A Computer System Algorithms and Flowcharts Applications Software Bar Codes Batch Processing Billing Systems Bits and Bytes Booking Systems Bulletin Boards Bus, Star and Ring Networks Cache CAD/CAM CAL and Computers in School Administration CAM Codes of Practice COM Computer Control in Hospitals Computer Misuse Act Control Systems CPU (Central Processing Unit) Data Data Collection Data Compression Data Encoding Data Protection Act Data Security Data Transfer
A Computer System. A computer system has three main stages :
1. The Input Stage - where data is put into the computer. 2. The Processing Stage - where the data is processed. 3. The Output Stage - where the results are displayed.
A computer also needs to store data for later use. This is done on a backing storage device.
A typical computer system :
The arrows show the flow of data.
Algorithms and Flowcharts An algorithm is a sequence of steps used to complete a task. Algorithms may be presented... • • • in words as a flowchart in structured code
The word 'sequence' implies there is an order to the steps.
A computer program is an algorithm written for a computer in a special programming language.
Example in words : Go straight on to the traffic lights, turn left and take the third turning on the right. If the red gate is open then go through it, otherwise go through the green gate. Example as a flowchart :
Flowcharts have terminators (Start and Stop boxes)...and the algorithm is determined by direction on the flow lines. Decision boxes are diamond shaped.
Example in structured code : Go straight on to the traffic lights; Turn left; Take the third turning on the right; If the red gate is open then go through the red gate else go through the green gate end if; Applications Software
Each line is executed in turn...
Programs can be configured to the specific needs of a user by altering the coding. This method of data entry is used in big shops and
. a newspaper article. taxi service system. Examples : • • • • • school management software.
Applications programmers write the software using a computer programming language. Examples: • a word processing program (can be used to produce a legal document. air traffic control system. a school homework essay etc) spreadsheet program a database program. computer game
If an application program can be used in many different areas it is usually called a generic program (or content-free program).
Bar codes are read using a Bar Code Reader.
Bar Codes A bar code is a set of parallel printed lines of differing thicknesses which are used to store coded information about an item. which can be in the form of a hand-held ‘wand’ or a stationary laser scanner over which the bar code is passed. An applications package is a complete set of applications programs and documentation. theatre booking system.An applications program enables a user to perform a specific function.
The forms are all collected and input to the computer system. how much has been paid etc.
Billing Systems An example of a billing system is . The file will also include information such as latest meter readings. There is no interaction between the user and the computer while the program is being run. how much electricity the customer has used this year.
Advantages • • • a fast method of data entry eliminates possible human error
Disadvantages scratched or crumpled barcodes may cause problems
Batch Processing A batch processing system is one where programs and data are collected together in a batch before processing starts. Jobs are stored in job queues until the computer is ready to process them. The electricity company has a large database (master file) of all its customers. At regular intervals. The data must be validated before it is processed to
A document produced by the computer which is later used as input is called a turnaround document. Every customer receives an electricity bill which must be paid. The reading is recorded onto pre-printed forms. meter readers go round each house to read the electricity meter. or by manually keying in the data.. A job usually consists of a program and the data to be run.electricity payments.
.supermarkets and in libraries.. Computers which do batch processing often operate at night. Each piece of work for a batch processing system is called a job.when a company calculates the wages for its workforce and prints payslips. Example : Payroll . This may be done using OMR or OCR.
• • customer usage or spending patterns (eg seasonal variations) payments
. Payments received will need to be recorded as transactions on a transaction file and used to update the master file.
The electricity bill for each customer is calculated by the computer and printed.. These bills will be posted to the customers.make sure no 'silly' data is input. Keyed data will need to be verified to check for transcribing errors.
The customer then pays the bill by either sending a cheque or by credit/debit card.. Some customers may pay by monthly standing orders or direct debits.
For some billing systems statistical analysis can be done on .
1 byte of storage is needed to store one character. B is 01000010 etc.
The reason that binary numbers are used is that memory consists of millions of two-state devices (think of them as switches).. 1011001011001010 0110100100010111 1110101110110100 1101101000100010 0001001010010010 1001011011101010 . A Kilobyte is usually abbreviated to K. This is measured in bytes. This means that there are 640 kilobytes of memory in the computer..Bits and Bytes The size of a computer's memory is measured by the amount of data which can be stored in it.
. 8 bits is called 1 byte.. A Megabyte (abbreviated to Mb) is 1024 kilobytes.
Data is stored in memory as a number of 0s and 1s.). so for example the number 0110 is a 4-bit binary number.. (A is 01000001.
A Kilobyte is 1024 bytes. so to store the word ‘FRED’ would need 4 bytes of storage. so 1 Mb = 1024 x 1024 bytes = 1048576 bytes (approx 1 million) A Gigabyte (abbreviated to Gb) is 1024 Mb so 1 Gb = 1024 x 1048576 = 1073741824 bytes (approx 1 billion)
You can think of data stored in memory or on disc as looking like. Each of these is called a bit (Binary digIT).. and you will sometimes see a computer described as having 640K RAM.
ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
Using the ASCII system of coding each character is stored as a unique 8-bit pattern.Most computers use the same system so data can be transferred from one computer to another.. Each of these can only be in one state (0) or the other (1)....
and many others.. A travel agent for example. This is an example of a multi-access system. the customer will need to provide input details (name. theatre performances. the booking is
. may have computers in all its branches directly connected to a central computer where a database of all bookings is stored. planes.. number of people etc).
When a booking is made. hotel rooms.. on a form on an Internet web page..
This form (on an Internet web page) is used for collecting details of a passenger's booking on the Eurotunnel. by transcribing them from a paper booking form. These details are then used as input data when the booking is made. These details may be entered . • • • • at a computer terminal in a multi-access system. by typing them in when in telephone communication with the customer. if it is. place. and. The computer will check to see if the booking is available. date. trains.
This data is validated to check if the details are sensible.It is now possible to make bookings on-line for holidays.
If details of these are transmitted over the Internet. so that no other customer can make the same booking. Star and Ring Networks Network topologies (ways in which computers are arranged in a network)
Bus Each computer is linked to a bus (cable) and there are terminators at each end of the bus.
Especially popular on Usenet. then these can generally be done on-line using a Credit card or a Debit card. the website must be secure so that this information cannot be stolen. enabling worldwide 'newsgroups' to exchange information on topics of interest.
Bulletin Boards A bulletin board is accessible using the Internet and is a place where people who share a common interest may leave or read messages. so the database will have to be regularly backed up . Bus. It is essential that no data is lost. This means it is a real-time (transaction processing) system. Less cabling but can be slow if there are a large number of users.
As soon as a customer makes a booking it has to be processed immediately.
. If payments for the booking are required. Documents will need to be output to give to the customer. confirming the booking and giving details about it.possibly using a tape streamer.made and it will then store the booking details in the database.
Most computers use a part of the hard disk as extra memory.
. A faster system and it is easier to add more computers.
Access from disk is much slower than from RAM so the speed of operation will be reduced if disk cache is used. CAD/CAM CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. The computer will seem to have more memory than it really has. The disadvantage is that if this file server breaks down then all the computers are affected.
Token Ring Network
'Tokens' of data are passed round the ring (in one direction only) and collected by the receiving computer.
Cache Modern software usually requires a large amount of memory in a computer in order to operate. Data stored in memory which is not actually needed immediately is temporarily moved into the disk cache and moved back into memory when it is needed.Star
All computers are connected to a central computer (file server).
• • • cars bridges buildings
.The image can be rotated or viewed from different angles. This can be viewed from a number of different angles... (Graphics pads)
Input may be from a keyboard.. The arrangement can be changed on the computer and 'tested' without needing to move actual furniture around.
Some CAD packages allow 3D design.
CAD can be used to design. graphics pad or touch-screen monitors.
Graphics tablets. Arranging furniture in a room.CAD is used for displaying and editing designs on the computer. Calculations can often be made.
Example : CAD can be used for interior design work..
.... stresses etc) designs can be tested (eg electrical circuits) ...... .
Finished designs may be
CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacture..printed out using a graph plotter.used as input for a CAM process.
. volumes.and many more
CNC devices receive the production instructions from the computer as numbers.• • • •
boats engines circuit boards . • • • • • creating and editing new designs viewing designs from different angles adding standard pre-designed shapes from a library calculations (areas.are used to produce the product... CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines such as • • • • • • lathes milling machines drilling machines welding machines soldering machines robots. In the CAD/CAM process slight changes to design are quickly and easily made and implemented. The result of any change can be quickly analysed. CAM uses a computer to control a manufacturing process.
for the student to know how much has been learned.notes and other resources graphics sound .
You are using CAL right now!
CAL systems use interactive computing.. Cutters on a swivelling head receive instructions and shape a block of metal.A milling machine. CAL courses may use .
Benefits of CAL.a commentary or music background animation self assessments .
CAL and Computers in School Administration CAL stands for Computer Assisted Learning.. • • • • text . • • • • • more interesting learning with interactive systems and multimedia ..so greater motivation students can learn at any time students can learn from any place eg home students proceed at their own pace not so many teachers needed
. their teachers. The
CAM CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacture.
A school which has networked computers may have an Intranet which provides web-based resources available at any workstation.Pupils generally learn better when they study on their own and can learn at their own pace. Timetables are produced using special software. medical information etc.
Computers in School Administration Most schools now have a large database of pupil details. Output from a computer is used to control CNC manufacturing machines such as millers or lathes.) CAD/CAM is the whole process of design and manufacture using computers. This database will store personal data about the pupils as well as the classes they take. Word processing or DTP software may be used to produce documents for the teachers or pupils.
Some school may have on-line registration systems where pupils use swipe-cards (with magnetic strips).. This database can be searched to produce eg class lists Pupil assessments may also be recorded (test and exam results) so that pupil progress can be monitored. Spreadsheets may be used to calculate and monitor the school's financial budget.or even knitting machines. (CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and means that instructions for the machines are given as numbers. CAD is used to produce the design of a product and the code to run the CNC machine is output.
or they will go elsewhere. All employees would conduct their business in a similar way. Example : Newspapers might be archived on microfiche. It is always in the best interest of a business to treat its customers fairly and with due consideration . It ensures consistency of practice.
COM COM is a technique of reducing documents in size and photographically printing them so that they can be read using a special magnifying machine.
