1.1. Introduction
Computers play a key role in how individuals work and how they live. Even the smallest organizations have computers to help them operate more efficiently, and many individuals use computers at home for educational, entertainment, and business purposes. The ease with which computers can process data, store and retrieve it painlessly, have made them inevitable in office and business environments. In fact any task that can be carried out systematically can be performed by a computer. Therefore, it is essential for every educated person today to know about a computer, its strengths, its weaknesses and its internal structure.

1.2. What is a computer?

A computer is an electronic device that stores and manipulates information. Computers can access and process data millions of times faster than humans can. A computer can store data and information in its memory, process them and produce the desired results. It operates under the control of a set of instructions that is stored in its memory unit. The computer is often compared with the human brain. Like the brain, a computer can take in data and process it. It can store the data either in raw form or as processed results and can deliver the raw or processed data on demand. A computer is used essentially as a data processor. The terms data and information are very commonly used. You must clearly understand the difference between the two. Data: Data in computer terminology mean raw facts and figures. For example ‘Mohan’, 1977, ‘A’, -162.19, and 75.2 are data. Data are processed to form information. . Information: It means what we get after processing data (meaningful data). Data are aggregated and summarized in various meaningful ways to form information. For example “Mohan, whose roll number is 1977, has got grade A” is an information as it is conveying some meaning. Data is entered into the computer through an input device like the keyboard and is stored in the computer’s memory. It is then processed according to the given set of instructions and the result is displayed through an output device like the monitor. A computer can store large amount of information. You can receive the stored information whenever needed. Computers can understand only electric signals ON and OFF where ON means the circuit is on and OFF means the circuit is OFF. Computers can do a lot of different tasks such as playing music and games, typing documents, drawing pictures, storing data etc. these days, computers are also used in banks, hospitals, offices, supermarkets, schools, railway and online reservations, weather forecasting, error detection, controlling the flight of a space aircraft etc. Points to Remember  A computer is an electronic device that processes the input data according to a given set of instructions to give meaningful output or information.  Computer can understand only electric signals ON and OFF.  Typing data into the computer through the keyboard is called entering or inputting data.  Results produced by the computer are called the output.  Doing calculations or comparing data is called Processing.

1.3. Functions of a computer
A computer does mainly the following four functions:

 Receive input —Accept data/information from outside through various input
devices like the keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc. data/information.

 Process information—Perform arithmetic or logical operations on  Produce output—Communicate information to the outside world through output
devices like monitor, printer, etc. disks, CD, etc.

 Store information—Store the information in storage devices like hard disk, floppy

Prepared by Ms.Swapna Anildas, BMIM

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Data Information




Main Storage Storage
Figure 1: Functioning of a Computer

1.4. Components of a computer
Since a computer follows Input-Process-Output (I-P-O) cycle, the first stage (input stage) is performed in computer by input unit, second stage (Process stage) is performed by its central processing unit (CPU) and the third stage (output stage) is performed by output unit. Thus the basic structure of a computer is as shown below, where the dotted line represents control signals and others represent data signals.

Control Unit (CU) - Interprets stored instructions in sequence, issues commands to all elements of the computer

Arithmetic & Logic Unit

Central Processing Unit (CPU) operations
CPU Registers

Performs Arithmetic and logic

Data and Instruction

Main Memory (Holds data instructions and
results of processing )


Auxiliary (Secondary Storage)
To supplement bulk storage

Figure 2: Basic Structure of a Computer

Input Unit
The input unit is formed by the input devices attached to the computer. Examples of input devices and media are: keyboard, mouse, Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR), Optical Mark Reader (OMR), Optical Character Reader (OCR), joystick etc. The input unit is responsible for taking input and converting it into computer understandable form (the binary code). Since a computer operates on electricity, it can understand only the language of electricity i.e. either ON or OFF, or high voltage or low voltage. Thus a computer uses binary language which has only two symbols: 1 for ON and 0 for OFF. The input unit takes the input and converts it into binary form so that it can be understood by the computer.

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/) and some logical (<. directs and governs its performance. it cannot remember anything after it is switched off. either 0 or 1. The result of a logical operation is either TRUE or FALSE. control unit sends signal to memory to send the next instruction in sequence to the control section. A memory cell may be defined as a device which can store a symbol selected from a set of symbols. the memory of a computer is unlike the human memory. Control Unit (CU) The CU controls and guides the flow and manipulation of data and information. graphical or audio visual form. A bit means a binary digit i. For logical operations also.. Each of these cells are further broken down into smaller parts knows as bits. The output coming from the CPU is in the form of electronic binary signals. it does possess a memory. <>) operations. the instruction is decoded. it must also have a memory. —.  It functions as a working storage place used to hold the data that is being processed and the intermediate results of such processing  It also acts as an output storage area to hold the final result of the processing. Central Processing Unit (CPU) The CPU is the brain or the control centre for a computer. =<. It is generally the third component of CPU. Another important function of CU is the program execution i. The memory of a computer can be thought of as ‘cells’. *. It guides.Output Unit The output unit is formed by the output devices attached to the computer. where it temporarily keeps information and data to facilitate its performance. This conversion is performed by the output units. Its memory is temporary (volatile). plotter. it clears its memory and memory space is then available for the next task to be performed. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) and Main memory or Primary memory. The CU gets program instructions from memory and executes them one after the other. The same way other arithmetic operations are performed. A number of bits together are used to store data instructions by their Prepared by Ms. interpreted and executed. The memory of computer is often called main memory or primary memory. however. everything stored in the memory gets erased and cannot be recalled. When the task is performed. The CPU consists of Control Unit (CU). After getting the instructions from memory in CU.Swapna Anildas. When two numbers are required to be added. >=. characters. After processing the current instruction. The Memory Well. It has the following functions:  Data are fed into the input storage area where they are held until ready to be processed. these numbers are sent from memory to ALU where addition takes place and the result is put back in the memory. which needs conversion into a form which can be easily understood by human beings i. if a computer has a brain (CPU). A human being can remember stored information for a long whereas a computer can not. This goes on until the processing is complete. printer.e. These operations provide the capability of decision-making to the computer. the numbers to be compared are sent from memory to ALU where the comparison takes place and the result is returned to the memory. BMIM DP Module I / 4 . speech synthesizer etc.e. Indeed. Arithmetic & Logic Unit (ALU) The ALU performs all the four arithmetical (+. The memory of a computer is more like a predefined working place.e. Some popular Output devices are VDU (Visual Display Unit).  Another role is of a program storage area to hold the processing instructions.>. It also controls the flow of data from input devices to memory and from memory to output devices. carrying out all the instructions stored in the program. When the power is switched off.

1 Bit 8 Bits 1024 Bytes 1024 Kilobytes 1024 Megabytes 1024 Gigabytes 1024 Terabytes 1024 Petabytes 1024 Exabytes 1024 Zettabytes 1024 Yottabytes 1024 Brontobytes Binary Digit 1 Byte 1 Kilobyte 1 Megabyte 1 Gigabyte 1 Terabyte 1 Petabyte 1 Exabyte 1 Zettabyte 1 Yottabyte 1 Brontobyte 1 Geopbyte Since computer’s main memory (primary memory) is temporary. 1024 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes. Other units of memory are KB.  The main memory holds data.e. and GB. MB.. 1024 bytes. A group of 8 bits is called a byte and a group of 4 bits is called a nibble.combination. TB (Terabyte) means 210 GB i. 1MB = 1024KB.e.  A bit (Binary Digit) is an elementary unit of memory. BMIM DP Module I / 5 . Points to Remember Information is entered into a computer with the help of an input device. MB (Megabyte) means 210 KB i. 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes. One byte is the smallest unit which can represent a data item or a character.  ALU is capable of doing arithmetic and logical operations.  CU controls the activities of the computer. secondary memory space is needed to store data and information permanently for later use.e.   Prepared by Ms. One One One One KB (kilobyte) means 210 bytes i. 1GB = 1024MB. 1TB = 1024GB. information and intermediate results. GB (Gigabyte) means 210 MB i.  1KB=1024 bits. 1PB = 1024TB. Results are provided by the output devices.Swapna Anildas.e. a group of 4 bits is called a Nibble.  CPU is the brain of the computer and consists of ALU and CU. The two most common secondary storage media are the floppy diskette and the hard disk. 1024 x 1024 bytes.  A group of 8 bits is called a Byte. A bit is an elementary unit of the memory.

