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I-Series Computing Concepts
Stephen Haag, University of Denver
Maeve Cummings, Pittsburg State University
Alan I Rea, Jr., Western Michigan University



There is no other group of products in which you have so many purchasing options as in information technology. From printers to automatic speech recognition, your choices are many.

We'd like to help.

Click on a link below to learn more about some of the products you can choose from.

PDAs (hand helds)
Multimedia authoring software
Optical storage
Computer protection

Web computers
Web authoring and mgmt software
Automatic speech recognition
Computer leasing
I-Buy boxes

PDAs (hand helds)

Personal digital assistants certainly are becoming quite the rage.

A personal digital assistant ( PDA ) is a small hand-held computer that helps you surf the Web and perform simple tasks such as note taking, calendaring and appointment scheduling, and maintaining an address book.

Below, we've listed just a few of the many PDAs available today, along with some of their key characteristics, and where you can learn more about them on the Web.

HP Jornada 565

  • Includes serial and USB ports
  • 206 Mhz processor
  • 16-bit color with 320 x 240 resolution
  • 14-hour battery life
  • Hewlett-Packard

Sony Clie PEG-S320

  • Uses Palm OS 4.0
  • Includes USB port
  • 8MB RAM
  • includes infrared port
  • Sony

Toshiba Pocket PC e570

  • 64MB RAM
  • includes both back and side lighting
  • includes speakers for sound
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Toshiba

Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC 3870

  • Uses Pocket PC 2002 OS
  • 206 Mhz processor
  • Includes Bluetooth port
  • 16-bit color with 240 x 320 resolution
  • Compaq

Handspring Visor Pro

  • Uses Palm OS 3.5.2H3
  • 4-bit gray-scale with 160 x 160 resolution
  • Macintosh compatible
  • Includes serial and USB ports
  • Handspring

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Multimedia authoring software is software that you use to build your multimedia application.

Software of this type is certainly becoming mixed. Some of the better multimedia authoring tools can also be used for desktop publishing purposes as well as Web authoring and site management.

Below, we've listed just a few of the many Web authoring tools, some of their characteristics, and where you can learn more about them on the Web.

Adobe After Effects 5.5

  • Supports integration with Adobe PhotoShop
  • Supports a simple click and drag of images to memorize animation
  • Includes support for adding reverb and chorus effects to the audio
  • Can modify perspective automatically with the motion tracker feature
  • Adobe

CorelDRAW 10.0

  • Copy object colors using an Eye Dropper tool
  • Create CorelDRAW applications using Visual Basic
  • supports QuickTime 3.0
  • Includes the Pantone Color Matching System
  • Corel

Director 8.5 Shockwave Internet Studio

  • Supports the Shockwave multimedia player on 7 million computers
  • Supports CD-ROM and DVD production as well
  • Includes facilities for incorporating video and sound
  • Can produce 999 fps (frames per second) in video
  • MacroMedia

SuperCard 3.6.3

  • Includes a complete object-oriented programming language
  • Publish on the Web through a plug-in
  • Quickly creates education tools
  • Requires a Macintosh System 7.x
  • IncWell DMG

MediaForge 4.1

  • Supports ActiveX controls
  • Includes 3D animation and sound tools
  • Supports Quicktime, AVI, MOV, WAV, and MIDI standards
  • Includes extensive object libraries
  • Clearsand


  • Full-featured authoring tool
  • Creates sophisticated multimedia presentations
  • Supports interactive games
  • Includes cool screen savers
  • Dazzler

GIF Construction Set Professional

  • For creating animated gif images
  • Has an animation wizard to make the process easy
  • Mind WorkShop

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Optical storage comes in two formats: CDs and DVDs. CD's can store up to 800 megabytes but DVDs have different capacities depending on whether one or both sides are used for recording information and how many layers of information there are per side.

CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs come from the factory with information already on them and you can't change that information. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs (or DVD-recordable) are media that you can write information to one time only. CD-RW and DVD-RWs (also called (DVD-RAM and DVD+RW by different manufacturers) allow you to change the information on them.

Below, we've listed some of the sites that offer optical storage media. You can see that different brands offer different features and you can learn more about this topic by visiting these sites.

