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IT 101: Introduction to Information Technology

Review Sheet


 Notes from Professor Lori’s IT 101: Introduction to Information Technology course at


 Using Information Technology: A Practical Introduction to Computers and

Communications 10e Complete by Brian K. Williams and Stacey C. Sawyer

 Primary storage  memory that TEMPORARILY holds the data to be processed.

 Secondary Storage  aka STORAGE; stores data PERMANENTLY

 Keyboard  an input device that converts human typing into electrical signals readable

by the processor

 Mouse  non-keyboard input device used to manipulate objects

 Motherboard  the main circuit board

 Case, or System Unit  holds the CPU, the memory chips, and the motherboard, along

with the power supply as well as some secondary storage devices.

 CPU  processor chip  a tiny piece of silicon that contains millions of mini electrical


 RAM  memory chips  primary memory storage

 Expansion slots  for expanding the PC’s capabilities; gives you places to plug in

additional circuit boards

 Output hardware provides the user with the information they need

 A peripheral device is any component that expands a computer’s input, storage, or output

 Video card  contains the processor’s output info into a video signal

 Sound card  enhances the computer’s sound-generating capabilities by allowing the

sound to be output through speakers

 Monitor  display device that takes electrical signals from the video card and forms an

image using points of colored lights on the screen

 Speakers  play sounds as electrical signals

 Printer  an output device that produces text and graphics on paper

 Modem device that sends and receives data over telephone lines, or wirelessly via a

network, to and from computers.

 Computers use system software and application software

 System software  enables application software to run

 Application software  enables you to perform specific tasks – solve problems, perform

work, or entertain yourself

 Computers are becoming SMALLER, FASTER, AND CHEAPER

 The bandwidth will determine the speed of your connection no matter how you connect

 Bandwidth, or channel capacity, is an expression of how much data can be sent through a

communication channel in a given amount of time

 Broadband  high speed connections

 Bps = bits per second

 Download  remote to local

 Upload  local to remote

 Dial up modems  usually used in rural areas, where broadband connections are not

always available
 Narrowband  low band width

 Dial-up connections  use of telephone modems to connect computers to the internet.

 Modem  device that sends and receives data over telephone lines to and from


 High speed connections are prevalent; dial-up connections are becoming obsolete

 DSL  digital subscriber line  uses regular phone lines, a DSL modem, and special

technology to transmit data in megabits per second

 Cable connections can be faster than DSL and are more popular in the US

 Wireless networks  use radio waves to transmit data

 A client computer is a computer requesting data or services

 Server  the central computer supplying the data or services requested of it

 Protocol  a set of rules that computers must follow to transmit data electronically.

 The protocol that enables all computers to use data transmitted on the internet is called


 Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol

 Packets  fixed length blocks of data for transmission

 IP Address  uniquely identifies every computer and device connected to the internet

 Sampling rate  the number of times that a song is measured (sampled) and converted to

a digital value

 5 types of computers

o Supercomputers

o Mainframe Computers

o Workstations
o Microcomputers

o Microcontrollers (aka embedded computers)




 Moore’s law  the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an

integrated circuit doubles about every two years.

 Progression:

o Vacuum Tubes  Transistors  Integrated Circuits (what we use today)

 Recent trend in computing  using more parallel processing rather than shrinking things

 Bay  shell or opening for installation of electrical equipment

 Run program from memory, never from hard drive!

 Registers  faster than main memory

 Registers  most expensive form of memory


 ************Temporary storage areas  volatile  memory is cleared out when you

turn off the computer  need to have a steady power source on it

 8 bits = 1 byte = 1 character

 Locality  very important

o Most data and instructions have temporary locality  information previously

used will most likely be used again soon

o Spatial locality  instructions closely following the current instruction will likely

be performed soon

o Data and instructions likely to be used again soon kept in the cache, rather than

being returned to RAM so that they can be accessed faster.

