Computer Basics: Introduction to Computing
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Computer Basics: Introduction to Computing

Learn about the basics of computers, including their different types, software, and application software. Understand how programmers create software and how users rely on it to operate their devices.

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@VibrantSwamp

Questions and Answers

What is the primary function of application software?

To perform a specific task on the host device

What do programmers use to write instructions in a program?

Programming language

What is an algorithm in the context of programming?

A step-by-step procedure to achieve a task

What is the term for the software with which a user operates their device?

<p>Application software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers create to operate devices?

<p>Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of a program?

<p>To perform a specific task on the host device</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers study to create their own algorithms?

<p>Different algorithms</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the relation between a programmer and a user of a software application?

<p>The programmer creates the software and the user operates it</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a common task that application software performs?

<p>Searching</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers find in libraries?

<p>Code for some algorithms</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the CPU in a modern computer?

<p>To execute program instructions serially</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main difference between primary memory and secondary memory?

<p>Primary memory is faster</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the Decode unit in the CPU?

<p>To extract and decode incoming instructions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the operating system in a modern computer?

<p>To manage and execute programs</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is stored in ROM?

<p>Instructions for starting the system</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the function of the ALU in the CPU?

<p>To perform comparisons and integer calculations</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the clock in a modern computer?

<p>To control the rate of instruction execution by the CPU</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the CU in the CPU?

<p>To manage data transfer between registers and RAM</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the characteristic of RAM?

<p>It is volatile</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the concept that John von Neumann proposed in 1945?

<p>The stored-program concept</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of application developers?

<p>Input and output processing and transformation of input data into output data</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the computations part of the software development process?

<p>To introduce the concept of type and handle basic input and output</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main topic of the data structures part?

<p>Organizing groups of values into data types in memory</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the modules part of the software development process?

<p>To organize program instructions into self-contained cohesive units</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the secondary storage part?

<p>Moving text data between an installed device and RAM</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the refinements part of the software development process?

<p>To elaborate on concepts introduced in other parts</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of optional sections in the software development notes?

<p>To elaborate on specific details related to the topic</p> Signup and view all the answers

How do the chapters in the software development notes relate to each other?

<p>Subsequent chapters rely on information from previous mandatory sections</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the introductory part of the software development notes?

<p>To describe modern computers, storage of information, and creating a first program</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main topic of the software development notes?

<p>The fundamentals of software development</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a common type of device that controls its operations through software?

<p>Laptop</p> Signup and view all the answers

What does application software consist of?

<p>One or more programs</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is coded by programmers in a programming language?

<p>Instructions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term for the software with which a user operates their device?

<p>Application Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers often refer to when writing programs?

<p>Major components of a modern computer</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a step-by-step procedure that describes how to achieve a specified task?

<p>An algorithm</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers create to operate devices?

<p>Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers use to write instructions in a program?

<p>Programming language</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers study to create their own algorithms?

<p>Different algorithms</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of application software?

<p>To operate a device</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the application developers in the software development process?

<p>Transforming input data into output data</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which part of the software development notes introduces the concept of type and how to handle basic input and output?

<p>The computations part</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the functions in the modules part of the software development process?

<p>To implement a single algorithm</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the refinements part of the software development process?

<p>To elaborate on concepts introduced in other parts</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the optional sections in the software development notes?

<p>To add depth to the material without disrupting the presentation flow</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the data structures part of the software development process?

<p>Organizing groups of values into data types</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the secondary storage part of the software development process?

<p>To move text data between an installed device and RAM</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the application software?

<p>To operate on the data in RAM and transform the resultant data into some user-readable form</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do application developers transform input data into?

<p>Some user-readable form</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers use to organize groups of values into data types?

<p>Arrays and structures</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the buses in a modern computer?

<p>To interconnect components of the motherboard</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the FPA in the CPU?

<p>To perform calculations on floating-point data</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main difference between a peripheral device and a secondary memory device?

<p>The former provides a user interface, while the latter provides persistent storage</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the operating system in a modern computer?

<p>To manage currently executing programs</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary characteristic of RAM?

<p>Its contents are lost when power is turned off</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the Decode unit in the CPU?

<p>To decode incoming instructions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the clock in a modern computer?

<p>To control the rate at which the CPU executes instructions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the registers in the CPU?

<p>To hold the data used by the ALU and FPA</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary difference between a stored-program computer and other computer architectures?

<p>The former stores instructions and data alongside each other</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the devices in a modern computer?

<p>To provide user interfaces for input and output</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term used to describe the software that a user operates their device with?

<p>Application Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers create to operate devices?

<p>Application Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is an algorithm in the context of programming?

<p>A step-by-step procedure to achieve a specified task</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers use to organize groups of values into data types?

<p>Data Structures</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers find in libraries?

<p>Code for certain algorithms</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of application software?

<p>To operate devices</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers study to create their own algorithms?

<p>Different algorithms</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term used to describe a full set of instructions that performs a well-defined task on a host device?

<p>Program</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do programmers code in a programming language?

<p>Instructions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do users rely on to operate their devices?

<p>Application Software</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary distinction between a stored-program computer and other computer architectures?

<p>Instructions and data are stored alongside one another</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the primary memory in a modern computer?

<p>To store program instructions and data temporarily</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the ALU in the CPU?

<p>To perform comparisons and integer calculations</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary difference between primary memory and secondary memory?

<p>Primary memory is directly accessible by the CPU</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of the operating system in a modern computer?

<p>To manage the programs that are currently executing</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the Decode unit in the CPU?

