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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Certificate in Information & Communication


Technology

Introduction to Computer
Systems
Notes
101

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Interactive Training Division
IDM Computer Studies (Pvt) Ltd.
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National Certificate in Information & Communication Technology
Introduction to Computer Systems

CHAPTER 1...................................................................................................................5

Laying out Conditions ....................................................................................................5


Social value of Occupational skills and importance of adjusting to changing demands
and preparing for lifelong learning.................................................................................9
Correct use of Equipment............................................................................................10
Safety Hazards, especially Electrical Power ...............................................................11

CHAPTER 2.................................................................................................................16

What is Information Technology?................................................................................16


Data and Information ...................................................................................................16
Why IT is being used? .................................................................................................17
Importance of Computer ..............................................................................................21
IT Trends ......................................................................................................................26

CHAPTER 3.................................................................................................................29

History of Computers ...................................................................................................29


Classification of Computers.........................................................................................72
Micro Computer PCs (XT to PIV) ................................................................................77

CHAPTER 4.................................................................................................................86

Architecture of Computers...........................................................................................86
Von Neuman Architecture (1946) ................................................................................86
Basic Functions of a Computer ...................................................................................87
Booting Process...........................................................................................................88
Basic Concepts of Hardware, Software, and Liveware...............................................89
System Software..........................................................................................................90
Application Software ....................................................................................................94

CHAPTER 5...............................................................................................................100

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Input Devices .............................................................................................................100


Output Devices...........................................................................................................114
Processor...................................................................................................................119
Primary Storage .........................................................................................................121
Secondary Storage ....................................................................................................124
Disk Drives .................................................................................................................124
Evaluation of Processors ...........................................................................................130
Main Circuit Board of a PC ........................................................................................137

CHAPTER 6...............................................................................................................141

The Number Systems................................................................................................141


Logic Gates: AND Gate, OR Gate, NOR Gate..........................................................144

CHAPTER 7...............................................................................................................146

Introduction to Computer Viruses ..............................................................................146


Introduction to Anti-virus Software.............................................................................150
Installing Anti-virus Software .....................................................................................156
Upgrading Anti-virus Software...................................................................................170
Uninstalling Anti-virus Software.................................................................................174

ASSIGNMENT 1........................................................................................................179

Identify Working Environment Hazards and Take Preventive Steps ........................179

ASSIGNMENT 2........................................................................................................180

Input and Output Devices ..........................................................................................180


System Software and Application Software ..............................................................181

ASSIGNMENT 3........................................................................................................182

Understanding Hardware Devices.............................................................................182

ASSIGNMENT 4........................................................................................................183

Computer Viruses ......................................................................................................183

ASSIGNMENT 5........................................................................................................184

Data Representation With in the Computer...............................................................184

CASE STUDY1..........................................................................................................185

Installing, Scanning, and Upgrading Virus Guards ...................................................186

CASE STUDY 2.........................................................................................................187

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Installing Microsoft Office 2000 and Upgrading to Microsoft Office XP ....................187

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CHAPTER 1

Laying out Conditions

The Working Environment


Computers are used in a wide variety of working environments. Some offices and
rooms are specially designed to accommodate computers but in general no special
provision has been made for modern PCs. Consequently if you look into a room
where computers are in use, the chances are that you will find computers on desk
tops, papers strewn on working surfaces, cables lying haphazardly over the floor and
surfaces, bright electric lighting and lots of busy people.
It is important that you are aware of how ensuring a safe working environment can be
beneficial to both computer equipment and users.
Comfortable users can provide an environment which might greatly ease your
computer support and maintenance program. Let us look at what can be done to help
your users.
Computers should whenever possible be located away from electrically noisy
equipment such as fans, air conditioners, coffee machines and copiers as this will
provide a quieter working area and help to reduce any electrical interference. All
computers should be properly supported on a firm surface or, if suitable, on the floor
to give a solid safe base for access to the computer and any peripheral devices.
In order to help eliminate any long term injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
users should be provided with 5-point footed chairs or stools, each with adjustable
seat height and variable backrest support. Wrist supports and foot rests give comfort
and help to users working for long periods at a computer.
Monitors should be positioned so as to minimize glare from room lighting or sunshine
in order to reduce eye strain; grounded screen guards may be necessary to soften
bright displays and help to create a more congenial working environment.
The general physical environment also needs to be considered. A hot room with low
humidity increases the risk of static build-up by people walking on carpets, or
brushing past equipment. Electro Static Discharge (ESD) can be particularly harmful
to some of the low voltage parts of today’s computer systems, causing erratic
operational behavior and possible long term component damage.
Damp, high humidity rooms can be just as damaging to computers. With too much
water in the air and computers switched off over night or at weekends, water vapor
can condense on internal surfaces. This can lead to electrical short circuits and
potentially dangerous working conditions.
You should avoid positioning computers next to or in front of radiators, or placing
them in positions where normal air flows are restricted for monitors or computer
boxes, as this is likely to cause operational problems.

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Because computers consume electricity they tend to generate heat and if a room has
a lot of computer equipment in place then it may be necessary to utilize air
conditioning in order to maintain a suitable climate for working. Most computers have
internal fans to maintain a steady working temperature for their component parts and
need to circulate a free flow of air. Any equipment that operates at a higher
temperature is likely to have a reduced working life and such environments can
create spurious system faults, and eventually lead to complete equipment failure.
To appreciate any equipment’s normal operating conditions, you should refer to the
manufacturer’s operating guidelines. These detail the equipment’s maximum and
minimum working temperatures.
Computers operating in polluted environments will need extra environmental
protection, while still having to provide a good user interface with a clear view
display. Some environmental hazards and methods of managing them are dealt with
below.
Computer users’ consumption of food and drink, possibly while at their computer, can
be expected in many environments. Spilt drinks on the computer, keyboard or mouse
are not only highly inconvenient; they can create electrical hazards for users. Posters
can help to put this message across to users.

Cabling
With very few exceptions most computer equipment relies heavily on some form of
cabling for the provision of electrical power and the transmission of data. As a result
the distribution of cables in any room can create havoc for support personnel and
become dangerous to the well being of users. With many cabling systems using wall
conduits to contain all a room’s services, such as telephone sockets, network
connections and power supplies, there is likelihood that different cables could be
cluttering the working area.
In order to reduce the problems of cables trailing all over the place man items of
office and business furniture include both power distribution points and built in
cabling trays to help manage computer cabling needs, plus other office services. For
large open floor planning, cables can be installed in floor conduits with connections
offered through floor plates, or they can be enclosed in vertical tube conduits from
the ceiling to avoid cables across open walkways.
If cables have to be laid across floor surfaces the use of plastic or rubber cable
bridges to contain cables safely is recommended. These provide a protective cover
and reduce the dangers of tripping.

Security
Computers, although falling in price with each new technological breakthrough, are
expensive items of office and business equipment. As a result they are physically
worth protecting from casual or determined theft and from internal malpractice by
installing security devices.
External threats can be countered by the use of secure access areas, secured
toughened cables and locks on equipment. However, provision must be made to
allow adequate access for support and maintenance purposes, and to allow users to
complete their work without undue obstructions.

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Local fixings may be intended to restrict access to the computer’s internal


components, and to give only secure access to floppy disks and exchangeable
drives. These fixings can have a dual effect by stopping unwarranted invasions of
computer viruses as well as protecting local computer data. Local security can be
enhanced with keyed locks to protect computer cases, floppy disk drives and
exchangeable drives from misuse. Any keys should be kept separately, so that they
can be retrieved and used when needed.
As a computer support person, you can gain from improvements to the users’
working environment. Computers should be sited in a clean, safe and secure
environment, in which they can be accessed easily.

Maintenance Procedures
Computers, once installed, need regular maintenance to ensure continue operation
with the minimum of system down time. The frequency of this maintenance depends
mainly on the quality of the working environment an office may require a half yearly
inspection, which can be combined with a safety check, whereas a computer in a
manufacturing area may require a monthly or even a weekly check.
There will generally be separate maintenance procedures for parts and equipment
outside the computer case, such as monitor, keyboard and mouse, to those required
for the internal computer components and devices.

Clothing
When you undertake maintenance tasks, consider suitable clothing for what could be
a messy piece of work. If any equipment is to be opened for maintaining internal
parts, then personal safety and ESD damage to the components should be an
important consideration.
Remove any jewellery to reduce the risk of electrical contact or short circuits.
Clothes should be practical for the task being performed (without hanging sleeves or
neck ties to obstruct component views, and with rubber soled footwear to provide
personal safety against electrical shocks.) Protective glasses might be necessary, as
may a mouth mask if dust contaminants are being blown off.

Tools and Equipment


For all maintenance procedures, you should consider what tools and products are to
be used, where they can be kept securely and how to apply them safely. You should
also consider where the maintenance is’ be carried out; whether at the computer
equipment’s location or in a separate work area. Some of the tools and products you
might utilize an listed here.
Grounded rubber mat — Static or ESD is one of the greatest t to electrical
components. Very large static charges can be accumulated and discharged through
equipment, creating perm damage. If possible, place the equipment to be maintained
on a grounded rubber mat.

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Grounded wrist strap


When handling components, equalize the charge between yourself and the
equipment by wearing an earthed wrist strap connected directly to a clean metal part
of the equipment chassis.

Compressed gas canister (canned air)


Operate only in the upright position; this is very effective at blowing away dust and
debris from electrical components and keyboards. It can create static charges when
the gas is expelled, but a wrist strap reduces this risk. Remove parts to be cleaned
from within the computer to allow dust and debris to be blown away from sensitive
moving parts and electronics.

Proprietary computer cleaners


A wide range of cleaners available in foam and liquid form. You should not apply
these cleaners directly, but douse or spray lint-free cloths and swabs before applying
to equipment and component parts. You should only use cleaners that are
specifically for computers. If in doubt, read the manufacturers instructions regarding
where and how they can be applied.

Anti static solutions


Of particular value where computer equipment is being operated in dry, low humidity
environments. This can be sprayed onto carpets and hanging fabrics to reduce the
generation of static. You should not, of course, spray near live equipment.

Brushes and swabs


Dry brushes should be used for removing more stubborn dirt; swabs can be dipped
or coated in cleaning solutions before using to clean a surface. Move brushes and
swabs slowly and lightly to reduce the risk of generating static charges.

Lint-free dusters
Apply foam or spray directly onto dusters before wiping larger surfaces. Using these
reduces the possibility of loose fibers being left on cleaned surfaces.

Electrical lubricants
These are normally multi-purpose. They are electrically conductive, give additional
corrosion protection to electrical connectors and supply a lubricant to allow parts to
be inserted or connected with much less physical pressure.

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Vacuum cleaner
Bulky to carry, but is a beneficial tool for removing and disposing of dust, debris and
other polluting material easily. Use a rubber end fitting to limit damage to equipment
and to reduce static. Ensure that no small parts are loose on or in equipment before
starting to vacuum.

Social value of Occupational skills and importance of


adjusting to changing demands and preparing for
lifelong learning
Computers are everywhere: at home, at work, and at school. Numerous daily
activities either involve the use of or depend on information from a computer.
Activities such as learning the alphabet, looking up employment laws, recording an
appointment, visiting a museum, or planning a trip, could involve the use of
computers.
With a home computer, you can balance your checkbook, pay bills, track personal
income and expenses, transfer funds, buy or sell stocks, and evaluate financial
plans. People deposit or withdraw funds through an ATM (automated teller machine).
At the grocery store, a computer tracks your purchases, calculates the amount of
money you owe, and usually generates coupons customized to your buying patterns.
Many cars today include an onboard navigation system that provides directions,
signals for emergency services, and tracks the vehicle if it is stolen.
In the workplace, people use computers to create correspondence such as memos
and letters, calculate payroll, track inventory, and generate invoices. Both schools
and homes have computers for educational purposes. Teachers use them to assist
with the instruction. Students complete assignments and do research on computers
in lab rooms and at home.
Many people find hours of entertainment on the computer. They play games, listen to
music, watch a video or a movie, read a book or magazine, make a family tree, com
pose a video, re-touch a photograph, or plan a vacation.
Through computers, society has access to information from all around the globe.
Instantaneously, you can find local and national news, weather reports, sports
scores, stock prices, your medical records, your credit report, and countless forms of
educational material. At your fingertips, you can send messages to others, meet new
friends, shop, fill prescriptions, file taxes, or take a course.
Computers today are a primary tool people use to communicate with others. The
brilliance of these communications is they are not limited to text. With today’s
technology, you also can transmit voice, sounds, video, and graphics. Use the
computer to see others while you talk to them. Send family, friends, or clients videos
or photographs.
In this digital revolution, technology continues to advance and computers extend into
more facets of daily living. To be successful in this digital world, it is essential you are
computer literate. Being computer literate means you have knowledge and
understanding of computers and their uses.

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Correct use of Equipment


Especially as computer users you frequently use keyboard and mouse more than any
other device. Never use keyboard or mouse while you are eating or drinking and
don’t keep any drink bottles or glasses near keyboards. Every time remember to
keep keyboard and mouse clean because you are touching your face eyes while you
are working with your fingers.

In order to maintain certain computer equipment you must be aware of the problems
of environmental safety. Whilst most equipment that you will come across is
innocuous there are certain precautions you should take, especially when it comes to
disposing of waste products, used consumables, and redundant equipment.

General
Swabs, wipes, dusters and pressurized containers can be disposed of with general
waste. Unless redundant computer equipment can be of value to either charity or
educational establishments, then disposal is best handled by experienced waste
handling organizations.
Note that you should ensure that all company data and information has been fully
removed from any disk storage devices before disposal — otherwise there is the
potential for sensitive information about your company to be made public.

Batteries
Portable computers have at least one battery associated with their use; such as
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Nickel Cadmium (NiCD) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion). These
are re-charged repeatedly, until either the computer is scrapped or the battery is no
longer able to hold an electrical charge. At this stage it may be necessary to safely
dispose of the battery.
Do not dispose of batteries as normal waste and never dispose of batteries on fires
as this could lead to the battery exploding. Establish contacts with specialist
companies handling the reclamation and disposal of hazardous waste material.

Printer Toner Cartridges


Many companies supplying toner cartridges offer a recycling service for old toner
cartridges. This can involve re-filling the cartridge with toner for a number of re-sales
before the cartridge completes its operational life. Cartridges are then ultimately
destroyed by disposal organizations in line with the guidelines of Environmental
Protection Agencies (EPAs).
You should be aware of two points with regard to dealing with laser toner:
First, if toner is spilt DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner as the fine particles (which are
electrically conductive) are so small they can pass through the dust bag and filtration
system of the vacuum cleaner and may cause a short circuit in the motor.

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Second, toner is heat sensitive so if you get any on your hands or clothing, wash it off
with COLD water, since HOT water can cause the toner to set and it then becomes
very difficult to remove.

Safety Hazards, especially Electrical Power


This section is designed to help you identify any of the possible hazards that you may
encounter whilst working with various types of computer equipment.

Fires
Computers do not generally catch fire by themselves, although monitors with
obstructed air vents can overheat and catch fire. If possible, remove power to a
burning electrical item; do not use water or liquid based extinguisher, as this can lead
to electrocution. Look for extinguishers the can be used specifically on electrical
equipment, such as a gas or powder extinguisher.

Fire Extinguishers
There are basically four different types or classes of fire extinguisher, each of which
extinguishes specific types of fire. Newer fire extinguishers use a picture/labeling
system to designate which types of fire they are be used on. Older fire extinguishers
are labeled with colored geometrical shapes with letter designations
Class A Extinguishers — will put out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood
and paper. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher refers to the amount
of water the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.
Class B Extinguishers — should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such
as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. The numerical rating for this class of tire extinguisher
states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-
expert person can expect to extinguish.
Class C Extinguishers — are suitable for use on electrically energized fires. This
class of fire extinguisher does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter
“C” indicates that the extinguishing agent is non- conductive.
Class D Extinguishers — are designed for use on flammable metals and are often
specific for the type of metal in question. There is no picture designator for Class D
extinguishers. These extinguishers generally have no rating, nor are they given a
multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires.

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Electrical Supplies
Computer equipment requires a steady electrical supply for normal operation. A
power surge is created when computers are first switched on; remember that when a
number of systems are started at the same time the surge on the supply will be
greater. There may be no guarantee that the business supply remains stable during
this time, or when other large power based equipment is switched on.
At these times, the normal operating voltage can drop below the supply voltage; this
is known as a brownout. When large motor based equipment is switched on or is
operating nearby, then short bursts of much higher voltage can be generated; these
are known as spikes. Either of these types of voltage difference can permanently
damage computer equipment.
Computer power supplied to a whole environment can be protected by line
conditioning or surge protection. Local computer protection can be given by having
an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) between the national power supply outlet and
the supply to a computer. This protect equipment from voltage brownout or spike,
and short term total power failures are handled by stand-by batteries, allowing a
computer to be shut down carefully.
Frequently, as more and more computer equipment is installed, the demand for
additional power sockets increases. Often there is a great temptation to use trailing
power blocks to enable more equipment to t powered. However, the use of these is
not recommended and should l avoided whenever possible. Always try to ensure that
proper electrical cabling and sockets are utilized.

Overheating
A build-up of dust and debris within a computer can form a good thermal insulation
layer over electrical components. This layer cuts down the effectiveness of any
cooling airflow over component surfaces, forcing components to work at a higher
temperature. Over a period of time this could lead to component failure or, more
annoyingly for support personnel, temperamental failures.
Many computer systems provide a cooling airflow using a fan located within the
computer Power Supply Unit (PSU). Air is pulled through the computer from casing
vents and many other small openings. If this fan fails then the computer system can
quickly overheat. This leads to erratic operational errors in electronic components
and can lead eventually to complete failure, possibly of the processor itself.
Many computers today have large heat sinks on their processors to dissipate heat by
a mix of conduction and convection. This is commonly assisted by spot cooling fans
that are located directly by the processor heat sink. A secure electrical supply, good
cable connection and strong close contact between processor surface, heat sink and
spot cooling fan are vital in maintaining reliable system operation.

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Polluted Environments
Any forms of highly contaminated or polluted environments are not good for standard
computer equipment although there is specialist equipment which has been designed
for use in harsh environments. Many contaminants may not only act as insulators
when covering components; they also may be electrically conductive and corrosive.
Industrial computers which can cope with extreme conditions often have cooling fans
which operate in reverse, pulling air through a filter over the power supply and
pushing air out of the computer casing vents. This creates a positive air pressure
inside the case, preventing contaminants from entering the system.
You should take extra precautions with this type of environment, with frequent checks
on filters for replacement or cleaning and safely disposing of contaminated filters.
You should have a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule for keyboards,
monitors and mice. Your personal safety is important; wear a mask and optionally
gloves to minimize physical contact. If possible you should undertake cleaning in a
suitable room away from the polluted environment.
The keyboards of industrial computers are often covered with transparent plastic
covers, allowing keys to be pressed, but resisting a build up of dirt and grime on well
used key pads from dirty hands and fingers. A mouse is not often used in this type of
operating environment as it is too susceptible to dirt, therefore the keyboard is often
used as the sole input device.

Thermal Creep
When computers are powered up, their components begin to warm up. During a
working week each computer may be started and stopped mans times. At weekends
they may not be switched on at all. The operational environment for a computer,
particularly the temperature, can be an important factor in ensuring a computer’s
reliable operation.
This process of heating and cooling is called a thermal cycle. Heating makes parts
expand and on cooling they contract. Any chip component inserted into a chip socket
on the motherboard will go though this thermal cycle and over a period of time can
eventually creep from its socket, causing a fault in the system. The number of chip
sockets house removable chips on modern motherboards is few, but a regular
inspection and preventive maintenance schedule should include remove such chips
completely, and re-inserting them.
One way of avoiding the problem of thermal creep it to reduce the number of times
that a computer is powered up and down. Generally all electronic components
operate more reliably when run at a constant steady temperature and therefore you
should encourage users to avoid powering down their systems unnecessarily, for
example, over coffee breaks or lunch breaks. Powering systems down overnight is
still a good idea as it reduces the risk of fire.

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Power Supplies
Equipment power supplies are dangerous. If you are at all unsure about any aspect
of a power supply, replace it with a new or refurbished unit and send the suspect unit
for professional analysis. Alternatively, since power supplies are relatively
inexpensive, dispose of it by recycling the unit through a specialist company.
When replacing power supplies you should ensure that:
• a new supply has the same physical size;
• its method of fitting is the same;
• the input, and particularly output, electrical supply has identical or improved
capability with the replaced unit.
• Always replace a PSU with the power disconnected.

