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COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE

INTRODUCTION
Theworldofbusinesshaschangeddramaticallysincetheintroductionofthefirst modernmultipurposecomputerover50yearsago.TheENIAC(ElectronicNumericalIntegrator andComputer),designedbyDrs.MauchlyandEckert,twoAmericanengineers,wassetupat theUniversityofPennsylvaniain1946.This30tonmachineoccupiedathirtybythirtyroom, contained18,000vacuumtubeslinkedby500milesofwiring,andcouldperform100,000 operationspersecond.Itconsumedsomuchelectricitythatitdimmedthelightsinthesectionof Philadelphiawhereitwashoused.Thankstothedevelopmentoftheintegratedchip,the computerhasevolvedintoafarsmaller,morepowerful,andlessexpensivemachine.Todays microcomputeris3,000timeslighterthantheENIAC,performs4000timesfaster,andcosts severalmilliondollarsless.Otherinnovationshavemadethecomputereasyenoughforachild touseandversatileenoughforapplicationsrangingfromastrophysicstoarcadestylegames.As aconsequenceoftheirdecreasingsizeandcost,computerscanbefoundtodayinvirtuallyevery cornerofAmericansociety,fromresearchfacilitiesandcorporateheadquarters,toschoolsand homes. Youneedonlylookaroundabusinessofficetoseeevidenceofthecomputerrevolution. Inalargeofficeyoumightfindavarietyofcomputers,ranginginsizefromamainframe computerhousedinaroomofitsown,toapalmsizedpersonalassistanttuckedintoan executivesbriefcase.Agrowingnumberofprofessionsrelyoncomputers,andaccountingisone ofthem.Thisintroductionwillprovideyouwiththefundamentalsofcomputerhardwareand softwaretohelpyouprepareforthematerialpresentedinthetext.

TYPES OF COMPUTERS

Computerscanbegroupedintocategoriesinnumerousways.Table1belowclassifies themaintypesofcomputersaccordingtotheirphysicalsize,processingspeed,cost,andnumber ofusers.Amicrocomputer,orpersonalcomputer(PC),mightcostafewthousanddollars.Itisa smallcomputerthatcanfitonadesktop,andisappropriateforasingleuser.Thenextlarger computeristheminicomputer.Aminicomputermightcosttensofthousandsofdollars.Itisabout thesizeofarefrigeratorand,whencombinedwithvariousperipherals,mightfillasmallroom. Minicomputersoftenhaveseveralhundredusers.Largebusinessesoftenhavemainframe computers.Thesemachinesarehousedinlargeroomsorevenentirebuildingfloors.Theycostup toseveralmilliondollars,andthousandsofuserscanaccessthecomputersimultaneously.Ina networkedenvironment,minicomputersandmainframesarebothfrequentlycalledservers.The largestandmostexpensivecomputer,thesupercomputer,isoftenusedinresearchsettingsand otherenvironmentsthatrequireacomputerwithextraordinarycomputingpower.Some supercomputersarecapableofperformingseveralbillioninstructionspersecond. Table1:TypesofComputers Type Microcomputer or Personal Computer(PC) Minicomputer PhysicalSize Fitsinhand,on lap,oron desktop Smallcabinet; mayfillasmall roomwith accompanying peripherals Computer requiresapartial room;may occupyseveral roomswith accompanying peripherals Entireroomof equipment ProcessingSpeed* Upto400MIPS Cost $1,000to$4,000 NumberofUsers Onestandalone ormanymay accessitthrough anetwork Uptoseveral hundred

Upto1000MIPS

$5,000to $200,000

Mainframe

Uptoseveral thousandMIPS

$250,000to $3,000,000

Hundredsto thousands

Supercomputer

Upto10,000MIPS

Severalmillion dollarsandup

Hundredsto thousands

*Processing speed is commonly measured in millions of instructions per second (MIPS). One instruction is a basic task, e.g., adding two 10-digit numbers or storing the result in specific location

. For comparison, the human brain is estimated to be capable of 100 million MIPS.

Computersystemscanalsobecategorizedashavingeitheranopenarchitectureora closedarchitecture.Anopenarchitectureallowsthirdpartyvendorstodevelopandsell hardwareandsoftwarethatiscompatiblewiththesystem.Thesevendorsproduceproductsthat enhancethecomputersystem.TheIBMcompatiblemicrocomputersarebasedontheopen architecturedesign.Inaclosedarchitecturesystem,onlyonevendormakesallornearlyallofthe supportsystemsanddoesnotallowothervendorsintothemarket.

WHAT IS A COMPUTER?
Whenwethinkofacomputer,wegenerallypicturecomputerhardware:themonitor,the keyboard,andtheelectroniccircuitrycontainedwithintherectangularcase.Thereismoretoa computerthanthis,however.Themissingelementissoftwaretheinstructionsthattellthe computerhowtooperatethehardware.Allcomputersmusthavethesetwocomponentsto function.However,itissoftwarethatgivesthecomputeroneofitsmostdistinguishing characteristicstheabilitytoprogramasinglemachinetoperformmanydifferentfunctions. Ingeneralterms,acomputerisamachineoperatingunderthecontrolofinstructions storedinitsownmemory.Theseoperationsandinstructionsenablethecomputertoreceivedata fromauser(input),transformandmanipulatethedataaccordingtospecifiedrules(process), produceresults(output).Additionally,data,instructions,andinformationarestored(storage)for futureretrievalanduse.Manycomputersarealsocapableofanothertask:communicating directlywithothermachines. Theuserperformstheinputtaskwithadevicesuchasakeyboard,mouse,ordigital scanner.Thesedevicesallowtheusertoenterdataandinstructionsintothecomputer.A secondarystoragesystemstoresandretrievesadditionaldataandinstructionsthatmayalsobe usedintheinputandprocessingstages.Thissystemmightincludemagneticoropticaldevices,

suchasCDROMs,harddisks,floppydisks,andtapes.Thecentralprocessingsystem,which manipulatesthedata,isperhapsthemostimportantpartofthecomputer.Thissystemisthe brainofthecomputerinthatitenablesthecomputertotransformunorganizedinputsinto usefulinformation.Thecentralprocessingsystemincludesthecentralprocessingunit(CPU)and theprimarymemory.Thecomputersoutputsystemdisplaystheresultsofthedata manipulation.Theoutputsystemmightincludeamonitor,aprinter,aplotter,avoiceoutput device,ormicrofilm/microficheequipment.Afinalelementofacomputeristhecommunication system,whichpassesinformationfromcomputertocomputerovercommunicationmedia.Each ofthesesystemsisdiscussedinmoredetailbelow. Asnotedabove,computerscomeinmanytypes.Itwouldbedifficulttoadequatelycover thevariationsinthecomponentsofthesedifferentcomputertypesinabriefintroduction. Therefore,wewillconfinethefollowingdiscussiontopersonalcomputers(PCs).However,most ofthediscussion,especiallyasrelatingtobasiccomputeroperations,iseasilytransferableto othercomputertypes.

HARDWARE
Thetermhardwarereferstothetangiblepartsofacomputersystem,thatis,thephysical equipmentofthecomputer.Akeyboard,diskdrive,andmonitorareexamplesofcomputer hardware.(Softwareisdiscussedlater.)Understandingthevariousphysicalcomponentsofa computersystemwillhelpyouunderstandhowthesystemworksasawhole.Asdescribed above,thegeneralmodelofacomputerconsistsofaninputsystem,storagesystem,process system,andoutputsystem.Ourdiscussionofcomputerhardwarewill,therefore,beorganized aroundthesesystems,alongwithcommunicationsasanadditionalfunctionofwhichsome computersarecapable.

INPUT SYSTEM

Aninputsystemcomprisesoneormoredevicesthattheuseremploystoenterdataor instructionsintothememoryofthecomputersothattheCPUcansubsequentlyprocessthem. Data,asdiscussedabove,areunorganizedfactsthatcanbecomeusefuloutputbybeing transformedintoinformation.Instructionsmaybeinputasprograms(instructionsthatdirectthe performanceofthecomputer),commands(instructionsdirectaprogram),anduserresponses (instructionsfromtheusercreatedbyreplyingtoaquestionposedbythecomputer).Input devicescomeinmanyforms.Someofthemorecommondevicesaredescribednext. Keyboard.Thekeyboardisoneofthemostcommoninputdevices.Inadditiontokeys thatrepresentletters,numbers,andspecialcharacters,keyboardsoftencontainfunctionkeys,to whichtheusercanassignpersonalizedcommands,andspecialpurposekeys,suchastheenter key.Somekeyboardscontainanumerickeypad(asetofkeysintheformofacalculatorkeypad) thatisusedforenteringnumbersconvenientlyandeasily.KeyboardsmayalsohaveInternet keys,CD/DVDcontrols,andmultimediakeys.Whilemostkeyboardsareconnectedtothe computerbyacable,therearewirelesskeyboardsthattransmittheirinputbymeansofinfrared signals. Mouse.Connectedtomanymodernmicrocomputersisahandsizedinputdevicecalled amouse,orpointingdevice.Amechanicalmousecontainsaballthatrollsalongaflatsurface, movingacursor(pointer)onthecomputerscreen.Anopticalmouseuseslightsignalstodetect themovementofthemouseandtherebymovethepointeronthescreen.Throughtheuseofone tofourbuttonsontopofthemouse(andawheelonsomeversionsofthemouse),theusercan selectandmanipulateobjectsrepresentedonthescreenasicons(symbols).Themouseisa convenientandeffectivewaytointeractwiththegraphicaluserinterfaces(GUIs)thatdominate thecurrentcomputerenvironment. Touchpad.Thisinputdeviceisasmallrectangularsurfacethatoperatesbymeansof

