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GCSE Information Communication Technology(ICT)

2010/2012

Processor

Visual Display Unit

Technology(ICT) 2010/2012 Processor Visual Display Unit Keyboard M o u s e DVD Drive Floppy Disk
Technology(ICT) 2010/2012 Processor Visual Display Unit Keyboard M o u s e DVD Drive Floppy Disk

Keyboard

2010/2012 Processor Visual Display Unit Keyboard M o u s e DVD Drive Floppy Disk Drive

Mouse

DVD Drive

Visual Display Unit Keyboard M o u s e DVD Drive Floppy Disk Drive Speaker Student

Floppy Disk Drive

Speaker

Display Unit Keyboard M o u s e DVD Drive Floppy Disk Drive Speaker Student Name

Student Name

Teacher Name

Class Set

Class Code

Knowledge of ICT Components

Definitions

Computer

An electronic machine that receives or stores or processes data very quickly using a stored program.

Hardware

Physical parts of the computer system that you can see and touch eg. Screen, printer, keyboard

Software

Programs that make the hardware work eg. WindowsXP, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint

Peripheral Device

Any piece of hardware which is external to the processor.

Input Devices

Devices used to get data into the computer.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The brain of the computer that carries out all processes. eg calculations

Output Devices

Devices that provide information output in a format that humans understand e.g. screen display and printouts.

Backing Store

Devices used to permanently store data when the computer is switched off. eg Hard disk, CD

ASCII

American Standard Code for Information Interchange

The Structure of a Computer System

Input Central Processing Unit (CPU) Output Storage
Input
Central Processing Unit
(CPU)
Output
Storage

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Input Devices

An input device is a piece of hardware that is used to enter data into a computer. There are many different kinds of input devices which are either manual input or automatic(direct data entry) input

1 Keyboard

The keyboard is the most common and widely used input device.

keyboard is the most common and widely used input device. It is made up of buttons

It is made up of buttons called 'keys'. The keys are arranged into sections:

alphabet keys

Function or F keys (F1, F2, F3)

Numeric keys (one set above the alphabet keys and a numeric keypad on the right)

Arrow keys

Command keys (insert, delete, home, end, page up/down)

Most keyboards are called 'QWERTY' keyboards. This name comes from the first six letters on the top row of the alphabet keys.

the first six letters on the top row of the alphabet keys. Advantages Using a keyboard

Advantages

Using a keyboard for too long can lead to health problems such as repetitive strain injury (RSI). To try to overcome this, different styles of keyboard have been developed, for example, the ergonomic keyboard. They are supposed to put your hands into a much more natural position than a traditional keyboard.

Most computers come with a keyboard supplied

People are used to using keyboards to enter data, they need very little training

A skilled typist can enter data very quickly

Specialist keyboards are available e.g. ergonomic, gaming keyboards

Disadvantages

It is easy to make mistakes when typing in data

If you can't touch type, it can be time consuming to enter data

Keyboards are not suitable for creating diagrams

Disabled people often find keyboards difficult to use

Excessive use can lead to R.S.I.

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Special Keys on a Keyboard

Function

Key

Control

Key

Shift Key

Cursor

Key

Hot Key

Questions

Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists
Key Control Key Shift Key Cursor Key Hot Key Questions Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists

Example Pressing Shift + F10 lists the shortcut menu (NB same menu comes up with a right click)

the shortcut menu (NB same menu comes up with a right click) Numbered function keys at

Numbered function keys at top of keyboard are used for special pre- programmed functions within an application eg F4 in Excel sets an absolute cell address

keyboard are used for special pre- programmed functions within an application eg F4 in Excel sets

Holding the Ctrl key down and pressing other key combinations initiates different actions. Eg Ctrl + C means Copy

Holding the Ctrl key down and pressing other key combinations initiates different actions. Eg Ctrl +

Holding Shift with another key gives the second character on the key or a capital letter for an alphabetic character.

Cursor keys are used to move the cursor around a document eg in

Excel these arrows are used to move between cells.

Any shortcut key or a combination of keys. When these are pressed a task will be carried out. Faster for experienced users rather than a mouse and menus.

of keys. When these are pressed a task will be carried out. Faster for experienced users

1. What word is ctrl an abbreviation for?

2. What is the keyboard shortcut for paste?

2 Mouse

for? 2. What is the keyboard shortcut for paste? 2 Mouse Everyone is familiar with a

Everyone is familiar with a computer mouse; along with the keyboard, it is one of the most common input devices you will use.

A mouse is also called a 'pointing device' because it enables you to control what happens on the screen by moving the mouse on your desk and pointing, clicking and selecting items on the screen.

A mouse usually has two buttons, a right and left one and also a central wheel which

allows you to scroll up and down the page. The left and right buttons have different functions. Left clicking usually lets you put your cursor at a certain point on the page or lets you choose a menu item. Right clicking brings you up a list of relevant menu items from which you can select a task. Recent versions of mice use 'optical' or 'wireless' technology

to track mouse movement.