and storage of data (such as a keyboard. It configures the computer and is not easily modifiable by the user. or external hard disk). Errors in hardware can occur. A powerful computer is capable of performing about 3 to 4 million simple instructions per second. Some of the important strengths of computer are:  Speed: Computers can calculate at very high speeds. Computers are not just adding machines. They can be programmed to do complex. For example. The longer the word length.250.Swapna Anildas. tedious. 32 or 64 bits. 1. The number of bits that a computer can process at a time in parallel is called its word length. the speed also increases. monitor display. Hardware & Software Modern computers are made of high-speed electronic components that enable the computer to perform thousands of operations each second. A computer system consists of both hardware and software. Storage: Computers have their main memory and auxiliary memory systems. So if a wrong input is given.7 inch diameter can store all the 33 volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica and will still have room to store more information.   Prepared by Ms. The Software consists of the programs and associated data (information) stored in the computer. but error detecting and correcting techniques will prevent false results. Another area where mistakes can occur is during data entry. if a program is wrongly coded. we do not talk in terms of seconds or even milliseconds.  Word Length: A digital computer operates on binary digits — 0 and 1. or if the program logic is flawed. Characteristics of a Computer All computers have certain strengths and weaknesses irrespective of their size and type. the more powerful the computer is. The units of measuring computer speed are microseconds (10-6).6. A group of 8 bits is called a byte. output. they are capable of doing complex activities and operations. Bubble memories can store 6.1. Accuracy: The accuracy of a computer system is very high.5. A Program is a set of instructions that the computer follows to manipulate data. While referring to the speed of computers. then you will always get wrong results. A binary digit is called a bit. and monotonous tasks. Another term used is live ware. The Hardware is the physical equipment: the computer itself and the peripherals connected to it. As the power of the computer increases. supercomputers can operate at speeds measured in nanoseconds and even in picoseconds — one thousand to one million times faster than microcomputers. it means that its word length is 32 bits. Commonly used word lengths are 8. can execute millions of instructions per second over and over again without any mistake. Like hardware and software. Firmware is a prewritten program that is permanently stored in read-only memory. A CDROM of 4. Being able to run different programs is the source of a computer’s versatility. Firmware is another term commonly used. and even picoseconds (10-12). Word length is the measure of the computing power of a computer. The Peripherals are any devices attached to the computer for purposes of input. For example. nanoseconds (10-9). BMIM DP Module I / 6 . 16. it is the term generally used for the people associated with and benefited from the computer system. if the data is corrupted. In most cases. Computers can store a large amount of information in very small space. BIOS (Basic Input Output Services) instructions are an example of firmware. the output also will be wrong — this characteristic is called GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out). When we talk of a 32-bit computer. for example. A microcomputer.000 bits per square centimeter of space. the errors are due to the human factor rather than the technological fault. It can understand information only in terms of Os and 1s.

IQ Zero: Computers are dumb machines with zero IQ. graphics. or boring. They will perform the tasks that are given to them. computers and human beings work in collaboration to make a perfect pair. monotonous. Once a task is initiated. Computers can be programmed to perform a series of complex tasks involving multiple programs. and negligent and it will reflect on the work they do. etc. After some time people will become bored. with exactly the same accuracy and speed. Being a machine. provided the task can be reduced to a series of logical steps. Moreover. Computers are to be instructed at every step.   In spite of having all the above given characteristic. and so on. Computers will perform these things flawlessly. They need to be told each and every step. Evolution & history of computers The development of computers from the early calculating device to current generation can be broadly classified into the following categories:  Mechanical Calculating Devices  Electromechanical Calculating Devices  Electronic Computers 1. They do not possess this power which is a great asset of human beings. creative. accuracy and enthusiasm as the first time. they are capable of. Versatility: computers are very versatile machines. simple calculations to complex operations such as CAD modeling. computers will either produce erroneous results or abandon the task altogether. sound. lack of concentration. however minute it may be. they will monitor the operational parameters. irrespective of whether it is interesting. etc. Thus. irrespective of whether it is the first time or the millionth time. navigating missiles and satellites etc. It won’t get tired or bored.7. This ability of computer to communicate to one another has led to the development of computer networks. Mechanical Calculating Devices Prepared by Ms. computers can proceed on its own till its completion. We now live in a connected world and all this is possible because of computers and other related technologies.1. it does possess some limitations also that are strengths of human beings. they become sad.  These limitations of computers are characteristics of human beings. WWW and so on. BMIM DP Module I / 7 . and this will affect the performance. a computer does not have any of these human weaknesses. They will execute the programs in the correct sequence. If an unanticipated situation arises. Computers are capable of these levels of automation. depressed.Swapna Anildas. Diligence: Diligence means being constant and earnest in effort and application. Human beings suffer from weakness like tiredness. bored. These are:  Lack of Decision Making Power: Computers cannot take decisions themselves. They will not go into depression or loose concentration. Computers can communicate with other computers and can receive and send data in various forms like text. performing almost any task. humans have feelings. They can perform activities ranging from. we can send e-mail to people all around the world. In other words. Today. 1. Automation: The level of automation achieved in a computer is phenomenal. It is not a simple calculator where you have to punch in the numbers and press the ‘equal to’ sign to get the result. human beings cannot perform the same or similar tasks over and over again with the same precision.7. Internet. provided they are programmed correctly. they will switch on/off the machines at the appropriate time. and they will send warning signals or take corrective actions if the parameters exceed the control level. video. They do not have the potential to work out an alternate solution.

Charles Babbage is considered to be the Father of Computers. multiply. It is known as Leibnitz Machine. The position of the beads on a particular rod represents a digit in that particular decimal position. and divide. the analytical engine. of logarithms of those numbers. The Napier Bones: In 1617 an eccentric (some say mad) Scotsman named John Napier (1550–1617) invented logarithms. These were used in the early 17th century for multiplication and division. Prepared by Ms. the 18-year old son of a French tax collector. In 1834. The squares below had the multiples of digit. On the upper smaller portion of each rod are two beads and on the lower portion are five beads. large as a house and powered by 6 steam engines. Babbage called the two main parts of his Analytic Engine the "Store" and the "Mill". which he called the Difference Engine. In 1623. It was put to practical use by his friend Johannes Kepler. He noted that multiplication and division of numbers can be performed by addition and subtraction. It was the first gear driven calculating device. Semi-automatic Calculating Devices In 1642 the first semi-automatic mechanical device was developed by Blaise Pascal. and division. In 1835 Charles Babbage described his analytical engine. This device got little publicity because Schickard died soon afterward.Mechanical calculating devices can be further classified as:  Manual Calculating Devices  Semi-automatic Calculating Devices Manual Calculating Devices The Abacus: The first manual calculating device developed around 3500 BC was Abacus. China played an essential part in the development and evolution of the abacus. BMIM DP Module I / 8 . multiplication. Each rod was divided into ten squares and in the top square was a digit from 0 to 9. This device. subtraction. The device was never finished. It consists of a rectangular frame carrying a number of rods or wires. invented what he called a numerical wheel calculator to help his father with his duties. Even square roots and powers can be calculated. by creating a machine that could add. as both terms are used in the weaving industry. Blaise Pascal. By placing the rods in line with one another in such a way one can do long multiplications with great speed. A centre bar divides each of these rods into two unequal portions. Wilhelm Schickard built the first digital mechanical calculator called a calculating clock. Using this principle.Swapna Anildas. The Store was where numbers were held and the Mill was where they were "woven" into new results. The drawback of Pascaline was that it could do only addition. respectively. subtract. Charles Babbage moved on from developing his difference engine to developing a more complete design. an abacus-like device used for multiplication and division. A German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhem Von Leibnitz improved the Pascaline in 1673. In a modern computer these same parts are called the memory unit and the central processing unit (CPU). was more general purpose in nature because it was programmable. who revolutionized astronomy. The Napier Bones were rectangular strips of wood or bones with figures marked on one side. This device was known as Pascaline. It was used to do simple calculations: addition. 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). In 1822 the English mathematician Charles Babbage proposed a steam driven calculating machine. he designed Napier's bones.