Codes of Practice
A Code of Practice is a set of standards that a business would expect its employees to conform to. It is not legally binding but the business would ask an employee to agree to it before being employed and would be grounds for dismissal if they were not obeyed.machine then manufactures the product.
Microfiche readers are needed to read the very small text and pictures. Advantages : • • uses much less storage space film lasts longer than paper
Computer Control in Hospitals
. Microfilm is a roll of film and microfiche is a rectangular sheet of film on which many frames (pages of information) can be stored.
.. gain unauthorised access to a computer's data with the intention of altering or deleting it. If any of these readings goes outside acceptable levels an output signal sets off an alarm to alert the nursing staff. copying programs illegally (software piracy)
A conviction may lead to a fine and a 5-year prison sentence..
Computer Misuse Act The Copyright Act makes it illegal to copy and use a file or software without the owner's permission.The main use of computer control in hospitals is in lifesupport systems.disadvantages.
The Computer Misuse Act makes it illegal to. This includes planting viruses.
• • • •
gain unauthorised access to a computer's software or data (hacking) ..including the illegal copying of programs. Sensors attached to a patient monitor • • • • pulse temperature blood pressure breathing rate
The readings are taken at regular intervals and used as input to a computer.... gain unauthorised access to a computer's data for blackmail purposes.. monitoring can be continuously done 24 hours a day no chance of human errors due to eg tiredness frees the nursing staff to carry out other duties these systems are expensive
These systems may be used for • • • • • • patients in intensive care (eg after operations) prematurely born babies
The advantages of this system.
. to activate the ventilators or sprinkler systems. sensors are used to measure a physical quantity and send input to the controlling computer. The output signal may be sent a to an actuator which activates a mechanical device such as a motor.
Commonly used sensors are .heat sensors. The computer responds by sending an output signal to a control interface which activates various devices eg a switch or an alarm.
The A. movement sensors. humidity sensors. sound sensors. Sensors continually send information about the temperature and humidity in the greenhouse to the computer. In a control system. (Arithmetic and Logic Unit) which performs all the calculations. The computer will then analyse the data and send output signals.U. The CPU has three main parts.ie it carries out the instructions of the program being run. The Control Unit .Exercise : Computer Misuse Act The Computer Misuse Act was introduced to prevent
Viruses Copyright infringements Hacking Using computer data for blackmail or fraud Illegal deleting or altering of computer data
Control Systems The output from a computer may be in the form of a signal to a hardware device.which controls the
. The control interface is needed because of the different operating characteristics of the computer and the devices.
CPU (Central Processing Unit) The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer is the main processor which operates the computer .L.
Example: A computer may be used to control a greenhouse. light sensors.. if necessary.
. readings from a light sensor.flow of data round the computer by sending out control signals.5 432 £12. People apply rules and make deductions from this information to produce knowledge.
Microcomputers would have a single CPU but parallel computers have a number of processors which share the processing tasks. A computer processes data to output information.which is used to store data. Data can be of different types Data Type Text (alphanumeric) Decimal (real numbers) Integers Currency Dates Calculated Examples John Smith 432. Examples : Exam marks.50 12/03/02 an average of exam marks.
Data Computers process data. facts from a survey.
Moving graphics / Video Clips
In a computer system. ALL data is represented as numbers. Data consists of raw facts and figures.
.. . OCR. Eg Format of dates should be specified . easily read and should match the document being copied. Answers to questions are filled in by people on speciallyprepared forms.but often the data is typed in. are easy to fill in and there should be no doubts as to how to enter data. The data is entered twice by two different people and the computer will only accept the data if the two versions are identical... Example : School registers. There are several methods of doing this:
Data Capture Forms..
Data preparation is the process of transferring the data into a form which can be processed by a computer.
When data is typed the input screen should be designed to be attractive.
(GIGO = Garbage In Garbage Out)
Data Collection Before data is input to a computer it needs to be collected.dd/mm/yy
This method is liable to errors when the data is entered into the computer (Transcription errors).. MICR). These forms are called data capture forms (questionnaires) and need to be carefully designed. These answers will then need to be typed into a computer for analysing. Some forms can be read automatically by special machines (OMR.
..If we put the wrong data into a computer we will get the wrong results.
Data capture Forms must be designed so they have instructions. One method of avoiding transcription errors is verification. Example : A membership form for a club may need to be filled in by a pupil wanting to join. This is called transcribing the data.
'F' for Female).
Example : Normally each character is stored as an 8-bit binary number. (encryption) Data Protection Act
. For example a gender field may be stored as codes (eg 'M' for Male... One method of compressing data is to assign the common characters a smaller number of bits and the less commonly used characters a larger number of bits. .
Data Encoding Data may be encoded when it is stored.. A special program is needed for compression and for decompression although some compressed files will automatically decompress themselves.
• • •
makes data entry easier (less to type) saves storage space makes validation easier
Validation rules can be set to check if gender data entered into a database is either 'M' or 'F'.. This is useful when files are to be transmitted over a network or attached to an email as the transfer will take less time.zip... A disadvantage is that the file will need to be decompressed before it can be used.