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3 Tracker Pad

A tracker pad is an input device which is usually found on a laptop computer.

an input device which is usually found on a laptop computer. Advantages Because a laptop is

Advantages

Because a laptop is meant to be portable, people aren't always able to attach a traditional mouse, it might be too much hassle or there might not be enough room to use one. A touchpad can be used in place of a mouse.

By dragging your finger over the surface of the touchpad, sensors underneath detect the movement direction and speed. The sensors only react to a fingertip. There are usually two buttons next to the touchpad which are used to replace the left and right mouse button.

Useful for laptops when using a mouse isn't practical

The pad's position is fixed compared to the keyboard, unlike with a traditional mouse

Very short finger movements are required to move the cursor

Disadvantages

Takes practice and skill to control the position of the cursor using the touchpad

Gloves cannot be worn i.e. in a clean room environment

Moist, sweaty or calloused fingers can disrupt the signals picked up by the sensors.

4 Joystick

can disrupt the signals picked up by the sensors. 4 Joystick Joysticks were originally used by

Joysticks were originally used by pilots as part of an aeroplane's controls and the technology was developed to let computer gamers experience a more realistic game environment.

You can move joysticks in many directions and the joystick tells the computer which direction it has been moved into. They also have one or more buttons whose position when pushed can be read by the computer.

Joysticks can also be used for controlling machines such as cranes, trucks and powered wheelchairs.

Advantages

They give a better gaming experience for racing or flying styles of computer games

Disadvantages

Some people find joysticks more difficult to control than a traditional mouse.

Joysticks are not particularly robust and can break easily if too much force is used on them.

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5 Touch Screen

5 Touch Screen A touch screen is the only device which works as both an input

A touch screen is the only device which works as both an input and an output device. You view the options available to you on the screen (output) and you then use your finger to touch the option that you have chosen (input).

Touch screens work particularly well with a menu driven interface. For example, a cashpoint (ATM) at a bank would first of all ask which service you want. You touch the option 'withdraw cash' on the screen. You are then presented with another choice, 'how much cash do you want to withdraw?'. Once you have chosen how much, you then get other options such as 'do you want a receipt?'.

Touch screens are easy to use and are often found in public places such as cashpoints at banks, ticket collection terminals at theatres or airports, information centres at museums.

Touch screens are not commonly used to input large amounts of data because they are not very accurate and they would be tiring on the hands to use for long periods of time.

Advantages

Easy to use - intuitive, don't need much training

No extra peripherals such as a mouse are needed

Disadvantages

Not suitable for inputting large amounts of data

Not very accurate - selecting detailed objects can be difficult with fingers

Tiring to use for long periods

More expensive than alternatives such as a mouse

6 Scanner

Scanners can be used to convert images or text on paper into a digital format that can be used by the computer.

A scanner works by shining a beam of light onto the surface of the object that you are scanning. This light is then reflected back onto a sensor that detects the colour of the light. This is then used to build up the digital image.

Items that are scanned are usually stored in an image format. However, special software - Optical Character Recognition - can be used to convert text on the paper into text which can be edited with a word processor. However, the text doesn't always get converted very well and you could end up with a lot of mistakes.

very well and you could end up with a lot of mistakes. The most popular type

The most popular type is the flatbed scanner. This is probably the one that you use at school. They can scan larger images and are more accurate than handheld scanners.

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Advantages

Flatbed scanners are very accurate and can produce reasonably high quality images

Any image which is digitised by the scanner can then be included in electronic documents

Images once digitised can be enhance with a graphics application

Disadvantages

Images can take up a lot of memory space

Images lose some quality in the scanning and digitising process

The quality of the final image is dependent on the quality of the original image

8 Digital Camera

on the quality of the original image 8 Digital Camera A digital camera records images electronically

A digital camera records images electronically on a memory

card rather than on film as did the older models of camera. The images can be downloaded from the memory card onto

a computer and then printed, stored or manipulated with a photo editing application.

Most digital cameras let you view the image as soon as you have taken the picture; if you don't like what you see, it can be deleted.

The quality of the image is dependent on the resolution or the number of pixels. Most digital cameras range from 4 - 12 Megapixels (millions of pixels in the image). The more pixels, the better the quality and clarity of the image. Many digital cameras are now capable of taking short video clips along with sound.

Advantages

No film is needed, no developing costs to view the pictures

Images can be viewed immediately and unwanted images can be deleted

Images can be edited, enlarged or enhanced

Images can be incorporated into documents or added to web sites

Extra memory sticks can be purchased to store images

Disadvantages

Digital cameras are generally more expensive than ordinary cameras which use film

Images often have to be compressed to avoid using too much memory

When the memory is full, the images must be downloaded to a computer or deleted before any more can be taken.

8 Graphics digitiser

Graphics digitisers are often use by graphics designers and illustrators.