Monitors
The standard Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) based computer monitor can be extremely
dangerous in untrained hands. Monitors generate a lot of heat and rely on very high
voltages in order to work. Most monitors have large capacitors which store a high
electrical charge — these can be dangerous even after the power has been switched
off.
Even if you are experienced at working with high voltages you should always wear
goggles. Glass display tubes contain a vacuum arid if the tube is broken, the tube will
implode with glass splinters flying in all directions.
High working voltages and currents mean that surfaces can be very hot. Touching a
surface could cause an involuntary jerk of the hand to either drop a tool or to touch a
high voltage connector. Allow plenty of time for equipment to cool down before
working on it.
Always have monitors serviced by experts and do not try to solve operational
problems that require the monitor to be taken apart yourself, unless you have
received training on working with high voltage equipment. Even so, you should work
with other colleagues present so that help is quickly available, should it be required.
Another problem with modern monitors is the trend towards larger display screens
which means that generally they are getting bigger and heavier. Monitors can be an
awkward shape to move and can easily cause anyone carrying them to over-reach
and pull or strain muscles. Try to share the burden of moving and handling large
monitors with extra help from a colleague. Practice lifting heavy objects together and
by yourself by bending the knees and keeping your back straight. Pull objects as
close to your chest as possible to limit the stress on your arms and back.

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Laser Dangers
Many modern peripherals such as CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives, and printers are
based on laser techno1ogy. Generally the lasers used in such devices are invisible to
the human eye and consequently they are particularly dangerous. Any device using a
laser should only be dealt with after all power has been removed. The optics involved
in using lasers are best left alone as they are particularly sensitive and, in some
cases, very fragile.
Another serious hazard from laser equipment, such as laser printers, is the form of
heat. Part of the printing process involves fusing (making permanent) print with
paper. This is achieved by fusing rollers with temperatures as high as 400 degrees
centigrade. The rollers can remain hot for some 20 minutes after the last print run, so
allow a period of’ cooling before undertaking any maintenance work.

Cabling
When using any form of cable you should examine it carefully and check for fraying
or split damage before use. Damaged data cables may cause intermittent data
transfer problems, but damaged power supply cables could cause localized shorting,
overheating or give you an electric shoe
Store and route cables so that the likelihood of physical damage is reduced. Make
sure cable lengths are kept within their documented standards and that users are not
endangered by trailing cables.
When dealing with cabling problems, make sure that you know what the cable is
being used for and that you have seen both cable end fittings a their connections.
Portable Computer Battery
These innocent looking devices can be dangerous if misused. Do not attempt to drain
the battery by placing a conductor across any of the battery terminals. If you do so,
the battery will deliver power that will both heat the conductor (through resistance)
and raise the internal battery activity which could lead to an explosion. Similarly
always i recommended charger and never try to use an alternative.
If in doubt, always read the battery manufacturer’s documentation for safe methods
of draining the battery prior to a recharge cycle. Never short cut this procedure.

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CHAPTER 2

What is Information Technology?


IT (information technology) is a term that encompasses all forms of technology used
to create, store, exchange, and use information in its various forms (business data,
voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations, and
other forms, including those not yet conceived). It's a convenient term for including
both telephony and computer technology in the same word. It is the technology that
is driving what has often been called "the information revolution."

Data and Information


Data is a collection of raw unprocessed facts, figures, and symbols. Computers
process data to create information. Information is data that is organized, meaningful,
and useful. Computer processes several data items to produce a paycheck. Another
example of information is a grade report, which is generated from data items such as
a student name, course names, and course grades.
A user is someone who communicates with a computer or uses the information it
generates.
Hardware is the electric, electronic, and mechanical equipment that makes up a
computer. Software is the series of instructions that tells the hardware how to per
form tasks. Without software, most hardware is useless. The hardware needs
instructions from software to process data into information.

Data
(1) In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is more
convenient to move or process. Relative to today's computers and transmission
media, data is information converted into binary digital form.

2) In computer component interconnection and network communication, data is often


distinguished from "control information," "control bits," and similar terms to identify
the main content of a transmission unit.

3) In telecommunications, data sometimes means digital-encoded information to


distinguish it from analog-encoded information such as conventional telephone voice
calls. In general, "analog" or voice transmission requires a dedicated continual
connection for the duration of a related series of transmissions. Data transmission
can often be sent with intermittent connections in packets that arrive in piecemeal
fashion.

4) Generally and in science, data is a gathered body of facts.

Some authorities and publishers, cognizant of the word's Latin origin and as the
plural form of "datum," use plural verb forms with "data". Others take the view that
since "datum" is rarely used, it is more natural to treat "data" as a singular form.

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Information
Information is stimuli that has meaning in some context for its receiver. When
information is entered into and stored in a computer, it is generally referred to as
data. After processing (such as formatting and printing), output data can again be
perceived as information. Data will be converted in to Information after processing.

When information is packaged or used for understanding or doing something, it is


known as knowledge.

Why IT is being used?


You can’t think about a world with out IT today. IT has become part and participle
with everybody’s life today. There are thousands of reasons about why people use
computers to fulfill their requirements in many life aspects.

Basically we can have Information Systems which is a major part in IT.

Types Of Information Systems


An information system is a set of hardware, software, data, people, and procedures
that work together to pro duce information. A procedure is an instruction, or set of
instructions, a user follows to accomplish an activity. An information system supports
daily, short- term, and long-range activities of users in a company. Information
systems generally fall into one of five categories: office information systems,
transaction processing systems, management information systems, decision support
systems, and expert systems. The following sections present each type of
information system.

Office Information Systems


An office information system (OIS pronounced oh-eye-ess) increases employee
productivity and assists with communications among employees. In an OIS,
employees perform tasks using computers and other electronic devices, instead of
manually. Some people describe an OIS as office automation.
Just about every type of business or organization uses some form of OIS. For
example, a school might post its class schedules on the Internet. When the school
updates the schedule, students receive an e-mail notification. In a manual system,
the school would photocopy the schedule and mail it to each student’s house.
An OTS supports many office activities. With an OIS, you can create and distribute
graphics and documents, send messages, schedule appointments, browse the Web,
and publish Web pages. All levels of users utilize and benefit from the features of an
OIS.
An OIS uses many common soft ware products to support its activities. Typical
software in an OIS includes word processing, spread sheet, database, presentation
graphics, e-mail, Web browser, Web page authoring, personal information
management, and groupware. To send text, graphics, audio, and video to others, an

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OIS uses communications technology such as voice mail, fax, videoconferencing,


and electronic data interchange (EDI).
In an OIS, computers have modems, video cameras, speakers, and microphones.
Scanners, fax machines, digital cameras, and Web- enabled devices such as cellular
telephones are other types of hardware often found in an OIS.

Transaction Processing Systems


A transaction processing system (TPS) captures and processes data from day-to-day
business activities. When you use an automated teller machine to withdraw cash,
you are using a TPS. Examples of transactions are deposits, payments, orders, and
reservations. In a company, clerical staff typically perform the activities associated
with a TPS, which include the following:
1. Recording a business activity such as a student’s registration, a customer’s
order, an employee’s time card, or a car owner’s payment
2. Confirming an action or causing a response, such as printing a student’s
schedule, sending a thank-you note to a customer, printing an employee’s
paycheck, or issuing a receipt to a car owner.
3. Maintaining data, which involves adding new data, changing existing data, or
removing unwanted data
Transaction processing systems were among the first computerized systems that
processed business data. Many people initially referred to the functions of a TPS as
data processing. The first TPSs computerized an existing manual system. The intent
of these TPSs was to process faster, reduce clerical costs, and improve customer
service.
The first TPSs mostly used batch processing. With batch processing, the computer
collects data over time and processes all transactions later, as a group. As
computers became more powerful, system developers created online transaction
processing systems. With online transaction processing (OLTP), the computer
processes each transaction as it is entered.
When you register for classes, your school probably uses OLTP. The registration
clerk enters your desired schedule. The computer immediately prints your statement
of classes . The invoices often are printed using batch processing. That is, the
computer prints and mails all student invoices at a later date.
Today, most transaction processing systems use OLTP. For some routine processing
tasks, they also use batch processing. Ma ny organizations use batch processing to
calculate paychecks and print invoices.

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Management Information Systems


A management information system (MIS pronounced em-eye ess) generates
accurate, timely, and organized information, so managers and other users can make
decisions, solve problems, supervise activities, and track progress. Management
information systems evolved from transaction processing systems. Managers
realized the computer had more potential than just supporting a TPS. Its capability of
quick computing and data comparisons could pro duce meaningful information for
managers.
MISs often are integrated with transaction processing systems. To process a sales
order, the TPS records the sale, updates the customer’s account balance, and
reduces the inventory count. Using this information, the related MIS can produce
reports that recap daily sales activities; summarize weekly and monthly sales
activities; list customers with past due account balances; graph slow- or fast-selling
products; and highlight inventory items that need reordering. An MIS focuses on
creating information that managers and other users need to perform their jobs.
An MIS creates three basic types of information: detailed, summary, and exception. A
detailed report usually lists just transactions. For example, a Detailed Order Report
lists orders taken during a given period. A summary report consolidates data, so you
can review it quickly and easily. A summary report usually has totals, tables, or
graphs.
An exception report identifies data outside of a normal condition. These conditions,
called the exception criteria, define the1 activity or status range. For example, an
Inventory Exception report notifies the purchasing department of items it needs to
reorder.
Exception reports save managers time. Instead of searching through a detailed
report, managers simply review the exception report. These reports help managers
focus on situations that require immediate decisions or actions.

Decision Support Systems


A decision support system (DSS) helps you analyze data and make decisions. Often,
a TPS or MIS does not generate the type of report a manager needs to make a
decision. Different managers need various types of information. A marketing
manager might need to know how much he or she has spent on Internet advertising
in the past three months. Whereas an office manager might need to know how many
pads of paper were used.
A variety of DSSs exist. Some are company specific and used by managers. Others
are available to everyone on the Web. Programs that analyze data, such as those in
a DSS, sometimes are called online analytical processing (OLAP) applications.
Because they summarize information, these applications process many records at a
time. This is different from OLTP applications, which process individual records at
one time and typically use relational databases.
Some OLAP applications are called MOLAP because they use multidimensional
databases. Those that use relational databases are known as ROLAP. Others blend
the
two database types. These hybrid OLAPs may use a ROLAP as the back end and a
MOLAP as the front end.

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A DSS uses data from internal and external sources. Internal sources of data might
include sales, manufacturing, inventory, or financial data from a company’s database.
Data from external sources could include interest rates, population trends, costs of
new housing construction, or raw material pricing.
Some DSSs have their own query languages, statistical analysis, spreadsheets, and
graphics that help you retrieve data and analyze the results. Some also allow you to
create a model of the factors affecting a decision. A product manager might need to
decide on a price for a new product. A simple model for finding the best price would
include factors for the expected sales volume at various price levels. The model
allows you to ask what-if questions and view the expected results.
Instead of buying a DSS, many people use their application software to perform DSS
functions. With Microsoft Excel, for example, you can model data and create what-if
scenarios.

Expert Systems
An expert system captures and stores the knowledge of human experts and then
imitates human reasoning and decision making.
Expert systems consist of two main components: a knowledge base and inference
rules. A knowledge base is the combined subject knowledge and experiences of the
human experts. The inference rules are a set of logical judgments that are applied to
the knowledge base each time a user describes a situation to the expert system.
Expert systems help all levels of users make decisions. Non management employees
use them to help with job-related decisions. Expert systems also successfully have
resolved such diverse problems as diagnosing illnesses, searching for oil, and
making soup.
These are only few examples but with the time the importance of IT will grow. No
matter in which field you are but IT will be a compulsory for everybody.

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Importance of Computer
Computer is the key of IT world. First we’ll get an overall knowledge about the
computer.

What Is A Computer?
A computer is an electronic machine, operating under the control of instructions
stored in its own memory that can accept data, manipulate the data according to
specified rules, produce results, and store the results for future use.

Information Processing Cycle


Input is any data or instructions you enter into a computer. Output is data that has
been processed into information. Computers process input (data) into output
(information).
Storage is an area in a computer that can hold data and information for future use.
This series of input, process, output, and storage activities sometimes is called the
information processing cycle.
Most computers today have the capability of communicating with other computers.
Thus, communications also has become an important element of the information
processing cycle.

The Components Of A Computer


A computer consists of a variety of hardware components that work together with
software to perform calculations, organize data, and communicate with other
computers.
These hardware components include input devices, output devices, a system unit,
storage devices, and communications devices. Figure 1-3 shows some common
computer hardware components.

Input Devices
An input device is any hardware component that allows a user to enter data and
instructions into a computer. Six commonly used input devices are the keyboard,
mouse, microphone, scanner, digital camera, and PC camera.
A computer keyboard contains keys that allow you to type letters of the alphabet,
numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, and other symbols. A computer keyboard also
contains other keys that allow you to enter data and instructions into the computer.
A mouse is a small handheld device that contains at least one button. The mouse
controls the movement of a symbol on the screen called a pointer. For example, as
you move the mouse across a flat surface, the pointer on the screen also moves.
With the mouse, you can make choices, initiate a process, and select objects.

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A microphone allows a user to speak to the computer to enter data and instructions
into the computer. A scanner reads printed text and pictures and then translates the
results into a form the computer can use. For example, you can scan a picture, and
then include the picture when creating a brochure.
With a digital camera, you can take pictures and transfer the photo graphed image to
the computer, instead of storing the images on traditional film. A PC camera is a
digital video camera attached to a computer. A PC camera allows home users to
create a movie and take digital still photographs on their computer. With a PC
camera, you also can have a video telephone call — where someone can see you
while communicating with you.

Output Devices
An output device is any hardware component that can convey information to a user.
Three commonly used output devices are a printer, a monitor, and speakers (see
Figure 1-3 on the previous page).
A printer produces text and graphics on a physical medium such as paper or
transparency film. A monitor, which looks like a television screen, displays text,
graphics, and video information. Speakers allow you to hear music, voice, and other
sounds generated by the computer.

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System Unit
The system unit, sometimes called a chassis, is a box-like case made from metal or
plastic that protects the internal electronic components of the computer from damage
(see Figure 1-3). The circuitry in the system unit usually is part of or is connected to a
circuit board called the motherboard.
Two main components on the motherboard are the central processing unit and
memory. The central processing unit (CPU), also called a processor, is the electronic
device that interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate the
computer.
During processing, the processor places instructions to be executed and data
needed by those instructions into memory. Memory is a temporary holding place for
data and instructions.
Both the processor and memory consist of chips. A chip is an electronic device that
contains many microscopic pathways that carry electrical current. Chips, which
usually are no bigger than one-half inch square, are packaged so they can be
attached to a motherboard or other circuit board.
Some computer components, such as the processor, memory, and most storage
devices, are internal and reside inside the system unit. Other components, such as
the key board, mouse, microphone, monitor, printer, scanner, digital camera, and PC
camera, usually are located outside the system unit. These devices are considered
external. A peripheral is any external device that attaches to the system unit.

Storage Devices
Storage holds data, instructions, and information for future use. Storage differs from
memory, in that it can hold these items permanently. Memory, by contrast, holds
items only temporarily while the processor interprets and executes instructions.
A storage medium (media is the plural) is the physical material on which a computer
keeps data, instructions, and information. A storage device records and retrieves
items to and from a storage medium. Storage devices often function as a source of
input because they transfer items from storage into memory.
Common storage devices are a floppy disk drive, a Zip® drive, a hard disk drive, a
CD-ROM drive, a CD-RW drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and a DVD+RW drive. A drive is
a device that reads from and may write on a storage medium. This media includes
floppy disks, Zip® disks, hard disks, and compact discs.
A floppy disk consists of a thin, circular, flexible disk enclosed in rigid plastic. A floppy
disk stores data, instructions, and information using magnetic patterns. You insert
and remove a floppy disk into and from a floppy disk drive (Figure 1-5). A Zip® disk is
a higher capacity disk that can store the equivalent of up to 170 standard floppy
disks.
A hard disk provides much greater storage capacity than a floppy disk. A hard disk
usually consists of several circular platters that store items electronically. These disks
are enclosed in an airtight, sealed case, which often is housed inside the system unit
.Some hard disks are removable, which enables you to insert and remove the hard
disk from a hard disk drive, much like a floppy disk . Removable disks are enclosed
in plastic or metal cartridges so you can remove them from the drive. The advantage
of removable media such as a floppy disk and removable hard disk is you can take
the media out of the computer and transport or secure it.
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A compact disc is a flat, round, portable medium that stores data using microscopic
pits, which are created by a laser light. One type of compact disc is a CD-ROM,
which you can access using a CD-ROM drive. A Picture CD is a special type of CD-
ROM that stores digital versions of photographs for consumers.
A variation of the standard CD-ROM is the rewriteable CD, or CD-RW. In addition to
accessing data, you also can erase and store data on a CD-RW. To use a CD-RW,
you need a CD-RW drive. Another type of compact disc is a DVD-ROM, which has
tremendous storage capacities — enough for a full-length movie. To use a DVD-
ROM, you need a DVD drive (Figure 1-8). A variation of the standard DYD-ROM is
the rewriteable DYD, or DVD+RW.
Some devices, such as digital cameras, use miniature storage media (Figure 1-9).
PC Cards and memory cards are popular types of miniature storage media. You then
can transfer the items, such as the digital photographs, from the media to your
computer using a device called a card reader.

Communications Devices
Communications devices enable computer users to communicate and to exchange
items such as data, instructions, and information with another computer.
A modem is a communications device that enables computers to communicate
usually via telephone lines or cable. Modems are available as both external and
internal devices.
Communications devices, such as modems, allow you to establish a connection
between two computers and transmit items over transmission media, such as cables,
telephone lines, or satellites.

Why Is A Computer So Powerful?


A computer derives its power from its capability of performing the information
processing cycle operations (input, process, output, and storage) with amazing
speed, reliability, and accuracy; storing huge amounts of data and information; and
communicating with other computers.

Speed
In the system unit, operations occur through electronic circuits. When data,
instructions, and information flow along these circuits, they travel at close to the
speed of light. This allows billions of operations to be carried out in a single second.

Reliability
The electronic components in modern computers are dependable because they have
a low failure rate. The high reliability of the components enables the computer to pro
duce consistent results.

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Accuracy
Computers can process large amounts of data and generate error- free results,
provided the data is entered correctly and the program works properly. If data is
inaccurate, the resulting output will be incorrect. A computing phrase — known as
garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) points out that the accuracy of a computer’s output
depends on the accuracy of the input.

Storage
Many computers can store enormous amounts of data and make this data available
for processing anytime it is needed. Using current storage devices, the computer can
transfer data quickly from storage to memory, process it, and then store it again for
future use.

Communications
Most computers today have the capability of communicating with other computers.
Computers with this capability can share any of the four information processing cycle
operations — input, process, output, and storage — with another computer. For
example, two computers connected by a communications device such as a modem
can share stored data, instructions, and information.
When two or more computers are connected together via communications media and
devices, they form a network. The most widely known net work is the Internet.

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IT Trends

New Trends in IT
Computer became the no 1 reason for the concept of Globalization. With the
computer networks and the evolution of the technologies new aspects came to like
Internet and Multimedia.
We know because of the Internet entire world has become a Global Village. Well be
discussing about the Internet and its evolution in detail during this course. Now we’ll
focus a little about Multimedia.
Multimedia introduces exciting new communication possibilities to computing in
general and mixed with the power of Internet provides imaginative new opportunities
that were unthinkable even a few years ago.
Multimedia is commonly used for information, education and entertainment. The
industrial giants in Telecommunications and Entertainment industries are committing
huge investments in the Multimedia Technology and its applications. ‘Multimedia’
became an over-used word in the 1990s, and has evolved into many new forms.
Several such applications will be briefed below.
• Networked multimedia
• Internet and Intranets
• Virtual Reality

Networked Multimedia
Networked Multimedia combines both computing and telecommunications together
with Multimedia features. It highlights the following elements:
Features of Networked Multimedia
• Multiple users
• Multiple processes
• Independent control
• Conversational environment
• Support of all media types
• Fully integrated environments
• Transparent interface
• Near-instantaneous response
• Real time storage and retrieval

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Uses of Networked Multimedia


• Sending messages
• e-Learning — on-line access to tutors
• e-Business — viewing items on sale over a network and the communication
of the transaction
• Processing — manipulating information from one form e.g. moving video into
another e.g. still pictures for storage and transmission
• Meetings — enabling participants at different locations not only to see and
hear each other but also view documents in test, graphics and video formats.
• Project Management — using videoconferencing facilities it is possible for
project teams to discuss issues, share information and reach decisions.
• Consulting — in business and in medicine clients can be interviewed remotely
by experts saving the cost and time and inconvenience of travel.
• Monitoring — video images for security and other purposes can be
manipulated at a
• Central position.

