Introduction to Computers
Prof. Sokol Computer and Information Science Brooklyn College
What is a Computer? A COMPUTER is an electronic device that can:
Receive information Perform processes Produce output Store info for future use.
Information Processing Cycle
Input Process Output Storage
Hardware vs. Software Hardware - the physical parts that make up the computer e.g. CPU, memory, disks, CD-ROM drives, printer. Software - computer programs and applications. Operating system, word processor, games, etc.
Hardware: physical devices that comprise a computer system
Monitor (output) Speaker (output) System unit (processor, memory…) Printer (output) Storage devices (CD-RW, Floppy, Hard disk, zip,…) Mouse (input) Scanner (input) Keyboard (input)
What Are The Primary Components Of A Computer ?
Input devices. Central Processing Unit (control unit and arithmetic/logic unit). Memory. Output devices. Storage devices.
Input Devices Keyboard. Mouse. Microphone Scanner Camera …
Central Processing Unit
The central processing unit (CPU) is the “brain” of the computer. It: interprets instructions to the computer (control unit), performs the arithmetic and logical processing (ALU)
Memory Memory, also called Random Access Memory or RAM stores:
instructions waiting to be executed data needed by those instructions results of processed data Any information stored in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off.
Memory Data in memory is stored as binary digits (BITS) e.g 1 BYTE = 8 bits 1 byte usually stores 1 text character.
Amount Of RAM In Computers
We measure the size of memory by telling how many bytes it can hold. 1 kilobyte = 210 bytes = 1024 bytes 1 megabyte = 220 bytes = ~1 million bytes 1 gigabyte = 230 bytes = ~1 billion bytes 1 terabyte = 240 bytes = ~1 trillion bytes One megabyte can hold approximately 500 pages of text information.
Output Devices Output devices make the information resulting from the processing available for use. printer - produces a hard copy of your output screen - produces a soft copy of your output speakers, etc.
Storage Devices Auxiliary storage devices are used for permanent storage of data. hard disks floppy disks compact discs – CD and DVD drives flash cards
Hard Disks Permanent storage that is inside of the computer, and NOT portable. Consists of several platters which spin very fast Typical hard disks range from 40 GB to 200 GB
Floppy Disks – 1.44 MB A floppy disk is a portable, inexpensive storage medium that consists of a thin, circular, flexible plastic disk with a magnetic coating enclosed in a square-shaped plastic shell.
Compact Discs CD-ROM (read only memory), CD-RW – (rewritable) DVD-ROM
DVD+RW Typical CD’s can store about 700 MB Typical DVD’s can store up to 17 GB
Flash Cards Advantages: Small, easy to carry around
High memory capacity – up to 8 GB Note: There are several different form factors of flash cards, including Compact Flash, SmartMedia, PCMCIA, and Small Form Factor Flash Card.
Software A computer program or software tells it exactly what to do.
A computer program is a set of instructions to the computer. The computer does one instruction at a time.
Software Computer software is the key to productive use of computers. Software can be categorized into two types: System software Application software.
System Software The most important system software is the operating system. Examples of operating systems: Windows, DOS, Apple, UNIX, Linux
What is an operating system?
An OS is a computer program that: Controls the hardware of the computer, Enables you to communicate with the computer.
Application Software Application Software consists of programs that tell a computer how to produce information. Some of the more commonly used packages are: Word processing Electronic spreadsheet Database Presentation graphics
Word Processing Word Processing software is used to create and print documents. A key advantage of word processing software is that users easily can make changes in documents.
Electronic spreadsheet software allows the user to add, subtract, and perform user-defined calculations on rows and columns of numbers. These numbers can be changed and the spreadsheet quickly recalculates the new results.
Database Software Allows the user to enter, retrieve, and update data in an organized and efficient manner, with flexible inquiry and reporting capabilities.
Presentation graphic software allows the user to create documents called slides to be used in making the presentations. Using special projection devices, the slides display as they appear on the computer screen.
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