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Information and Communication Technologies

Lesson 2. How do computers work?

UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2

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Rationale
The lesson will introduce you to the computer. Your knowledge about the elements of the computer and how they work will enable you to easily understand the lessons on hardware, software and networks.

UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2

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Lesson 2 3 .Scope s s s s s s What is a computer? What are the elements of a computer system? What are the different types of computer systems? What are the components of a data processing cycle? What is the role of a computer in the data processing cycle? What are some trends in the development of computers? UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

you should be able to: s Describe how computers process information s List the elements of a computer system s Identify the different types of computer systems and their uses s Explain the data processing cycle s Define the role of computers in the data processing cycle s Be aware of development trends in ICT UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2 4 .Learning Outcomes By the end of this lesson.

What is a computer? A computer is a machine with electronic and electromechanical parts. It is programmable and is capable of performing the following functions: sAccept data (input) sProcess data sGenerate output (information) sStore data/information sRetrieve/send data/information UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2 5 .

processing and storage.S. UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. The latter had all the components of the computer input. Charles Babbage invented the Difference Engine and conceived of another machine called Analytical Engine.Development of computers s s The beginning of the commercial computer age began on June 14. Bureau of Census Prior to this. output. Lesson 2 6 . 1951 with the delivery of UNIVAC--Universal Automatic Computer to the U. Babbage is called the father of computers. however.

Lesson 2 7 . punched cards and magnetic tapes for storing data. and the removable disk pack replaced punched cards. UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. 1951-1958: Vacuum tubes were used as the internal computer components. Transistors enabled manufacturers to produce smaller computers. 1959-1964: Transistors replaces vacuum tubes. assembly language and high level languages replaced machine language.What are the so-called computer generations? s s First generation. Second generation. and machine language for programming.

Generations (continued) s s s Third generation.. banking. ICs led to the production of even smaller computers called mini computers. 1965-1970: Integrated circuits --complete electronic circuits on a silicon chip were developed. quantum computers.. Software became more sophisticated and interactive processing possible Fourth generation.…) UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. voice recognition. neural systems. artificial intelligence. The microprocessor or computer on a chip was developed. i. This made PCs.) Fifth generation. Lesson 2 8 . and other applications possible (calculators. 1971-present.e. present and beyond .recent and emerging technologies..

Lesson 2 9 . Data/Information .are descriptions of how things are done. People . i.the most important part and beneficiary of a computer system. Procedures .Elements of a computer system s s s 1. documentations.raw facts (data) and processed data (information) that are used to produce the desired result UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. generally categorized as either end-users or developers 2.e. manuals. … 3.

Communications . 5. Generally software is divided into system software and application software.provides the step by step instructions that tell the computer what to do.the physical element of a computer system categorized according to the basic operations they perform: input.Elements of a computer system s s s 4. processing. Hardware . 6. storage and communications. Lesson 2 10 . Software .refers to the electronic transfer of data from one place to another UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. output.

computers are sorted according to physical size and processing power. Minicomputer. Microcomputer (Desktop. Notebook.Laptop. Palmtop). Lesson 2 11 . The different types are: Supercomputer Mainframe.What are the different types of computer systems? s s In general. Microcontroller UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

The combination of bits to form meaningful characters or numbers is called a byte. This means that the computer recognizes only two numbers. 0 and 1. Lesson 2 12 How is data represented in the computer? .Computers represent data as two-state systems. Larger numbers. Each of these two numbers is called a bit from the words binary digit. letters and special characters are formed using combinations of 0 and 1. UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

ASCII can have 128 combinations of 7 bits each while ASCII-8 can have as many as 1256 combinations UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2 13 . The coding scheme ASCII (As-key) and ASCII-8 or extended ASCII has been adopted as a standard by the US government and by computer manufacturers.What coding schemes are used to form meaningful bytes of data? s s There are usually 8 bits in a byte.

Lesson 2 14 . Process Output Information Cataloging Process Catalog Record Filing Process Card Catalog Storage UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Accession No.How is data processed into information? Input Data Author Title Imprint Subject Call No.

The Information Processing Cycle New Document Data Input Process Output Document Stored Data UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. Lesson 2 15 .

Lesson 2 16 . UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.What is the role of computers in the information cycle? s s s s Accept data through input devices Process data using microprocessors Store data for interactive use in the RAM and for longer periods of storage in the ROM and hard disks Output data through output devices.

7 days a week Less prone to error Produce output requirements easily Could send and retrieve data from other computers if in a network UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1. processing and retrieval Tireless--can work 24 hours a day. Lesson 2 17 .What are the advantages of using computers for data processing? s s s s s Faster data input.

Lesson 2 18 .What are some disadvantages of using computers? s s s s s s Require skilled manpower for design and programming and data encoding Require electricity Require air conditioning for non-stop work Expensive to acquire and maintain Require frequent upgrade due to fast developments in hardware and software Require regular staff training UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

Lesson 2 19 .What are some general trends in computers? s s s s s s s Moore’s Law: Computing power doubles approximately every 18 months Faster processors Bigger storage capacity Bigger memory Stand alone>>>Network>>>Distributive computing Software bloat Lower cost UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

Lesson 2 20 .What are some general trends in hardware? s Downsizing: x Mainframe >>> PC>>Pocket PC s s Right sizing Increasing memory: x RAM 1MB to at least 256 MB Hard disk 10 MB to 20 GB s Increasing storage: x s s Decreasing cost Increasing processor speed: x PC XT to Pentium 4 UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

Lesson 2 21 .What are some general trends in software? s s s s More sophisticated software Bigger storage requirement Bigger memory requirement More user friendly: x DOS to Windows UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.

The efficiency of these tools is dependent on the specifications of the computer hardware.Conclusion Computers are reliable and efficient tools for data processing and information retrieval. the software. UNESCO ICTLIP Module 1.There are advantages and disadvantages in using them. database design and the user. Lesson 2 22 .

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