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Hardware and Software Basics

Module Objectives
Describe the appropriate use of operating

systems, software applications, and networking components. Compare and contrast the use of various input, processing, output, and primary/secondary storage devices. Explain the differences between analog and digital technology systems and give examples of each type of system. Delineate and make necessary adjustments regarding compatibility issues and cross-platform connectivity.

Types of Devices
Digital versus Analog
A digital device uses discrete data. Discrete data is distinct or separate. Ex: Numbers or digits. Most computers today are digital. Their

circuits have only two possible states, such as Off and On or 0 and 1.

The Journey Inside from Intel's website provides animation and video along with

Types of Devices
Digital versus Analog
An analog device operates on continuously varying data. Continuously varying data has an infinite number of possible states.

Types of Devices
Digital versus Analog
A digital thermometer will give a specific

numerical reading when used to measure someones body temperature. An old fashioned mercury thermometers reading of someones body temperature could be interpreted differently by different users.

Computer Hardware
Central Processing Unit - also called

The Chip, a CPU, a processor, or a microprocessor Memory (RAM) Storage Devices Input Devices Output Devices

View an animated illustration on how integrated circuits or chips

Computer Hardware
Central Processing Unit - also called The

Chip, a CPU, a processor or a microprocessor Memory (RAM) Storage Devices Input Devices Output Devices

Computer Hardware
Central Processing Unit - also called The

Chip, a CPU, a processor or a microprocessor Memory (RAM) Storage Devices Input Devices Output Devices

Computer Hardware
Central Processing Unit - also called The

Chip, a CPU, a processor or a microprocessor Memory (RAM) Storage Devices Input Devices Output Devices

CPU Types
CPU or microprocessor is often

described as the brain of a computer. CPU is an integrated circuit or chip which processes instructions and data. CPU types.

Intel Pentium II, III, IV Intel Celeron AMD Athlon

CPU types
CPU speed is measured by the number of

completed instruction cycles per second Currently, CPU speeds range from 600 megahertz (MHz or million cycles per second) to 4 gigahertz (GHz or billion cycles per second). Always check new softwares requirements for CPU type and speed before purchasing
Watch an animated illustration of a CPU at

Microcomputer Platforms
All microcomputers are based on a small

number of designs (interior architecture) or computer platforms. PC architecture is based on the first IBM microcomputers. Generally, PCs use Microsoft Windows as their operating system. Apple computers or Macs are based on proprietary architecture manufactured exclusively by Apple Computer, Inc.

Microcomputer Platforms
Compatibility refers to computers that

operate in essentially the same way. Compatibility across platforms is limited! You must know which platform your computer runs on before purchasing software. All software is designed for a specific platform. Windows, Mac or Unix versions

Memory (RAM)
RAM or Random Access Memory
Waiting room for computers CPU. Holds instructions for processing data,

processed data, and raw data. Ram is measured by:

Capacity (in Megabytes or Gigabytes) Speed (in Nanoseconds)

Memory (RAM)
Amount of RAM installed will determine. Which software applications will run (efficiently)? How many software applications can be open simultaneously (multitasking ability)? RAM upgrades are cost-effective and

easy to install. Check your computer manual for RAM type (DIMM, SDRAM) and speed (100, 90ns).

Memory (RAM)
All software applications will have RAM

specifications listed on their packaging. Many applications list both a minimum and a recommended amount of RAM necessary to run the software. Be cautious about buying software for a system based on minimum requirement.
Visit the Memory Technology Exhibit

Storage Technology
Electronic devices that store, retrieve, and

save instructions and data. Todays microcomputers or PCs include several types of storage devices. Capacity and speed are important considerations when selecting a new storage device for a PC.

Storage Technology
Magnetic storage

devices store data by magnetizing particles on a disk or tape. They have a limited life-span of 1 to 5 years, depending on the device. Optical storage devices store data as light and dark spots on the disk surface. They have an unlimited life-

Storage Devices
Hard Disk Drives
Capacity is measured in gigabytes (GB or

billions of bytes). Typically permanently installed. Used to store operating system, application software, utilities and data. Magnetic storage device.
Learn more about how a hard disk drive works from How Stuff Works

Storage Devices
Floppy Disk Drives
Capacity is 1.44 to 2.0

megabytes (MB or millions of bytes).

Storage device with the smallest capacity Most portable storage media

Magnetic storage device.

Storage Devices
CD-ROM Drives
Typically installed on all new computer

systems. (Were add-on device until the mid 1990s). Capacity is 600 to 750 megabytes (MB or millions of bytes). Most mass-produced commercial software is packaged on a CD.

Storage Devices
CD-ROM Drives
Used more often now for backup storage

as CD-RW (read/write) technology has become less expensive. Data is read from CD by a laser. Optical storage device.
Learn how to write data, images, and audio to a CD from

Storage Devices
Other Types of Drives
Zip Drives Several different capacities are

available. Tape Drives Generally used for system backups, becoming less common. DVD drives Can also read CDs, now more common as a standard device on new computer systems.
Learn more about specific hardware components and their functions from

Input Devices
Input is all information put into a

computer. Input can be supplied from a variety of sources:

A person A storage device on computer Another computer A peripheral device Another piece of equipment, such as a musical instrument or thermometer

Input Devices
Input devices gather and translate data

into a form the computer understands. Primary input device:

Keyboard - Most common input device; used to type in commands and data. Mouse or trackball enhances users ability to input commands, manipulate text, images. Joystick useful in education as an adaptive or assistive input device.