Plextor CD-RW PX-W4012TA/SW

  • 3-in-1 drive: 40X CD-R, 12X CD-RW, 40X max CD-ROM
  • Capable of Digital Audio Extraction at 40X max
  • burn-proof technology eliminates buffer underrun errors in fast write modes, allows for multi-tasking
  • 4 MB Buffer
  • Plextor

HP CD-RW cd24

  • create custom CDs with 24x write spee
  • quickly rewrite CDs with 10x speed and access files with 40x speed
  • 2 MB with hp"s Buffer Under Run Prevention technology
  • Hewlett-Packard

    Kenwood CD-ROM Drive 72X TrueX™

    • drive is more than 80% faster than the average 50X Max
    • high transfer rate delivers 6.75MB to 10.8MB/sec. across the entire disc
    • 7-Beam pickup, which illuminates multiple tracks simultaneously
    • lower rotation speeds minimize noise and vibration
    • Kenwood

      HP DVD+RW dvd100i

      • record up to 3 hours video
      • save photos, music or data to a 4.7 GB rewritable DVD+RW disc
      • create CDs with speeds of up to 12x
      • use your PC for other tasks while creating a CD with hp's buffer underun prevention technology
      • Hewlett-Packard

        Sony DVD+RW DRU110/C1

        • up to 2.4X maximum writing speed for DVD+RW allowing users to record about 1GB of data within five minutes
        • supports 12X and 10X maximum writing speeds for CD-R and CD-RW respectively
        • includes a software suite that makes it easy for users to create customized DVDs and CDs for video, music and data storage
        • DVD+RW discs can be re-written up to 1,000 times
        • are compatible with all DVD+RW recorders and
        • most DVD-ROM drives as well as most existing consumer DVD-Video players
        • Sony


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        Generally, you choose your printer based on the quality of output you want -- and, of course, how much you want to spend.

        Inkjet printers , which make images by forcing ink droplets through nozzles, are cheaper than laser printers. A laser printer forms images using an electrostatic process, the same way a photo copier works.

        The resolution of a printer is the number of dots per inch (dpi) it produces. The more dots per inch, the better the image.

        Below are some printer sites for you to visit and where you can learn more about the various options available for printers.

        Hewlett-Packard Ink-Jet deskjet 990cse

        • outstanding photo-quality printing, up to 2400 x 1200 dpi on premium photo paper
        • automatic paper-type sensor
        • print cancel button
        • duplex attachment (standard)
        • Hewlett-Packard

        Canon Ink Jet Network Printer S630

        • includes the Pricom C-5100 print server
        • intelligent ink-management system that helps eliminate ink waste
        • produces high-end results at up to 17 ppm in black and up to 12 ppm in color
        • laser-sharp color at 2400 x 1200 dpi
        • Canon

        Lexmark All-in-One Printer X83

        • photo quality printing,
        • 48 bit color scanning
        • 2400 x 1200 dpi (black and color) on all paper types
        • copying: PC free copies up to 10 copies per minute black and 3 copies per minute color
        • Lexmark

        Hewlett-Packard Laser Printer LaserJet 1000

        • fast printing with 10 pages per minute professional quality printing with 600 dpi resolution (1200 dpi effective output)
        • USB Connectivity
        • memory 32 KB ROM, 1 MB RAM
        • low cost Laser Printer
        • Hewlett-Packard

        Tektronix/Xerox Color Printer Phaser 750

        • color Printer With 1200 X 600 dpi Color
        • built-in Networking
        • 64 MB Of Memory
        • 136 Adobe Fonts
        • sharp color on premium paper or every-day copier paper, on one side or two
        • Tektronix/Xerox

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        Monitors come in two varieties: CRT and flat-panel displays. CRT's are the monitors that looks like TV sets. They're the most common type of monitors. Flat-panel displays are thin, lightweight monitors that take up much less space than CRTs.

        Flat screen monitors are either gas plasma displays (and very expensive) or liquid crystal displays (more reasonably priced).

        Below you'll see several types of monitors and the sites that sell them. Visit these sites on the Web to learn more about monitors.

        CTX CRT 17" Monitor MS700U

        • 17" Invar Shadow Mask Cathode Ray Tube
        • 0.27mm Dot Pitch
        • frequency Range Horizontal 30-70kHz, Vertical 50-160 Hz
        • screen Resolutions 800 X 600, 1024X768, 1280X1024
        • CTX

        Samsung 19" CRT Monitor 955DF

        • maximum resolution 1600X1200
        • infinite Flat Tube 90° Deflection
        • 18" Viewable Screen
        • dot pitch 0.20 mm
        • Plug and Play Device
        • Samsung

