Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tech Guide 1 - Week 3

Tech Guide 1 questions

1. What is computer hardware and what are the major hardware components?

Computer hardware are devices that together accept datam and information, process and display them. An exmaple of these include:

  • Processor,
  • Monitor
  • mouse
  • Animations - mouse-mouse
  • Printer

2. What is Moore's Law/what does it mean in relation to computers.

Moore's Law states that the number of transisters per square inch on integrated circuits has doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented and that this trend would contine for the foreseeable future. This means every 2 years computer will be faster, more powerful and smarter then ever before.

3. In basic terms, describe how a microprocessor functions.

A microprocessor is made up of :

  • A control unit which sequentially accesses program instructions, decodes them and controls the flow of data to and from ALU, registers, caches and various other output devices.
  • The Arithemtic-Logic Unit performs the mathematical calculations and makes logical comparisons
  • Registers are used as high speed storage areas that store small amouts of data for short periods of time.
  • The caches is external memory that data from registers is sent to.

4. What factors determine the speed of the microprocessor?

The speed of the microprocessor is determined by the clock speed(measured in MHz), word length, bus width and number of transisters in the chip.

5. What are the four main types of primary storage.

The four main types of primary storage are:

  • Register
  • RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • Cache Memory
  • ROM(read-only memory.

  • 6. What are the main types of secondary storage?

There are 2 main types of seconady storage, the first being Magentic and the second being optical storage devices.

  • Magnetic storage devices include Hard drives, NAS (network attached storage), Memory Cards and Tumb Drives(USB Sticks)
  • Optical Storage Devices include CD-ROM, DVD and Blueray Discs

7. How does primary storage differ from secondary storage in terms of speed, cost and capacity?

Primary storage is able to store 3 types information:

  • Date to be processed by the CPU
  • Instructions for the CPU as how to process the data
  • Operating systems programs that manage various aspects fo the computers operation.

The primary storage is there to be used immediatly to store very small amouts of information as close to the CPU as possible. The shorter the distance the shorter the data has to travel thus making the computer run faster

Secondary storage was designed to store large amounts of data for a very long period of time unlike primary storage which holds data for a very short amount of time. Even though secondary storage can hold data for longer periods of time, it is actually a lot cheaper when compared to any primary storage device.

8. What are enterprise storage systems?

Enterprise storage systems are independent, external systems that provide both back-up and storage of information for businesses. 3 types of enterprise stoerage systems include:

  • Independent Disks
  • storage network areas
  • network-attached systems

9. Distinguish between human data input devices and source data automation.

Human data input are human data entry devices such as a mouse, keyboard, joy-stick or touch recognition. Where as source data automation devices input data with very little if any human involvment, to reduce error, increase speed and increase data collection. Examples of this include monitors, printers and plotters.

10. What is one new technology that will change how we do things?

Radar Guided Cruise Control is brand new technology that will change the way we drive. It uses little sonar senses in the front of the car to detect if the car infront of you is slowing down. If it does and you dont react it will initially dab the brakes. If more time has passed the car will press on the brakes even harder to help you avoid the car ahead. This technology matched with Lane Assist which also uses senses to keep the car in its lane will change the way we drive. If a car and control our speed (Radar Guided Cruise Control) and keep us in our lane (Lane Assist) in about 10 years time there will be cars that drive themselves eliminating the need to drive and changing our lives for ever.

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