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Exercise 1.

1. An information system performs a set of information processes. It

performs the information processes of collecting , organising , analysing ,
storing/retrieving processing , transmitting/receiving and displaying
information. Information systems are created for a purpose and operate in
a particular environment.

2. Information systems have a purpose , they address the needs of a group

or an individual. They are created to solve a problem and to provide
benefits , such as :

• Keep track of income

• Design multimedia presentations

• Share information and data

• Store and organize information

3. One reason for the environment of an information system to change is the

progress in information technology. ? ? ?

4. Hardware is the physical equipment involved in processing information. It

refers to the objects that you can see and hold (eg computer). The 5 main
functions of hardware are :

• Input ; involves entering data into the computer (eg keyboard ,


• Processing ; changes data to produce information by following a

series of instructions.

• Storage ; involves retaining data over a period of time (eg magnetic

disks , usb).

• Control ; coordinates the operations of input, processing, output and

storage. The control unit is the organiser that directs flow of data in
the computer.

• Output ; involves the presentation or display of information to a

person, or the transfer of data to another computer (eg printer ,
computer screen).

5. The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer. It takes the
data from an input device, changes it to produce information and sends it
to an output device to be displayed to the user.

6. The control coordinates that operations of input, processing, output and

7. The four different types of computers are :

• Personal computer ; a single user computer that generally sits on a

desktop. PC’s are suitable for individuals needs (eg word

• Midrange ; a central computer the performs the processing for a

number of users working terminals (an input/output device). They
are typically used for accounting , database management and
specific industry applications.

• Mainframe ; a central computer for a large number of users. It often

have thousands of terminals connected to it. They are typically used
for payroll computers , accounting and airline seat reservations.

• Supercomputer ; the fastest, most powerful and expensive type of

computer. They are designed for applications requiring high volume
and high speed calculations (eg simulations of weather and
aerodynamics design).

8. Application software is a computer program used for a specific task. It

allows the computer to achieve the task it was designed for. System
software manages and controls the hardware so the application software
can perform the required task. It determines the way the participant
interacts with the information system.