Using a graphics digitiser, a designer can produce Page 7

much more accurate drawings on the screen than they could with a mouse or other pointing device. Drawings created using a graphics tablet can be accurate to within hundredths of an inch.

a graphics digitiser consists of a flat pad (the tablet) on which you draw with a special pen. As you draw on the pad, the image is created on the screen.

Advantages

It is much more natural to draw diagrams with a pencil type implement (the stylus) rather than with a mouse

A great level of accuracy can be achieved

Disadvantages

Not really suitable for general selection work such as pointing and clicking on menu items

Graphics tablets are much more expensive than a mouse

9 Microphone

tablets are much more expensive than a mouse 9 Microphone A microphone can be used to

A microphone can be used to input sound.

The sound is detected by the microphone and an electrical signal is transmitted to the computer. Special hardware is used to convert this analogue data into digital data so it can be stored and manipulated.

In the last few years a number of voice recognition systems have

been developed. These packages let the user dictate the text into a computer and then convert the speech to text.

Dictating like this can be much quicker than typing but the software isn't perfect and it can interpret a word incorrectly.

10 Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

MIDI keyboards are keyboards which are connected to a computer using a special MIDI interface. When a person plays the keyboard the frequency, pitch and other musical information is converted to digital information which can be read by the computer. Music played on the keyboard can be stored on the computer. As the computer is able to produce digital signals it can send signals back to the keyboard. Tracks made using different MIDI devices and the computer can be mixed together using computer software. This means one person can make a piece of music which includes several instruments. Special sound effects can also be added.

Advantages of MIDI

1. Music can be produced by people who are not experts.

2. Music can be edited easily without having to re-record the whole piece again.

3. Voice tracks can be integrated with the music.

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Output Devices

Output devices are used to provide results in a suitable format after data has been processed by a computer. A softcopy is a temporary copy such as a screen display. A hardcopy is a permanent copy such as a printout.

1 Visual Display Unit (VDU)

copy such as a printout. 1 Visual Display Unit (VDU) A typical screen measures 17 inches

A typical screen measures 17 inches (43 cm) diagonally across its display area. Larger monitors make working at a computer easier on the eyes. Of course the larger the screen, the higher its cost! Typical larger sizes are 19 inch or more.

The picture on a monitor is made up of thousands of tiny coloured dots called pixels (picture elements). The quality and detail of the picture on a monitor depends on the number of pixels that it can display. This is called the resolution of the screen. The more dense the pixels, the better the resolution and the greater the clarity of the screen image.

Monitors come in all shapes and sizes and the type of monitor you choose will depend on several factors such as:

resolution contrast   

 

viewing anglescreen refresh rate. eg a good computer game needs a fast screen refresh

screen refresh rate. eg a good computer game needs a fast screen refreshviewing angle

An SVGA monitor is good quality with a high resolution of 1024x768 pixels.

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

 
The CRT works in the same way as a television - it contains an electron

The CRT works in the same way as a television - it contains an electron gun at the back of the glass tube. This fires electrons at groups of phosphor dots which coat the inside of the screen. When the electrons strike the phosphor dots they glow to give the colours.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Smaller and lighter than CRTs and are used with laptops and PDAs. Desktop computers are now using LCD screens as their price has become comparable to CRT monitors. LCDs use much less power than a normal monitor. Liquid Crystal is the material used to create each pixel on the screen. Each tiny cell of liquid crystal is a pixel.

Advantages of LCDs

Disadvantages of LCDs

Take up less space

Cannot be viewed from different angles

Portable because light to carry

More expensive than standard monitors

Thin Film Transistor TFT monitors used to be very expensive but now the price has come down they are beginning to replace all of the old CRT monitors. Not only do they look much nicer they take up a lot less space. They are quieter than CRT monitors and also create less heat.

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they look much nicer they take up a lot less space. They are quieter than CRT

2 Speakers

A simple output device that is essential for sound output. Price depends on quality but normally very cheap as high quality is only required for specialist music applications. Multimedia monitors have speakers and/or a microphone built in. Headphones may be used when a large number of people working in a room require individual sound output.

of people working in a room require individual sound output. Printers Printers come in all shapes

Printers Printers come in all shapes and sizes and the type of printer you choose will depend on several factors such as:

Quality of print required (dots per inch) of print required (dots per inch)

Speed of printer (characters per second/pages per minute) of printer (characters per second/pages per minute)
Speed of printer (characters per second/pages per minute)

Ability to print text and graphics. Speed of printer (characters per second/pages per minute) Type of paper that can be used eg
Ability to print text and graphics.

