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Lasitha Gunasekara

The Syllabus

Introduction to Computers


Principal hardware elements of computer systems and interfacing techniques
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Identify names, purposes and characteristics of Input Hardware; Keyboard, Pointing Devices, Touch Pad, Pointing Stick, Voice Input, Digital Cameras, Video Input, Optical Recognition Devices, MICR, Graphics Tablet, Touch Screen, Pen based Computing, Bar code Reader Identify names, purposes and characteristics of Processing Hardware; Arithmetic and Logic Unit, Control Unit, Memory (Registers) Identify names, purposes and characteristics of Output Hardware; Cathode Ray Tubes, Flat Panel Screens, Audio Output, Computer Output Microform, Printers, CD and DVD Drives Identify names, purposes and characteristics of Storage Hardware; Diskettes, Hard Disks, Optical Disks, Magnetic Tapes, Flash Disks Identify names, purposes and characteristics of Network Hardware on a PC; Network Cables, Network Interface Card, Wireless Connectivity, Modem, Bluetooth, WIFI Interfacing Techniques 1. Types of Interfacing Connectors and their usage 2. Commonly used methods for connecting Engineering Systems


Introduction to Operating Systems
1. 2.


Basic concepts and system components Operating System Functions Graphical User Interface Managing Files; Concepts, Directories/Folders, Working with files, Duplicate and Move, Delete & Restore, Searching, Compressing.


General Computer Applications


4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5

Introduction to MS-Excel Spreadsheets Cells, Rows, Columns, Worksheets Formulae & Functions; Arithmetic formulae, Cell Referencing, Mathematical functions, Logical functions What-If Analysis; Scenarios Pivot Tables


Databases 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.2.5

Database concepts Tables, fields and their data types, keys, relationships Forms Information retrieval; Queries Reports


Data Presentation and Analysis 4.3.1 What is data 4.3.2 Presenting data 4.3.3 MS-Excel and Statistics 4.3.4 Charts in MS-Excel


Internet and Email 5.1 Introduction to Internet 5.2 ISP, Web Browser 5.3 Searching on Internet and Search Engines 5.4 Non-Web Services 5.5 Email and other Internet based communication services


Microprocessor Systems
6.1 6.2 Introduction to microprocessors CPU, Micro-controllers


Machine code and Assembly Language
7.1 7.2 7.3 Evolution of Programming Languages Assembly Language mnemonics Writing simple Assembly programs using 8086 instruction set

 What is a computer?
 Characteristics of a Computer  History of Computers

 The Personal Computer
 Computer Networking  Computer programming

What is a computer?
 An electronic device for storing and processing data,

typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program.





 Let us explore some of the common such devices.  We use devices categorized as “input devices” to perform this task.Inputs  The process of entering the instructions and data to the computer. .

Input devices  Keyboard  Mouse  Touch Pads / Screens  Microphone  Light pens  Scanners  Bar code readers  Video cameras/ webcams .

true false evaluation etc.Processing  Means performing arithmetical and logical operations on the data.  It is done by the CPU (Central Processing Unit) which considered as the brain of a computer. . /  Logical operations = comparisons.  Arithmetic operations = +. -.

Outputs  The methods used to convey the processed information to the user. touch and smell has been achieved under these methods. hearing.  At the moment the senses of sight.  Let us look at some of these devices .

Output Devices  VDU (Visual Display Unit)  CRT.g.LCD/LED monitors  Projectors  Multimedia Speakers  Printers  Force feed back controllers  Digital Scent Technology  e.: Scentcom .

Characteristics of a Computer  Speed  Storage  Accuracy  Versatility  Automation  Diligence .

 UNIVAC 1 has only 0.25 MHz. .  Since a typical computer is quite fast. the norm is to measure it in Millions of Instructions Per Second.Speed  Speed with which a computer works is measured by the number of instructions it could handle per second.600MIPS @ a speed of 3.  E. : Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 980X has 147.002MIPS @ a speed of 2.g.33GHz.

Storage  This is the ability to store information and data for future use.  It is measured in the basic information unit of bits/bytes. .75MB of data in 1956  At the moment it is possible to get a capacity of 4TB in a single drive.  Eg:  IBM 350 had a capacity to store 3.

So we could say that a computer never makes a mistake. .  Majority of the errors in a computers are due to human errors rather than technological weaknesses.Accuracy  The accuracy of a computer is consistently high.  Mechanical errors could occur but due to efficient error detecting techniques the impact of errors hardly give wrong results.

 This capability is achieved by providing proper instructions (programs) to it while having the proper output devices connected so that the user could observe the results.  Word processor  Music player  Calculator  Gaming console etc.Versatility  Computers are capable of playing many roles. .

The user can store programs that could be initiated according to a certain time.  Less responsibility for the users. a certain key press or an event.Automation  This is a great advantage of the computer.  Thus. . we can let the computer to carry on the processing without constantly monitoring it or initiating commands.

it will do it with the exact accuracy and speed throughout all the calculations.  In fact. Facebook.  If 5million calculations were required to be done.Diligence  Since it is a machine. most of the server computers used at companies like Google. Youtube are working constantly for months and years without being ever switched off! . a computer does not suffer from tiredness or lack of concentration like humans.

. i.e. i.Unable to learn or make decisions based on past experiences. Every action must be invoked by a proper instruction. Any slight variation might make it to output nothing or worse go totally out of control. .e.Drawbacks of a Computer  Lacks the ability to think independently..It requires properly formatted sequential instructions to perform the task.  No cognition.

It marks the beginning of the computer era.History of computers  About 4000 years ago a counting device now known as the abacus was developed by the Chinese. .

