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Mohamed Hussain (3625) ADV. Cert in Information Technology – Batch 2.

Lecture 1.

Information System

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What is the difference between data and information? Give examples.
Raw data refers to a collection of numbers, characters, images or other outputs from devices to convert physical quantities into symbols that are unprocessed. Such data is typically further processed by a human or input into a computer, stored and processed there, or transmitted (output) to another human or computer (possibly through a data cable). Raw data is a relative term; data processing commonly occurs by stages, and the "processed data" from one stage may be considered the "raw data" of the next. The processed data from the first stage may be defined as information at this stage. Example: A census. (The information gathered at the initial survey is called raw data) The facts collected from the census will then be processed into a meaningful context to gather information about the unemployment rate in a country, or the rate of births in a country. At the very first stage it’s all about numbers, figures, and collective information about a certain family or a person. This is processed through any medium to get the information about these facts in a country.


What do you mean by data processing? And why is it important to process data?
Data processing is the process of manipulation or processing of raw data (figures, numbers, graphs etc…) to gather useful information about a certain fact. The importance of data processing can be explained as gathering information from a bunch of numbers, facts and figures which just don’t give any meaning. We can see a whole lot of numbers and facts from a survey which doesn’t have any meaning when they are collected. These data need to be processed through some form of input/output method. When we feed raw data or a set of instructions into a computer, these data needs to be processed using a program so that the output from

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Information System

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these data can be viewed from the screen as how we need it to be. In other words, the raw facts or data have no meaning when they are not processed.


What is a system? And describe the functions of a system.
A system is a collection of inter-related components that works together to achieve a certain goal set by the person or a company which is operating the system. For example; an air-conditioner: The system is designed to keep the room at a temperature that the user wants. To achieve this goal, the system embedded inside the internal module, restarts the external module consisting the fans and the cooling systems when the temperature inside the room exceeds the limit set by the user. (the job of automatically restarting the external module is done by a small chip programmed to do this task inside the internal module) Functions of a system: A basic system functions include inputs, processing, and output. The modern systems use more contextual method in order to enhance the system life and operability by including a feedback and control mechanism.


Why feedback and control mechanism is important for the system?
Feedback and control mechanism is important nowadays in a vast number of systems. The term feedback refers to, gathering of information from users, where control means the manufacturer or the system administrator who can control the system depending on the feedback information. The feedback information is useful for the future development of these systems and its operability. For example; the computer aided design system software called AUTOCAD is developed after each and every version depending on the vast uses and feedback from its users. The software users are not given proper permission to change the system functionality where this is controlled by the developers (or so called programmers) at the company who develop the AutoCAD system software.

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Information System

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Another example is computer systems and its physical components. For example, the systems used to play high graphic games are now developed by the manufacturers depending on the feedback from users as well as game developers because the need for higher specification system was preferred by the gamers and game developers by nowadays.


With the help of a diagram, explain the components of an information system.
Raw facts, numbers, figures, images,


Briefly explain the resources that support the information system.

 People/Human resources: includes the users, developers, operators, and people who maintain an information system.  Hardware resources: includes all types of machines. The physical Storage media, processors, a system could be called as hardware users, System components that comprise memory, input/output media developers, recourses.  Software resources: The programs used to function an information system, the user manuals, and the information about the media that these programs are stored and run.  Communication resources: Includes the mediums used to communicate Operating systems, Networks, data cables, application software, data between systems; like networks, othercables, phone lines, wireless links phone lines, routers, etc… Also the hardware’s and software’s which are used to communicate and transfer data between these systems.  Data resources. Data resources include computer databases, business transactions (in banks and online banking) and any form of raw data which an organization have access to.