Type of paper that can be used eg photographicsecond/pages per minute) Ability to print text and graphics. Cost of consumables Volume of output Colour

Cost of consumables of consumables

Volume of outputpaper that can be used eg photographic Cost of consumables Colour or black and white printing

Colour or black and white printing capability

Size of paper A4 or A3

3 Dot matrix printer

Also called 'impact printers' as they print by striking tiny pins against a carbon ribbon. The print head contains a grid of these pins and different combinations of pins are pushed out to form different characters. This makes them very noisy as you can hear the pins striking the paper.

pins are pushed out to form different characters. This makes them very noisy as you can

Dot Matrix printers are ideal when carbon copies are needed. This is because they are impact printers and the print head bangs on the top copy of paper and the carbon paper transfers a copy to the paper beneath. They are also useful when continuous paper needs to be used to produce a large amount of documents for example invoices or bills.

Advantages of Dot Matrix Printers

Low operating costsinvoices or bills. Advantages of Dot Matrix Printers Carbon copies can be created by using carbonated

Carbon copies can be created by using carbonated paper.Advantages of Dot Matrix Printers Low operating costs Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers Poor quality of

Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers

Poor quality of printusing carbonated paper. Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers Very slow printing 200 characters per second (cps)

Very slow printing 200 characters per second (cps)paper. Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers Poor quality of print Very noisy Cannot produce colour copies.

Very noisyPrinters Poor quality of print Very slow printing 200 characters per second (cps) Cannot produce colour

Cannot produce colour copies.of Dot Matrix Printers Poor quality of print Very slow printing 200 characters per second (cps)

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4 Ink jet printer

Ink-jet printers are very popular because they are relatively cheap to buy and offer colour printing. These produce a better quality output than Dot matrix printers and cost less than laser printers.

than Dot matrix printers and cost less than laser printers. Inkjet printers fire a droplet of

Inkjet printers fire a droplet of ink at the page by boiling it in a microscopic tube and letting steam eject the droplet.

Colour ink-jet printers are ideal for use at home, where small quantity output is required for school work, cards and personal stationary.

Advantages of an Inkjet Printer

Good resolution - usually 300-600 dots per inch (dpi).and personal stationary. Advantages of an Inkjet Printer Cheap to buy - the cheapest printers can

Cheap to buy - the cheapest printers can be found for anything over £50. Good resolution - usually 300-600 dots per inch (dpi). Lighter in weight than other printers Very
Cheap to buy - the cheapest printers can be found for anything over £50.

Lighter in weight than other printers- the cheapest printers can be found for anything over £50. Very quiet Can print black

Very quietanything over £50. Lighter in weight than other printers Can print black and white and colour

Can print black and white and colour on the same page.over £50. Lighter in weight than other printers Very quiet Small - ideal for home or

Small - ideal for home or office.

Disadvantages of an Inkjet Printer

Slow compared to a laser printerideal for home or office. Disadvantages of an Inkjet Printer Colour printing is slow Cartridges need

Colour printing is slow of an Inkjet Printer Slow compared to a laser printer Cartridges need to be replaced more
Colour printing is slow

Cartridges need to be replaced more frequently than those of a laser printer.Slow compared to a laser printer Colour printing is slow Output is ink based and will

Output is ink based and will smudge if the printout gets wet be replaced more frequently than those of a laser printer. Expensive consumables. If left unused for
Output is ink based and will smudge if the printout gets wet

Expensive consumables.

If left unused for long periods of time, the cartridges can easily dry out.

5 Laser printers

of time, the cartridges can easily dry out. 5 Laser printers Laser printers are becoming increasingly

Laser printers are becoming increasingly popular, with prices dropping rapidly.

Laser printers are used in many workplaces because they are quiet, print quickly, can be stocked with a large number of sheets of paper and produce very high quality documents.

They are either dedicated black and white printers or you can choose to use a 'colour laser'. Black and White lasers are much cheaper to run than colour lasers. These print in the same way as photocopiers. Powdered ink, called 'Toner' is fused onto paper by heat and pressure.

Advantages

Very high resolution - 600 to 1200 dpi (dots per inch). is fused onto paper by heat and pressure. Advantages Very fast: 10 -20 ppm (pages per
Very high resolution - 600 to 1200 dpi (dots per inch).

Very fast: 10 -20 ppm (pages per minute) for multiple copies.heat and pressure. Advantages Very high resolution - 600 to 1200 dpi (dots per inch). High

High quality printouts.

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Almost silent.Running costs are low, although toner cartridges are expensive to replace, they last a long

Running costs are low, although toner cartridges are expensive to replace, they last a long time.Almost silent. Disadvantages Most expensive printer type to buy especially colour lasers. Expensive to repair -

Disadvantages

Most expensive printer type to buy especially colour lasers.expensive to replace, they last a long time. Disadvantages Expensive to repair - lots of complex

Expensive to repair - lots of complex equipment insideMost expensive printer type to buy especially colour lasers. Can't use continuous or multi-part stationary to

Can't use continuous or multi-part stationary to create carbon copies.Expensive to repair - lots of complex equipment inside Only A4 or A5 paper can be

Only A4 or A5 paper can be used in most laser printers (although A3 is available).continuous or multi-part stationary to create carbon copies. Often quite large and are heavier than other

Often quite large and are heavier than other types of printer.be used in most laser printers (although A3 is available). Printer Comparison Table   Purchase Running

Printer Comparison Table

 

Purchase

Running

Quality

Speed

Application

Cost

cost

     

Poor with dots used to make characters.

