OST 162-001 Computer Basics What is a Computer A computer is a device that accepts input, processes data, and produces an output according to a series of stored instructions. Computers are made of 2 main parts – hardware and software. Hardware is the physical pieces of a computer Software is a program or operating system that an be installed on a computer Data vs. Information Data vs. information – data refers to symbols that represent facts or ideas…these really don’t mean anything until they are processed, or put in some sort of context. Then they become information…so data is raw and information is processed. CPU – central processing unit – main processing chip within a computer…called the “brain” Memory – RAM – stores data before while it is being processed by the CPU. Input and Output Devices Input devices scanner keyboard mouse microphone joystick Output devices monitor printer speakers Peripheral Devices Peripheral devices – an optional piece of equipment that can be added to a computer to enhance functionality Joystick Graphics Tablet Speakers Wireless USB Bluetooth headphones Etc. Files and Software Types of files – data files – store information, executable files – do something Types of software system software – includes O/S and other utilities application software – includes applications like office, and browser Data Representation Data Representation – the process of transforming data into a form that computers can use for processing. Digital vs. Analog Digital data is represented by distinct pulses that stand for 1s and 0s. Analog data is represented by a continuous wave of information. Main Computer Components Main components – Motherboard, processor (CPU), Memory (RAM), Storage (CD ROM, Hard Drive, Floppy), Expansion Cards (NIC, Sound, Video) CPU – Central Processing Unit CPU – made up of the control unit and the ALU. Speed is measured in Gigahertz today. Word Size – how many bits can be processed at a time (either 32 or 64) Cache – high speed memory for the processor…similar to ram CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) or RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) Most popular brands = AMD and Intel RAM, ROM and CMOS RAM – Random Access Memory – “The processors waiting room” Volatile – requires the computer to be one in order to store info. Virtual memory – hard drive space can appear as RAM to your Operating System. DIMM – Dual Inline memory module. ROM – Read Only Memory – a type of memory that is built in the mother board that contains a BIOS software – BIOS = Basic Input Output System CMOS – Complementary metal oxide semiconductor memory – used to store initial and configured settings in the BIOS. Storage devices Storage is where data / information is stored in a semi-permanent way. There are 3 main categories of storage Magnetic Storage Optical Storage Solid State Storage Magnetic Storage Uses magnets to raise and lower tiny particles which represent 1s and 0s on a surface Hard Drive Read-Write Head Platters (Hard Disks) Floppy disk Magnetic Film Tape Back Up Sequential Storage Magnetic Film Optical Storage CDs and DVDs These uses pits and lands to reflect light. The pits and lands make distinct density changes which represent 1s and 0s. Solid State Storage No moving parts, therefore faster! Flash memory sticks Secure Digital USB Thumb Drives Etc. Questions?