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75 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is a Computer?
All computers are systems of input, processing, output, storage, and control components.
Types of Computers
Supercomputers, Workstations, MainframE Computers, Microcomputers, Midrange
Six categories of hardware
1.) Input device
2.) Output device
3.) Storage device
4.) Central processing unit (CPU)
5.) Telecommunications device
6.) Connecting device
Computer Peripherals
Generic name given to all input, output, and secondary storage devices that are part of a computer system, but are not part of the CPU.
Entering Text and Numbers
The keyboard is the primary entry device for this requirement.
Pointing and Selecting
These devices come in many shapes, sizes and styles including: mice, light pens, touch pads, touch screens, joysticks, etc.,
Entering Batch Data
The most common device for this is the scanner used in conjunction with optical character recognition (OCR) software that can convert text into digital data quickly. Other techniques are optical mark recognition, barcode readers, magnetic ink character readers, etc.
Smart Cards
A special kind of credit card with a magnetic strip, microprocessor, or memory circuits that can be used for many applications and is resistant to tampering
Entering Audio
Sound is digitized when stored and processed on a computer
Voice Input
speaking into a microphone and can be made very powerful when coupled with voice recognition software enabling a voice conversion to text or other forms
Other Audio
connecting a computer to other audio transfer devices (e.g. musical instrument digital transfer (MIDI))
Entering Video
Images are digitized and stored in both still and moving formats or “streaming video”.
Still Images
Generally entered from digital cameras, devices that can read digital camera cards or chips, or CDs generated at the time of film camera processing
Streaming Video and Streaming Media
Steaming video images contain only video
Streaming media combine both audio and video
Images entered via VCR’s, video cameras, DVD, Web cams, etc..
Extremely large files due to the dense nature of the video content
The role of processing in a computer system is to translate inputs into outputs. This is done through a combination of language and system components
The System Unit :
The physical box that houses all of the working electronic components of the computer
electronic equipment to run the machine
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
the primary processor in a computer
Primary Storage
temporary and permanent storage used by the computer to operate
Secondary Storage
longer-term storage for data
Ports and Slots - (components)
mechanisms to connect devices and specialty processors
Contains all the of the components that do the actual processing work including
Central Processing Unit
Secondary Storage Devices (e.g hard drive)
Slots - connecting specialty processors
Ports - connecting input/output devices
Power Supply:
Converts standard 110/240 volt AC to lower voltages such as 5/10 volt DC for use in the computer
Low voltage device designed to protect the computer from the high heat generated by the CPU
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The “brains of the computer”
Performs the operations of the computer
CPU Operations
fetching, decoding, retrieving, and storing
loading the next program instruction from memory
determines the next operation by using registers (temporary storage) to store the instructions and memory location used
loading the necessary data from memory and executing the required instructions
placing the results of the computations in a register or in memory
CPU contains two primary parts including:
Control unit and Arithmetic/logic unit (A/L unit)
Arithmetic/logic unit (A/L unit)
performs all arithmetic operations (for example, addition and subtraction) and all logic operations (such as sorting and comparing numbers).
Control unit
interprets software instructions and literally tells the other hardware devices what to do, based on the software instructions.
Clock Speed:
The system clock generate pulses at a rapid rate regulating the speed of the processor. A clock tick is one pulse and the clock speed is measured in hertz
CPU cycles determine...
how fast a CPU executes software instructions.
More cycles means faster processing (and more cost.)
Megahertz (MHz) - the number of millions of CPU cycles per second.
Gigahertz (GHz) - the number of billions of CPU cycles per second.
Moore’s Law (1970s)
Dr. Gordon Moore from Intel hypothesized that processing performance would double every 18 months
CPU Processing
Intel Pentium IV CPU packs 55 million transistors
Provide temporary storage where data must reside while it is being processed or manipulated
Cache Memory
A small block of memory used by the processor to store frequently or recently used instructions and thus speed up processing.