 

Delivery notes

Dot Matrix

Cheap £50+

Cheap as

uses ink

ribbon

Slow

200 cps

Or invoices

needing

carbon copies.

   

Often

     

expensive

ink

Very good

Slower than

Home use for school projects.

Ink Jet

Cheap £50+

cartridges

300-600 dpi

laser

needing

3 ppm

replaced

 

frequently.

   

Toner for b/w lasts a long time so cheaper per page than ink jet

   

Large

businesses

Laser

Expensive

Excellent

Fast

and schools

£300+

600-1200 dpi

6-40 ppm

requiring fast,

good quality

printouts.

6 Plotter

A plotter is a large specialist type of printer

capable of printing high quality images on larger sheets of paper including A3. Often paper for plotters comes in large rolls which can be up to 2 metres wide. Plotters are used to print architects plans, maps or to print posters for advertising.

A plotter differs from a printer in that it draws

images using a pen that can be lowered, raised and moved across the paper to form continuous lines. The electronically controlled pen is moved around the paper by computer controlled motors.

Advantages

around the paper by computer controlled motors. Advantages  Drawings are of the same quality as

Drawings are of the same quality as if an expert drew them

Larger sizes of paper can be used than most printers can manage

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Disadvantages

Plotters are slower than printers because each line is drawn separately

They are often more expensive than printers

They do not produce very high quality text printouts

Past Paper Question

What type of output device would be the most suitable choice for each of the following applications?

Producing hard copy on a home computer, including letters and school projects.

Producing two copies of a document on carbonised paper.

Producing large plans in an architects’ office.

Producing a warning that a bar code has not been recognised.

Showing that a CD ROM drive is in use.

Past Paper Question John runs a small business. Each day he prints 100 invoices and sends out letters to customers and suppliers. He needs to buy a new printer to produce invoices and letters.

1. Give one reason why he should buy a black and white laser printer.

2. John has over 500 customers, he wants to save his customer records so that he can keep a copy at home.

a. Name an optical storage device which would be suitable for this purpose.

b. State the maximum capacity of the storage device you have named.

c. Give one reason why this media is suitable for storing John’s customer records.

3. Name two software packages that you would expect to find on John’s computer system.

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Storage

External storage devices allow programs and data to be stored permanently.

Magnetic hard disks

and data to be stored permanently. Magnetic hard disks Magnetic hard disks consist of a number

Magnetic hard disks consist of a number of metal disks mounted on a spindle. Data is stored on both surfaces of each disc. There is a read/write head for each surface and the disks are contained in a sealed unit to protect from dust and dirt. The disks can store a considerable amount of data, such as the operating system, applications software and users’ work. Data can be retrieved very quickly from a hard disk.

as the operating system, applications software and users’ work. Data can be retrieved very quickly from
as the operating system, applications software and users’ work. Data can be retrieved very quickly from
as the operating system, applications software and users’ work. Data can be retrieved very quickly from

Formatting a magnetic disk

very quickly from a hard disk. Formatting a magnetic disk Both floppy and hard disks store

Both floppy and hard disks store data on concentric tracks. The disks are further divided into wedges or SECTORS. In order to retrieve an item of data from a magnetic disc the operating system must know its sector number and track number. This information is stored in a DIRECTORY. Before a floppy disk can be used it must be FORMATTED to establish its tracks and sectors. Nowadays floppy disks come preformatted but if formatting a disk yourself you must be wary as the process wipes any existing data from the disk.

come preformatted but if formatting a disk yourself you must be wary as the process wipes
come preformatted but if formatting a disk yourself you must be wary as the process wipes

Optical disks

1 CD-ROMs

These Compact disk read only memory devices are purchased with the information already on them. No new information can be saved and no existing information can be erased. A CD-ROM holds up to 650 Megabytes of data. This makes them suitable for multimedia applications, storing archive material, encyclopaedias, or distribution of software by software companies. Data is burned on to the surface of the disk by a laser beam which makes small indentations known as pits.

companies. Data is burned on to the surface of the disk by a laser beam which
companies. Data is burned on to the surface of the disk by a laser beam which
companies. Data is burned on to the surface of the disk by a laser beam which

2 Writeable CDS

There are two types 1) CD-R (CD recordable) 2) CD-RW (CD rewriteable) The CD-R is a blank CD that can be written to only once but can be read many times. It is often referred to as WORM (write once read many times). CD-RWs can be written to, erased and rewritten many times. They require a special CD- RW drive on the computer.

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3 DVD (digital versatile disk)

These look like ordinary CDs and are mainly used for entertainment purposes. The capacity is huge compared to a CD, typically 17 Gigabytes, so the DVD is suitable for storing full length feature films. They require a DVD drive, which can also be used for reading CD-ROMS. Recordable (DVD R) and rewritable (DVD RW) DVDs are also available.

