Computer Notes a Level-Paper 1

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Components of a Computer System and Modes of Use

Chapter 1.1 Hardware and Software Definitions1
Chapter 1.2 System Software4
Chapter 1.3 Programming Tools and Techniques.9
Chapter 1.4 Data: Its Representation, Structure and Management15 Chapter 1.5 Hardware23
Chapter 1.6 Data Transmission and Networking26
Chapter 1.7 Systems Development Life Cycle30
Chapter 1.8 Choosing Applications Software34
Chapter 1.9 Handling of data in Information Systems36
Chapter 1.10 Designing the User Interface37
Chapter 1.11 Characteristics of Information Systems38
Chapter 1.12 Implications of Computer Use39

Chapter 1.1 Hardware and Software Definitions

A computer system consists of hardware and software.

Hardware Definition
The hardware is the physical part of the system.

All computer systems require at least four types of hardware.

An input device is a hardware attached to the processor/computer to supply data to the processor/computer. •An output device is a hardware attached to the processor/computer to relay information from processor/computer. •A storage device is a hardware which can store data outside the processor in a form which is suitable for input back into the processor. oA computer system need external device for the following reasons: In order to store files when the power to the processor is switched off. In order to store files which are too large to be stored in the processor itself, until they are needed. To allow for the transfer of data from one machine to another.

Communications Hardware
The need for communication hardware arises when different computers are connected.

Network Card
To allow computer to communicate externally.
To allow the computers to use the telephone lines for communication. It inter-converts Digital data to Analogue signal.

Software Definition
The software is the various sets of instructions which tell the system how to do things.

Difference between hardware and software
Hardware comprises the physical parts of the computer system, while Software are the programs that make the machine produce useful results.

Diagrammatic representation of Software

Types of software
Operating system software is a set of programs which runs/controls hardware and software and also provides an interface between user and hardware. •User interface software is used to provide a method of communication between the user and the system. (GUI -> WIMP) •Translator software translates High Level Languages/Assembly Language into machine code. (Mother-tongue of computer). E.g. Compiler, Interpreter, Assembler. •Utility software are programs which is part of the OS designed to carry out common tasks. E.g. Virus Checker, Disk Defragmenter, File Management. •Programming languages are used to write sets of instructions that the processor can understand. E.g. Visual Basic, PASCAL, FoxPro, Java. •Common applications software includes word processors, graphics, spreadsheets, and many others. These are the programs that you use to produce something worthwhile on the computer.

Applications Software
Application Software is a program that allows the user to do something useful. E.g. Spreadsheets. •Application Package is software that contains a documentation (of how to do things) and allow user to do something useful. E.g. Word Processing •Generic Application Software is a program that can be used in many different situations to do different useful tasks. E.g. Word Processing •Integrated Software is a number of different pieces of software/programs that can share data. E.g. Microsoft Works/AppleWorks where you can create a chart in spreadsheet and import it in PowerPoint for presentation purpose. (note: Microsoft office is an application suite)

Modes of computer Use
Batch mode
Not time sensitive
Real-time mode
Must provide immediate outcome
Online mode
User/Peripheral in communication with processor.
Offline mode
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