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CHAPTER 2: THE MACHINES BEHIND COMPUTING

Defining a Computer Motherboard is the main circuit board containing


Computer is a machine that accepts data as input, connectors for attaching additional boards. It usually
processes data without human intervention by using contains the CPU, Basic Input / Output System (BIOS),
stored instructions, and outputs information memory, storage interfaces, serial, and parallel ports,
Program step-by-step directions for performing a expansion slots, and all controllers for standard
specific task, written in a language the computer peripheral devices, such as the display monitor, disk
can understand. It is also called source code. drive, and keyboard.

Source code must be translated into object code The Power of Computers
consisting of binary. Binary is a set of instructions used Speed
to control the computer, and works from 0s and 1s, Computers are capable of responding to
which the computer understands as on or off signals requests faster than humans can, which improves
GIGO garbage in, garbage out which means that if efficiency. Computer speed measured as the number of
input data is erroneous, the information the computer instructions performed per fractions of a second:
provides is also erroneous. Millisecond: 1/1000 of a second
Microsecond: 1/1,000,000 of a second
Components of a Computer System Nanosecond: 1/1,000,000,000 of a
Hardware components are physical devices second
Software components consists of programs Picosecond: 1/1,000,000,000,000 of a
written in computer languages second
Accuracy
The Building blocks of a computer Computers dont make mistakes
Central processing unit (CPU) is the heart of Degree of accuracy is critical in many computer
the computer applications
Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) performs Storage and Retrieval
arithmetic operations (+,-,*,/) and comparison Storage: saving data in computer memory
or relational operations (<,>,=) are used to Retrieval: accessing data from memory
compare numbers Data is stored in bits
Control unit (CU) tells the computer what to o Eight bits is one byte
do, such as instructing the computer which o Binary system
device to read or send output to. American Standard Code for Information
Interchange (ASCII)
BUS a link between devices connected to the o Data code to represent and transfer
computer. It can be parallel or serial or internal (local) data between computers and network
or external systems
Disk drive is a peripheral devise for recording, storing, o Up to 128 characters can be defined
and retrieving information
CPU case is also known as a computer chassis or
tower. It is the enclosure containing the computers
main components
CHAPTER 2: THE MACHINES BEHIND COMPUTING

Computer Operations Secondary memory


Three basic tasks: o Nonvolatile
Arithmetic operations o Holds data when the computer is off or
o Add, subtract, multiply, divide, raise to power during course of a program's operation
Logical operations o Serves as archival storage
o Comparison
Storage and retrieval operations Main Memory Devices
Random Access Memory
Input Devices Volatile memory in which data can be read from
Send data and information to computer and write to, read write memory
o Keyboard
o Mouse Cache Memory resides on the processor. Because
o Touch screen memory access form main RAM storage takes several
o Light pen clock cycles, it stores recently accessed memory so that
o Trackball the processor isnt waiting for the memory transfer
o Data tablet
o Barcode reader Read-Only Memory
o Optical character reader is nonvolatile, data cant be written to ROM
o Magnetic ink character recognition o BIOS and system clock
system o Programmable read-only memory is a
o Optical mark recognition system type of ROM chip that can be programmed
with a special device, contents cannot be
Output Devices erased
For mainframes and personal computers o Erasable programmable read-only memory
Is capable of representing information from a is similar to PROM, but its contents can be
computer. The form of this output may be erased
visual, audio, or, digital
Soft copy Secondary Memory Devices
o Monitor Magnetic disk
Cathode ray tube (CPT), plasma, liquid o Made of mylar or metal
crystal display (LCD) o Used for random-access processing
Hard copy Magnetic tape
o Printer o Made of a plastic material
Inkjet, laser o Stores data sequentially
o Voice Optical discs
o Use laser beams to access and store data
Memory Devices o CD-ROM, WORM, DVD
Main memory Hard disk
o Stores data and information USB flash drive
o Volatile Memory card
CHAPTER 2: THE MACHINES BEHIND COMPUTING

Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) system o Remote access (RAS)


o Collection of disk drives used for fault o Web
tolerance and improved performance
o If one disk in the array fails, data isnt lost Software
Is all the programs that run a computer system
Storage Area Network and Network Attached System Software
Storage Works in the background and takes care of
housekeeping tasks
Storage Area Network (SAN) Application Software
o Dedicated high-speed network consisting of Is used to perform special tasks
both hardware and software
o Connect and manage shared storage devices Operating System Software
o Makes storage devices available to all servers Is a set of programs for controlling and
on a network managing computer hardware and software. An
Network Attached Network (NAS) OS provides an interface between a computer
o Network-connected computer dedicated to and the user and increases computer efficiency
providing file-based data storage services to by helping users share computer resources and
other network devices performing repetitive tasks for users
Operating system control programs
Classes of Computers o Job management
Classify based on: o Resource allocation
o Cost, amount of memory, speed, o Data management
sophistication o Communication
Types Kernel
o Subnotebooks, notebooks, personal, o Supervisor program
minicomputers, mainframes, supercomputers o Responsible for controlling all other
programs in the OS
Server Platforms: An Overview
Server Application Software
Computer and all the software for managing Commercial software or software developed in-
network resources and offering services to a house and is used to perform a variety of tasks
network on a personal computer
Types of servers Software types
o Application o Word processing
o Database o Spreadsheet
o Disk o Database
o Fax o Presentation
o File o Graphics
o Mail o Desktop publishing
o Print o Financial planning and accounting
CHAPTER 2: THE MACHINES BEHIND COMPUTING

o Project management History of Computer Hardware Generations


o Computer-aided design (CAD)
First Generation (1946-1956)
Computer Languages o Vacuum Tube
Machine language (First Generation) Second Generation (1957-1963)
o 0s and 1s o Transistors
o Code written for one type of computer Third Generation (1964-1970)
does not work on another o Integrated Circuits
Assembly language (Second Generation) o Remote data entry
o Higher level than machine but still o Telecommunications
machine dependent Fourth Generation (1971-1992)
o Uses a series of short codes, or o Miniaturization
mnemonics to represent data or o VLSI
instructions o Personal computers
High-level languages (Third Generation) o Optical discs
o C++, Java, VB.Net Fifth Generation (1992-present)
o Are machine independent o Parallel processing
o Many options are available and each is o Gallium arsenide chips
designed for a specific purpose o Optical technologies
o Used for Web development and the
Internet
Fourth-generation languages (4GLs)
o Use macro codes that can take the place
of several lines of programming
o The commands are powerful and easy
to learn, particularly for people with
little computer learning
o Easiest to use
o SQL
Fifth-generation languages (5GLs)
o Use some artificial intelligence
technologies
o Knowledge-based systems
o Natural language processing (NLP)
o Visual programming
o Graphical approach to using
programming
o These languages are designed to
facilitate natural conversations between
you and the computer