Course 1- Technical Support Fundamentals

Week 1: Introduction to IT

Coursera Study Guide

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Table of CONTENT

Welcome to Technical Support Fundamentals, the first course of the IT Support Professional Certificate! By enrolling in this course, you are taking the first step to kickstarting your career in tech. In the first week of the course, we’ll learn about how computers were invented, how they’ve evolved over time, and how they work today. We will also learn about what an “IT Support Specialist” is and what they do in their job. By the end of this module, you will know how to count like a computer using binary and understand why these calculations are so powerful for society. So let’s get started!

Learning Objectives

  • Understand why and how humans went from counting using manual methods to calculating data with computers.
  • Describe what binary is and how we use it to communicate with computers.
  • Understand what the layers of computer architecture are.
  • Convert binary numbers into decimal form


1. 1. Which of these is a valid byte? Check all that apply.

  • 00000000 (CORRECT)
  • 10022011
  • 11100
  • 11011011 (CORRECT)

Correct: Great job! A byte is composed of eight bits of zeros and ones.

2. How many possible values can we have with 8 bits?

  • 256 (CORRECT)
  • 8
  • 1 byte
  • 127

Correct: Great job! Bits use the binary system, which is also known as the base-2 numeral system. So 2^8 allows us 256 values from 0 to 255.

3. Why did UTF-8 replace the ASCII character-encoding standard?

  • UTF-8 can store a character in more than one byte. (CORRECT)
  • UTF-8 only uses 128 values.
  • ASCII can store a character in more than one byte.
  • ASCII can represent emoji.

Correct: Wohoo! UTF-8 replaced the ASCII character-encoding standard because it can store a character in more than a single byte. This allowed us to represent a lot more character types, like emoji.

4. What is the highest decimal value we can represent with a byte?

  • 256
  • 2
  • 255 (CORRECT)
  • Any number

Correct: Correct! There are 256 values in a byte, from the decimal number 0 to 255.

5. The binary value of the ASCII letter “c” is 0110 0011. Using the handy chart that we learned in the lesson, convert this number to its decimal value. You’ll need to use some math for this question.

  • 45
  • 99 (CORRECT)
  • 123
  • 100

Correct: Great job! The decimal value 99 is same as the binary value 0110 0011. So the numbers that are turned ON are 64, 32, 2, and 1 and added up together. In other words, 64 + 32 + 2 + 1 = 99.

6. What cards had holes in them that were historically used to store data?

  • Floppy disks
  • Hard drive platters
  • Punch cards (CORRECT)
  • Magnetic tape

Correct: Great job! Punch cards were the first binary system used for machines.

7. A(n) ____ is a series of steps that solve specific problems.

  • recipe
  • automated system
  • combination
  • algorithm (CORRECT)

Correct: Right on! Algorithms are a series of steps that solve specific problems.

8. What are the three main desktop operating systems used today? Check all that apply.

  • Windows (CORRECT)
  • Linux (CORRECT)
  • Chrome OS

Correct: Nice work! The main desktop operating systems in use today are Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

9. What is software called when it can be freely distributed, modified, and shared?

  • Open-source (CORRECT)
  • Closed-source
  • Commercial
  • Proprietary

Correct: Yep, commercial software is paid for, while open-source software can be freely distributed, modified, and shared.

10. What does the following binary code translate to? Tip: Use an ASCII “character to binary” chart to help you find an answer.

  • 01101000  01100101  01101100  01101100   01101111

Answer: Hello

11. In punch card systems, a hole represents the number ____. 

  • 1 (CORRECT)
  • 0

Correct: You nailed it! We use the number 1 to represent a hole in a punch card.


1. What are the four layers of the computer architecture?

  • Binary, Hardware, Operating System, Software
  • Computer, Operating System, Software, User
  • Hardware, Operating System, Software, User (CORRECT)
  • Hardware, Windows, Software, User

Correct: Great job! The layers of computer architecture are the hardware, operating system, software, and user layers.


Use this Binary Converter to get the answer below.

Binary Converter

1. In this activity, you will use the tool below to help you convert a decimal number into binary form. When a 1 is used, we consider the value to be “ON.” When a 0 is used, we consider the value to be “OFF.”

When you’re done, click the “Check Answers” button. To submit this quiz for a grade, close the quiz w Binary Calculator

Exercise Objectives

You are given a decimal number to convert into binary. Press the buttons to change their values so that the row represents the decimal number on the left. When a 1 is used, we consider the value to be ON. When a 0 is used, we consider the value to be OFF.

Coursera Binary Calculator

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