and rotating drums of capacitors to store data. The word "bug" had been used to describe a defect since at least 1889 but Hopper is credited with coining the word "debugging" to describe the work to eliminate program faults. a German who had developed a number of calculating machines. As a result of his invention. Their second contribution was the development of the giant ENIAC machine between 1943 and 1945 by two professors John W. citizens every 10 years in order to determine the representation of the states in Congress.Swapna Anildas. to handle logarithms and trigonometric functions. Automation was clearly needed for the next census. population had grown so much that the count for the 1880 census took 7. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania. it had special built-in programs.000 vacuum tubes. He developed a device which could automatically read census information which had been punched onto card. The existence of this computer was kept secret until the 1970’s. only performed one task: it was built to solve large systems of simultaneous equations (up to 29 equations with 29 unknowns). undertook construction of a large automatic digital computer based on standard IBM electromechanical parts. The census bureau offered a prize for an inventor to help with the 1890 census and this prize was won by Herman Hollerith. Konrad Zuse. The Mark I ran non-stop for 15 years.S. In 1941. handled 23decimal-place numbers (words) and could perform all four arithmetic operations. Mauchly and J. work was proceeding on the next great breakthrough by the Americans. was 8 feet tall and 51 feet long. and had a 50 ft rotating shaft running its length. The project was worked on by Alan Turing and Max Newman. Back in America. The ABC. released the first programmable computer designed to solve complex engineering equations. by 1880 the U. Grace Hopper. furthermore. The machine weighed 5 tons.S. however. the ABC was not a general-purpose computer. Similarly. Constitution states that a census should be taken of all U. it was a special-purpose computer.2. with the success of Aiken's Harvard Mark-I as the first major American development in the computing race. ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer) used a word of 10 decimal digits instead of binary ones like previous automated calculators/computers. The machine was named Z3. The U. 1. Aiken's machine. vacuum tube electronics to process data in binary format. The Atanasoff Berry Computer (ABC) used punched cards for input and output. who proposed and then successfully adopted Jacquard's punched cards for the purpose of computation. stacks of punched cards could be used as an accessible memory store of almost unlimited capacity. incorporated 500 miles of wire. or subroutines. this company eventually became International Business Machines (IBM). Hopper found the first computer "bug": a dead moth that had gotten into the Mark I and whose wings were blocking the reading of the holes in the paper tape.7. Hollerith's tabulator became so successful that he started his own firm to market the device.3. turned by a 5 horsepower electric motor. Electromechanical Calculating Devices Mark I (1944): By the late 1930s punched-card machine techniques had become so well established and reliable that Howard Aiken. Electronic Computers The first fully electronic computer was built by John Vincent Atanasoff and his assistant Clifford Berry at Iowa State University. another special-purpose electronic computer named Colossus was built in England starting in 1943 for the purpose of breaking German codes. called the Harvard Mark I. While the very first census of 1790 had only required 9 months. an onerous computing task commonly found in science and engineering. One of the primary programmers for the Mark I was a woman.000 vacuum tubes. moreover. between 1937 and 1942. ENIAC also was the first machine to use more than 2. BMIM DP Module I / 9 . work flow was increased. So. in collaboration with engineers at IBM. ENIAC is generally Prepared by Ms.7. different problems could be stored on different batches of cards and worked on as needed. using nearly 18. 1.5 years. and.S.The next breakthrough occurred in America. more important. reading errors were consequently greatly reduced.

5 million in 1982. most large business routinely processed financial information using computers. Scientists later managed to fit even more components on a single chip. This made the computer difficult to program and limited its versatility and speed. Ed Roberts that was based in Albuquerque. IBM introduced its personal computer (PC) for use in the home. These computers came complete with user-friendly software packages that offered even non-technical users an arrangement of applications. an engineer with Texas Instruments. office and schools. Their Apple II computer was a hit. a general purpose microprocessor offering ten times the performance of the earlier MPU.Swapna Anildas. In 1981. The first commercially available microcomputer of note was the Altair 8800 computer sold by MITS (Micro Instrumentation & Telemetry Systems). By 1974. The number of personal computers in use more than doubled from 2 million in 1981 to 5. a company named Intel developed the first microprocessor (also called an MPU) that fit a whole CPU onto one microchip. Intel introduced their 8080 chip. Other unique features of first computers were the use of vacuum tubes and magnetic drums for data storage. they still generated a great deal of heat. As computers became more widespread in the workplace. It was the stored program and programming language that gave computers the flexibility to finally be cost effective and productive for business use. New Mexico. especially in the home and education markets. It used a 4. The Intel 4004 processor contained 2300 transistors on a chip of silicon 1/8" x 1/16" in size. This "stored memory" technique as well as the "conditional control transfer. Another popular company named Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak on April 1. Within two years IBM released the PC XT (1983) and PC AT (1984) using the Intel 80286 processor. built by Remington Rand. The IC combined three electronic components onto a small silicon disc. It was not too long before electronics hobbyists began building small computer systems based on the rapidly improving microprocessor chips.Wilkes of Cambridge University. Here the program was fed into the storage unit by means of paper tape. Though transistors were clearly an improvement over the vacuum tube.acknowledged to be the first successful high-speed electronic digital computer (EDC) and was productively used from 1946 to 1955. As IC technology progressed. BMIM DP Module I / 10 . Jack Kilby. a company founded by Dr. Remember that a computer can’t do anything without software. It also used vacuum tubes and was slightly faster than ENIAC. 1976. the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer). and the company he formed (along with his partner Paul Allen) was Microsoft. Prepared by Ms. developed the integrated circuit in 1958. which allowed all computer functions to be coordinated through a single source. most popularly word processing and spreadsheet programs." that allowed the computer to be stopped at any point and then resumed. By 1971. In 1949. which was made from quartz. became one of the first commercially available computers to take advantage of these advances. The 1980's saw an expansion in computer use.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor. chip manufacturers could fit more and more circuitry onto the tiny silicon chips. a professor name M. The key element to the von Neumann architecture was the central processing unit. designed Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer (EDSAC). called a semiconductor. 65 million PCs were being used. In 1945. Ten years later. The founder’s name was Bill Gates. which damaged the computer's sensitive internal parts. allowed for greater versatility in computer programming. A small company was formed in Albuquerque to provide software (a BASIC language) for the Altair computer. Von Neumann designed the Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) with a memory to hold both a stored program as well as data. In 1951. By 1965. Each computer had a different binary-coded program called a machine language that told it how to operate. The first computers were characterized by the fact that operating instructions were made-to-order for the specific task for which the computer was to be used.

Instructor at MIT. he recognized its value. It was used for the US census of 1880. Computers were traditionally very difficult to use. Professor of Mathematics. She translated a paper on Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Normally used for engineering calculations A device with 8 counter-wheels linked by ratchets for carryover. but the management at Xerox failed to see the usefulness of it. A programming ways to harness their potential developed. It was the first successful general purpose digital computer. To make computers more accessible. information and communicate with each other. used as a counting device and later for mathematical calculations. The work of approximately eight years was performed by this machine in three years. BMIM . the Macintosh. British Mathematician) 1884 Punched Card Tabulating Machine (Hermon Hollerith. US) 1944 Howard Mark-I (Howard A. Apple licensed the concepts from Xerox. describing steps to use it. As smaller computers became more powerful. It was an important development in the field of computers as it became easy to build reliable electronic circuits representing binary digits – 1 for ON and 0 for OFF. Harward University. US) 1946 Concept of program Vs. It was made for tedious mathematical calculations. In a GUI.purpose electronic digital DP Module I / 11 3000 BC Abacus 1620 AD Slide Rule 1642 Pascaline – Pascal’s Calculating Machine (Blaise Pascal. Commands are chosen from menus rather than typed in. they could be linked together. The evolution of computers is summarized in the table below. or networked. The GUI was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Cambridge) 1842 First Computer Programmer (Lady Augusta Ada Byron) 1854 Boolean Logic (Algebra) (George Boole. John Von Neumann of Philadelphia. to share memory space.Swapna Anildas. the user interacts with a graphical display on the screen containing icons and windows and controls. Macintosh computers used the Motorola 68000 series of microprocessors (and later the PowerPC series of microprocessors). developed them further. the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was developed. in 1984. When Steve Jobs of Apple saw the GUI. software. is named after her. It was not very successful due to difficult operation and very high cost. Year Computing device and Inventor Description Developed in China. ADA.Aiken. US) 1946 ENIAC Prepared by Ms. The first general. requiring the user to memorize and type in the necessary commands (this is called a Command Line Interface). French Mathematician) 1834 Babbage’s Analytical Engine (Charles Babbage. Data (Dr. Published the principles of Boolean logic based on variables with values either True or False. Today’s computer organization corresponds very closely to analytical engine. Computers continue to grow smaller and more powerful. He gave the design principle of digital computers suggesting the concept of stored programs to make computers fully automatic. and released the first successful GUI computer. however.