 In 1833 an English mathematician named Charles Babbage made a mechanical computer named the Analytical Engine. . He is considered as the father of the computer.

This development is divided into 4 stages as follows.  1st generation – 1946 to 1959  2nd generation – 1959 to 1964  3rd generation – 1964 to 1971  4th generation – 1971 to 2000 .Era’s of computers  The 1940’s mark the start of the rapid development of computers.

EDSAC.IBM 1954. ENIAC .st 1 Generation (1946-1959)  Vacuum tubes were used as the main components and these were dinosaurs of the computing era.LEO are some of the examples. ENIAC.EDVAC.

Limitations of  Slow speed st 1 Generation  High power consumption  Short Life span (vacuum tubes burnt out easily)  Large space requirements (needed a whole building area)  Limited programming capability  Could be used by highly trained scientists  High heat generation required massive cooling efforts. .

CDC 3600.  Higher speeds and reliability.  Less power consumption and heat generation compared to previous era. IBM 1401.nd 2 Generation (1959 – 1964)  The transistor was invented. LEO MK-III IBM 1620 . UNIWAC 1108.  Eg: IBM 1620.  Expensive : only large commercial organizations could afford it.

 They gave comparably higher speed. IC’s consisted of many transistors coupled together in a small chip. ICL 2900.  Eg: IBM 360 series. Honeywell 6000 .  The name Mini Computer came to existence because of this. KL 900 series.rd 3 Generation (1964-1971)  Integrated Circuits (IC’s) were the main components used. larger storage capacity and a lower price.

 A single silicon chip having millions of transistors interconnected was produced.  The Intel Corporation of USA invented the first such device in 4 Generation (1971-2000)  This era marks the boom in silicon chip technology.  It was given the name Microprocessor. .

.  Thus this is considered as the 5th generation of the computing timeline.  This has enabled them to produce highly efficient processors that use low power in full 5 Generation??  3D transistor technology was developed in 2011 by Intel.

Thus costs were reduced dramatically.  With it the IBM PC Compatible standards emerged  This paved way for the production of PC components to be universally compatible.  Thus the category of Personal Computer or PC was born. . they shifted their focus to micro computers to aim at the normal home user market.  Many prototypes came but in 1981 they introduced the IBM 5150 PC and it is considered as the most successful of all.Personal Computer (PC)  Once IBM made the 4040 processor in 1974.

Parts of a PC .

Hard Disk Drives.  It holds the processor and other supporting components such as the motherboard. .  It is where all the input and output devices terminate to. Networking Cards etc. power supply unit. Graphics Cards.Systems Unit  Usually named as the CPU (Central Processing Unit). Optical Drives.

Inside the CPU .


Let us focus now on the software aspect.  Hardware  Software  Since we have seen some types of hardware so far.Structure of a PC  A PC system can be sub divided into two major components. .

Software  This is the collection of Instructions (programs) available in the PC.  Operating System (System Software.)  Application Software. They are subdivided into two major categories. .

Software Organization Hardware Hardware Operating System Application Software Personal Computer .

 Manages the hardware resources of the PC.e. i. the OS will set priority levels to them so that those programs will be run properly with out crashing.g:   Windows Series Linux Series .Operating Systems  It is the intermediary between application software and the hardware components of a PC. when multiple programs request to be executed.  Controls the outputs according to user commands.  E.

Application Software  These are the programs that are important to the user. Database SW. Games.  Typically a user would purchase an application software and install it on a compatible OS which will make the correct interaction with the system hardware.  Eg: Word processors.  Various types are created depending on the user requirements. . Music players etc.

 There would be no user interfaces. That is because we would have to manually control all the hardware resources in order to get the desired output.What if we didn’t have an OS and Application software's?  The PC would be extremely complex to operate. just complex arrays of electrical switches to guide the information and data inside the PC. .

Computer Networking  What is a Network?  It is where 2 or more computers are linked together for data and information sharing. .

 What’s the difference between these two?  LAN’s are confined to a small area or a building while WAN’s span over cities and even continents!  The Internet is the largest WAN available. WAN – Wide Are Network 1.Basic network types LAN – Local Area Network 2. .


Cellular . .How are they connected?  There are two basic methods :  Wired  Eg .Coaxial cables.  Wireless  Eg . etc. WiFi.Bluetooth. Fiber Optic cables. Twisted Pair cable. Satellite etc.

Network Hardware       Repeaters Hub Routers Gateway Switch Modem .

It is actually the largest WAN you can find.Internet  Internet is known as the network of networks.  Internet and WWW are two different things!  Internet is the physical Layout while WWW is the concept of sharing information using the internet.  It was first introduced in the 1950’s by US Dept. . covering the whole globe. of Defense.

Email  Electronic mail (email) is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. .  Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks.

– instructions and data need to be provided in an ordered manner for the program to work properly. or just a program or application) is a sequence of instructions written to perform a specified task with a computer.Computer Programming  A computer program (also software.e.  All programs are executed sequentially.  i. .

Once written the program will be able use the PC hardware through the OS to execute and display the results. Usually these steps will be repeated many times before ending up with a error free correct program. . Then those have to be modeled into sequence of steps. Once the correct order is found we can use the suitable type of programming language to write the program.How does it work?  First a user must identify what are the inputs and what     are the expected outputs of the program.

Problem model .

Programming Languages  High level languages are the ones which have human readable type syntaxes.  Low level languages are quite difficult to grasp but extremely efficient compared to high level ones. C. It is usually named as machine code/assembly language. .  All the code written in high level will be converted to low level before it will be executed in the CPU. Eg – Java. PHP etc.

.The End.