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COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE AND ORGANIZATION HARDWARE COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER SYSTEM

Content
Input/ Output Devices Memory Types Memory Features Storage Devices Security Types of Computers

Secondary Storage Devices

Secondary Storage Devices Sequential Access Devices Magnetic Tape Magnetic Disks Floppy Disk Hard Disk CDROM Direct Access Devices Optical Disks CD-R CD-RW DVD Flash Drive Memomry Storage Devices Memory Card

Random Access Memory (RAM)


Pronounced ramm, acronym for random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, and any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers. In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main memory, the memory available to programs. For example, a computer with 8MB RAM has approximately 8 million bytes of memory that programs can use. In contrast, ROM (read-only memory) refers to special memory used to store programs that boot the computer and perform diagnostics. Most computers have a small amount of ROM (a few thousand bytes). In fact, both types of memory (ROM and RAM) allow random access. To be precise, therefore, RAM should be referred to as read/write RAM and ROM as read-only RAM.

Read Only Memory (ROM)


ROM is a computer memory on which data has been pre-recorded. Once data has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read. Unlike main memory (RAM), ROM retains its contents even when the computer is turned off. ROM is referred to as being non-volatile, whereas RAM is volatile. Most personal computers contain a small amount of ROM that stores critical programs such as the program that boots the computer. In addition, ROMs are used extensively in calculators and peripheral devices such as laser printers, whose fonts are often stored in ROMs. A variation of a ROM is a PROM (programmable read-only memory). PROMs are manufactured as blank chips on which data can be written with a special device called a PROM programmer.

Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM)


Short for programmable read-only memory, a memory chip on which data can be written only once. Once a program has been written onto a PROM, it remains there forever. Unlike RAM, PROMs retain their contents when the computer is turned off. The difference between a PROM and a ROM (read-only memory) is that a PROM is manufactured as blank memory, whereas a ROM is programmed during the manufacturing process. To write data onto a PROM chip, you need a special device called a PROM programmer or PROM burner. The process of programming a PROM is sometimes called burning the PROM. An EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet light. Once it is erased, it can be reprogrammed. An EEPROM is similar to a PROM, but requires only electricity to be erased.

Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM)


Acronym for erasable programmable read-only memory, and pronounced ee-prom, EPROM is a special type of memory that retains its contents until it is exposed to ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light clears its contents, making it possible to reprogram the memory. To write to and erase an EPROM, you need a special device called a PROM programmer or PROM burner. An EPROM differs from a PROM in that a PROM can be written to only once and cannot be erased. EPROMs are used widely in computers because they enable the manufacturer to change the contents of the PROM before the computer is actually shipped. This means that bugs can be removed and new versions installed shortly before delivery.

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM)


EEPROM is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge. Like other types of PROM, EEPROM retains its contents even when the power is turned off. Also like other types of ROM, EEPROM is not as fast as RAM. EEPROM is similar to flash memory (sometimes called flash EEPROM). The principal difference is that EEPROM requires data to be written or erased one byte at a time whereas flash memory allows data to be written or erased in blocks. This makes flash memory faster.

Surge Protector
A surge protector (or surge suppressor) is an appliance designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or by shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold. A surge protector works by channelling the extra voltage into the outlet's grounding wire, preventing it from flowing through the electronic devices while at the same time allowing the normal voltage to continue along its path.

Voltage Regulator
A small device or circuit that regulates the voltage fed to the microprocessor. The power supply of most PCs generates power at 5 volts but most microprocessors require a voltage below 3.5 volts. The voltage regulator's job is to reduce the 5 volt signal to the lower voltage required by the microprocessor. Typically, voltage regulators are surrounded by heat sinks because they generate significant heat.

Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS)


UPS, Short for uninterruptible power supply, is a power supply that includes a battery to maintain power in the event of a power outage. Typically, a UPS keeps a computer running for several minutes after a power outage, enabling you to save data that is in RAM and shut down the computer gracefully. Many UPSs now offer a software component that enables you to automate backup and shut down procedures in case there's a power failure while you're away from the computer. There are two basic types of UPS systems: standby power systems (SPSs) and on-line UPS systems. An SPS monitors the power line and switches to battery power as soon as it detects a problem. The switch to battery, however, can require several milliseconds, during which time the computer is not receiving any power. Standby Power Systems are sometimes called Lineinteractive UPSes. An on-line UPS avoids these momentary power lapses by constantly providing power from its own inverter, even when the power line is functioning properly. In general, on-line UPSs are much more expensive than SPSs.

Problem-Solving with Computers What is problem solving? Problem solving is the processes/steps taken that lead to the resolution of a problem or achieving an objective. Stages in the Problem-Solving Process

Problem Definition

implementation and review

Problem Analysis

select and justify the optimal solution

Identify and evaluate possible solutions

Problem Definition Involve: Identification of the Problem Is there a problem? What exist in terms of what we want it to be. This sometimes maybe difficult as what one often sees are the symptoms which mask the underlying problem.

Algorithm An algorithm is a sequence of steps to accomplish a task in a finite amount of time. Properties of an algorithm Precise exact and accurate; detailed or specific Unambiguous completely clear in meaning or intention and unable to be misunderstood Finite Having an end or limit In logical Sequence based on facts, clear natural thought, and sensible reasoning. Sequence Arranged in a specific order Optimal least amount of steps to complete task