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Hardware & Software Assessment

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Brad Fiora

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Hardware & Software Assessment

Hardware
& Software By Brad Fiora From the second language onwards, the language that is input into the computer is not able to be read by the processor. Translation is needed to bridge the gap between the human-readable form (source code) and the processor-readable form (Object code). The purpose of the operating system (OP) is to allow the user to control the hardware indirectly. The OP controls and manages the processes and the resources needed. The OP starts when the computer starts by giving the hardware a program to start and ends when the computer turns off by giving it another program.

Example of Operating systems are; Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh (OSX) and Linux Generations of Programming Languages Generation 4 Declarative (non procedural) Compilation Compilation is a translation method were the entire source code is translated first. When this is finished translating the entire source code into object code, it is stored. This is then read after. This increases the speed of the code as the processor can understand the data.
The program that is used to translate this way is called a compiler. System Software Interface to the Hardware The operating system functions as an interface to the hardware as it takes the users inputs and provides the hardware with what needs to be done as well as the resources needed. This is done without direct control over the hardware by the user. Interface to the User The operating system provides and interface to the user by presenting (outputting) the information that has been processed either visually or auditory through a monitor or speakers.
It can also help when inputting data by providing a interface on the monitor for the mouse and keyboard. Context Translation Operating System Types of Software 1. 3 Inputs
2. 3 Outputs
3. 3 Storage
4. Definition of Terms
5. Operating Systems
6. Generation of Programming
7. Translation
8. Functions of the O.S. Custom Software Software found in shops or online is called commercial or "off the shelf" Inputs Keyboard Microphone Mouse A computer mouse is a device that is used to control the movement and clicks of the cursor on a graphical interface. It uses a ball or sensor to detect its movement relative to the surface it is on in 2 dimensions. A mouse has 2 or more buttons that are used to 'click' on a section of the graphical interface. Some computer mice also have a scroll wheel to quickly move around on a document for example. Outputs CRT Display Inkjet Printer Speakers Storage CD A CD or compact disk is a optical storage device. This mean that it uses a laser to write and read data off the surface of the disk in different length pits (shown bottom right). These pits are tiny indentations on the disk that cause the laser to either reflect the light or bounce and refract away. The photodiode measures the reflection and send this information back to the computer.

The CD is amde of a very tightly strung spiral that starts at the middle and works its way out to the sides. On this 0.5 micron thick spiral the bumps/pits are found.

CD's come in many forms like;
- CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read-Only Memory)
- CD-R (Compact Disk Recordable)
- CD+R (Recordable with more space)
- CD-RW (Compact Disk Read-Write) Hard Drive Hard Disk Drives store data in an non volitile way. This means it does not need constant power to hold data.

The hard drive uses its read and write arm to seek out the data located on one of the rotating solid platters. The data is stored in one of its rotating circular tracks. On these tracks a very small point of the track in either in a magnetised or demagnetised state. The computer takes this information as a series of 1's and 0's.

The seeking arm goes over the magnetic disk at very fast speeds and the disk underneath spins at 272km/h. This all aids in the fast displaying of data stored. The speed it also why it has become so common in computers Flash Drive Utility Software Application Software Interpretation Functions of an Operating System External pieces of hardware or software that provides data to the computer for processing The most commonly used input device for a computer is a keyboard. It is needed for almost every task on a computer from searching to moving a character in a game.

They keyboard is a set of electrical switches connected to a circuit or key matrix. Each key represents a character on the keyboard. The keyboard will convert the touch of a key into code to tell the computer's processor what has been pressed. The processor will then tell the rest of the system what to do with the input data.

The most commonly used layout for a keyboard is the 'qwerty' keyboard. There are others like the Dvorak layout which are setup for quicker typing (input) into the computer. A microphone is transducer that is used to input sound. This is done by converting the sound waves given off from an external source into a electrical sequence to be read by a computer.

Microphones are not all the same, there are different types that are all have advantages and disadvantages. The types of microphones are;
-Condenser microphone
-Dynamic Microphone
-Ribbon Microphone
-Carbon Microphone
-Piezoelectric Microphone
-Fiber Optic Microphone
-Laser Microphone
-Liquid Microphone
-MEMS Microphone

Even though all microphone use slightly different methods of converting sound to electrical signals, they all use a diaphragm. A diaphragm is thin piece of material that vibrates to the frequency of the sound. When it vibrates the components of the microphone convert Speakers are output devices that do the opposite of a microphone. They convert electrical impulses into sound waves by moving its diaphragm. A speaker is made up of a magnet, coil of copper and a plastic, metal or paper diaphragm. The driver sends electrical impulses to the coils. This in turn moves the magnet and diaphragm. This diaphragm creates waves in the air, creating sound. An output is a representation of the data the computer is sending out. How it is represented depends on what output device is connected. For example, if a monitor is connected the output would be either text or graphics A Cathode ray tube monitor is a visual output that uses 3 electron guns, magnets and 3 types of phosphors. How these elements combine are all explained in the video below. The CRT screen is now not used as LCD, plasma and LED displays have became smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient Inkjet printers work by placing tiny dots of ink (about 50-60 microns in diameter) straight onto the paper with around 1440x720 dots per square inch. These dots are placed very precisely to ensure a clear image.