pressureandmotion,andallowstheusertoperformallofthefunctionsofamousebytouch. Movingthefingertipacrossthetouchpadmovesthecursoracrossthescreen.Tappingthetouch padactsasclicksanddoubleclicks.Touchpadsaremostcommonlyfoundonlaptopcomputers. PointingStick.Likethetouchpad,thispressuresensitiveinputdevicefillstheroleofthe mouseinsomelaptops.Itisshapedlikeapencileraserandfitsbetweenkeysinthekeyboard. Movingthepointingstickmovesthecursor.Thisdeviceismostlyfoundonlaptopcomputers. Trackball.Thetrackballisbasicallyanupsidedownmouse.Insteadofrollingtheballon asurfaceaswiththemouse,theuserrotatesthetrackballwiththehanddirectlytopositionthe cursoronthescreen. TouchScreen.Thisinputdeviceisoftenusedinpublicplaces,suchasshoppingcenters, hotels,andairports,whereusersmaynothavemuchexperienceworkingwithcomputers.The usersimplytouchesthescreenforthedesiredmenuitem. LightPen.Thislightsensitivedeviceisusedforenteringdatabywritingonacomputer screen.Engineers,designers,andarchitectsuselightpenstodrawandmodifyshapesonthe screen. GraphicsTablet.Agraphicstabletisaflatrectangularboardusedtoinputdrawingsor othergraphicaldata.Theuserdrawsonthegraphicstabletwithanelectronicpenoramouselike device(calledapuck).Thedrawingmovementsareconvertedintodigitalsignalsthataresentto thecomputerasinput.Architectsandmapmakerscommonlyusethisinputdevice. SpeechRecognitionDevices.Thesedevicesrecognizethewordsspokenbyusers. Samplevoicepatternsareanalyzed,digitized,andstoredinadatabase.Later,duringoperations, actualvoiceinputsarecomparedwiththestoredvoicepattern.Speechorvoicerecognition technologyisbestsuitedtostructuredinputapplicationsinworkenvironmentswheretheusers

handsareoccupied.Forexample,areceivingclerkmayenterdataaboutitemsreceivedwiththe followingphrases:
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Invoice998810 Item56213 Quantity100 ConditionGood

Fromtheseinputs,thespeechrecognitionsystemwillcreatearecordofitemsreceivedbya receivingclerk. AudioInputDevices.Inadditiontospeechrecognitiondevices,soundmaybeentered intocomputerswithaudioinputdevices.Thesedevicesallowmusic,speech,andothersound effectstobeusedasinput.Soundmaybeenteredthroughamicrophone,electronicpiano keyboard,tapeplayer,andCDplayer.Forhighqualitysoundrecording,asoundcardneedsto beinstalledinthecomputer.Forsomeelectronicinputdevicesaspecialserialport,calleda musicalinstrumentdigitalinterface(MIDI),isrequired. VideoInputDevicesandDigitalCameras.Videoinputdevicesanddigitalcameras allowopticalandgraphicalimagestobeenteredintothecomputerforstorageandprocessing. Digitalcamerasallowtheusertostorestillpicturesasdigitalfiles(forexample,.jpgsand.gifs) thatcanbeusedbythecomputerlikeothergraphicimages.Theymaybeedited,emailed, printed,faxed,insertedintodocuments,anddisplayedonthemonitor.Videoinputdevices enabletheusertostoreandprocessfullmotionimagesgeneratedfromcamcordersandVCRs. AutomaticTellerMachines(ATMs).ATMshaverevolutionizedbankingbyextending bankershoursto24hoursaday.ATMuserscanborrowcash,transferfunds,andmake depositsattheirconvenience.MostATMdevicesemploysomesortofcardinputthatcontains informationabouttheuser.Theuserinsertsthecardandispromptedtoenterapersonal

identificationnumber(PIN)toauthorizeaccess.IftheuserfailstoenterthecorrectPINafter threeattempts,theATMwillassumeanunauthorizedpersonisattemptinganillegalaccess.It willthenimplementapredeterminedaction.Thismaybetolocktheuseroutofthesystemor havetheATMdestroyorconfiscatetheaccesscard.Inanycase,theuserwillneedtoappearin personatthebankandreestablishaccessauthority. PointofSale(POS)Devices.POSterminalsarefoundinmanykindsofretail businesses;forexample,grocerystores.MostPOSterminalsusesometypeofopticalscanning device,usuallyinvolvinglaserbeams,forreadingtheproductcodeonanitem.Theproduct code,sometimescalledabarcode,istheprimarykeyforretrievingthepriceanddescriptiondata fromthedatabase. MagneticInkCharacterRecognition(MICR)Devices.MICRdevicesreadcharacters printedinmagnetizedinkondocuments.Thebankingindustry,inparticular,hasmade extensiveuseofMICRforreadingandprocessingchecksanddepositslips. OpticalScanningDevices.Opticalscanningistheprocessofdigitizingtextualor graphicimages.Thescannerisalightsensingdevicethatconvertsanimageintoananalogsignal thatinturnisconvertedintoadigitalsignalforcomputerstorageandprocessing.Theresulting fileiscalledabitmap(.bmpfiles).Opticalscanningisapopulartechniqueforcapturing photographsforcomputerusagebutitmayalsobeeffectivelyusedwithprintedand handwrittentext. OpticalCharacterRecognition(OCR)Devices.OCRdevicesconverttypedand,insome cases,handwrittendataintoelectronicinput.Thisallowspapersourcedocumentstobe convertedtoelectronicformwithoutrekeying.AlthoughOCRdevicescanrecognizehandwritten charactersandavarietyoffontsandtypefaces,thistechnologyisnotperfectlyreliable.Inspiteof higherrorrates,OCRisacosteffectivemeansofconvertinglargevolumesofsourcedocuments

thatotherwisewouldneedtobekeyedmanually. OpticalMarkRecognition.Thisinputdeviceisabletoreadthehanddrawnmarksand darkenedinfieldsplacedonsurveys,tests,andquestionnaires. Onenotableaspectofinputdevicesisthedegreetowhichadeviceeliminatestheneed formanualdataentry.Manualdataentryisacommonsourceoferror.Someinputdevices requirefullymanualdataentry;e.g.,keyboards.Othershavedoneawaywithmanualentry completely;e.g.,opticalscanners.

STORAGE SYSTEM
Inputsaresenttoeithermemoryorstorage,waitingsubsequentprocessingbythe computer.Withregardstocomputers,thereisacommonlyaccepteddistinctionbetweenthe termsmemory(orprimarymemory)andstorage(orsecondarystorage).Memoryreferstothe instructions,information,anddatawaitingforimmediateprocessing.Forthisreason,memoryis alsoreferredtoasworkingmemory.Memoryissavedelectronicallyonmemorychips.Storage, informationandinstructionsaresavedonmagneticoropticalmedia.Itisfastertoaccessdata andinstructionsfromprimarymemorythanfromsecondarystoragemedia,buttheinformation inmemoryisusuallyvolatile;i.e.,itdisappearswhenthecomputerspoweristurnedoff. (Actually,thesituationisabitmorecomplicatedbecausetherearealsosometypesofmemory thatarenonvolatile.Thesewillbediscussedinthe"CentralProcessingSystem"sectionbelow.) Theinformationsavedinstoragemediaisnonvolatileandremainsinthecomputerevenwhen powerisoff.Ingeneral,dataandinstructionsarekeptinsecondarystoragewhennotneededfor processing.WhenrequiredforprocessingbytheCPU,theyareretrievedfromstorage,sentto memory,wherekeptuntilprocessed. Storagesystemshavetwocomponents:thestoragemedium(e.g.,adiskoratape)that

containsthesavedinformationandthestoragedeviceordrivethatreadsfromandwritesontothe storagemedium.Permanent,nonvolatilestoragemediaincludefloppydiskettes,installedhard disks,compactdisks(CDs),magnetictapecartridges,removableharddisks,andsuperfloppies. Storageandmemoryareusuallymeasuredinbytes,whichconsistof8bits(binarydigitsof0or 1).Asinglebyteisusedtoencodeasinglecharacter(letterornumber).Onethousandbytesare akilobyte(KB).Onemillionbytesareamegabyte(MB).Onebillionbytesareagigabyte(GB). Onetrillionbytesareaterabyte(TB).Forcomparison,theaveragebookcontainsabout1MBof informationandthestoragecapacityofhumanmemoryisabout10TB(or1millionbooks). Floppydiskettesemploymagneticstoragetechnology.Thedisksare3.5inchesin diameterandareeasilyportable.Asinglefloppycanhold1.44MB. Harddisksarealsomagneticbasedstoragemedia.Boththeharddriveandthehard disksareusuallyinstalledinsidethecomputer.Portableexternalharddrivesareconnectedtothe computerbyacable.CurrentPCharddiskstypicallyhaveacapacityfrom2to50GB.Hard driveshaveafasterdataaccesstimethanfloppydisks.Dataaccesstimeisthetimerequiredto locateapieceofstoredinformationinstorageandretrieveitintoprimarymemoryortheCPU. Compactdisksareopticalstoragemediathatemploylasertechnology.CDsare4.75 inchesindiameterandcanholdupto680MB(theequivalentof450floppies).CDsareoften readonly,althoughmanyPCsarenowequippedwithCDdrivesthatallowtheusertorecord informationontheCD.SomewritableCDscanberecordedononlyonce.Thesearedesignatedas CDR(compactdiscrecordable).OthersCDscanberecordedonmultipletimesandare designateasCDRW(compactdiscrewritable).Videodata(e.g.,movies)canbestoredona specializetypeofCDcalledCDDVDs(digitalvideodiscs).AswithCDs,thereisrecordable variationofDVDs(DVDR)thatallowstheusertorecordvideodatafromhisorhercomputer, providedthatthecomputerisequippedwithaDVDwriter.