Magnetic tape streamers

are also referred to as digital audio tapes (DAT). Magnetic tape can store huge amounts
are also referred to as digital audio tapes (DAT). Magnetic tape can store huge
amounts of data (about 60 Gigabytes) cheaply and is
therefore suitable as a backup for a hard disc. On a
network you will find a magnetic tape streamer attached to
the file server. At the end of the day a copy of the hard
disk is automatically saved to the tape in case the hard drive
fails. This is called the archive.

USB flash/pen drives

A USB drive is a flash memory card that plugs into the USB (universal serial bus) port and come in capacities from 128 Megabytes to several Gigabytes. These handy small storage devices are ideal for transferring data from one computer to another.

Blu ray

for transferring data from one computer to another. Blu ray Blu ray is high density optical

Blu ray is high density optical disk storage. They are the same size as DVDs and can be double sided. It is used to provide high definition storage.

Comparing storage devices

device

 

capacity

 

Access speed

Flash/pen drive

128 Mb-2Gb

Fast

CD

650

Mb

 

Fast

DVD

17 Gb

 

Fast

Tape Streamer

60

Gb

Slow

Hard disk

300

Gb

 

Very fast

Blu ray

50

Gb

Very fast

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Network storage versus local storage

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Memory

The internal memory of a computer is stored on two types of memory chip called RAM and ROM. RAM and ROM are called firmware because they use microchips.

RAM and ROM are called firmware because they use microchips. 1 Read Only Memory (ROM) ROM

1 Read Only Memory (ROM)

ROM permanently stores the booting up part of the operating system program. It is non volatile memory meaning its contents are not lost when the computer is switched off. Its contents cannot be changed.

2 Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM temporarily stores the programs and data that are currently being used. The contents of RAM can be changed because it only stores programs and data temporarily. It is the working memory of the computer and its contents are lost when the computer is switched off. Often RAM is also called Immediate Access Store (IAS). Typical RAM size is 512 MB. Larger RAM increases the speed of the processor.

3 Cache Memory

Cache is fast access RAM memory placed close to the CPU and used for storing the most recently and most frequently accessed files. For example cache stores recently visited web pages allowing users to return quickly to the last page viewed. It is volatile losing its contents when the computer is switched off. Instructions are processed faster when in cache memory.Cache memory is expensive. (http://www.howstuffworks.com/cache.htm)

System Software

The Operating System is a program that enables all the hardware and software to work together. It also allows the user to interact with the computer system. Windows Vista and Windows Xp are operating systems. The operating system of a computer is stored on a hard disk whilst the computer is switched off.

Booting up a PC

When you switch on a computer power is sent through the circuits and the CPU loads a tiny piece of software, called the boot program, from a ROM chip. This tells the CPU about the types of hard drives, CD drives, memory and processors in this particular computer system. The computer checks each of these items is functioning properly and then loads the default operating system from the hard disk.

Tasks of the operating system

1. Share processor time between applications running

2. Share RAM memory between the applications running

3. Manage devices connected to the computer

4. Provide a user interface

Today common user interfaces are graphical and are know as GUI.

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Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A graphical user interface is often described as a WIMP application

   

A

window shows the current task being

    A window shows the current task being

W

indows

performed. Each window has a title bar. Many windows can be open. The title bar

of the active window is show in blue.

I

 

A picture that represents a file or a

I   A picture that represents a file or a

cons

command

M

 

A

list of options usually on a drop down

M   A list of options usually on a drop down

enus

menu in a window.

   

A

cursor or arrow that can be moved

    A cursor or arrow that can be moved

P

ointers

about a window to make selections from

menus.

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Data and Information

Data is raw facts and figures which are meaningless as they have not been processed. Information is data in a context that has meaning added, ie data that has been processed.

Data

Processing

Information

ie data that has been processed. Data Processing Information Information = Data + Meaning Designing a
ie data that has been processed. Data Processing Information Information = Data + Meaning Designing a

Information = Data + Meaning

Designing a Data Capture Form to collect data for a database

It is important that forms are well thought out and designed to collect all the necessary data. When designing a form

Leave enough space for answers

Make sure all necessary details are included

Layout should be simple and follow a logical sequence

Separate form into parts if it is to be filled in by more than one person

Make sensible use of available space

Instructions must be clear with examples where appropriate

A clear title should describe its use

Why code data?

Coding Data

1. Faster to type than full words taking less time to enter data.

2. Faster for the computer to perform sorts and searches on data

3. Codes are often designed to be unique.

Designing Codes

1. Codes should always be the same length.

2. Codes must be easy to use and remember.

3. Codes must not be too short.

Problems with codes

1. Remembering what the code represents.

2. Staff may require training to use codes.

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Database Definitions

Datafile

collection of related records stored in

Student File

a

table with field headings

Record

all the data connected with one item organised under field headings

David Brown 11V

H

Field

the column which holds the data

Surname

Item

one field in one record

Brown

Key Field

field that uniquely identifies one record in a datafile/table

a

A01234

 

a

database containing only one

 

Flat File

table with all records contained in this table under the field headings. It can be described as a file containing

Student File

text or data separated by commas or tabs such as in a csv file.