more powerful. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time. allowing computers to become smaller. cheaper. Third Generation . and they could only solve one problem at a time. as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 50s. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors. Second Generation . The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube. US. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips. First Generation . resulting in increasingly smaller. 1951 UNIVAC-1 (Universal Automatic Computer) Remington Rand computer. such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN.1971-Present: Microprocessors The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers. Generations of Computers The history of computer development is often referred to in reference to the different generations of computing devices. and more efficient and reliable devices. The Intel 4004 chip. which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology. Second-generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output. Instead of punched cards and printouts. users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system. languages. cheaper. One of the first commercially available computers taking advantage of Von-Neumann architecture. generated a lot of heat.on a single chip.1964-1971: Integrated Circuits The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube.Presper Eckert. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory. BMIM DP Module I / 12 . What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. Prepared by Ms. which was often the cause of malfunctions. and output was displayed on printouts.John W. Input was based on punched cards and paper tape. Each generation of computer is characterized by a major technological development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate. The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing devices.1940-1956: Vacuum Tubes The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. or assembly. faster. and were often enormous. the U. which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. Mauchely & J. First generation computers relied on machine language to perform operations. taking up entire rooms.from the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls .1956-1963: Transistors Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. located all the components of the computer . which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.S. 1.Swapna Anildas. more energy-efficient and more reliable than their firstgeneration predecessors.8. which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the memory. Fourth Generation . The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry. developed in 1971. called semiconductors. Census Bureau in 1951. They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity.

rapid growth in data processing applications. BMIM DP Module I / 13 . Fifth Generation . based on artificial intelligence.  Memory Capacity  Speed  Execution Languages  Important computers  General Remarks Second Generation Computers   Used Time Period Technology : 1959 – 1963 : Transistors and diodes : 4000 . Prepared by Ms. IBM 170 & 650 : Computers were extremely huge and bulky. though there are some applications. ALGOL : CDC-60. the mouse and handheld devices. EDSAC. and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. such as voice recognition.7094. unreliable. faster operation but costly.20000 (Characters) : Few thousand instructions per second : Machine code and electric wired boards : ENIAC. they could be linked together to form networks.64000 (Characters) : Up to 1 million instructions per second : Magnetic Core Memory : Assembly languages and COBOL. Beginning of electronic data processing. FORTRAN. high-level IBM languages like and  Memory Capacity  Speed Execution  Central Memory  Languages  Important computers  General Remarks 1620. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computers in years to come.Swapna Anildas. UNIVAC Burroughs 200 1004. and generated a lot of heat. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality.In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user. relatively slow. increase in reliability.7090. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs. : Use of transistors and diodes. that are being used today. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors. are still in development. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization. which eventually led to the development of the Internet. EDVAC. and introduction of time sharing and real-time processing.Present and Beyond: Artificial Intelligence Fifth generation computing devices. reduced size and weight. The characteristics of each generation of computers can be summarized as shown below: First Generation Computers   Used Time Period Technology : 1951 – 1959 : Vacuum Tubes : 10000 . As these small computers became more powerful. UNIVAC-I & II.

9. and Burroughs 7700  General Remarks Fourth Generation Computers  Time Period  Technology Used  Memory Capacity  Execution Speed  Languages  Important computers  General Remarks : 1975 . : CDC Cyber 170. and speed. A thermometer is a Prepared by Ms. or temperature).  Important computers : UNIVAC 100.32 million (Characters) : Up to 100 million instructions per second : All High-Level and fourth generation languages and artificial Intelligence. : More powerful and versatile computers. Classification by working principle Computers can be classified into three according to the mode of data representation – Analog. Macintosh. improved software support. COBOL. Classification of Computers Computers can be classified many different ways .1. 1. FORTRAN. The analog system is set up according to initial conditions and then allowed to change freely. e. and microcomputer came in the market. much smaller.Third Generation Computers  Time Period  Technology Used  Memory Capacity  Execution Speed  Languages : 1963 – 1975 : Integrated Circuits : 32000 . BMIM DP Module I / 14 . much faster. and software development methodologies and tools.  Used Very Large Scale Integration (LSI) and parallel processing  Incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI)  Artificial Intelligence refers to the use of computers in such a way that they perform various operations and at the same time take decisions similar to human beings. minicomputer.4 million (Characters) : Up to 10 million instructions per second : High-Level. PL/1. and BASIC : Smaller. Aimed at becoming the leader in the computer field in 1990’s. and operates on the data by manipulating those quantities. IBM PC. IBM 360.  Natural language processing system. The output of analog computer will be usually in the form of dial gauge readings or graphs.000 . PC-AT. and AT-386.9. faster.g.  Was conceived as ‘Knowledge / Inference Processing System’. Fifth Generation Computers  Japan Initiated the fifth generation computer project in 1982.Swapna Anildas. analog computers are electronic systems which are used to manipulate physical quantities that are represented in analog form. reliable and required less power. less expensive. Apple.. In other mode of data representation or working principle.  Process non-numeric information such as pictures and graphs. An analog computer represents data as physical quantities (such as such as pressure. voltage. 1. Digital and Hybrid.Today : Microprocessor using Large Scale Integration (LSI) : 512. by size. ALGOL 68. reduced computing costs. PC-XT.

Many scientific. The word ‘Digital’ stands for discrete (step-by-step) and hence digital computers can take only discrete values. BMIM DP Module I / 15 . This kind of computer is also helpful for forecasting weather reports worldwide. Hence accuracy obtained in a digital computer is very high. As the temperature varies. They are used for extremely calculation-intensive tasks such simulating nuclear bomb detonations. programmable electronic devices that perform mathematical calculations. A computer which performs operations based on both analog and digital principles is called a hybrid computer. Supercomputers A supercomputer is mainframe computer that has been optimized for speed and processing power. business and medical applications rely on the combination of analog and digital services. and chemical process plants. Classification by size and speed The size of a computer often determines its function and processing capacity. aerodynamic flows. and pulse/heart-beat counters are examples. mines. Mini. representing either a high voltage electrical state (on) or low voltage electrical state (off). the mercury moves correspondingly. Different industries also use this huge computer for designing their products. They are high speed. for example. the computers can be classified as Micro. This computer is not used as a PC in a home neither by a student in a college.  Areas of application are nuclear power plants. Governments specially use this type of computer for their different calculations and heavy jobs. and the most expensive in price than any other. The characteristics of these computers can be summarized as follows: Analog Computers  Operate by measuring rather than counting  Use continuous signals as input Digital computers  Operate both on digits and alphabets  Use discrete signals as input  Computers used for business and scientific applications. Mainframe Computers Another giant in computers after the super computer is Mainframe. The ultrasonic digital scanner is an example of hybrid computer. and principles of operation of both analog and digital computer is called a hybrid computer. Hybrid computers  Use both types of signals – analog as well as digital – as input  Mostly used with process control equipments in continuous production plants. Numbers and special characters are reduced to representation by 1s (on) and 0s (off). Users connect to the mainframe using terminals and submit their tasks for processing by the mainframe. functions. In other words. which can also process millions of instruction per second and capable of accessing billions of data.2. Another example of analog computer is the processor attached to petrol pump which converts the fuel flow measurements and displays the quantity and price. They recognize data by counting discrete signals. and global weather patterns. The size of computers varies widely from tiny to huge and is usually dictated by computing requirements. Mainframe and super computers. a computer system that has capabilities. A digital computer represents data in terms of discrete numbers and processes data using standard arithmetic operations. A supercomputer typically costs several million dollars. but it does not Prepared by Ms.simple analog computer. 1.9. Supercomputers are the biggest in size. compare values and store the results. In most of the Hollywood’s movies it is used for animation purposes. behavior. It can process trillions of instructions in seconds.Swapna Anildas. According to size and speed. intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals. oil refineries. A terminal is a device that has a screen and keyboard for input and output.

