speaking 7

The desktop Before you start 7

Reading 7

Vocabulary 9

Using a word processor 9

Before you start 9

Reading 10

Vocabulary 12

7. Complete the sentences with words from the box. 12

Writing 18

Word processing: for and again 18

Advantages □ Disadvantages □ 18

The case for and against WORD PROCESSING 18

3 Decide if the sentences are true (T) or false (F). 19

1 Word processors work well with e-mail. T/F 24

Vocabulary 24

4 Match the highlighted words and phrases in the text with the definitions (1-6). 24

1 by hand, not electronic 24

2 the way a program organizes data 24

3 a program used for simple text files 24

4 the code that e-mail uses 24

5 things that a program has, or can do 24

6 a program used for text and graphics 24

Speaking 24

5 Work in groups. Which of these documents would you write by hand and which on a word processor? Say why. 24

a formal letter ■ an informal letter ■an invitation to a party ■ a birthday card 24

■a shopping list ■ an application form ■ a note to your teacher/friend/father 24

■a school report ■ a 'for sale' notice 24

Writing 24

6 Write a short paragraph about some of the advantages of writing with pen and paper. Use the following ideas to help you. Add any other ideas you may have. 24

pen and paper - cheap 24

you can write anywhere (don’t need electricity) 24

don’t need to learn to type 24

handwritten letters - friendlier & more personal 24

Get real 24

Take your paragraph from Exercise 6. Type it into the word processor on the computer you use. Change or add some formatting features, such as the font, bold, italic or underline. Copy and paste the formatted letter into a text editor such as Notepad. Report back to the class on which formatted features did not appear. 24

Storing data 24

Before you start 24

Reading 24

Vocabulary 26

Speaking 26

Get real 26

Before you start 26

Reading 27

Vocabulary 28

Writing 28

Before you start 28

Reading 28

Vocabulary 34

Speaking 34

Before you start 35

Reading 35

Vocabulary 40

Speaking 46

Research on the Internet 46

Before you start 46

Reading 46

Vocabulary 52

Speaking 52

Before you start 53

Reading 53

Jarek, 65 53

Andrea, 39 53

Speaking 60

Writing 60

Before you start 60

Reading 60

Vocabulary 62

Speaking 62

Writing 62

Before you start 62

Reading/Speaking 63

Vocabulary 66

Writing 67

Get real 67

Before you start 67

Reading 67

Vocabulary 73

Vocabulary 74

Get real 75

Before you start 75

Reading 75

Speaking 76

Before you start 77

Reading 77

Writing 78

8 Write two paragraphs on downloading music for free. The first should give the record companies’ and artists’ views and the second should give music listeners’ views. 78

Before you start 79

Reading 79

Vocabulary 86

Speaking 88

8 Work in pairs. Describe the picture. 88

Get real 88

Before you start 88

Reading 88

Vocabulary 89

Speaking 94

Before you start 95

Reading 95

Vocabulary 100

Get real 101

Before you start 101

Reading 101

Vocabulary 107

Speaking 113

Writing 113

Get real 114

Vocabulary 115

Speaking 115

Before you start 116

Reading 116

Vocabulary 121

Writing 122

Before you start 122

Reading 122

Vocabulary 128

Speaking 128

5 >:( 6 B) 7 :| 8 :0 128

Before you start 128

Reading 128

Vocabulary 139

Writing 139

Before you start 140

Work in pairs and discuss the questions. 140

Reading 140

1. Look at the algorithmic flow chart below. Answer the questions. 140

2. Read the text about computer programming. Write the number of the paragraph that gives you the information. 141

Vocabulary 141

Speaking 142

Before you start 143

Reading 143

Vocabulary 149

Speaking 149

Before you start 149

Reading 149

Vocabulary 150

Speaking 151

Before you start 151

Reading 151

Vocabulary 157

Speaking 157

Writing 157


  1. Match the highlighted words and phrases in the text with the definitions (1-8).

  1. parts ___________________

  2. pictures and images___________________

  3. a way of doing something___________________

  4. reads and uses data___________________

  5. measurements___________________

  6. use a computer program___________________

  7. keeps data in the memory___________________

  8. how well a computer does something___________________