National Question Paper November 2010
Question 3 - Scenario
Read the scenario below carefully as the questions that follow are based on it.
You are part of a team of Computer Applications Technology (CAT) learners that have set up a helpdesk in the local community centre to solve any computer-related problems.
Your team (Lindi, Pete, Tiffany, Shannon, Mpho and Zinhle) has five computers available to administer the helpdesk. Some of the computers will need to be upgraded.
3.1 Give THREE reasons why one would want to or need to upgrade the hardware on a computer. Assume that the current hardware is still working.
• To improve the speed/performance
• To run the latest/newer software (e.g. for gaming)
• To use additional hardware that you cannot currently use
• Need for additional storage capacity/space
• Need for more ergonomic hardware/health reasons
• Practise green computing, etc.
3.2 Consideration is being given to purchasing two laptop computers. Name THREE possible disadvantages of a laptop computer compared to a
desktop PC, other than the price.
Needs to be backed up somewhere else
Could lose the original and the backup if stored on the same machine.
Server could be stolen/damaged
Server is down or unavailable/inaccessible
3.3 Small netbook computers are also being considered as an alternative to laptop computers. Name ONE possible disadvantage of netbook computers compared to laptop
• More difficult/expensive to upgrade
• Expensive to repair
• More expensive to insure
• Increased risk of theft
• Limited battery life
• Faulty component such as keyboard or monitor can render whole machine unusable
• Can take longer to repair
• More easily damaged/fragile, etc
3.4 Lindi, one of the team members, was given a memory card with photographs
on it, but none of the computers have a built-in slot to read the card.
Name TWO ways in which she can save the photographs on her computer.
• Make use of a card reader
• Place card in the camera and download via a USB cable
• Place card in the camera/portable storage device and set up a
Bluetooth connection/PAN (personal area network), etc.
3.5 Some of the older PCs are running very slowly. Someone suggested that the
PCs must be defragmented to free up disk space.
3.5.1 Briefly explain what is meant by the term disk fragmentation and
why a fragmented disk can slow down a computer.
Fragmentation occurs when files are ‘scattered’ across a
disk/not stored contiguously.
The computer slows down as it will take longer to read/load
the (scattered) file(s).
3.5.2 Do you agree that defragmentation of the hard disk will free up
hard disk space?
Motivate your answer by explaining what happens when a disk is
No, defragmenting simply rearranges the fragmented files on disk
3.7Lindi mentioned that when a volcano erupted in Iceland, causing many
overseas flights to be cancelled, her father's company made use of video
3.7.1 Briefly explain what is meant by the term video conference.
Video conferencing refers to the ability to see and talk
to other users on a network
(e.g. via the Internet/Public
Switched Telephone Network (PSTN))
3.7.2 Name TWO hardware peripheral devices that one will need to take
part in a video conference (other than a computer).
• Webcam/video camera
3.8 Some learners downloaded photographs of the volcano in Iceland from the
Internet for a Geography project.
3.8.1 Are learners allowed to use these photographs as is, if they 'came
from Google'? Briefly motivate your answer.
Permission should be sought to use the images.
3.8.2 Zinhle noticed that the resolution of the downloaded photographs
was much lower than those taken by digital cameras.
Give TWO reasons why this may be the case.
• Online photos require a lower resolution than hardcopy
• Higher resolution photos online take longer to
• Photos are stored on local storage on a camera
• The original photo was taken in a lower resolution
• Photos were saved in a compressed format during
• Digital cameras often have high default resolution settings,
3.8.3 One of the learners wants to crop and alter some of the
photographs that she downloaded.
Name the class or type of software that she can use to do this.
(NOTE: Specific brand names or product names will NOT be
accepted as an answer.)
Graphic design software/Image editing software/photo editing
4.1 Microsoft Office 2000 was installed on all the computers at the helpdesk.
Shannon has a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 and suggests that they install it
on all the computers.
4.1.1 Microsoft Office is a popular form of software known as an office
Name ONE advantage of using an office suite, besides the actual
programs available in the suite.
• Similar interface presented in the different programs/
Navigation structure/methods are similar between programs
• Easier to integrate/export/import data between programs
• Easy to learn to use other programs in suite because of
similar/common ribbons/toolbars/shortcuts/menu structures.