 Silicon replaced by graphene and microelectronics

 Binary

o Base of 2

o Digits are 0 and 1

 Decimal

o Base of 10

 Hexadecimal

o Base 16

 Character Codes

o ASCII  each character is represented by one byte and the first bit is always 0

o ANSI (or extended ASCII)  Each character is represented by one byte, first bit

may be either 0 or 1

o Unicode  each character is represented by 2 bytes

 Error Checking

o Parity Bits  used to verify correctness

o One parity bit is added to a group of bits

o We care about 1’s, not zeros!

o For the odd parity, if the data sent is correct, the # of 1’s in the data plus the parity

bit is odd

o Opposite for even parity

 Application Software  comprises the programs that do the work that users are directly

interested in

 Software Licenses  protects the copyright by placing restrictions on the user

 Commercial software  copyrighted

 Public-Domain software  Not copyrighted

 Shareware  Copyrighted (available free, but should pay)

 Freeware  copyrighted (available free)

 Rentalware  Copyrighted (lease for a fee)

Software License  you sign a contract in which you agree not to make copies of the software to

give away or sell

Types of software licenses:

 Site Licenses  allow the software to be used on all computers at a specific location

 Concurrent-use licenses  allow a certain number of copies of the software to be used at

the same time

 Multiple-user license  specifies the number of people who may use the software

 Single-user license  limits the software use to one user at a time

 Public domain software  not protected by copyright and thus may be duplicated by

anyone at will

 Running a program: FETCH  DECODE  EXECUTE  STORE

The data or results from the The next instruction is

instruction execution are fetched from the cache or
stored in the registers or RAM.

The instructions such as the The instructions are decoded

ALU or FPU performing a into a form the ALU or FPU
computation are carried out. can understand.

Dot Pitch  the amount of space between adjacent pixels

Resolution  the image sharpness

Color Depth  aka bit depth, the number of bits stored in a dot

5 Generations of Programming Languages

1. Machine Language

2. Assembly Language

3. High Level Languages (procedural and object oriented)

4. Very High Level Languages (problem oriented languages)

5. Natural Languages

 BASIC  the easy language

 FORTRAN  the language of mathematics and first high level language

 COBOL  the first language of business

 PASCAL  the simple language

 C  for protability, OS, and scientific use

 C++  enhancement of C

 LISP  for the AI programs

OOP = Object Oriented Programming Language  programming by building with classes

1. In OOP, data and instructions for processing that data that are combined into a self-

sufficient “object” that can be used in other programs

2. An object is a self-contained module consisting of preassembled programming code

3. When an object’s data is to be processed  sending the “message”

4. How the object’s data is processed  the “methods”

Visual Programming  “GUI Based Programming” (unofficial term)

Application Software

 Solve a particular problem for users

 Useful/specific task or entertainment

 We interact mainly with this type of software

System Software

 Enables application software to interact with computers

 Helps computer manage internal and external resources

 Provides services (to application’s needs)

 Interacts with hardware

Types of Data

 Documents

 Worksheets

 Databases


Cloud Computing

 Obtaining resources from a network of computers sitting around somewhere

 Pay only for the resources you use


 Flexibility and adaptability by rapid provisioning

 Reduced costs through sharing and centralization


 Users don’t physically process their data

 Security and privacy issues (3rd party)

 Legal rights are unclear

 Must have internet access

Higher Layer

Layer 5 Application
Layer 4 Transport
Layer 3 Network
Layer 2 Data Link
Layer 1 Physical
Lower Layer

To connect to the internet, you need:

1. ISP

2. A means of connection

3. An access device

Fault tolerance  the ability to continue in operation after a fault has occurred
2 Principal Structures of Networks

1. Client/Sever

2. Peer-to-Peer  all computers are equal; they directly communicate with one another

without relying on servers

Important Client-Server diagram

Client wait for result

Request reply

Server Provide Service

Time 

3 Tier Architecture

 Client

 Mid-tier service

 Back-end service

Application Data
Processing Management

 Cloud storage  online secondary storage

 Dumb terminal or Video Display Terminal  has a display screen and a keyboard and

can input and output but cannot process data.