Internet and Intranets-Internet


The principle uses of the Internet are:
• Remote log in (through telnet)
• File Transfer (through ftp)
• Electronic mail (or e-mail)
• Network news (newsgroups or Bulletin Boards — BBS)
• Real-time communications (Internet Relay Chat)
• Information systems (principally the World Wide Web — is a common
interface for all above services)
Most modern web sites use Multimedia to enhance services related to the above
Principles.

Intranet
Intranet is an internal, corporate network using the same basic architecture, protocols
and applications as the Internet.
As web pages are non-platform specific, corporations can use them to disseminate
information throughout the world without worrying about which platform their
employees will use to visit the site. Specifically, intranets use the applications that
have developed around the WWW and offer seamless integration between corporate
networks and the Internet itself.

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Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is an extension of multimedia — it uses the basic multimedia
elements of imagery, sound and animation. YR can be regarded as the ultimate form
of interactive multimedia.
• The technology of VR provides a far more dynamic interface and 3D
environments which attempts to place the user ‘inside’ a life-like experience
• VR requires considerable processing power to provide realistic images, since
computer generated worlds, objects and their relationships are defined
mathematically.
• In VR, the ‘cyberspace’ is made up of many thousands of geometric objects
plotted in 3Dimensional space. These objects are subject to constant
recalculation and redisplay according to the changes in view brought about by
the actions of the user. Thousands of computations must occur as fast as 30
times per second to provide smooth movements
• Levels of realism can be enhanced by applying techniques of lighting,
shading and texturing.
• Using high-speed, dedicated computers, multi-million-dollar flight simulators
have led the way in commercial application of YR. Pilots of F-16s, Boeing
777s, and space shuttles have made many dry runs before doing the real
thing.

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CHAPTER 3

History of Computers

History of Computer Technology

• Digital computer grounded in ideas from 1700’s & 1800’s

• Computer technology became available in the 1940’s and 1950’s

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Classification of Computers
Classification of Computers we can basically divide in to 3 sections. Based on
generation, size and data representation.

Generations: 1 to 5

Generation & Time Period

First Generation 1946 — 1956


Use of vacuum tubes, large, limited memory, jobs execution coordinated manually,
and speed up to 10,000

Second Generation 1957— 1963


Use of transistors, more reliable, less heat generation, less power requirement,
speed 200,000 - 300,000

Third Generation 1964 — 1979


• Use of Integrated Circuits (ICS) by printing hundreds and thousands of tiny
transistors on to small silicon chips
• Speed up to 5 Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS)
• Use of operating systems that automated the running of programs &
communications between CPU & peripheral devices.
• Availability of hardware independent programming.

Fourth Generation 1980s


Use of LS1 & VLSI circuits, costs fallen to a very low level, large memory & storage,
speed up to 200 MIPS

Fifth Generation
5 generation computers will be Artificial Intelligence Systems called Al computers,
which simulate the human brain. Expert systems also fall into this category.

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Size: Micro, Mini, Mainframe, Super

Micro Computers
A microcomputer is a complete computer on a smaller scale and is generally a
synonym for the more common term, personal computer or PC, a computer designed
for an individual. A microcomputer contains a microprocessor (a central processing
unit on a microchip), memory in the form of read-only memory and random access
memory, I/O ports and a bus or system of interconnecting wires, housed in a unit that
is usually called a motherboard.

In an ascending hierarchy of general computer sizes, we find:

• An embedded systems programming computer, which is embedded in


something and doesn't support direct human interaction but nevertheless
meets all the other criteria of a microcomputer
• Microcomputer
• workstation, as used to mean a more powerful personal computer for special
applications
• minicomputer, now restyled a "mid-range server"
• mainframe or mainframe computer, which is now usually referred to by its
manufacturers as a "large server"
• Supercomputer, formerly almost a synonym for "Cray supercomputer" but
now meaning a very large server and sometimes including a system of
computers using parallel processing
• A parallel processing system is a system of interconnected computers that
work on the same application together, sharing tasks that can be performed
concurrently

Mini Computers
A minicomputer, a term no longer much used, is a computer of a size intermediate
between a microcomputer and a mainframe. Typically, minicomputers have been
stand-alone computers (computer systems with attached terminals and other
devices) sold to small and mid-size businesses for general business applications and
to large enterprises for department-level operations. In recent years, the
minicomputer has evolved into the "mid-range server" and is part of a network. IBM's
AS/400e is a good example.

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IBM RS/6000 Mini Computer

Mainframes
Mainframe is an industry term for a large computer, typically manufactured by a large
company such as IBM for the commercial applications of Fortune 1000 businesses
and other large-scale computing purposes. Historically, a mainframe is associated
with centralized rather than distributed computing. Today, IBM refers to its larger
processors as large servers and emphasizes that they can be used to serve
distributed users and smaller servers in a computing network.

A Mainframe

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Super Computers
A supercomputer is a computer that performs at or near the currently highest
operational rate for computers. A supercomputer is typically used for scientific and
engineering applications that must handle very large databases or do a great amount
of computation (or both). At any given time, there are usually a few well-publicized
supercomputers that operate at the very latest and always incredible speeds. The
term is also sometimes applied to far slower (but still impressively fast) computers.
Most supercomputers are really multiple computers that perform parallel processing.
In general, there are two parallel processing approaches: symmetric multiprocessing
(SMP) and massively parallel processing (MPP).

Perhaps the best-known builder of supercomputers has been Cray Research, now a
part of Silicon Graphics. Some supercomputers are at "supercomputer center,"
usually university research centers, some of which, in the United States, are
interconnected on an Internet backbone known as vBNS or NSFNet. This network is
the foundation for an evolving network infrastructure known as the National
Technology Grid. Internet2 is a university-led project that is part of this initiative.

At the high end of supercomputing are computers like IBM's "Blue Pacific,"
announced on October 29, 1998. Built in partnership with Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California. Blue Pacific is reported to operated at 3.9 teraflop
(trillion operations per second), 15,000 times faster than the average personal
computer. It consists of 5,800 processors containing a total of 2.6 trillion bytes of
memory and interconnected with five miles of cable. It was built to simulate the
physics of a nuclear explosion. IBM is also building an academic supercomputer for
the San Diego Supercomputer Center that will operate at 1 teraflop. It's based on
IBM's RISC System/6000 and the AIX operating system and will have 1,000
microprocessors with IBM's own POWER3 chip.

At the lower end of supercomputing, a new trend, called clustering, suggests more of
a build-it-yourself approach to supercomputing. The Beowulf Project offers guidance
on how to "strap together" a number of off-the-shelf personal computer processors,
using Linux operating systems, and interconnecting the processors with Fast
Ethernet. Applications must be written to manage the parallel processing.

A Super Computer

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Data Representation: Analog, Digital, Hybrid.

Analog Computer

An analog computer operates in a completely opposite way to the digital computer.


For a start, all operations in an analog computer are performed in parallel. Secondly,
data are represented in an analog computer as voltages, a very compact but not
necessarily robust form of storage (prone to noise corruption). A single capacitor
(equivalent to the Digital’s computer use of a transistor) in an analog computer can
represent one continuous variable.

Educational Analog Computer, introduced in 1960 by Heathkit.

The Heathkit Educational Analog Computer is completely self-contained and contains


nine DC operational amplifiers with provision for balancing without removing problem
setup. It also features three initial condition power supplies, five coefficient
potentiometers, four sets of relay contacts, an electronically regulated power supply
and a built-in repetitive oscillator for automatic operation. The complete EC-1 kit also
contains an assortment of precision resistors, capacitors, special silicon diodes and
patch cords for setting up scores of complex computer problems easily and
accurately.

Digital Computer

The digital computer is a sequential device, in general, operating on data one step at
a time; in addition the digital computer represents data internally using a quite
verbose but very robust form of representation called binary. Thus a single transistor
in a digital computer can only store two states, on and off. Obviously to store a
number to any sensible degree of precision, many transistors are required.

Hybrid Computer
A computer that processes both analog and digital data.
A Hybrid Computer is a combination of computers that are capable of inputting and
outputting in both digital and analog signals. A hybrid computer system setup offers a
cost effective method of performing complex simulations.
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Purpose: Special, General


Depending on the purpose we can categorize the computers mainly on to two.

Special Purpose Computers


Special Purpose Computers are used for special purposes like scientific researches,
atomic weapon researches, designing sophisticated vehicles, weather forecasting
etc.
Normally super computers comes under special purpose computers as we discussed
earlier.

General Purpose Computers


General Purpose Computers are the normal computers we are using.

Micro Computer PCs (XT to PIV)

History of the Motherboard


Before starting to look at the motherboard inn detail it is worthwhile examining the
g\history of its development over the years. Motherboards have changed radically in
order to accommodate the latest developments in technology such as new CPUs,
different types of memory, different expansion buses (and cards), and to some
extend to meet the need for smaller system units.

Looking back, the earliest computers were often produced as kits aims at hobbyist
and electronic enthusiast. With these kits the electrical components were installed
using a commercial board approach with the manually soldered components. The
customer essentially built the computer according to a set of assembly instructions
and standard components.

As computer design and manufacturing technique developed, computers began to


incorporate a separate simple circuit board with a logical layout for placing the
electrical components. This was basically the first motherboard and led to the
development of chip sockets and components pinholes wit an etched circuit. This
enables a production assembly line of workers to manually insert and solder all
discrete parts in place.

With the development of new manufacturing techniques such as wave soldering and
machines for large-scale automation of components installation quantity and
production rates improved. With the rapid development of manufacturing technique to
increase the no\umber of transistors per chip offered by Large Scale Integration (LSI)
and then Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI), motherboard design has evolved to
the point where the number of physical components required for a system has been
reduced dramatically.

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When IBM introduced the first popular PC 5150 in 1981, the motherboard contained
a large number of memory chips conventionally taking up a larger part of the
motherboard surface area. Other semiconductors devices were installed in a simple
row format alone with an extends system bus offering five 8 bit ISA standard
expansion card slots.

The physical size of these early motherboard was largely a reflection of the number
of chips supported and design of bus and peripheral ports. The original motherboard
used in the PC 5150 had over 100 Integrated Circuit (IC) chips and naturally the
introduced of LSI and VSLI led to a reduction of the number of support chips
required. This physical size and the layout of major components are termed as a
board from factor and as we shall see later, are used in identifying difficulty types of
motherboard.

The first real standard motherboard was introduced with the IBM PC XT in 1983. The
number of expansion slots was increased from five to eight, with less space allotted
between the slots. This motherboard set a standard for board design and was taken
up by many other PC manufactures in the transition to 16 bit processing; the form
factory this board become known as the Baby-AT.

In 1984, IBM brought out a new 16-bit processor PC called the IBM PC AT. This
used a large physical size from factor boars then the Baby At and was called Full
Size AT.

This broad has eight bit slots, with six of those having a slot extension to support 16
bit PC cards.

Many IBM compatible suppliers incorporating the 16 bit features of the Full Size AT
board manufactured the Baby-AT board. These boards were so similar that the Baby-
AT could easily replace the Full Size AT board as an upgrade. Both boards initially
had a single 5 pin DIN keyboard connectors mounted on the motherboard with a hole
in the computer chassis rear panel to provide access. The 5-pin DIN keyboard socket
on this motherboard was eventually replaced with a mini-DIN 6-pin PS/2 type
keyboard socket before this motherboard design was eventually superseded.

During 1987 Western Digital created new motherboard from faction called the LPX
and mini-LPX. These boards were fro incorporation slim-line or low profile computers.

A major difference with this motherboard is that PC expansion cards cannot be


installed vertically because of the limited computer casing height. Instead these
boards have a single system bus slot on the motherboard from which a special
extender card or riser card is mounted at right angles. The riser card has built-in
expansion slot and supports PC expression card mounted horizontally.

LPX or Mini-LPX from factor motherboards can easily be recognized, external to a


computer by the use of horizontal chassis opening for expanses slots on a desktop or
vertical slots when the motherboard is mounted in a tower computer case. An LPX
board has two PS/2 type connectors (one fro the keyboard and one for a mouse)
mounted on the motherboard with two 9 pin serial sockets and single parallel
sockets.

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Another from factor motherboard, called the NLX is very similar to the board to be
used in PCs until the mid to late 1990s. By then a new motherboard from factor
called ATX began to replace the Baby-AT.

In 1997 Intel introduced a new motherboard from factor called ATX. Combining build
and components qualities from both the Baby-AT and LPX boards with new boards
design features; this motherboard is the basis for the current most popular standard.
It is also has the new 20 pin power supply connectors with supplied +3.3.V for
processor supply.

Because of the advances in VLSI motherboard manufactures have been able to save
a considerable amount of space in their designs. This extra many of the functions,
such as video audio and new networking that previously required additional
expansion card.

Just as with the original AT deign many manufacturers have introduced a compact
version of the ATX format motherboard called the Mini ATX. With the integration of
more and more functions onto the motherboard the need for expansion slots has
deceased. Therefore instead of providing seven expansion slot as with the ATX from
factor the Mini ATX motherboard typically has just three or four factories the Mini
means that the Mini ATX motherboard can be filtered in to cheaper more compact
system unit cases. The major drawback of the Mini ATX from memory slot and only
allow one or two Dual In-Line Memory Modules (DIMMs) to be installed.

Identifying the from factors of a motherboard can be quite difficult, although most
manufactures will lable product to aid identification. Naturally any motherboard
document should clearly state the from factor.

Intel Processors: Now and Then


There might come a time when you will have to replace or upgrade a processor in
order to fix a problem. Listed below are details and characteristics of some of the
most popular chips from Intel and other manufacturers.

8088
This is the chip found in most of the IBM XT-class machines. The 8088 came in a 40-
pin DIP package. Translated, this means the 8088 is a small, rectangular chip with
two rows of 20 pins each. The original speed of this chip was 5MHz. Later versions
reached a top speed of about 8MHz.

80286
Introduced in 1981 by Intel, this chip became the mainstay of the AT-class
computers. The chip itself was packaged in a square called a Pin Grid Array (PGA)
instead of a rectangle.
The chip contained about 130,000 transistors -- about 100,000 more than the 8088.

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80386
The 80386 was introduced to the market in 1985 and came in two different types: DX
and SX. This chip was also packaged in the PGA configuration. The 80386 contained
250,000 transistors and also provided features like multitasking of DOS programs
and a 32-bit data path. The 32-bit data path was available only in the DX version,
while the SX version had a 16-bit data path. This made the SX more compatible with
the 80286 computer and hardware.

80486
The 80486 chip was actually a “beefed-up” version of the 80386. The 486 processor
was a composite of three other chips. The 80486 consisted of a 386 chip, a 385
cache controller and a 387 math co-processor. The 486 contained about 1.25 million
transistors and 8k of internal cache memory. It provided a 32- bit data path and a
built-in math co-processor. Like the 80386, the 80486 came in two types: the DX and
SX. The 80486 SX had all the features of the DX version minus the math co
processor. Actually, the math co-processor was still on-board but disabled in the SX
version.

80486DX2
To understand the 80486DX2, it is important to understand another Intel creation
designed to increase system speed: the “Overdrive” chip. The Overdrive chip could
run at two clock speeds simultaneously. If the chip was placed on a 486SX1 25MHz
system board, it was placed in the socket for the co processor chip and took over for
the 486SX chip. When data was passed through the Bus or memory, it was done at
the speed of the processor; in this case 25MHz. This is referred to as the external
clock speed. All the internal calculations were done at twice the 25MHz speed, at
50MHz. The 80486DX2 is very similar to the Overdrive chip in that it runs at a certain
external speed “X MHz” but performs all internal calculations at “two times X.”

80486DX4
The plot thickens. DX4 chips used a technology developed by IBM called Clock
Tripler (nicknamed “Blue Lightning”). Under an agreement with Intel, IBM
manufactured 486 chips using the Intel mask. Using their own Clock Tripler
technology, IBM took an Intel 486DX 25MHz chip and increased its speed to
approximately 75MHz.
Intel followed suit and announced the 80486DX/99MHz chip. This chip would run
external speeds of 331VIHz and perform internal calculations at 99MHz.

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Pentium
In 1993 Intel introduced the Pentium processor. The initial market response was not
overwhelming, but the Pentium has now become the standard for personal
computers sold today. The Pentium processor contains over 3 million transistors and
provides a 64- bit data path.
The first generation of Pentium chips were subject to heat problems. Computers not
designed to deal with high temperatures tended to experience high failure rates.
Newer versions of the Pentium chip were designed to run cooler. System boards and
internal components were also designed to cope with the higher temperatures.
The Pentium chips will run both internal calculations and external processing at the
same speed. Another unique feature of the Pentium chip is the cache. The Pentium
has two 8KB caches: one that is used for program code and another used for data
cache. The Pentium chip was also designed to be fault tolerant, something Intel
refers to as “superscalar.” This feature is only functional when the Pentium chip is
installed on a system board that will support multiple processors. Fault tolerance
simply means that when two processors are present on the system board, the
second chip takes over if the first chip fails.

Pentium Pro
The Pentium Pro processor has a different look and design than the other chips. It is
the first Intel processor to combine Level1(L1) and Level 2 (L2) cache in the same
package as the CPU. The Pentium Pro processor is a dual-chip configuration that
houses the Pentium Pro CPU on one side of the dual-cavity package and the L2
cache memory on the other. According to Intel, this simplifies system design and
saves space. The
Pentium Pro processor has about 21 million transistors in total. The CPU core has
5.5 million transistors and the L2 cache has 15.5 million. The Pentium Pro was
designed to support multiple Pentium Pro processors connected in parallel. The
Pentium Pro is a true 32-bit processor. It operates at speeds of 200MHz.

MMX Technology
The MMX technology is based on a new set of instructions that are built into Intel’s
Pentium microprocessors. This new instruction set enables the chip to efficiently
process video and audio data. Prior to the MMX technology, multimedia operations,
in video and sound, had to be handled by separate components like sound cards and
enhanced video boards. These same functions can now be managed by the
processor.
MMX chips’ internal memory (cache memory) has doubled in size (32KB). This is the
area in memory that holds recently accessed data. It is designed to speed up
subsequent requests to this data. This means that more instructions and data can be
stored internally in the chip, reducing the number of times the processor has to
access slower external memory. Most multimedia applications run dramatically faster
and smoother. To really get the most out of the new MMX chip, you must run the
enhanced MMX applications that have been written to exploit the true power of the
technology.

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Pentium II

The Pentium II processor is available in speeds from 233MHz to 450MHz. It utilizes


the innovative 0.25 micron manufacturing process that enables these CPUs to
include over 7.5 million transistors. This results in more power in less space. The
processor core is packaged in the Single Edge Contact (SEC) cartridge enabling
ease of design and flexible motherboard architecture. The processor also includes
MMX technology. The Dual Independent Bus (DIB) architecture increases bandwidth
and performance over single-bus processors.

Pentium III
The new Intel Pentium III processor is groundbreaking in terms of graphics
capabilities. The chip has been built to exploit many of the new and expanding 3-D
graphic images and their manipulation. The following are some of the highlights of
the Pentium III.
Added 70 new instruction sets for enhanced graphics, video and sound. The Pentium
III processor introduced a new processor instruction set called Streaming SIMD
Extensions (SSE). Single-instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) was the instruction set
used by the MMX processor to improve multimedia performance. The Pentium III
SSE instruction set was designed to further enhance multimedia performance.
An embedded serial number to help companies with an inventory of computers. This
feature will also enhance on line security transactions. Although it also raises some
very serious privacy concerns.
Clock speeds in excess of 800 Mhz.

Pentium IV
Pentium 4 (P4) is the Intel processor (codenamed Willamette) that was released in
November 2000. The P4 processor has a viable clock speed that now exceeds 2
gigahertz (GHz) - as compared to the 1 GHz of the Pentium 3.

P4 had the first totally new chip architecture since the 1995 Pentium Pro. The major
difference involved structural changes that affected the way processing takes place
within the chip, something Intel calls NetBurst microarchitecture. Aspects of the
changes include: a 20-stage pipeline, which boosts performance by increasing
processor frequency; a rapid-execution engine, which doubles the core frequency
and reduces latency by enabling each instruction to be executed in a half (rather than
a whole) clock cycle; a 400 MHz system bus, which enables transfer rates of 3.2
gigabytes per second (GBps); an execution trace cache, which optimizes cache
memory efficiency and reduces latency by storing decoded sequences of micro-
operations; and improved floating point and multimedia unit and advanced dynamic
execution, all of which enable faster processing for especially demanding
applications, such as digital video, voice recognition, and online gaming.

P4's main competition for processor market share is the AMD Athlon processor.

