Answers to Questions
1. Multitasking refers to how a computer appears to work on more than one problem (or for more than one user) at a time. It is accomplished by the computer's ability to break a task into many smaller subtasks. The subtasks of one problem (or user) are interspersed with subtasks of another problem (or user). The computer appears to be performing both tasks at the same time, when in fact only a single subtask is performed at a time. 2. Information specialists are employees with the full- time responsibility of developing and/or operating information systems. Examples of information specialists are: systems analysts, programmers, database administrators, network specialists, and webmasters. 3. The main functions of a central processing unit (CPU) are to control the other components of the computer and to perform mathematical and logical operations. The main function of random access memory (RAM) is to act as temporary workspace for the computer so that its operations can be processed efficiently. 4. A modem is a device that modulates the digital signals of a computer into analog signals that are transmitted through the public phone system. At the receiving modem the analog signals are demodulated from analog signals into digital signals at the end of the transmission line for the receiving computer. 5. Modems typically have a communications transmission speed of 56Kbps (56,000 bits per second). Cable modems, like those that connect to the TV cable, generally communicate at 2Mbps. Wireless networks run at 11Mbps. (A slower, cheaper wireless standard uses 1.5Mbps.) Networks that do not use the public telephone system to connect computers typically run from 10Mbps to 100Mbps, although speeds in excess of gigabits per second are becoming popular. 6. Information systems are the conceptual systems that represent the physical system of the firm and its resources materials, personnel, machines, and money.