Magnetictapecartridgesusemagneticallytreatedplasticribbontostoreinformation. Tapecartridgescanholdlargeamountsofinformation,upto80GB.Onedisadvantageoftape storageisthatinformationmustbeaccessedsequentially.Forexample,toretrieveinformation storageinthemiddleofthetape,theentirefirsthalfofthetapemustberun.Disks,ontheother hand,allowfordirect(orrandom)access,whichmeansthatapieceofinformationmaybe locatedimmediately.Magnetictapecartridges,ofcourse,requiremagnetictapedrives. Removableharddisksaremagneticbasedharddisksthatcanberemovedfromthehard diskdriveandeasilytransported.Thediskdrivethatreadsfromandwritesontotheremovable harddiskiseitherinstalledinthecomputerorattachedtothecomputerbyaport.Theportable harddiskisencasedinaplasticormedalcontainerforprotection.Thediskstypicallycanstore upto2GB.TheJazdiskbyIomegaisapopularexample.

Superfloppydiskettesaremagneticbasedhighcapacityfloppydiskettes.Thedisksare aboutthesamesizeasthestandard3.5inchdisk,butrequirespecialdiskdrivesforreadingfrom andwritingtothedisks.Diskdrivesmaybepermanentlybuiltinthecomputerorexternally connectedtothecomputerthroughaport.ThreepopularsuperfloppiesaretheIomegaZip disk,whichcanstoreupto250MB,theSonyHiFD disk,withacapacityof200MB,andthe ImitationSuperDisk ,whichcanhold120MB.

PROCESSING SYSTEM
Oncedatahasbeeninputintothecomputerandstored,thecomputermustbeableto retrieveandmanipulateitinusefulways.Thistaskishandledbythehardwarethatmakesup thecentralprocessingsystem,whichincludestheprimarymemory,thecentralprocessingunit (CPU),expansioncards,ports,buses,andconnectors.Thevariouspartsofthecomputersystem areconnectedthroughaprintedcircuitboardcalledthesystemboardormotherboard.Thesystem

boardcontainstheprimarymemory,theCPU,thesystemclock,expansionslots,andexpansion ports.InaPC,thecentralprocessingsystemishousedaboxlikecasecalledthesystemcaseor systemunit.

MEMORY.Asdiscussedabove,instructionsanddataneededforimmediateprocessing areusuallyplacedinmemory.Acomputerhastwotypesofmemory:volatileandnonvolatile. Theyareusedforthelongandshorttermretentionofinformation,respectively.RAMandcache areexamplesofvolatilememorytheprimarymemory.ROMandCMOSareexamplesof nonvolatilememory. Randomaccessmemory(RAM)temporarilyholdsdata,theoperatingsystem (instructionsthatcontrolthecomputersoperation),andapplicationsoftware(instructionsthat manipulatedata).TheoperatingsystemresidesinRAMonlywhilethecomputeristurnedon. TheapplicationsoftwareremainsinRAMonlywhileitisbeingused.Unlessthereisenough RAMtoholdtheapplicationsoftwareformorethanoneprogramatatime,whennew applicationsoftwareisretrievedfromsecondarystorage,itisloadedintoRAM,replacingthe applicationsoftwarethatwaspreviouslyresidingthere.Mostcurrentcomputershaveenough RAMtorunseveralapplicationssimultaneously,aprocesscalledmultitasking.Dataand instructionsabouttobeprocessedareinRAM,asaretheoutputoftheprocesses.Recallthatthe dataandinstructionsinworkingmemory(i.e.,RAM)areelectronicallystored,asopposedto beingmagneticallyoropticallystored.Thus,whenthecomputerisshutdown,allinstructions anddatainRAMarelostbecausetheflowofelectricityceases.InRAM,anyaddresscanbe randomlyaccessedatanytime;hencethenamerandomaccessmemory. CachememoryisveryfastRAM.Itisusedtostorefrequentlyusedinstructions. Computersthathavecachememoryprocessdatafasterthancomputerswithoutitbecausedata travelsfasterfromcachetotheCPUthanfromRAMtotheCPU.Somecacheisbuiltdirectlyin theprocessorchip,whileothercacheisinachipexternaltotheprocessorchip.

Readonlymemory(ROM)containsinstructionsthatthecomputerusestooperate variousaspectsofthehardware.UnlikeRAM,theinformationstoredintheROMchipisnotlost whenthecomputeristurnedoff.However,thisinformationiswritteninthefactoryandcannot bealteredbytheuser.ROM,forexample,containstheinstructionsthecomputerfollowstoload theoperatingsystemwhenfirstturnedon. Complementarymetaloxidesemiconductor(CMOS),likeROM,isalsononvolatile memory.UnlikeROM,theusercanchangeCMOS.Forexample,CMOScontainsdateandtime informationthattheusercanupdate.

CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT (CPU).TheCPUconsistsoftwocomponentsan arithmetic/logicunit(ALU)andacontrolunit.TheALUperformsarithmeticcalculations(addition, subtraction,multiplication,anddivision),comparisons(greaterthan,lessthan,andequalto),and logicaloperations(and,or,andnot).Alltransformationsof"meaningless"datainto"useful" informationultimatelyaretheresultofthesethreefunctions.Thecontrolunitretrieves instructionsanddatafromprimarymemoryanddetermineswhichinstructionstheALUwill carryout.TheCPUalsocontainsregisters,whicharetemporaryholdingareaswheredataresides beforeaninstructionisexecuted.Notethemultiplelayersofinformationretentionrequiredby thecomputer:storage(whereinformationiskeptlongterm),memory(whereinformationiskept shortterm),andregisters(whereinformationiskeptduringprocessing).InaPC,theCPUis usuallycontainedinonechip,calledthemicroprocessororsimply,processor;e.g.,theIntel PentiumIIIandtheAMDAthlon .Inlargercomputers,severalchipsarerequired.

TheprocessingortransformationofdataintoinformationiscalledtheProcessingor Machinecycle.TheMachinecycleconsistsoftwosubsidiarycyclescalledtheInstructioncycleand theExecutioncycle,eachperformingtwoprocesses,foratotaloffourstages.TheALU,primary memory,andthecontrolunitareinvolvedinthesecycles.IntheInstructioncycle,thecontrol

unitfirst(1)fetchesthetechnicalterminstructionsfromtheregisters,wherethedatatobe processedisalsobeingkept.Thecontrolunitnext(2)decodestheinstructionandsendsittothe ALU,thethinkingpartoftheprocessor.NowtheExecutioncyclebegins.TheALU(3)executes theinstructionsbyperforminganarithmetic,comparison,orlogicaloperationonthedatainthe registers.Theresultisthen(4)storedorwrittentotheregisterswhereitwilleventuallybe displayedandsavedinmemoryorstorage.ThetimetocompletetheboththeInstructioncycle andExecutioncycleiscalledmachinetime. OnemeasurementofthecapacityofacomputersystemishowmuchRAMcanbe addressed.Thisdependsonthenumberofbitsinanaddress.Inthe1970s,microcomputershada 16bitaddress,or65,536bytesofaddressablememory.Todaysmicrocomputershavea32bit address,whichisoverfourbillionbytesofaddressablememory. ARAMaddresslocationstoreseitherdataorinstructions.Thesizeoftheaddressthat is,thenumberofbitsataspecificaddresslocationiscalledthewordsize.Acomputeraddress canhaveawordsizeof8,16,32,or64bits.TheCPUchipisconsideredtobean8,16,32,or64 bitCPU,accordingtoitscapacitytoreceivedatafromRAM.Thelargerthewordsize,themore datathecontrolunitcanfetchfromRAM.