Data may also be encoded for security reasons. Graphics files take up a lot of space and usually include a number of repeated bytes. a program can be run which compresses the data so that the data takes up less storage space..When storing a file. This..but consists of 6 numbers instead of 10.
Some examples of Compression programs are WinZip.rar Compressed files are often referred to as Zipped files. PKZip and WinRar Common file extensions of compressed files are . . eg The data 28 28 28 45 45 45 45 45 81 81 could be stored as 3 28 5 45 2 81
with no loss of information. A number of different codes are defined for the data.
hmso.There are many organisations which hold personal information about individuals.... Examples : • • • • • Tax Office Doctor / Dentist National Insurance DVLC Police
. • • • • • • • • gather the data fairly and lawfully gather only data needed for the stated purpose make sure the data is not used for any reason other than the stated purpose make sure the data is accurate and up-to-date make sure the data is secure not keep the data for longer than is necessary view the data stored about him have the data changed if it is incorrect
The individual has the right to
The exemptions to the Data Protection Act are organisations that hold data about. The Data Protection Act (1998) states that organisations which store personal information must register and state the purpose for which they need the information.gov. The organisation must make sure that.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029... The organisation must.and many others.. • • • National Security Crime Taxation
The full details of the Data Protection Act can be found at http://www.htm
Exercise : Data Protection Act The Data Protection Act states that organisations that hold personal data must register and state the purpose for which the data is needed..
. He should be the only one to know what it is.
. If the data falls into the wrong hands it will be meaningless. retina (eye) scans.the data is formatted correctly the data is kept up-to-date and accurate the data is only used for the stated purpose the data is passed on to other companies the data is kept secure the data is collected fairly and law fully only data needed for the stated purpose is gathered the data is backed up regularly the data must not be kept longer than necessary
(select only the relevant lines)
The individual has the right to. Different people may have different levels of authorisation..
view data held about them have incorrect data changed refuse to have their data stored
Exemptions to the Act are organisations which hold data involved with crime. or edit the data. taxes or National security.to identify the person. If the password is accepted.to authenticate the person.
A person speaks into a microphone and the computer analyses the voice. the computer allows entry to a room or allows access to a computer... the person is then authorised to view.
The data may be encrypted (coded) into a form which can only then be decoded by the intended user. If it belongs to an authorised person. A User Name . face recognition. A Password . Data Security Ways of keeping data secure include the following software and physical methods: Passwords
Password protection usually involves a person typing in.
Methods of identifying people from biological data are called 'Biometrics' and include fingerprint scans.
preferably in a fire-proof environment. File dumps on paper can be a useful back-up.
To guard against the loss of data.
Transactio n Log
A transaction log is a record of all transactions made by a business since the last backup was made. backups should be regularly made. Some computers may have locks on them. (Fire-proof safes are available).Locks
Rooms may be locked. In order to gain access to a room or a computer. These backups should be stored in a separate place. If data is lost then it can be re-created by
. a person may have to swipe an identity card through a card reader.
Data Transmission Data in a network can be transmitted using : Cable Each computer has a network card installed with appropriate network software. . . A wireless hub receives and transmits data to each computer. Example : A graphic created using a graphics package may be saved. or optical fibre. The transfer may be between different software packages or between different computers.
Standard file formats for graphics include . infra-red or microwaves...gif. and is linked to another computer using a network cable. This transfer is possible because of standard file formats. .tif etc.. . coaxial.. Standard file formats for text include . Different applications software will store data in the same format.txt
Data may also be transferred between applications using copy and paste.jpeg. Radio)
Data is transmitted using radio.rtf.doc. Each computer needs a special wireless network card.bmp. Cable can be twisted-pair. Data Transfer Data created using one software package may often be transferred into another. emailed to another user who could import it into a wordprocessed document.
Wireless (Microwave. Infra-red.. ..loading the previous backup and reentering all the transactions.
type check A check that data is of the right type.
There are now hundreds of satellites orbiting the Earth which can be used to 'bounce' signals off. Eg number. If the speed is slow.. text etc length check Checks that fields have the correct
Presence checks can be carried out by running queries that look for 'Null' fields..
Data Transmission speeds may vary.
a user will find it takes a long time for a response from a computer to be made it will take a long time to download data
Data Validation Data validation checks that the data is sensible before it is processed. Eg the month of a person's DOB should lie between 1 and 12 presence check This checks that important data is actually there and has not been missed out.No cabling involved.
.. Eg Customers may be required to have their telephone numbers. Methods used for validation are. range check This checks that the data lies within a specified range of values..
Even parity systems make sure that each number has an even number of '1' bits. (eg paper to disk. The computer checks this calculation when data is entered. An extra digit is added to a number which is calculated from the other digits. The data is entered twice (by two different people). Eg Proof-reading a typed document. memory to disk) Methods used for verification.number of characters. Numerical fields may be added together for all records in a batch. The computer will only accept the data for processing if the two versions are identical. The batch total is entered and the computer checks that the total is correct. The last digit is a check digit. Data Verification It is important to prevent errors occurring in data. Used to check for transmission errors over networks or between memory and disk. Double keying Used to check for transcription errors. batch totals This checks for missing records. Eg Add the 'Total Cost' field of a number of transactions together. Checking for errors by looking through the data. each binary number is checked to see if it still has an even number of '1' bits. An extra bit is added to each binary number before it is transmitted. disk to disk. hash totals This is just a batch total done on a meaningless field. Eg Add the Telephone Numbers together for a number of Customers.. Verification is used to prevent errors occurring when data is copied from one medium to another.. check digits Used for numerical data. Eg The ISBN number on a book. Eg A bank account number may always be 10 digits long. After transmission. Example (Even parity)
Visual check Parity
Microsoft Access is an example of a Database package.