        Sony 21" CRT Monitor CPD G520

        • display type Sony Flat Trinitron CRT
        • maximum Resolution 2048X1536
        • multiple Color Temperature Presets
        • dot pitch 0.24 mm
        • dual VGA Input Connectors to support two computers
        • Sony

        KDS Radius LCD Monitor RAD-5

        • 15" Viewable Area
        • resolution 1024X768
        • a-Si TFT LCD panel
        • power required 32 Watts
        • dot pitch .297 mm
        • KDS

        CTX LCD Monitor PV520

        • full 15" Viewable Area
        • true 1024X768 XGA Resolution
        • active Matrix color technology
        • pivots to Landscape and Portrait Modes
        • CTX

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        Your computer is like any valuable asset, you have to protect it from harm, deliberate and otherwise. A firewall can help protect your computer from intruders. A firewall is software and/or hardware that protects computers from intruders. As hardware, a firewall is often a router, and is usually used for a network. If you have just one computer, a software package that detects anyone trying to access your computer will give your protection.

        You can protect your computer from power surges and outages by using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

        Having anti-virus software on you computer alerts you if you're about to let a virus into your system. The software will usually give you options on quarantining or cleaning the virus or deleting the whole file.

        Below are some sites you can visit to learn more about the various tools you can get to protect your computer.

        LinkSys Cable Router 4-Port Switch BEFSR41

        • connects to a Broadband Modem or to An Ethernet Backbone
        • includes 4-Port 10/100 Switch
        • connects All of Your PCs to the Internet With only One Broadband Connection
        • creates a NAT Firewall to protect your PC from intruders
        • LinkSys

        Zone Alarm Personal Firewall Zone Alarm Pro

        • automatically blocks known and unknown Internet threats
        • easy to install and use
        • includes a year of free, automated product updates
        • compatible with Microsoft® Windows® 95/98/Me/NT/2000 and XP
        • Zone Alarm

        APC Back-up Uninterruptible Power Supply BP500UC

        • 500 Volt Amps / 315 Watt capacity
        • includes surge protected power outlets and for Fax/Modem
        • USB compatible
        • provides lightning and surge protection
        • indicates when battery needs replacement
        • APC

        Norton SystemWorks 2002

        • provides various functions including Virus detection and removal
        • optimizes computer performance
        • removes Internet Clutter
        • provides for system recovery
        • Symantec

        Hoax/Virus Information Hoaxbusters and Norton Antivirus Center

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        A Web computer is a scaled-down version of today's typical computer system that provides Web access and costs about half the price.

        Web computers range from systems that only let you surf the Web and perform e-mail (these are often called Internet appliances) to complete systems that let you do just about anything but not nearly as fast as today's typical system (and, again, at about half the price).

        Below we've listed several Web computers, some of their characteristics, and where on the Web you can learn more about them.

        eMachines T1115

        • Complete system with 1 GHz processor and 128 MB RAM
        • 20 GB hard drive, 3.5" floppy, and CD-ROM
        • About $400 without a monitor
        • eMachines, Inc.

        iPAQ Home Internet Appliance IA-2

        • Real Web appliance with only 32 MB RAM and no storage devices
        • Includes 15-inch color monitor
        • About $300 with 6 months of free MSN
        • Compaq

        New Internet Computer (NIC)


        • Cable-ready TV with Web access as well
        • Includes wireless keyboard and remote control
        • No storage devices
        • Free if you also sign up for 1 year of NadaPC ISP service
        • NadaPC

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        You can choose from various Web authoring software packages. You might use Notepad, an HTML editor, or a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor depending on the features you need and the price you want to pay. Web authoring software prices range from free to a few hundred dollars.

        If you need to publish Web pages and manage one or more Web sites, you should consider Web site management software. Web site management software allows you to create, update, and manage all of your Web pages quickly and efficiently.

        We've listed some of the software options available to you. You can decide which one best fits your needs.

        HTML Editors

        WYSIWYG Editors

        Site Management Software


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        CPU and RAM

        AMD CPU Athlon XP 2000+

        • provides exceptional speed for digital Media, 3D Gaming and office productivity
        • QuantiSpeed Architecture provides more work in a clock cycle
        • worked with Microsoft to optimize Media Explorer 8.0 for AMD's 3DNow
        • AthlonXP

        Intel CPU Pentium 4

        • 2.20 GHz Clock speed
        • based on Intel NetBurst technology
        • built with Intel's 0.13-micron technology
        • Intel

        Micron Compact Flash Card 128MB MTCF128A

        • for use in Digital cameras, PDA's etc.
        • 128 MB Flash Memory
        • entire card is designed by Micron to provide high performance and solid reliability
        • mechanically and electronically compliant with the CompactFlash Flash Association's (CFA) specifications
        • Micron

        Crucial DDR 512MB Memory DIMM CT6464Z265

        • DDR PC2100
        • CL=2.5
        • unbuffered, Non-parity, 7.5 nSec
        • 184 Pin DIMM
        • Crucial

        Kingston Laptop DIMM KTD-INSP8100/256

        • notebook PC Memory SODIMM
        • lifetime warranty
        • 256 MB
        • Kingston

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        An automatic speech recognition ( ASR ) system captures your speech and can distinguish your words and word groupings to form sentences.