SYSTEM CLOCK.Thesystemclock,avibratingquartzcrystalchipthatemitspulses, synchronizestheoperationsoftheCPU.ThefrequencyofthesepulsesistheCPUsclockspeed, whichismeasuredinmegahertz(MHz).(Onemegahertzequalsonemillioncyclespersecond.)A CPUrequiresafixednumberofclockcyclestoexecuteaninstruction.Thus,thefastertheclock speed,thefasterthecomputercanprocessinstructions.ThenewestIntelPentiumIIIandthe AMDAthlon microprocessorshaveclockspeedsover1000MHz(or1GHz). AnotherwaytodescribetheCPUsspeedisbyhowmanyinstructionsitcanprocessper second.Thismeasurementisgiveninmillionsofinstructionspersecond(MIPS).Megahertzisa betterbenchmarkthanMIPSbecauseacomputerssystemclockisconstant,whereasinstructions

varyintheirdifficultyandthusinthenumberofcyclesrequiredfortheircompletion.A computerperformingsimpleinstructionswouldbefasterintermsofMIPSthanthesame computerperformingmorecomplexinstructions.Forsuchreasons,IBMnolongeradvertisesthe MIPScapabilityofitscomputers. Inadditiontoincreasingclockspeed,processingmayalsobeenhancedbypipelining, coprocessing,andparallelprocessing.Traditionally,theentireMachinecycle(fetch,decode, execute,andstore)hastobecompletedbeforethenextonecanstart.PipeliningallowstheCPU tobeginasecondMachinecyclebeforethefirstcycleiscomplete.Withfullpipelining,uptofour cyclesmaybeprocessedinaCPUsimultaneously.Coprocessorsincreasecomputerperformance bytheuseofaspecializedchipthathandlesspecifictasks,therebyfreeingupthemainprocessor todootherwork.Commonexamplesaregraphicscoprocessorsfordisplayingimagesonthe monitorandfloatingpointcoprocessorsforhandlingarithmeticcalculations.Parallelprocessing enablesacomputertousemultipleprocessorstosolveasingleproblem.Specialsoftwaredivides theproblemintoseveralparts,assignsthepartstodifferentprocessorswherethatpartsaresolve simultaneously,resemblesthepartialsolutions,andcompletesanyremainingproblemsolving. NotallproblemscanbesolvedbythismethodanditisnotusuallyfoundinPCs.

EXPANSION SLOTS.Peripheraldevices,suchaskeyboards,diskdrives,andmonitors, areconnectedtothecomputerthroughexpansioncircuitboards(alsocalledexpansioncards, adaptercards,addins,addons,andinterfacecards)pluggedintotheexpansionslotsprovided onthemotherboard.Typesofexpansioncardsinclude: Adiskcontrollercardconnectingadiskdrive AnacceleratorcardincreasingCPUspeed Avideographiccardconnectingamonitor


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Afax/modemcardconnectingatelephoneline

Amemorycardforaddingmemory APCTVcardforconnectingtoatelevision Asoundcardconnectingexternalspeakers Agamecardconnectingajoystick Aninterfacecardconnectingperipheralssuchasmousedevicesand scanners

Alocalareanetworkcardconnectingothercomputers

LaptopsandnotebookshaveaspecialtypeofexpansioncardcalledaPCcard.Unlike desktoptypeexpansioncards,youcanaddorchangeaPCcardwithoutopeningthesystemcase ofthecomputer.ThePCcardissimplypluggedintotheappropriateopeninginthelaptopor notebook.PCcardscanbeusedtoaddmemory,fax/modem,diskdrives,andsoundcapabilities. MostPCcardsfollowstandardsdevelopedbythePersonalComputerMemoryCard InternationalAssociation(PCMCIA).FollowingthePCMCIAstandardsallowvariousPCcards tobeinterchangedbetweenlaptopsandnotebooksproducedbydifferentmanufacturers. BUSES.Dataintheformofelectriconoffsignals(bits)travelalongpathwayscalled busesthatconnectthevariouspartsofthecomputer.Therearetwotypesofbuses:systembuses andexpansionbuses.ThesystembusconnectstheCPUtoprimarymemory,allowinginstructions anddatatobeexchanged.ExpansionbusesconnecttheCPUtoperipheraldevices,allowingdata totravelfromtheCPUtotheexpansionslotsandoutthroughtheexpansioncardstothe peripheraldevicesattachedtothecomputer. Busesconsistofsetsofparallelwiresorlines.Eachlinecarriesonebit.(Eightbitsequal onebyte.)Thus,abusismeasuredbyhowmanybitsitcancarrysimultaneously.Thewiderthe bus,themoreinformationitcancarry.Mostcurrentcomputershaveeither32bitor64bitbus width.Anothermeasureofbusesistheirclockspeed,measuredinMHz.Liketheprocessor,the busclockspeeddetermineshowfastthebusfunctions.Busspeedsaretypicallylessthan200

MHz,muchlessthancurrentprocessorclockspeeds. Expansionbusesareusuallyslowerattransferringinformationthansystembuses.The expansionbusesalsodeterminethetypesofexpansioncardsthatcanbeaddedtothecomputer. Threeofthemostcommonexpansionbuses,listedinorderofspeed,are:


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IndustryStandardArchitecture(ISA).Thisbusistheslowestandmostcommon expansionbus.Itisusedtoconnectmousedevices,modems,soundcards,and somenetworkcards.

AcceleratedGraphicsPort(AGP).ThisexpansionbusisfasterthantheISA,andis usedtoconnectvideocardsandmemory.

PeripheralComponentInterconnect(PCI).Ahighspeedexpansionbususedto connectharddisks,videocards,andnetworkcards.

TheUniversalSerialBus(USB)usesanewapproachtoconnectingperipheraldevicesto thecomputer.Itdoesawaywiththeneedtoinstallnewexpansioncardsforeachnewdevice. Instead,USBcapabledevicesareconnectedtoeachotherinadaisychain,andonlyonedeviceis actuallyconnectedtothecomputerthroughacableattachedtotheUSBport.TheUSBportfeeds intotheUSB,whichinturnconnectstothePCI,andthenontothemotherboard. BUFFERS AND CHANNELS.Peripheraldevicesareveryslowcomparedtothespeedof theCPU.Tokeepthecomputerrunningefficiently,datatravelingtoandfromperipheraldevices areplacedinabuffer.Abufferisastorageareawheredataresidebeforebeingprocessed. MicrocomputershavebuffersinRAMandinperipheraldevicessuchasprinters.The CPUcoordinatesdatabeingtransferredtoandfromperipheraldevicesbyusingbuffers.When thebufferisempty,theCPUisinterruptedandaspecialrequestismadetofillthebufferwith moredata. Onmainframecomputers,channelsareusedtosenddatatoandfromperipheraldevices. Channelsaresmallcomputersthatcontroltheflowofdatatoandfromperipheraldevices.

Buffersholdthedatawhilethechannelscoordinatethesendingofthedata.Together,channels andbuffersadjustforthedifferencesinspeedofperipheraldevices.Asaresult,theyincrease throughput,whichisthetimeacomputersystemrequirestocompletetasks. PORTS.Peripheraldevices,suchaskeyboards,monitors,printers,andmousedevices, mustbeconnectedtothePCsystemcase.Thisconnectionismadebyattachingacablefromthe devicetoaninterfacepointcalledaport.Mostportsandcableshaveconnectorsthateithermale, withexposedpins,orfemale,withmatchingholesfortheexposedpins.Thenumberofholesand pinsrangesfrom5to36. Therearethreemaintypesofports.Serialportstransmitandreceivedataonebitata time.Onewireinthecableisusedtosendasinglebitstreamofdata,whileanotherwirereceives asinglebitstreamofdata.Serialportsaretheslowestofthethreetypesofportsfordata transmission.Parallelportsarecapableoftransmittingandreceivingmorethanonebitatatime. Mostparallelportsareabletosendandreceivestreamsof8bits(1byte)datasimultaneously. Theseportsachievethishighertransferratebyhaving8wiresdedicatedforsendingdataand8 wiresdedicatedforreceivingdata.Parallelportsaremuchfasterthanserialports.UniversalSerial Bus(USB)portscanconnectupto127differentexternaldevicesataoncewithasingleconnector bymeansofadaisychainingthedevicestogether. Therearealsoseveraltypesofspecialpurposeports.Threeofthemostpopularare: Musicalinstrumentdigitalinterface(MIDI)portsforconnectingmusicalinstruments, suchasanelectronickeyboard Smallcomputersysteminterface(SCSI)portsforconnectingperipheraldevicesthat requirehighspeeddatatransfer;e.g.,printersanddiskdrives.SCSIequippeddevices canalsobedaisychainedtogether,similartoUSBcapabledevices. InfraredDataAssociation(IrDA)portsforconnectingexternaldeviceswithoutcablesby meansofinfraredtransmissionofdata