• Often cheaper to purchase than purchasing the applications
4.1.2 Give TWO reasons, from a hardware point of view, why it may not
be possible to install and run Microsoft Office 2010 on all the
• Insufficient RAM available
• Insufficient hard drive space
• Processor not sufficient (good/powerful enough) for new
• Insufficient hardware/resources are out of date
4.1.3 Give TWO further reasons (other than any of your answers to
QUESTION 4.1.2) why the users may not want to switch to a
newer version of Microsoft Office.
• Do not need/want the additional features provided
• Do not want to contend with different interface
• May need training/upgrading of skills
• Package may run slower than older versions (on same PC)
• Different file formats used, etc.
• Financial considerations
4.1.4 May the team install Shannon's copy of the newer version of
Microsoft Office on all the computers, seeing that they are not
using them to make a profit? Briefly motivate your answer.
No, licensing is normally done on a per machine basis and
has nothing to do with the type/function of the organisation.
4.2 The team wants to set up either a website or a blog where they can answer
users' questions and discuss users' computer-related problems.
Name TWO ways in which a blog may be more suitable than a website for
this particular task.
• Blog is easier to set up/maintain than a website
• Provides better features for communication via posts (interactive)
• Number of templates are available to set up blogs
• Number of sites which host blogs for no cost, etc.
4.3 Probably the most common request to the helpdesk is to assist in identifying
and removing malware such as viruses, spyware and adware.
4.3.1 Viruses try to negatively impact on a computer's performance and
to bypass security measures.
Name THREE possible signs that you may have a virus on your
• Antivirus software reports virus/suspicious activity
• File(s) become corrupt
• Unknown program(s) or file(s) suddenly appears
• Settings of security software changed/switched off
• Additional programs start to run when the computer is
• Size of a file changes without explanation
• Strange/unexpected message/image displayed on the
• Computer suddenly begins to start or run slowly
• Unauthorised changes made to the registry
• The available memory is less than it should be
• Program(s) or file(s) are suddenly missing
• Program/file changes without explanation
• System properties change, etc.
• It causes hardware to malfunction
4.3.2 Explain what spyware is and what its general aim is.
Adware simply causes advertisements to pop-up or appear on
4.3.3 How does adware differ from spyware?
Spyware is software that is installed without the
can monitor/report on a user’s activities (e.g. surfing habits,
4.3.4 Name TWO possible signs that you have spyware on your
• Anti-spyware software reports the presence of spyware or
warns of suspicious activity
• Default home page changed
• Internet activity not initiated by the user
• Taken to a different website than the URL specified
• New toolbars, links/favourites added in web browser.
• Default search program changed
• Computer suddenly begins to start or run slowly, etc.
4.3.5 One of the users was very angry when he was told to update his
antivirus software as he felt that he had already bought it and was
not prepared to spend more money on it!
Explain in detail why he should update his antivirus software by
briefly referring to how antivirus software works.
Viruses are detected by making use of virus definitions.
It is just these that need to be updated (not the program) in
order to detect new viruses/strains.
4.4 While doing some research on the Internet on the impact of ICT on rural
communities, Mpho came across an article in which the following was stated:
'Africa is a continent with a large gap between communities who have access
to and can make effective use of ICT technologies, such as smart phones,
and those that do not.'
4.4.1 What phrase is often used to describe this ever-widening gap
between communities that have access to technology and those
that do not?
4.4.2 Name TWO practical ways, other than providing additional funding,
to make this gap smaller.
• Provide cheaper/more affordable Internet/broadband access
• Use schools with ICT facilities as community centres after
• Promote and extend ICT type subjects at school level
• Make increased use of free/open source training materials
• Recycle suitable hardware to community
• Make more use of open source/freeware/shareware
4.5 Mpho suggested to his uncle, who is a manager on a local game farm looking
after wild animals, that they use Google Earth to determine the GPS
coordinates of the game farm and to publish them on the website of the game
4.5.1 What type of communication technology or medium do GPS
4.4.3 What is the main or essential difference between a smart phone
and a normal cellphone?
The range of applications available.
4.5.2 Why would it be a good idea to place the GPS coordinates of the
game farm on the website?
Any answer which points to locating or finding directions to the
farm using a GPS.
