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

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

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

humans have feelings. bored. Human beings suffer from weakness like tiredness. IQ Zero: Computers are dumb machines with zero IQ. and this will affect the performance. irrespective of whether it is the first time or the millionth time. They do not possess this power which is a great asset of human beings. Moreover. etc. sound. accuracy and enthusiasm as the first time. These are:  Lack of Decision Making Power: Computers cannot take decisions themselves. Diligence: Diligence means being constant and earnest in effort and application. In other words.Swapna Anildas. provided they are programmed correctly. They need to be told each and every step. Mechanical Calculating Devices Prepared by Ms. Versatility: computers are very versatile machines. Once a task is initiated. and they will send warning signals or take corrective actions if the parameters exceed the control level. They will perform the tasks that are given to them. Computers will perform these things flawlessly. creative. They will not go into depression or loose concentration. they become sad. It won’t get tired or bored. Internet. Automation: The level of automation achieved in a computer is phenomenal. WWW and so on. etc. Thus. they are capable of. After some time people will become bored. Computers are to be instructed at every step. it does possess some limitations also that are strengths of human beings. video.   In spite of having all the above given characteristic. or boring.7. graphics. lack of concentration. computers will either produce erroneous results or abandon the task altogether. they will monitor the operational parameters. We now live in a connected world and all this is possible because of computers and other related technologies. computers can proceed on its own till its completion. and negligent and it will reflect on the work they do. They can perform activities ranging from.1.7. irrespective of whether it is interesting. This ability of computer to communicate to one another has led to the development of computer networks. simple calculations to complex operations such as CAD modeling. They will execute the programs in the correct sequence. a computer does not have any of these human weaknesses. navigating missiles and satellites etc. 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. Being a machine. they will switch on/off the machines at the appropriate time. monotonous. If an unanticipated situation arises. BMIM DP Module I / 7 . 1. It is not a simple calculator where you have to punch in the numbers and press the ‘equal to’ sign to get the result. with exactly the same accuracy and speed. computers and human beings work in collaboration to make a perfect pair. performing almost any task. and so on. human beings cannot perform the same or similar tasks over and over again with the same precision. They do not have the potential to work out an alternate solution. we can send e-mail to people all around the world. provided the task can be reduced to a series of logical steps. depressed. Computers can be programmed to perform a series of complex tasks involving multiple programs.  These limitations of computers are characteristics of human beings. however minute it may be. Computers are capable of these levels of automation. Today. Computers can communicate with other computers and can receive and send data in various forms like text.

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

Hollerith's tabulator became so successful that he started his own firm to market the device. Constitution states that a census should be taken of all U. furthermore. to handle logarithms and trigonometric functions.000 vacuum tubes. The Mark I ran non-stop for 15 years. the ABC was not a general-purpose computer. The machine was named Z3. BMIM DP Module I / 9 . however. called the Harvard Mark I. So.S. The Atanasoff Berry Computer (ABC) used punched cards for input and output. another special-purpose electronic computer named Colossus was built in England starting in 1943 for the purpose of breaking German codes. citizens every 10 years in order to determine the representation of the states in Congress. turned by a 5 horsepower electric motor. in collaboration with engineers at IBM. In 1941. Similarly. work was proceeding on the next great breakthrough by the Americans. or subroutines. work flow was increased. an onerous computing task commonly found in science and engineering. by 1880 the U. Mauchly and J. Aiken's machine. The existence of this computer was kept secret until the 1970’s. Their second contribution was the development of the giant ENIAC machine between 1943 and 1945 by two professors John W. it had special built-in programs. different problems could be stored on different batches of cards and worked on as needed.3. was 8 feet tall and 51 feet long. The ABC. this company eventually became International Business Machines (IBM). handled 23decimal-place numbers (words) and could perform all four arithmetic operations. 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.000 vacuum tubes. a German who had developed a number of calculating machines.7.S. Back in America. Electronic Computers The first fully electronic computer was built by John Vincent Atanasoff and his assistant Clifford Berry at Iowa State University. Grace Hopper. using nearly 18. only performed one task: it was built to solve large systems of simultaneous equations (up to 29 equations with 29 unknowns). Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania. The census bureau offered a prize for an inventor to help with the 1890 census and this prize was won by Herman Hollerith.S. 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. Automation was clearly needed for the next census. it was a special-purpose computer. Konrad Zuse. incorporated 500 miles of wire. stacks of punched cards could be used as an accessible memory store of almost unlimited capacity. 1. who proposed and then successfully adopted Jacquard's punched cards for the purpose of computation. more important. The U. The machine weighed 5 tons. undertook construction of a large automatic digital computer based on standard IBM electromechanical parts. The project was worked on by Alan Turing and Max Newman. ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer) used a word of 10 decimal digits instead of binary ones like previous automated calculators/computers. ENIAC is generally Prepared by Ms. between 1937 and 1942. moreover. with the success of Aiken's Harvard Mark-I as the first major American development in the computing race. vacuum tube electronics to process data in binary format.2.7. ENIAC also was the first machine to use more than 2. released the first programmable computer designed to solve complex engineering equations. One of the primary programmers for the Mark I was a woman. While the very first census of 1790 had only required 9 months.Swapna Anildas. 1. As a result of his invention.5 years. He developed a device which could automatically read census information which had been punched onto card. and had a 50 ft rotating shaft running its length. reading errors were consequently greatly reduced. population had grown so much that the count for the 1880 census took 7. Electromechanical Calculating Devices Mark I (1944): By the late 1930s punched-card machine techniques had become so well established and reliable that Howard Aiken. and rotating drums of capacitors to store data.The next breakthrough occurred in America. and.