OUTPUT SYSTEM
Liketheinputsystem,theoutputsystemprovidesaninterfacethroughwhichcomputers andhumanscaninteractwithoneanother.However,nowthehumanisonthereceivingendof theprocess.Outputdevicesareusedtodisplayinputdatathathasbeenprocessedbythe computerintousefuloutputinformation.Throughitsoutputsystem,thecomputerpresentsthe dataitcontainsinaformthattheusercanunderstand.Thepresentationistypicallyinoneof fourforms:graphics(e.g.,chartsandphotographs),text(e.g.,wordsandnumbers),video(e.g., photographicimagesinmotion),oraudio(e.g.,musicandspeech).Probablythemostcommon outputdevicesaremonitorsforproducingtemporarydisplays(softcopies)andprintersfor producingpapercopiesofdocuments(hardcopies). MONITORS.Amonitor,orscreen,candisplaygraphics,text,andvideooutput.Todisplay videointhemonitor,thecomputerneedsavideocard(orgraphicscard)forconvertingthedigital signal(i.e.,dataintheformof0sand1s)fromtheprocessortoananalogsignal(i.e.,datainthe formofacontinuouselectricalwave)thatthemonitorcaninterpret. Monitorsaredescribedintwoways.Thefirstisbythenumberofcolorsthatthescreen candisplay.Thiscanrangefrom4to65,536.Thesecondisbythequality,orresolution,ofthe screen,whichismeasuredinpictureelements(pixels).Pixelsaretinydotsoflightthatcombine toformimagesonthescreen.Typicalscreenshave320220pixels,640480pixels,or1,024 768pixels.Themorepixelsascreenhas,thegreateritsresolution.Bothcolorandresolutionare importantfordeterminingtheperformanceandqualityofacomputermonitor. TheIBMcompatiblecolor/graphicmonitorshaveevolvedfromtheColorGraphic Adapter(CGA)technology,whichfeatured4colorsandaresolutionof320220,throughthe EnhancedGraphicAdapter(EGA)andtheVideoGraphicsArray(VGA)technologies.The currentstateoftheartforthepersonalcomputeristheSuperVideoGraphicsArray(SVGA);for thesemonitors,thenumberofcolorsvariesfrom256to65,536,andtheresolutionvariesfrom800

600to1,6001,200. Monitorscomeinthreemainvarieties:cathoderaytubes(CRT),flatscreenliquidcrystal displays(LCD),andgasplasmadisplays.Allofthesearenowcapableofeithermonochrome (blackandwhite)orcolordisplays.DesktopPCsusuallycomewithCRTs,althoughflatscreen LCDsarebecomingmorecommon.FlatscreenLCDsaregenerallyusedinnotebooksand laptops.ThecommondesktopCRTsizesrangefrom15to21inches.LaptopLCDssizesare commonly14.1to15.1inches.Gasplasmadisplaysarecapableoflargerdisplayswithgood resolutionandcanbeinexcessof42inches. PRINTERS.Itwasoncethoughtthatascomputersbecamemorecommoninbusiness andinthehome,wewouldmovetowardapaperlesssociety.Thatis,alldatawouldbe circulatedandusedinelectronicform,eliminatingtheneedforprintedmaterial.Thisvisionhas yettoberealized.Inbusinesses,homes,andmostsettingswherecomputersarefound,usersstill producehardcopy(informationinprintedform).Formostapplications,softcopy(informationin electronicform)isnotadequate. Toproducehardcopy,acomputermustbeconnectedtoaprinter.Thisistypicallydone throughaparallelport,whichenablesthecomputertocommunicatewiththeprinteronebyteat atime.Microcomputersmayhaveoneormoreparallelports. Whenmicrocomputersfirstinvadedtheworkplace,themostpopulartypeofprinterwas thedotmatrixprinter,whichcanstillbefoundinservicetoday.Theseinexpensiveprintersare appropriatefortasksthatdonotrequirehighqualityimages.Asitsnameimplies,thedotmatrix printerproducesaseriesofdotsinamatrixtoformbothcharactersandimages.Aprinthead containing9,18,or24tinypinsstrikesaninkedribbontocreatethedotsthatmakeuptheimage onpaper.Thenumberofpinsdeterminesthequalityoftheoutput;thegreaterthenumber,the smoothertheoutput. Inthe1980s,businesspeoplewhowantedbetterqualityoutputthanadotmatrixprinter

couldprovidebegantousedaisywheelprinters.Theprintingelementofthistypeofprinterisa roundplasticdiskthatresemblesadaisy,withpetalsprotrudingfromthecenter.Thepetals eachcontainaletter,number,orothercharacter.Whenprinting,thedaisywheelrotatestobring thedesiredcharacterintoposition,andahammerstrikesthewheel,forcingthecharacterto pressagainstaninkedribbonandmarkthepaper.Daisywheelprintersdonotproducegraphic images. Thankstoitsdecreasingcostandveryhighimagequality,thelaserprinterhasbecomethe printerofchoiceformostmicrocomputerapplications.Thelaserprintercanproduceboth charactersofanysizeandhighqualitygraphicimages.Alaserbeamdrawsthedesiredimageon theprintersmetaldrum.Thedrumattractstoner(powderedink)wherethelightstrikesit,and theimageistransferredfromthedrumtothepaperusingheat. Afourthtypeofprinterusedwithmicrocomputersistheinkjetprinter,whichproduces letterqualityimagesbysprayingdropletsofinkontothesurfaceofthepaper.Ithasmanyofthe advantagesofthelaserprinter,includinghighqualityoutputandtheabilitytoproduceboth charactersandgraphicimages.Inaddition,inkjetprintersareoftenlessexpensivethanlaser printersandcanproducecolorimagesofverygoodquality. Theresolutionqualityofbothlaserprintersandinkjetprintersismeasuredinthe numberofdotsperinch(dpi)theprinterisabletoproducewhengeneratingcharacters:the higherthedpi,thegreatertheresolutionofthecharacters.TheaveragePCprintertodayprovides 300to600dpi.Highqualitylaserprintersgoupto1200dpi,whilehighqualityinkjetprinters rangeupto1440dpi. Chainprintersareoftenusedwithmainframecomputers.Chainprintersareextremely fast,producingupto3,000linesperminute.Achainwithcharactersonitrevolvesinfrontofthe paper;whenthedesiredcharacterpassesby,thehammerinthatpositionpressesthepaperand inkedribbonagainstthechain.

OTHER OUTPUT DEVICES.Plottersareusedinsomesettingstoproducearchitectural drawings,barcharts,andhighqualitygraphicimages.Theyoftenusepaperthatislargerthan mostprinterscanhandle.Therearethreetypesofplotters.Penplottersusecoloredpens positionedsothatamechanicalarmcanaccessthem.Themechanicalarmdrawsthegraphic imagewithonecoloredpen,thenselectsanother,repeatingtheprocessuntiltheimageis complete.Penplottersarewidelyusedandproduceveryhighqualityimages.Electrostatic plottersuseelectrostaticchargestocreateimagesonspeciallytreatedpaper.Thispapermust thenbedevelopedlikeaphotographtoproducehighresolutionimages.Directimageplotters, alsocalledthermalplotters,createimagesonheatsensitivepaper.Thisprocessislimitedtotwo coloroutput. Speakersandheadsetsarethetwomostcommondevicesusedforaudiooutput.Avoice outputdeviceproducesvoicecommandsbyimitatingphonicsounds.Theseprerecordedphonic soundsproducesyntheticsoundingwords.Sometelephonecompaniesusevoiceoutputto automatedirectoryassistance,andsomeautomobilescontainvoiceoutputdevicesthatremind driverstofastentheirseatbelts. Projectorsareusedtodisplaygraphics,text,videooutputfromacomputer.Inthecaseof projectors,theoutputisdisplayedontoascreenforanaudiencetoviewinsteadofintoamonitor forasingleuser'sviewing.Likemonitors,projectorsareattachedtothecomputerthrougha parallelport.Projectortechnologyvarieswidely,butthetwomostcommontypesareLCDs projectorsanddigitallightprocessing(DLP)projectors.

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Itissometimeshelpfultolinktwoormorecomputerstogethersothattheycan communicatewithoneanotherdirectlywithoutahumanintermediary.Toaccomplishthistask, acomputerdrawsonitscommunicationsystem.Communicationsis,thus,thethirdmain

functionofwhichcomputersarecapable,theothertwobeingdatastorageanddataprocessing. Inorderfortwoormorecomputerstocommunicate,specializedhardwareisrequired. First,themultiplecomputersmustbeconnectedtogetherthroughtransmissionmediaoverwhich thedataaretransmitted.Second,theremustbecommunicationprocessorsthatputthedataina formthatcanbetransmittedthroughthetransmissionmediaandconvertthereceivedsignals intoaformthecomputerscanuse.(Networksareadistinctandhighlyimportantaspectof computercommunicationsbutwillnotbecoveredinthisappendix.Chapter12givesan overviewofnetworks.) Transmissionmediacaneitherbephysicalorwireless.Thethreemostcommontypesof physicaltransmissionmediaarediscussednext. Twistedpaircableisthetypeofwiringusedintelephonesystems,andtransmitsdataas electricsignals.Thisistheleastexpensivemediabutisthemostpronetointerference thatcandistortthesignal. Coaxialcable,thetypeusedincableTVsystems,islesslikelytodistortthesignalbeing transmitted,butismoreexpensive.Dataistransmittedinelectricform. Fiberopticcabletransmitsasignalintheformoflight.Fiberoptictechnologyismuch faster,cantransmitdataathigherrates,andislesspronetointerference.However,itis notwidelyavailableandismoreexpensive. Thetwomostcommontypesofwirelessmediaareradiosignalsandmicrowavesignals. Thesesignalsdifferinthefrequencyrangestheycover(referredtoasbandwidth),with microwavesgoingabove1GHzandradiosignalscoveringbelow1GHz.Bothtypesofsignals arelimitedtobeinglineofsight(LOS).Becauseofthecurvatureoftheearth,thislimitssignal transmissiontoarangeofapproximately30miles.ToovercometheLOSproblem,repeatersare usedtoretransmitasignal.Repeaterscaneitherbetowersorsatellites. Thetransmissionmediahaveawiderangeoftransmissionspeeds(ortransferrates).