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Celeron
The Celeron is Intel’s entry into the low-end microprocessor market. It is based on
the same architecture as the Pentium II. However, it lacks some of the performance
features of the Pentium II family. The newest of the Celeron CPUs include an Li and
L2 on-board cache. This configuration means that the cache is actually accessed at
the same clock speed as the processor operates. When comparing the Celeron’s L2
cache to the Pentium II’s cache you will find it somewhat smaller (i28 KB) as
compared to the Pentium II’s (512 KB) cache. However, since the Celeron’s cache is
built in and the Pentium’s is not, their effective L2 speeds are roughly the same. The
Celeron processor supports clock speeds up to 466 MHz and can be mounted in a
Slot 1 motherboard. Intel is marketing this chip for the entry level PC, capable of
providing performance solutions geared to the home and light business use.

Itanium Processor
The Itanium processor, formerly known as the Merced IA- 64, is unique with its Slot
M configuration and L3 cache. The L3 cache is small in physical size and is not
located on-board the chip itself but is bundled instead within the processor package.
Currently there are two flavors: the 800 MHz and 1000MHz versions.

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Motorola Chip Family


The Motorola chip set is not quite as well known in the PC market as Intel. For the
most part, it is associated with the Apple computer line.

68000
Introduced in 1979, the 68000 chip is closely associated with the Apple computer.
The 68000 chip employed a 32- bit design and used a 16-bit data Bus. The 68000
was far ahead of Intel’s efforts at the time.

68010
In 1982, Motorola introduced the 68010 chip. The major difference between the
68000 and the 68010 was the addition of virtual memory support. This chip also
incorporated internal cache which made the processing of sub-routines much faster.
This chip did not find widespread use in the computer world but was used extensively
in Motorola’s component division.

68020
This chip was introduced in 1984 as the first full 32-bit chip in the Motorola line. The
68020 had the ability to access 4 GB of RAM and utilized floating point processing
capabilities. It was used in the Macintosh II and found widespread use in
minicomputers as well.

68030
Introduced to the market in 1987, the 68030 had all the features of the 68020 plus
demand page memory management. Other enhancements to the chip also increased
the speed of the chip. It was used most widely used in the Macintosh II series of
computers.

68040
In 1989, Motorola’s answer to Intel’s 486 was the 68040.
However, the 68040 did not gain the market share that Intel’s486 enjoyed.

Power PC
Apple, IBM and Motorola all joined together to develop the PowerPC family of chips.
PowerPC stands for Performa2 Optimization with Enhanced RISC. Currently Apple
incorporates the chip in its PowerMac series of computers. This chip can also be
used in everything from laptops to computers functioning as servers.

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Other Chips

Cyrix
Cyrix (SYE-rihks) is a family of low-end, low-cost microprocessors intended for
personal computers and personal information devices. Cyrix competes with Intel in
the low-cost, low-end market for PC microprocessors. Typically, Cyrix has been able
to under-price Intel for comparable low-end microprocessors.
Cyrix began making semiconductors in 1988. Its first product was a math
coprocessor. About 1992, it introduced its first microprocessors that would handle the
instruction set specified by Intel’s 486 microprocessors.

AMD K6
The AMD K6 is AMD’s answer to the Intel Pentium series of microprocessors.
Although it is considerably less expensive than the Pentium II processors, according
to many industry based benchmarks the K6 has slightly better performance. The KG
has 64K of Li and L2 cache. The K6 processor can be mounted in a Socket 7 based
motherboard.
AMD offers multiple K6 versions which support a 66 MHz bus and operate at clock
speeds starting at 166 MHz. There is also a 266 version, referred to as the K6+. The
K6+ (266) operates at about 2.5 volts of power at a very low heat output making it an
ideal candidate for the laptop computing market.

K7 (Athlon)
The K7 processor was the first AMD product to support a 200 MHz bus and to reach
a 1 Gigahertz (one billion) clock speed. The K7 classification was actually the
development name for the Athlon processor. Compaq and Gateway are among
companies that manufacture computers that include the 1 GHz Athlon. As the
successor to AMD’s K6 microprocessor the K7 compares favorably to Intel’s Pentium
III. The K7 has a 128 KB Li and L2 cache that is built into the chip itself, significantly
increasing performance.

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CHAPTER 4

Architecture of Computers

Von Neuman Architecture (1946)


Instructions and data are stored in the same memory for which there is a single link
(the von Neumann bottleneck) to the CPU which decodes and executes instructions.
The CPU can have multiple functional units.

The memory access can be enhanced by use of caches made from faster memory to
allow greater bandwidth and lower latency.

J. Presper Eckert Jr. and John Mauchly were the first to develop the von Neuman
architecture. John von Neumann wrote "First Draft of a Report to the EDVAC"
describing the ideas of a stored memory computer. The complicated story is
described in the wonder history of computers "Engines of the Mind" by Joel Shurkin.
Johann (John) von Neumann (1903-1957)

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Basic Functions of a Computer


A computer is collection of electronic parts(hardware) that gathers, processes and
relays information. Some of the parts can be separated in to two categories: input
and output devices.

Input Devices
Input Devices, such as keyboard, mouse, light pen, etc., collect information provided
by the user and convert it in to electronic signals for further processing.

Output Devices
Output Devices, such as the monitor, a speaker, or a printer, convert electronic
information in to some kind of format that the user understands. Outputs take the
form of images on the screen or paper, or sounds.

Inputs are converted in to electronic signals which are sent to the CPU or Central
Processing Unit (CPU) for processing. The CPU processes all communication along
the various components of the PC. Once the task is completed, the CPU relays
information to the user by means of an output device and waits for more input. This
cycle is repeated continuously.

INPUT CPU OUTPUT


RAM

Keyboard Monitor
Mouse Printer
Light pen Speakers

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Booting Process

Booting the Computer


The PC boot process starts when a small program within the BIOS chip looks for an
active partition and loads the operating system. There are two methods for booting a
computer: cold and warm booting.

Cold Boot
Cold booting occurs when the computer’s power switch is turned on. The effect of a
cold boot is that it brings the system to the very beginning of the boot process,
beginning with the POST. This may become necessary when the computer stops
responding to any commands, including warm boots.

Warm Boot
A warm boot bypasses the first two system tests and goes directly to the bootstrap
loader (the point where DOS loads). A warm boot is triggered by pressing the Ctrl,
Alt, and Del keys at the same time.
CTRL + ALT + DEL
Rebooting the computer should be used only as a last resort. Any information in open
application files could be lost when rebooting takes place.

Creating Boot Disks


Every once in a blue moon your system may refuse to boot. There are numerous
reasons that could cause this. If you are prepared with an emergency boot disk for
such an occasion, you will save yourself a lot of anxious moments
The steps for preparing a boot disk are as follows:
1. Format a floppy disk using the IS switch. Put a blank diskette into your floppy
drive.
2. Type format A: /S
3. Copy the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files to the newly
4. /S-formatted disk.
5. Copy any files and drivers that are essential to the boot process such as
IO.SYS, COMMAND.COM and other files necessary for your particular
system.

Label the disk appropriately and write protect it by flipping the black switch on the
bottom of the diskette. Store the disk in a safe and readily accessible spot.

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By default, every time the computer is started, it searches in drive A for a bootable
floppy disk. In the event that the hard drive does not boot, you are able to access the
system from drive A. This allows you the opportunity to look for the problem.

Basic Concepts of Hardware, Software, and Liveware

Total Computer System

Hardware Software Liveware

All the tangible parts Software is a general People


of the computer term for the various kinds who
called as Hardware. of programs used to operate operates
computers and related devices. the
computer.
Software we can Eg:
basically divide Data Entry
in to 2 parts. Operators,
Graphic
Designers,
etc.

System Software.
Eg: Operating Systems.
Windows , Unix , Linux , Novell

Application Software

Application software basically focuses on specific work.


Eg:
Word Processing
Microsoft Word 2000
Spreadsheet
Microsoft Excel 2000
Presentation
Microsoft PowerPoint 2000

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System Software

Computer Software
Software, also called a computer program or simply a program, is a series of
instructions that tells the hardware of a computer what to do. Some instructions allow
you to input data from the keyboard and direct the computer to store the data in
memory. Other instructions cause data in memory to be used in calculations such as
adding a series of numbers to obtain a total. Some instructions compare two values
in memory and direct the computer to perform alternative operations based on the
results of the comparison. Other instructions direct the computer to print a report,
display information on the monitor, draw a color picture on the monitor, or store
information on a disk.
A computer carries out, or executes, the instructions in a pro gram by first placing, or
loading, the instructions into the memory of the computer. Usually, the computer
loads the instructions from storage into memory. For example, each time a program
executes, it might load from the hard disk into memory.
When you purchase a program, such as one shown in Figure 1-11, you typically
receive media such as a - CD-ROM(s) or a DYD-ROM that contains the software.
Some programs can load into memory directly from the media. With other programs,
you must install a part or all of the soft ware on the computer’s hard disk before you
can use the program. Some programs also require you to insert the media, such as a
CD-ROM, into the drive while you use, or run, the program. Others do not. Figure 1-
12 shows the steps a user may follow to run a computer program that allows you to
create a greeting card. This program requires a CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive.
When you buy a computer, it usually has some software pre installed on its hard disk.
This enables you to use the computer as soon as you set it up.
Software is the key to productive use of computers. With the proper software, a
computer can become a valuable tool. The two categories of software are system
software and application software. The following pages describe these categories of
software.

System Software
System software consists of the programs that control the operations of the computer
and its devices. sys tem software serves as the interface between the user, the
application software, and the computer’s hard ware. Two types of system software
are the operating system and utility programs.

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Operating System
An operating system (OS) is a set of programs containing instructions that
coordinate all the activities among computer hardware devices. The operating
system also contains instructions that allow you to run application software. Many of
today’s computers use Microsoft’s most recent operating system, called Windows
XP.
When you start a computer, the operating system loads into memory from the
computer’s hard disk. It remains in memory while the computer is running and allows
you to communicate with the computer and other software.

Utility Programs
A utility program is a type of system soft ware that performs a specific task, usually
related to managing a computer, its devices, or its programs. An example of a utility
program is an uninstaller, which removes a program that has been installed on a
computer. Most operating systems include several utility programs for managing disk
drives, printers, and other devices. You also can buy stand-alone utility programs,
which allow you to perform additional computer management functions.

Language Translators
The programs written by using a computer programming language should be
converted to the machine code in order to run the program correctly and to get the
wanted output. Computer programming languages are in human understandable for
mat and machine code cannot be understood by human.
Converting Human readable format computer programs in to machine readable
format is done by Language Translators.

Translators we can basically divide in to two parts called Compilers and Interpreters.
The main difference between these two is the way that they convert the Computer
programming language to machine language.

Compiler
A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular
programming language and turns them into machine language or "code" that a
computer's processor uses. Typically, a programmer writes language statements in a
language such as Pascal or C one line at a time using an editor. The file that is
created contains what are called the source statements. The programmer then runs
the appropriate language compiler, specifying the name of the file that contains the
source statements.

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When executing (running), the compiler first parses (or analyzes) all of the language
statements syntactically one after the other and then, in one or more successive
stages or "passes", builds the output code, making sure that statements that refer to
other statements are referred to correctly in the final code. Traditionally, the output of
the compilation has been called object code or sometimes an object module. (Note
that the term "object" here is not related to object-oriented programming.) The object
code is machine code that the processor can process or "execute" one instruction at
a time.

More recently, the Java programming language, a language used in object-oriented


programming, has introduced the possibility of compiling output (called byte code)
that can run on any computer system platform for which a Java virtual machine or
byte code interpreter is provided to convert the bytecode into instructions that can be
executed by the actual hardware processor. Using this virtual machine, the bytecode
can optionally be recompiled at the execution platform by a just-in-time compiler.

Traditionally in some operating systems, an additional step was required after


compilation - that of resolving the relative location of instructions and data when more
than one object module was to be run at the same time and they cross-referred to
each other's instruction sequences or data. This process was sometimes called
linkage editing and the output known as a load module.

A compiler works with what are sometimes called 3GL and higher-level languages .
An assembler works on programs written using a processor's assembler language.

Interpreter
An interpreter is a computer program that executes other programs. This is in
contrast to a compiler which does not execute its input program (the source code) but
translates it into executable machine code (also called object code) which is output to
a file for later execution. It may be possible to execute the same source code either
directly by an interpreter or by compiling it and then executing the machine code
produced.

It takes longer to run a program under an interpreter than to run the compiled code
but it can take less time to interpret it than the total required to compile and run it.
This is especially important when prototyping and testing code when an edit-
interpret-debug cycle can often be much shorter than an edit-compile-run-debug
cycle.

Interpreting code is slower than running the compiled code because the interpreter
must analyze each statement in the program each time it is executed and then
perform the desired action whereas the compiled code just performs the action. This
run-time analysis is known as "interpretive overhead". Access to variables is also
slower in an interpreter because the mapping of identifiers to storage locations must
be done repeatedly at run-time rather than at compile time.

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DBMS Software
A database is a collection of data organized in a manner that allows access, retrieval,
and use of that data. In a manual database, you might record data on paper and
store it in a filing cabinet. With a computerized database, the computer stores the
data in an electronic format on a storage medium such as a floppy disk or hard disk.

Database software, also called a database management system (DBMS), is software


that allows you to create, access, and manage a database. Using database software,
you can add, change, and delete data in the database; sort and retrieve data from
the database; and create forms and reports using the data in the database.

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Application Software

Application Software
Application software consists of programs that perform specific tasks for users.
Popular application software includes word processing software, spreadsheet
software, data base software, and presentation graphics software. Word processing
software allows you to create documents such as letters, memorandums, and
brochures. Spreadsheet software allows you to calculate numbers arranged in rows
and columns. Users perform financial tasks such as budgeting and forecasting with
spreadsheet software. Database soft ware allows you to store data in an organized
fashion, as well as retrieve, manipulate, and display that data in a variety of formats.
With presentation graphics software, you create documents called slides that add
visual appeal to presentations. Software vendors often bundle and sell these four
applications together as a single unit. This bundle, called a suite, costs much less
than if you purchased the applications individually. Microsoft’s Office XP is a very
popular suite.
Many other types of application software exist that enable users to perform a variety
of tasks. Some widely used applications include the following: reference, education,
and entertainment; desktop publishing; photo and video editing; multimedia
authoring; network, communications, electronic mail (e-mail), and Web browsers;
accounting; project management; and personal information management. Chapter 2
discusses Web browsers and e-mail, and Chapter 3 discusses the other applications.
Application software is available in a variety of forms: packaged, custom, freeware,
public domain, shareware, and from application service providers.

Word Processing
• Microsoft Word
• Corel WordPerfect
• Lotus Word Pro
• Microsoft Pocket Word

Spread Sheet

• Microsoft Excel
• Corel Quattro Pro
• Lotus 1
• Microsoft Pocket Excel

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Database
• Microsoft Access
• Corel Paradox
• Lotus Approach
• Microsoft Visual FoxPro
• Oracle

Presentation Graphics

• Microsoft PowerPoint
• Corel Presentations
• Lotus Freelance Graphics

Personal Information Manager


• Microsoft Outlook
• CorelCENTRAL
• Lotus Organizer
• Palm MultiMail

Software Suite
• Microsoft Office
• Corel WordPerfect Office
• Lotus SmartSuite

Project Management
• Microsoft Project
• Primavera SureTrak Project Manager

Accounting
• Intuit QuickBooks
• Peachtree Col11plete Accounting

Application Packages
Copyrighted application or system software that meets the needs of a wide variety of
users, not just a single user or company, is called packaged software. You can
purchase packaged software from stores that sell computer products . You also can
purchase packaged software from companies on the Internet.

Custom-Made Software
Sometimes a user or company with unique soft ware requirements cannot find
packaged software that meets all its needs. In this case, the person or company can
opt for custom software. Custom software, written by a programmer, is a tailor-made
application or system program developed at a user’s request to perform specific
functions.

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Freeware in Public-Domain

Software and Shareware


Freeware is application or system software provided at no cost to a user by an
individual or a company. Freeware is copyrighted. You cannot resell it as your own.
Public- domain software also is free software, but it has been donated for public use
and has no copyright restrictions.
Shareware is copyrighted software that is distributed free for a trial period. If you
want to use a shareware program beyond that period, you send a payment to the
person or company that developed the program. Companies that develop shareware
rely on the honor system. The company trusts you to send payment if you continue to
use the software beyond the stated trial period. Upon sending this small fee, the
developer registers you to receive service assistance and updates.
Examples of shareware, freeware, and public-domain software include utility
programs, graphics programs, and games. Thousands of these pro grams are
available on the Internet to download, or copy to your computer. You also can obtain
copies of these programs from the developer, a coworker, or a friend.

Application Service Provider


Storing and maintaining programs can be a costly investment for individuals and
businesses. Some opt to use an application service provider for their software needs.
An application service provider (ASP) is a third-party company that manages and
distributes software and services on the Internet. That is, instead of installing the
software on your computer, you run the programs from the Internet. Some vendors
pro vide access to the software at no cost. Others charge for use of the program.

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Programming Languages
Hundreds of programming languages exist. Only a few, however, are used widely
enough today for the industry to recognize them as standards. Most of these are
high-level languages that work on a variety of computers. This section discusses
these programming languages, their origins, and their primary purpose. Although the
Java programming language is used in many business applications today, it originally
was used primarily for Web development. Thus, Java is discussed in the Web page
development section of this chapter.
To illustrate the similarities and differences among programming languages, figures
on the following pages show program code in several programming languages. The
code solves a simple payroll problem — computing the gross pay for an employee.
The steps to compute gross pay can vary from one system to another. The examples
on the following pages use a simple algorithm to help you easily compare one
programming language with another.
To compute the gross pay, first multiply the regular time hours worked by the hourly
rate of pay to obtain the regular time pay. If the employee has overtime hours, the
employee’s overtime pay is 1.5 times the hourly rate of pay multiplied by overtime
hours. Then, add the regular time pay and overtime pay together.

BASIC
John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz developed a programming language called
Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or BASIC, in the mid-1960s at
Dartmouth College. Kemeny and Kurtz designed BASIC for use as a simple,
interactive problem-solving language. BASIC originally was intended as the language
used in a student’s first programming course because it is so easy to learn and use.
Today, BASIC is used on both personal computers and mid-range servers to develop
some business applications. Many versions of BASIC exist, including QBasic,
QuickBASIC, and MS-BASIC.

Visual Basic
Developed by Microsoft Corporation in the early 1990s, Visual Basic is a Windows-
based application that assists programmers in developing other event-driven
Windows-based applications. The first step in building a Visual Basic application is to
design the graphical user interface using Visual Basic objects. Visual Basic objects,
or controls, include items such as command buttons, text boxes, and labels.
Next, you write any code needed to define program events. An event in Visual Basic
might be the result of an action initiated by a user. When a user clicks an object in a
Visual Basic application, the application executes the Click event. You define Visual
Basic events using code statements written in Visual Basic’s built-in programming
language.

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COBOL
COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) developed out of a joint effort
between the United States government, businesses, and major universities in the
early 1960s. Naval officer Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer programming, was a
prime developer of the COBOL language.
COBOL is a procedural programming language designed for business applications.
Although COBOL pro grams often are lengthy, their English- like statements make
the code easy to read, write, and maintain (Figure 15-26). COBOL is especially
useful for processing transactions on main frames. COBOL programs also run on
other types of computers. The most popular personal computer COBOL program is
Micro Focus Net Express®, which allows you to create procedural and object-
oriented COBOL programs and migrate them to the Web.

C
The C programming language, developed in the early 1970s by Dennis Ritchie at Bell
Laboratories, originally was designed for writing system software. Today, a variety of
software programs are written in C. This includes operating systems and application
software such as word processing and spreadsheet programs.
C is a powerful language that requires professional programming skills. Many
programmers use C for business and scientific problems. C runs on almost any type
of computer with any operating system, but it most often is used with the UNIX
operating system. In fact, most of the UNIX operating system is written in C.

C++
Developed in the 1980s by Bjame Sroustrup at Bell Laboratories, C++ (pronounced
SEE-plus-plus) is an object-oriented programming language. C++ is an extension of
the C programming language. It includes all the elements of the C language plus has
additional features for working with objects, classes, events, and other object-
oriented concepts. Programmers commonly use C++ to develop application software,
such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, as well as database and Web
applications. Although C++ is an outgrowth of the C programming language, you do
not need C programming experience to be a successful C++ programmer.
Some programmers use a newer programming language called C# (pronounced
SEE-sharp). C# com bines features of C and C++ and is best suited for development
of Web applications.

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JAVA
Developed by Sun Microsystems, Java is a compiled object-oriented programming
language used to write stand-alone applications, as well as applets and servlets.
Java applet examples might include input forms, rotating images, fireworks,
interactive animations, or a game. Figure 15-37 shows a sample Java program and
its resulting screen.
The Java language is very similar to C++. One difference is that Java source code is
compiled into bytecode, instead of object code. The operating system cannot execute
bytecode. A Java interpreter executes the bytecode. Java-enabled Web browsers
contain Java bytecode interpreters.
Code segments used to create a Java application are called JavaBeans, or Beans. A
JavaBeans is platform independent. This enables the code to run on any computer or
operating system. Many programmers believe that Java will be the programming
language of the future because of its simplicity, robustness, and portability.

