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BASIC CONCEPTS OF COMPUTING
MODULE 2.1
CONTENTS
 What
is a computer?
 An expanded model of a computer
 The role of software
 Types of computers
 ICT systems
 Glossary
2
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?

Main components or parts of a computer
•all the parts of a
computer that you
can physically
touch
•the programs –
sets of
instructions – that
tell the computer
what to do
Hardware
Software
3
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?

The basic model of a computer

IPO model
4
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?

A definition of a computer

A computer is a multi-purpose electronic tool
that can receive data (input),can process the
data, can produce results and can output them.
Input
data
Process
Produce
results/
Output
5
DATA

raw, unprocessed facts.
INFORMATION

is the result of the
processing of data and
should be useful and
meaningful.
CAT123NW
CAT123NW

registration number of a car
from the North West
province.
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?
6
AN EXPANDED MODEL OF A COMPUTER
executes the instructions,
processes the data and
manages and controls all
the other parts of the
computer
get data into computer
get feedback from the
computer
allow computers to
communicate with each
other
keep instructions and data that it
is not currently working on
7
AN EXPANDED MODEL OF A COMPUTER

Note the following:
Programs have to be ‘loaded’ before they can
be used.
 Data must also be in memory if the computer is
to work with it.
 The contents of memory only become
‘permanent’ when you ‘Save’ them.

8
ACTIVITY 1
9
THE ROLE OF SOFTWARE

Software categories according to function
System
Software
Application
Software
10
APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Graphics and Design
Word Processor
Spreadsheet
Database
Presentation Software
11
APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Communication Software
Office Suite
Desktop Publishing
Games
Web Authoring Software
12
APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Web browser
Plug-ins
Financial Applications
13
THE ROLE OF SOFTWARE

Software categories according to distribution model
• Advantages :No cost / low cost; Access to source code;
Freedom to adapt and change; Access to a community of
users / support.
Open source • Disadvantages: No one to hold responsible; Risk of poor
support; Higher skills needed; Various ‘varieties’.
software (OSS)
Proprietary
software
• Shrinkwrap; Shareware; Freeware
• Proprietary software is owned by a company – you never get
the source code – in fact you only ever ‘license’ the software,
you do not ‘own’ the software.
14
ACTIVITY 2
15
TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Size and processing power
16
TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Servers
-used in
network
environments
to help ‘run’ a
network of
linked
computers
17
TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Consumer Tablets & Tablet PCs
These are small
portable devices
 They are designed to
be controlled
through touch
screen interfaces
 Consumer tablets
usually have WiFi,
Bluetooth and 3G
communication built
in

18
TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Uses
Server
• Providing services to users in a network.
Desktop, laptop, notebook, netbook, Tablet PC
• Productive work and the use of applications that allow one to be
creative.
Consumer tablet
• Use digital content, access the web and e-mail, create documents, play
games, etc.
Smartphone
• Mobile access to connectivity and services.
19
TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Advantages and disadvantages of using computers
20
ACTIVITY 3
21
ICT SYSTEMS

The ability to analyse and interpret data in order to arrive at valid
conclusions and to form accurate predictions (information) can spell the
difference between success and failure.
Newspapers
sell
information
about their
subscribers
using information to
streamline their
stock control and
ordering processes
Information
is power
and creates
the potential
for wealth.
Google and
Facebook
advertising
22
ICT SYSTEMS
Information
Communication
Manipulated
or processed
data
The process
of transferring
data/
information
from one place
to another
Technology
• Systems
technologies
(hardware and
software)
• Communications
technologies
(networks and
communication
devices)
23
ICT SYSTEMS

Data storage by businesses

Data warehousing:
 securely
store, manage and retrieve large amounts
of data.

Data mining:
 process
and analyse data looking for valuable
information that you did not even know was there.
24
ICT SYSTEMS

Examples of ICT systems in everyday life

Supermarket chain




Modern POS systems use
barcodes and scanning
Scanning is also more
accurate
Items scanned removed
from a computerised
database of what is in
stock – enabling you to
better manage your
inventory.
Data sent to the head
office - stock ordering and
management decisions.

An ICT system enables
them to



Order only the right amount
of stock when needed
See which items are not
selling well
track sales
25
ICT SYSTEMS

Examples of ICT systems in everyday life

Cellphone company







contracts
adequate supplies & stock of
cellphones
generating finance for expansion
and maintenance
tracking of call durations, SMSs,
data transfers, free talk time,
carry-over of free
minutes/seconds, and expiry of
the same
service and repairs of cellphones
and other infrastructure
monitoring the network status
maintaining staff records

An ICT system enables them to
 List how many calls you have
made, to which numbers and
how long each call was
 Total the number of minutes
used and bill you for them
 Total the amount of data you
have transferred (usually in
megabytes) and then bill you for
that.
26
ACTIVITY 4
27
GLOSSARY
Application software
Information
POS system
Computer
Input
Proprietary
software
Data
IPO model
Shareware
Freeware
IT and ICT
Software
Hardware
Open source
software
Source code
ICT system
Output
System software
28