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Featured Resource
Universal Class
Available to members of Thrall. Attend free classes online at your own pace. Interact with real instructors! Courses include: Business Applications, Computer Basics, Computer Programming, Image Editing, Microsoft Applications, Photography, Software Programs, Technology Skills, and Web Development.

General Information about Computers
Computer software (applications, programs), downloads, plugins, viewers, freeware.
Computers and Software
Topics include: PCs and Laptops, Home Networking, Operating Systems, Macs and OS X, Microsoft Office, Software, Certification, Databases, Big Data, Programming, AutoCAD, Google SketchUp, Administration and Professional Networking, Graphics and Animation, Computers for Seniors, Software for Seniors. For computer-specific help, try their Operating Systems section, which covers Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95, Linux / Ubuntu, UNIX, DOS, and other OS software. From (the "Computers for Dummies" series).
Computer Shopper: How-to Guides
Guides on building, repairing, upgrading, and servicing personal computers (PCs) and laptops as well as related parts and peripherals, including monitors, printers, digital cameras, and more.
Articles and videos about personal computers, tablets, devices, and related technologies. From How Stuff Works.
Discusses the ergonomics of working at a computer. Topics include Monitor Placement; Adjusting Your Chair; Desktop Placement; Keyboard and Mouse Placement; Lighting; Eye Exercises; Musculoskeletal Exercises. From the National Institute of Health.
Computers and Technology
Sections include: The Dawn of an Electronic Era, How Do Computers Work?, Computer Glossary, Internet Timeline, and more. From
Computers for Consumers
Discusses the energy costs related to using computers and what to look for when purchasing a new computer. Topics include an Overview, Specifications, Buying Guidance and FAQs. From the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Computers for Dummies
Topics include: Operating Systems; Macs; PCs; Computer Networking; Raspberry Pi; Arduino; and BeagleBone.
Computer Workstation Ergonomics: Self-Assessment Checklist
"The goal of this self-assessment is to help you set up your workstation for optimal comfort and performance." From the Office of Research Services, National Institutes of Health.
From How Stuff Works
How Computer Hardware Works
CPUs, memory (RAM), hard drives, network cards, power supplies.
How Computer Software Works
Operating systems, computer programming languages, more.
How Computer Peripherals Work
CD drives, DVD drives, monitors, mice, graphics cards, printers, scanners.
How Computer Security Works
Computers and Internet security, antivirus, malware, encryption, more.
Office Ergonomics: Your How-to Guide
From the Mayo Clinic.
Software for Dummies
Software includes: Microsoft Office; Adobe; Microsoft Office for Mac; Business Software; Dragon Naturally Speaking; Evernote and more.

eBooks on Computers, Software, & Related Topics
Free Programming eBooks
"We've compiled the best insights from subject matter experts and industry insiders for you in one place, so you can dive deep into the latest of what's happening in the world of software engineering, architecture, and open source." Free registration required. From O'
"[L]ists free online computer science, engineering and programming books, textbooks and lecture notes, all of which are legally and freely available over the Internet." Browse by Category; Author; Publisher or License.
Packt Publishing: Free Programming eBooks
Programming languages and related concepts/technologies. Free registration required.
RCLS OverDrive eBooks
About Computers and Software. Available to members of Thrall / RCLS member library.

History of Computers
The Babbage Engine
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) invented computers and designed them, but he never built them. This site includes a video of a working Babbage computer that was built in 2002. Also includes the history and people involved. From the Computer History Museum.
Brief History of the Internet
From The Internet Society.
From the Computer History Museum:
Internet History 1962 to 1992
Revolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computing - The Story of How Computers Came to Be
The Silicon Engine: A Timeline of Semiconductors in Computers
This Day in Computing History
Timeline of Computer History
The Internet Archive Software Collection:
"The Internet Archive Software Collection is the largest vintage and historical software library in the world, providing instant access to millions of programs, CD-ROM images, documentation and multimedia. The collection includes a broad range of software related materials including shareware, freeware, video news releases about software titles, speed runs of actual software game play, previews and promos for software games, high-score and skill replays of various game genres, and the art of filmmaking with real-time computer game engines."
The Modern History of Computing
An encyclopedic article from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
World Wide Web Timeline
From Pew Research Internet Project.