 Intelligent Terminal  has its own memory and processor, as well as a display screen

and keyboard

 Latency  lag time due to wireless controller

System Unit Diagram

Instruction Fetch and Decode

Cache Memory Interface to RAM

Registers Registers

Arithmetic Logic Unit

What you need to build your own PC:

 Keyboard + Mouse

 Inside the system cabinet:

o Case and power supply

o Processor chip  CPU

o Memory chips  the RAM

o Motherboard  the system board

 Memory chips plug in

 Processor chip plugs in

 Motherboard attaches to system cabinet

 Power supply is connected to system cabinet

 Power supply wire is connected to motherboard

 Storage Hardware: Floppy, Hard Drive, Zip, CD/DVD, USB

Supercomputers are used for:

 Breaking codes

 Simulations for explosions of nuclear bombs

 Forecasting weather

 Keeping planets in orbit

What is the leading use of computers?

 Email and social networking

Four components of a URL:

1. Web Protocol

2. Name of the web server

3. Name of the directory on the web server

4. Name of the file within the directory


Which of the following is the fastest method of data transmission?


Which of the following is NOT a netiquette rule?

Flame only when necessary

Which protocol is used to retrieve email messages from the server to your computer?

POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3)

ISPs that don’t run their own backbones connect to an Internet backbone through a(n):

Internet Exchange Point

The sending of a phony email that pretends to be from a credit-card company or bank, luring you

to a website that attempts to obtain confidential info from you is called:


What is a prominent network operating system?


Which of the following refers to the execution of two or more programs by one user almost at the

same time on the same computer with one central processor?

Which type of software can you download and duplicate without any restrictions whatsoever and

without fear of legal prosecution?


Which of the following coding schemes is widely used on microcomputers?


Which of the following is NOT a source data-entry device?


Which of the following display standards has the highest screen resolution?


A device with a microchip that contains code numbers that can be read by a radio scanner’s radio

waves is a(n)


Which of these best describes the regular telephone line that is used in most homes today?

Twisted pair cable

Which type of LAN connects all devices through a central switch?

Star network
How do fiber-optic cables transmit data?


3RD Generation Languages  FORTRAN, BASIC, COBOL, C


Smartphones have:

a) A microprocessor

b) A display screen

c) Memory

d) A modem

e) All of these

Which of the following concerns does NOT apply to smartphone users?


Concerns related to smartphones:

 Often causes erratic driving

 People can track user’s movements without their knowledge

 Users can take photos in inappropriate situations

 Loud conversations and ringtones can irritate people in the user’s vicinity
 The operating system is part of the system software.

 Online education programs are called distance learning.

 E-readers are devices that can download books in digital form.

 SMTP is used for sending email, POP3 is used for retrieving email.

 A dial-up modem is NOT an ISP (internet service provider).

 A dial-up line is the slowest but cheapest form of internet connection.

 Radio buttons are NOT used for listening to radio stations on the internet.

 Spoofing means using fake email sender names.

 The supervisor manages the CPU.

 A bus connects a computer’s control unit and ALU.

 Virtual memory is hard-disk space used to expand RAM capacity.

 ASCII is the binary code most widely used on microcomputers.

 Optical mark-recognition software reads “bubble-marks” and converts them into

computer usable form (OMR).

 Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – software technology that converts scanned

text from images (pics of text) to an editable text format (usually ASCII) that can be

imported into a word processing application and manipulated.

 Wi-Fi signals can travel up to almost 250 feet.

 Microwave transmissions are a line-of-sight medium.

 Trojan horse – a subclass of virus program that pretends to be a useful program, such

as a game or screen saver, but that carries viruses, or destructive instructions.

 Using encryption to alter readable data into unreadable form can prevent

unauthorized access to transmitted messages.

 HDTV  high-definition television  a form of television that works with digital

broadcasting signals (not analog signals)

 How many megapixels are best?

o Megapixels measure the maximum resolution of an image taken by a camera

at its top settings

o If you shoot mainly 4 * 6’s and rarely crop pictures, most cameras that have 7

or 8 megapixels should be adequate.

o But if you print poster-sized shots or do a major cropping, a 14-megapixel

camera makes more sense.

 Programming errors caused by incorrect use of control structures are called LOGIC


 The six phases of systems analysis and design:

o Preliminary investigation

o Systems analysis

o Systems designs

o Systems development

o Systems implementation

o Systems maintenance