Hardware and Operating system Basics


Introduction to Computer Computer Hardware 

History Computer Architecture Motherboard Microprocessor & Microcontrollers Input Devices Output Devices Storage Devices


Operating System Introduction 

Defination Features Different types of Operating systems 

Conclusion End 


Computer is arguably the most important tool in the areas of engineering, science, business etc. etc.  Data acquisition and analysis  Simulation  Embedded applications 

Process control Condition monitoring and fault diagnosis systems Automatic testing equipment Robotics Telecommunications 

Productivity software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation) etc

Components of a Computer System
Types of hardware Types of software

What is a Computer System?

What is it comprise of? How would you define it?

Computer Systems 

Hardware Software

Hardware=The physical components (electrical circuits) that make up the computer Software=The computer programs (sequences of instructions) that tell the computer what to do in response to a command or some event.

How do we communicate with computers?

What does this symbol Mean?

Language called BINARY

The only thing a computer understands is 



Components of a Computer
The program currently being executed is stored here. (it is divided into storage units called BYTES) For reading data into Main Memory


For permanent storage of programs and data




For processing the data


Fix The Mistakes

For printing, displaying Or out-put of info

Components of a Computer
The program currently being executed is stored here. (it is divided into storage units called BYTES) For processing the data


For printing, displaying Or out-put of info




For reading data into Main Memory


For permanent storage of programs and data

Think of the Brain (System)
Information for the Exam«. 


Exam Results! 

Computer Systems are the same 

Data is INPUT Data is PROCESSED Something is OUTPUT 

GIGO (Garbage in

Garbage out..)

Types of Computer 

Minicomputers Mainframe Computers Supercomputers


Multi-user systems 100 s of workstations or terminals attached to central minicomputer E.g. EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) Systems

Mainframe computers 


Large Organisations banks, building societies, airlines, governments May have 1000 s of terminals geographically remote locations Could occupy a whole site 100 s of disk drives & hardware units Location often kept secret! (terrorist attacks)



Largest Category of computer Cost Millions Mostly used by scientific and industrial research departments NASA government agencies Weather Centres Stock Exchanges Large Commercial Organisations

PC, Mini, Mainframe or Supercomputer?

PC, Mini, Mainframe or Supercomputer?

NASA Goddard Space Centre  


Fourth Largest Supercomputer in the world Linux Operating System Huge Memory Processing Power unparalleled!

PC, Mini, Mainframe or Supercomputer?

PC, Mini, Mainframe or Supercomputer?

History Of Computing Computer Hardware 

Computer development 

The Abacus- Babylonia-4th century B.C. 

The Difference Engine- Charles Babbage 1822 Vacuum tube - John Ambrose Fleming 1904 

The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)-1945  Used 17,478 vacuum tubes  Too late for WW-II, but was used in the cold war to perform calculations to build a hydrogen bomb   

City of Philadelphia reportedly experienced brown-outs when ENIAC drew power at its home at the the University of Pennsylvania (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/dt45en.html) Was not a general purpose computer: programming meant rewiring with punch cards and switches One of ENIAC's greatest feats was in showing the potential of what could be accomplished in the future 

Transistor -

Nobel prize in physics in 1956 

Integrated Circuit (chip) -


Kilby 1958 (Nobel prize in physics in 2000)  

First commercially available IC s developed by Texas Instruments and Fairchild semiconductor corp. Generations of IC s: 

Apple I computer (1976)    

Small scale integration - 1965  Up to 100 devices on a chip Medium scale integration - to 1971  100-3,000 devices on a chip Large scale integration - 1971-1977  3,000 - 100,000 devices on a chip Very large scale integration - 1978 to date  100,000 - 100,000,000 devices on a chip Ultra large scale integration  Over 100,000,000 devices on a chip

Moore's Law    

Defined by Dr. Gordon Moore during the sixties. Predicts an exponential increase in component density over time, with a doubling time of 18 months. Applicable to microprocessors, DRAMs , DSPs and other microelectronics. Monotonic increase in density observed since the 1960s.

Moore s Law: Number of transistors on a chip will double every 18 months.

Moore s Law - Density

Moore's Law and Performance 

The performance of computers is determined by architecture and clock speed. Clock speed doubles over a 3 year period due to the scaling laws on chip. Processors using identical or similar architectures gain performance directly as a function of Moore's Law. Improvements in internal architecture can yield better gains than predicted by Moore's Law.