Java applet code

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CHAPTER 5

Input Devices

Keyboard devices

Offline Data Preparation Methods


Table 1 below illustrates the Data Preparation Devices with corresponding input
devices and media. These methods need special data preparation devices. The term
“Off linen is used because this activity is done outside the computer and before input.
In Sri Lanka the punch card system was popular with the computers used from 1969
to the late 1970s. Later, it was replaced by Key-to-Diskette systems, which are still in
use in Sri Lanka at a few places having high volume batch processing and less time
critical applications such as: Data Processing of Public Examinations, Provident Fund
applications, Census applications, Archival of high volume business documents etc.

Input Media Input Devices Data Preparation Devices

Punch Card Card Reader Key Punch &


Verifier Machines

Magnetic Tape Magnetic Tape Drive Key-To-Tape Encoder


or Key-To-Disk System

Magnetic diskette Diskette Reader / Drive Key-To-Diskette System

Table I — The Data Preparation Systems

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Key Board Devices - On-line Terminals

The more common types of terminals are:

Visual Display Unit (VDU) or Video Terminal


VDU has ‘a television’ type screen and a keyboard. Here, input is by a keyboard and
output through display on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). This is the most common
method of input.

General Features of a Video Terminal

i. It is an input/output (dual purpose) device.

ii. The keyboard generally resembles a typewriter (QWERTY) keyboard, but


there is a wide range of variations.

iii. Display clarity (Resolution) depends on the pixel density. Pixel is the
smallest display element to represent single color. Each character is
formed by combination of pixels.

iv. Standard screen display includes 24 rows by 80 column character matrix


totaling 1920 characters.

v. Screen movement is generally; Line by line - Scrolling or page by page -


Paging.

vi. Most of Video Terminals are ‘dumb’ terminals. New models appear now in
the market includes microprocessor with various levels of facilities.

Terminals

A terminal is a form of input (and output) device that connects you to a mainframe or
other type of computer called a host computer or server. There are four types of
terminals:

A dumb terminal can be used to input and receive data, but it cannot process data
independently. It is used only to gain access to information from a computer. Such a
terminal may be used by an airline reservations clerk to access a mainframe
computer for flight information

An intelligent terminal includes a processing unit, memory, and secondary storage


such as a magnetic disk. Essentially, an intelligent terminal is a micro computer with
communications software and a telephone hookup (modem) or other
communications link. These connect the terminal to the larger computer or to the
Internet. Microcomputers operating as intelligent terminals are widely used in
organizations.

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A network terminal is also known as a thin client or network computer, is a low-cost


alternative to an intelligent terminal. Most network terminals do not have a hard-disk
drive and must rely on the host computer or server for application and system
software. These devices are becoming increasingly popular in many organizations.
An Internet terminal, also known as a Web terminal, provides access to the Internet
and displays Web pages on a standard television set, These special purpose
terminals have just recently been introduced to offer Internet access to people
without microcomputers. Unlike the other types of terminals, Internet terminals are
used almost exclusively in the home.

A Point-of-Sale (POS) Terminal


A Point-of-Sale (POS) Terminal is a smart terminal used very much like a cash
register, but it also captures sales and inventory’s data at the point of sale and sends
it to the central computer for processing. Many supermarkets have POS terminals
that are connected directly to a central computer so that the sales data can be
immediately recorded. This type of terminal usually displays the price, the product
number, and possibly the product description. In addition, this type of terminal is
equipped with a cash-register-type keyboard, a cash drawer, and a printer to print the
receipt. It can operate on standalone basis and data stored can be transferred to the
main computer by using a computer medium such as a diskette.

Banking / Financial Transaction Terminal


The most common terminals are:
1. Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)
A special intelligent terminal located outside the bank for a customer to
operate on his own to perform a limited number of banking transactions. e.g.:
cash withdrawal, cash transfers, utility bill payment etc.
2. Teller Operator terminal
This is a specialized dumb/smart terminal for the bank teller operators who
work in the front office of a bank to handle customer transactions.
3. Normal Video Terminals

Portable Terminal
It is consists of a Key Board, flat screen monitor and built in communication
software/hardware which can connect from a remote location through a
communication link to a computer. The portability of the terminal is due to its light
weight. There are a wide range of products available. (e.g.: Terminal for traveling
salesman.)

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Non Keyboard Devices


Mouse
The mouse, is one of the devices connected to the computer by a small cable. As
the mouse is rolled across the desktop, the cursor moves across the screen. When
the cursor reaches the desired location, the user usually pushes button on the mouse
once or twice to signal a menu selection or a command to the computer. Mouse
technology is often used with graphics-oriented personal computers. With special
software for graphics, the mouse can be used like a pen or a Paint Brush to create
figures and patterns directly on the video display screen. e.g.: use with Corel Draw or
Harward Graphics, Desk Top Publishing Applications etc.

Joystick
It is a device which contains lever which can be used to move objects on the screen.
e.g.: It is normally used to play computer games.

Light Pen
The light pen is a special attachment to a graphics terminal. The pen is touched on
the video display screen at the desired location and switched on, then you can draw
the image on the screen. Light pens are frequently used by graphic designers,
illustrators, and drafting engineers. Of course, data may also be entered using
keyboard e.g. Computer Aided Design (CAD), Architectural applications etc.

Touch Screen
Limited amounts of data can be entered via a terminal or a microcomputer that has a
touch screen. The user simply touches the screen at the desired locations, marked
by labeled boxes, to point out” choices to the computer. e.g.: Inquiry Terminals for
general public such as Terminals located in the lobby areas of a large building
complex. This will enable users to operate without much technical knowledge & skill.

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Scanning Devices

Scanners
A Digital Scanner translates images such as pictures or documents into digital form.
This is one area where substantial research & development has been taking place in
the recent past. A wide variety of products are now available in the marketplace. The
most common products are:

Hand Held Scanner


Used mostly with small scale publishing (Desk Top Publishing) systems to input
pictures, logos etc.

Flat Bed Scanner


Used to input text based documents with or without images. Special software
packages are now available to process these text based images such as editing,
merging etc.

Character Scanners
These are hand held devices which can read data printed in special type fonts (e.g.:
OCR) or hand written data based on recommended guidelines. In addition, there are
Optical Character Readers which operate at high speed to handle high volume batch
oriented input like Electricity billing meter readings.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


Optical character recognition is a device that is used to scan the text, which is found
on a document, and then the data is converted into electrical signals for the
computer. This device can be used to read a special type of font. However, the more
expensive OCR devices can read a variety of fonts, some can even read hand
written documents.

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Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)


The input device is Optical Mark Reader. In some of the foreign examinations like
SAT or TOEFL the candidate application forms as well as the answer sheets are
specially designed (Mark Sense Cards) to record data by using pencil marks. Open
University of Sri Lanka and University of Colombo BIT program also use a similar
method. Data recorded in this form is converted into computer-usable form by an
Optical Mark Reader (OMR). The OMR device has a high-intensity light inside which
is directed in the form of a beam at the sheet of paper being fed through it. The beam
scans the marked forms and detects the number and location of the pencil marks.
The data is then converted into electrical signals for the computer. OMRs come in a
variety of sizes and shapes that depend on the size of the forms to be read and the
required loading and processing capacity of the reader.

Magnetic-Ink Character Recognition (MICR)


This is specially designed for the input of high volume cheques in the banking
industry.
The advantages of the MICR system are that Human involvement is minimum, thus
the potential for errors is small, The codes can be read by both people and
machines, It is fast, automatic, and reliable (2400 checks/mm).
The cheque leaf taken into the machine, and magnetize the ferric particles present in
the data printed at the bottom edge of it. At the first read station it recognizes data
based on magnetic induction & converts into electrical signals. Generally at the
second read station it reads again & compare with the first reading for accuracy. In
addition to reading, it sort the cheque leaves in a bundle according to the bank code
& output to respective pigeon holes. e.g.; Cheque Clearing House of Sri Lanka.

Bar Code Reader


Bar Code is a collection of thick and thin lines and spaces that represent data in
binary.
E.g.:
• Parcel tracking system in courier companies
• File tracking system in an office
• Issue of items in a supermarket.
• Record the movement of books in a library

In courier application the parcel reference number is bar coded & recorded in all
relevant documents & the parcel itself. This reference number is input to the
computer system by using a portable barcode scanner or wand reader. The wand
has a scanning device that analyzes light & dark bars for width & spacing. This wand
reader is a special attachment to a video terminal.

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Card Reading Devices


Time/Punch Card
IBM made the punch-card technology into the business standard of the 1950's and
1960's. There are manual punch card readers available. But now a days this
technology is not using widely.

Voice and Image Input Devices

Microphone
A microphone wants to take varying pressure waves in the air and convert them into
varying electrical signals. There are five different technologies commonly used to
accomplish this conversion:

Carbon microphones - The oldest and simplest microphone uses carbon dust. This
is the technology used in the first telephones and is still used in some telephones
today. The carbon dust has a thin metal or plastic diaphragm on one side. As sound
waves hit the diaphragm, they compress the carbon dust, which changes its
resistance. By running a current through the carbon, the changing resistance
changes the amount of current that flows.

Dynamic microphones - A dynamic microphone takes advantage of electromagnet


effects. When a magnet moves past a wire (or coil of wire), the magnet induces
current to flow in the wire. In a dynamic microphone, the diaphragm moves either a
magnet or a coil when sound waves hit the diaphragm, and the movement creates a
small current.
Ribbon microphones - In a ribbon microphone, a thin ribbon is suspended in a
magnetic field. Sound waves move the ribbon which changes the current flowing
through it.

Condenser microphones - A condenser microphone is essentially a capacitor, with


one plate of the capacitor moving in response to sound waves. The movement
changes the capacitance of the capacitor, and these changes are amplified to create
a measurable signal. Condenser microphones usually need a small battery to provide
a voltage across the capacitor.

Crystal microphones - Certain crystals change their electrical properties as they


change. By attaching a diaphragm to a crystal, the crystal will create a signal when
sound waves hit the diaphragm.

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Web Camera
A cam, homecam, or Webcam is a video camera, usually attached directly to a
computer, whose current or latest image is requestable from a Web site. A live cam
is one that is continually providing new images that are transmitted in rapid
succession or, in some cases, in streaming video. Sites with live cams sometimes
embed them as Java applets in Web pages. Cams have caught on; there are now
(we estimate) several thousand sites with cams. The first cams were positioned
mainly on fish tanks and coffee machines. Many of today's live cams are on sex-
oriented sites. For travel promotion, traffic information, and the remote visualization
of any ongoing event that's interesting, webcams seem like an exciting possibility that
will become more common as users get access to more bandwidth.

Video Camera
A typical analog camcorder contains two basic parts:

• A camera section, consisting of a CCD, lens and motors to handle the zoom,
focus and aperture
• A VCR section, in which a typical TV VCR is shrunk down to fit in a much
smaller space.

The camera component's function is to receive visual information and interpret it as


an electronic video signal. The VCR component is exactly like the VCR connected to
your television: It receives an electronic video signal and records it on video tape as
magnetic patterns (see How VCRs Work for details).

These two sections are easily seen in the following photos.

Camcorder with the outer shell removed

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The camcorder's VCR unit

The camcorder's camera unit

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The camera lens system

The camcorder's Charge Coupled Device (CCD)

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The infrared autofocus mechanism

The motors that focus the camera lenses

A third component, the viewfinder, receives the video image as well, so you can see
what you're shooting. Viewfinders are actually small, black-and-white or color
televisions, but many modern camcorders also have larger full-color LCD screens .
There are many formats for analog camcorders, and many extra features, but this is
the basic design of most all of them. The main variable is what kind of storage tape
they use.

Digital camcorders have all these same elements, but have an added component
that takes the analog information the camera gathers and translates it to bytes of
data. Instead of storing the video signal as a continuous track of magnetic patterns, it
records the picture and sound as 1s and 0s. Digital camcorders are so popular
because you can copy 1s and 0s very easily without losing any of the information
you've recorded. Analog information, on the other hand, "fades" with each copy -- the
copying process doesn't reproduce the original signal exactly. Video information in
digital form can also be loaded onto computers, where you can edit it, copy it, e-mail
it and manipulate it.

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Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the simulation of a real or imagined environment that can be
experienced visually in the three dimensions of width, height, and depth and that may
additionally provide an interactive experience visually in full real-time motion with
sound and possibly with tactile and other forms of feedback. The simplest form of
virtual reality is a 3-D image that can be explored interactively at a personal
computer, usually by manipulating keys or the mouse so that the content of the
image moves in some direction or zooms in or out. Most of these images require
installing a plug-in for your browser. As the images become larger and interactive
controls more complex, the perception of "reality" increases. More sophisticated
efforts involve such approaches as wrap-around display screens, actual rooms
augmented with wearable computers, and joystick devices that let you feel the
display images.

Virtual reality can be divided into:

• The simulation of real environments such as the interior of a building or a


spaceship often with the purpose of training or education
• The development of an imagined environment, typically for a game or
educational adventure

Gloves
Gloves designed with flexible sensors which can accurately and reliably measure
the position and movement of the fingers and wrist. Additional features of the glove
would include the ability to simulate resistance at object borders during grasp of
a simulated object in the VR environment. The glove will also be used to determine
response times, posture, and movement dynamics of the fingers and hand. Touch-
sensitive response boards will also be necessary so that a simple touch of a finger
anywhere on the board will record the contact to enable movement or response times
to be recorded complementing the basic functions of the glove in space.

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Headphone
Headgear that can display high resolution static or dynamic images. This device
(goggles or head-mounted) would be used to display experimental stimuli with the
option of aural accompaniment.

Headphone is a lightweight device which you can use to hear quality audio.

E.g.:
The HP-60 Super Bass Headphone Set is CD digital quality, 16hz - 22,000hz, 32
Ohm, light weight, easy clean vinyl padded ear pieces, and works with all portable
audio devices.

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Motion Capture

Motion capture is defined as "The creation of a 3D representation of a live


performance." in the book Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation
and Video Games by Alberto Menache. This is in contrast to animation that is
created 'by hand' through a process known as keyframing.

Motion capture (AKA Mocap) used to be considered a fairly controversial tool for
creating animation. In the early days, the effort required to 'clean up' motion capture
data often took as long as if the animation was created by an animator, from scratch.
Thanks to hard work by the manufacturers of motion capture systems as well as
numerous software developers, motion capture has become a feasible tool for the
generation of animation.

Software tools for working with motion-captured data, such as Kaydara, have evolved
to the point where animators now have the means to edit and blend takes from
multiple capture sessions and mix and match them with keyframed animation
techniques; allowing great control of style and quality of final output, for anything
ranging from realistic to 'cartoony' motion.

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Output Devices

Monitors
Mono(Monochrome) – Display a single Color.
CGA - Color Graphic Adapter (4 Colors)
EGA – Enhance Graphic Adapter (16 Colors)
VGA – Video Gr. Ad. (16 colors & 256 shading)
SVGA – Super VGA

Printers

Impact Printers
The Print mechanism strikes against the paper.

Non Impact Printers


The Print mechanism does not strike against the ribbon or paper.

Character Printers
Speed in Characters Per Second (CPS)
Used for low to medium volume applications
E.g.: Matrix, Ink Jet.

Line Printers
Speed in Lines Per Minute (LPM)
Used for high volume medium quality applications.
E.g.: printing of public examination results.

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Page Printers
Speed in Pages per Minute (PPM)
Used for medium to high volume, high quality
applications.
E.g.: Print a master copy of a magazine by using a Laser Printer.

Color Printers
Color printers use a Color Cartridge. Time to time you have to place the cartridge
when the cartridge is over.

Black and White Printers


Black and White Printers use a Black and White Cartridge. Time to time you have to
place the cartridge when the cartridge is over. There are printers which supports both
Color and Black and White cartridges.

Text Printers
To print text there are specially text printers. The quality is very low in these printers.

Graphic Printers
These are very high quality printers. These printers are expensive than normal
printers. You can get very high quality Images printouts by using a graphic printer.
Graphic designers and the people in studios use Graphic printers.

Dot Matrix Printers


The most widely used printer which prints one character at a time. The technology
has improved during the recent past to include very high quality & reasonably fast
printers.

Daisy Wheel Printers


A kind of impact printer where the characters are arranged on the ends of the spokes
of a wheel (resembling the petals on a daisy).
The wheel (usually made of plastic) is rotated to select the character to print and then
an electrically operated hammer mechanism bends the selected spoke forward
slightly, sandwiching an ink ribbon between the character and the paper, as in a
typewriter.
One advantage of this arrangement over that of a typewriter is that different wheels
may be inserted to produce different typefaces.

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InkJet Printers
Ink printers work in much the same fashion as dot-matrix printers in that they form
images or characters with little dots. However, the dots are formed, not by hammer
like pins, but by tiny droplets of ink, and the text these printers produce is of letter
quality. These printers can almost match the speed of dot- matrix printers - up to
about 270 eps-and they produce less noise.

Thermal Printers
Thermal printers use heat to produce an image on special paper. The print
mechanism - rather like a dot - matrix print head - is designed to heat the surface of
chemically treated paper so that a dot is produced based on the reaction of the
chemical to the heat. No ribbon or ink is involved. It can print multiple colors.

Laser Printers
Laser printer technology is much less mechanical than impact printers resulting in
much higher speeds and quieter operation. The process resembles the operation of a
photocopy machine. A laser beam is directed across the surface of a light-sensitive
drum and fixed as needed to record an image in the form of a pattern of tiny dots.
The image is then transferred to the paper. This printer prints a page at a time - in the
same fashion as a copying machine, using a special toner. When high-speed laser
printers (also called page printers) were introduced, they were very expensive.
However, recent laser printer technology has made desktop versions available at
very reasonable prices.

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Plotters
A plotter is a specialized output device designed to produce high-quality graphics in a
variety of colors. Drum plotters and flat bed plotters both use pens and electrostatic
plotters do not.

Drum Plotter
The paper is mounted on the surface of a drum. The drum revolves and the plotter
pens (which are similar to felt-tip pens) are horizontally positioned over the target
area. When the paper has rotated to the correct point, the pens are dropped to the
surface moved left and right under program control across the paper as the drum
revolves. When the image is complete, the pens are raised from the surface.

Flat Bed Plotter


These are designed so that the paper is placed flat and one or more pens move
horizontally and vertically across the paper.

Electrostatic Plotters
Use electrostatic charges to create images out of very small dots on specially treated
paper. Electrostatic plotters are faster than pen plotters and can produce images of
very high resolution, e.g.: Used by Architects, Surveyors, and Engineers.

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Voice Output Devices


Voice output should be a more useful medium. This technology has had to overcome
many hurdles. The most difficult has been that every individual perceives speech
differently; that is, the voice patterns, pitches, and reflections we can hear and
understand are different for all of us. It is not always easy to understand an unfamiliar
voice pattern. At this point, two different approaches to voice output have evolved:

Speech coding
This relies on human speech as a reservoir of sounds to draw from in building the
words and phrases to be output. Sounds are codified and stored on disk to be
retrieved and translated back as sounds. Speech coding has been used in
applications such as automobiles, toys, and games.

Speech synthesis
In this method voice is produced electronically without the use of a human voice. The
largest application to date for the speech synthesis approach to voice output
converting text into “spoken” words has many potential uses, including providing
reading machines for the blind. And, of course, sound output does not have to be in
voice form, it can be music or special-effects sounds, such as the sound
accompaniment for computer animation, in cartoons etc.

COM Devices
serial port or "com port". A connector on a computer to which you can attach a serial
line connected to peripherals which communicate using a serial (bit-stream) protocol.
The most common type of serial port is a 25-pin D-type connector carrying EIA-232
signals. Smaller connectors (e.g. 9-pin D-type) carrying a subset of EIA-232 are often
used on personal computers. The serial port is usually connected to an integrated
circuit called a UART which handles the conversion between serial and parallel data.

In the days before bit-mapped displays, and today on multi-user systems, the serial
port was used to connect one or more terminals (teletypewriters or VDUs),
printers, modems and other serial peripherals. Two computers connected
together via their serial ports, possibly via modems, can communicate using a
protocol such as UUCP or CU or SLIP.

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Processor
A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic
instructions that drive a computer.
The term processor has generally replaced the term central processing unit (CPU).
The processor in a personal computer or embedded in small devices is often called a
microprocessor.

