Introduction to computer Basics
This topic will discuss the introduction to the use of the computer in the business area, including the basic hardware and software concepts. Information technology (IT) is one of the key resources in the modern business environment. We have lived during the past 20 years in a period that has strongly emphasised the strategic importance of information technology. Consequently, those currently involved in management have a clear vision of the technology’s significance to their company’s operations, but they are often lacking in the time and/or ability to realise fully its objectives in this field.
The term hardware refers to computer equipment, the actual machinery used in a computer system. As far as the hardware is concerned, graduates should be able understand what a computer is, the different types of computers available, input devices, output devices, storage capacity, computer power, and any hardware standards existing in an organisation.
Data and Information Processing
Basic Computer applications
Computer applications can be divided into many broad categories. Scientific applications include such operations as simulating the path of a satellite in orbit, automatic control of chemical processing plants, navigation of aircraft and ships, etc. Commercial applications include pay‑roll systems, invoicing systems, stock control systems, management information systems, etc. Although scientific applications are very important, they tend to be specialised and are very much the concern of the scientist or the engineer. On the other hand commercial or business applications affect almost everybody either as users of systems at work or as recipients of computer output in their private lives. Thus before examining the construction and operation of a computer it is appropriate to look briefly at data processing. Data processing defined
Every organisation requires a certain amount of paperwork. This paperwork will provide useful and often necessary information for the running of the organisation. This is data processing. The procedures and equipment by which this processing is accomplished make up the data processing system.
Many different methods can be used to process data. While, in recent years, data Processing has become linked with computers, it is important to realise that the vast majority of data processing systems use more traditional methods. The simplest systems require only pencil and paper and in between this and the computer lies a whole range of data processing equipment which includes calculating machines, typewriters, accounting machines, visible record computers, etc. Data processing affects customers’ services and the management of the company. A successful business depends on the quality of decisions made by its management. These decisions depend on the information made available to management by the data processing system. Note that the information produced by the data processing system should have three qualities if it is to be effective in aiding decision-making:
(1) The information should be accurate.
(2) The information should be up to date.
(3) The information should be at the correct level of detail.
A data processing system exists to convert raw data into useful information. Meta data refers to data about data.
Basic computer hardware components
A computer is an electronic digital machine, i.e. a machine that accepts data (input) and processes it into useful information (output). The software does the processing.
A computer is made up of five components: the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the memory, the Secondary Storage Unit (SSU), input and output devices. Regardless of the size and shape of the computer system, all computers have a CPU. The CPU consists of the of the following: Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): this performs arithmetic...
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