1.000. telephone and electricity bills. small in size. editing photographs. The artist had to draw every picture by hand. They run on battery power. drives. writing letters. colleges. banking.Swapna Anildas. Home . which are mostly preferred by the small type of business personals. spellings. etc. etc. or it may be a tower that stands vertically (on the desk or under it). They usually sit in one place on a desk or table and are plugged into a wall outlet for power. They are used in situations where a company wants the processing power and information storage in a centralized location.Computers are widely used in the field of education. cartoons can be created easily on the computer. These are the computers. sending and receiving e-mail. store its own processing (they are also called dumb terminals since they can’t process data on their own). Laptops cost more than desktop units of equivalent processing power because the smaller components needed to build laptops are more expensive. etc. etc. Mainframes are also now being used as high-capacity server computers for networks with many client workstations. The technique of Prepared by Ms. report cards. This case may lay flat on the desk. surfing the web. making greeting cards. weather forecasting. power supply. the characters appear to be moving. desktop computers and laptop computers: Desktop computers are larger and not meant to be portable.10. and many other huge companies prefer mainframe because of its capability of retrieving data on a huge basis. telling stories. You can keep track of your monthly expenditure and budget. Computers are being used in each and every field—at home. and expansion cards. phone numbers. They typically have a built-in LCD display that folds down to protect the display when the computer is carried around. The processing power of the mainframe is time-shared between all of the users. they are also called PCs in short for Personal computers.In earlier days. This class of computers became available in the 1960’s when large scale integrated circuits made it possible to build a computer much cheaper than the then existing mainframes (minicomputers cost around $100. etc. on your computer. Basic Applications of computers Computers have affected the lives of people in one way or the other. You can test your general knowledge. Mini Computers A minicomputer is a multi-user computer that is less powerful than a mainframe. Personal computers come in two major varieties. Computers are used by teachers to prepare lessons. Cartoons and Animations . but can also be plugged into a wall outlet.000 cost of a mainframe). grammar. A separate keyboard and mouse allow the user to input data and commands. They are typically used at home. cartoons were created with great difficulty. They also feature a built-in keyboard and some kind of built-in pointing device (such as a touch pad). This computer is commonly used in big hospitals. The computer usually has a separate monitor (either a CRT or LCD) although some designs have a display built into the case. air line reservations companies. The case of the computer holds the motherboard. airline and railway reservations. at school. creating graphics. These computers are lesser in cost than the computers given above and also. and for teaching different topics related to various subjects. Personal / Micro Computer A microcomputer is a computer that has a microprocessor chip as its CPU. and playing music or games. Computers can assist in actual teaching and learning processes.Computers are used at homes for playing games. These days.. spreadsheet calculations. In cartoon films. They can be used as an educational aid at home. Popular uses for microcomputers include word processing. Education .000 instead of the $1. They are also used in schools for helping students with their writings. Computers are also used in home management. medical diagnosis. BMIM DP Module I / 16 . Mainframes typically cost several hundred thousand dollars. You can get information on any topic using the Internet. database management. or at a business. They are often called personal computers because they are designed to be used by one person at a time. and improve your grammar and mathematics. Laptop or notebook computers are small and lightweight enough to be carried around with the user.

The people concerned with air travel. Special effects like that of a fire. it took a lot of time and effort to make animated films. All such transactions in banks are carried out through computers.Computers are being used for airline/railway reservation. Complete records of patients can be stored. etc. Earlier. Medicine . This also eliminates the need for a clerk.Every company requires a lot of information to carry out its day-to-day activities. transfer money. Doctors can search through these records to examine various case histories. Business . They provide information about the changes in weather and direction of winds.making cartoon films is called animation. Many leading banks have installed Automated Teller Machines (ATM). calculating interests. and maintenance of staff records. Desk Top Publishing (DTP) . Prepared by Ms. Computers are also used to monitor and control the proper functioning of space equipment. production planning.. etc. Modern weapons and missiles are totally computer-controlled. special computers are built inside different equipments. are produced using computers. are dependent on correct weather forecasting. Weather Forecasting . Computers are used for storing medical records for future references. earthquake. These enable the customers to draw money from accounts. BMIM DP Module I / 17 . Some films have been produced in which cartoon characters interact with real characters. cheque verification and updating the balance. Timely predictions may avoid some of the worst mishaps. Space Technology . obtain bank statements. All these can be done using a special plastic card which is inserted into the input device of a computer. to determine and control routes. etc. These help to monitor the condition of patients and record all the necessary information. Defense . magazines. etc. Airline/Railway Reservations . town or city for any other place. This information must be constantly updated.A number of satellites have been put into orbit. printing customer statements. The computer updates all the information immediately and gives the latest status. computers are used to simulate these special effects and combine them with the real characters or scenes using special devices and then the pictures produced look realistic. Cinema . comics..Computers are being used in banks for various tasks — online enquiry of customer’s balance.Computers are very useful in defense services. cartoon films are created very easily through computer animation. Computers are used to record issuing and returning of books. and farmers. These days. battle. These space satellites are linked with computers that provide enormous information. Data is collected from weather stations and satellites all over the world. The tickets so booked are printed in pre-printed stationery and issued.Computers are used for weather forecasting. etc. Computers are also used for maintaining a list of borrowed books. This enables people to book tickets from any. can be created using computers. The text is typed using word-processing software and the illustrations are drawn using a graphics package.Computers are also used in cinema to create special effects through computer graphics.Swapna Anildas. shipping. Computers are being used in several office jobs like preparing salary. newspapers. Computers are also used in surgical cases. especially surgery involving the heart. Banks . This data is fed to the computer and analyzed. Modern DTP software makes it easy to apply styles and layout texts and graphics. But now.. In hospitals. All the information required for booking is fed into the computer by the booking clerk and he/she checks the availability of tickets. Library . etc. The computer predicts the changes in the weather conditions. Computer indexing helps in selecting information on a particular subject from a library.These days. rescue operations.A large number of computerized equipment is used for medical tests in hospitals and clinics. etc. Computers are also used for sales forecasting. stock control. books. The computers booking counters are connected through a common network. sales record.Computers are used in libraries for many purposes.

  Computers are used in most of our day-to-day activities.1. These digital signals are interpreted by the CPU and processed. audio. Thus it includes input devices. comics. hospitals. converts the output-digital-signals generated as a result of processing into understandable form. 2.  Speed. Voice Data Entry (VDE). light pen. Some of the input devices used for this purpose are keyboard. Input data may be graphical. newspapers. Optical Mark Reader (OMR). Diligence. Computers are used to produce books.  Computers are very useful in defense services and in hospitals. computers are used for issuing books and storing the list of books available in the library. joystick. The output unit on the other hand. BMIM DP Module I / 18 .  Computers are used to make cartoon films.Points to Remember  Hardware and Software are the two terms associated with computers. This process is called digitizing. The output that is generated is sent to output unit or saved on secondary storage devices. The processing part is handled by the Central Processing Unit (CPU).  All leading banks have Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services that facilitate speedy transactions. or to create special effects in cinema. All the units communicate with each other through internal set of wires called ports. linguistic. houses. and software is the set of programs and data. Computer is not a single machine but a combination of several working units. magazines. Optical Character Reader Prepared by Ms. The input unit converts the input to a form recognized by the machine. etc. Input of any form is converted into binary electronic signals which can be understood by the CPU.  Hardware is the physical parts.  In libraries. punched cards. mouse.  etc. << End of Chapter >> 2 Hardware concepts 2.    Computers assist in teaching and learning.2. output devices.  Using computers customer transactions are verified and updated in banks. Input & output Units The input unit facilitates man to machine communication. To accomplish a task it requires input which is taken from the input unit. and mechanical. transfers the input data in the form of digital signals for processing. visual. Introduction Computer hardware represents all the physical components of a computer system that can be seen and located. Computers are used for weather forecasting. and storage devices. accuracy etc are the characteristics of computer. Computers are used in airline and railway reservations. Versatility. in medicine and in space technology. Computers are used in offices.Swapna Anildas. central processing unit.

