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F451: Computer Fundamentals
3.1.1 Components of a Computer System

a. define the terms hardware, software, input device, storage device and output device

Hardware is the physical parts of the computer system.
Software is the set of instructions that tell the computer to do something.
An output device any piece of…

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Storage devices are needed to allow the computer to store:
The operating system
User data / files

Hard disc
Tape drive
CDR drive

c. describe the different roles and functions of systems software and applications

Systems Software: This is also known as the operating system, it controls…

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Output screens
Data capture methods
Data structures
Implementation plan
Test plan

Development: This is when the actual system is created, and it involves writing the
code/algorithms, modifying the existing software and also producing or purchasing and
hardware that are needed for the system.
Testing: The system is tested…

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Not be able to deal with expansion
Be outdated
Not be user friendly
Not be safe
Not be financially suitable
Not be legal

Normally a person, a company or an organisation decides a task would benefit from
computerisation. The owner of the problem probably understands the problem well, but

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It is crucial to a project that as much information is collected as possible about the
system to be replaced. Without this information, it is impossible to analyse the problem

Collection methods include:
Interviewing ­ These allow the interviewee to talk at length and it also
allows the interviewer…

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sensible than other, also the volume of storage can affect the structures that will
be sued to store the data.
Decisions need to be made about the relative importance of the different ways of
accessing the data. Is it going to be necessary to access individual items of data

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Inputs what data will need to be input, the way in which the data will be
inputted, what data is requires, what is that data's format
Outputs what output is required from the system, in what format it will be
outputted so that it is suitable for its application, and…

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User Interface ­ what sort of user interface the system will use, and what
features it will have and how it will be adapted for the needs of the system
Test Plan a plan for testing the system should be carried out. This needs
to consider the details of the…

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· Use the requirement spec to test whether each point has been met
· Is the system secure?
· Is it easy to maintain?
· Is it user friendly?
o ...for the skill level of the users?
· Is it compatible with existing hardware and software?
· Is the support…

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accessible to the user of the system, since they don't need any of this in order to use the

The user documentation is aimed at the user and it contains:

o Overview of package
o Index
o Installation
o Backing up
o Printing
o Instructions for use
With screenshots…


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