        Below, we've listed several ASR systems, some of their characteristics, and where on the Web you can learn more about them.


        • A text-to-speech system
        • Uses an expert system engine
        • Scans paper-based text and produces high-quality speech
        • Supports 20 different voices (even whispering)
        • SoftVoice, Inc.

        Dragon NaturallySpeaking

        • Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Teens (true continuous speech)
        • Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred (can be used with hand-held recording devices)
        • Many, many other versions
        • Dragon Systems


        • Continuous speech
        • Includes professional vocabularies (jargon and the like)
        • Comes in executive, office, and home editions
        • IBM

        L and H Voice Xpress

        • Uses continuous speech recognition
        • Works well with all common Windows applications
        • 60,000 word active vocabulary
        • Can customize vocabulary entries
        • Lernout and Hauspie

        FreeSpeech 2000

        • Continuous and natural speech input
        • Command control for most Windows applications
        • Learns your speech patterns
        • Philips

        VoiceNet VRS 2000

        • Click here to download a trial version
        • Trial period is for 10 days
        • Works with Windows 95/98/NT

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        Leasing a computer is a popular alternative for many reasons, including:

        • Good support while you lease the computer
        • Lack of technology obsolescence
        • Lower cost

        However, there are some drawbacks as well. First, you can't sell the computer -- you simply trade it in and start leasing a new one. And second, you must often receive approval before upgrading the computer (for example, adding more RAM).

        We can't tell you if leasing a computer is the way to go any more than we can tell you whether or not to lease a car. It's up to you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages according to your particular situation and make the best choice.

        Below, we've listed some of the place on the Web where you can learn more about leasing, including leasing a computer.


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                    I-BUY BOXES

                    Throughout the text, we include numerous I-Buy boxes to help you make the best purchasing decision for your information technology needs.

                    Below, we've provided a quick overview of those boxes and the page numbers in your text where you can read more.

                    Notebooks versus Desktops (p. 1.15) -- Notebooks offer tremendous portability, giving you the ability to work wherever you are. But do you really want to work everywhere? Besides, desktops are cheaper and have better interfaces.

                    Can My Software Really Help Me Be More Productive? (p. 3.10) -- if you always lose your receipts and therefore can't seem to ever balance your checkbook, then personal finance software isn't going to make you more productive. If you're doing something right, technology can help. If you're doing something wrong, technology can help you do it wrong millions of times faster.

                    Saving Your Neck -- and All the Rest of You (p. 5.16) -- most people send several hours straight sitting in front of a computer. That's bad for your health. Get up and move around frequently and definitely create a workspace that minimizes wear and tear on your body.

                    The Ups and Downs of "Always-On" Internet Connections (p. 6.22) -- "always on" Internet connections are great because they're always on (duh!). But you are leaving yourself open to a hacker attack. If you use something like DSL or a cable modem to always be online, you are vulnerable to an attack.

                    Get Yourself Virus Protection (p. 7.20) -- new computer viruses pop up everyday. Some make your screen go blank while others erase everything on your hard disk. You need virus protection, and you need to update it often.

                    Where Can I Buy Data Online? (p. 8.11) -- data brokers specialize in finding information for you on the Web. Of course, if you can't afford their services, there are Web sites that will sell information just to you. There is a lot of free information on the Web; the best stuff you have to pay for.

                    Surge Suppressors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (p. 10.22) -- if you're like most people, you rely on your computer. And you need it to work correctly while you're using it. What happens if a sudden power surge occurs or -- better yet -- the electricity goes out? You definitely need a surge suppressor, and you may need an uniterruptible power supply.

                    Lease versus Buy (p. 12.14) -- you can lease a computer just as easily as you can lease a car. There are obvious advantages -- two being a cheaper price and the lack of obsolescence. However, you can't resell your leased computer, and you may have to get permission to upgrade it.

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