Moore s Law - Clock Speed 

Computer Architecture
Central Processing Unit

Main Memory

Systems Interconnection

Input Output

Component description    

Central Processing Unit (CPU) or microprocessor, controls the operation of the computer and performs its data processing functions Main memory - also called internal memory stores instructions and data. Memory is partitioned into separate instruction and data spaces Input/output (I/O) moves data between the computer and its external environment System interconnection some mechanism that provides for communications among the CPU, the main memory, and the I/O devices

Various components
Processors ‡Motherboard ‡Hard Disk ‡RAM ‡Cabinet ‡Floppy Drive ‡CD Drive ‡Cards Display Card Sound Card Modem ‡Screwdriver ‡Multi meter (Testing)

SMPS Switch Mode Power Supply Ac/dc Starter Driver Switching stage Oscillator Power Good Stage

UPS Uninterrupted Power Supply Automatic Voltage Regulator Charging Stage Ac low & high sensor stage Chip Level Troubleshooting

CRT Monitor Cathode Ray Tube Video Amplifier Stage Video Driver stage Output Stage Horizontal & Vertical stage Power Supply Stage

LCD/TFT Monitor Liquid Crystal Display/ Thin Film Transistor Assembling De assembling Troubleshooting


‡Floppy Disk Drive ‡Hard Disk Drive ‡ CD Rom ‡ DVD Writer ‡Troubleshooting and fault finding

Keyboard/Mouse & Scanner

Carbon Layer Repair Connectivity repair TVS Mechanical Keyboard Repairing Ps2, Optical, Scroll mouse Repairing All types of Scanner Repairing

MOTHERBOARD ‡Troubleshooting ‡Voltage Regulator Module section ‡Clock Generator ‡ Port Troubleshooting

Biometric Device

PRINTER Dot Matrix Printer Inkjet/ DeskJet Printer Laser Printer Assembling De assembling Chip level Troubleshooting Ink refilling


Assembling De assembling Troubleshooting Ink refilling

Network+ (Comptia) ‡ Types of network ‡ Client Server or Peer to Peer ‡ Cables ‡ Hub ‡ Switch ‡ Router ‡ LAN Card ‡ Cable testing ‡ LAN Driver Installation ‡ Internet Sharing ‡ IP addressing


Typical parts of a motherboard.


Microprocessors & Microcontrollers  

The two most common microprocessor architectures are complex instruction set computing (CISC) and reduced instruction set computing (RISC). Microcontrollers are computer chips, embedded in products and technologies, that usually cost less and work in less-demanding applications than microprocessors.


CPU or microprocessor is often described as the brain of a computer. CPU is an integrated circuit or chip which processes instructions and data. CPU types. 

Intel Pentium II, III, IV Intel Celeron AMD Athlon Many more

Structure of the CPU
storage input/output memory

control unit registers flags

ALU registers cache memory

Components of the CPU  

Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU): processes the data in the registers according to instructions issued by the control unit. Performs arithmetic (addition, subtraction, etc..) and logical (comparison) operations Registers: provides temporary storage for data and instructions. It handles instructions and data at 10 times the speed of cache memory. Registers facilitate the movement of data and instructions between RAM, the control unit and the ALU 

Control unit registers:  

The instruction register contains the current instruction being executed The program register (instruction pointer) contains the RAM address of the next instruction to be executed The accumulator register stores the result of ALU operations 

ALU registers    

Internal CPU interconnection: some mechanism that provides for communication among the control unit, ALU, and registers Control Unit: controls the operation of the CPU and hence the computer. Interprets instructions, moves data to/from memory and registers, instructs ALU to perform certain operations, increments instruction pointer, etc. During program execution, instructions in a program are moved from the RAM into the control unit, where it is decoded and interpreted by the decoder Flags: 1-bit memory, or 1-bit registers and hold information on what has recently happened in the CPU. These are set to 1 or 0 depending on the results of internal operations such as results of ALU operations (zero or negative result) or external operations such as interrupts (commands that tell the processor to stop execution and wait for further instruction) 

Cache Memory: Small fast memory that improves CPU s efficiency. Increases computer throughput, and is a high-speed holding area for program instructions and data. It holds only instructions and data that are likely to be needed by the CPU. While programs are running on the computer, the same data or instructions might be needed frequently. In such cases, the processor first checks the cache memory for the data or instructions, thereby reducing the need for frequent access to the RAM and speeding up the processing

Microprocessor System Buses
Control Bus



Microprocessor (CPU) Data Bus Address Bus

Input/Output (I/O)

System Buses    

A BUS is an internal communications path consisting of a number of lines connecting the system components Control bus The control bus synchronizes system events like memory access, system interrupts, I/O, etc. Address bus Source and destination addresses are sent over the address bus to identify a particular location in memory or input/output port. Data bus two way path for transferring data and instructions in and out of the microprocessor

Types of Processors


Direct Memory Access (DMA) MICROCONTROLER 

DMA improves data transfer between memory and I/O devices  Devices and controllers transfer data to and from main memory directly  Processor is free to execute software instructions  DMA channel uses an I/O controller to manage data transfer  Notifies processor when I/O operation is complete  Improves performance in systems that perform large numbers of I/O operations (e.g., mainframes and servers)

2.3.8 Direct Memory Access (DMA)
Figure 2.4 Direct memory access (DMA).

Input Devices 

Keyboard Keypad Mouse Voice activation Touch screen Digitizers and pen-based (stylus) systems More







Output Devices 

Monitor Printer Speakers Communication (comm) ports Modems (both input and output) Network interface cards (both input and output)


PRINTER Dot Matrix Printer Inkjet/ DeskJet Printer Laser Printer Assembling De assembling Chip level Troubleshooting Ink refilling

ALL IN ONE PRINTER Assembling De assembling Troubleshooting Ink refilling


Primary storage 

Secondary storage 

Volatile Temporary

Nonvolatile Permanent 

Secondary storage characteristics 

Media Capacity Storage devices Access speed

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2.3.4 Memory Hierarchy
Figure 2.3 Memory hierarchy.