3. 2. The movement of the ball is sensed by two sensors and resolved into horizontal and vertical components. it is an interface for machine to man communication. which rolls on a small rubber ball and has two or three buttons on the top. It is commonly used for playing games on computers. Among the most common peripherals are keyboards. It is similar to a typewriter in that all the keys are arranged like those on a typewriter but there are some extra keys also. points to the option to be selected. BMIM DP Module I / 19 . Selection of menu option is done by clicking the mouse buttons while the cursor. Some of the popular input devices are:  Keyboard  Mouse  Joystick  Scanner  Light Pen  Optical Mark Reader (OMR)  Touch Pad  Bar Code Reader  Track ball  Optical Character Reader (OCR)  Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR) Keyboard The most widely used input device today is the keyboard. During typing a flashing line appears on the screen. When a key on the keyboard is pressed. magnetic disks and magnetic tapes. Peripherals that provide auxiliary storage for the system are magnetic disks and tapes. that is.3. by converting the inputs to the binary form. Some of the popular output devices are visual display unit (VDU). Mouse A mouse is a pointing device. input/output devices Input-output (I/O) devices attached to a computer are also called peripherals. Different shapes of joysticks are available now. or pointer. speech synthesizer. 2. display units. that is. Input devices Input devices accept different forms of input from the user and forward it to the computer system in understandable form.Swapna Anildas. which is called a cursor. bar code reader. and printers. The movement is sensed by vertical stick which is attached to a solid base. Scanner Scanners look and work somewhat like photo copiers. plotter. Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR). Peripherals are electromechanical and electromagnetic devices. The traditional format of a computer keyboard is called QWERTY keyboard because of the sequence of the six letters on the left hand corner of the upper row. It is generally used for typing text-based information. Every key and key combination passes a unique signal to the computer. Peripheral devices are classified mainly into two types: input devices and output devices. printer. The movement of the cursor on the screen is controlled by the movement of the mouse. controlled movement on the screen and allows movement of objects around the screen with ease. that character is displayed at the cursor position Control (Ctrl) and Alter (Alt) keys in combination with other keys have special functions. graphical. Some devices such as magnetic disks and tapes serve the purpose of input as well as output devices. Joystick It provides fast. Output unit is just the opposite of input unit.1. and magnetic tapes and disks. audio visual or language form. The output that comes from the CPU is in the form of binary signals which get converted into a form that can be understood by humans.(OCR). that is. These devices are called peripherals because they are attached in the surroundings (periphery) of the computer systems. One needs to simply lay an image or page of text face down on the flatbed scanner and then issue a command to scan the Prepared by Ms.

each character is scanned photo-electrically and converted into a pattern of electronic signals which are then compared with the stored patterns to identify the character. Supermarkets use a bar code system called Universal Product Code (UPC). that is. The characters are read or recognized by the reader based on patterns of magnetization of particles in the ink. Output devices Output devices take the binary form of output from the computer system and produce it in the desired form. printed on product containers. you can move the pointer on the display screen. OCR is widely used in legal profession. This type of pointing device is normally used in a Laptop personal computer. It can also read bar codes to enter data directly into a computer. They are photoelectric scanners that read the bar codes. OCR recognizes characters printed in a special format. The light pen functions on the concept of photocell. but the roller ball is mounted in a fixed position and the user spins the ball in various directions to move the cursor on the screen. Light Pen Light pen is also a pointing device that can be used to select an option by simply pointing at it or for drawing figures directly on the screen. By moving a finger or other object along the pad. touch-sensitive pad. It increases data accuracy and timeliness of information produced. bookshops in printed or plotted form. Touch Pad This is also used on portable computers. The page stays stationary and a mechanism inside the flatbed scanner moves over the image to scan it. Hard copy devices produce a permanent record on media such as paper Prepared by Ms. The bar code identifies the product to the supermarket’s computer. OMR is used in tests such as aptitude tests. Examples of OCRs are the American National Standards OCR and European OCR. or vertical zebra striped marks. Hard Copy Devices Hard copy means that the output is in an instantaneously usable form. It is a small. Optical Mark Reader (OMR) It works on the concept of mark sensing and reflectance of light.3. which has a description and the latest price of the product. The information coded on the cheque is printed with a special ink that contains magnetized particles of iron oxide. or graphical. Using these methods. Use of OCR saves a lot of time. or may be of video or audio type. Optical Character Reader (OCR) OCR permits direct reading of any printed character. It is used for evaluating multiple choices answer sheets and work at a speed of 200 documents per minute. Trackball A trackball is similar to a mouse. Bar Code Reader Bar code readers are widely used in super markets. Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR) MICR is generally used by banks to process large volumes of cheques. which would otherwise be spent in data transcription. 2. It is used in application areas like designing and engineering. Using OCR. printed. The scanned image is then transferred to the system and saved in a graphic format generally as a paint package file or CorelDraw file. Output devices can be classified as softcopy devices and hard copy devices. It eliminates the document encoding process. Apart from being used in banks. MICR helps in reading bills and customer payment coupons. data can be directly transferred to the computer. BMIM DP Module I / 20 . Magnetic ink characters can be read by humans also. Outputs can be typed.Swapna Anildas.2.

Either the needle or a character is stuck on the paper through the ribbon. It may work on both technologies: dot matrix as well as on solid font. Commonly used hard copy devices are Printers and Plotters. and EPSON LQ 1050. Character Printer . a complete character strikes a carbon ribbon or other inked surface against paper to produce an image of the character. the head does not come directly in contact with the paper. Impact printers may also be categorized into two types on the basis of produced (impression) pattern. such as curves. head of the printer prints while moving in forward direction as well as in backward direction. It is a bi-directional printer. 9 pin and 24 pin. that is. Daisy Wheel Printer – it is a solid font type character printer. Impact printers can further be categorized in four categories: 1. 4. They come in many varieties: Prepared by Ms. 3.   Solid Font . It comes in two print head specifications. Dot Matrix Printer . the character is formed with closely packed dots. Line Printer – line printer prints one complete line at a time. Speed may be 300 lines per minute or more. Printers Printers can be divided into two distinct categories on the basis of producing impression over the paper . Examples include EPSON EX 1000. Print quality is better than dot matrix. Non-Impact printers In non-impact printers. This creates a lot of noise when these printers work. Speed lies between 30 cps to 90 cps.or microfilm. a character is printed on the paper through physical contact between the print head and paper. Dot matrix printer supports printing of graphics also. It is faster than daisy wheel printer and the printing speed lies between 30 to 600 cps (characters per second). Dot Matrix Dot matrix printer has a set of printing needles or pins.In a dot matrix printer. They are very slow in operation as compared to soft copy devices because these often involve mechanical movement.Impact Printers & Non-impact Printers Impact Printers In an impact printer.In a solid font printer. BMIM DP Module I / 21 . with the printing arms appearing like petals of the flower. Formation of character is done by the movement of head across the paper.Swapna Anildas. Dot matrix type line printers are relatively slower than the solid font impact line printers. The printing head contains a vertical array of pins. Selected print needles strike the inked ribbon against paper to produce an image of the character. Selected print needles strike the inked ribbon against paper to produce an image of the character. It works on both technologies: dot matrix and solid font. There is no impact or hitting of needles so non-impact printers do not make any noise while printing. 2. It also supports graphics.Character printer prints character by character. Daisy wheel printer is named as such because the print head resembles a daisy flower.

Laser printer works on the concept of using laser beams to create an image on a photosensitive surface. Prints graphics Disadvantages Poor quality printing Slow. The pens are driven by a motor. Nozzles in the print head produce tiny ink droplets. A special type of paper is used with this printer which is costly. They are capable of printing 4-40 pages per minute. The print quality of such printers is very near letter-quality. Flatbed plotters use horizontal flat surface on which paper can be fixed. VDU works on the concept of a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and no media. Video Display Unit (VDU) It is the most commonly used output device. These droplets are charged which are deflected and then directed to the desired spots on the paper to form the impression of a character. The pen moves in X and Y directions which is controlled by the computer. Finally. Poor quality printing. clean and fairly reliable in operation. Advantages Inexpensive. The laser exposed drum areas attract a toner that attaches itself to the laser generated charges on the drum. Fast.Ink-Jet printers use dot matrix approach to print text and graphics. It can be used as an on-line terminal as well as an off-line terminal. These printers support color printing and are very quiet and noiseless in operation. The toner is permanently fused on paper with heat and/or pressure by rolling the drum over a blank paper.1. The input errors can be corrected instantly. Soft Copy Devices Soft copy is in magnetic/audible form that cannot be used directly. Prints Graphics High quality printing Light Weight. Following soft copy devices are normally used: VDU & ARU. BMIM DP Module I / 22 . They use ink pen or ink-jet to draw graphics or drawings.Swapna Anildas. The graphics and drawings produced by plotters are uniform and precise and they are of very high quality. Thermal Printer . Either single color or multicolor pens can be employed. These devices do not produce a permanent record. Ink-jet printer . Noisy. VDU can be used for character or graphic display. Initially the desired output image is written on a copier drum with a laser beam that operates under the control of the computer. It has a speed of 40-300 cps with software controls on size and style of characters. 2. It is not possible to produce multiple copies simultaneously with this type of a printer. Comparative View of Printers Printer Type Dot Matrix Daisy Wheel Thermal Laser 3. Character is printed with a matrix of dots which are heated by the needles. monochrome and colored. There are many types of VDUs based on different characteristics: text and graphics. Laser Printer . Laser printers are quiet and produce very high quality of output. VDUs are quiet. Battery powered Excellent print quality.In a thermal printer the characters are formed by pressing an array of electrically heated needles against heat sensitive paper. Prepared by Ms. Expensive Slow. cards or paper outputs are involved. Plotters are used for complex engineering drawings and for drawing of maps that require high degree of accuracy. requires special paper Expensive Plotters Plotters are output devices that are used to produce precise and good quality graphics and drawings under computer control. thereby reducing the popularity of a thermal printer. Such papers have a special heat sensitive coating which becomes dark when a spot is heated.