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

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

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

64000 (Characters) : Up to 1 million instructions per second : Magnetic Core Memory : Assembly languages and COBOL. ALGOL : CDC-60. FORTRAN. Fifth Generation . UNIVAC Burroughs 200 1004.20000 (Characters) : Few thousand instructions per second : Machine code and electric wired boards : ENIAC. such as voice recognition. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computers in years to come.7090. reduced size and weight. 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. unreliable. UNIVAC-I & II.In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user. and generated a lot of heat. : Use of transistors and diodes. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs.Present and Beyond: Artificial Intelligence Fifth generation computing devices. 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 . the mouse and handheld devices. faster operation but costly. EDSAC. are still in development. and introduction of time sharing and real-time processing. relatively slow. rapid growth in data processing applications. Prepared by Ms. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. IBM 170 & 650 : Computers were extremely huge and bulky. increase in reliability. which eventually led to the development of the Internet. though there are some applications. that are being used today.7094.Swapna Anildas. and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. high-level IBM languages like and  Memory Capacity  Speed Execution  Central Memory  Languages  Important computers  General Remarks 1620. BMIM DP Module I / 13 . Beginning of electronic data processing. As these small computers became more powerful. they could be linked together to form networks. EDVAC.  Memory Capacity  Speed  Execution Languages  Important computers  General Remarks Second Generation Computers   Used Time Period Technology : 1959 – 1963 : Transistors and diodes : 4000 . based on artificial intelligence.

1. much faster. and operates on the data by manipulating those quantities. IBM 360. : More powerful and versatile computers.g. reliable and required less power. reduced computing mode of data representation or working principle. Classification by working principle Computers can be classified into three according to the mode of data representation – Analog. and BASIC : Smaller. and AT-386. 1. Aimed at becoming the leader in the computer field in 1990’s. Fifth Generation Computers  Japan Initiated the fifth generation computer project in 1982. voltage. less expensive. by size. minicomputer. PL/1.  Was conceived as ‘Knowledge / Inference Processing System’..9. PC-AT. e.  Natural language processing system. An analog computer represents data as physical quantities (such as such as pressure.4 million (Characters) : Up to 10 million instructions per second : High-Level. Macintosh. and software development methodologies and tools.Today : Microprocessor using Large Scale Integration (LSI) : 512. PC-XT. IBM PC. or temperature).000 . faster. The output of analog computer will be usually in the form of dial gauge readings or graphs.  Important computers : UNIVAC 100. The analog system is set up according to initial conditions and then allowed to change freely. 1. and Burroughs 7700  General Remarks Fourth Generation Computers  Time Period  Technology Used  Memory Capacity  Execution Speed  Languages  Important computers  General Remarks : 1975 . FORTRAN. Classification of Computers Computers can be classified many different ways . In other words.Third Generation Computers  Time Period  Technology Used  Memory Capacity  Execution Speed  Languages : 1963 – 1975 : Integrated Circuits : 32000 . improved software support. : CDC Cyber 170. COBOL.9.  Process non-numeric information such as pictures and graphs. BMIM DP Module I / 14 .  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. and speed. much smaller. analog computers are electronic systems which are used to manipulate physical quantities that are represented in analog form. and microcomputer came in the market.Swapna Anildas. Digital and Hybrid. ALGOL 68. Apple. A thermometer is a Prepared by Ms.32 million (Characters) : Up to 100 million instructions per second : All High-Level and fourth generation languages and artificial Intelligence.