4.5.3 Give ONE more application of GPS technology that the game farm
can make use of (other than your answer to QUESTION 4.5.2).
• Tracking game
• For producing maps of the game park for tourists in the
• Trace routes/pinpoint locations in the game farm for tourists
in the game farm
• Geo-tagging of photographs, etc.
5.1 The team feels that it is important to connect their computers and computer
equipment in a LAN or local area network. A new computer has been bought
to act as a file server for the network.
5.1.1 Name THREE broad advantages of using a LAN, other than
• Sharing of hardware
• Sharing of software
• Sharing of data
• Easier to communicate
• Reduced costs due to sharing
• Potentially better security
• Easier to control backups
• More storage available than on local drives
• Easy to configure/perform software updates,
5.1.2 Name TWO possible disadvantages of using a LAN. NOTE:
This excludes any problems related to Internet connectivity.
• Malware could spread more quickly
• Potential central point of failure, e.g. crash of a server
• Rely on administrator to safely/regularly backup work on
• Issues of privacy
• Increased costs (accept suitable examples)
• Need to keep software standard/consistent across all
5.1.3 Name TWO possible advantages of connecting the computers
using wireless technology.
• Quick/easy to add additional equipment
• No need for cabling
• Allows users to be mobile within the range of the network,
5.1.4 Name ONE possible disadvantage of connecting the computers using wireless technology.
• Problems with signal strength/interference
• Need to install extra equipment
• Potentially slower speeds
• Security issues, i.e. eavesdropping
5.1.5 Name ONE possible hardware specification where a file server
may differ from a normal computer by briefly referring to the role of a file server in a network.
File server stores all the network users’ files.
Need for larger/faster hard drive(s)/faster processor(s)/more
5.1.6 Backing up the entire file server takes a long time.
Name TWO practical ways in which the number and size of files
that have to be backed up each time can possibly be reduced.
Only backup data files (not programs)
Use incremental backups/backup only files changed since
Remove duplicate/unwanted files.
5.2 Shannon has been asked to find out what the best, most affordable
broadband Internet connection may be for the helpdesk. She contacts
several ISPs in this regard.
5.2.1 Briefly explain what an ISP is.
ISP is a business/company that provides/offers Internet
5.2.2 Name the TWO main features or characteristics of a broadband
connection compared to those of a dial-up connection.
Cost factors should NOT form part of your answer.)
5.2.3 One of the broadband packages Shannon investigates is
advertised as 'uncapped'.
Briefly explain what uncapped means by referring to the concept of
a cap in broadband connections.
Cap refers to the limit placed on the amount of data that can
be transferred in a fixed period of time (usually per month).
Uncapped means that there is no limit on the amount of data
that can be transferred.
5.2.4 Why do some ADSL packages give two different speed
Refers to maximum upload and download speeds of the
5.3 Tiffany loves reading and has decided to order some digital or e-books online.
However, she is worried about identity theft because she has heard many
stories about it.
5.3.1 Name the generic device specifically designed and dedicated to
allowing one to read an e-book. (NOTE: Brand names are NOT
5.3.2 Explain TWO advantages of e-books compared to printed versions
of books. (NOTE: Cost factors should NOT form part of your
• Books can easily be updated/distributed
• Contribute to environment/green computing
• Can adjust print size
• Easy to transport/store large number of books
• Potentially quicker to access/source books
• Can have additional features other than text, i.e. video
• Have a longer lifespan
5.3.3 Briefly explain what the term identity theft refers to in the context of
Identity theft refers to illegally using personal/security details
of another user to impersonate the user online.
5.3.4 Besides making use of updated antivirus and security software,
name TWO ways in which one can reduce the risk of becoming a
victim of identity theft.
• Make use of secure passwords
• Do not click on links in unsolicited emails
• Do not conduct financial transactions on a computer that
may not be secure, e.g. at a cyber café
• Do not leave personal details/statements lying around
• Change passwords regularly
• Avoid giving out personal details or passwords wherever
• Shred financial/personal documents before throwing them
• Become aware/read up on common security threats such
as phishing, etc.
