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Computing and Information Science
CIS 1000
Jing Yu Zhu

CHAPTER 2 NOTES Looking at Computers: Understanding the Parts Computers Are Data Processing Devices  A data processing device that performs FOUR major functions: 1. It gathers data, or allows users to input data. 2. It processes that data into information. 3. It outputs data and information 4. It stores data and information  Difference between data and information? o Data – a representation of a fact, a figure, or an idea. Can be a number, a word, a picture, or even a recording o Information – data that has been organized or presented in a meaningful fashion (contact listing: Zoe 555-5555)  Computers are excellent at processing (manipulating, calculating, or organizing) data into information. Bits and Bytes: The Language of Computers  Binary language – consists of just two digits: 0 and 1. Everything a computer does, such as processing data or printing, is broken down into a series of 0s and 1s. o Each 0 and 1 is a binary digit, or bit for short.  Eight binary digits (or bits) combine to create one byte. Each letter of the alphabet, each number, and each special character (@) consists of a unique combination of eight bits, or a string of eight 0s and 1s.  Kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes are simply amounts of bytes o Kilobyte (KB) is approx. 1,000 bytes o Megabyte (MB) is approx. 1,000,000 bytes o Gigabyte (GB) is approx. 1 billion bytes o Terabyte (TB) is approx. 1 trillion bytes  Personal computers today store TBs of data while many business computers can store up to a PB of data o Petabyte (PB), Exabyte (EB), Zettabyte (ZB)  Computers use a combo of hardware and software to process data into information o Hardware – any part of the computer you can physically touch o Software – set of computer programs that enable the hardware to perform different tasks. Two broad categories of software:  Application software – the set of programs you use on a computer to help you carry out tasks such as writing a research paper  System software – the set of programs that enables your computer’s hardware devices and application software to work together. The most common type of system software is the operating system (OS) – the program that controls the way in which your computer system functions. It manages the hardware of the computer system (monitor, printer etc.) Your Computer’s Hardware  There are two basic designs of computers: portable and stationary. o A notebook computer (or laptop computer) is a portable computer that is powered by batteries and has a keyboard, monitor, etc integrated into a single compact case.  A netbook is a small, lightweight notebook computer that is generally 7 to 10 inches wide and has a longer battery life than a notebook computer  A tablet PC is similar to a notebook but features a touch-sensitive screen that can swivel and fold flat o A desktop computer is intended for use at a single location, and therefore, is stationary. They consist of a separate case that houses the main components of the computer plus peripheral devices (a component, such as a monitor or keeyboard) that is connected to the computer  An all-in-one computer (such as the Apple iMac) houses not just the computer’s processor and memory but also its monitor. o Other computers:  A mainframe is a large, expensive computer that supports hundreds of users simultaneousy (often used in insurance companies where multiple people are working at once)  A supercomputer is a specifically designed computer that can perform complex calculations extremely rapidly. Used in situations in which complex models requiring intensive mathematical calculations are needed (such as weather forecasting or atomic energy research). Designed to execute a few programs as quickly as possible where as mainframes are designed to handle many programs at same time but at slower pace.  An embedded computer is a specifically designed computer chip that resides in another device, such as your car or the electronic thermostat in your home. They are self-contained computing devices that have their on programming and typically do not receive input from other systems Input Devices  An input device enables you to enter data (text, images, sounds) and instructions (user responses and commands) into the computer. o Most common input devices are the keyboard and the mouse  A keyboard is used to enter typed data and commands  A mouse is used to enter user responses and commands o Microphones input sounds and digital cameras input non-digital text and images o A stylus is an input device used like a mouse or pen to tap commands or draw on a screen. Electronic pens are also becoming popular in conjunction with graphics tablets that can translate handwriting.  Keyboards o Most desktop/notebook computers come with a standard QWERTY keyboard.  Alternate keyboard layout is the Dvorak keyboard that puts the most commonly used letters in the English language on the “home keys” (the keys in the middle row). It reduces distance your fingers have to travel   Mice and Other Pointing Devices o An optical mouse uses an internal sensor or laser to detect the mouse’s movement. Sensor sends signal to computer telling it where to move the pointer on the screen. o A trackball mouse has the roller ball on top or on the side of the mouse, you move the ball with your fingers allowing the mouse to remain stationary o A touchpad is a small touch-sensitive area at the base of the keyboard o Types of mice:  Apple Magic Mouse  MoGo Mouse – designed for portability, fits into slot into side of computer o What a mouse can do:  Magnifier  Customizable buttons  Web search  File storage Output Devices  An output device enables you to send processed data out of your computer in the form of text, pictures (graphics), sounds (audio), or video.  One common output device is a monitor (or display screen)  Another common output device is the printer which creates hard copies of text/graphics  Speakers and earphones are the output devices for sound  Monitors o Most common type of monitor is a liquid crystal display (LCD) also called a flat-panel monitor is light and energy efficient.  Newer LCD monitors use light-emitting diode (LED) technology which is even more energy efficient and may have better color accuracy and thinner panels than traditional LCD monitors.  LCD monitors have replaced the cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. They have become legacy technology, or computing devices that use techniques/parts/methods from earlier time and that aren’t popular. o How monitors work:  Screens are grids made up of millions of tiny dots, each called a pixel. . Each pixel is comprised of three subpixels: red, blue, and green (some newer TVs have added a fourth color, yellow).  LCD monitors are made of two or more sheets of material filled with a liquid crystal solution. The crystals move around and either block the fluorescent light or let the light sine through. This blocking or passing of light by the crystals causes images to form on the screen. o  What factors affect the quality of an LCD monitors?  Aspect Ratio is the width-to-height proportion of a monitor. Traditionally, aspect ratios have been 4:3 but newer monitors are available with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 16:10  Screen resolution is the clearness or sharpness of the image and reflects the number of pixels on screen. An LCD monitor may have a native (or max) resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 meaning it contains 1,600 vertical columns with 1,200 pixels in each column. The higher the resolution, the sharper and clearer the i
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