Aim and purpose The aim of this unit is to introduce learners to the basic hardware and software components that make up computer systems and for learners to carry out basic installation and configuration. Unit introduction Most learners will set up a computer system at some stage, which may belong to them or someone else and it may be a desktop, laptop, PDA or games console. To do this, learners need to know about the different elements of a computer system and how hardware works with software and how all the elements communicate to make the system function. There are many different manufacturers of computer systems and each manufacturer will produce a wide range of models with different specifications. Being able to understand a computer systems technical specification (what all the jargon means) is important. Learners will spend some time in understanding the function of hardware and software components and assessing potential risks to systems. In order to decide the requirements for a computer system typical tasks it will be used for and learners will specify hardware and software for different user requirements. Learners will need to demonstrate that they can connect hardware devices safely and configure different types of software for a defined user. For this unit learners do not need to assemble a base unit but they will be connecting peripheral devices. Individuals have different needs and the ability of software to be configured to specifically suit those needs is necessary in order for individuals to make the best use of the technology. Health and safety issues are always important when setting up and using electronic equipment and this unit will raise learners awareness of the hazards involved in both setting up and using computer systems.