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Computer Science
CMPT 120L-115
Matthew Johnson

A Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, 3 Edition David Reed Chapter One: Computer Basics A. What is a Computer? 1. A computer receives, stores, and processes information 2. Types of computers: a. Supercomputers- powerful and complex b. Desktop computers- variety of uses c. Laptop computers- similar to desktop but portable d. Palmtop computer- portable and limited B. Hardware 1. Hardware is the physical components a. Consists of Central Processing Unit (CPU), Memory, Input/Output (I/O) 2. von Neumann Architecture: a. I/O b. Memory c. CPU 3. CPU – the “brains” of the computer a. Made of circuitry in a silicon chip b. Multi-core makes multiple instructions able to be processed at once 4. Memory – stores data and processes information as binary digits (bits) a. Bits are represented as 0 or 1 i. Building blocks of digital memory b. Byte is a collection of 8 bits i. Kilo KB ii. Mega MB iii. Giga GB iv. Tera TB c. Discrete values (bits) represent 1 of 2 possibilities d. Continuous values infinite possibilities e. Cache and RAM enable the fastest transfer of bits to and from the CPU; use electronic circuitry i. Cache is built into CPU chip (high speed) ii. RAM is on a separate chip (lower speed) f. Main/Primary Memory – RAM and cache i. Holds all data CPU is using ii. Volatile needs constant flow of electricity g. Secondary Memory – permanent storage i. Hard disk stores bits; can be transferred to main memory  CDs, CDROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD+RW, and USB 5. Input/Output Devices (I/O) a. Input – computer receives data (keyboard, mouse, etc.) b. Output – computer displays results (monitors, speaker, etc.)
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