aqa gcse ICT computer systems and mobile technologies, topic 1

My notes for chapter 1 made from the Folens aqa textbook, hope you like!

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Computer systems and mobile
technologies
Hardware and Software
Hardware are the physical components that make up an ICT system. If it can be touched
then it is hardware. Examples of hardware include input devices, Keyboard, mouse, scanner
etc., Storage, hard drive etc. and the processor and output devices, Printer, screen etc.
An important part of hardware in most modern computers systems is a microprocessor. A
microprocessor is a computer on a chip, put into electronic devices to control or maintain
something. They do all the processing, does all the calculations and decide what should
happen next. They are the `brains' of a device and can be found in home applications such
as: home alarms, washing machines or children's toys. They are also found in traffic lights,
mobile phones, cars, robots and machinery made for assembling an item in a factory.
Software is what makes the hardware any use. Software instructs the hardware on what to
do. Software is basically the programmes that run in a computer hardware, and the
`untouchable' parts. Software all give the hardware instruction and are divided into two main
categories: Operating systems e.g. Microsoft, Linux, Mac OS etc., and Applications software
e.g. word processing, web design, presentation etc.
Personal and commercial computer systems
The main difference between personal and commercial computer systems is in the way that
they are used, because computers used in organisation tend to be networked together (other
than connected to internet).
Desktop computers (or PCs) are the most popular to encounter at home, school and in
organisations. They are usually connected with wires or wirelessly to form networks. Desktop
computers are designed to be used in just one place and have everything (keyboard, screen
etc.) full sized. The main components of a desktop computer are: Central processing
unit (CPU) which processes the raw data and turns it to information, Main/internal memory,
Motherboard, Sound card, Video card, Input devices, Output devices and secondary/backing
storage (CDs, flash drives etc.).
Mobile technologies
Laptops: designed to be portable, they are smaller than desktop computers, have a built in
screen, and are much lighter and designed to be used away from the power source. Their
use can be limited by the rechargeable battery though.
Netbooks: they are smaller, lighter and cheaper than even laptops. They have smaller
screen, keyboard, magnetic hard drives, and no CD/DVD driver making it lighter and are
suited for general computer use and internet access.

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Palmtops: small handheld computers used by occasional computer users to surf internet,
email, shopping, small business deliveries/orders etc.
PDAs: personal digital assistant are handheld computers which allow the user to: keep track
of dates, meeting, appointments, birthday etc., store details like names, addresses, contact
number, synchronize details with those stored on computers and browse internet and email.
WAP stands for wireless application protocol and offers mobile phone users access to
internet.
Smart phones: smart mobile phones offer users more than just text and ring.…read more

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