Monday, September 21, 2009

Tech Guide 1: Innovations in Hardware Utilization

Q1. What is computer hardware and what are the major hardware components?

Computer hardware is a set of devices that together accept data and information, process them, and display them. The major components of hardware are a processor, monitor, keyboard, printer…

Q2. What is Moore's Law/what does it mean in relation to computers?

Moore’s law is a prediction by Gordon Moore, an Intel co-founder, that microprocessor complexity would double approximately every two years. In relation to computers, it means that innovations in chip designs are coming at a faster and faster rate and his prediction has been accurate.

Q3. In basic terms, describe how a microprocessor functions.

A microprocessor is built on to a single piece of silicon; it may function by itself in a wide range of applications. A microprocessor chip contains a read-only memory (Rom) which can be read repeatedly but cannot be changed. And it may also have some random access memory (RAM) for holding temporary data.

Q4. What factors determine the speed of the microprocessor?

Registers, Random Access Memory (RAM), Cache Memory and Read-only Memory (ROM) are all different factors that determine the speed of the microprocessor as information and data is being saved and retrieved from them.

Q5. What are the four main types of primary storage?

§ Registers: are part of the CPU, they have the least capacity, storing extremely limited amounts of instructions and data only before and after processing.
§ Random Access Memory (RAM): holds a software program and small amounts of data for processing.
§ Cache Memory: a type of high speed memory that enables the computer to temporarily store blocks of data that are used more often and that a processor can access more rapidly than main memory (RAM).
§ Read-only Memory (ROM): certain critical instructions are safeguarded; the storage is nonvolatile and retains the instructions when the power to the computer is turned off.

Q6. What are the main types of secondary storage?

§ Magnetic media
§ Optical storage devices
§ Flash memory devices
§ Redundant arrays of independent disks
§ Storage area network
§ Network-attached storage

Q7. How does primary storage differ from secondary storage in terms of speed cost and capacity?

Primary Storage
  • Most primary storage is temporary
  • Primary Storage is expensive
    and smaller
  • Primary storage is smaller in
  • Primary storage is usually faster
    therefore more expensive
  • Primary storage is closer to the CPU
    and/or is integrated onto it and therefore
    is faster.
  • Examples of Primary storage: RAM,
    L2 Cache

Secondary Storage

  • All secondary storage is permanent
  • Secondary storage is usually cheaper and large
  • Secondary storage is bigger in capacity
  • Secondary storage connects to the CPU
    via cables and therefore is slower
  • Examples of secondary storage; Hard drive, CD-ROM...

Q8. What are enterprise storage systems?

An enterprise storage system is an independent, external system that includes two or more storage devices. It provides large amounts of storage, high-performance data transfer, a high degree of availability, protection against data loss, and sophisticate management tools.

Q9. Distinguish between human data input devices and source data automation.

Human data entry devices require a certain amount of human effort to input data. For example, keyboard, mouse, pointing stick, trackball, joystick, touch screen, stylus and voice-recognition.

Source data automation devices input data with minimal human intervention. Examples of source data automation include automated teller machine, magnetic stripe reader, point-of-sale terminals, barcode scanners, optimal mark reader and many more.

Q10.What is one new technology that will change how we do things? You need to do some research

The internet is one of the biggest technologies that is currently affecting people's everyday lives. It has allowed connection via Online Services, connecting via Other Means like cell phones and pagers. It has even allowed Internet Banking, which is now used by most people as a faster way of checking their bank deatils and transfer money without getting into the trouble of using transport to drive to the bank in order to fulfil tasks. It has been growing faster and faster.

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