# Introduction To Computers: Hardware and Software

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1 What Is Hardware? Introduction To Computers: Hardware and Software A computer is made up of hardware. Hardware is the physical components of a computer system e.g., a monitor, keyboard, mouse and the computer itself. In this section of notes you will learn about the basic parts of a computer and how they work. Bit Binary digit Smallest unit of measurement Two possible values Byte 8 bits Basic Units Of Measurement Large Units Of Measurement (Memory, Storage) Note: powers of two are used because computer memory and storage are based on the basic unit (bit). Kilobyte (kb) a thousand bytes (1,024 = 2 10 ) Megabyte (MB) - a million (1,048,576 = 2 20 ) Gigabyte (GB) a billion (1,073,741,824 = 2 30 ) ~ A complete set of encyclopedias requires about 600 MB of storage Terabyte (TB) a trillion (1,099,511,627,776 = 2 40 ) ~ 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets full of text Word The number of adjacent bits that can be stored and manipulated as a unit 32, 64 for home computers, 128 for the most powerful Small Units Of Measurement (Speed) High Level View Of A Computer Millisecond (ms) a thousandth of a second (1/1,000 = 10-3 ) Microsecond (µs) - a millionth of a second (1/1,000,000 = 10-6 ) Nanosecond (ns) a billionth of a second (1/1,000,000,000 = 10-9 )

2 Buses Buses (2) Connect the different parts of the computer together Image from Peter Norton's Computing Fundamentals (3 rd Edition) by Norton P. Ports Ports Connects the computer to the outside Input Input Devices Used by a person to communicate to a computer. Person to computer

3 Example Input Devices Processor Keyboard Mouse Need not be mundane! Parker, J.R., Baumback, M., Visual Hand Pose Identification for Intelligent User Interfaces,Vision Interface 2003, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Jun 11-13, 2003 From Processor Processor Speed The brains of a computer Determined by: - Type of processor e.g., Pentium IV, AMD Athlon, Opteron -Clock speed 1 Hz = 1 pulse is sent out each second (1 second passes between each pulse) 10 Hz = 10 pulses are sent out each second (0.1 seconds passes between each pulse) : 25 MHz = 25 million pulses sent out each second ( seconds between each pulse or 40 ns between pulses) 3.6 Ghz = 3.6 billion pulses sent out each second (0.27 ns between pulses) A common desktop processor The Processor And The Computer Memory Image from Peter Norton's Computing Fundamentals (3 rd Edition) by Norton P.

4 RAM Volatile Used for temporary storage Typical ranges 256 MB - 4 GB RAM (2) Means direct access to any part of memory The typical form of RAM is DRAM (Dynamic RAM) Picture from Computers in your future by Pfaffenberger B How Does DRAM Work? Most RAM is DRAM (Dynamic RAM) Acts like a leaky bucket How Does DRAM Work? Most RAM is DRAM (Dynamic RAM) Acts like a leaky bucket Transistor Capacitor From From DRAM: A Collection Of Capacitors Storage A capacitor

5 Storage Vs. Memory? Categories Of Storage Memory (e.g., RAM) Keep the information for a shorter period of time (usually volatile) Faster More expensive 1. Magnetic - Floppy disks - Zip disks - Hard drives 2. Optical - CD-ROM - DVD Storage (e.g., Hard disk) The information is retained longer (non-volatile) Slower Cheaper Magnetic Drives Magnetic Drives: Storage Capacities Floppy disks -~ 1 MB Zip disks - 100, 250, 750 MB Hard drives - ~ GB Pictures from Optical Drives: Reading Information Optical Drives: Recording and Reading Information

6 Optical Drives: Re-Writing Optical Drives: Re-Writing Optical Drives Output CD's - ~ 700 MB storage - CD-ROM (read only) -CD-R: (record) to a CD - CD-RW: can write and erase CD to reuse it (re-writable) DVD-ROM - Over 4 GB storage (varies with format) - DVD- ROM (read only) - Many recordable formats (e.g., DVD-R, CD-RW; DVD+R, DVD+RW) Output Devices Displays information from the computer to the a person. The Most Common Output Device: The Monitor Types of computer monitors 1) CRT's (Cathode Ray Tube) 2) LCD's (Liquid Crystal Display)

7 CRT's Monitors Images are displayed with dots (pixels) drawn with light "guns" LCD Monitors Employ a conductive grid for each row and column The meeting of a row and column allows light to be emitted (a pixel can be seen) Picture from Computer Confluence by Beekman G. Colour LCD Monitors Use three sub pixels: - One wire for each row - One wire for each sub-pixel - One colour filter for each colour (red, blue, green) Some Determinants Of The Quality Of Monitors 1) Size 2) Resolution 3) Color depth 4) Dot pitch Measured diagonally 1) Monitor Quality (Size) 2) Monitor Quality (Resolution) (Columns of pixels) x (Rows of pixels) Col 1, Row 1 Col 2, Row 1 Col 3, Row 1 Col [c], Row 1 Col 1, Row 2 Col 1, Row 3 : Col [c], Row 2 Col [c], Row 3 : Col 1, Row [r] Col 2, Row [r] Col 3, Row [r] Col[c], Row[r] For a given monitor size, the higher the resolution the sharper the image

8 3) Monitor Quality (Color Depth) 3) Monitor Quality (Effects Of Color Depth) The number of possible colors that can be displayed for each pixel. e.g. monochrome (single color) 01 2 possible values Uses up 1 bit of space 2 colors 16 colors 256 colors 16 million colours 4) Monitor Quality (Dot Pitch) Dot pitch is the distance between picture elements e.g., the center of each color dot (mm) How fast the screen is redrawn Refresh Rate Of Monitors dot pitch (70 Hz / 70 times per second is usually a good minimum) dot pitch All The Basic Parts Together The Motherboard Diagram from Diagram from

9 Relating The Speed Of The Computer To Its Components Storage: Hard drive Common types - Inkjet Printers Memory: RAM - Laser Processor How Inkjet Printers Work. Use a series of nozzles to spray drops of ink directly on the paper Print heads Slots for print cartridges How Laser Printers Work Uses a laser to produce patterns on an ink drum using static electricity Ink nozzles Picture from Diagram from You Should Now Know The basic components of a computer - What are common units of measurement - What are the basic parts of the high level view of a computer - Example input devices - The role of the processor in a computer - What determines processor speed - What are the characteristics of RAM - How does DRAM work - The difference between storage and memory - What are the different categories of storage devices as well as common examples of each - The approximate storage capacity of different storage devices - How do different storage devices work - How do computer monitors work - What determines the quality of a computer monitor - How hardware affects speed - How do printers work

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