Table2providestheupperendspeedsofthemediadiscussedabove.Thesehighendtransfer ratesmaynotbeachievableinpracticebecauseoftheparticulartechnologiesinusefor transmitting,receiving,andprocessingsignals. Table2:TransferRatesofSelectedTransmissionMedia TransmissionMedium UpperendofTransferRate Twistedpairtelephonelines 128Mbps CoaxialcableTVlines 200Mbps Fiberopticslines 2Gbps Radiowaves 2Mbps Microwave 45Mbps Mbps(megabitspersecond)referstoatransferrateofmillionsofbitspersecondand Gbps(gigabitspersecond)referstoatransferrateofbillionsofbitspersecond.

CommunicationsprocessorsforPCsaregenerallyreferredtoasmodems(fromtheterm modulatordemodulator).Mostcommunicationsystemsoperatebyhavingthesendingcomputers modemconvert(ormodulate)thecomputersdigitalinformationintoanalogformat(continuous wave),whichisthensentoverthetransmissionmedium.Thereceivingcomputersmodem changestheanalogsignalbackintodigitalform(demodulation).Somemorecurrentmodemsdo nottranslatethedigitalinformationintoanalogform.Keepingtheinformationdigital throughouttheentirecommunicationsprocesscanvastlyincreasethetransmissionspeed.For example,telephonemodemsusetwistedpairtelephonelinesandoperatebydigitaltoanalog modulation.Theytypicallyhaveamaximumtransmissionspeedof56Kbps(kilobitspersecond; i.e.,thousandsofbitspersecond).DigitalSubscriberLine(DSL)modems,whichstilluse ordinarytelephoneline,remaindigitalthroughoutthecommunicationscycleandhaveatypical transmissionspeedof512Kbpsto1.544Mbps.Ontheotherhand,cablemodems,usingTV coaxialcableasthetransmissionmediumandadvanceddigitaltoanalogtechnology,achieve typicaltransmissionspeedof2.5Mbps. Modemscanbeeitherinternal(builtin)orconnectedexternally.Aninternalmodemcan beinstalledonanexpansioncardinthecomputer.Anexternalmodemisconnectedtothe

computereitherthroughaserialport,oracommunicationport,throughwhichthecomputer communicateswiththemodemonebitatatime.

SOFTWARE
Acomputersystemneedsmorethanthehardwaredescribedaboveinordertofunction. Thehardwarebyitself,evenwhenpoweredup,isincapableofproducingusefuloutput.Itmust beinstructedhowtodirectitsoperationsinordertotransforminputintooutputofvaluetothe user.Thisistheroleofsoftware;i.e.,toprovidethedetailedinstructionsthatcontroltheoperation ofacomputersystem.Justashardwarecomprisesthetangiblesideofthecomputer,sosoftware istheintangiblesideofthecomputer.IftheCPUisthephysicalbrainofthecomputer,then softwareisitsmind. Softwareinstructionsareprogrammedinacomputerlanguage,translatedintomachine language,andexecutedbythecomputer.Betweentheuserandthehardware(specifically,the memory),generallystandtwolayersofsoftware:systemsoftwareandapplicationsoftware.

SYSTEM SOFTWARE
Systemsoftwaredirectlycontrolsthecomputershardware,whereasapplication softwareisonelevelremovedfromhardware.Systemsoftwaremanagesthecomputers resources,enablesthevariouscomponentsofthecomputertocommunicate,runsapplication software,andmakesthehardwarerespondtotheusersneeds.Whenthesystemsoftware operatesefficiently,thedifficultoperationsofcontrollingthehardwarearetransparenttothe user.Systemsoftwareincludesfourmaintypes: Theoperatingsystemprovidesaninterfacebetweenthecomputerhardwareandtheuser ortheapplicationsoftware.Becauseofitscentralimportance,theoperatingsystemwill bediscussedinmoredetailbelow. Languagetranslatorsconvertapplicationprogramsandanyothersoftwareprogramsinto

themachinelanguage(discussedbelow)thatactuallycontrolsthecomputer'soperations. Networkandcommunicationssoftwareoperatesthecommunicationshardwareina computersothatitcantransmitandreceiveinformationfromothercomputers.Network andcommunicationssoftwarerequirestwotypesofsoftware:softwareforthePC operatingsystemandsoftwareforthenetworkoperatingsystem.Insomecases,the lattercomesbuiltintheformer. Utilityprogramsperformvariousspecialized"housekeeping"tasks,suchasfile management,virusprotection,diskdefragmentation,programinstallationand uninstallation,fileanddiskbackup,diskformatting,andprovidingscreensaver programs.Thislistisfarfromexhaustive.Theuserdirectlycontrolsmostutility programs,althoughsomeutilityprogramscanbesettorunautomatically(e.g.;screen saversandantivirusscanning). Computersofalltypesrequiresystemsoftwaretocoordinatetheirresources.Thesystem softwareforasingleuserPCisnotnearlyascomplexasthesystemsoftwareforamultiuser mainframecomputer.However,asthePCssystemcapacityhasincreased,thesophisticationof itssystemsoftwarealsohasincreased.Manyofthefeaturesoncefoundonlyinmainframeand minicomputersystemshavebeenincorporatedintoPCs. Theoperatingsystemhastwoprimaryfunctions.First,it

OPERATING SYSTEMS.

managesthecomputer'sresourcesthecomputer'shardwareandanyexternaldevices.For example,theoperatingsystemcontrolstheCPU,accessesRAM,executesprograms,receives inputfromthekeyboardorotherinputdevice,retrievesandsavesdatatoandfromsecondary storagedevices,displaysdataonthemonitor,andcontrolstheprinter.Second,theoperating systemcontainsinstructionsforrunningapplicationsoftware. Theoperatingsystemcontainstwotypesofinstructions.Systemresidentcommandsare activeinprimarymemoryatalltimestocoordinateinput/outputrequestsandexecute

programs.Thiscoreoftheoperatingsystem,criticaltothefunctioningofthecomputer,iscalled thekernelandisthefirstsetofinstructionstobeloaded(booted)fromsecondarystorageinthe harddiskontoprimarymemoryinRAMwhenthecomputerisfirstturnedon.Diskresident commandsresideinsecondarystorageuntilarequestismadetoexecutespecialpurpose programs,atwhichtypetheyareloadedintoworkingmemory. Tomakemicrocomputersystemseasytouse,theinterface(link)betweentheuserandthe hardwarehasbecomesimplerandmoreintuitive.Particularlyimportantforthedevelopmentof userfriendlycomputersisthegraphicaluserinterface(GUI).TheGUIallowstheusertointeract withthecomputerthroughicons(graphicsymbols)onthescreen.Theseiconscanrepresenta varietyofthings,includingcomputerdisks,folders,documents,andsoftwareprograms.The userinstructsthecomputertoperformparticulartasksbypointingtoandmanipulatingthe appropriateiconswithamouse.OperatingsystemsnotGUIcapable,e.g.,UNIX,requiretheuser toinputcommandsbytypinginwordsorpressingspeciallydefinedkeys.Thissetupiscalleda commandlineinterface. Thecomputersoperatingsystemdefinesthefamilyofadditionalsoftwareprimarily applicationsthatthecomputercanuse.Forthisreasontheoperatingsystemsoftwareis frequentlycalledthesoftwareplatform.Mostapplicationsoftwareiswrittenforoneparticular operatingsystem.Forexample,theuserofanIBMcompatiblePCwithaDOSoperatingsystem mustselectprogramsfromtheavailablesoftwarewrittenforthatoperatingsystem.Theuserof anIBMcompatiblePCwithanOS/2operatingsystemmustselectfromadifferentsetof software.(DOSandOS/2willbediscussedbelow.)Someapplications,however,arecapableof runningonmultipleoperatingsystemsandarereferredtoascrossplatformapplications. Applicationprogramscanbeverylarge.Theymighttakeupmanymillionsofbytesona secondarystoragedevice.Forthisreason,theoperatingsystemdoesnotloadallofalarge applicationprogramintoRAMatonetime.Instead,itloadsonlyaportionoftheapplication