• • • • • • • •
define the data structure (field names and types) enter and edit data import data from saved files or other applications search for data by using queries (including AND.
Databases allow the user to... Each record consists of related fields. set security levels
Databases A database stores and organises data and allows the user to access it in a number of different ways...If 11010111 is transmitted . Each file (table) has a number of related records.. Data is stored in files (tables). averages etc.(6 '1' bits) and 11010011 is received . (5 '1' bits) then the computer knows a corruption of the data has occurred. OR and NOT) sort data into alphabetic or numeric order validate data on entry output reports which may include totals...
• • • instructions for installation instructions for use trouble-shooting guide (what to do if it goes wrong!)
The Technical manual is written for other programmers who may need to alter some of the software and may include technical computer terms. Each user is not aware of which computer or peripheral he is using. A user on one computer may be running a program stored on another computer accessing data stored on yet another computer.
The User Manual is written to make sure the user can use the software and should be written in simple language.Digital camera A photograph can be taken by a digital camera and then downloaded into the computer from the camera. The resolution of the pictures can be set ..more pictures can be taken at a lower resolution.. The User Manual is written for the user and may include. The operating system will control access to the resources. computers and peripherals are linked together.
In a distributed system...
Documentation All software packages include documentation.
Some digital cameras are used as surveillance cameras eg for taking pictures of speeding cars..
The Technical Manual is written for other programmers or computer experts and may include. There is no need to buy film.
• • • • • graphs tables flowcharts diagrams photos
E-Commerce Shopping over the Internet is increasingly popular.
Advantages of e-commerce: • • • • greater range of goods can be done from home goods are delivered to the door-step the business does not have to provide and pay for premises
Disadvantages : • • • there is a couple of days delay before receiving goods.• •
data flow diagrams (or flowcharts) showing how the program works. (Credit card details are encrypted on secure sites) The goods are delivered to the buyer's house.. Customers load the web-site and add the items they wish to buy to a 'shopping-basket'. and then pay by credit or debit card. Retailers create websites which display the items they are selling.. program listings
Documentation should explain software (or a system) as simply as possible. This will be helped if long wordy explanations are replaced by. possibility of credit card information getting into the wrong hands you cannot see or touch the goods before buying
Electronic Office and Safety
The business may use the Internet for advertising and allowing e-commerce. • • • • eye strain (looking at computer monitors for too long) neck/back strain .... for databases eg of customer details. • • • finding information should be fast costs should be reduced (eg cost of paper) storage space should be minimal
Computers would be used... brochures.. for DTP (Desk Top Publishing) for creating pamphlets.. for presentations eg annual report.. • • • • • for word processing eg for documents.tendon injury from using keyboards too much.
. for spreadsheets eg accounts and budgets.from lack of exercise.Most businesses use ICT in their office.
These computers would be networked. Email would be used to send messages to customers and between employees. daily transactions.. letters.. In the paperless office.
Health risks..... contracts.. An Intranet would store important information used by the business. The aim is to make a paperless office .where all information is sent and received electronically..from poor seating arrangements RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) . fitness problems .
The study of the working environment is called ergonomics. Files (text. Each user has a unique email address. This picture shows how you should be sitting at a computer!
Other measures for prevention of accidents.. make sure fire extinguishers are installed. do not leave wires where they can be tripped over. video clips etc) can be sent with the message as an attachment.
Advantages of email over conventional mail (snail-mail) : • • • • • • messages arrive much faster (within a few seconds) it is cheaper to send an email one message can be sent to a number of users.. A user can send messages to another computer user. do not bring food or drink near computer equipment. do not overload electric sockets. attachment files can be sent no stamp needed can be sent from home
. music. • • • • Email Email stands for Electronic Mail.pictures..
..Some viruses spread by sending emails to all the users in the address book.Disadvantages of email : • • • • • you can only send a message to other users with email accounts email attachments can contain viruses you cannot send physical objects messages can only be sent to other email users unwanted junk email may be sent to you in large amounts! . These deal with the input.
Email facilities may also include.filters can be used to eliminate this. processing and output of data.
• • • •
reply to a received message forward a message on to another user keep an address book of email addresses keep mailing lists so that the same message can be sent to groups of users
Embedded systems An embedded system has processors built in to a machine.
fewer workers needed
Jobs which have been lost include..
Workers have often had to be re-trained to use ICT in their workplace... ATMs (cash machines).and many more. • • • • • • • computer programmers systems analysts computer technicians robot maintenance boring or repetitive jobs replaced by robots (Eg assembly line) dangerous jobs replaced by robots office jobs .
Other examples : Traffic lights.
Employment ICT has changed the nature of jobs. digital cameras... calculators..A guided missile. Some jobs have been created and others have been lost. mobile phones...
