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The Mechanics Of Computers The Operating System (OS) & Hardware Role Of The Operating System (OS) During start up (booting up) Diagnose internal circuits. Send signals to the screen and internal sound card. Search for any attached peripherals.

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The Mechanics Of Computers

The Operating System (OS) & Hardware

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Role Of The Operating System (OS)

  • During start up (booting up)

    • Diagnose internal circuits.

    • Send signals to the screen and internal sound card.

    • Search for any attached peripherals.

    • Load common routines for controlling the computer.

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Role Of The OS, Cont.

  • During Operation

    • Translates keystrokes, including mouse functions, for the internal hardware.

    • Performs those common routines such as saving, printing, etc.

    • Manages your desktop to allow multiple applications to run simultaneously and communicate to each other.

    • Allows interaction and communication with external devices over networks, through expansion cards, serial and/or parallel buses, etc.

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The Look Of The OS

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)

    • The single reason, in my opinion, for the proliferation of the use of computers in music.

    • It components:

      • Mouse gestures

      • Icons

      • Windows

      • Menus

      • Buttons

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Files, Folders, and Volumes

  • Files - the smallest unit of organization (data structure) for which there is an icon representation of which there are three types:

    • Applications - referred to as programs

    • Data files - created by the application

    • Resource files - special files that add functionality to applications

  • Folders or Directories - storage bins used to organized files on the computer

  • Volumes - hard drives, floppy diskettes, CD-ROMs and other physical mediums where all files and folders are stored.

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The Four Stages To Computer Operations (IPOS)

  • Input Stage - represents those devices we use to get information into the computer, e.g., keyboard, mouse, or MIDI keyboard.

  • Process Stage - where the central processing unit (CPU), memory (RAM and ROM), and timing clock stores the information received.

  • Output Stage - where the computer represents those devices used to get the information, e.g., video displays, printers, speakers, etc.

  • Storage Stage - where devices like floppy diskettes, hard disks, and CD-ROMs saves your data.

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The Main Parts Of A Computer

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU) - an electronic circuit referred to as the microprocessor integrated circuit (chip) that serves as the brain of the computer and coordinates the flow of data in and out of the computer.

  • Motherboard - the main flat plastic board on which the CPU chip and other electronic circuitry is located, including chips for memory, video, and sound.

  • Memory (RAM and ROM)

    • Random-Access Memory (RAM) - Memory that is written to by normal computer use and stored temporarily. Also referred to as read-and-write memory.

    • Read-Only Memory (ROM) - Memory that stores permanent instructions and programs by the manufacturer (called firmware) to prevent the possibility of it being erased.

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The Main Parts Of A Computer, cont.

  • System Clock - a precision quartz clock that determine speed and rate (clock speed) at which instructions are processed, measured in megahertz (MHz) and gigahertz (GHz).

  • Interfaces -

    • Internal parallel bus which allows the CPU, motherboard, memory, and clock to connect and communicate.

    • External bus (daughter boards) - allows external devices to communicate with the motherboard of which some common types are:

      • NuBus (although these have been mostly phased out)

      • Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI bus)

      • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) or PC Card, for short.

  • Keyboard, Mouse, Storage Disks, Network Connectors