program;whentheprogramrequiresothercode,itaccessesthatcodefromsecondarystorage. Theoperatingsystemsabilitytodividethecomputerprogramintovariablelengthportionsand tostoreonlyasmallportionatatimeinprimarymemory(RAM)iscalledvirtualstorage.Some operatingsystemsalsohavevirtualmemory,whichenablesasmallportionoftheharddiskto functionasadditionalRAMbystoringtheportionsoftheprogramnotbeingusedintheRAMon theharddiskbutinsuchafashionthattheycanbeveryquicklyaccessed(aprocesscalled paging). Inadditiontomanagingmemoryandapplicationprograms,operatingsystemsalso performfunctionsrelatingtotheperipheraldevicesconnectedtothecomputer.Forexample,the operatingsystemhandlestherequestsforprintjobssenttotheprinter.Whenmoreprintrequests aresenttotheprinterthancanbehandledatonce,theoperatingsystemassignsthemanorder andplacestheminabuffer,anareaofmemory,awaitingprinting.Thisprocessiscalledspooling. Anotherimportantfunctionoftheoperatingsystemisthatofconfiguringtheexternaldevices. Eachdevicemustcommunicatetothecomputer,aprocessrequiringadevicetohaveitsown program,referredtoasthedevicedriver.Theoperatingsystemcoordinatestheinstallationofthis softwareandensuresitsproperfunctioning.Theseproceduresareoftendonemanuallybutin somecasestheprocessisautomaticallyperformbytheoperatingsystem(calledPlugandPlay). Operatingsystemsthatallowonlyoneusertorunoneprogramatatimearecalledsingle userorsingletaskingoperatingsystems.Mostcurrentoperatingsystemsandcomputershave movedbeyondthisstagetomultitasking.Inmultitasking,theoperatingsystemallowsmorethan onetaskorprogramtobeexecutedatatimeinasingleusercomputer.Operatingsystemsthat addressmorememorycanrunseveraltaskssimultaneously.Acomputersmultitasking capabilityisalsolimitedbytheamountofRAMitcontains. Withtheadventofnetworks,muchfocushasbeenplacedonthemultiusercapabilitiesof operatingsystems,althoughthemultiuserenvironmenthaslongbeenpresentin

supercomputers,mainframesandminicomputers.Withamainframe,forexample,athousandor moreusersmayneedtoaccessthecomputersimultaneously.Inallofthesearchitectures,the operatingsystemmustcoordinatesystemrequestsfrommanyusers.Theoperatingsystem managestheserequestsbyallocatingtoeachuseraportionofprimarymemorywherethe programsresideandexecutingtheprogramswhenaninputisreceivedoranoutputisrequested. Becausetheprocessorsinsupercomputers,mainframesandminicomputersareextremelyfast comparedtothespeedofinputandoutput,theoperatingsystemcanhandlemanyprogramsin RAMsimultaneously.Theprocessorhandlesaportionofeachprograminseries,coordinatedby theoperatingsystem.Thisiscalledmultiprogramming. Anotherfeatureoftheoperatingsystemsinsupercomputers,mainframesand minicomputers,calledtimesharing,assignstoeachuserafractionoftheprocessorstime.An efficientoperatingsystemcontrolsthemultiuserenvironmentinsuchawaythattheuserfeelsas thoughheorsheistheonlypersonusingthecomputer. Computers,especiallymainframeandminicomputersystems,canalsoemploy multiprocessing.Inthisprocess,theoperatingsystemusesmorethanoneprocessororCPUto executethecommandsofasingleprogram.Theoperatingsystemsendsinstructionstoseveral processorsinparallel,whichresultsinthefasterprocessingofinstructions. Therearenumerousoperatingsystems.Severalofthemostpopulararediscussedbelow: DOS(DiskOperatingSystem)isforsingleuserIBMcompatiblecomputers.Microsoft CorporationsellsthisproductunderthenameMSDOS(MicrosoftDiskOperating System)andlicensesanotherversion,calledPCDOS,toIBMforuseinitspersonal computers.DOSwaswrittenforthemicrocomputertechnologyoftheearly1980s.An enormousnumberofmicrocomputersstillrununderDOS.Eventhoughtherehavebeen numerousimprovementstothesoftwaresinceitsintroduction,limitationsstillexist.Itis notGUIcapable.Norcanittakefulladvantageoftoday's32bitprocessors(e.g.,Intel's

Pentiumseries).Thatis,applicationprogramsrunningonDOScomputershavedirect accesstoonly640,000bytesofprimarymemory. MacintoshOperatingSystems(MacOS)wasintroducedinthe1984andwasthefirst commercialGUIplatform.Thelatestversionsupportsmultitasking,includesmultiple Webbrowsers,andhasbuiltinnetworkingcapability.Italsoisabletoopen,edit,and savefilescreatedinDOSandWindowsplatforms. MicrosoftWindows95and98areGUIcapable,multitaskingoperatingsystems.Unlikethe earlierWindows3.xseries,Windows95and98aretrueoperatingsystems,anddonot requireDOStorun.Windows95and98havebrokenthe640,000bytebarrier,providing directaccesstomillionsofbytesofmemory.Theseoperatingsystemstakeadvantageof todaysmorepowerfulmicroprocessorchips,suchastheIntelPentium,whichaddress morememoryandrunfasterthantheoldermicroprocessors.Windows98isan upgradedversionofWindows95.Windows98isuserfriendlierthanWindows95and hasmoreInternetfeatures;e.g.,Windows98includesMicrosoftInternetExplorer. MicrosoftWindowsNTisdesignedforclientservernetworks(discussedinchapter12).It providestheuserwiththeotherfeaturesofWindows98. Linuxisaninterestingoperatingsystembecauseitisnotproprietarysoftware.Itscode hasbeenmadepubliclyavailable(calledopensourcesoftware).Thisallowsusersto customizethesoftwaretomeettheirpersonalneedsandtoshareimprovementsmade withothers.ApplicationsthatrunonLinuxarecommerciallyavailable;forexample, fromRedHatSoftwareandCorelCorporation. UNIXwasdevelopedbyBellLaboratoriesinthe1970's,andisoneofthefewsmallscale operatingsystemsthatisbothmultiuserandmultiprocessingcapable.Thisallows computersrunningonUNIXtoprocessahighvolumeofinputsfrommultipleusersby usingmultipleCPUssimultaneously.

APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Applicationsoftwareenablestheusertodirectthecomputersprocessingsysteminthe tasksofmanipulatingandtransforminginputdataintousefuloutputinformation.Furthermore, itallowstheusertoaltertheinformationgeneratedbytheprocessingsystem;e.g.,howthe informationispresented.Thisisthetypeofsoftwarewithwhichmostusersinteract.Itisthe usualinterfacebetweenuserandcomputer.Rarelydousersdirectlymanipulatesystems software,especiallytheoperatingsystemssoftware. Applicationsoftwarecanbewrittenforaspecificusersapplication(customsoftware),or itcanbemassproducedforgeneraluse(commercialorpackagedsoftware).Naturally,custom softwareisusuallyfarmoreexpensivethancommercialsoftware.Anaccountingpackagewritten foraspecificcompanymightcostmanythousandsofdollars,whereasacommercialaccounting packagemightcostonlyafewhundreddollarsataretailstore.Theadvantageofcustom softwareisthatitistailoredtotheusersspecificneedsandcanbeseamlesslyintegratedintothe usersexistingsoftware.Notonlyiscommercialsoftwarelesscostly,itisalsoavailable immediately,andthepackagecanbeevaluatedbeforebeingpurchased. Applicationsoftwarecomesinanincrediblevariety.Itisavailableforbusiness,personal, educational,communication,andgraphicdesignpurposestonamethemoreusualcategories. Thereisalmostcertainlyasoftwarepackagesomewhereavailabletosuitanyneed.Ifnot,there areprogrammersreadytobehiredtobuildit.Forourpurposes,wewilllimitourdiscussionto thefourtypesofapplicationsoftwaremostlikelytobeusefultoaccountingandbusiness students:wordprocessing,spreadsheet,database,andpresentationgraphics.Thesefourapplications arefrequentlysoldtogetherinasinglesoftwarepackage.Threeofthemostpopularpackagesare CorelWordPerfectSuite,MicrosoftOffice2000,andLotusSmartSuite.Inadditiontothefour "standard"applications,thesepackagesusuallyincludeemail,Internet,videoprocessing,and desktoppublishingapplications.

Wordprocessingprogramsallowtheusertoquicklyandeasilycreateandrevisetextson thecomputerscreen.Byusingwordprocessingapplications,theusercanformatdocumentswith ease,changingfontsize,margins,color,etc.Differenttypesofdocumentse.g.,letters,memos, andreportsareoftenpreformattedintheapplication.PCbasedwordprocessingsoftwareisso capableandinexpensivethat,inmostbusinesses,ithasbecometheusualtoolforcreating documents,evenwhenmorepowerfulmainframesandminicomputersareavailable. Spreadsheetprogramsareespeciallyusefulinbusinessandaccounting.Theelectronic spreadsheetconsistsofrowsandcolumnsofdata,whichtheusercaneasilyedit,copy,move,or print.Usingnumericdataenteredinthespreadsheet,thecomputercanperformnumerous mathematicalcalculationsautomatically,manyofimpressivesophistication(e.g.,statistical, logical,andengineeringfunctions).Oneofthespreadsheetprogramsmostpowerfulfeaturesfor businesspurposesisthatitenablestheusertodowhatifanalysesonexistingdataandto inputdifferentdataforvariousscenarios.Nonnumericdata(e.g.,namesanddates)mayalsobe enteredinaspreadsheet.Spreadsheetscanperformsomenonmathematicaloperations(e.g., sortingandfiltering)onthisdata,althoughthistypeofanalysisisnotaspreadsheet'sstrength. Databasesoftwareallowstheusertoenter,store,maintain,retrieve,andmanipulate data.Insomeways,databasespickupwherespreadsheetsleaveoff,althoughafairerassessment isprobablythattherelationshipbetweenthetwotypesofsoftwareisreciprocal.Database softwareiscertainlymoreefficientandeffectiveathandlingnonnumericdatathanis spreadsheetsoftware.Conversely,numericdataisusuallyeasiertomanipulateinaspreadsheet. Inmostdatabases,dataisenteredtotablesofrowsandcolumns,similartospreadsheets.Unlike spreadsheets,thesetablescanbeconnectedintorelationshipsthatallowusersincredible versatilityinwhattheycandowiththatdata.Forexample,databothnumericandnonnumeric fromseveralindividualtablesmayberetrievedandusedtogetherincalculations,withthe resultspresentedinabusinessstylereport.

