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30 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Definition of a computer as per Wikipedia
A computer is a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data/information, and provides output in a useful format.
What is "Von Neumann Architecture"?
A "stored-program concept": a design model for a stored-program digital computer that uses a central processing unit (CPU) and a single separate storage structure ("memory") to hold both instructions and data.
What happens in the CPU if one wishes to add 5 and 7. Think about registers.
We want to add 5 and 7. The CPU only does calculations on a small number of registers (fast hardware able to store a number). For 5+7, essentially a 5 will be first put into a register, say R0, and 7 will be put into another register, say R1. We then instruct the CPU to add R0 and R1.
What ancient tool do some consider "an early computer".
Some say the abacus is an early computer. Noteworthy: Charles Babbage theorized an “analytical engine”. Later, Luigui F. Menabrea published a paper in French describing Babbage’s vision of a machine capable of solving any problem using inputs, outputs and programs written on punch cards.
The computer hardware is only able to execute machine codes. What are the important categories/layers of software?
Briefly describe the functions of the operating system (OS)
Managing the hardware, providing an interface between the user and the hardware. Utilities: printing files, copying files, etc.
Briefly describe the functions of the application software
Performing common operations. Examples: Word processors, database management software (DBMS), computer-aided design software (AutoCAD, Civil 3D, …), and games
What are the 3 main computer "languages"?
Machine code, assembly language, and high-level languages
Briefly describe the machine code language
A binary language -- an instruction consisting of a sequence of 0 and 1. It is tied to the computer’s hardware.
Briefly describe the assembly language
Also unique to a specific computer design, but its instructions are written in symbolic statements instead of binary.
Briefly describe the high-level languages
They have English-like commands and instructions.
Describe the compiler
A special program that translates a program written in a high-level language to machine codes.
What are syntax errors?
Program statements we made may be wrong, in the sense that they do not obey the high-level language syntax.
What is the source file?
The program we made.
What is the object file?
The machine language version of your source file.
What are logic errors?
Errors shown up when executing your program. They are also called run-time errors or program bugs.
What is a "word" with relation to memory?
A sequence of bits stored in memory representing binary numbers.
What is the memory space (address space)?
The number of words available in memory.
What is a byte?
A sequence of 8 bits.
What are type declaration statements?
Define identifiers and allocate memory. Ex.
int iValue = 2781;
iValue => 00000000 | 00000000 | 00001010 | 11011101
What are decimal numbers?
Decimal numbers are of base 10.
What are binary numbers?
Binay numbers are of base 2.
Are digital signals digital or analog?
Digital signals are in fact analog. 0 and 1 are represented by voltage ranges.
How does one convert a decimal number to a binary number?
Ex. Convert 14 (decimal) to binary.
14/2 = 7 R 0
7/2 = 3 R 1
3/2 = 1 R 1
1/2 = 0 R 1
So the answer is 1110
How does one convert a decimal number to an octal number?
Ex. Convert 143 (decimal) to octal.
143/8 = 17 R 7
17/8 = 2 R 1
2/8 = 0 R 2
So the answer is 217
How does one perform binary subtraction?
Work the columns right to left subtracting in each column. If you must subtract a one from a zero, you need to “borrow” from the left, just as in decimal subtraction.
Two's complement numbers are a way to encode negative numbers into ordinary binary, such that addition still works. How does one find the two's compliment?
Invert all the bits and add 1. Shortcut: start at the least significant bit (LSB), and copy all the zeros (working from LSB toward the most significant bit) until the first 1 is reached; then copy that 1, and flip all the remaining bits. This shortcut allows a person to convert a number to its two's complement without first forming its ones' complement. Example: the two's complement of "0011 1100" is "1100 0100".
How does one subtract using two's compliment?
If you want to subtract a number, take the 2's complement and add it instead. To take the 2's complement, invert all the bits and add 1. For example, to do 5 (0101) minus 3 (0011), first compute -3 (1100 + 1 = 1101). Now add 5 + (-3):


Throw away the carry out and you're left with 0010, or 2.
What is the floating point data type?
A floating point number, or real number, such as 12.2510, includes a decimal point. The fractional part of a decimal number can be converted to binary by repeatedly multiplying the fractional part by 2 and recording the carry bits until the fractional part becomes zero.
What are the steps of "An Engineering Problem-Solving Methodology"?
State the problem clearly.
Describe the input and output information of the problem.
Work the problem by hand for a simple set of data.
Develop a solution and convert it to a computer program.
Test the solution with a variety of data.