Computer-Based Systems Mid-Term Review Questions

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Applied Computer Science
Eugene Kaluzniacky

ACS 1803 STUDY QUESTIONS 1 (The following questions are intended to help guide your studying. Be sure to emphasize understanding of how all the ideas fit together - until you feel that you can explain these ideas to someone else. You do not need to hand in these questions.) 1. Why is a computer referred to as a system? What components make up the architecture of a computer system? Arhitecture: first input -----> central processing unit + main memory(internal) and some auxillary storage(external) ----> output A computer is referred to as a system because it has many parts that work together to achieve a common goal. Each part plays a role in the system, to get a desirable outcome. 2. What is the job of the central processing unit? What are the roles of the control unit and the ALU? What are the basic properties of main memory? What is the microprocessor chip? CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, also called the microprocessor, it's task is to perform all the operations of your microcomputer, The CPU or microprocessor is what gets your computer usable, when you start up your computer the CPU is what loads your operation system(i.e. Windows Vista) The ALU deals with the mathematics of the computer(including all forms of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). While the control unit works closely with the arithmetic logic unit(ALU) by fetching and decoding instructions, as well as retrieving and storing data. 3. At the level of CPU workings, what is a machine language instruction? How is a program consisting of several machine language instructions executed in the CPU? The majority of microcomputers today use the binary code ACSII, which stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ACSII simply represents letters, numbers, and any other characters in binary form. It uses the same concept of binary coding as stated to translate English for the computer and vice versa. Machine language is made up of binary codes as previously stated. The 1's and 0's as already stated are individual bits, now eight bits make a byte, which is equivalent to one letter or number we type in. Now once the computer(machine) has decoded or translated what you have entered it can execute your instructions onto your computer screen. Ex.) 008 003 first part(008) is the opcode which loads the address 003 into the accumulator of the ALU. Several machine language instructions can be executed in the CPU using a compiler or translator(third generation languages).? 4. What does it mean that all machine language instructions and data for these instructions must be stored in electronic form? How can numbers be stored electronically? Well it means that everything needs to be turned into 1's and 0's, a 1 is a high voltage current the computer recognizes as an on command, and a 0 is a low voltage current the computer recognizes as an off command. 5. What is a bit, a byte? What is "K bytes", "one Megabyte", one Gigabyte? Distinguish between the terms "hardware" and "software". A bit is a single digit can be a 0 or 1. One byte is 8 bits which is equal to one letter or number we type into our computer. Hardware is the physical computer components such as the CPU or keyboard. While Software is a program or set of programs that tell the computer to perform certain processing functions. 6. Although all programs, when they are executed in the CPU, must be in machine language, programs are not normally written in machine language. What is assembly language? How does it relate to machine language? Why is it called a low-level language? Assembly language is symbolic machine language. A translation program(assembler), itself in machine language, would translate this code into actual machine language for the CPU. Second generation assembly language is low level, it is called low level because one statement in assembly language translates into one statement in machine language. A complicated, real world problem, still had to be broken down into small steps for the CPU. 7. What makes it possible to store "real world" characters other than numbers in electronic form? ASCII(American Standard Code for Information Interchange): An eight-bit code for representing numbers, letters, and other characters in binary form. 8. What is a third-generation, or high-level language? How does it relate to machine language? Third generation languages(high-level) make it possible to translate one statement into many statements in machine language. To program a complicated problem, we don't have think on machine language, we can uses a translator or compiler that translates 3GL to machine language. However, in a 3GL, we still have to tell the computer both WHAT and HOW to do it. 9. Why are there different high-level languages available? More user friendly as technology advancements increase. Different uses for different levels, depending on complexity and details of the task. 10. What is a fourth-generation language? How does it differ from a third-generation language? Why is a 4GL appealing to people who are not computer specialists? What is a non-procedural user-oriented applications "package" for the microcomputer? Fourth generation language also called outcome-oriented languages, are commonly used to write and execute queries of a database. Fourth generation is much more user friendly than third, and in fourth as apposed to third we don't have to tell them HOW to do it. Those are programs like word processers and web browsers, users still have to tell the computer WHAT to do but not HOW to do it, where in 3GL's you have to tell it WHAT to do and HOW to do it 11. What are the main differences between mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and supercomputers? Mainframe computers are a very large computer that is used as the main, central computing system for many major corporations and governmental agencies. Minicomputers are smaller mainframes. Microcomputers is a category of computer that is generally used for personal computing, for small business computing, and as a workstation attached to large computers or to other small computers on a network. Supercomputers are the most expensive and most powerful category of computers. It is primarily used to assist in solving massive research and scientific problems. 12. Why, in addition to main memory (primary storage), do we need "secondary" storage? What are primary characteristics of tape storage? What is a disadvantage of using tape? Secondary storage is non-volatile which means the information stored in it wont get lost when the computer is turned off. It is a method for permanently storing data to a large-capacity storage component, such as a hard disk, diskette, CD- ROM, or tape. Primary characteristics of tape storage is it consists of narrow plastic tape coated with a magnetic substance. Storage tapes range from inch wide and wound on a reel, to inch wide wound into a plastic cassette that looks much like a music cassette tape. It is used for storing large amounts of computer information. A disadvantage of them is that the computers must scan an entire tape to find a specific data file, while disks are easier to locate information and more reliable. 13. How is data stored on magnetic disk? The plastic surface contains tiny metallic crystals. To write information to the disk, a laser beam melts a small spot on the plastic surface of the disk, then a magnet rearranges the metallic crystals while the plastic is still hot and malleable. The crystals are arranged so that some reflect light while others don't, the ones that do reflect light can later be read by a laser. 14. What is the advantage of a CD-ROM over a magnetic disk? It is inexpensive, reliable, and provides abundant storage capacity. 14b. Know main properties of common input and output units. Keyboard's are the main input device that is used to enter text and numbers into your computer. A mouse is another input device that is used to select different options on your computer screen. Scanners, etc. more input devices Monitors are used to display information from a computer, they consist of a cathode ray tube(CRT), which is smaller to a tv but with higher resolution. Printers: various types but an ink-jet printer uses a small cartridge to transfer ink onto paper. With the use of a small specialized speakers and a sound card, a computer can produce stereo quality sound. 15. What is the difference between "system software" and "application software"? Application software are programs intended to solve problems outside of the computer itself., while Systems Software is behind-the-scenes programs which help the computer hardware to run. Systems software is a bunch of programs working together to control the basic operations of your computer's hardware. An operating system such as Windows as previously stated or Linux are types of systems software. An example of an application software would be Microsoft Word. Application software interacts with systems software, which then interacts with the computer's hardware. 16.What is an "operating system"? What are some of its main functions within a computer? An operating system is used to organize the interaction between yourse
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