Arithmetic and Logic Unit


An arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) is the part of a computer processor (CPU) that carries
out arithmetic and logic operations on the operands in computer instruction words. In
some processors, the ALU is divided into two units, an arithmetic unit (AU) and a
logic unit (LU). Some processors contain more than one AU - for example, one for
fixed-point operations and another for floating-point operations. (In personal
computers floating point operations are sometimes done by a floating point unit on a
separate chip called a numeric coprocessor.)
Typically, the ALU has direct input and output access to the processor controller,
main memory (random access memory or RAM in a personal computer), and
input/output devices. Inputs and outputs flow along an electronic path that is called a
bus. The input consists of an instruction word (sometimes called a machine
instruction word) that contains an operation code (sometimes called an "op code"),
one or more operands, and sometimes a format code. The operation code tells the
ALU what operation to perform and the operands are used in the operation. (For
example, two operands might be added together or compared logically.) The format
may be combined with the op code and tells, for example, whether this is a fixed-
point or a floating-point instruction. The output consists of a result that is placed in a
storage register and settings that indicate whether the operation was performed
successfully. (If it isn't, some sort of status will be stored in a permanent place that is
sometimes called the machine status word.)
In general, the ALU includes storage places for input operands, operands that are
being added, the accumulated result (stored in an accumulator), and shifted results.
The flow of bits and the operations performed on them in the subunits of the ALU is
controlled by gated circuits. The gates in these circuits are controlled by a sequence
logic unit that uses a particular algorithm or sequence for each operation code. In the
arithmetic unit, multiplication and division are done by a series of adding or
subtracting and shifting operations. There are several ways to represent negative
numbers. In the logic unit, one of 16 possible logic operations can be performed -
such as comparing two operands and identifying where bits don't match. The design
of the ALU is obviously a critical part of the processor and new approaches to
speeding up instruction handling are continually being developed.

Control Unit
Control Unit controls every single hardware part attached to the computer. Its main
task is controlling the hardware devices which are attached to the machine according
to the signals of CPU.

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Memory Organization
Memory is the electronic holding place for instructions and data that your computer's
microprocessor can reach quickly. When your computer is in normal operation, its
memory usually contains the main parts of the operating system and some or all of
the application programs and related data that are being used. Memory is often used
as a shorter synonym for random access memory (RAM). This kind of memory is
located on one or more microchips that are physically close to the microprocessor in
your computer. Most desktop and notebook computers sold today include at least 16
megabytes of RAM, and are upgradeable to include more. The more RAM you have,
the less frequently the computer has to access instructions and data from the more
slowly accessed hard disk form of storage.
Memory is sometimes distinguished from storage, or the physical medium that holds
the much larger amounts of data that won't fit into RAM and may not be immediately
needed there. Storage devices include hard disks, floppy disks, CD-ROM, and tape
backup systems. The terms auxiliary storage, auxiliary memory, and secondary
memory have also been used for this kind of data repository.
Additional kinds of integrated and quickly accessible memory are read-only memory
(ROM), programmable ROM (PROM), and erasable programmable ROM (EPROM).
These are used to keep special programs and data, such as the basic input/output
system , that need to be in your computer all the time.

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Primary Storage

RAM
RAM (random access memory) is the place in a computer where the operating
system , application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be
quickly reached by the computer's processor. RAM is much faster to read from and
write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and
CD-ROM. However, the data in RAM stays there only as long as your computer is
running. When you turn the computer off, RAM loses its data. When you turn your
computer on again, your operating system and other files are once again loaded into
RAM, usually from your hard disk.
RAM can be compared to a person's short-term memory and the hard disk to the
long-term memory. The short-term memory focuses on work at hand, but can only
keep so many facts in view at one time. If short-term memory fills up, your brain
sometimes is able to refresh it from facts stored in long-term memory. A computer
also works this way. If RAM fills up, the processor needs to continually go to the hard
disk to overlay old data in RAM with new, slowing down the computer's operation.
Unlike the hard disk which can become completely full of data so that it won't accept
any more, RAM never runs out of memory. It keeps operating, but much more slowly
than you may want it to.

How Big is RAM?


RAM is small, both in physical size (it's stored in microchips) and in the amount of
data it can hold. It's much smaller than your hard disk. A typical computer may come
with 256 million bytes of RAM and a hard disk that can hold 40 billion bytes. RAM
comes in the form of "discrete" (meaning separate) microchips and also in the form of
modules that plug into holes in the computer's motherboard. These holes connect
through a bus or set of electrical paths to the processor. The hard drive, on the other
hand, stores data on a magnetized surface that looks like a phonograph record.
Most personal computers are designed to allow you to add additional RAM modules
up to a certain limit. Having more RAM in your computer reduces the number of
times that the computer processor has to read data in from your hard disk, an
operation that takes much longer than reading data from RAM. (RAM access time is
in nanoseconds; hard disk access time is in milliseconds.)

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Why Random Access?


RAM is called "random access" because any storage location can be accessed
directly. Originally, the term distinguished regular core memory from offline memory,
usually on magnetic tape in which an item of data could only be accessed by starting
from the beginning of the tape and finding an address sequentially. Perhaps it should
have been called "nonsequential memory" because RAM access is hardly random.
RAM is organized and controlled in a way that enables data to be stored and
retrieved directly to specific locations. A term IBM has preferred is direct access
storage or memory. Note that other forms of storage such as the hard disk and CD-
ROM are also accessed directly (or "randomly") but the term random access is not
applied to these forms of storage.
In addition to disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM storage, another important form of
storage is read-only memory (ROM), a more expensive kind of memory that retains
data even when the computer is turned off. Every computer comes with a small
amount of ROM that holds just enough programming so that the operating system
can be loaded into RAM each time the computer is turned on.

ROM
ROM is "built-in" computer memory containing data that normally can only be read,
not written to. ROM contains the programming that allows your computer to be
"booted up" or regenerated each time you turn it on. Unlike a computer's random
access memory (RAM), the data in ROM is not lost when the computer power is
turned off. The ROM is sustained by a small long-life battery in your computer.
If you ever do the hardware setup procedure with your computer, you effectively will
be writing to ROM.

PROM
Programmable read-only memory (PROM) is read-only memory (ROM) that can be
modified once by a user. PROM is a way of allowing a user to tailor a microcode
program using a special machine called a PROM programmer. This machine
supplies an electrical current to specific cells in the ROM that effectively blows a fuse
in them. The process is known as burning the PROM. Since this process leaves no
margin for error, most ROM chips designed to be modified by users use erasable
programmable read-only memory (EPROM) or electrically erasable programmable
read-only memory (EEPROM).

EPROM
EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is programmable read-only
memory (programmable ROM) that can be erased and re-used. Erasure is caused by
shining an intense ultraviolet light through a window that is designed into the memory
chip. (Although ordinary room lighting does not contain enough ultraviolet light to
cause erasure, bright sunlight can cause erasure. For this reason, the window is
usually covered with a label when not installed in the computer.)
A different approach to a modifiable ROM is electrically erasable programmable
read-only memory (EEPROM).

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EEPROM
EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) is user-modifiable
read-only memory (ROM) that can be erased and reprogrammed (written to)
repeatedly through the application of higher than normal electrical voltage. Unlike
EPROM chips, EEPROMs do not need to be removed from the computer to be
modified. However, an EEPROM chip has to be erased and reprogrammed in its
entirety, not selectively. It also has a limited life - that is, the number of times it can
be reprogrammed is limited to tens or hundreds of thousands of times. In an
EEPROM that is frequently reprogrammed while the computer is in use, the life of the
EEPROM can be an important design consideration.
A special form of EEPROM is flash memory, which uses normal PC voltages for
erasure and reprogramming.

Cache
A cache (pronounced CASH) is a place to store something temporarily. The files you
automatically request by looking at a Web page are stored on your hard disk in a
cache subdirectory under the directory for your browser (for example, Internet
Explorer). When you return to a page you've recently looked at, the browser can get
it from the cache rather than the original server, saving you time and the network the
burden of some additional traffic. You can usually vary the size of your cache,
depending on your particular browser.
Computers include caches at several levels of operation, including cache memory
and a disk cache. Caching can also be implemented for Internet content by
distributing it to multiple servers that are periodically refreshed. (The use of the term
in this context is closely related to the general concept of a distributed information
base.)
Altogether, we are aware of these types of caches:

• International, national, regional, organizational and other "macro" caches to


which highly popular information can be distributed and periodically updated
and from which most users would obtain information.
• Local server caches (for example, corporate LAN servers or access provider
servers that cache frequently accessed files). This is similar to the previous
idea, except that the decision of what data to cache may be entirely local.
• Your Web browser's cache, which contains the most recent Web files that you
have downloaded and which is physically located on your hard disk (and
possibly some of the following caches at any moment in time)
• A disk cache (either a reserved area of RAM or a special hard disk cache)
where a copy of the most recently accessed data and adjacent (most likely to
be accessed) data is stored for fast access.
• RAM itself, which can be viewed as a cache for data that is initially loaded in
from the hard disk (or other I/O storage systems).
• L2 cache memory, which is on a separate chip from the microprocessor but
faster to access than regular RAM.
• L1 cache memory on the same chip as the microprocessor.

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Secondary Storage
Secondary storage is all addressable data storage that is not currently in the
computer's main storage or memory. Synonyms are external storage and auxiliary
storage.

Floppy Disks
A diskette is a random access, removable data storage medium that can be used
with personal computers. The term usually refers to the magnetic medium housed in
a rigid plastic cartridge measuring 3.5 inches square and about 2 millimeters thick.
Also called a "3.5-inch diskette," it can store up to 1.44 megabytes (MB) of data.
Although many personal computers today come with a 3.5-inch diskette drive pre-
installed, some notebook computers and centrally-administered desktop computers
omit them.
Some older computers provide drives for magnetic diskettes that are 5.25 inches
square, about 1 millimeter thick, and capable of holding 1.2 megabytes of data.
These were sometimes called "floppy disks" or "floppies" because their housings are
flexible. In recent years, 5.25-inch diskettes have been largely replaced by 3.5-inch
diskettes, which are physically more rugged. Many people also call the newer hard-
cased diskette a "floppy."
Magnetic diskettes are convenient for storing individual files and small programs.
However, the magneto-optical (MO) disk is more popular for mass storage, backup,
and archiving. An MO diskette is only a little larger, physically, than a conventional
3.5-inch magnetic diskette. But because of the sophisticated read/write technology,
the MO diskette can store many times more data.

Disk Drives

Hard Disks
A hard disk is part of a unit, often called a "disk drive," "hard drive," or "hard disk
drive," that stores and provides relatively quick access to large amounts of data on
an electromagnetically charged surface or set of surfaces. Today's computers
typically come with a hard disk that contains several billion bytes (gigabytes) of
storage.
A hard disk is really a set of stacked "disks," each of which, like phonograph records,
has data recorded electromagnetically in concentric circles or "tracks" on the disk. A
"head" (something like a phonograph arm but in a relatively fixed position) records
(writes) or reads the information on the tracks. Two heads, one on each side of a
disk, read or write the data as the disk spins. Each read or write operation requires
that data be located, which is an operation called a "seek." (Data already in a disk
cache, however, will be located more quickly.)

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A hard disk/drive unit comes with a set rotation speed varying from 4500 to 7200
rpm. Disk access time is measured in milliseconds. Although the physical location
can be identified with cylinder, track, and sector locations, these are actually mapped
to a logical block address (LBA) that works with the larger address range on today's
hard disks.

Top view of a 36 GB, 10,000 RPM, IBM SCSI


server hard disk, with its top cover removed.
Note the height of the drive and the 10 stacked platters.
(The IBM Ultrastar 36ZX.)

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Optical Disks
An optical disc is an electronic data storage medium that can be written to and read
using a low-powered laser beam. Originally developed in the late 1960s, the first
optical disc, created by James T. Russell, stored data as micron-wide dots of light
and dark. A laser read the dots, and the data was converted to an electrical signal,
and finally to audio or visual output. However, the technology didn't appear in the
marketplace until Philips and Sony came out with the compact disc (CD) in 1982.
Since then, there has been a constant succession of optical disc formats, first in CD
formats, followed by a number of DVD formats.
Optical disc offers a number of advantages over magnetic storage media. An optical
disc holds much more data. The greater control and focus possible with laser beams
(in comparison to tiny magnetic heads) means that more data can be written into a
smaller space. Storage capacity increases with each new generation of optical
media. Emerging standards, such as Blu-ray, offer up to 27 gigabytes (GB) on a
single-sided 12-centimeter disc. In comparison, a diskette, for example, can hold
1.44 megabytes (MB). Optical discs are inexpensive to manufacture and data stored
on them is relatively impervious to most environmental threats, such as power
surges, or magnetic disturbances.

CD-ROM
CD-ROM (Compact Disc, read-only-memory) is an adaptation of the CD that is
designed to store computer data in the form of text and graphics, as well as hi-fi
stereo sound. The original data format standard was defined by Philips and Sony in
the 1983 Yellow Book. Other standards are used in conjunction with it to define
directory and file structures, including ISO 9660, HFS (Hierarchal File System, for
Macintosh computers), and Hybrid HFS-ISO. Format of the CD-ROM is the same as
for audio CDs: a standard CD is 120 mm (4.75 inches) in diameter and 1.2 mm (0.05
inches) thick and is composed of a polycarbonate plastic substrate (underlayer - this
is the main body of the disc), one or more thin reflective metal (usually aluminum)
layers, and a lacquer coating.
The Yellow Book specifications were so general that there was some fear in the
industry that multiple incompatible and proprietary formats would be created. In order
to prevent such an occurrence, representatives from industry leaders met at the High
Sierra Hotel in Lake Tahoe to collaborate on a common standard. Nicknamed the
High Sierra Format, this version was later modified to become ISO 9660. Today, CD-
ROMs are standardized and will work in any standard CD-ROM drive. CD-ROM
drives can also read audio compact discs for music, although CD players cannot
read CD-ROM discs.

CD-ROM Data Storage


Although the disc media and the drives of the CD and CD-ROM are, in principle, the
same, there is a difference in the way data storage is organized. Two new sectors
were defined, Mode 1 for storing computer data and Mode 2 for compressed audio or
video/graphic data.

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CD-ROM Mode 1
CD-ROM Mode 1 is the mode used for CD-ROMs that carry data and applications
only. In order to access the thousands of data files that may be present on this type
of CD, precise addressing is necessary. Data is laid out in nearly the same way as it
is on audio disks: data is stored in sectors (the smallest separately addressable block
of information), which each hold 2,352 bytes of data, with an additional number of
bytes used for error detection and correction, as well as control structures. For mode
1 CD-ROM data storage, the sectors are further broken down, and 2,048 used for the
expected data, while the other 304 bytes are devoted to extra error detection and
correction code, because CD-ROMs are not as fault tolerant as audio CDs. There are
75 sectors per second on the disk, which yields a disc capacity of 681,984,000 bytes
(650MB) and a single speed transfer rate of 150 KBps, with higher rates for faster
CD-ROM drives. Drive speed is expressed as multiples of the single speed transfer
rate, as 2X, 4X, 6X, and so on. Most drives support CD-ROM XA (Extended
Architecture) and Photo-CD (including multiple session discs).

CD-ROM Mode 2
CD-ROM Mode 2 is used for compressed audio/video information and uses only two
layers of error detection and correction, the same as the CD-DA. Therefore, all 2,336
bytes of data behind the sync and header bytes are for user data. Although the
sectors of CD-DA, CD-ROM Mode 1 and Mode 2 are the same size, the amount of
data that can be stored varies considerably because of the use of sync and header
bytes, error correction and detection. The Mode 2 format offers a flexible method for
storing graphics and video. It allows different kinds of data to be mixed together, and
became the basis for CD-ROM XA. Mode 2 can be read by normal CD-ROM drives,
in conjunction with the appropriate drivers.

Data Encoding and Reading


The CD-ROM, like other CD adaptations, has data encoded in a spiral track
beginning at the center and ending at the outermost edge of the disc. The spiral track
holds approximately 650 MB of data. That's about 5.5 billion bits. The distance
between two rows of pits, measured from the center of one track to the center of the
next track is referred to as track pitch. The track pitch can range from 1.5 to 1.7
microns, but in most cases is 1.6 microns.
Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) is the principle by which data is read from a CD-
ROM. This principal states that the read head must interact with the data track at a
constant rate, whether it is accessing data from the inner or outermost portions of the
disc. This is affected by varying the rotation speed of the disc, from 500 rpm at the
center, to 200 rpm at the outside. In a music CD, data is read sequentially, so
rotation speed is not an issue. The CD-ROM, on the other hand, must read in
random patterns, which necessitates constantly shifting rotation speeds. Pauses in
the read function are audible, and some of the faster drives can be quite noisy
because of it.

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Magnetic Tape
The use of magnetic media to record and store numeric and textual information,
sound, motion, and still images has presented librarians and archivists with
opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, magnetic media increase the kinds
of artifacts and events we can capture and store. On the other hand, their special
long-term storage needs are different from traditional library materials, confusing to
those in charge of their care, and demanding of resources not always available to
libraries and archives. Audio and video collections require specific care and handling
to ensure that the recorded information will be preserved. Special storage
environments may be required if the recorded information is to be preserved for
longer than ten years. For information that must be preserved indefinitely, periodic
transcription from old media to new media will be necessary, not only because the
media are unstable, but because the recording technology will become obsolete.
As an information storage medium, magnetic tape is not as stable as film or paper.
Properly cared for, film and nonacidic paper can last for centuries, whereas magnetic
tape will only last a few decades. Use of magnetic media for storage is further
confounded by the prevalence of several formats (e.g., U-matic, VHS, S-VHS, 8mm,
and BetaCam for video), media types (iron oxide, chromium dioxide, barium ferrite,
metal particulate, and metal evaporated), and by rapid advances in media
technology. On the other hand, books have virtually maintained the same format for
centuries, have almost exclusively used ink on paper as the information storage
medium, and require no special technology to access the recorded information.
Likewise, newer microfilm, microfiche, and movie film are known for their stability
when kept in proper environments, and viewing formats have not changed
significantly over the years. (The breakdown of acetate backing that plagues older
film materials is discussed in Section 2.3: Substrate Deformation.) This report will
compare care and handling procedures for tapes with procedures for paper and film
whenever possible.

Zip Drives
A Zip drive is a small, portable disk drive used primarily for backing up and archiving
personal computer files. The trademarked Zip drive was developed and is sold by
Iomega Corporation. Zip drives and disks come in two sizes. The 100 megabyte size
actually holds 100,431,872 bytes of data or the equivalent of 70 floppy diskettes.
There is also a 250 megabyte drive and disk. The Iomega Zip drive comes with a
software utility that lets you copy the entire contents of your hard drive to one or more
Zip disks.

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In addition to data backup, Iomega suggests these additional uses:

• Archiving old e-mail or other files you don't use any more but may want to
access someday
• Storing unusually large files, such as graphic images that you need
infrequently
• Exchanging large files with someone
• Putting your system on another computer, perhaps a portable computer
• Keeping certain files separate from files on your hard disk (for example,
personal finance files)

The Zip drive can be purchased in either a parallel or a Small Computer System
Interface (SCSI) version. In the parallel version, a printer can be chained off the Zip
drive so that both can be plugged into your computer's parallel port.

DVD
DVD (digital versatile disc) is an optical disc technology that is expected to rapidly
replace the CD-ROM disc (as well as the audio compact disc) over the next few
years. The digital versatile disc (DVD) holds 4.7 gigabyte of information on one of its
two sides, or enough for a 133-minute movie. With two layers on each of its two
sides, it will hold up to 17 gigabytes of video, audio, or other information. (Compare
this to the current CD-ROM disc of the same physical size, holding 600 megabyte.
The DVD can hold more than 28 times as much information!)
DVD-Video is the usual name for the DVD format designed for full-length movies and
is a box that will work with your television set. DVD-ROM is the name of the player
that will (sooner or later) replace your computer's CD-ROM. It will play regular CD-
ROM discs as well as DVD-ROM discs. DVD-RAM is the writeable version. DVD-
Audio is a player designed to replace your compact disc player.
DVD uses the MPEG-2 file and compression standard. MPEG-2 images have four
times the resolution of MPEG-1 images and can be delivered at 60 interlaced fields
per second where two fields constitute one image frame. (MPEG-1 can deliver 30
noninterlaced frames per second.) Audio quality on DVD is comparable to that of
current audio compact discs.

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Evaluation of Processors

Intel Processors: Now and Then


There might come a time when you will have to replace or upgrade a processor in
order to fix a problem. Listed below are details and characteristics of some of the
most popular chips from Intel and other manufacturers.

8088
This is the chip found in most of the IBM XT-class machines. The 8088 came in a 40-
pin DIP package. Translated, this means the 8088 is a small, rectangular chip with
two rows of 20 pins each. The original speed of this chip was 5MHz. Later versions
reached a top speed of about 8MHz.

80286
Introduced in 1981 by Intel, this chip became the mainstay of the AT-class
computers. The chip itself was packaged in a square called a Pin Grid Array (PGA)
instead of a rectangle.
The chip contained about 130,000 transistors -- about 100,000 more than the 8088.

