External indications reflect
External indications reflect internal processes
External indications reflect internal processes during startup as the
device loads, tests, and prepares its hardware, operating system, and
This assignment is for you to associate external indications with
internal process steps.
Select a computer (e.g. PC, Mac, IBM z-Series, MRI, or other complex
device that exhibits these behaviors during startup).
Consider the controls, displays, lights, attachments, user
interaction, and operating system for computer
Do not use tablets, smartphones, or turn-on-and-use type devices.
Provide the name and type of your selected computer
Identify the type of operating system.
If it is a specialized device that does not indicate it, describe what
type it probably is and why.
Hint: see textbook operating system descriptions (Part 1: Operating
When it is powered on (not “woken up”), describe the external indications witnessed until it is ready for use
What action(s), if any, does the user make during startup?
What indications are witnessed (e.g. sounds, indicator lights, on-screen indications, messages, moving parts, etc.)?
Hint: review the textbook “starting your computer” section
What is (likely) happening within the device at each external indication? Example: (user action) when power turned on (external indications) red power light illuminates, cooling fan starts, (internal step) boot
What’s going on internally for each light, beep, noise, flicker, message, error code, etc.?
Are there known error indications or alerts that might be witnessed by the user during startup or operation?
Hint: locate a user manual for the device (online). Startup processes and error indications are often included.