and principles of operation of both analog and digital computer is called a hybrid computer. and global weather patterns. programmable electronic devices that perform mathematical calculations. This computer is not used as a PC in a home neither by a student in a college. the computers can be classified as Micro. aerodynamic flows. Mini. and chemical process plants. Supercomputers are the biggest in size. Governments specially use this type of computer for their different calculations and heavy jobs. compare values and store the results. The word ‘Digital’ stands for discrete (step-by-step) and hence digital computers can take only discrete values. representing either a high voltage electrical state (on) or low voltage electrical state (off). 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. which can also process millions of instruction per second and capable of accessing billions of data. business and medical applications rely on the combination of analog and digital services. Hence accuracy obtained in a digital computer is very high. According to size and speed. Numbers and special characters are reduced to representation by 1s (on) and 0s (off). Another example of analog computer is the processor attached to petrol pump which converts the fuel flow measurements and displays the quantity and price. Supercomputers A supercomputer is mainframe computer that has been optimized for speed and processing power. functions. It can process trillions of instructions in seconds. They recognize data by counting discrete signals. Users connect to the mainframe using terminals and submit their tasks for processing by the mainframe. mines. and the most expensive in price than any other. oil refineries. A computer which performs operations based on both analog and digital principles is called a hybrid computer. and pulse/heart-beat counters are examples. Different industries also use this huge computer for designing their products.  Areas of application are nuclear power plants. Hybrid computers  Use both types of signals – analog as well as digital – as input  Mostly used with process control equipments in continuous production plants. for example. 1. In other words.9. Many scientific. BMIM DP Module I / 15 . They are used for extremely calculation-intensive tasks such simulating nuclear bomb detonations. As the temperature varies. intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals.2.Swapna Anildas. the mercury moves correspondingly. This kind of computer is also helpful for forecasting weather reports worldwide. The size of computers varies widely from tiny to huge and is usually dictated by computing requirements. A terminal is a device that has a screen and keyboard for input and output. but it does not Prepared by Ms. The ultrasonic digital scanner is an example of hybrid computer. In most of the Hollywood’s movies it is used for animation purposes. Classification by size and speed The size of a computer often determines its function and processing capacity. behavior. Mainframe Computers Another giant in computers after the super computer is Mainframe. A digital computer represents data in terms of discrete numbers and processes data using standard arithmetic operations. a computer system that has capabilities. Mainframe and super computers. A supercomputer typically costs several million dollars.simple analog computer. They are high speed.