Computers and Technology News
New developments, products, operating systems, software, and more.

Networks, Networking, & Network Administration
Computer Networking
Topics include: Installation and Set-up, Internet Access, Network Security, Types of Networks, and Using a Network. See also Networking. From
From How Stuff Works:
Cloud Computing
Computer Networking
Home Networks
How Wi-Fi Works
Internet Technology
Virtual Private Networks
WI-FI and Mobile Devices
How to Set Up Your Home Network for Many Apple TVs, Macs, iPhones, and iPads
Internetworking Technology Handbook
Topics include: Internetworking Basics, LAN Technologies, WAN Technologies, Internet Protocols, Bridging and Switching, Routing, Network Management, Voice/Data Integration Technologies, Wireless Technologies, Cable Access Technologies, Dial-up Technology, Security Technologies, and more. From
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
An overview of what Network Admins do. From th U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Network & Internet: Microsoft Windows
For Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. From
Networking and WI-FI Product Reviews
Overviews, reviews, and buying guides for network routers, WI-FI, and related technologies. From CNET.
See also:

Online Courses & Learning Resources Featured Resource
Universal Class
Classes available to Middletown Thrall cardholders in Excel, Access, Visio, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, JQuery, Project, MySQL and more.

Other Resources
"If you are new to computers, haven't used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed." Courses are available in English and Spanish/Espanol From the Public Library Association (PLA).
edX: Computer Science Classes
"Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's best universities and institutions to learners everywhere."
How Computers Work
A series of brief videos. Topics include: What Makes a Computer a Computer, Binary and Data, Circuits and Logic, CPU/Memory/Input/Output, Hardware and Software. From
Microsoft Learn (formerly Microsoft Virtual Academy)
"Free Microsoft Training Delivered by Experts." Topics include: Application Development, C# (C Sharp), Cloud, Computer Programming, CSS3, Devices, Game Development, HTML5, Licensing, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, Security, Servers, SharePoint, SQL, System Center, Virtualization, Visual Studio, Windows Desktop, Windows Server, XAML, and more.

See also the learning resources available in the Programming & Software Engineering section of this guide.

Owner's Manuals, Computer Manufacturer Technical Support,
Troubleshooting, Updates, & Upgrades

See also:

Periodicals, Magazines
Computer Shopper
Includes "labs-based reviews of laptop computers, desktop computers, and related computer products."
Linux Journal
Mac World
Apple / Macintosh computers, laptops, desktops, and related news, reviews, articles.
PC Magazine
Computers, laptops, desktop PCs, consumer electronics, news, reviews, articles, and more.
PC World
Computers, laptops, desktop PCs, consumer electronics, news, reviews, articles, and more.

Printers & 3D Printing
How Inkjet Printers Work
From How Stuff Works.
How Laser Printers Work
From How Stuff Works.
Printer Reviews
From PC Magazine.
Reviws and buying guides. From CNET.
3D Printing
How 3D Printing Works
From How Stuff Works.
Tom's Guide
Topics include: What a 3D Printer Costs and What to Look for in a 3D Printer. From Tom's Guide.
PC Magazine
Topics include: What Do You Want to Print?; What Size Objects Do You Want to Print?; What Materials Do You Want to Print With?; How High of a Resolution Do You Need?; What Software Do You Need?
Free 3D models (STL, OBJ formats). "The Thingiverse community has uploaded over 1,008,690 3D models, and that number is growing every day. Check out all the incredible objects people have created, and get inspired to make your own!"

Computer Programming - Programming Languages,
Software Development, Software Engineering

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General Information & Introductions
Computer Programmers
"What Computer Programmers Do" and other facts about programmers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. See also their entries for Software Developers and Web Developers.
How Stuff Works: Computer Programming
A blog featuring articles about a variety of computer programming topics. From O'Reilly Media.