6.1 Study the e-mail below that you have received.
||Logo.bmp (2.7 MB); Plan.docx (212 KB); Budget.xls (1 MB)
PLEASZE FIND ATTACHED THE LAETEST LOGO. LET ME KNOW WHAT
YOU THINKS. PLZ JUST SCAN FOR A VIRUS BEFORE OPENINNG IT AS
MY ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM IS OUT OF DATE.
6.1.1 Briefly describe what an attachment is in the context of an e-mail
6.1.2 Name the largest attachment in the e-mail shown above.
• Save it in a different format, e.g. jpeg
• Save it with a lower resolution
• Save it in greyscale/black and white if colour is not needed
• Compress or zip the file, etc.
• Cropping/resizing the picture.
6.1.3 Name TWO ways in which the size of the attachment Logo.bmp
could have been reduced.
• Spelling/grammar errors
• No meaningful subject line
• Use of capital letters (indicates shouting)
• Not checking that the message sent is virus-free
6.1.4 Give TWO examples of poor netiquette in the e-mail above, other
than the size of some of the attachments.
• Spelling/grammar errors
• No meaningful subject line
• Use of capital letters (indicates shouting)
• Not checking that the message sent is virus-free
6.1.5 Name the free Internet-based e-mail service used by one of the
recipients in the e-mail above.
6.1.6 Explain the difference between adding the name of a recipient in
the Cc field as opposed to the Bcc field of an e-mail message.
Recipients listed in the Cc field will be visible to other
recipients of the message.
Recipients listed in the Bcc field will not be visible to other
recipients of the message.
6.1.7 Explain why a large-sized attachment may make the recipient of the e-mail angry if he/she uses a dial-up connection.
• Take a long time to download
• Costs more money in terms of duration of a phone call
6.1.8 Explain why a large-sized attachment may make the recipient of
the e-mail angry if he/she uses a broadband connection.
Reduces the amount of cap still remaining for the period
6.2 Pete wants to send a newsletter to all the people who have made use of the
helpdesk and who have e-mail facilities.
Briefly explain how he can quickly add all the recipients' e-mail addresses to
the e-mail without having to manually add them each time.
Add the recipients’ names to a mailing/distribution/group list.
6.3 The team has discovered that many people do not have e-mail addresses and
make use of websites such as Facebook and MySpace instead.
6.3.1 What is the general or generic name used to describe sites such as
Facebook and MySpace?
Social Networking or Social Media
6.3.2 Name ONE possible advantage of sending out messages to the
same group of people using a website like Facebook, instead of
• Do not need to know each person’s e-mail address
• Do not need to maintain a list of email addresses
• Easy to create groups where messages can be posted
• Extra facilities to share content such as photos
6.3.3 Name TWO possible disadvantages of sending out messages to
the same group of people using a website like Facebook, instead
of using e-mail.
• Recipients all have to have a Facebook account
• Still need to have recipients belonging to a list/group
• Concerns/issues with privacy
• Greater bandwidth/costs involved with Facebook
• Some institutions restrict Facebook access,
6.3.4 Name TWO potential dangers or disadvantages of belonging to
and using a website such as Facebook. (NOTE: This excludes
any answers you gave to QUESTION 6.3.3.)
• Creation of/exposure to undesirable content
• Content published can be seen and possibly used against
• Issues of addiction
• Danger of online predators/ paedophiles
• People create virtual relationships
• Issues with security/privacy (if not given as an answer in
• Cap/bandwidth issues involved (if not given as an answer
6.3.5 Name TWO features, other than posting text messages, which a
website like Facebook has.
• Formation of interest groups
• Posting of multimedia (photos/videos, etc.)
• Many add-on/plug-in features such as games,
• Facility to find old friends/acquaintances
• Status updates
• Create apps inside facebook
6.4 Pete was trying to make a copy of his projects by writing it to CD, when an
error message appeared and the process stopped.
Give Pete TWO suggestions on how he can try and solve this problem so that
he can write the CD. You may assume that the CD drive is not faulty.
• Try writing data at a slower speed
• Try another CD/DVD
• Make sure the CD/DVD disc is clean and dust-free
• Close any other applications that are running
• Make sure that your free disk space is not running low
• Defragment the hard disk
• Restarting the computer
• Re-installing the CD writing software
6.5 Many people have different opinions about whether there are any benefits in
allowing children to play computer games.
6.5.1 Name TWO possible benefits or advantages that playing computer
games has for children.
