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Sem., AY2014-15
Computer Fundamentals

What is a computer?
A computer is an electronic device capable of processing information by:
Accepting input data
Keeping data temporarily
Performing high-speed mathematical or logical operations
Producing output results

Characteristics of Computers
Can process data at extremely high speed
Has large storage capability
Has very high reliability and accuracy in performing repetitive tasks

Limitations of a computer
cannot generate any information on its own
incapable of making corrections on its own and
subject to occasional breakdown or computer malfunction

The Data Processing Cycle
This is how a computer processes information

Types of Computer
1. Personal Computer

2. Notebook Computer

3. Handheld Computer

4. Midrange Computer

5. Mainframe Computer

6. Supercomputer

What is a Computer System?
A computer system is a group of elements performing together to process data.

3 Elements of a Computer System
1. Hardware - refers to the physical parts of the computer system.
2. Software - refers to the instructions or programs that make the computer do specific functions
or tasks.
3. Users - refers to the person / operator who uses the computer.


Memory: Primary and Secondary

Elements of Hardware
Input Devices
Output Devices
Communication Devices
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Control Unit (CU)
Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)
Storage Devices
Primary storage (RAM or Random Access Memory)
Secondary storage (harddisk, floppy disk, etc.)

Hardware: Peripheral

Keyboard Layouts
QWERTY: The Standard keyboard layout

A more efficient keyboard layout by John Dvorak

2. Output Devices
- used to display information

3. Communication Devices
- used for sending and receiving of data from another computer or device

Hardware: Central Processing Unit (CPU)

CPU: Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

Found inside the CPU
performs mathematical ( +, , , ) and logical ( <, >, =) operations
In short, it is responsible for processing data.

CPU: Control Unit (CU)
Regulates and coordinates all electronic parts of a computer to work together.

Hardware: Primary Storage Devices
RAM Random-Access Memory
ROM Read-Only Memory

1. Random Access Memory (RAM)

2. Read-Only Memory (ROM)

Hardware: Secondary Storage Devices
is a device used to store data permanently
data stored is not lost when power is turned off;
The user can change or erase the data

Units of Measure for Digital Information

Digital signals: sequences of 0s and 1s
Machine language: language of a computer
Data is stored in the form of BInary digiTs or BITs
Machine language is in the form of bits as well
Bit is the smallest unit of information.
Example a 0 or 1.
Binary code:
A sequence of 0s and 1s
Byte is a sequence of 8 bits; represents a character.
Hence: 8 bits = 1 byte
Example: ASCII character A is 0100 0001
ASCII character B is 0100 0010

Conversion Table
* 1 byte = 8 bits
* 1 kilobyte(KB) = 1,024 bytes = 2

* 1 megabyte(MB) = 1,048,576 bytes = 2

* 1 gigabyte(GB) = 1,073,741,824 bytes = 2

* 1 terabyte(TB) = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes = 2

1 Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes = 1024 x 1024 bytes
1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes = 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes

Data Representation
Binary codes represent Alphanumeric Characters (Alphabets, Symbols and Numbers)
Used by IBM
256 characters
(pronounced as-key)
ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange
7-bit code (8 bits when extended codes has been defined)
=128 code words (for extended ASCII: 2
=256 code words)
94 Graphic printing characters
Examples: A~Z,a~z, 0~9, #, !, +
34 Non-printing characters

ASCII character set

Uses of a Personal Computer
store information
edit information
perform calculations
generate graphics and images
provide communication
provide entertainment

Types of Software

1. System Software
Programs that:
manage the computers hardware and software
provides interface between the user and the hardware
ex. Operating System: Windows 7, Linux
2. Application Software
Programs that help users do some kind of work
ex. Office-related software, Games-related software,
Entertainment, Architecture, Banking, Airline

System Software: Operating System
A set of programs used to communicate with the computer
Controls the computers resources to accomplish different tasks

Free and Open-Source Software
The Situation:
Most computer programs are for sale (commercial)
Most programmers keep their source code (programming code) secret so others cannot make
money out of their own work
The response:
Some people think that software should be free of charge and that source code should be made
available for everyone to see and modify
Profit can be made through software support services instead of paying for the software itself

Open-source and Free Software Alternatives

The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics
1. Do not use a computer to harm people
2. Do not disturb other peoples computer work
3. Do not look at another persons files without permission
4. Do not use a computer to steal
5. Do not use a computer to tell a lie
6. Do not copy or use proprietary software if you did not pay for it
7. Do not use other peoples computer equipment without permission or proper compensation
8. Do not use another persons ideas and say it is your own
9. You must think about the social effects of the program you are writing or the system you are
10. Always use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect for other people

Healthy Computing
Ergonomics the design of equipment so people can use them in a healthy, comfortable and
efficient way

Repetitive Strain Injury
Injury caused by unhealthy use of a computer

Anti-Radiation Screen
Blocks radiation
Minimizes glare of the screen

Break Time
Break Times can prevent RSI
3 Kinds of Break Times (by Dr. Charles Daniels)

Micro-Break: Eye Relaxation
1. Look away from your computer
2. Look at something 6 meters away or more
3. Blink and breathe
4. Do this for 10 seconds or more
5. Do this every 10 minutes

Mini-Break: Office Stretching Exercises
Stand up, walk around and do these every 1 hour
Do these for 5 minutes
You can do eye relaxation at this time

Maxi-Break: Coffee/Snack/Lunch Break
Do this every 2-3 hours
This will get your energy back!

Healthy Computing
Environmental Concerns
Our environment is affected by our computer habits
3 Environmental Concerns
Power Consumption
Computer Supplies
PC Disposal

Power Consumption
Computer devices with the ENERGY STAR LOGO use less electricity
Less fuel will be used by Electric Companies
Energy Management Features in modern Operating Systems reduce energy use.

Computer Supplies
Computer Supplies:
Save paper to save trees.
Printer Ink (Toner)
Minimize use of ink

Computer Supplies

Ways to save paper:
1. Dont print everything
2. Use E-mail instead of paper mail/memo
3. Use the back of used paper
4. Use high-quality paper for important documents only
5. Use recycled paper

Computer Supplies
Ways to save Printer Ink (Toner):
1. Use DRAFT setting if document is not important
2. Use ink refills
3. Buy a new cartridge only if needed

PC Disposal
PCs have poisonous components and
Junk PCs must be disposed properly

How to dispose PC parts properly:
Wrap the parts in a plastic bag
Do not let the PC parts become wet with water (the water will be poisonous)

Ways to reduce PC Waste/Junk:
1. Sell or give old working PCs to other people. Do not throw them as garbage.
2. Recycle PC parts:
Use old monitors and keyboards if still working
Buy new parts ONLY IF NEEDED!