Most jobs now require some ICT skills... boring or paper-based employment to lose their jobs
manual assembly w orker refuse collector office filing clerk type-setters in a printing firm taxi driver
eg but has created others
. DVD players..
Exercise : Employment ICT has caused some workers in repetitive. New jobs created include . games consoles.
Expert Systems An expert system is a knowledge-based system which attempts to replace a human 'expert' in a particular field..
When a new computer system is designed.
A set of evaluation criteria may be specified. The system will consist of
• • •
a large database of knowledge facilities for searching the knowledge database a set of rules for making deductions from the data (inference engine)
. • • • • • it must not be too expensive it must do the job without errors occurring it must not be too complex for the users it must be compatible with the hardware is it adaptable if changes happen?
The measure of 'success' of a system will be by how well it achieves the criteria.. the question will be asked. • • • • it must not be too expensive it must be able to do the job it must be reliable it must not be too difficult for people to use
The software chosen must be appropriate.. These will be used to measure how well the hardware and software perform.systems analyst computer programmer robot maintenance engineer netw ork manager refuse collector
.What hardware and software will be needed? The hardware chosen must be appropriate.....
An expert system is a computer system which simulates the knowledge and expertise of a human expert. recommended treatments or drugs which may be prescribed..but others would prefer the 'human' touch..
Expert systems are not really replacing doctors but are being used to help them. There are ethical and legal reasons for this . The expert system is always available 24 hours a day and will never 'retire'. The system can be used at a distance over a network. Sometimes probabilities are assigned to diagnoses... Data can be kept up-to-date..allows the database to be interrogated.A medical diagnosis expert system (eg MYCIN) would have information about diseases and their symptoms.
.. The patient's details and symptoms are input. uses its rules and makes suggestions about the disease and its treatments.
• • • • •
The computer can store far more information than a human. .. The computer does not take the place of the doctor but can be used to help the doctor make decisions.if a computerised diagnosis is wrong. A patient is asked by a doctor about symptoms and the replies are input to the expert system.has a large database of knowledge. the drugs used in treatments etc. An expert system. Well we don't want to do the experts out of jobs! Lacks the 'human touch'!
Expert Systems in Medicine.. • • • . in Medicine. The computer does not 'forget' or make mistakes. and the system outputs probable diagnoses. The computer searches its database. Advantages.has a set of rules (inference engine) for making deductions. For example. who do you sue?
Some patients would feel happier typing medical information into a computer than discussing it with a human doctor... expert systems are being used for disease diagnosis.
start at the beginning of the file and access each record in turn until the one needed is found. There is no loss of knowledge as there is when a doctor retires.
. Fax is short for facsimile...it can store more knowledge than a person.... • .
If files are stored on magnetic tape then serial access is the only method of access...
Serial Access This means .the computer can access specialist knowledge that a doctor may not have.
File Access When records in a file need to be accessed there are two ways of doing it. .
• • •
An expert system would be programmed using an AI (Artificial Intelligence) language such as PROLOG. .it survives forever.. transmits it down the telephone lines to another fax machine where it is printed out... Fine for documents but not good enough for graphics.. Printouts are in black and white.. The quality of the printout is not good..a large database of knowledge can be added to and kept up-to-date . Fax A fax machine copies a document.the system cannot 'forget' or get facts wrong.The advantages of an expert system over a doctor are.
A fax machine.. ..
.there may be problems just around the corner.
A typical scenario.. All the files used by a business are saved onto tape every night using a tape streamer. CD. The old master file can then be deleted.
If backups are made of large files then they may be compressed before being saved... Direct access is also known as random access
File Backup Backing up a file is saving a copy of the file on backing storage (eg disc or tape). Any changes to the file since the last time the file was backed up will need to be done again. In practice the old master file would be archived in case the update process has to be re-run. wait!!. the process creates a new master file..
Sometimes a number of backups are made and stored in different places.
Direct access can only be used if files are stored on media such as disk..no.
Backups of a company's files can take a long time to do and so are often done at off-peak times eg at night
Important files or files that are changed often may need to be frequently backed up. Direct access of records will generally be much faster than serial access.. and can then access the record directly from that position.Direct Access The computer can calculate (from the key field) where the record is stored in the file. DVD.. but are then re-used the following week... the backup copy of the file may then be used...eg different discs stored in different rooms or buildings. It is necessary to do this in case the file becomes corrupted or lost. A different tape is used each night of the week .
Sometimes the old master file is referred to as the father file and the new master
File Generations When a transaction file is used to update a master file.. If a file becomes unusable.
The two files must be sorted in the same way. The new merged file contains all the records of both the merged files. A record is read from each of the two files. A new file is created 2.. In practice companies will keep several generations of files.etc. the son file becomes the father file the father file becomes the grandfather file .. 4.the fields are defined the same in each file.
Merging files (in words) : 1.
File Merge To merge two files is to combine them into a single file. This is because there may be a problem (eg disk crash) and the update runs may have to be done again to re-create the current master file. When the update is next run.
.. Two files can only be merged together if they have the same structure .. The record which comes first (in sorting order) is placed on the new file and is replaced by reading a new record from the original file.file as the son file. The process  is repeated until both files are empty.. 3. The resulting merged file will also be sorted in the same way.