and then it gets processed by the CPU. It has different colours. The CPU works with binary signals only. 4. performed and controlled by the CPU. A common example of an ARU is the way messages and train schedules are announced on railway stations with automatic enquiry system. An I/O interface provides a solution to transfer information between internal storage and external I/O devices. BMIM DP Module I / 23 . 2. Thus. It has only one electron gun. Each sound is given a code. The data transfer rate of peripheral device is slower than that of the CPU. Colour monitor is capable of displaying upto 17 million colours using combinations of basic colours. which are electronic devices. For that a graphical monitor is required which has high degree of resolution and screen is divided into rows and columns of dots called pixels. Central Processing Unit Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer system. input-output (i/0) interface To communicate with various types of devices available. green and blue.4. 2. Audio Response Unit (ARU) Audio Response Unit or ARU permits computers to talk to people. The output of a computer is best presented in graphical form.Certain VDUs are capable of displaying a character set such as that provided by the ASCII code. The purpose of the interface units is to resolve the differences between the computer system and each of the peripheral devices. Text and Graphics . Register Set Prepared by Ms. Data codes and formats in peripherals differ from the word format in the CPU and memory. the processor follows a set of rules to create a reply message in a coded form. RGB (RED.  Monochrome and Colour Monitor . It supervises and synchronizes all 1/O transfers. The sounds are assembled in a proper sequence. CPU has three parts: 1. GREEN. The manner of operation of peripherals is quite different from the CPU and memory.Swapna Anildas.5. All the actions performed by computer system are initiated.Monitors capable of displaying only a single colour image are called monochrome monitors. When enquiries are received. Peripherals connected to each other need special communication links to interface with the CPU. Control Unit 3. BLUE) CMYK (CYAN. The main reason why this interface is needed is because: 1. the computer system requires an input-output interface. All the sounds needed are provided on a storage medium. The audio message is then transmitted back to the station requesting the information. Operation of peripherals is different from each other and each must be controlled to avoid disturbances in the operation of other peripheral devices. 3. Every instruction that is executed first gets stored in the memory unit. This coded message is then transmitted to an audio response device. MAGENTA. Generally two types of coloured monitors are used. 2. Arithmetic Logic Unit 2. YELLOW and ‘K’ for BLACK) RGB colour monitor has three electron guns and the screen is coated with three types of phosphors: red.

The address bus carries the address of the data to be accessed. input output unit and processor.Register Set Control Unit Arithmetic and Logic Unit Figure: Major components of CPU The components of CPU communicate among themselves with the help of internal set of wires called “Bus’. The size of a bus determines how much data can be transferred at one time. from CPU to memory or from CPU to I/O unit. The need of data transfer may arise due to interaction between memory and CPU. location from where data is to be read and initiate the read control signal. BMIM DP Module I / 24 . Control Bus .Swapna Anildas. If the CPU has n address lines then it can address 2n different addresses in the memory and other I/O equipment. The number of memory locations that a CPU can address is determined by the number of address lines.The information stored in the memory is identified by a unique number called an “address”. This means that data can travel in both the directions. the CPU places the address on the address bus. If the width of data bus is 16 then 2 bytes of data can be transferred at a time.The data bus carries the data that is transferred from one unit to another. here these wires are used to carry data from one unit to another hence the name bus. Prepared by Ms. Components of CPU The basic structure of CPU is shown below. It controls nearly all the operations in the CPU. Generally a data bus is a bi-directional bus. that is. The address bus is uni-directional.It is the most important bus of the system. The common control bus signals are the read-write signals. Data bus . To read from memory unit. Address Bus . The control bus is also uni-directional because control signals are initiated only by the CPU. There are different kinds of buses for different purposes. This address needs to be supplied to this memory to access of data. Just as buses carry people from one place to another.

holds the current instruction to be executed. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) The ALU provides arithmetic and logic operations. The control unit makes use of some special purpose registers and a decoder for accomplishing its tasks. Some of them include Memory Address Registers (MAR). BMIM DP Module I / 25 . It has necessary circuitry to carry out these operations. Memory Buffer Register (MBR). Program counter etc. Prepared by Ms. Each instruction is also accompanied by a Microcode. and the Program control register holds the next instruction to be executed. The logic unit is used to apply logic. The control signals generated by the CPU are placed on the control bus.Arithmetic and Logic Unit Accumulator (AC) Data Register (DR) Program Counter (PC) Memory Address Register (MAR) Instruction Register (IR) Control Unit Control Signals Figure: Basic Structure of CPU Control Unit It is the most critical part of CPU. The arithmetic unit performs number of calculations and computations. The control unit determines the sequence in which program instructions are interpreted and executed. i. It is responsible for generating control signals to streamline the functioning of the CPU and other units. Accumulator. This unit has a number of registers and accumulators for short-term storage of data while calculating and comparing. which is. All such logical operations are done in this unit. Instruction Register.. The decoder interprets the meaning of each instruction supported by the CPU. used to compare certain types of tests and take decisions. Register Set The CPU consists of a set of registers which are used for storing instructions as well as intermediate results. basic directions to tell the CPU how to execute the instruction.Swapna Anildas. The special purpose register called the Instruction register. It also controls the flow of data to and from secondary storage devices.e. It does not perform the actual processing of the data but manages and coordinates the entire computer system including the input and the output devices.

Normally. The CPU then interprets the instruction and performs the required action. The fetching of the instruction is done using the program counter (PC) that keeps track of the next instruction to be fetched. How a CPU works The basic task performed by the CPU is instruction execution.6.Memory Address Register (MAR) specifies the address of the memory location from which data is to be accessed (in case of read operation) or to which data is to be stored (in case of write operation). Execution of an instruction may involve any combination of these actions. The CPU cycle time is the time taken by the CPU to execute a well-defined shortest micro-operation. CPU contains several registers for storing data and instructions. as programs are executed in sequence. Instruction Register (IR) holds the current instruction that is being executed. the faster the computer can process data. 2. 2. the next instruction in the sequence is fetched. CPU registers are also called fast memories and can be accessed almost instantaneously. or I/O to CPU. the number of bits a register can store at a time is called the length of the register. The basic issues relating to a CPU can be expressed as:  It should be as fast as possible  The capacity of the main memory needed by the CPU is very large. Accumulator (AC) interacts with the ALU and stores the input or output operand. from CPU to I/O. If all the instructions and data being executed by the CPU were to reside in the Secondary storage Prepared by Ms. But these can store only a few bytes. The CPU reads (fetches) instructions (codes) from the memory one at a time. Most CPU sold today has 32-bit or 64-bit registers. Two terms associated with CPU are the CPU cycle time and Memory cycle time. then the program counter will need to be modified to contain the location 100 (which otherwise would have contained 51). Each instruction is executed using several small operations called micro-operations. BMIM DP Module I / 26 .Swapna Anildas. holds the initial data to be operated upon. The memory cycle time is the speed at which the memory can be accessed by the CPU. It executes or performs the operation specified by this instruction. the intermediate results and the final results of the processing operations. the fetched instruction is in the form of a binary code and is loaded into an instruction register (IR) in the CPU. It has been found that the memory cycle time is approximately 1-10 times higher than the CPU cycle time. if an instruction from location 50 specifies that the next instruction to be fetched should be from location 100. Thus the bigger the word size. In general. memory to CPU. The size of the register is also called the word size and indicates the amount of data that a CPU can process at a time. For example. That is why temporary storage is provided within the CPU in the form of CPU registers. This register therefore. Further. these actions can be divided into the following categories:    Data Transfer: From CPU to memory. Memory /storage devices Memory is an essential component of a digital computer. Memory Buffer Register (MBR) receives data from the memory (in case of read operation) or contains the data to be written in the memory (in case of write operation). Sequence Control: This action is typically required for altering the sequence of execution. Data Processing: An arithmetic or logic operation may be performed on the data by the CPU. The simplest form of instruction processing can be defined as a two-step process: 1.