80386
The 80386 was introduced to the market in 1985 and came in two different types: DX
and SX. This chip was also packaged in the PGA configuration. The 80386 contained
250,000 transistors and also provided features like multitasking of DOS programs
and a 32-bit data path. The 32-bit data path was available only in the DX version,
while the SX version had a 16-bit data path. This made the SX more compatible with
the 80286 computer and hardware.

80486
The 80486 chip was actually a “beefed-up” version of the 80386. The 486 processor
was a composite of three other chips. The 80486 consisted of a 386 chip, a 385
cache controller and a 387 math co-processor. The 486 contained about 1.25 million
transistors and 8k of internal cache memory. It provided a 32- bit data path and a
built-in math co-processor. Like the 80386, the 80486 came in two types: the DX and
SX. The 80486 SX had all the features of the DX version minus the math co
processor. Actually, the math co-processor was still on-board but disabled in the SX
version.

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80486DX2
To understand the 80486DX2, it is important to understand another Intel creation
designed to increase system speed: the “Overdrive” chip. The Overdrive chip could
run at two clock speeds simultaneously. If the chip was placed on a 486SX1 25MHz
system board, it was placed in the socket for the co processor chip and took over for
the 486SX chip. When data was passed through the Bus or memory, it was done at
the speed of the processor; in this case 25MHz. This is referred to as the external
clock speed. All the internal calculations were done at twice the 25MHz speed, at
50MHz. The 80486DX2 is very similar to the Overdrive chip in that it runs at a certain
external speed “X MHz” but performs all internal calculations at “two times X.”

80486DX4
The plot thickens. DX4 chips used a technology developed by IBM called Clock
Tripler (nicknamed “Blue Lightning”). Under an agreement with Intel, IBM
manufactured 486 chips using the Intel mask. Using their own Clock Tripler
technology, IBM took an Intel 486DX 25MHz chip and increased its speed to
approximately 75MHz.
Intel followed suit and announced the 80486DX/99MHz chip. This chip would run
external speeds of 331VIHz and perform internal calculations at 99MHz.

Pentium
In 1993 Intel introduced the Pentium processor. The initial market response was not
overwhelming, but the Pentium has now become the standard for personal
computers sold today. The Pentium processor contains over 3 million transistors and
provides a 64- bit data path.
The first generation of Pentium chips were subject to heat problems. Computers not
designed to deal with high temperatures tended to experience high failure rates.
Newer versions of the Pentium chip were designed to run cooler. System boards and
internal components were also designed to cope with the higher temperatures.
The Pentium chips will run both internal calculations and external processing at the
same speed. Another unique feature of the Pentium chip is the cache. The Pentium
has two 8KB caches: one that is used for program code and another used for data
cache. The Pentium chip was also designed to be fault tolerant, something Intel
refers to as “superscalar.” This feature is only functional when the Pentium chip is
installed on a system board that will support multiple processors. Fault tolerance
simply means that when two processors are present on the system board, the
second chip takes over if the first chip fails.

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Pentium Pro
The Pentium Pro processor has a different look and design than the other chips. It is
the first Intel processor to combine Level1(L1) and Level 2 (L2) cache in the same
package as the CPU. The Pentium Pro processor is a dual-chip configuration that
houses the Pentium Pro CPU on one side of the dual-cavity package and the L2
cache memory on the other. According to Intel, this simplifies system design and
saves space. The
Pentium Pro processor has about 21 million transistors in total. The CPU core has
5.5 million transistors and the L2 cache has 15.5 million. The Pentium Pro was
designed to support multiple Pentium Pro processors connected in parallel. The
Pentium Pro is a true 32-bit processor. It operates at speeds of 200MHz.

MMX Technology
The MMX technology is based on a new set of instructions that are built into Intel’s
Pentium microprocessors. This new instruction set enables the chip to efficiently
process video and audio data. Prior to the MMX technology, multimedia operations,
in video and sound, had to be handled by separate components like sound cards and
enhanced video boards. These same functions can now be managed by the
processor.
MMX chips’ internal memory (cache memory) has doubled in size (32KB). This is the
area in memory that holds recently accessed data. It is designed to speed up
subsequent requests to this data. This means that more instructions and data can be
stored internally in the chip, reducing the number of times the processor has to
access slower external memory. Most multimedia applications run dramatically faster
and smoother. To really get the most out of the new MMX chip, you must run the
enhanced MMX applications that have been written to exploit the true power of the
technology.

Pentium II

The Pentium II processor is available in speeds from 233MHz to 450MHz. It utilizes


the innovative 0.25 micron manufacturing process that enables these CPUs to
include over 7.5 million transistors. This results in more power in less space. The
processor core is packaged in the Single Edge Contact (SEC) cartridge enabling
ease of design and flexible motherboard architecture. The processor also includes
MMX technology. The Dual Independent Bus (DIB) architecture increases bandwidth
and performance over single-bus processors.

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Pentium III
The new Intel Pentium III processor is groundbreaking in terms of graphics
capabilities. The chip has been built to exploit many of the new and expanding 3-D
graphic images and their manipulation. The following are some of the highlights of
the Pentium III.
Added 70 new instruction sets for enhanced graphics, video and sound. The Pentium
III processor introduced a new processor instruction set called Streaming SIMD
Extensions (SSE). Single-instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) was the instruction set
used by the MMX processor to improve multimedia performance. The Pentium III
SSE instruction set was designed to further enhance multimedia performance.
An embedded serial number to help companies with an inventory of computers. This
feature will also enhance on line security transactions. Although it also raises some
very serious privacy concerns.
Clock speeds in excess of 800 Mhz.

Pentium IV
Pentium 4 (P4) is the Intel processor (codenamed Willamette) that was released in
November 2000. The P4 processor has a viable clock speed that now exceeds 2
gigahertz (GHz) - as compared to the 1 GHz of the Pentium 3.

P4 had the first totally new chip architecture since the 1995 Pentium Pro. The major
difference involved structural changes that affected the way processing takes place
within the chip, something Intel calls NetBurst microarchitecture. Aspects of the
changes include: a 20-stage pipeline, which boosts performance by increasing
processor frequency; a rapid-execution engine, which doubles the core frequency
and reduces latency by enabling each instruction to be executed in a half (rather than
a whole) clock cycle; a 400 MHz system bus, which enables transfer rates of 3.2
gigabytes per second (GBps); an execution trace cache, which optimizes cache
memory efficiency and reduces latency by storing decoded sequences of micro-
operations; and improved floating point and multimedia unit and advanced dynamic
execution, all of which enable faster processing for especially demanding
applications, such as digital video, voice recognition, and online gaming.

P4's main competition for processor market share is the AMD Athlon processor.

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Celeron
The Celeron is Intel’s entry into the low-end microprocessor market. It is based on
the same architecture as the Pentium II. However, it lacks some of the performance
features of the Pentium II family. The newest of the Celeron CPUs include an Li and
L2 on-board cache. This configuration means that the cache is actually accessed at
the same clock speed as the processor operates. When comparing the Celeron’s L2
cache to the Pentium II’s cache you will find it somewhat smaller (i28 KB) as
compared to the Pentium II’s (512 KB) cache. However, since the Celeron’s cache is
built in and the Pentium’s is not, their effective L2 speeds are roughly the same. The
Celeron processor supports clock speeds up to 466 MHz and can be mounted in a
Slot 1 motherboard. Intel is marketing this chip for the entry level PC, capable of
providing performance solutions geared to the home and light business use.

Itanium Processor
The Itanium processor, formerly known as the Merced IA- 64, is unique with its Slot
M configuration and L3 cache. The L3 cache is small in physical size and is not
located on-board the chip itself but is bundled instead within the processor package.
Currently there are two flavors: the 800 MHz and 1000MHz versions.

Motorola Chip Family


The Motorola chip set is not quite as well known in the PC market as Intel. For the
most part, it is associated with the Apple computer line.

68000
Introduced in 1979, the 68000 chip is closely associated with the Apple computer.
The 68000 chip employed a 32- bit design and used a 16-bit data Bus. The 68000
was far ahead of Intel’s efforts at the time.

68010
In 1982, Motorola introduced the 68010 chip. The major difference between the
68000 and the 68010 was the addition of virtual memory support. This chip also
incorporated internal cache which made the processing of sub-routines much faster.
This chip did not find widespread use in the computer world but was used extensively
in Motorola’s component division.

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68020
This chip was introduced in 1984 as the first full 32-bit chip in the Motorola line. The
68020 had the ability to access 4 GB of RAM and utilized floating point processing
capabilities. It was used in the Macintosh II and found widespread use in
minicomputers as well.

68030
Introduced to the market in 1987, the 68030 had all the features of the 68020 plus
demand page memory management. Other enhancements to the chip also increased
the speed of the chip. It was used most widely used in the Macintosh II series of
computers.

68040
In 1989, Motorola’s answer to Intel’s 486 was the 68040.
However, the 68040 did not gain the market share that Intel’s486 enjoyed.

Power PC
Apple, IBM and Motorola all joined together to develop the PowerPC family of chips.
PowerPC stands for Performa2 Optimization with Enhanced RISC. Currently Apple
incorporates the chip in its PowerMac series of computers. This chip can also be
used in everything from laptops to computers functioning as servers.
Other Available Chips

Cyrix
Cyrix (SYE-rihks) is a family of low-end, low-cost microprocessors intended for
personal computers and personal information devices. Cyrix competes with Intel in
the low-cost, low-end market for PC microprocessors. Typically, Cyrix has been able
to under-price Intel for comparable low-end microprocessors.
Cyrix began making semiconductors in 1988. Its first product was a math
coprocessor. About 1992, it introduced its first microprocessors that would handle the
instruction set specified by Intel’s 486 microprocessors.

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AMD K6
The AMD K6 is AMD’s answer to the Intel Pentium series of microprocessors.
Although it is considerably less expensive than the Pentium II processors, according
to many industry based benchmarks the K6 has slightly better performance. The KG
has 64K of Li and L2 cache. The K6 processor can be mounted in a Socket 7 based
motherboard.
AMD offers multiple K6 versions which support a 66 MHz bus and operate at clock
speeds starting at 166 MHz. There is also a 266 version, referred to as the K6+. The
K6+ (266) operates at about 2.5 volts of power at a very low heat output making it an
ideal candidate for the laptop computing market.

K7 (Athlon)
The K7 processor was the first AMD product to support a 200 MHz bus and to reach
a 1 Gigahertz (one billion) clock speed. The K7 classification was actually the
development name for the Athlon processor. Compaq and Gateway are among
companies that manufacture computers that include the 1 GHz Athlon. As the
successor to AMD’s K6 microprocessor the K7 compares favorably to Intel’s Pentium
III. The K7 has a 128 KB Li and L2 cache that is built into the chip itself, significantly
increasing performance.

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Main Circuit Board of a PC


A motherboard is the physical arrangement in a computer that contains the
computer's basic circuitry and components. On the typical motherboard, the circuitry
is imprinted or affixed to the surface of a firm planar surface and usually
manufactured in a single step. The most common motherboard design in desktop
computers today is the AT, based on the IBM AT motherboard. A more recent
motherboard specification, ATX, improves on the AT design. In both the AT and ATX
designs, the computer components included in the motherboard are:

• The microprocessor
• (Optionally) coprocessors
• Memory
• basic input/output system (BIOS)
• Expansion slot
• Interconnecting circuitry

Additional components can be added to a motherboard through its expansion slot.


The electronic interface between the motherboard and the smaller boards or cards in
the expansion slots is called the bus.

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Bus
In a computer or on a network, a bus is a transmission path on which signals are
dropped off or picked up at every device attached to the line. Only devices addressed
by the signals pay attention to them; the others discard the signals. According to
Winn L. Rosch, the term derives from its similarity to autobuses that stop at every
town or block to drop off or take on riders

In general, the term is used in two somewhat different contexts:

(1) A bus is a network topology or circuit arrangement in which all devices are
attached to a line directly and all signals pass through each of the devices.
Each device has a unique identity and can recognize those signals intended
for it.
(2) In a computer, a bus is the data path on the computer's motherboard that
interconnects the microprocessor with attachments to the motherboard in
expansion slots (such as hard disk drives, CD-ROM drives, and graphics
adapters).

Chips
Chip" is short for microchip, the incredibly complex yet tiny modules that store
computer memory or provide logic circuitry for microprocessors. Perhaps the best
known chips are the Pentium microprocessors from Intel. The PowerPC
microprocessor, developed by Apple, Motorola, and IBM, is used in Macintosh
personal computers and some workstations. AMD and Cyrix also make popular
microprocessor chips.

There are quite a few manufacturers of memory chips. Many special-purpose chips,
known as application-specific integrated circuits, are being made today for
automobiles, home appliances, telephones, and other devices.

A chip is manufactured from a silicon (or, in some special cases, a sapphire) wafer,
which is first cut to size and then etched with circuits and electronic devices. The
electronic devices use complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology. The
current stage of micro-integration is known as Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI). A
chip is also sometimes called an IC or integrated circuit.

Ports
On computer and telecommunication devices, a port (noun) is generally a specific
place for being physically connected to some other device, usually with a socket and
plug of some kind. Typically, a personal computer is provided with one or more serial
ports and usually one parallel port. The serial port supports sequential, one bit-at-a-
time transmission to peripheral devices such as scanners and the parallel port
supports multiple-bit-at-a-time transmission to devices such as printers.

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Expansion Slots
In computers, a slot, or expansion slot, is an engineered technique for adding
capability to a computer in the form of connection pinholes (typically, in the range of
16 to 64 closely-spaced holes) and a place to fit an expansion card containing the
circuitry that provides some specialized capability, such as video acceleration, sound,
or disk drive control.

Almost all desktop computers come with a set of expansion slots. These help ensure
that you'll be able to add new hardware capabilities in the future.

SIMM
A SIMM (single in-line memory module) is a module containing one or several
random access memory (RAM) chips on a small circuit board with PINs that connect
to the computer motherboard. Since the more RAM your computer has, the less
frequently it will need to access your secondary storage (for example, hard disk or
CD-ROM), PC owners sometimes expand RAM by installing additional SIMMs.
SIMMs typically come with a 32 data bit (36 bits counting parity bits) path to the
computer that requires a 72-pin connector. SIMMs usually come in memory chip
multiples of four megabytes.
The memory chips on a SIMM are typically dynamic RAM (DRAM) chips. An
improved form of RAM called Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) can also be used. Since
SDRAM provides a 64 data bit path, it requires at least two SIMMs or a dual in-line
memory module (DIMM).

RIMM
In a computer, a RIMM is a memory module developed by Kingston Technology
Corp. that takes up less space inside the computer than the older DIMM module and
has different PIN characteristics. A RIMM has a 184-pin connector and an SO-RIMM
module has a 160-pin connector. An SO-RIMM is smaller and is used in systems that
require smaller form factors. While RIMM is commonly believed to stand for "Rambus
inline memory module," Kingston Technology has trademarked "RIMM" and uses
only that term.
A RIMM module consists of RDRAM chips that are attached using a thin layer of
solder, a metal alloy that, when melted, fuses metals to each other. Solder balls on
each chip create a metal pathway used to conduct electricity.

DIMM
A DIMM (dual in-line memory module) is a double SIMM (single in-line memory
module). Like a SIMM, it's a module containing one or several random access
memory (RAM) chips on a small circuit board with pins that connect it to the
computer motherboard. A SIMM typically has a 32 data bit (36 bits counting parity
bits) path to the computer that requires a 72-pin connector. For synchronous dynamic
RAM (SDRAM) chips, which have a 64 data bit connection to the computer, SIMMs
must be installed in in-line pairs (since each supports a 32 bit path). A single DIMM
can be used instead. A DIMM has a 168-pin connector and supports 64-bit data
transfer. It is considered likely that future computers will standardize on the DIMM.

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VDU Interface
A device used for the real-time temporary display of computer output data. Note:
Monitors usually use cathode-ray-tube or liquid-crystal technology. Synonyms video
display terminal, video display unit, visual display unit.

VDU, or "video terminal", "video display terminal", VDT, "display terminal") A device
incorporating a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, a keyboard and a serial port. A VDU
usually also includes its own display electronics which store the received data and
convert it into electrical waveforms to drive the CRT.

VDUs fall into two categories: dumb terminals and intelligent terminals (sometimes
called "programmable terminals").

Early VDUs could only display characters in a single preset font, and these were
confined to being layed out in a rectangular grid, reproducing the functionality of the
paper-based teletypes they were designed to replace.

Later models added graphics facilities but were still driven via serial communications,
typically with several VDUs attached to a single multi-user computer. This contrasts
with the much faster single bitmap displays integrated into most modern single-user
personal computers and workstations.

The term "Display Screen Equipment" (DSE) is used almost exclusively in connection
with the health and safety issues concerning VDUs.

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CHAPTER 6

The Number Systems

The Number Systems


The reason that "hex" and octal are popular in computing is that it's easy to translate
to and from the binary system that computers really use. People use decimal
primarily because they have ten fingers, but it's just not that convenient to switch
back and forth from 10011010010 to 1234. It IS convenient to convert to 4D2 (hex) or
2322 (octal).

The numbers from decimal 0 through 15 in decimal, binary, octal, and hexadecimal
form are listed below.

DECIMAL BINARY OCTAL HEXA -DECIMAL

0 0 0 0

1 1 1 1

2 10 2 2

3 11 3 3

4 100 4 4

5 101 5 5

6 110 6 6

7 111 7 7

8 1000 10 8

9 1001 11 9

10 1010 12 A

11 1011 13 B

12 1100 14 C

13 1101 15 D

14 1110 16 E

15 1111 17 F

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Binary
Binary describes a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for
each digit: 0 and 1. The term also refers to any digital encoding/decoding system in
which there are exactly two possible states. In digital data memory, storage,
processing, and communications, the 0 and 1 values are sometimes called "low" and
"high," respectively.

Binary numbers look strange when they are written out directly. This is because the
digits' weight increases by powers of 2, rather than by powers of 10. In a digital
numeral, the digit furthest to the right is the "ones" digit; the next digit to the left is the
"twos" digit; next comes the "fours" digit, then the "eights" digit, then the "16s" digit,
then the "32s" digit, and so on. The decimal equivalent of a binary number can be
found by summing all the digits. For example, the binary 10101 is equivalent to the
decimal 1 + 4 + 16 = 21:

DECIMAL = 21 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

BINARY = 10101 0 0 1 0 1 0 1

Hexadecimal
Hexadecimal describes a base-16 number system. That is, it describes a numbering
system containing 16 sequential numbers as base units (including 0) before adding a
new position for the next number. (Note that we're using "16" here as a decimal
number to explain a number that would be "10" in hexadecimal.) The hexadecimal
numbers are 0-9 and then use the letters A-F. We show the equivalence of binary,
decimal, and hexadecimal numbers in the table below.

Hexadecimal is a convenient way to express binary numbers in modern computers in


which a byte is almost always defined as containing eight binary digits. When
showing the contents of computer storage (for example, when getting a core dump of
storage in order to debug a new computer program or when expressing a string of
text characters or a string of binary values in coding a program or HTML page), one
hexadecimal digit can represent the arrangement of four binary digits. Two
hexadecimal digits can represent eight binary digits, or a byte.

Octal
Octal (pronounced AHK-tuhl, from Latin octo or "eight") is a term that describes a
base-8 number system. An octal number system consists of eight single-digit
numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. The number after 7 is 10. The number after 17 is
20 and so forth.

In computer programming, the octal equivalent of a binary number is sometimes


used to represent it because it is shorter.

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Coding Systems

ASCII
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the most common
format for text files in computers and on the Internet. In an ASCII file, each
alphabetic, numeric, or special character is represented with a 7-bit binary number (a
string of seven 0s or 1s). 128 possible characters are defined.

Unix and DOS-based operating systems use ASCII for text files. Windows NT and
2000 uses a newer code, Unicode. IBM's S/390 systems use a proprietary 8-bit code
called EBCDIC. Conversion programs allow different operating systems to change a
file from one code to another.

ASCII was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

EBCDIC
EBCDIC (pronounced either "ehb-suh-dik" or "ehb-kuh-dik") is a binary code for
alphabetic and numeric characters that IBM developed for its larger operating
systems. It is the code for text files that is used in IBM's OS/390 operating system for
its S/390 servers and that thousands of corporations use for their legacy applications
and databases. In an EBCDIC file, each alphabetic or numeric character is
represented with an 8-bit binary number (a string of eight 0's or 1's). 256 possible
characters (letters of the alphabet, numerals, and special characters) are defined.
IBM's PC and workstation operating systems do not use IBM's proprietary EBCDIC.
Instead, they use the industry standard code for text, ASCII. Conversion programs
allow different operating systems to change a file from one code to another.