File 1 and File 2 are merged together to create a new merged file which contains all records from File 1 and File 2.
tape.. File 1. File 2 and the new file will .
have the same data structure be sorted in the same way
Files may be saved on media other than magnetic
Example : File 1 : ID No Sold today 305 3 309 1 316 2 317 1 File 2: ID No Sold today 301 5 310 1 319 7
The two files to be merged are sorted in order of ID..
Merged file : ID No Sold today 301 5 305 3 309 1 310 1 316 2 317 1 319 7
The merged file is also sorted in order of ID.
With Queries. Eg If the price of an item changes.
File Operations The common operations carried out on files are :
Files may be sorted into order of a field.
. Eg (NAME = 'Smith') Complex query . Egs (NAME='Smith') AND (BALANCE > £100) (PET='Dog') OR (PET = 'Cat') (PET = 'Dog') AND NOT (Type='Spaniel') Wildcard query ..
Adding new data Deleting data
A new record may be added to a file. The records are arranged in ascending or descending order (numerically or alphabetically). Eg A business discontinues the selling of an item.using two or more fields with OR.
File structure A database consists of a number of related files (sometimes called tables). Simple query . Eg A business may start to sell a new brand of item. AND or NOT.. Smithers. the names of the Fields must be given as well as the data to be searched for.Using one field.Any number of files may be merged together if they are properly sorted and have the same data structure. Eg (NAME = 'Sm*') will include all names starting with Sm .In alphabetical fields * may stand for anything. Smedling and so on. A record may be removed from a file.
Queries are used to find records which match certain conditions.Smith.
A record in a file may be changed. If records are sorted it is much easier and quicker to find a record.
The buttons used for sorting may look like these.
No two records would have the same data in the key field. A record consists of a number of related fields. The key field is used to uniquely identify a record.
Data in a database can be accessed and used to produce reports. This is usually done by linking the tables with relationships..A file consists of a number of related records. Example 1 This table shows a small section of a file which contains details about school pupils: Number 91230 91231 91232 91233 91234 91235 Surname Sam Sanders Saunders Sealey Shaw Shaw FirstName Fenella Michael Ian Kelly Lucy Oliver Form B G B R S N
The yellow section shows one record.. Firstname and Form). Surname. File Update
A report may use data drawn from a number of different files.using the key field of one table as a field in another table. Fields may be of a number of different types : • • • • • • • • • integer real (decimal) string (alphanumeric) date currency picture sound video a calculated field
When a database is created it is important that the same data is not stored twice (this may lead to inconsistencies). The key field in this example is 'Number'. A field is a single data item consisting of a number of characters.
. The file has 6 records and each record has 4 fields (Number.
How it works (in words) : 1. Some of the records are shown in this
3. A new master file is created. How it works (System flowchart) :
Here.The data on a transaction file is used to update some of the fields on a master file.
Example : A master file of stock is kept for a clothes shop. the
records of the master file are read and written onto the new master file until a matching record is found. All updated (and unaltered) records are stored on the new master file. written onto the new master file. For each transaction record.
2. The transaction file must be sorted in the same order as the master file. The data is updated and the record
This is generally done in a batch processing system where the transactions are recorded on the transaction file and later used to update the master file. When the last transaction record has been processed. the remaining records on the master file are read and written onto the new master file. the transaction and master files are stored on magnetic tape and used as input for the update process.
and many more records!
The updated data is shown in red...00 12 308 Sweater (Blue) £25. eg If a Surname field is set at 10 characters then the name SIMPSON would need 3 <Space>s added on to the end of it.
Fixed Length Fields A fixed length field is one which contains a set number of characters.Every record is the same size.00 14 315 Shorts (Size 14) £12.00 15 308 Sweater (Blue) £25..99 34 317 Socks(Black) £1. the fields may need to be padded out to the right length.00 9 316 Socks(Grey) £1. so it is possible for the computer to calculate exactly where each record starts in the file and therefore it is quicker for the computer to find a particular record. Example 1 Each record of this file has 4 fields..table : ID Garment Price No Sold this year 305 Sweater (Red) £25.00 8 309 Shorts (Size 12) £12.00 15 315 Shorts (Size 14) £12.00 9 316 Socks(Grey) £1. Number 91230 91231 91232 Surname Sam Sanders Saunders FirstName Fenella Michael Ian Form B G B
.99 28 Todays transactions are shown in the transaction file below. eg with <space> characters. The master file in practice would have many more fields than this .00 8 309 Shorts (Size 12) £12. ID No Sold today 305 3 309 1 316 2 317 1 The resulting new master file is shown in the next table : ID Garment Price No Sold this year 305 Sweater (Red) £25.99 29
The transaction file must be sorted in the same order as the master file (using the key field)
The key field is the ID field. With fixed length fields. Note that some records will have remained unchanged.99 36 317 Socks(Black) £1.. Advantage .
