PC Hardware

Lesson Summary: Introduction to Computer

The concepts that form the basis of computer technology have a long history that stretches back 2500 years. Rudimentary, electrically powered computers were first developed in the 1950s and 1960s. The "standard" personal computer has undergone several stages of evolution, characterized by improvements to the processor, internal architecture, and types of storage devices.

The Role of a Computer Service Professional

As computers have evolved, so has the role of the computer technician. This lesson takes a look at the contemporary technician's role in maintaining and servicing computers.

After this lesson, you will be able to:
  • Define your role as a modern computer technician.
Estimated lesson time: 5 minutes

Matching the rapid pace of change in the industry, the role of the computer professional is constantly changing, too. Not too many years ago, all that was needed to repair a computer was a screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, the documentation for the computer, a boot disk with a few utilities, and a good MS-DOS reference manual. Although these tools are still fundamental to the job, to be ready for all situations, a technician has to travel with an entire library of technical manuals (a laptop computer with a CD-ROM drive and modem helps, too).

The screwdriver is still the standard repair tool, but the technician is confronted with a wider array of case types, motherboard designs, processor types, and operating systems-and a wider array of customer needs. Today's computer professional needs to be a technician, a scholar, and a diplomat rolled into one, as you can see by the table that follows.


You are able to troubleshoot and repair hardware and software efficiently and quickly.


You have the wisdom and perseverance to seek answers to what you don't know and build your base of knowledge. Learning never stops.


You are able to instill in the user (your customer) the confidence that you are in control and can fix things, even when you are encountering them for the first time. You are able to resolve the problem, even if your customer's (lack of) understanding of the computer might be part of that problem.