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Information System

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What is a computer?
A computer is basically made of three components; an input device, a processor, and an output device. Furthermore, the input devices include the keyboard, mouse, barcode readers, and scanners etc… The processor is however, the heart of a system which undertakes all the processing tasks. The processor in a computer system is located in the system unit which comprises of memory, ROM’s, and storage devices. Output devices (basically the monitor) include monitors, printers and projectors etc…


Give a brief idea about the following. In your answer, you should include when, and who invented it and also how it works.



5th BC. This is the earliest device which qualifies as a digital

computer. An Abacus contains beads in two rows, where the uppermost row contains beads that are used when a certain number of counts are reached. Still used in the Far East and some facilities like UCMAS to calculate mathematical calculations to aid the human brain. A skilled abacus operator can work on addition and subtraction problems at the speed of a person equipped with a hand calculator (multiplication and division are slower). b.


1617. Invented by a

Scotsman named John Napier. This is a manual calculating device which is also called as “cardboard multiplication calculator”. The calculation is carried by positioning the cubes (which were marked with some numbers) into a certain order to get the results. On the top of a column is the number which will be multiplied by the numbers in the left (Embedded onto the board), and the result is followed by positioning the results one after another. In the next page is a graphical example of how this board is used to calculate multiplication. (continued in the next page.)

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Information System

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


1/2 1/8 2/4 3/0 3/6 4/2 4/8 5/4

0/2 0/3 0/4 0/5 0/6 0/7 0/8 0/9

0/4 0/6 0/8 1/0 1/2 1/4 1/6 1/8

0/6 0/9 1/2 1/5 1/8 2/1 2/4 2/7

0/8 1/2 1/6 2/0 2/4 2/8 3/2 3/6

1/0 1/5 2/0 2/5 3/0 3/5 4/0 4/5

1/2 1/8 2/4 3/0 3/6 4/2 4/8 5/4

1/4 2/1 2/8 3/5 4/2 4/9 5/6 6/3

1/6 2/4 3/2 4/0 4/8 5/6 6/4 7/2

1/8 2/7 3/6 4/5 5/4 6/3 7/2 8/1



1621. Nappiers invention directly led to the Slide rule,

which was used by the NASA engineers of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. This is a mechanical analogue computer consisting of two finely divided rules (rulers) with markings. It contains a pair and a movable inner one called the cursor. The calculations are done by sliding the inner one in a certain order to gather the desired result. Used primarily for multiplication and division. With the use of Slide Rule, the possibilities of L.Cpl. Mohamed Hussain (3625) Page: 6

Information System

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carrying out scientific functions such as Trigs, Roots, and Logs was also possible. It does not perform additional or subtraction calculations. d.


1642. Invented the first mechanical adding

machine called the Pascaline as an aid for his father who was a tax collector. This calculator uses gears to perform only addition functions. Pascal’s invention was used till today until the digital speedometers in cars to turn the wheel when after a full revolution of the prior wheel. e.


1671. Invented by German Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

Improved on Pascal’s machine to perform multiplication and division calculations. He managed to build a four-function (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) calculator that he called the stepped reckoner because, instead of gears, it employed fluted drums having ten flutes arranged around their circumference in a stair-step fashion. Although the stepped reckoner employed the decimal number system (each drum had 10 flutes), Leibniz was the first to advocate use of the binary number system which is fundamental to the operation of modern computers. f.

CHARLES BABBAGE. 1822. He was an English mathematician,
physicist, mechanical engineer, (proto) computer scientist. He is the first person to originate the idea of programmable computers. Although, he developed his ideas based on Jacquard’s Loom which uses punch cards. His idea of developing a programmable computer was achieved after a decade when he passed away. His invention is the root to the modern computer designs. He was also called the “father of modern digital computers”. At first he developed the Deference Engine, which was later developed into a complete automatic “Analytical Engine”. The Analytical Engine is controlled by punch cards as an input and a steam engine for power. The punch cards in his Analytical Engine served his ideas in two ways. He generated new punch cards as a set of instructions which could be stored for later use of the same function. Thus both operations are also given a name (the “store” and the “mill”; in other words, the memory unit and the processing unit) as of it comprises the punch cards in the woven industry. This idea is the fundamental to the any digital computing.



