Computer Systems

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  • Created by: gurge
  • Created on: 07-04-14 21:14
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  • Computer Systems
    • Made of:
      • Hardware
        • physical: eg, keyboard, mouse, monitor, hard disk, etc
      • Software
        • programs, operating systems + application software, eg spreadsheet or presentation
    • Input, output, CPU and storage
      • input - anything that inputs data, eg mouse, keyboard, webcam
      • output - allows data to be sent beyond computers, usually to human. eg monitors, speakers
      • CPU - performs calculations then executes program instructions
      • storage - contains programs and data. eg USB flash drives, DVD drives, internal hard disks
    • Embedded systems
      • Computer integrated into another system, eg mobile phones
    • Importance of Computers
      • Safety
        • partially responsible for controlling and monitoring nuclear power stations
      • Travel
        • satellite navigation, online ticket booking, autopilots
      • Business
        • moving funds, transmitting books and music
      • Education
        • aid distance learning, marking tests, administer tests, info on grades, tests, punctuality
      • Retail
        • Barcode scanners, selfservice, track stock, re-order automatically
      • Entertainment
        • Hand-help, desktop, play games, read books, watch movies, listen to music
      • Communication
        • email, forums, IM, social networks, tele conference, video conference
    • Professional Standards
      • rules, computers made of many individual contributions
        • eg USB ports fit the same specifications
      • in programming
        • variables have sensible names
        • comments added to code
        • some lines indented for easier reading
        • a new programmer may have to edit or write a program interacting with it
    • Professional Standards 2.0
      • Open standards
        • Publicly available, flexible. eg anyone can create web resources adhering to W3C (worldiwde web consortium) standards, without paying
      • Proprietary standards
        • Defined by particular company that dominates market. Other developers find they have to produce, eg, software compatible with a certain OS
      • Industry standards
        • Formally defined, specify how hardware and software from dif. developers interact. Agreed by many organisations. eg USB
      • De facto standards
        • Evolve from what works well from practice, eg QWERTY keyboard layout
    • Ethical and Legal Considerations
      • Ethical
        • should gov store DNA profile of entire population?
        • Cheap labour in foreign countries for software?
        • Challenges of not living in a world where all have access to computers for financial, political, disability reasons?
      • Legal
        • Computer Misuse Act
          • makes hacking illegal. eg stealing passwords
        • Data Protection Act
          • if company stores personal data, must be secure and up to date
        • Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act
          • illegal to copy publications without permission of owner
        • Health and Safety at Work Act
          • cables trip hazard, eye strain, RSI from typing, chair position and back problems, monitor level and neck
    • Environmental Considerations
      • negatives
        • production requires raw material and energy
        • Energy to run, burning fossil fuels
        • Old computers hard to dispose of, not always recycled, landfill
      • positives
        • emails do not waste paper or ink
        • working from home, no fossil fuels burned travelling
        • industrial processes overseen by computers are more efficient and less polluting

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