Input Devices
Scanners are peripheral input devices

which allow users to import:

Text Graphics Images

Specialized software aids in translating

information into a format the computer can understand and manipulate.

Input Devices
Digital Cameras are

peripheral input devices that allow users to create pictures and/or movies in a digital format.

Some require specialized software to import images into the computer. Some record digital images directly to a disk that can be read by the computer.

Output Devices
Monitors are the most commonly used

output device. Most monitors use a bitmap display.

Allows user to resize the display. Divides the screen into a matrix of tiny square dots called pixels. The more dots a screen can display, the higher the resolution of the monitor.

Output Devices
Monitors are connected to a computer

system via a port integrated on the video adapter or graphics card. Graphics cards convert digital data output from software to analog data for display on monitors. Typically have additional memory chips on card, 4MB to 64MB.

Output Devices
Dot matrix Seldom used in a classroom. Still frequently used in business. Bubble or ink jet Laser

Output Devices
Projection systems or classroom TVs can display information from a computer system on a larger screen for whole-class instruction.

View and excellent tutorial on hardware basics at Macromedias site. Requires log-in and browser plug-in download.

A collection of computers and other

devices that communicate to share data, hardware, and software. A stand-alone computer is called a workstation on a network. A workstation provides access to:

Your computers local resources Network resources


Network nodes include workstations, printers, and servers.

A server is a computer connected to a

network that distributes and stores resources for other network users. With proper licensing, many network users can use the same applications and data files simultaneously and share other resources, such as storage space or a printer.

Local Area Network (LAN)

a network located in a limited area.

LANs are found in most businesses. Many campuses use LANs.

A network interface card (NIC)

a key hardware component.

Connects a workstation to the network. A circuit board that sends data between the workstation and the network.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

a network that covers a large geographical area. TENET is a classic example. All types of networks require special networking hardware and networking software to allow different computers to communicate with each other.

The Internet - largest of all networks. Communication standards called protocols

allow for global exchange of information.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Internet Protocol (IP)

Intranets are LANs or WANs that use

these communication standards or TCP/IP. Special hardware (modem) and software (browser) are required.

Options and Tradeoffs

Speed versus Cost
How fast are you able to access and save

data on the hard drive? How fast will application software open? How quickly will software respond to commands? How quickly will your printer produce a document?

Options and Tradeoffs

Capacity versus Cost
How many applications can you store on a

hard disk drive? How much data can you store on a secondary storage device? How many applications can be opened simultaneously?

Options and Tradeoffs

Quality versus Cost
Pentium versus Celeron Laser printer versus Ink Jet printer Limited functionality editions versus full

versions of software 15 inch monitor versus 21 inch monitor

Options and Tradeoffs

Speed versus Cost Capacity versus Cost Quality versus Cost Cost-Cost-Cost

PC World online provides hardware reviews and comparison charts that are updated

Instructions and associated data, stored in

electronic format, that direct the computer to accomplish a task. System software helps the computer carry out its basic operating tasks.

Operating systems Utilities

System Software
An Operating System (OS) is the

master controller within a computer. EX: Windows, MacOS, DOS, UNIX, Linux An operating system interacts with:

All hardware installed in or connected to a computer system. All software installed or running from a storage device on a computer system.

System Software
Microsoft Windows Most popular operating system. Supports a vast array of application software and peripheral devices. MacOS

For Macintosh computers. Proprietary system. Does not have same functionality and support for software and peripheral devices.

System Software
Network operating system (NOS) Manages network resources. Maintains security. Tracks user accounts. Handles communication between workstations and servers. Popular network operating systems

Windows NT, Novell Netware, UNIX

System Software
Utilities augment functionality of operating

systems. Utilities includes device drivers and Troubleshooting capabilities. Utilities provide file management capabilities such as copying, moving or renaming a file. Norton Utilities includes an undelete function that can recover deleted files. Symantec and McAfee Virus checkers add protection for all system and data files.

Application Software
Accomplishes specific tasks for users. Enables a computer to become a multi-

purpose machine.

Produce worksheets and reports. Automate record keeping like attendance and grades.

Create flow charts and graphic organizers. Communicate worldwide.

Application Software
Productivity Software Spreadsheets Databases Presentation Software Document Preparation Word Processing Desktop Publishing Project Management Software

Application Software
Graphics Creation and Manipulation Animation and 3D Graphics Video Editing Internet Connectivity Website Creation and Management Groupware Financial Management Educational Games and Tutorials

Programming Languages
Basic building blocks of any software. Programming languages allow a

programmer to write instructions that a computer can understand. Programming languages have some resemblance to the English language.

BASIC Pascal Fortran

C++ Java

Instructional Support
What problems do you need solved and

which application software will help solve the problems?

Integrated Learning Systems Computer Assisted Instruction Drill, Tutorial, Simulation Textbook Resources Research and Information Access

What technology-based resources are available?

Technology Plan (District-wide) Technology Plan (Building) Curricula Plan

What technologybased resources are available?

Stand-alone computer(s) in the classroom Networked computers in the classroom Computer laboratory Computer for every kid