Relational Database

database made up of a group of tables which are linked.

a

Students and Teachers

Data Redundancy

Data unnecessarily duplicated

 

Data Integrity

Data that is accurate and up-to-date

 

Link Field

A

field in two tables

TeacherID in both Teacher and Student table

Direct Data Entry

1 Optical Mark Reader (OMR)

Have you ever looked closely at the National Lottery ticket selection form? Or have you

at the National Lottery ticket selection form? Or have you ever had you had to use

ever had

you had to use a pencil to show your answer (like our picture on the right)?

to do a multiple choice test at school where

These forms are scanned by a special piece of equipment called an 'Optical Mark Reader' (OMR). they detect the presence of your pencil mark by reflecting light onto it. Less light is reflected where a mark has been made.

The OMR then interprets the pattern of marks and sends the results to the computer for storage, analysis and reporting.

Advantages

the computer for storage, analysis and reporting. Advantages  A fast method of inputting large amounts

A fast method of inputting large amounts of data - up to 10,000 forms can be read per hour depending on the quality of the machine used.

Only one computer needed to collect and process the data

OMR is much more accurate than data being keyed in by a person

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Disadvantages

If the marks don't fill the space completely, or aren't in a dark enough pencil, they may not be read correctly

Only suitable for recording one out of a selection of answers, not suitable for text input

The OMR reader needs the answers to be on the prepared forms which will all be identical to one another. You can't just pick up a blank sheet of paper and mark your answers on it.

2 Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

your answers on it. 2 Optical Character Recognition (OCR) An OCR system consists of a normal

An OCR system consists of a normal scanner and some special software. The scanner is used to scan text on a document or piece of paper into the computer. The OCR software then examines the page and changes the letters into a form that can be edited or processed by a normal word processing package.

The ability to scan the characters accurately depends on how clear the writing is.

Scanners have been improved to be able to read different styles and sizes of text as well as neat handwriting.

Although they are often up to 95% accurate, any text scanned with OCR needs careful checking because some letters can be misread.

OCR is used to automatically recognise postcodes on letters at sorting offices.

Advantages

Cheaper than paying someone to manually enter large amounts of text

Much faster than someone manually entering large amounts of text

The latest software can recreate tables and the original layout

Disadvantages

Not 100% accurate, there are likely to be some mistakes made during the process

All documents need to be checked over carefully and then manually corrected

If the original document is of poor quality or the handwriting difficult to read, more mistakes will occur

Not worth doing for small amounts of text

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3 Barcode Reader

Most items that are for sale in shops have a barcode printed somewhere on the packaging.

in shops have a barcode printed somewhere on the packaging. The barcode is a series of

The barcode is a series of vertical bars of varying widths that represent numbers which contain:

a country code,

a manufacturer code and

a product code.

The barcode does NOT contain the price of the item - this is held on the company database.

A barcode reader is an automatic input device which is used to scan or 'read' the barcode by using a visible red light. The reflected light is translated into digital data that is interpreted by the computer to identify the product and price from the database.

to identify the product and price from the database. The main advantage of using a barcode

The main advantage of using a barcode system is that any price change only needs to be made to the database and not every single product package.

Barcodes are also used on books to show the book's ISBN number - have a look at any textbook that you have in your bag. They are also used on library tickets so that when your ticket is scanned, the database brings up your account and any books which you still have out on loan are displayed.

Data Types

Each field can hold only one type of data from the table below.

Data Type

Description

Example of a Field Name

Sample Data

Text

Allows any character from the keyboard to be entered.

Surname

Brown

Number

Only digits

Age

15

Date/time

Date in either date or time format

Date of Birth

12/12/2000

Currency

Adds a currency symbol and defaults to 2 decimal places

Deposit

£50.00

Logical (Yes/No)

Displays a tick box with a tick to represent yes

Paid

Yes

Page 22

Errors when keying in data

Transcription Error Any data entry error created when transferring data from one source to another source. For example, keying in incorrect data from a source document into a word processor.

There are several kinds of transcription error

 

Type of Error

Explanation

Example

1

Omission errors

Data is left out

32 instead of 321

2

Transposition errors

A specific type of copying error where characters being typed are swapped by mistake

312 instead of 321 or the as teh

3

Duplication errors

Entering a character twice

3221 instead of 321

To avoid errors it is essential to check all data being entered into a computer using different methods of verification and validation.

Verification a method of checking data carried out by a person to check data is correct before it is processed.

Validation a method of checking data carried out by a computer to check data is correct before it is processed

Data verification

1. Double entry The data is keyed in twice and both versions must be identical

2. Proof reading After data is keyed in, it is read to check it has been typed accurately. This can either be on screen or on a printout.