Presentationgraphicssoftwareenableuserstodesignprofessionalqualitypresentations forbusinessandeducationalpurposes.Thepresentationsusuallyconsistofformattedslidesfor projectingontoascreenfromacomputerprojectororoverheadprojector,orfordisplayona largemonitor.ThesepresentationsmayalsobeusedforonlinemeetingsandWebbroadcasts. Theslidescanbedesignedtoincludebackgrounds,graphicimages,charts,clipart,shading, animation,andaudioeffectsand,ofcourse,text,whichcansometimesgetlostinallofthe embellishments.

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES AND LANGUAGE TRANSLATORS


Computerprogrammersuseartificiallanguages,knownasprogramminglanguages,to writetheinstructionsthattellcomputerswhattodo.Programminglanguageshaveevolvedover timetobecomemorelikethenaturallanguagesthathumanbeingsspeak.Thissectiontracesthe evolutionfrommachinelanguagetofifthgenerationlanguage.

MACHINE LANGUAGE.Programsforthefirstcomputerswerewritteninstringsof binarydigits("bits,"consistingof0sand1s).Thus,thisfirstprogramminglanguageisoften referredtoasthefirstgenerationlanguage(or1GL).Itisalsocalledthemachinelanguagebecause computerspastandpresentrequirethistypeofinstructioninordertoperformtheir operationsasmachines.Instructions(anddata)arerepresentedultimatelyasbitsbecausethese stringsof0sand1scorrespondtotheactualbinaryonoffflowofelectricalcurrentthroughthe computer'scircuitry.Becausemachinelanguageissofarremovedfromnaturallanguage,ithasa numberofinherentproblemsasaprogramminglanguage.Itistimeconsumingandtediousfor humanstoworkinmachinelanguage,anderrorsinmachinelanguageprogramsaredifficultto find. ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE. Assemblylanguage(alsoreferredtoasthesecondgeneration languageor2GL)wasthenextstepintheevolutionofprogramminglanguages.Inassembly

language,commandsarewrittenwithmnemoniccodesratherthannumericalcodes.These commandsaretranslatedfromthesourcelanguage(theprogrammerscode)intoanobject module(machinelanguage).Thetranslationprocesscanbedoneintwoways.Eitheran interpreterconvertstheprogramlinebylineasitisbeingrun,oracompilerconvertstheentire programatonetimebeforeitisrun.Interpretersareoftenusedwithbeginningprogrammers whoarelearningalanguageforthefirsttime.Compilersareusedinprofessionalsettingswhere speedandsecurityareimportant. Interpretersandcompilersareoperatingsystemprogramsthatfallunderthegeneral categoryoflanguagetranslators.Eachprogramminglanguagerequiresaspecificlanguage translatortoconvertittomachinelanguage. Assemblylanguagesarespecifictoaparticularprocessorandgivetheprogrammer controloverthelowerleveloperationsofthecomputer.Comparedtothirdgeneration languages,discussednext,assemblylanguagerequiresmoredetailinprogramming. THIRD-GENERATION LANGUAGES. Theevolutionofprogramminglanguagestoward userfriendlinesscontinuedwiththedevelopmentofthirdgenerationlanguages(3GL).Third generationlanguages,suchasFORTRAN,COBOL,Pascal,Java,PL/1,andC,areprocedural languages.Programinstructionsareexecutedinaprecisesequencetoaccomplishatask.These languagesuserecognizablestatementslikePRINT,INPUT,SORT,andIF,whichmustbe compiledintodetailedmachinelanguageinstructions.Thelinkageeditorinsertsprewritten routinescalledlibraryprogramsaftercompilationtoproduceanexecutableprogramcalledthe loadmodule. Someofthemostcommonthirdgenerationprogramminglanguagesaredescribednext. BASIC(BeginnersAllpurposeSymbolicInstructionCode)wasdesignedasa programminglanguagefornovices.Thelanguageusesaninterpreterthatevaluateseachlinefor syntaxerrors,whichhelpsbeginningprogrammers.Thelanguagebecameverypopularfor

microcomputeruseinthelate1970sandearly1980s. FORTRAN(FormulaTranslation)wasdevelopedin1956toprovidescientists,engineers, andmathematiciansaprogramminglanguagethatisrichinscientificandmathematical operations. COBOL(CommonBusinessOrientedLanguage)wasdesignedforsuchbusiness applicationsasinputtingrecordsfromadatafileandmanipulating,storing,andprintingthem.A tremendousnumberofprogramshavebeenwritteninCOBOLsinceitsinceptionintheearly 1960s.COBOLstillmaintainsasignificantpresence.Eachbusinessday,billionsoflinesof COBOLcodeareexecuted. IBMdevelopedPL/1(ProgrammingLanguage1)in1964.Thislanguagecombinesthe mathematicalfeaturesfoundinFORTRANwiththerecordprocessingfeaturesfoundinCOBOL. Pascalwaswrittentotakeadvantageoftheprogrammingtechniquecalledstructured programming,inwhichprogramsaredividedintomodulesthatarecontrolledbyamainmodule. Thelanguagewasverypopularinthe1980sforteachingstructuredprogrammingandadvanced programmingtechniquesincomputersciencecourses. Inthe1970s,AT&TBellLabsdevelopedaprogramminglanguagecalledCthatcouldbe runonvarioustypesofcomputers.Sourcecodewrittenforamicrocomputercouldthuseasilybe convertedintosourcecodeforamainframe. Javawasdevelopedinthemid1990sbySunMicrosystems.Itisbasedonanew programmingtechniquecalledobjectorientedprogramming.Objectorientedprogrammingallows theprogrammertodefinenotonlythecharacteristicsofdatabutalsothedata'sassociated procedures.Thistypeofprogrammingisespeciallybeneficialinanetworkedenvironment becauseitallowscomputerstoquicklytransmitcomputationstoeachother,notjustdata requiringsubsequentcomputation.

FOURTH-GENERATION LANGUAGES.Thedevelopmentofapplicationswrittenin

thirdgenerationlanguagestakesaconsiderableamountoftime,oftenseveralmonthstoseveral years.Increasinglyusersneedsoftwarethatallowsthemtodevelopsimpleapplicationsquickly. Fourthgenerationlanguages(4GL)weredevelopedtomeetthisneed.Theyaredeclarative,not procedural,languages.Withtheearliergenerationsofprocedurallanguages,the user/programmerhadtodelineatethestepbystepproceduresforthecomputertofollowto achieveacertainresult.Withfourthgenerationlanguage,however,theusersimplytellsthe computerwhatendresultisdesiredandthecomputertodecidesthestepsneededtoachievethat goal.Also,fourthgenerationlanguageshavebeendesignedtobeeasytolearnanduse.In addition,theyrelieveprofessionalprogrammersfromincreasingdemandstodevelopnew programsandmaintainexistingones. Fourthgenerationlanguagesarefoundinavarietyofapplications,includingstatistical packages,databasemanagementsystems,andgraphicalpackages.Statisticalpackagesperforma fullrangeofstatisticalanalysesandenabletheusertoproducereportsoftheresults.Statistical PackagefortheSocialSciences(SPSS)andStatisticalAnalysisSystem(SAS)areexamplesof powerfulstatisticalpackagesthatareavailableonmainframecomputers,minicomputers,and microcomputers. Databasemanagementsystemsusuallycontaina4GLquerylanguagethatallowsthe usertoretrievedatafromandstoredatatothedatabase.Relationaldatabasemanagement systemshavebeenstandardizedonaquerylanguagecalledStructuredQueryLanguage(SQL).By usingeitheramenudriveninterfaceorsimplecommands,theendusercandevelopadvanced queriestothedatabasewithoutaprogrammersassistance. FIFTH-GENERATION LANGUAGES.Fifthgenerationlanguages(5GL)areattemptingto makethetaskofprogrammingevenuserfriendlierthandidthe4GLs.Thisisachievedby removingmostoftheverbalaspectsfromprogramming.Instead,5GLsuseavisualorgraphical environmentthatallowstheusertodesigntheprogramwithminimaluseofprogramming

words.Forexample,visualprogrammingallowstheusertodragiconstogetherinawindows environmentinordertoassembleaprogramcomponent.The5GLdevelopmentinterfacethen automaticallycreatesthesourcelanguagethatistypicallycompiledwitha3GLor4GLlanguage compiler.Enablinguserstodesignsomethingascomplexasacomputerprogrambymeansof graphicalsymbolsisadifficultundertaking.Notallattemptsatdevelopingaworkable5GLhave beensuccessful.Currently,however,Microsoft,BorlandandIBMmake5GLvisualprogramming productsfordevelopingJavaapplicationsthatappearsuccessful.Theamazingevolutionof computerlanguagesfromstringsof0sand1stographicaliconssaysalotabouttheabilityof computerstoinspireuswithcreativityandgenius.