Certification, awarded by CompTIAŽ organization is the most widely recognized
certification in the area of PC
hardware and software technologies. To attain A+ certification,
one need to pass 2
exams, namely, A+ Core Hardware Technologies, and A+ Operating
Systems Technologies. These exams basically
test the skills in assembling a computer, troubleshooting, and the ability to work with various
operating systems. Linux is not included in the A+
Certification Operating Systems exam, as it has an exam of its
own (Linux+ Certification), offered by CompTIA.
The exam cram offers several final preparation
points for candidates intending to appear for
the A+ test. Latest objectives are
available from Comptia.com website.
1. Some important acronyms:
is an acronym for Industry Standard Architecture,
is a acronym for Extended Industry Standard
is an acronym for Peripheral Component Interconnect,
stands for Micro Channel Architecture.
stands for Central Processing Unit.
stands for Small Computers Systems Interface. It is
pronounced as Skuzzy.
stands for Dual-Inline Memory Module
stands for Single-Inline Memory Module
- Static random access memory - Uses transistors to
- Dynamic random access memory - Need to be
refreshed to retain data.
- Read only memory - Data in ROM can not be erased
- Programmable ROM - Once programmed, data can't be
erased or changed
- Erasable PROM - Data can be erased by ultraviolet
light and can be
reprogrammed using a programmer.
- Electronically erasable PROM - Data can be erased
electrically. Chip can then be reprogrammed. EEPROMs
are frequently used to store BIOS.
2. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. There are basically
two types of RAM:
DRAM - Dynamic RAM, and
SRAM - Static RAM.
SRAM, being expensive,
usually used for Cache memory. DRAM, being cheaper, is
used for main memory.
3. PC Memory cards:
ˇ A SIMM has
a single row of 72 contact fingers, each making contact
on both sides (Same pin number present on both sides of
the card). An older version of SIMM card contain 30pins,
and were used in 386 and some 486 machines.
ˇ A DIMM (Dual-Inline Memory Module)has two rows of
connecting fingers, one row on each side, and the total
number of contacts are 168 contacts.
4. Monitor Connectors:
If you are using a Monochrome / CGA/ EGA monitor,
it is a digital monitor and will have a DB-9 Male
connector that plugs into a digital adapter.
If you are using a VGA/ SVGA monitor, it will
have a male DB-15 connector that plugs into an
analog adapter. You should never interchange an analog
monitor to that of a digital adapter and vice versa, or
severe damage may take place.
5. The storage capacity of
various types of floppy:
Double Sided Double Density
Double Sided High Density
Double Sided Extra Density
6. Processor package types:
8088, 8086 processors used 40 pin DIPs. 80286,80386,
80486, and some Pentium computers (60MHz, 66MHz) used
PGA (Pin Grid Array).
Pentium chips (75 MHz and above) used SPGA (Staggered
PGA). Pentium II CPUs use catridge type mounting method,
7. Video types:
table below compares various video types:
or even more
8. When you are changing a
video monitor on a PC (say, during troubleshooting):
you are installing a different SVGA monitor, it is
likely that the new monitor has the same capabilities as
the old one. As a result, the image on the screen may
not be readable. In such instances, change the video
resolution to Standard VGA before installing the new
monitor. You can change the resolution appropriately
after the image on the screen is readable with the new
monitor. It may also be necessary to load appropriate
device driver, if you are installing a different display
9. FAT file system:
FAT file system, the maximum size of a cluster is 32 KB
and the maximum number of clusters is 65536. Therefore,
the maximum size of a partitions is the number of
clusters multiplied by the max size of the cluster,
which is equivalent to 2 GB. Remember that 1 KB = 1024
10. Real Time Clock:
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) allows
the computer to store the Real Time Clock (RTC)and other
device information even after the computer is switched
off and on. This is achieved by using a battery back,
just for CMOS.