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

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

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

When a key on the keyboard is pressed. It is generally used for typing text-based information. Some of the popular output devices are visual display unit (VDU). it is an interface for machine to man communication.(OCR). display units. Mouse A mouse is a pointing device. 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. or pointer. that is. Selection of menu option is done by clicking the mouse buttons while the cursor. The movement of the ball is sensed by two sensors and resolved into horizontal and vertical components. graphical. Among the most common peripherals are keyboards. Peripheral devices are classified mainly into two types: input devices and output 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. which rolls on a small rubber ball and has two or three buttons on the top. These devices are called peripherals because they are attached in the surroundings (periphery) of the computer systems. 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. During typing a flashing line appears on the screen. printer. 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. 2. which is called a cursor. points to the option to be selected. input/output devices Input-output (I/O) devices attached to a computer are also called peripherals. that is. Magnetic Ink Character Reader (MICR).3. bar code reader. 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. 2. that is. Peripherals that provide auxiliary storage for the system are magnetic disks and tapes. and magnetic tapes and disks.1. and printers. Output unit is just the opposite of input unit. Input devices Input devices accept different forms of input from the user and forward it to the computer system in understandable form. audio visual or language form. The movement is sensed by vertical stick which is attached to a solid base. Every key and key combination passes a unique signal to the computer. The movement of the cursor on the screen is controlled by the movement of the mouse. BMIM DP Module I / 19 .Swapna Anildas. controlled movement on the screen and allows movement of objects around the screen with ease. Some devices such as magnetic disks and tapes serve the purpose of input as well as output devices. speech synthesizer. It is commonly used for playing games on computers. plotter. magnetic disks and magnetic tapes. Peripherals are electromechanical and electromagnetic devices. Scanner Scanners look and work somewhat like photo copiers. Joystick It provides fast. by converting the inputs to the binary form.3. Different shapes of joysticks are available now. that character is displayed at the cursor position Control (Ctrl) and Alter (Alt) keys in combination with other keys have special functions.

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

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

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

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

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

The control unit makes use of some special purpose registers and a decoder for accomplishing its tasks. Program counter etc. It has necessary circuitry to carry out these operations. The decoder interprets the meaning of each instruction supported by the CPU. i. holds the current instruction to be executed. which is. Each instruction is also accompanied by a Microcode. Accumulator. 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. basic directions to tell the CPU how to execute the instruction. Register Set The CPU consists of a set of registers which are used for storing instructions as well as intermediate results.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. All such logical operations are done in this unit.e.. The special purpose register called the Instruction register. It is responsible for generating control signals to streamline the functioning of the CPU and other units. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) The ALU provides arithmetic and logic operations.Swapna Anildas. Prepared by Ms. Some of them include Memory Address Registers (MAR). and the Program control register holds the next instruction to be executed. used to compare certain types of tests and take decisions. The control unit determines the sequence in which program instructions are interpreted and executed. Memory Buffer Register (MBR). The control signals generated by the CPU are placed on the control bus. The arithmetic unit performs number of calculations and computations. This unit has a number of registers and accumulators for short-term storage of data while calculating and comparing. BMIM DP Module I / 25 . Instruction Register. It also controls the flow of data to and from secondary storage devices. The logic unit is used to apply logic.

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

It consumes less power. and lighter. Higher units are kilo bytes. This temporary storage area is built into the computer hardware and is known as primary storage or main memory.44 MB floppy can store 1. Devices that provide backup (like magnetic tapes and disks) are called secondary storage or auxiliary memory. At present the two kinds of memory are commonly used .Semiconductor Memory & Magnetic Memory The semiconductor memory is faster. there is no rotating component in it.Swapna Anildas.(like magnetic take or disk). It is in the form of magnetic disk or magnetic tapes. The memory hierarchy is schematically represented as follows. it would lead to the CPU being idle for most of the time. and giga bytes. mega bytes. Also a 1. CPU communicates directly with the main memory. and were to be loaded into the registers of the CPU as the program execution proceeded. 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. 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. The size of the main memory is comparatively much smaller than that of the secondary memory. The semiconductor memory is employed as the main memory or primary memory of the computer. The magnetic memory is used as secondary memory or auxiliary memory. that is. Every computer thus requires storage space where instructions and data of a program can reside temporarily while the program is being executed. 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. It stores programs and data which are currently needed by the CPU. and is a static device. BMIM DP Module I / 27 . to an even smaller and faster cache memory accessible to the high-speed processing logic. It is relatively fast and large memory and is used to store data and programs during the computer operations.44 x 220 bytes of information. 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. The magnetic memory is cheaper than static memory. The speed of the Prepared by Ms. Byte is the smaller unit and means a set of 8 bits. Primary/Main Memory In a computer system the main memory is the central storage unit.

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

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

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