Learning Computer Programming - Tips & Tutorials
Code Avengers
"Learn how to program games, apps and websites. Our HTML, CSS and JavaScript courses include code challenges and games that make learning fun and effective for all ages."
Code School
"Code School teaches Web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts." Learn Computer Science
Videos and interactive programming tutorials. " is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra. organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 10% of all students in the world and provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States. is supported by generous donors including Amazon, Facebook, Google, the Infosys Foundation, Microsoft, and many more." A free account is required only if you wish to save your progress in various activities. From
"Learn to code interactively, for free."
Programming language tips and tutorials for C, C++ , and PHP.
Computer Programming for Dummies
Free Programming Books
Scroll down the page and click on 'English' for an index. From the Github EbookFoundation.
Free Programming Books
"All of our books are available under free licenses that allow you to copy and distribute the text; you are also free to modify it, so you can adapt the books to different needs and help develop new material. These books are available in a variety of electronic formats; some are also for sale in hard copy." Ebook topics include Python, Java, Physical Modeling, Operating Systems, C++ and OCaml.
"Tutorials on Game Development, Unity, Phaser and HTML5" Includes: Free ebooks and Free Courses.
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python 3 Documentation
PDF textbook by Peter Wentworth et al. copyright
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
Free online non-accredited course (video lectures) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). OpenCourseWare (OCW).
Learn Code the Hard Way
Learn C, Python, Regex, Ruby, and SQL throught Open Source Development Resources
Includes compilers, interpreters, assemblers, editors, debuggers, source code, and more.
From Virginia Tech:
Artificial Intelligence
Programming Languages
Software Engineering

Apple (iOS, OS/X)
Google Chrome

Programming Languages - Command References & APIs,
    + Markup Languages, Style, & Scripting Languages
Free Tools and Libraries. From the Ada Information Clearinghouse.

Web Development - Designing & Maintaining Websites & Online Services
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Tutorials from W3Schools.
"Learn to code interactively, for free." Covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby. Free registration is required for parts of this website.
How Cloud Computing Works
Library of Congress Guide to Creating Preservable Websites
"Here are some best practices to keep in mind when designing websites, to help ensure successful preservation of your websites."
Markup Validation Service
"This validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc." From the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). See also their CSS validation service.
The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors
Website promotion. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). "Our chart summarizes the major factors to focus on for search engine ranking success." From Search Engine Land. See also these pages:
Essential Guide to SEO: Master the Science of SEO
Note: You must scroll down past the image to see the chapter links to their guide, and then scroll down each chapter page to begin reading.
How To SEO
U.S. Web Design Standards
"Built and maintained by U.S. Digital Service and 18F designers and developers, this resource follows industry-standard web accessibility guidelines and reuses the best practices of existing style libraries and modern web design. It provides a guide for creating beautiful and easy-to-use online experiences for the American people." From CIO (the U.S. Chief Information Officer). See also the U.S. Digital Services Playbook.
Web development markup and scripting languages. HTML, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, XHTML, JavaScript, jQuery, ADO, ASP, PHP, and more.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
"An international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards." See also these W3C pages: All Standards and Drafts, JavaScript Web APIs, Mobile Web, Semantic Web.

Quantum Computers & Quantum Computing
Basic Concepts in Quantum Computation
Topics include: Qubits, Quantum Arithmetic, Quantum Algorithms, Cryptography, Conditional Quantum Dynamics, Decoherence, and more. From Quantiki (, the Encyclopedia of Quantum Information.
How Quantum Computers Work
From How Stuff Works.
Quantum Computer News
Quantum Computing
In-depth article from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Includes an overview of quantum algorithms, their philosophical implications, and a brief history of quantum computers.
Quantum Computing Primer
"A document containing background information for those interested in programming and understanding quantum computers." From D-Wave Systems Inc.