Storage Hierarchy

Very fast storage is very expensive. So the Operating System manages a hierarchy of storage devices in order to make the best use of resources. In fact, considerable effort goes into this support. Fast and Expensive

Slow an Cheap


Random Access memory Main Memory Stores info about applications that are open and data VOLATILE When you switch off the machine, it disappears!!!


Read only memory Non-Volatile (does not change) Programs that are necessary for the computer to run Boot up program etc

Cache Memory    

This is a very FAST type of memory that is used to improve the spped of a computer, DOUBLING it .in some cases. Acts as an intermediate store between CPU and MM It works by storing most frequently or recently used instructions so that it is fast to retrive them again. Cache is usually between 1KB and 512KB

Secondary Storage Devices 

Most desktop microcomputer systems have floppy disks, hard disks, and optical disk drives

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Traditional Floppy Disk 

Also known as: 

Diskettes Floppies Portable storage media Floppy disk drives (FDD)

Insert Art Work top of page 213

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High Capacity Floppy Disks
Known as a floppy-disk cartridge  Require special disk drives  Three well known types 

Zip disks HiFD disks SuperDisks

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Hard Disks  


Use thicker, metallic platters for storage Faster than a floppy diskette Large capacity Sensitive instruments There are three types of hard disks:  Internal  Hard-disk cartridge  Hard-disk pack 

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Materials that Cause a Head Crash 

Head crash is a disaster for a hard disk

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Internal Hard Disk 

Located inside system unit Known as a fixed disk Designated as the C drive Advantages over floppies 


Access speed Capacity

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Hard-Disk Cartridges
Hard-disk cartridge 

Removable hard disks Used to complement internal hard disk Capacities of 10 to 20 GB  

PC Card Hard Disks

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Hard-Disk Packs    

Removable hard disk Massive storage capacity Common in mainframes Resembles stack of vinyl records

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Optical Disks 

Compact Permanent storage Laser beams reflect off pits Two common types 


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Compact Disc 

Optical format From 650 MB to 1 GB capacity Rotation speeds vary Types 

Read only: CD-ROM Write once: CD-R Rewriteable: CD-RW Picture CDs and Photo CDs

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Digital Versatile Disc   

Digital Versatile Disk or Digital Video Disk (DVD) Similar to CDs, but can store more data Types 

Read only: DVD-ROM Write once: DVD+R; DVD-R Rewritable: DVD+RW; DVD-RW; DVDRAM

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Other Types of Secondary Storage 

Solid-state storage 

Internet hard drives Magnetic tape 

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Solid-State Storage 

Flash memory cards 

Widely used in notebook computers Used to record MP3 music files 

Key chain hard drives  

Key chain flash memory devices Connects to a USB port

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Internet Hard Drives 

Known as i-drive or online storage

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Magnetic Tape 

External storage Provides sequential access  Information stored in sequence  Slower than disks which provide direct access Magnetic tape streamers or tape cartridges used by both mainframes and microcomputers

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A Look to the Future Blu-Ray and Plastic Memory Technology 

New standard in storage is called Blu-Ray New disks use blue laser light instead of the red laser light used in traditional CD players  Disks may ultimately hold  Over 50GB on two-sided disks  Equals several movies/TV shows Help to reduce incompatibility problems

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An interface between users and hardware - an environment "architecture Allows convenient usage; hides the tedious stuff Allows efficient usage; parallel activity, avoids wasted cycles Provides information protection Gives each user a slice of the resources Acts as a control program.


The Layers Of A System

Program Interface

User Programs O.S. Interface O.S. Hardware Interface/ Privileged Instructions Disk/Tape/Memory

Operating System 

An Operating System (OS) is the master controller within a computer.
EX: Windows, MacOS, DOS, UNIX, Linux 

An operating system interacts with:  

All hardware installed in or connected to a computer system. All software installed or running from a storage device on a computer system.

Operating System 

Microsoft Windows 

Most popular operating system. Supports a vast array of application software and peripheral devices. For Macintosh computers. Proprietary system. Does not have same functionality and support for software and peripheral devices. 


Operating System 

Network operating system (NOS) 

Manages network resources. Maintains security. Tracks user accounts. Handles communication between workstations and servers. 

Popular network operating systems
Windows NT, Novell Netware, UNIX

Different operating systems
Windows 95,98,XP,Vista ,7 Mac Ubuntu Linux  


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