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TechnicalQuestions

Whatisacomputer?
Acomputerisanelectronicdevicethroughwhichwecansavedataandretrievedata.Itis
commonlyknownastheArithmeticalLogicalUnit.
WhatisaUSBcable?
USBcableisadeviceusedtoconnectexternaldevicestothecomputer,e.g.,printers,scanners
etc.
WhatisServer?
Ininformationtechnology,aserverisacomputerprogramthatprovidesservicesto
othercomputerprograms(andtheirusers)inthesameorothercomputers.The
computerthataserverprogramrunsinisalsofrequentlyreferredtoasaserver(though
itmaybeusedforotherpurposesaswell).
WhatisBIOS?
BIOS(basicinput/outputsystem)istheprogramapersonalcomputer'smicroprocessor
usestogetthecomputersystemstartedafteryouturniton.Italsomanagesdataflow
betweenthecomputer'soperatingsystemandattacheddevicessuchastheharddisk,
videoadapter,keyboard,mouse,andprinter.
WhatisaUSBHub?
AUSBHUBisaportthroughwhichwecanconnectmultipleUSBdevicestothecomputerat
thesametime.
Whatisamotherboard?
Itisthemaincircuitboardofacomputer.Alsoknownasmainboard/systemboard.
WhatisRAM?
RAM(randomaccessmemory)istheplaceinacomputerwheretheoperatingsystem,
applicationprograms,anddataincurrentusearekeptsothattheycanbequickly
reachedbythecomputer'sprocessor.RAMismuchfastertoreadfromandwriteto
thantheotherkindsofstorageinacomputer,theharddisk,floppydisk,andCDROM.
However,thedatainRAMstaysthereonlyaslongasyourcomputerisrunning.When
youturnthecomputeroff,RAMlosesitsdata.Whenyouturnyourcomputeronagain,
youroperatingsystemandotherfilesareonceagainloadedintoRAM,usuallyfrom
yourharddisk.

WhatisROM?

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ROMis"builtin"computermemorycontainingdatathatnormallycanonlyberead,
notwrittento.ROMcontainstheprogrammingthatallowsyourcomputertobe
"bootedup"orregeneratedeachtimeyouturniton.Unlikeacomputer'srandomaccess
memory(RAM),thedatainROMisnotlostwhenthecomputerpoweristurnedoff.
TheROMissustainedbyasmalllonglifebatteryinyourcomputer.
WhatisanOS?
Anoperatingsystem(sometimesabbreviatedas"OS")istheprogramthat,afterbeing
initiallyloadedintothecomputerbyabootprogram,managesalltheotherprogramsin
acomputer.Theotherprogramsarecalledapplicationsorapplicationprograms.The
applicationprogramsmakeuseoftheoperatingsystembymakingrequestsforservices
throughadefinedapplicationprograminterface(API).Inaddition,userscaninteract
directlywiththeoperatingsystemthroughauserinterfacesuchasacommand
languageoragraphicaluserinterface(GUI).
Whatisthemeaningofbootingup?
Toboot(asaverb;also"tobootup")acomputeristoloadanoperatingsystemintothe
computer'smainmemoryorrandomaccessmemory(RAM).Oncetheoperating
systemisloaded(and,forexample,onaPC,youseetheinitialWindowsorMacdesktop
screen),it'sreadyforuserstorunapplications.
Whatarethebasicstepstobeperformedifthecomputerdoesnotpoweron?
Firstly,checkifthepowercableisconnectedtothewalljack,thencheckifthepowerbuttonis
OnontheCPUornotandwhetherthelightsareOnontheCPU.Ifeverythingisfineandyetthe
computerdoesnotpoweronthentrytopluginthepowercableinadifferentwalljack.
Whatisinternet?
Internetisapubliclyandworldwideaccessablenetworkof
computer's.E.g.,Yahoo,Gmail,Hotmail.
Electronicmail(email)
Worldwideweb(www)
Chat
InternetNews
FileTransferProtocol(FTP)
Telnet
InternetSecurity
Whydoweneedsecurity?
Protectvitalinformationwhilestillallowingaccesstothosewhoneedittradesecrets,medical
recordsetc.
Providesauthenticationandaccesscontrolforresources
Guaranteeavailabilityofresources