See also:

Security & Privacy
Computer Security
Articles from How Stuff Works. Topics include authentication, biometric security, CAPTCHA, cookies, digital signatures, encryption keys / encrypting data, fingerprint scanners, firewalls, passcards smart cards, surveillance, and viruses.
Computer Security (Cybersecurity)
Articles and news. From The New York Times.
Cyberbullying & Internet Safety Resources
Multiple resources.
Get Help with Security Issues For Apple devices.
Guide for Cybersecurity Event Recovery
"Attackers are increasingly racking up points against their targets, so the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the Guide for Cybersecurity Event Recovery to help organizations develop a game plan to contain the opponent and get back on the field quickly."
Have I Been Pwned?
"Check if your email has been compromised in a data breach."
How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure
From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). When Information Is Lost or Exposed
An interactive checklist of suggestions for identity theft victims. From the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Linux Journal: Security
For Ubuntu, Red Hat, and other Linux distribution users.
Microsoft Safety and Security Center
Topics include securing the Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender, privacy, software updates, family safety, and more. From Microsoft.
National Cyber Awareness System: Alerts and Tips
Advisories and advice concerning computer software, operating systems, and online services known to have security issues and/or updates available. "Four products in the National Cyber Awareness System offer a variety of information for users with varied technical expertise. Those with more technical interest can read the Alerts, Current Activity, or Bulletins. Users looking for more general-interest pieces can read the Tips." From

See also their Home and Business section for more basic information about viruses and personal computer / home network security.
The No More Ransom Project
Described as "an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands' police, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies - Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security - with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals."
OnGuardOnline/ to
"Do you know what to do when your personal email gets hacked? How about when malware hijacks your home computer? The FTC [U.S. Federal Trade Commission] has two new videos to help":
Computer Security Tips
Hacked Email: What to Do
Hijacked Computer: What to Do
See also these videos:
Back It Up: Don't Lose Your Digital Life
Computer Security
Protect Your Computer from Malware
Secure Your Computer
"Learn experts' top tips for how to protect your information and your computer while online." From
Security and Privacy News
Articles of interest to users of computers, online services, and/or mobile technologies. From CNET.

See also their "How To" page on Security.
Security Software Reviews
From PC Magazine.
"To empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity." From the National Cyber Security Alliance.
Surveillance - Dragnets - Tracking Censorship and Surveillance
"ProPublica investigates the threats to privacy in an era of cellphones, data mining and cyberwar, including how citizens are digitally tracked by governments and corporations." From ProPublica, "an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest."
What To Do After a Data Breach
A brief video from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Terminology - Computer Terms & Abbreviations
Computer Terminology
"Some Technical Words and Concepts You Should Know." PDF document. From Middletown Thrall Library. See also: Computer Files and Formats.
Internet Slang
"This site provides an extensive list of slang words, acronyms and abbreviations as used in Internet ICQ chat rooms, blogs, SMS text messages and online forums." Includes Trending Terms.
NetLingo: The Internet Dictionary
"NetLingo explains thousands of terms that define our life online, including the largest list of chat acronyms." Includes "Internet Word of the Day" and "Internet Acronym of the Day."
" is your resource for chat slang and emoticons."
Tech Terms Computer Dictionary
"The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary is a free online dictionary of computer and technology terms. The goal of is to make computer terminology easy to understand. While definitions of computer terms can be helpful, explanations with examples are even better. Therefore, most definitions include real-life examples of how the term is used."
Webopedia: Online Tech Dictionary for IT Professionals
"Webopedia is an online tech dictionary for IT professionals and educators, providing definitions to words, phrases and abbreviations related to computing and information technology. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand definitions, avoiding the use of heavy jargon when possible so that the site is accessible to users with a wide range of computer knowledge. Experienced editors gather information from standards bodies, leading technology companies, universities, professional online technical publications, white papers and professionals working in the field. Definition are verified among multiple sources; definitions are never based on just one source."

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