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Dylan Roscover

AVEP Electronics 4th hour

Chapter One Review

Reviewing the basics

1. Data is stored as binary because binary is virtually error-
proof. Between one and zero, yes and no, there cannot
possibly any more degrees of difference; therefore, when read
or written to, the chances of errors are reduced
significantly, as compared to the original 0-9 varying-degree
2. The four primary functions of hardware are input, processing,
output, and storage.
3. Three things that electronic hardware devices need in order
to function are a method for the CPU to communicate with the
device(s), software/firmware to operate the device, and but
of course electricity to power the device(s).
4. There are eight bits in a byte.
5. The purpose of an expansion slot on a motherboard is to add/
upgrade functionality into the system as "needed". I.e., I
might want a better graphics card, such as the ATI Radeon
X1950XTX 512MB PCI-Express (har har har), so instead of just
getting an entirely new system, I could simply "upgrade" my
current system: that is, if the current system supported
it ;-).
6. The component on the motherboard most used for processing is
the Central Processing Unit, or CPU.
7. Intel, AMD, and IBM are all manufacturers of CPUs, among
other chipsets and components. Motorola is the one the book
mentioned, but their CPUs are seldom found in PCs nowadays -
they're leaning more toward communications equipment last
time I checked.
8. Silicon wafers are used most often today to manufacture
microchips in plants where guys and gals wear bunny suits.
This answer I am a little hesitant about, as I don't remember
the book discussing it specifically, but that doesn't matter
because I'm still right.
9. Two other names for the system bus are Front-Side Bus (FSB)
and host bus.
10. Two other names for the motherboard are main board and logic
board. If you don't believe me, ask any other Mac zealot or
Apple employee... seriously, they call them the logic board.
11. Universal Serial Bus (USB) [2.0 usually], mini-jack Audio
input/output, and 4-pin Firewire (aka IEEE 1394, iLink
[Sony]). Parallel ports and keyboard/mouse are on their way
out, being replaced by USB, and serial 3-row, 15-pin video
ports are being replaced by DVI (thankfully). Therefore, to
include them is absurd.
12. Three kinds of memory modules are Dual Inline Memory Module
(DIMM), Single inline Memory Module (SIMM), and RIMM, which
doesn't matter because apparently it's proprietary, and
proprietary sucks.
13. Volatile memory relies on a constant feed of electricity to
function: when the electricity goes, so does all of the data.
Nonvolatile relies on electricity as well, only it saves
data, so when power is turned off, you still have it.
Nonvolatile is, however, much slower to access.
14. IDE, or Integrated Drive Electronics [Enhanced IDE (EIDE) for
those who really care] cables, aka Ribbon cables, provide up
to four devices on a system, though more can be put on a
system. For example, the new Mac Pro has room for up to four
internal HDDs and two internal ODD (Optical Disc drives),
among other expansion.
15. The size of the data path on most system buses today is
usually between 8 and 128 bits wide... usually more toward
128 bits, I'd assume.
16. The measurement of frequency of a system bus and CPU is Hertz
(Hz). One hertz is one cycle. Thus, system bus is usually
found in the Megahertz (MHz) range and CPU in the Gigahertz
(GHz) range. Obviously the CPU is far more frequent :-) than
the system bus.
17. EIDE bus, PCI bus, PCI-E bus, and system bus (dur dur dur).
18. A power supply receives 120 volts of Alternating Current (AC)
power from a wall outlet and converts it to 3.3, 5, and 12
volts of Direct Current (DC) power.
19. ROM BIOS chips that can be upgraded without replacing the
chips are called programmable (heh Just kidding, really, they
are "flash ROM").
20. Three ways data can be stored on a motherboard are system
BIOS, startup BIOS, and CMOS setup.
Thinking Critically

1. A CD-ROM drive is more important than a floppy drive; in

fact, a floppy isn't even important at all. Whoever still
uses floppies, apart from education, needs to be banned from
using computers. Floppies should be extinct by now. In fact,
even CD-ROM drives should be extinct by now as well. CD-R/RW
and DVD±R/RW drives are the new best thing. If you can't burn
from your drive, it is a waste of space in your box.
2. It's important to save a Word document often because you are
USING WINDOWS! Windows is as unstable as a wild horse. The
chapter argues that it's because secondary storage is lasting
and primary storage isn't, but if you were using a reliable
Operating System (OS) with a reliable Uninterruptible Power
Supply (UPS), then it shouldn't even matter, because you'll
have to save to secondary eventually anyway. This book is so
bias, but I'm used to it.
3. These bus widths are multiples of 8 because EVER type of data
in digital is! Eight bits equals one byte. One bit is a
binary digit, a one or a zero. That should suffice.
4. CMOS > Jumpers/switchers because Jumpers/switchers are so
1980s. Honestly. If it eliminates having to get into your box
physically, it's immediately better. Besides, CMOS takes up
much less space on the board ;-)
5. hahahahahahahahahaha
It wouldn't. Don't believe me?
Now, if by "single system" the book means "PC", it's because
PC boxes, simply put, lack imagination. They're all the same,
and waste a hell of a lot of space on the inside. Maybe if we
actually redesigned the whole thing from the ground up like
*certain* companies do, it wouldn't be so difficult. But of
course, that's never going to happen.