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Commonsecurityattacksandtheircountermeasures

Findingawayintothenetwork
Firewalls
Exploitingsoftwarebugs,bufferoverflows
IntrusionDetectionSystems
TCPhijacking
IPSec
Packetsniffing
Encryption
Socialproblems
Education
Whatisintranet?
Intranetisasecuredandprivatecommunicationbetweenthenetworkofcomputer's.
DomainNaming
DomainName(example.Microsoft.com)
Topleveldomain(com)

Secondleveldomain(microsoft.com)
Subdomain(example.Microsoft.com)
WhatisCDROM?
CDROMisadeviceusedtoreadthedatasavedontheCD.

WhatisaCDWriter?
CDWriterisusedtoreadandwritethedatatoandfromtheCD.
Whatisasoundcard?
Asoundcardisadeviceinbuildonthemotherboard.Ithelpsintheoutputofsoundtotheaudio
devicesandinputofsoundfromthemicrophone.
WhatisaVideoCaptureCard?
Itisplacedinsideacomputercase,usedtoputvideointoacomputer,requiresavideo
source,eitheravideocamera/videorecorder.
WhatisaCPU?
Itisthecentralprocessingunit.Itdeterminestheprocessingpowerofthecomputer.Doesallof
themathematics,mainlyaddition.Doesallthelogicalcomparisonsofvalues.Directstheflow

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ofdatainacomputer.Controlstheoperationofthepartsofthecomputer.ThespeedofCPUsis
measuredinhertzs.MostcomputershaveaCPUthatcandomorethan400Mhz.CPUisabrain
ofacomputer,consisitingof
Arithmeticandlogicunit(ALU):performsarithmeticcalculations(addition,subtraction...)and
logicaldecisions.
ControlUnit(CU):decodeseachmachineinstructionandsendssignaltoothercomponentsfor
carryingouttheinstruction.
Anintegratedcircuit(IC)thatisafullcentralprocessingunitiscalledamicroprocessor.
CPUspeed:(M:Mega=10^6,Hz=1/sec);
WhatisaMemory?
Alargecollectionsofcircuits,eachcapableofstoringbit
Cells(words):manageableunits;typicalsizeis8bits(1byte),somemachinesare16bits(2byte)
andsome
are32bitsor64bits
Byte(8bits)
KB(kilobyte,10^3=2^10bytes)
MB(Megabyte,10^6=2^20bytes)
GB(Gigabyte,10^9=2^30bytes)
Computermemoryiscomparabletoacollectionofnumberedmailboxes.Toidentifyindividual
cellsinamachine'smainmemory,eachcellisassignedauniquename,calleditsaddress
Theorganizationofbytesizememorycell
MostSignificantBit(MSB)LeastSignificantBit(LSB)
RolesofComputersinaNetwork
DatabaseServer
MailServer
FaxServer
FileandPrintServer
DirectoryServicesServer
Whatareexpansionslots?
Expansionsslotsappearonthemotherboard.Theyaresocketsintowhichadaptersare
connected.
WhatisaBay?
Abayisaspaceinsidethecomputercasewhereaharddrive,floppydriveorCDROMdrive
sits.
WhatisaNetwork?
Anetworkistheinterconnectionofcomputersforthesharingofinformationandresources.

