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Unit 3a Computer Hardware 2014 15

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  Introduction to computers 1. General characteristics of digital computers 1. Consider the defnition o the digital computer and its key characteristics: A digital computer is an automatic programmable dataprocessor. Every part of this denition is crucial to ourunderstanding of what the modern computer is, and how itworks. ã Which of the phrases below refers to each of the four attributes? ã There are two odd phrases in list a-j that do not describe digital computers. Find them. automatic!programmable!digital!dataprocessor!a.instructions to be followed automatically are held within thestore of the computerb.it operates without human interventionc.se uences of #!s and 1!s can represent a wide range of typesof datad.it uses digital data and produces resultse.complete collection of components making up a singlecomputer installationf.this feature distinguishes the computer from the simplepocket calculator, where each computation results from amanual key$press 36  g.the computer operates with uantities that take only distinctvalues from a known rangeh.the computer uses continuously variable uantitiesi.the computer uses binary uantities that take only twovalues , which represent the digits # and 1 %.the same instructions can be used and re$used 2. Check your answers in the text on this page:  A digital computer is an automatic programmable data processor.Every part of this denition is crucial to our understanding of what the modern computer is! and how it wor s. #Automatic$  means that it operates without human intervention,e&cept where this is e&pressly pre$planned and provided for. 'hisfeature alone distinguishes the computer from the simple pocketcalculator, where each computation results from a manual key$press. #%rogrammable$  means that the instructions to be followedautomatically are held (as a program!) within the store of thecomputer. If a repetitive calculation (a loop!) is necessary, thesame instructions can be used and re$used. 'he instructions areusually held in the same storage area as that used for data *computer programs and the data they operate on can comfortablyco$e&ist in the same sort of storage. &igital$  means that the computer operates with uantities thattake only distinct values from a known range+ often these arebinary uantities that take only two values, which represent thedigits # and 1. 'he power of digital data is that se uences of #!sand 1!s can represent a wide range of types of data, includingpictures, music, te&t and others. rogram instructions are alsoe&pressed digitally. 37  -inally, the last two words, data processor  , simply e&press what acomputer does * it uses digital data, and produces results. (rom BCS glossary o computing and C! . /omputer system0 ã 'hink about essential attributes of a system * what does it takefor it to function properly A computer is a device that processes data according to a set of instructions known as a program. 2hereas the physicale uipment is known as hardware, the programs and data are thesoftware. 3ardware and software together constitute a computersystem. 'he success or failure of any computer system dependson the skill with which its constituent parts, i.e., hardware andsoftware, are selected and integrated. /omputer software can bedivided into two very broad categories * systems software andapplications software. A special set of programs, called anoperating system (45), provides an interface for the user andallows applications programs to communicate with the hardware.In addition to programs, the data used by the computer alsobelongs to computer software. ã Complete the ollowing passage with the missing words: strengthsrestrictinterfacelimited 38  speechscopeweaknessesevolvedAs the 6666666666666of computer applications has been broadenedand the number of computer users has also increased, a variety of ways have been 66666666666for communication between the userand the computer. 'his is referred to as the user 666666666666666of the user environment. All user interface designs are 6666666666666by the capabilities of machines and people. Each design seeks tomake the most of the 6666666666666 and avoid the 6666666666666666 of computer e uipment of its users. Generally speaking, aspects of computer hardware, for e&ample processing speed, memorycapacity, input and output devices, 666666666666what software canachieve. 'his e&plains why 6666666666666666, the most common typeof communication between people, is not yet in everyday use forcommunication between people and computers. #$ %system% is a good mixture o integrated parts which work together to orm a useul whole. 7. 3ardware A typical digital computer assemblage has three basic functionalelements+ (1) input$output (I84) e uipment, () main memory and(7) the central processing unit (/9). 'he /9, which is built intoa single microprocessor chip, consists of the control unit and thearithmetic$logical unit. Another component of the /9 are theregisters, i.e., reserved memory units used to store and controlinformation. 2hereas the central processing unit   and the mainmemory are considered essential components of most digitalcomputer systems, the input$output devices, communicationsdevices and secondary (au&iliary) storage units constituteperipheral e uipment (peripherals) attached to the /9. 39
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