Computer Fundamentals units 1 and 2

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1. Components of a computer 

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

hardaware: the physical part of a computer system

software: programs and routines which can be run on a computer system

input device: hardware used to put data into a computer (e.g. joystick)

storage device: memory device used  to store data (e.g. hard disk drive)

output device:  hardware used to get information from a computer

b. describe the purpose of input devices, storage devices and output devices.

temperature sensor: to give the computer information about the temperature of the room

hard disk drive: store software, large capacity 

a printed document or the sound of the latest hit single played through a set of speakers

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

systems software: controls the hardware/ makes the system useable by the operator.

applications package: allows the user to carry out a useful task (e.g word processor or internet browser).


a. describe the stages of the system life cycle

definition of the problem: if problem not defined accurately then the wrong problem will be solved 

feasibility study: decision made as whether the problem can be solved or not

information collection: example of information collection method

analysis of information collected: creates an understanding of problems and present solutions

design of solution: design specification created

b. explain the importance of defining a problem accurately

  • analyst is expert in use of computers
  • manager is expert in area of problem
  • two people involved will have very different ideas of the problem
  • the client doesn't understand the potential of the computer system
  • the analyst may produce a solution which does not satisfy the client

c. describe the function and purpose of a feasibility study

technical feasibility: can hardware or software be found to implement the solution?

economic feasibility: is the proposed solution possible within budget?

social feasibility:  is the effect on the humans involved too extreme to be allowed?

legal feasibility:  can the problem be solved within the law?

time feasibility: is the time scale acceptable?

d. explain the importance of determining the information requirements of a system and describe different  methods of fact finding, including questionnaires, observation, and interviews, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each method

determining the information requirements of the problem is essential to providing an acceptable working solution.


  • allow a large number to have their say in a short time
  • closed questions 


  • see system with new eyes
  • workers may not act naturally


  • open questions
  • time consuming
  • only gives the view of one person
  • allows departure from prepared script

e. describe what is involved when analysing the requirements of a system, explaining the nature of the requirements specifications and its content, including current data structures, inputs, outputs and processing represented in diagrammatic form ( data flow diagrams, system flowcharts), identify problems in the current system.

  •  input requirements
  • output requirements
  • processing requirements
  • client agrement to requirements
  • hardware
  • software

f. describe a design specification including input design, diagrammatic depiction


William C

DaNK NotEs m9

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