WhatisaUTPcable?
UnshieldedTwistedPair.lowfrequencytransmissionmedium,lowcost,smallsize,andease

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ofinstallation,limiteddistance,usuallylessthan100meters,themostpopularandisgenerally
thebestoptionforschoolnetworks.
WhatisaFileServer?
AFileserverisahighcapacitycomputerthatprovidesvariousresourcestothenetwork.
Theheartofanetwork.Controlthecommunicationofinformationbetweenthenodesona
network.NeedaveryfastcomputerwithalargeamountofRAMandstoragespace,afast
networkinterfacecard,andatapebackupdevice.
WhatisaWorkstation?
Acomputerinanetworkiscalledworkstationorclient.
WhatisaNetworkInterfacecard?
NICprovidesthelinkbetweenyourcomputerandyournetwork.providethephysical
connectionbetweenthenetworkandtheworkstation,mostareinternal,withthecardfittinginto
anexpansionslotinsidethecomputer,somebuildonthemotherboard.Threecommonnetwork
interfaceconnections:Ethernetcards,LocalTalkconnectors,TokenRingcards.Youcan
identifytheNICintheDeviceManageronaWindowscomputer.
Theexternalportwhereyouplugthecableintothecomputerslookslikealargephone
connector.
TheconnectorattheendofthecableisreferredtoasRJ45forEthernet.
What'sthedifferencebetweenaHub,aSwitchandaRouter?
Ahubistypicallytheleastexpensive,leastintelligent,andleastcomplicatedofthe
three.Itsjobisverysimple:anythingthatcomesinoneportissentouttotheothers.
That'sit.Everycomputerconnectedtothehub"sees"everythingthateveryother
computeronthehubsees.Thehubitselfisblissfullyignorantofthedatabeing
transmitted.Foryears,simplehubshavebeenquickandeasywaystoconnect
computersinsmallnetworks.
Aswitchdoesessentiallywhatahubdoesbutmoreefficiently.Bypayingattentionto
thetrafficthatcomesacrossit,itcan"learn"whereparticularaddressesare.For
example,ifitseestrafficfrommachineAcominginonport2,itnowknowsthat
machineAisconnectedtothatportandthattraffictomachineAneedstoonlybesent
tothatportandnotanyoftheothers.Thenetresultofusingaswitchoverahubisthat
mostofthenetworktrafficonlygoeswhereitneedstoratherthantoeveryport.Onbusy
networksthiscanmakethenetworksignificantlyfaster.
Arouteristhesmartestandmostcomplicatedofthebunch.Routerscomeinallshapes
andsizesfromthesmallfourport
broadbandroutersthatareverypopularrightnowto
thelargeindustrialstrengthdevicesthatdrivetheinternetitself.Asimplewaytothink
ofarouterisasacomputerthatcanbeprogrammedtounderstand,possibly
manipulate,androutethedataitsbeingaskedtohandle.Forexample,broadband
routersincludetheabilityto"hide"computersbehindatypeoffirewallwhichinvolves
slightlymodifyingthepacketsofnetworktrafficastheytraversethedevice.Allrouters
includesomekindofuserinterfaceforconfiguringhowtherouterwilltreattraffic.The

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reallylargeroutersincludetheequivalentofafullblown
programminglanguageto
WhatisNetworkCables?
TypesofCables
TwistedPair10BaseT
Coaxial
FibreOptics
10Base2,10Base5
Unshielded(UTP)
Shielded(STP)
ThinNet
ThickNet

WhatisNetworkSecurity?
Differentrightsfordifferentusers,suchasadministrators,teachers,staff,andstudents
Accessprivileges:read,write,execute,ornoaccess,Passwords,Backup,VirusProtection,
UPS(Uninterruptiblepowersupply)

WhatisaPort?
Aconnectionpointforacable.

WhyisSecurityofdatainacomputeressential?
Computerscanstorebothpublicandprivatedata.Youensurethatwhatisstoredon
yourcomputerissecureyoucanuseapasswordtoprotectthematerial.Usernamesand
passwordscanalsoprotecttheinformationstoredonacomputer.WhenusingtheInternet,one
shouldusecautionwhengivingoutpersonalinformation.

Whatisacomputersoftware?
Computersoftwareprovidesinstructionthattellthecomputerhowtooperate.Softwarearealso
calledPrograms.