1899. Was an American who developed the

Hollerith Desk, consisted of a card reader which sensed the holes in the L.Cpl. Mohamed Hussain (3625) Page: 7

Information System

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punch cards, a gear driven mechanism which could count (using Pascal's mechanism which we still see in car odometers), and a large wall of dial indicators (a car speedometer is a dial indicator) to display the results of the count. The Hollerith method was used in USA as late as in the year 2000 ballot. h.

JACQUARD LOOM. 1801. Invented by a Frenchman called Joseph
Marie Jacquard. He invented a power loom that could base its weave (and hence the design on the fabric) upon a pattern automatically by reading from punched wooden cards, held together in a long row by a rope. The operation is controlled by the punch cards used by the machine. Such an operation includes Jacquards self portrait woven by this machine. All the wooden punch cards (an estimate of 10000 cards) for this operation were built by Jacquard himself.



1939. The US

professor Anatasoff and his graduate student Clifford Berry at the Iova State University built the first all electronic computer. This machine used 45 vaccume tubes for internal logic and capasitors for storage. The machine was not programmable and it’s design was only appropriate for one type of mathematical calculation. j.

HOWARD AIKEN. 1944. Invented the Mark 1 with the help from IBM
and Harvard University. This was the first programmable digital computer. It was not a purely electronic computer. Instead the Mark I was constructed out of switches, relays, rotating shafts, and clutches. The machine weighed 5 tons, incorporated 500 miles of wire, was 8 feet tall and 51 feet long, and had a 50 ft rotating shaft running its length, turned by a 5 horsepower electric motor. The Mark I ran non-stop for 15 years.


ENIAC. 1945.This Electronic, Numerical Integrator and Calculator was
invented by two professors named John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania USA. ENIAC was the first machine to use electronic signals for computing data. Especially designed by the US war department for the purpose of making aiming tables for the gunners at World War II. One of the major achievement of ENIAC includes the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 20 seconds, which took a mechanical calculator 40 hours of labor work. ENIAC generates lots of heat from 18000 vacuum tubes it needed to work, making the system to incorporate its own special

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Information System

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purpose air-conditioning system. It weighed 30 tons and fills in a room with the size of 20 by 40. ENIAC can generate the results of adding two numbers in 200 microseconds, and multiplication in 2000 microseconds. l.

EDSAC. 1949. Or “Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator” was
an early British computer. EDSAC used the first stored program concept in a system. Its first program was executed in 6 May 1949, when it calculated a table of squares and a list of prime numbers. This machine was developed by a group of scientists at the Cambridge University under the direct supervision of Professor Maurice Wilkes. It used mercury delay lines for memory, and derated vacuum tubes for logic. Input was via 5-hole punched tape and output was via a teleprinter.


EDVAC. 1946-1950. or “Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic
Computer” was an invention from the ENIAC’s inventors by teaming up with mathematician John von Neumann. Like the ENIAC, the EDVAC was built for the U.S. Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering. The EDVAC was a binary serial computer with automatic addition, subtraction, multiplication, programmed division and automatic checking with an ultrasonic serial memory capacity of 1,000 44bit words (later set to 1,024 words, thus giving a memory, in modern terms, of 5.5 kilobytes). The physical components of EDVAC contains, a magnetic tape recorder-reader, a control unit with an oscilloscope, a dispatcher unit to receive instructions from the control and memory and direct them to other units, a computational unit to perform arithmetic operations on a pair of numbers at a time and send the result to memory after checking on a duplicate unit, a timer, a dual memory unit consisting of two sets of 64 mercury acoustic delay lines of eight words capacity on each line, and three temporary tanks each holding a single word. EDVAC continued its works until it was replaced by a new system. And during its life, EDVAC proves to be worthy of its cost.

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