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Logic Gates: AND Gate, OR Gate, NOR Gate


A logic gate is an elementary building block of a digital circuit. Most logic gates have
two inputs and one output. At any given moment, every terminal is in one of the two
binary conditions low (0) or high (1), represented by different voltage levels. The logic
state of a terminal can, and generally does, change often, as the circuit processes
data. In most logic gates, the low state is approximately zero volts (0 V), while the
high state is approximately five volts positive (+5 V).

There are seven basic logic gates: AND, OR, XOR, NOT, NAND, NOR, and XNOR.

Using combinations of logic gates, complex operations can be performed. In theory,


there is no limit to the number of gates that can be arrayed together in a single
device. But in practice, there is a limit to the number of gates that can be packed into
a given physical space. Arrays of logic gates are found in digital integrated circuits
(ICs). As IC technology advances, the required physical volume for each individual
logic gate decreases and digital devices of the same or smaller size become capable
of performing ever-more-complicated operations at ever-increasing speeds.

AND Gate

The AND gate is so named because, if 0 is called "false" and 1 is called "true," the
gate acts in the same way as the logical "and" operator. The following illustration and
table show the circuit symbol and logic combinations for an AND gate. (In the
symbol, the input terminals are at left and the output terminal is at right.) The output
is "true" when both inputs are "true." Otherwise, the output is "false."

AND gate

Input 1 Input 2 Output


0 0 0
0 1 0
1 0 0

1 1
1

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OR Gate

The OR gate gets its name from the fact that it behaves after the fashion of the
logical inclusive "or." The output is "true" if either or both of the inputs are "true." If
both inputs are "false," then the output is "false."

OR gate

Input 1 Input 2 Output


0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1
1 1

NOR Gate

The NOR gate is a combination OR gate followed by an inverter. Its output is "true" if
both inputs are "false." Otherwise, the output is "false."

NOR gate

Input 1 Input 2 Output


0 0 1
0 1 0
1 0 0
1 1 0

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CHAPTER 7

Introduction to Computer Viruses


A virus is a piece of programming code usually disguised as something else that
causes some unexpected and usually undesirable event. A virus is often designed so
that it is automatically spread to other computer users. Viruses can be transmitted as
attachments to an e-mail note, as downloads, or be present on a diskette or CD. The
source of the e-mail note, downloaded file, or diskette you've received is often
unaware of the virus. Some viruses wreak their effect as soon as their code is
executed; other viruses lie dormant until circumstances cause their code to be
executed by the computer. Some viruses are playful in intent and effect ("Happy
Birthday, Ludwig!") and some can be quite harmful, erasing data or causing your
hard disk to require reformatting.

Generally, there are three main classes of viruses:

Boot Sector
These viruses infect executable code found in certain system areas on a disk. They
attach to the DOS boot sector on diskettes or the Master Boot Record on hard disks.
A typical scenario (familiar to the author) is to receive a diskette from an innocent
source that contains a boot disk virus. When your operating system is running, files
on the diskette can be read without triggering the boot disk virus. However, if you
leave the diskette in the drive, and then turn the computer off or reload the operating
system, the computer will look first in your A drive, find the diskette with its boot disk
virus, load it, and make it temporarily impossible to use your hard disk. (Allow several
days for recovery.) This is why you should make sure you have a bootable floppy.

File
Some file infector viruses attach themselves to program files, usually selected .COM
or .EXE files. Some can infect any program for which execution is requested,
including .SYS, .OVL, .PRG, and .MNU files. When the program is loaded, the virus
is loaded as well. Other file infector viruses arrive as wholly-contained programs or
scripts sent as an attachment to an e-mail note.

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Trojan Horse

Trojan horse attacks pose one of the most serious threats to computer security. If
you were referred here, you may have not only been attacked but may also be
attacking others unknowingly. This page will teach you how to avoid falling prey to
them, and how to repair the damage if you already did. According to legend, the
Greeks won the Trojan war by hiding in a huge, hollow wooden horse to sneak into
the fortified city of Troy. In today's computer world, a Trojan horse is defined as a
"malicious, security-breaking program that is disguised as something benign". For
example, you download what appears to be a movie or music file, but when you click
on it, you unleash a dangerous program that erases your disk, sends your credit card
numbers and passwords to a stranger, or lets that stranger hijack your computer to
commit illegal denial of service attacks like those that have virtually crippled the
DALnet IRC network for months on end.

The following general information applies to all operating systems, but by far most of
the damage is done to/with Windows users due to its vast popularity and many
weaknesses.

(Note: Many people use terms like Trojan horse, virus, worm, hacking and cracking
all interchangeably, but they really don't mean the same thing. If you're curious,
here's a quick primer defining and distinguishing them. Let's just say that once you
are "infected", trojans are just as dangerous as viruses and can spread to hurt others
just as easily!)

Methods of Activation
You can open a file by double clicking on it, but you can’t see the behind process.
Most of the times these files can be .exe files which are in floppy diskettes or in
Compack Disks.

You might have down load something from the internet which you don’t trust 100%.
You might open Email attachments without knowing.

Virus Effects
If your computer is running down slowly more than earlier.
If the machine shut downs abnormally.
If you can see unknown files or folders have been saved in to the hard disk.
If anything abnormally happens in your machine than earlier it might be to a virus
effect.

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Preventive Steps

1. Above all check every data medium you get. Even if it belongs to your best
friend, it does not give you the guarantee of security. It concerns not only
floppy disks, but also CD-ROMs, CD-RWs and ZIPs. Do not even open floppy
disk if you get it from an unknown person. Every data medium obtained from
an anonymous source is potentially infected.

2. Block the possibility of system boot from a floppy disk. Most of the latest
BIOSes have a function, which enables to do it. In that simple way you can
avoid the risk of having your computer infected by boot-sector viruses.

3. Do not open any letter with attached files received from an unknown sender.

4. Do not run macros in documents of office packages if an anti-virus monitor is


off.

5. Use an anti-virus monitor working constantly at the background. For the best
security the monitor should check the incoming mail and every file
downloaded from the Internet.

6. You should systematically update definitions of viruses used by anti-virus


software. Updating should be done at least once a month (the best once a
week).

7. In a situation when you chat in the Internet (especially using mIRC) you have
to follow the same rules as in case of received e-mails. Do not open any
received files, if you do know who sent it to you and why. Some viruses are
sent automatically, so same information about sender does not give you
guarantee of security.

8. NEVER download blindly from people or sites which you aren't 100% sure
about. In other words, as the old saying goes, don't accept candy from
strangers. If you do a lot of file downloading, it's often just a matter of time
before you fall victim to a trojan.

9. Even if the file comes from a friend, you still must be sure what the file is
before opening it, because many trojans will automatically try to spread
themselves to friends in an email address book or on an IRC channel. There
is seldom reason for a friend to send you a file that you didn't ask for. When in
doubt, ask them first, and scan the attachment with a fully updated anti-virus
program.

10. Beware of hidden file extensions! Windows by default hides the last extension
of a file, so that innocuous-looking "susie.jpg" might really be "susie.jpg.exe" -
an executable trojan! To reduce the chances of being tricked, unhide those
pesky extensions.

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11. NEVER use features in your programs that automatically get or preview files.
Those features may seem convenient, but they let anybody send you
anything which is extremely reckless. For example, never turn on "auto DCC
get" in mIRC, instead ALWAYS screen every single file you get manually.
Likewise, disable the preview mode in Outlook and other email programs.

12. Never blindly type commands that others tell you to type, or go to web
addresses mentioned by strangers, or run pre-fabricated programs or scripts
(not even popular ones). If you do so, you are potentially trusting a stranger
with control over your computer, which can lead to trojan infection or other
serious harm.

13. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because you run anti-virus
programs. Those do not protect perfectly against many viruses and trojans,
even when fully up to date. Anti-virus programs should not be your front line
of security, but instead they serve as a backup in case something sneaks
onto your computer.

14. Finally, don't download an executable program just to "check it out" - if it's a
trojan, the first time you run it, you're already infected!

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Introduction to Anti-virus Software


Antivirus (or "anti-virus") software is a class of program that searches your hard drive
and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses. The market for this kind of
program has expanded because of Internet growth and the increasing use of the
Internet by businesses concerned about protecting their computer assets.

Following are some URLs where you can find more information about antivirus
software.

International Computer Security Association:


http://www.icsa.net

Virus Bulletin
http://www.virusbtn.com

Dr Salomon's page
http://www.drsalomon.com

CERT - Computer Emergency Response Team


http://www.cert.org

McAfee anti-virus
http://vil.mcafee.com

Symantec
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/

Other pages about virus:


http://www.mks.com.pl
http://www.antywirusy.pl
http://www.wirusy.pl
http://www.wirusy.onet.pl
http://www.viruslist.com

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Norton
Antivirus software by Symantec that scans and cleans instant-message attachments
as well as email messages, and removes them automatically. You can download 15
day trial version freely from the Symantec website.

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McAfee
Anti-virus software by Macafee Co.
Scan and restores your PC immediately. Detects Spyware, blocks worms/unsafe
scripts.

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Virus Checking
Once you install the Virus guard it will automatically scan your system. When you
boot up the machine and until you shut down the system it will be scanning your
system behind other processes.

When you insert a unknown floppy diskette its better to scan the diskette for viruses.
You can right click on the floppy drive and select scan for viruses or open the anti
virus program and select scan and then select floppy diskette.

Then it will remove the infected files from the particular files and if it is not possible it
asks to delete the infected files. It’s better to delete the infected files permanently if
the recovery is not possible.

Disinfection

Computer viruses can be stored on floppy disks, hard disks, and even in the memory
of a computer. Viruses frequently move from one computer to another on floppy disks
or via files attached to email messages.

Most viruses can be detected and removed using virus detection software such as
McAfee VirusScan. In Nebula, we configure this package to be loaded at startup and
watch for any signs of viruses. If Mc Afee VirusScan detects a virus in a file you're
working with, it will notify you and give you some basic instructions on what to do
next. You can also check the list below for instructions on dealing with some of the
more pervasive virus infections. If you get a virus, you should always notify the
person who gave you the file, by telephone if possible, so they can get rid of it on
their computer, too.

What you need to know

• Any email claiming to be a Microsoft update is actually a virus itself; delete


the file and do not click on any attachment(s).
• Any email from another person claiming that you have a virus is most
probably a virus hoax (see the Nebula virus hoax page for more information).
• Do not delete files from your system based on an email message; check the
hoax page for more information.
• The most reliable source of information about a virus infection will come from
your computer's McAfee program. If this tells you that you have a virus, do
notify Nebula Support.
• Do not open unknown attachments, ever.

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Immunization
Viruses remain a significant threat to modern networked computer systems. Despite
the best efforts of those who develop anti-virus systems, new viruses and new types
of virus that are not dealt with by existing protection schemes appear regularly. In
addition, the rate at which a virus can spread has risen dramatically with the increase
in connectivity. Defenses against infections by known viruses rely at present on
immunization yet, for a variety of reasons, immunization is often only effective on a
subset of the nodes in a network and many nodes remain unprotected. Little is
known about either the way in which a viral infection proceeds in general or the way
that immunization affects the infection process. We present the results of a
simulation study of the way in which virus infections propagate through certain types
of network and of the effect that partial immunization has on the infection. The key
result is that relatively low levels of immunization can slow an infection significantly.

Removing

If you are not sure if your computer is virus-free, try removing a virus from the hard
disk as described below.

1. Shut down your machine, then start it up and log in; this ensures you have the
latest virus update files on your system.
2. Choose Start - Programs - Network Associates - VirusScan to begin a virus
scan on your computer.
3. In the box labeled "Scan in", make sure the drive you wish to search for
viruses is selected, typically C:. If it isn't, click "Browse" and choose the right
drive (and folder, if desired). Do not scan the I:\groups or H: drives; they are
scanned regularly by the engineers.
4. Note that the "Include subfolders" checkbox should be selected, so Viruscan
looks through all subdirectories of the location you've chosen.
5. Note also that by default only program files are scanned; this includes Word
and Excel document files. If you wish to scan all files, click the "All files" radio
button.
6. Click "Scan Now" to start the search.
7. If a virus is found, click on the file name and choose Clean Infected Files.
8. If Viruscan reports that it cannot clean a file, close the box and restart your
computer. Then repeat the scan. If Viruscan repeats the report, contact
Nebula Support. If possible, use the Nebula Support icon on your desktop;
this will include other information about your system that may help to solve
the problem.
9. Remember, don't respond to an email telling you that you have a virus. It's
either a hoax (in which case you just get more spam now that they know your
address is valid), or a response to an infected message that only looks like it
came from you--the latest viruses disguise their "From" addresses.

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Creation of a Rescue Disk


We can call rescue disk as a boot disk. Rescue disk or Boot disk can be used in a
situation where the computer does not boot in the normal way. This abnormal
condition is can be due to a virus effect.

You can follow the following instructions to create a boot disk in Windows XP.

• Insert a 3 ½’ floppy diskette in to your machine.


• Double Click on MyComputer Icon on the desktop.
• Right Click on Floppy Diskette Drive.
• Select Format
• Select Create MSDOS Startup Disk
• Click on Start to create the Disk.

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Installing Anti-virus Software


To install the antivirus soft ware first you have to buy a CD or download it from a
website. As an example we’ll see how to install Norton Antivirus.

First you select the setup file and double click on it.

Then it will prompt you :

You have to click on Yes and then it will start to scan all the files in your machine.

It will scan all the files and if there is any virus infected file it will show you.

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When the scanning is complete it will show you a report.

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Then the setup will continue to install the software.

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After clicking Next button you have to read the software license agreement and
accept the agreement to proceed.

If you don’t accept the agreement setup will stop.

Then it will ask for the path of the destination folder where the software files will be
saved.
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After selecting the correct path and folder it will show you where the software will be
installed. To proceed and install the software to your system you have to click on the
Next button.

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Then you can see the progress of the installation.

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After coping the installation files in to your hard drive it will show you the Readme text
file. The Readme.txt file contains the details about the product.
Click Next to proceed.

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You will get this message if the setup has been successfully installed.
Click on Finish to finish installing the software.

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After you install the software you have to register the product.

We are going to use the trial version. If you want you can purchase the product
online, or if you have already purchased you have to enter the product key which you
will receive after purchasing the original product.

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Then it will display you a summary of tasks which the software will operate on.
You can do wanted modifications.

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Click on Finish to finish the configuration.

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Upgrading Anti-virus Software


Once you install the antivirus software it’s a must that you upgrade the software
frequently. You can do it online.

If your antivirus is not up to date then it will show you the following message.

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You can select to update it live through the internet or if you wish to update it later
then you can select the second option.

After upgrading the automatic System Scan will run.

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If you want you can stop the scan now and do it later.

After the scan it will give you a summary.

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You can see whether the system scan is running in the background and its
configuration.

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Uninstalling Anti-virus Software


If you feel that you need better antivirus software you can uninstall the current
antivirus software and install a new one.

We’ll see how to uninstall the current antivirus software.

You can go to the control panel and select Add/Remove Programs.


Then select Norton antivirus 2004 and click on Remove.
Then it will display:

You can click on Remove All.

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Then it will warn you that this will remove antivirus software from your system. You
have to click on Next to proceed.

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Then you can see the un installation progress.

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After finishing the un installation it will ask to restart the machine.

You can select any option and click on Finish to finish the un installation.

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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Certificate in Information & Communication


Technology

Introduction to Computer
Systems
Assignments
101

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ASSIGNMENT 1

Identify Working Environment Hazards and Take


Preventive Steps

Task 1
1. List available Hazard types.
2. What is meant by Ergonomics? Describe.

Task 2
List what are the available preventive steps you can take for the hazards you listed.

Task 3
Describe the latest IT Trends. Basically Virtual Reality and Multimedia.

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ASSIGNMENT 2

Input and Output Devices

Task 1
1. Describe the term input.

2. Describe the each of the following.


a. Keyboard Devices:
i. Online
ii. Offline

b. Non Keyboard Devices:


i. Mouse
ii. Joystick
iii. Light Pen
iv. Touch Screen

c. Scanners:
i. OCR
ii. OMR
iii. MICR

Task 2
1. Describe the term output.

2. Differentiate between CRT Technology and LCD Technology.

3. Describe the each of the following.


a. Monitor
b. Dot Matrix Printer
c. Daisy Wheel Printer
d. Inkjet Printer
e. Thermal Printer
f. Laser Printer

4. Differentiate between Impact Printer and Non Impact Printer.

5. What are the devices which perform both Input and Output?

6. Describe the functions of the MODEM technically.

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System Software and Application Software

Task 3
1. Describe the difference between system Software and Application Software
by a table.

2. Application software we can categorize in to many. What are the most


popular categories of Application Software?

3. Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle are most popular DBMS
software today. Explain the major differences between these three products.

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ASSIGNMENT 3

Understanding Hardware Devices

Task 1
1. Describe the major functions of the Processor. And Identify the
communication flow between CPU ,ALU and CU.

2. Define major functions of the Arithmetic and Logic Unit and Control Unit

3. What are the types of Memories available.

4. What is DDR and SDR ?

5. Explain the functionality of PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.

6. Why do you need secondary storage?

7. Describe the following devices.


a. Floppy Disks
b. Hard Disks
c. Optical Disks
d. CD-ROM
e. Magnetic Tape
f. Zip Drives
g. DVD.

Task 2
Discuss the Evolution of the mother board in detail.

Task 3
What is meant by the mother board of the PC and what are the major tasks of it?
Describe the following in detail
1. Bus
2. Chips
3. Ports
4. Expansion Slots
5. SIMM
6. RIMM
7. DIMM

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ASSIGNMENT 4

Computer Viruses

Task 1
1. Describe what a Computer Virus is.

2. List different Types of Computer Viruses.

3. What do you mean by Boot Sector Virus ?

4. What is Trojan Horse?

5. What are the Virus Effects

Task 2
Discuss ho to take Preventive Steps against Computer Viruses in detail.

Task 3
1. Explain what is Anti-virus Software

2. What are the popular Anti Virus software in the Market today?

3. Briefly describe Norton, McAfee, and Panda.

4. List out the steps to create a Rescue Disk.

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ASSIGNMENT 5

Data Representation With in the Computer

Task 1
Explain the following with examples.
1. Binary
2. Hexadecimal
3. Octal

Task 2
Discuss the differences between the coding systems of ASCII and EBCDIC.

Task 3
Explain the following with examples.

Logic Gates:
1. AND Gate
2. OR Gate
3. NOR Gate

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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Certificate in Information & Communication


Technology

Introduction to Computer
Systems
Case Studies
101

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CASE STUDY1

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Installing, Scanning, and Upgrading Virus Guards


World Wide Web is an interesting, powerful media where you can search the entire
world for new technologies. Here you have to get connected to the internet and find
online resources for virus threats.

You have to visit Symantec Cooperation website and download the free virus guard
which is suitable for office and home users. First you have to register with the site to
download the free product. Here the student should have to have an e mail address
in order to register with the Symantec Corporation.

Once you get registered you can download the free product. Download the setup file
to the hard disk and install the virus guard to the machine and perform a virus scan.

After two weeks the virus guard will be expired. Check whether you can upgrade the
virus guard time to time.

At last you have to uninstall the virus guard.

Requirements
A computer connected to the internet.

Guidelines for Student


Students have to connect to the internet to find the online recourses against virus
attacks. You can use a search engine to find the wanted information.
E.g.: http://www.google.com

Guidelines for Supervisor

Technical guidance
• Guide your students.
• How to connect to the World Wide Web.
• How to visit a web page.
• How to download from the internet and save it in the hard disk.

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CASE STUDY 2

Installing Microsoft Office 2000 and Upgrading to


Microsoft Office XP
Here the student has to learn how to install upgrade application software like
Microsoft Office and Acrobat Reader.

First you have to install Microsoft Office 2000 to the machine. Then open Microsoft
word and prepare a document and save it on the desktop. After that you have put the
Office XP CD and install Office XP. Remember it should be a full installation. Here
you can first uninstall the existing office 2000 and install Office XP but that is not
recommended. You have to perform an upgrade from Office 2000 to Office XP and
list out the differences happen while the upgrade process. Notice what happen to the
Word document which you saved in the desktop during the upgrade process.

Requirements
Microsoft Office 2000 CD, Microsoft Office XP CD.
A computer connected to the internet.

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Guidelines for Student


• Better to find good copies of Office 2000 and XP CDs and write down the
product keys.
• During the upgrade process of Office keep on eye about the word document
you saved in the desktop. [Minimize the unnecessary windows during the
uninstallation process in order to see the Word document you saved in the
desktop]

Guidelines for Supervisor


• Guide your students.
• How to connect to the World Wide Web.
• How to visit a web page.
• How to download from the internet and save it in the hard disk.
• How to install software from CDs.

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