WhatarethedifferenttypesofSoftware?
SystemSoftware:Usedbythecomputertoaccomplishatask.controlstheinternalfunction
ofthecomputer,controlsotherdevicesconnectedtotheCPU.
ApplicationSoftware:Usedbypeopletoaccomplishaspecifictask.Commonkindsof
ApplicationSoftwareare:WordProcessorsoftware,Databasesoftware,Spreadsheet
software,Games,WebPageBrowsers.

WhatarethedifferenttypesofNetwork?
Anetworkcanbedividedinto3typesdependingupontheareaitcovers:
a)LAN:

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LocalAreaNetwork.Lanisaconfigurationwhereallthecomputersareincloseproximityto
oneanother.
LanconnectioniscreatedwhenaFastAccesscustomerplugsthemodemintothecomputer.
Lanmayserveasfewastwoorthreeusersorasmanyasthousandsofusers.
b)MAN:MetropolitanAreaNetwork.Itisanetworkofcomputer'sthatcoversalargerarea.
c)WAN:AWANcomputernetworkisanetworkthatspansarelativelylargegeographicalarea.
AWANconsistsoftwoormorelocalareanetworks(LANs)
Computersconnectedtoawideareanetworkareoftenconnectedthroughpublicnetworks,
suchasthetelephonesystem.
ComponentOverview
Thereareseveralcomponentsrequiredtonetworkwithothercomputers.
Someofthecomponentsare:
ClientSoftware>192.168.1.254(IPAddress)>ServerSoftware
NetworkInterfacecardCable

NetworkComponents
Tocommunicatewithothercomputersonanetwork,thefollowingcomponentsmustbe
present:
OperatingSystemthatsupportsnetworking.
Aphysicalconnectiontothenetwork.
AClient
AServer
Operatingsystems
Windows98FirstandSecondEdition
WindowsME
WindowsNT
Windows2000
WindowsXP
Linux
NetworkOperatingsystems
WindowsNTServer
Windows2000Server
WindowsServer2003
LinuxServer
WhatisaModem?
Cannotsenddigitalsignaldirectlytotelephoneline
Sendingend:Modulatethecomputer'sdigitalsignalintoanalogsignalandtransmits
Receivingend:DEModulatetheanalogsignalbackintodigitalform.

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DSLAMDigitalsubscriberlineaccessmodule(centralofficeADSLmodempool)

WhatisaTCP/IP?
TCP/IP(TransmissionControlProtocol/InternetProtocol)isthebasiccommunication
languageorprotocoloftheInternet.Itcanalsobeusedasacommunicationsprotocol
inaprivatenetwork(eitheranintranetoranextranet).Whenyouaresetupwithdirect
accesstotheInternet,yourcomputerisprovidedwithacopyoftheTCP/IPprogram
justaseveryothercomputerthatyoumaysendmessagestoorgetinformationfrom
alsohasacopyofTCP/IP.TheIPcanbeIPv4orIPv6(vbeingversion).
IPaddresscanbeidentifiedinthenumericfashionof(foreg)192.168.1.254
Applicationlayer
TransportLayer
InternetLayer
NetworkInterfaceLayer
HowBridgesWork
BridgesworkattheMediaAccessControlSublayeroftheOSImodel
Routingtableisbuilttorecordthesegmentno.ofaddress
Ifdestinationaddressisinthesamesegmentasthesourceaddress,stoptransmit
Otherwise,forwardtotheothersegment
BridgesandRouters
Bridgesforwardeverythingtheydon'trecognize
Routeselectthebestpath
Routersarelayer3deviceswhichrecognizenetworkaddress
Bridgesarelayer2deviceswhichlookattheMACsublayernodeaddress
WhatisStartupRepair?
StartupRepairisaWindowsVistarecoverytoolthatcanfixcertainproblems,suchas
missingordamagedsystemfiles,thatmightpreventWindowsfromstartingcorrectly.When
yourunStartupRepair,itscansyourcomputerfortheproblemandthentriestofixitsoyour
computercanstartcorrectly.
StartupRepairislocatedontheSystemRecoveryOptionsmenu,whichisontheWindows
Vistainstallationdisc.Ifyourcomputermanufacturerhaspreinstalledrecoveryoptions,Startup
Repairmightalsobeinstalledonyourharddisk.IfyourcomputerdoesnotincludeStartup
Repair,yourcomputermanufacturermighthavecustomizedorreplacedthetool.Checkthe
informationthatcamewithyourcomputerorgotothemanufacturer'swebsite.
Whatisaprimarymemory?
Programmesanddataarestoredinthesamememory.
Thecomputercanonlyperformoneinstructionatatime.
Sixlogicalunitsineverycomputer:
1.Inputunit:obtainsinformationfrominputdevices(keyboardmouse)