Cache memory comes in two types:
internal and external
Internal (cache memory)
incorporated in the microprocessor’s design
External (cache memory)
is not built into the CPU but is located on the motherboard for easy access
Primary Storage
This storage is used for temporary storage to support computer processing. Two types, RAM and ROM
Random Access Memory (RAM)
The computer’s main processing storage consisting of several chips containing thousands of electronic circuits etched in silicon and mounted on a small circuit board call a single inline memory module (SIMM) or dual inline memory modules (DIMM). RAM has the following characteristics:
Provides temporary storage for computer operation
Stores data programs and data currently in use
Provides the CPU with random access to stored data
Is volatile - data stored in RAM will be lost when the computer is turned off
Read-Only Memory (ROM)
This memory exists on a chip on the motherboard and contains information that can be read by the computer but not written to. ROM stores the instructions required to run the computer before the system software takes over
Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM or also called Flash Memory)
This is a variation of ROM that can be read and repeatedly written to and erased like RAM, but is different in that the information is retained after the power is turned off
Secondary Storage
Nonvolatile storage used to permanently store information. Not part of the CPU but connected to it through the system bus. Types include: harddrives and diskettes
Hard Drives
These devices use a thin layer of magnetic media on a plastic or steel disk and have a very high storage capacity. Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a storage technique using multiple hard disks to secure data against a single device failure or “crash”
These are portable magnetic media, similar to hard drives, written to by inserting the diskette into a diskette drive. A high-capacity diskette drive system that stores over 100 times a normal diskette is called a ZIP drive
Optical Disk
This technology uses a laser to: write by burning spots into a disk coated with a metallic substance representing a data package; read by interpreting the reflection of the light off the burned in data spots. Types include:

Magneto-Optical (MO)
Compact Disk (CD)
Digital Video Disk (DVD)
Magneto-Optical (MO)
a high capacity disk that contains tiny magnetic crystals allowing the disk to be written to multiple times
Compact Disk (CD)
standard equipment on PCs, comes in two types: (CD-R) write once; (CD-RW) allows to write multiple times
Digital Video Disk (DVD)
common storage format for movies and other video media but can also be used for data storage and holds over 7X more than a CD
Magnetic Tape
A storage media consisting of a narrow tape coated with a magnetic substance.
Unlike all other secondary storage mediums, this technology reads and writes data sequentially.
Commonly used for backing up data from other secondary storage technologies
Storage device capacities are measured in terms of bytes.
Megabyte (MB or M or Meg) – is roughly 1 million bytes.
Gigabyte (GB or Gig) - roughly 1 billion bytes.
Terabyte (TB) - roughly 1 trillion bytes.
Petabyte – roughly 1 quadrillion bytes.
Exabyte – roughly 1 quintillion bytes.
binary digit, which can have a value of either zero or one
basic grouping of bits that the computer operates as a single unit, typically eight bits
C – 01100011
O – 01001111
O – 01001111
L – 01001100
Processing – Ports and Slots
These are devices used to provide hardware interfaces – plugs and sockets - to connect devices to computers and components to provide a fully functional computer
A visual display of data that supports motion using a monitor (black and white or color) coming in two types:
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
A device that projects a picture onto a screen
Printers and Plotters
A visual display that is presented on hard copy (e.g. paper)
Dot Matrix
older technology using a series of dots to create characters, typically in black and white
newer technology that sprays ink onto paper in character or image format in color or black-and-white
a very high-quality technology that uses an electrostatic process that burns ink into characters or images and also comes in black-and-white or color (very expensive)
Audio is transmitted using a sound card connected to speakers that is inserted into one of the motherboard’s slots. The computer translates digits into sound by sending the data to the sound card that interprets these data into tones
Buying a New Computer
There are several things to consider
Hard Drive
Video Card
Other Hardware
Multi-core =
multiple processors running on the same integrated circuit
Double Data Rate, so DDR is better than plain SDRAM (you won’t see it called SDR SDRAM)
How many DIMM’s, and why do I care?
DIMM = Dual In-line Memory Module
The issue here is the opportunity for future expansion. If you choose 1 GB of RAM on 1 DIMM, you have more expansion options than if you choose 1 GB on 2 DIMMs (i.e., 2 DIMMs with 512 MB each)
Hard Drive
How much do I need?
Depends on what you’re going to be doing with it, and what your photo/music/movie collections look like
For most people 80GB to 100GB will be plenty of space
Exception: unless you’re into video editing
One other thing to consider: speed
You can typically choose between 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm hard drives, with the 7200 rpm models offering improvements in data access speeds
Video Card
How good does my video card need to be?
Again, this will change based on how you’re using your machine
The typical variable is the amount of memory on the video card
Most cards have between 128 – 256MB memory directly on the video card
This is more than sufficient for most users
Exception: if you’re using the computer for video games and/or video editing, you might want to spend a little more here
CD/DVD Combo Drives
Most companies offer combo drives which will allow you to play and burn both CD’s and DVD’s
Some are offering drives which are capable of dual-layer writing on DVD’s, which allows for greater storage
Wireless Networking Cards
Typically go for the highest letter available (e.g., 802.11a, b, or g), as they are backwards compatible
Bluetooth is also available as an option on most laptops
Another piece of hardware which can prove quite useful is a media card reader (e.g., 9-in-1 or 13-in-1 models)
These are particularly useful for those who own digital cameras, as they allow the user to directly insert their media card (SMC, xD, SD, MMC, Compact Flash, etc.) into the front of the machine and be read directly by the computer (similar to the way you operate thumb/jump drives)