Chapter Four- Textbook Notes.docx

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Computer Science
Computer Science 1032A/B
Diane Goldstein

CompSci 1032 Taylor Ward October 11, 2011 Chapter Four: Hardware and Software 1. Why Do You Need to Know about Information Technology?  Knowing about information technology, including hardware and software, makes us more knowledgeable consumers of technology  When considering technology, important to understand where we are and how we use it 2. Where Did All This Information Technology Stuff Come From?  Early Computers (1939-52) o First patent (later overturned) on digital computer filed June 26, 1947 by Presper Eckert and John Mauchly who developed ENIAC computer o Single person interacted and one program run at a time o Housed at universities, few had access to them o Overtime, slowly improved and commercialized o First in Canada FERUAT installed at University of Toronto 1952  Mainframes (1952- present) o First commercial digital computers were large, room-sized devices called mainframes o Mainly used by business and government o Cost between $200 000 to $400 000 o Second generation (late 50s) used transistors, made smaller, easier to maintain, more reliable o Often were sold without software, assumed companies develop programs themselves o Third generation (mid-60s) included operating systems and multiprocessing o Big step, cost millions of dollars o Time sharing (users share main processor) and smaller size, referred to as “mini-computers” o Mainframes been mainstay of business computing and models continue produced today o Large number of programs in larger organizations run on mainframe systems o Designed for fast processing and massive storage  Microcomputers (1975- present) o People desired smaller computers, developed by Texas Instruments and Intel o Incorporated Central Processing Unit and short-term memory into a silicon “chip” using integrated circuits o Small and originally used in handheld calculators o First microcomputers had no display screen or programs o As hardware developed, companies started to write programming languages (Microsoft) o 1981, microcomputer well-developed enough to launch personal computer (PC) which had monitors, keyboards, portable floppy disks, word processors, spreadsheets, and other software o PC revolution was born  Networking Personal Computers (1985- present) o Microcomputers easy to use, however they were largely stand-alone o Sharing data across two computers required saving data on “floppy disk” and transferring o next important development was LAN (local area network) o LANS, exemplified by Ethernet, provided ability to connect many personal computers together o Gave each computer an address, able to deliver requests for data to appropriate addresses o Revolutionized business computed by providing shared access to data, printers, other devices o Followed in the 1990s with commercialization of wide area networks (WAN), exemplified by Internet, originally developed in 1960s CompSci 1032 Taylor Ward October 11, 2011 o With Internet came email, web browser, access to a worldwide network of computers facilitated by mainframe computers  Summary: what we learn from whirlwind technological tour i. Price and performance advances: IT is continuously improving (Moore’s Law), in 18 months the price of a given integrated circuit (IC) will be half its current price or, for that same amount of money, you will be able to buy an IC with twice as many transistors. Data storage and network capacity continue to advance too, cheap access to high-bandwidth resources quickly reality ii. Small is powerful: history viewed as effort to make information technology small and powerful to use anywhere, likely trend will continue. Difficulty with smaller machines remains in their ability to interface with machines in a meaningful way. Three main components of modern computer (processor, memory, hard drive) have all been getting smaller and costing less. iii. Network is the thing: value of IT measured not only in power of processor, also in power of network accessed through machine. All computing machines have inevitably moved toward networks for communication and collaboration, and bandwidth- rate which computers can communicate, has
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