to an even smaller and faster cache memory accessible to the high-speed processing logic. The total memory capacity of the computer can therefore be visualized as being a hierarchy of components consisting of all storage devices employed in a computer system from the slow but high capacity auxiliary memory to a relatively faster main memory. compact. I character = 1 byte = 8 bits 1 Kilo bytes (KB) = 1024 bytes or 210 bytes I Mega byte (MB) = 1024 KB or 220 bytes 1 Giga byte (GB) =1024 MB =1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes or 230 bytes Thus if we say that the capacity of a primary memory is 16 MB it means it contains 16 x 220 s or 224 bytes.Semiconductor Memory & Magnetic Memory The semiconductor memory is faster. Also a 1. it would lead to the CPU being idle for most of the time. This is because the speed at which the CPU processes data is much higher than the speed at which data can be transferred from disk to registers. that is. The size of the main memory is comparatively much smaller than that of the secondary memory. Primary/Main Memory In a computer system the main memory is the central storage unit. and is a static device. It is relatively fast and large memory and is used to store data and programs during the computer operations. This temporary storage area is built into the computer hardware and is known as primary storage or main memory. Byte is the smaller unit and means a set of 8 bits.44 MB floppy can store 1. The speed of the Prepared by Ms. It is in the form of magnetic disk or magnetic tapes. there is no rotating component in it. and giga bytes. It stores programs and data which are currently needed by the CPU. The magnetic memory is used as secondary memory or auxiliary memory. and were to be loaded into the registers of the CPU as the program execution proceeded. mega bytes.Swapna Anildas. Every computer thus requires storage space where instructions and data of a program can reside temporarily while the program is being executed. CPU Registers Cache Memory Main/Primary Memory Secondary/Auxiliary Memory Figure: The Memory Hierarchy Capacity of Memory In computers the capacity of memory is measured in mega bytes.(like magnetic take or disk). and lighter. At present the two kinds of memory are commonly used . Devices that provide backup (like magnetic tapes and disks) are called secondary storage or auxiliary memory. It consumes less power. The memory hierarchy is schematically represented as follows. The magnetic memory is cheaper than static memory. CPU communicates directly with the main memory.44 x 220 bytes of information. BMIM DP Module I / 27 . The semiconductor memory is employed as the main memory or primary memory of the computer. Higher units are kilo bytes.

Static RAM or SRAM stores binary information using clocked sequential circuits. It is also known as EAPROM (Electrically Alterable PROM). RAM . This memory is volatile in nature. Usually large memories use dynamic RAM.main memory must match the fast speed of the CPU so a semiconductor (chip) technology is used in the main memory. This is a program whose function is to start the computer when power is turned on. the information stored on it is not lost when power goes off. while dynamic RAM or DRAM stores binary information in the form of electric charges that are applied to capacitors inside the chip. the secondary memory is used for bulk storage of programs.It is a special type of EEPROM that can be erased and reprogrammed. EPROM is a special type of memory that retains its contents until it is exposed to ultraviolet light. ROM . PROM . RAMs are volatile in nature. ROM is mainly used for storing an initial program called a “Bootstrap loader”. The process of programming a PROM is called burning the PROM. whereas a ROM is programmed during the manufacturing process. but is also more expensive than Dynamic RAM. its contents remain unchanged even if the power is turned off. There are two important types of RAMs —static RAM and dynamic RAM.Swapna Anildas. When power is turned on. EEPROM is not as fast as RAM. the hardware of the computer sets the program counter to the first address of the bootstrap loader.Acronym for Electrically Erasable Programmable read-only memory. Static RAM needs to be refreshed less often which makes it faster. Since ROM is not volatile. ROM is a non-volatile memory.ROM stands for Read Only Memory. The user can store permanent programs and data in a PROM. Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM) ICs are used for main memory. Secondary/Auxiliary Memory Since a computer’s main memory is temporary. and pronounced ee-prom. The Dynamic RAM also offers larger storage capacity and reduced power consumption. and other information. The ultraviolet light clears its contents. Such a BIOS is sometimes called a flash BIOS. The necessary programs are hardwired during the manufacture of computer. you need a special device called a PROM programmer or a PROM burner. It is used for storing the programs that are permanently resident in the computer. The stored charge on the capacitors tends to discharge with time. The secondary storage is of Prepared by Ms. Also like all other types of ROM. To write data onto a PROM chip. that is. The difference between an EEPROM and flash memory is that the flash memory can be written and erased in blocks whereas EEPROM can be written and erased one byte at a time. making it possible to reprogram the memory. The contents of ROM are decided by the hardware manufacturer. that is. It also possesses random access property and stores information which is not subject to change. The two types differ in the technology to hold data. In a Random Access Memory. EPROM . Its contents are decided by the user.It is a Programmable ROM. BMIM DP Module I / 28 . while static RAM is mainly used for specialized applications.Acronum for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. The bootstrap program loads a portion of the operating system from disk to main memory and control is then transferred to the operating system. EEPROM retains its contents even when the power is turned off. their contents get erased when power goes off. any location can be accessed in a random manner and the access time is same for each memory location. EPROMs are used to store programs which are permanent but need updating. An EPROM differs from a PROM in that a PROM can be written to only once and cannot be erased. Flash Memory . Hence dynamic RAM is commonly used than static RAM. data. nothing can be written on it. Hence Dynamic RAM needs to be refreshed thousands of time per second. Many modern PCs have their BIOS (Basic Input Output System) stored on a flash memory chip so that it can easily be updated if necessary. The difference between a PROM and a ROM (read-only memory) is that a PROM is manufactured as blank memory. Like other types of PROM. pronounced double-ee-PROM is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge.RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is a read-write memory of a computer. EEPROM or E2 PROM .

. to image and video libraries.permanent nature. The disks rotate at a very high speed. To read a CD-ROM. that is. it stores the information permanently.2 MB. These platters are coated with a material that allows data to be magnetically recorded. one after the other. i. It has a much larger capacity than the main memory. Hard Disk/Winchester Disk The hard disk is made up of a collection of disks known as platters.This floppy has a capacity of 1. Floppy disks A floppy disk is a data storage medium that is composed of a disk of thin. i.e. from multimedia encyclopedias to books. 3½” diameter .e. flexible ("floppy") magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. The secondary memory is non-volatile. Hard disks are installed inside the computer and can access the data more quickly than floppy disks. The read/write head moves across the disk surface. The recording medium on floppies is a Mylar or vinyl plastic material with magnetic coating on one or both sides. to product and sales presentations.Swapna Anildas. The two most common secondary storage devices are the floppy disk and the hard disk. The advantage is that it is a portable media and can contain a large amount of data. CD-ROM (Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory) The CD-ROM stands for Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory.. CD-ROMs are available in two forms: Prepared by Ms. BMIM DP Module I / 29 . to games. Sequential access storage devices like magnetic tapes are similar to audio or video tapes and the information from them can be accessed only sequentially. and more. Floppy disks are read and written by a floppy disk drive or FDD. Hard disks can store more data than floppy disks. Hard disk Hard disk and floppy disk are random access storage devices. CD-ROMs are used to distribute a wide variety of information.44 MB. Any information or data on CD-ROM can be erased or written onto with the help of a special device called CD-Recorder. A typical speed is 3600 revolutions per minute. information may be retrieved from them in any order as you want. a device called CD-ROM drive is needed. Floppies are available in the following sizes:   5¼” diameter .This floppy has a capacity of 1.

Physically. It is written once and can be read again and again. DVD (Digital Versatile Discs) DVD. It is used to reduce the average access time for address. CD-R It is also called as the recordable-CD. Thus the cache memory increases the operating speed of the system. This allows the ability to access much more data than standard CD-ROM for computer application. BMIM DP Module I / 30 . a CD-ROM and a DVD-ROM disk are similar. CD-RW It is also called as erasable-CD. Data once written cannot be erased.1. 2. << End of Chapter 2 >> Prepared by Ms. A DVD is the same size as a Compact Disc but holds up to 25 times more matter and is much faster. This increased capacity allows DVD to store high-quality video as well as higher-than-CD-quality audio. From economic considerations.Swapna Anildas. It is a recording system that allows the user to erase previously recorded information and then to record new information onto the same physical location on the disk. The most notable advantage of DVD is its capacity. the capacity of the cache memory is much less as compared to the main memory. the next generation of CD-ROMs is called DVD-ROM that stands for Digital Versatile Disk. It is a fast speed memory and is expensive and faster than the main memory. But it is much costlier than the main memory. instructions or data which are normally stored in the main memory. Cache memory is used to store the frequently accessed data of the main memory. Cache Memory Cache memory is placed between the CPU and main memory. The instructions that are frequently used by the CPU are stored in cache memory.

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