• May improve computer literacy skills
• May improve memory recall skills
• May improve peripheral vision
• May improve psychomotor skills
• May improve strategy skills
• May lead to socialisation online
• May improve keyboarding skills
• Keeps them occupied/entertained
6.5.2 Name TWO possible disadvantages that playing computer games
has for children.
• Issues of addiction/time wastage
• Danger of RSI type of problems
• Costs in terms of cap usage
• Could cause antisocial behaviour
• Can be linked to violent/aggressive behaviour
• Can blur the difference between reality and fantasy
• Can affect emotional development
• Health issues
7.1 The team at the helpdesk has prepared a 10-page document in portrait format
that deals with FAQs concerning word processing, spreadsheets and
7.1.1 Briefly explain what an FAQ is. (NOTE: Do NOT just give the
meaning of the abbreviation as your answer.)
A set of questions and answers to frequently asked
questions regarding a particular topic.
7.1.2 When they used the feature to automatically generate a table of
contents, the team found that some of the headings did not appear
in the document.
Briefly explain why this occurred and how to solve the problem.
The headings are not formatted in the same styles as the
Format/change the style of the headings and update the table
7.1.3 Briefly explain the difference between landscape and portrait
format/orientation of a document.
Portrait mode is when the page is longer than it is wide.
Landscape is when the page is wider than it is long.
7.1.4 Describe the process one will need to follow to change only the
second page of the document to landscape format, and not the
Insert section breaks before and after the page.
Change just the page orientation of that section to landscape.
7.1.5 The electronic version of the document has become corrupted and
there is no backup copy; only a printed version of the document is
Describe how the team can get this document back in an electronic
format so that they can make changes to it, without having to
retype the whole document.
Scan the document with a scanner.
Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert
the scanned document into editable text
7.2 Lindi has used a word processing table, with simple formulas, to keep track of
the budget for the helpdesk.
Give TWO reasons why it will be better to use a spreadsheet to do this.
• Spreadsheets have a wider range of formulas available
• Automatic re-calculation of formulas in spreadsheets when changes are made
• Easier to reference cells within a table in spreadsheets
• Formulas can be duplicated more easily
• Can make use of absolute addressing
• Greater range of (type) formatting in spreadsheets
• Table structure (cells) are already present in a spreadsheet
• Easier to reference cells in a range across non-adjacent cells
The following formula is used in a spreadsheet by one of the team members:
7.3.1 What term is used to describe the cell addressing where a part of
or the whole cell address includes dollar signs, for example $E$5?
Absolute (cell addressing)
7.3.2 Why is the type of addressing referred to in QUESTION 7.3.1 needed or used in a spreadsheet?
To prevent the cell address(es) from changing when a
formula is copied.
7.3.3 Predict how the formula in this cell will change if it is copied to the
cell immediately below it.
It will not change.
(Also accept 14%*$E$5)
7.4 Shannon created a database with the contact details of people who made use
of the helpdesk, as well as the type of help they needed. She created a
report in the database showing some of these details:
7.4.1 Which of the four fields shown (Surname, Name, Gender, Request)
would be suitable to apply a default value to?
Briefly motivate your answer.
Accept either Gender or Request as the field.
Any suitable motivation explaining that the default value is the
most often used/likely value for that field.
7.4.2 Shannon wants to add a function to total the number of entries in
the report so that it is displayed automatically at the end of the
Name the function she will use to do this and explain.
Accept any answer which refers to the Count function.
Must be placed in the report footer.
7.4.3 Describe clearly how she will need to change this report to show an
alphabetical (sorted) list of the details of the males and females
separately in the same report.
Report/records would need to be grouped according to the
Report/records would need to be sorted
7.4.4 Pete suggests that they use numerical codes to represent the
different types of requests, for example Training can have a code
of 10 and Internet research can be represented by a code of 11.
Give TWO reasons why it may be a good idea to have each of the
types of requests represented by a code instead of the actual
'name' of the request type or service.
• Quicker to capture data
• No problems with inconsistent spelling
• No problems with case sensitivity
• Easier to specify and use in queries
• Easier to validate data.
7.5 Explain what a primary key is in terms of a table in a database.
A primary key is a field in a database (table) where each value must
be unique/different for every record.
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