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2.Outputunit:outputinformation(toscreen,toprinter,tocontrolotherdevices)
3.Memoryunit:rapidaccess,lowcapacity,storesinputinformations
ROM(Readonlymemory):CMOS,EPROM
RAM(RandomAccessMemory):SRAM,DRAM,SIMM,DIMM
4.Arithmeticandlogicunit(ALU)partofCPU
Performsarithmeticcalculations(addition,subtraction...)andlogicaldecisions
5.Controlunit(CU)partofCPU
Supervisesandcoordinatestheothersectionsofthecomputer
6.Secondarystorageunit
Cheap,longterm,highcapacitystorage
Storesinactiveprogramms
AddressingGuidelines
TheFirstNumberintheNetworkIDcannotbe127
TheHostIDcannotbeall255s
TheHostIDcannotbeallZeros
heHostIDmustbeUniquetotheLocalNetworkID
Client/ServerComputingontheInternet
WebServer(HTTP)
Simplemailtransferprotocol(SMTP)
Domainnameserving(DNS)utility
Filetransferprotocol(FTP)
Networknewstranferprotocol(NNTP)
Internetprotocol
HTTPHyperTextTransferProtocol
FTPFileTransferProtocol
SMTPSimpleMailTransferProtocol
HTMLHyperTextMarkupLanguage
DHTMLDynamicHyperTextMarkupLanguage
Firewall
Afirewallhasonepointofaccessintothenetwork.Thiscanbebadorgood.
Canbehardwareorsoftware
WinXP&MacOSXhavebuiltinandthirdpartyfirewalls
Whatisabus?
busisasubsystemthattransfersdatabetweencomputercomponentsinsideacomputeror
betweencomputers.Eachbusdefinesitssetofconnectorstophysicallyplugdevices,cardsor
cablestogether.
ComputerComponents:
Computersaremadeofthefollowingbasiccomponents:
Casewithhardwareinside:

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PowerSupplyThepowersupplycomeswiththecase,butthiscomponentismentioned
separatelysincetherearevarioustypesofpowersupplies.Theoneyoushouldgetdependson
therequirementsofyoursystem.Thiswillbediscussedinmoredetaillater
MotherboardThisiswherethecorecomponentsofyourcomputerresidewhicharelisted
below.Alsothesupportcardsforvideo,sound,networkingandmorearemountedintothis
board.
MicroprocessorThisisthebrainofyourcomputer.Itperformscommandsandinstructions
andcontrolstheoperationofthecomputer.
MemoryTheRAMinyoursystemismountedonthemotherboard.Thisismemorythatmust
bepoweredontoretainitscontents.
DrivecontrollersThedrivecontrollerscontroltheinterfaceofyoursystemtoyourhard
drives.Thecontrollersletyourharddrivesworkbycontrollingtheiroperation.Onmost
systems,theyareincludedonthemotherboard,howeveryoumayaddadditionalcontrollersfor
fasterorothertypesofdrives.
Harddiskdrive(s)Thisiswhereyourfilesarepermanentlystoredonyourcomputer.Also,
normally,youroperatingsystemisinstalledhere.
CDROMdrive(s)Thisisnormallyareadonlydrivewherefilesarepermanentlystored.
Therearenowread/writeCDROMdrivesthatusespecialsoftwaretoallowuserstoreadfrom
andwritetothesedrives.
Floppydrive(s)Afloppyisasmalldiskstoragedevicethattodaytypicallyhasabout1.4
Megabytesofmemorycapacity.
OtherpossiblefilestoragedevicesincludeDVDdevices,Tapebackupdevices,andsome
others.
MonitorThisdevicewhichoperateslikeaTVsetletstheuserseehowthecomputeris
respondingtotheircommands.
KeyboardThisiswheretheuserenterstextcommandsintothecomputer.
MouseApointandclickinterfaceforenteringcommandswhichworkswellingraphical
environments.

