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Understanding Computers. Computer Applications Mrs. Stern. Computer History 3 Generations of Computers. The Vacuum Tube Years The Era of the Transistor Transistors on a Chip. The Vacuum Tube Years (1946-1958). Computers were: Huge Slow Expensive Often undependable

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understanding computers

Understanding Computers

Computer Applications

Mrs. Stern

computer history 3 generations of computers
Computer History3 Generations of Computers
  • The Vacuum Tube Years
  • The Era of the Transistor
  • Transistors on a Chip
the vacuum tube years 1946 1958
The Vacuum Tube Years (1946-1958)
  • Computers were:
      • Huge
      • Slow
      • Expensive
      • Often undependable
  • ENIAC was built in 1946
      • 18,000 vacuum tubes
      • Took up a lot of space
      • Gave off a lot of heat

Cooled down by a gigantic air conditioner & still overheated regularly

the era of the transistor 1959 1964
The Era of the Transistor (1959-1964)
  • Transistor was like the vacuum tube only better:
        • Faster
        • More reliable
        • Much smaller
        • Cheaper to build
        • Gave off virtually no heat
        • 1 transistor replaced 40 vacuum tubes
what it looked like
What it looked like

1964

Transistor Beads Stem

Transistor Radio

transistors on a chip 1965 current
Transistors on a Chip (1965-current)
  • With the invention of Integrated Circuits or Microchip, thousands of transistors fit into one microchip
  • The number of transistors that fit onto a chip doubled every two years
  • Today:

Millions per microchip

computers today can
Computers today can:
  • Carry out instructions in billionths of a second
  • Are sometimes the size of a watch
    • Since electricity travels 1 foot in a billionth second
  • The smaller the distance the faster the speed
what are computers made of
What are computers made of?

A combination of:

Hardware

&

Software

what is hardware
What is Hardware?
  • Hardware – the tangible, physical equipment that can be seen and touched
    • Keyboard
    • Monitor
    • Printer
    • Computer chips
what is software
What is software?
  • Software – the intangible instructions that tell the computer what to do
    • PowerPoint
    • Windows XP
    • Sims City
    • Oregon Trail
  • Programmers – write the instructions that tell the computer what to do
computers are simple devices
Computers are Simple Devices
  • They perform FOUR basic functions:
    • Store data and programs
    • Function unattended due to its ability to interpret and follow instructions it is provided
    • Do arithmetic calculations
    • Perform logical comparisons 
what makes it such a powerful device
What makes it such a powerful device?
  • It only has FOUR basic functions
    • Its tremendous speed
    • Its accuracy
    • Its ability to store vast volumes of data
where are the instructions stored
Where are the instructions stored?

In the computers memory:

  • Internalmemory (ex. microchips)
    • RAM(random-access memory) This is temporary & can be erased. (ie: Microsoft Office Xp, Internet Explorer)
    • ROM (read-only memory) - This is permanent & can not be changed or erased.
  • Externalmemory (ex. DVD’s & hard drives)
input output devices
Input & Output Devices

Input device: hardware that permits the computer to accept data 

  • Keyboard
  • A mouse
  • Bar-code scanner
  • Light pen
  • Touch display screen
  • Speech recognition device
output devices
Output Devices

Hardware which reports the information in a form we can understand

  • monitor
  • printer
  • robots
  • sound or music speakers
processors
Processors
  • Is the computer chip that receives & carries out the instructions from the software
  • All computers big & small have processors also known as Central Processing Units or CPUs
  • Referred to as brains of the computer
functions the processor performs
Functions the processor performs:
  • Receives & temporarily stores instructions & data to be processed
  • Moves & changes stored data
  • Arithmetic calculations
  • Makes decisions of logic (ex: determines if two numbers are equal)
external storage
External Storage
  • They hold data outside the memory of the computer.
  • They connect to the computer & are under the control of the processor at all times
  • Most common:
    • USB Flash Drive
    • External hard drives
    • CD/DVD
binary system
Binary System
  • BrainPop - Binary

http://www.brainpop.com/

computer memory
Computer Memory

Memory is measured in bytes

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