Floppy disks Used for storage on microcomputers. backing up data from a hard disk..44Mb of data. Field Name Field Size Number 5 Surname 10 Firstname 10 Form 1 The first three records of the file would therefore be stored as in the following table (each square represents one byte): 9 1 2 3 0 S a m F e n e l l a B 9 1 2 3 1 S a n d e r s M i c h a e l G 9 1 2 3 2 S a u n d e r s I a n B Each record takes up 26 bytes of storage space.it lets the dust in! touch the brown disk inside
.5 inches in diameter.. Usually 3. Access to data is slower than from a hard disk. • • • leave floppy disks in heat (eg the sun) or damp open the sliding metal thingy. High density floppy disks can store 1.
Floppy disks (and hard disks) have to be formatted before they can be used. Floppy disks are portable and can be used for • • transferring data or programs from one microcomputer to another. DO NOT...91233 91234 91235
Sealey Shaw Shaw
Kelly Lucy Oliver
R S N
The field sizes may be fixed at .. The data can be protected by opening a small write-protect tab which prevents the contents of the disk being changed. The first three records of the file take up 78 bytes of storage.
. The paper is sometimes laid on a flat bed (flat bed plotter) . but can draw continuous curves often in a variety of colours..
A mechanical arm holds a pen which can be moved across the page. building plans and CAD (Computer Aided Design) applications. where precision drawing is required. This has a hole for the read/write heads which is protected by a sprung metal cover. They are especially useful for architectural drawings.
Graph plotter Graph plotters are used to produce high quality precision graphics usually on large sheets of paper. They are slow..The discs are protected by a stiff plastic cover.
.. Photos from a digital camera may also be edited.. Input may be from a mouse. light pen. a graphics tablet or a scanner.or on a rotating drum (drum plotter).
Graphics A graphics package is used to create images.
Microsoft Paint is an example of a Graphics package. images can then be used in DTP pages or web pages..
• • • • • • • • • •
creating and editing of new image choice of brushes choice of colours choice of fills freehand drawing import of images from other sources (including standard shapes) addition of text zoom options textured effects rotation of shapes
Once created.. It can be used to .
.hold a drawing while the user traces it.
Graphics packages would allow.
Graphics Tablet (Pad) A graphics tablet is a board covered by a touch-sensitive membrane which can detect the position of a pointing device on its surface.
Advantages over floppy disks : • • • Access to data is faster than from floppy disks. icons and shapes which the user can select A stylus (or pen) is a pointing device for a graphics tablet.you cannot carry it round and use it on different computers.
Exercise : Hard Disks A hard drive is a sealed unit which contains one or more hard disks in a sealed case. (40 Gb drives are now common).
One disadvantage of a hard disc over floppy disk is that it is not portable .
Hard disks One or more hard disks are found in the hard drive which is usually housed inside a computer.hold a sheet of menus. They are more reliable than floppy disks as they have more protection from dirt..
The read-write head floats so close to the disk that a small speck of dust would ruin the disk. This is why the drives are sealed. It has crosshairs to position it accurately and a number of buttons for different actions. Each drive is built into a sealed unit to prevent contamination by dust and moisture. A puck is a mouse-like input device for a graphics tablet which is moved over the surface of the tablet. Hard discs store more data than floppy disks.
hard drive .The advantages of a hard disk over a floppy disc are Access to data is faster. but the user needs to learn all the commands and type them in correctly.backing storage devices such as disc drive..
Hardware is the equipment which makes up the computer system. joystick . . Spreadsheet programs. The three main types are : Command The user types in commands. Example : The MS-DOS interface. Programs use less memory.
HCI (Human Computer Interface) The Human Computer Interface (HCI) is the way the user interacts with the computer. (If you can kick it. The main program which runs the computer system is called the Operating System.which does all the processing .output devices such as a printer. mouse. Other programs (called Applications programs) include .... tapes.
. Hardware consists of. graph plotter . Type DIR /W to get a list of all the files in a directory. monitor..media such as discs. Quick to operate and very flexible.the Central Processing Unit (CPU) . Graphics programs etc. paper etc
Software is the programs which run the system. it’s hardware!).. They can be carried around They have greater storage capacity They are less liable to damage
(select only the correct answers)
Hardware and Software A computer system consists of hardware and software. • • • • • Word Processing programs.a floppy disk is hardware but a program which is stored on it is software. Database programs. Computer game Be careful ..input devices such as keyboard.
This will make it easier for the user to learn to use the program.
Detail of a GUI interface
Speech driven interfaces are also now available. No need to learn the commands but it can be difficult to locate a particular option. Colour and sound may also be used to make the interface more 'userfriendly'. The user talks a command into a microphone.
Graphical User Interface Also known as a WIMP (Windows.. Icons (small pictures) represent options. Children need plenty of colour and sound. but those with low IT skills will need a GUI. Example : Windows Low-level IT skills needed by the user.
When a new computer application is being designed.Menu
Drop-down menus have options for selection.
Consistency of design of interfaces is important. Useful for. Eg The same buttons are used on a GUI for printing in each application and they appear in the same position on each display. Identical icons may be used in a number of different programs. Pointers) interface. fighter pilots.. Experts can use a command driven interface.. All good Interfaces will have allow users to seek help if they need it. The user selects an option with either a key or a click of the mouse. Easy to use intuitive interface. Eg a picture of a disk to save a file..handicapped. Icons. decisions about which user interface is to be used are often governed by the IT skills of the user.
. Menus. There may be sub-menus.. surgeons.