Chapter 2: Technology Essentials

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Ryerson University
Information Technology Management
ITM 102
David Atkinson

CHAPTER 2 TECHNOLOGY ESSENTIALS THE COMPONENTS OF IT IT consists of three basic categories: hardware, software, and network HARDWARE components represent physical (hard) parts of a system; consist primarily of electronic devices (mostly digital) with some electromechanical parts used with input, output, and storage devices Six basic IT hardware categories: 1. PROCESSING HARDWARE directs execution of instructions and transformation of data using transistors Transistor is an electrical switch that can either be on (represented by 1) or off (represented by 0) Microchip is a tiny chip made up of transistors; microchip contains most of the components that make up the central processing unit (CPU) Clock speed is measured in megaherts (MHz), millions of cycles per second, or gigahertz (GHz), billions of cycles per second Computer hierarchy: categorizes processors according to their power Processing power often corresponds to computers physical size Embedded processors are programmable chips built into products include digital signal processors (DSPs); DSPs are special microprocessors that include more math-related functions in instruction set COMPUTER HIERARCHY COMPUTER TYPE RELATIVE PROCESSING PURPOSE POWER Supercomputer Largest and fastest Performs processor intensive computations using parallel processing Mainframe Large Carries out organizational processing needs using high-speed processing chips and large amounts of memory Server farms Medium/many Multiple servers to handle network processing activities Personal computer (PC) Small to medium Carry out processing tasks needed to perform their jobs; usually networking together Personal digital Very small Portable computing power; used to assistant communicate with PC or other users (PDA)/Smartphones Embedded processors Extremely small Low-scale processing and/or identication; embedded in appliances and products 2. MEMORY temporarily locates data and instructions before processing Read only memory (ROM): contains instructions and data that only special devices can alter; long term memory Random access memory (RAM): stores data only until they are no longer needed, or until computer shuts down; short-term memory Memory capacity measured as number of bytes that chip stores (KB, MB, GB) 3. INPUT HARDWARE provides interface used for data entry into a device (i.e. keyboard, mouse) 4. OUTPUT HARDWARE provides interface used to retrieve information from a device (i.e. printer, MP3) Convert IT-processed information into usable form (i.e. monitor) 5. STORAGE HARDWARE stores data, information and instructions for the long term (i.e. CDs, USB flash drive) 6. COMMUNICATION HARDWARE connects one IT device to another Network interface card (NIC): physical connection between a computer and a local network Modems: (wired or wireless) allows connection to remote network over telecommunication line Converts (modulates) digital signals going out from computer into analog signal appropriate for connection medium Receiving signal, converts (demodulates) analog signal back into digital signal that computer can recognize SOFTWARE information that specifies how hardware device should work with other data, information, and knowledge Software divided in
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