MainComponentsandStructureoftheCentralProcessingUnit
WhatdoestheCPUdo?
Carriesoutinstructionsandtellstherestofthecomputersystemwhattodo.Thisisdonebythe
ControlunitoftheCPUwhichsendscommandsignalstotheothercomponentsofthesystem.
Performsarithmeticcalculationsanddatamanipulation,eg.comparisons,sorting,combining,
etc.Thecomputer'scalculatorisapartoftheCPUknownastheArithmeticlogicunit.
Holdsdataandinstructionswhichareincurrentuse.ThesearekeptintheMainStoreor

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Memory.
Tounderstandhowthewholesystemworks,considerthediagramshownbelow.Thisdiagram
showsthebasiccomponentsofageneralisedCPU.AnactualCPUmayhavethesecomponents,
orotherwithdifferentnamesthatprovidethesamefunctions.

WhatistheOSImodel?
TheOSI,orOpenSystemInterconnection,modeldefinesanetworkingframeworkfor
implementingprotocolsinsevenlayers.Controlispassedfromonelayertothenext,
startingattheapplicationlayerinonestation,andproceedingtothebottomlayer,over
thechanneltothenextstationandbackupthehierarchy.
WhatarethedifferentlayersoftheOSIModel?
Layer7:Theapplicationlayer...Thisisthelayeratwhichcommunicationpartners
areidentified,qualityofserviceisidentified,userauthenticationandprivacyare
considered,andanyconstraintsondatasyntaxareidentified.(Thislayerisnotthe
applicationitself,althoughsomeapplicationsmayperformapplicationlayerfunctions.)
Layer6:Thepresentationlayer...Thisisalayer,usuallypartofanoperatingsystem,
thatconvertsincomingandoutgoingdatafromonepresentationformattoanother(for
example,fromatextstreamintoapopupwindowwiththenewlyarrivedtext).
Sometimescalledthesyntaxlayer.
Layer5:Thesessionlayer...Thislayersetsup,coordinates,andterminates
conversations,exchanges,anddialogsbetweentheapplicationsateachend.Itdeals

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withsessionandconnectioncoordination.
Layer4:Thetransportlayer...Thislayermanagestheendtoend
control(for
example,determiningwhetherallpacketshavearrived)anderrorchecking.
Itensures
completedatatransfer.
Layer3:Thenetworklayer...Thislayerhandlestheroutingofthedata(sendingitin
therightdirectiontotherightdestinationonoutgoingtransmissionsandreceiving
incomingtransmissionsatthepacketlevel).Thenetworklayerdoesroutingand
forwarding.
Layer2:Thedatalink
layer...Thislayerprovidessynchronizationforthephysical
levelanddoesbitstuffing
forstringsof1'sinexcessof5.Itfurnishestransmission
protocolknowledgeandmanagement.
Layer1:Thephysicallayer...Thislayerconveysthebitstreamthroughthenetworkat
theelectricalandmechanicallevel.Itprovidesthehardwaremeansofsendingand
receivingdataonacarrier.