Inkjet printers are made up of two main sections (both made up of multiple parts). A print head and paper feed unit. They both work in unison to print out the images or text we need.

the most common type of printer as they are A storage device is a device that is used to stores data. This data may be stored electronically, magnetically, physically, ect. Storage is not to be confused with memory, which is a computer term for a different function. Storage is more permanent than memory. System software can be split into two categories; Operating System and utility software. The main job of the operating system is to manage the computers resources and provide the hardware and software with the process it needs to run. The utility software completes simple 'everyday' tasks. Utility software is the software responsible for analyzing, configuring, optimizing and maintaining a computer. It controls the 'everyday' tasks like copying files, deleting files, moving files. Anti-virus software and recovery software are also utility software. Application software is software that is made for a specific task or multiple specific tasks. The flash drive is a non volitile storage device that can be described as a solid state as it has no moving parts. Flash drives store data electrically and can easily be erased and reprogrammed. This is called EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read-only memory). Flash drives are made up of many rows and columns of cells. Each cell has a floating gate and a control gate separated by a oxide layer. The floating gate holds an electric charge and is isolated due to the oxide. The control gate connects to remove or add an electric charge to the floating gate.
The computer reads this as 0's and 1's. Some example of operating systems are shown below. These task are beyond the running of the computer its self (That's up to the operating system). Custom software is software that is not usually found in the shops or online. For example a business might be looking for a custom software that is able to track their inventory and profits. Custom software is software designed specifically for the needs of a specific group or person. Operating System File Compression File Compression is a utility that decreases the size of a file. It does this in one of two ways;
-Lossy
-Lossless

Lossy compression is done by getting rid of the redundant information. This works best with pictures and music. when a file is compressed with lossy compression, the original file can not be recovered from the compressed file. For example if a picture of space was compressed, the software would make all the black pixels into one shade of black. The software would then rewrite the file so that all the space would be one colour.

Lossless compression is better at compressing text, code and data. Lossless compression finds patterns in the file and instead of repeating them it puts them into a 'dictionary'. The dictionary is a list of the most repeated parts. The dictionary is then saved with a file where the information is not repeated. The benefit of lossless is that the original file can be recovered exactly. Defragging Defragging is the process used to organise a hard drive to optimise the reading speed. When files are first stored on a hard drive, they are put into sequential order on the rings. As the hard drive fills up the space for new files becomes smaller. When a old file is deleted the hard drive removes it straight from its place. This leaves room for a new file. As this continues, pockets of empty space pop up every where. New files are forced to be saved in one or many of these pockets around the disk. This means to read the file the arm has to move around the disk constantly.

Defragging software helps to organise the applications and files into sequential sectors on the platter. This greatly improves the speed of the hard drive as the arm is not made to move around so much. Virus Checking Virus checking software like Norton or Mcafee work by having software that can search through all your computers files to check for known malicious programs.

Malicious files can come in many forms, like; computer viruses, hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, trojan horses, worms, dialers, fraudtools, adware and spyware.

Virus checking programs use a 'virus dictionary' to search for the characteristics or patterns of malware.
Keeping the virus dictionary up to date is imperative as new malicious programs are being created all the time and the scanning software can not find a new virus. Embedded License Installation Counts Embedded Licence Installation Counts or ELIC for short is when a programs licence is bought and shared, it will only allow one person on the program at a time. If more licences are bought them more people can use it at the same time.

For example; if 10 licences of Photoshop are bought and installed onto a shared network, up to 10 people on the network can use Photoshop at any given time. If an 11th person wants to use Photoshop then it is rejected and can only use it when one person leaves. Generation 1 Machine Code Generation 2 Assembly language Generation 3
Higher level language (imperative/procedural) Machine code is the first generation of computing language. It is counted as a low level language as it is still processor dependent. This language is made up of binary (1's & 0's) and is directly understood by the computer. The main problems with this were, a high level of skill was needed to program a computer and that each computer had to be programed differently for what they needed to do. Assembly language is the second generation of computer language and is still a low level language and still specific for the type of processor. Assembly language is made up of Mnemonic codes instead of binary sequences for instruction. This made code easier therefore improving the accuracy of code. Example of the codes are
MOVE 3000,4000 [4000] <-- [300]
This means to Copy contents of location 3000 to location 4000 The 3rd generation computer language is the first of the Higher level languages. Higher level languages let the program be used on more than one type of processor. This language used steps, branches and loops in sequence.

The most notable Generation 3 languages were; BASIC, COBOL, ALGOL and FORTRAN. The forth generation of computer language is much like the third generation. The main difference is that it uses more functions like; interaction with the screen, form filling and computer graphics.

This generation of computer language is more based on what needs to be done rather than how to do it, like all its predecessors. This is because of the easier nature of writing programs.

Forth generation computers depend on a source of information called a data dictionary and expansion on that dictionary. Interpretation is another way of translating data from source form to object form for the processor. This is were the code is translated and immediately executed. This is slower to execute the code as it does two things but it is easier to find and deal with errors in the code. Interface for Software Applications The operating system functions as a platform for the application software to run off. The operating system provides the application software with codes to start up and then allocates the required resources to the application software when it is needed. The Application software also needs the operating system to read and write data to the disks or memory. Controlling the Running of Application Software The operating system can control the running of several application software at the same time by restricting and managing the amount of CPU and memory each application gets.
The operating system is able to allocate tiny amounts of time to each application running. These amounts of time are so minute that humans can not see them, therefore making it look seamless. Managing System Resources Time The operating system multitasks by scheduling every application running with a very small amount of time on the CPU. This change in task for the CPU is called a 'context switch'. The changes from task to task is so fast that is appears to be seamless.
If the computer has more than one CPU then more tasks can be done at the same time Memory The operating system controls software applications usage of memory by allocating blocks of memory to each application as it starts to allow it to execute its tasks.
It uses both RAM and the cache to execute the applications most efficiently Data The operating system controls the reading and writing of data onto a storage device like a hard drive or a flash drive. Any program that needs to access the hard drive needs the operating system to do so.
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