<p>To extract each incoming instruction from the instruction queue</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the characteristic of ROM?

<p>It is non-volatile and persists even when power is turned off</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the devices in a modern computer?

<p>To provide user interfaces for input and output</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary function of the registers in the CPU?

<p>To hold the data used by the ALU and FPA</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary distinction between a peripheral device and a secondary memory device?

<p>Peripheral devices are used for input and output, while secondary memory devices are used for persistent storage</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the computations part of the software development process?

<p>To introduce the concept of type and show how to handle basic input and output</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the data structures part of the software development process?

<p>To organize groups of values into data types in memory</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the optional sections in the software development notes?

<p>To elaborate on specific details related to the topic covered</p> Signup and view all the answers

How do application developers focus on input and output processing?

<p>By operating on the data in RAM and transforming the resultant data into some user-readable form</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the refinements part of the software development process?

<p>To elaborate on concepts introduced in the other parts</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the modules part of the software development process?

<p>To describe how to organize program instructions into self-contained cohesive units</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the secondary storage part of the software development process?

<p>To show how to move text data between an installed device and RAM</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary focus of the introductory part of the software development notes?

<p>To introduce modern computers, storage of information in memory, and creating the first program</p> Signup and view all the answers

What do application developers primarily focus on in the software development process?

<p>Input and output processing and transformation of input data into output data</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of the software development notes?

<p>To introduce the fundamental concepts of software development</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

Computers Learning Outcomes

  • Can explain the different types of computers (mobile devices, smart phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, workstations, and servers)
  • Can describe the role of software in computer operations
  • Can identify the components of a modern computer (CPU, clock, primary memory, and devices)

Introduction

  • Computers are available in various forms (mobile devices, smart phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, workstations, and servers)
  • Software controls the operations of computers
  • Programmers create software using programming languages and algorithms
  • Application software consists of one or more programs that perform specific tasks

Hardware

  • Computer hardware stores program instructions in its own memory
  • Hardware accepts input from the user, processes it according to the stored instructions, and generates output
  • The user can rerun the program to process different inputs and produce corresponding outputs
  • The components of a stored-program computer include:
    • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
    • Clock
    • Primary memory
    • Devices
    • Buses (interconnect components and part of the motherboard)

Primary Memory

  • Primary memory is directly accessible by the CPU
  • Primary memory includes:
    • Read-only Memory (ROM)
    • Random-Access Memory (RAM)
    • Memory within the CPU itself
  • ROM holds instructions for starting the system and is non-volatile (persists even when power is off)
  • RAM holds program instructions and data and is volatile (contents are lost when power is off)

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

  • CPU executes program instructions serially (one at a time)
  • A modern CPU consists of:
    • Registers (internal memory)
    • Decode unit
    • Control Unit (CU)
    • Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)
    • Floating-Point Unit (FPA)
  • Registers hold data used by the ALU and FPA and any new data produced by them
  • Register data is volatile (lost when power is off)
  • The Decode unit extracts and decodes instructions
  • The CU moves data between registers, RAM, and devices, and passes decoded instructions to the ALU or FPA
  • The ALU performs comparisons and integer calculations, and creates new data as directed by the CU
  • The FPA performs calculations on floating-point data

Devices

  • Devices include peripheral and other devices
  • Peripheral devices provide user interfaces for input and output (e.g., keyboard, mouse, monitor)
  • Secondary memory devices provide persistent storage of program instructions and program data (e.g., hard drives, USB keys, DVD/CD-ROMs)

Memory Comparison

  • Secondary memory is inexpensive compared to primary memory but slower
  • Data transfer rates:
    • CPU: 1 nanosecond (1e-9 seconds)
    • Hard disk: much slower (analogy: width of a room vs. distance around the Earth)

Software

  • Software controls a modern computer, including:

    • Programs currently executing
    • Operating system (manages programs)
  • Operating system:

    • Executes as long as power is on
    • Resides in RAM with other programs
    • Loads program instructions into RAM and transfers control to the program
    • Programs start executing, request data, send output, and terminate execution, returning control to the operating system### Computers and Software
  • Computers come in various forms, including mobile devices, laptops, tablets, desktops, workstations, and servers.

  • All devices control their operations through software, which is created by programmers.

  • Users rely on application software to operate their devices, which consists of one or more programs that perform specific tasks.

Application Software

  • A program is a set of instructions that performs a well-defined task on the host device.
  • Programmers code these instructions in a programming language, which represents algorithms.
  • An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that describes how to achieve a specified task, such as searching, sorting, or mixing.

Hardware and Programming

  • A programmer's primary focus is on input and output processing and transformation of input data into output data.
  • Programming languages define how internal data is stored in RAM.
  • An application program transforms raw data from the user into equivalent data stored in RAM, operates on the data, and transforms the resultant data into a user-readable form.

Outline of Software Development

  • The chapters are grouped into six parts: introduction, computations, data structures, modules, secondary storage, and refinements.
  • The introduction covers modern computers, storage of information in memory, and creating the first program.
  • The computations part covers concepts such as type, variables, input and output, calculations, and testing and debugging.
  • The data structures part covers organizing groups of values into data types in memory, including arrays and structures.
  • The modules part covers organizing program instructions into self-contained cohesive units, called functions, and passing information between modules.
  • The secondary storage part covers moving text data between installed devices and RAM, including files and syntax for working with secondary memory.
  • The refinements part covers advanced topics, including character strings, pointers, and arrays, and introduces standard algorithms and portability guidelines.

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