Data validation

1. Range check

A check carried out on a number or date field to make sure the data falls within a

specified range. For example exam percentages can have a range check of

between 0 and 100.

2. Presence check Ensures that important fields are not left blank In MSAccess set required field to ‘yes’

3. Format check Data must match a preset pattern

E.g a post code must have a certain combination of letters and digits In MSAccess use an input mask

4. Length check Ensures data is of a specified length E.g. a credit card number must have 16 digits In MSAccess set the length field for text items

5. Type check

A check carried out on a number or date field to make sure the data

entered is of the correct type.

Page 23

6. Lookup check Ensure that the data entered is one of an acceptable set of values Such as Y or N, M or F

7. Check digit A check digit is an extra digit added to a numeric code to ensure that it is valid. This extra digit is calculated by applying a formula to the sequence of numbers.

Advantages of Databases

Information is usually only stored once.

Files can be linked together so that updates are automatically made to each file that shares information

The record structure can be easily altered even though lots of data has already been entered.

Access to information is fast using queries.

Validation checks can be made as data is entered ensuring fewer mistakes are made

Disadvantages of Databases

If the computer breaks down you are not able to access information.

Computer files are easily copied this can be a problem therefore all sensitive information must have protection usually by password

Training is needed to use the system which can be expensive and takes valuable time

Data Compression Data compression is used to save space or reduce download time. Data compression

software is a program that is able to take a file and reduce the size of that file. A compressed file must be decompressed before it can be used.

A zip file is one that has been compressed and when we decompress it we say we unzip

the file.

Advantage: Compressing files to a fraction of their original size makes them easier to send or store. Winzip will compress in this way.

Disadvantage: The files must be decompressed at their destination before they can be used.

For example

Graphics can be compressed using JPEG or GIF format.

Music files can be compressed using MP3 format

Video files can be compressed using MPEG format.

Data Portability

It is essential in modern computing to be able to transfer data between different software packages and between different computers. To do this it is important to understand the different file formats used by different software packages.

Page 24

File Formats Abbreviation Meaning Type of file CSV Comma separated values Text with commas between
File Formats
Abbreviation
Meaning
Type of file
CSV
Comma separated values
Text with commas between each item
RTF
Rich Text Format
Text as ASCII files with formatting
Jpeg
Joint Photographic Experts
Group
Stores pictures in a compressed
format
Mpeg
Moving Picture Experts Group
Stores video
(too large for website)
Tiff
Tagged image file format
Stores pictures
Gif
Graphics interchange format
Stores a bit-mapped picture
Bmp
Bit-mapped
Stores a picture
txt
Text
Stores plain text without any formatting
Doc
Document
WORD document
pub
Publisher
Desk top publishing
Xls
Excel file
Ppt
PowerPoint
Presentation package
Mp3
Mpeg3
Music
Mp4
Mpeg4
video
Pdf
Portable document format
Adobe Acrobat
html
Hypertext markup language
Web page

Page 25

Questions on Database

1. What is a key field/primary key?

2. Give one reason for coding data that is to be keyed into a computer.

3. Name two methods of data verification.

1

2

4. Name two methods of data validation.

1

2

5. Give an example of a transposition error (not the one in the notes).

6. In school we have a database of all pupil records. Describe how this could be used to produce a class list for your class set.

7. Why might data compression software be used on a file that is to be downloaded from the internet?

8. What is a flat file?

9. What is a relational database?

Page 26

Questions on Input/Output

1. What is a computer?

2. What are the three stages involved in carrying out a task, either on a computer or manually?

3. Give an example of an input device and explain why input devices are required in a computer system?

4. Give an example of an output device and explain why output devices are required in a computer system?

5. Where are programs stored on a computer when it is switched off?

6. Where does the computer store a program when it is being used?

7. For each of the tasks listed name one suitable type of input device.

Transferring a page of printed text into a word processing program.

Reading a lottery player’s choice of numbers from their ticket.

Reading data from a bar code in a supermarket.

Taking pictures of a school for its website.

Typing a report into a word processing program.

Pointing a clicking on options on a computer screen.

Entering a picture from a magazine onto computer to be included in a document.

Recording a sample of your voice on computer.

Controlling the movement of a character in a computer game.

8. Describe how you would get a developed photograph of yourself onto a computer screen.

Page 27

GCSE Information and Communication Technology

 

Component

Percentage

Unit 1

Controlled Assessment

30%

Unit 2

Controlled Assessment

30%

Unit 3

Theory

40%

Theory

Knowledge of ICT Components

Data and Information

Digital Communication Methods

Applications of ICT

Practical

Assignment

Title

Marks

Software

Unit 1

Database

35

Access

Unit 1

Spreadsheet

35

Excel

Unit 1

Multimedia presentation

30

PowerPoint

Unit 2

Design a computer game

40

Scratch?

Unit 2

Design a Web Site

40

Dreamweaver

Page 28