Introduction to computers
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Introduction to Computers. Lecture 1. Web Page and Book List. Main Course Web Page is at: Recommended Text Shelly Cashman: Discovering Computer 2011. Data vs. Information. Data: Representation of a fact or idea Information: Organized, meaningful data. 3.

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Introduction to Computers

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Introduction to computers

Introduction to Computers

Lecture 1

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Web page and book list

Web Page and Book List

  • Main Course Web Page is at:

  • Recommended Text

    Shelly Cashman:Discovering Computer 2011

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Data vs information

Data vs. Information

Data: Representation of a fact or idea

Information: Organized, meaningful data

Prepared by Natalie Rose


Data information

Data, Information

  • Data vs. Information


      • A “given” or fact: a number, a statement, or a picture

      • The raw facts in the production of information

    • Information

      • Data that have meaning within a context

      • Raw data or data that have been manipulated

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Computers are data processing devices

Computers Are Data Processing Devices

Computer’s four major functions:

Gathers data (users input data)

Processes data into information

Outputs data or information

Stores data and information

Prepared by Natalie Rose


What computers do

What Computers Do

  • Basic Components of a Computer

  • Input devices

    • Keyboards and pointing devices (mouse)

  • Output devices

    • Display or video monitor

    • Printer

    • Speakers

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Prepared by Natalie Rose

What computers do1

What Computers Do

  • Basic Components of a Computer

  • Memory and storage devices

    • Primary storage: RAM (Random Access Memory)

    • Secondary storage: Storage devices that serve aslong-term repositories for data:

      • Hard disk drives

      • Recordable CD and DVD drives

      • Tape drives

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Components of a computer system


Central Processing Unit (CPU)


ArithmeticLogic Unit




Components of a Computer System

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Bits and bytes the language of computers

Bits and Bytes: The Language of Computers


Binary digit

0 or 1


Eight bits

Each letter, number, and character = a string of eight 0s and 1s

Prepared by Natalie Rose


A bit about bits

A Bit About Bits

Bits, Bytes, and Buzzwords

Bit-related terminology

  • Byte

  • Kilobyte (KB)

  • Megabytes (MB)

  • Gigabytes (GB)

  • Terabytes (TB)

= 8 bits

= 1 Thousand Bytes

= 1 Million Bytes

= 1 Billion Bytes

= 1 Trillion Bytes

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Chapter 2 summary questions

Chapter 2 Summary Questions

What devices do you use to get data into the computer?

Prepared by Natalie Rose


Chapter 2 summary questions1

Chapter 2 Summary Questions

What devices do you use to get information out of the computer?

Prepared by Natalie Rose


Chapter 2 summary questions2

Chapter 2 Summary Questions

What’s on the front of your system unit?

Prepared by Natalie Rose


Chapter 2 summary questions3

Chapter 2 Summary Questions

What’s on the back of your system unit?

Prepared by Natalie Rose


History of computers

History of Computers

  • Mechanical and electromechanical devices preceded the electronic computer.

  • Charles Babbage (1830’s): the analytical engine, and Augusta Ada Byron, the first programmer.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Charles babbage s analytical engine

Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Electro mechanical devices

Electro-Mechanical Devices

  • (1890’s): electrical tabulating machine, and foundation of IBM (1924).

  • Aiken’s Mark 1. (1944) based on Babbage’s original design - built at IBM labs, electro-mechanical, weighed 5 tons.

  • Admiral Grace Hopper worked as programmer on this computer, and coined in the term 'bug' for a computer fault.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Electronic computers

Electronic Computers

  • To increase speed and reliability, the mechanical components of these early devices were replaced by electronic equivalents.

  • These fully electronic devices became known as the of computers.

  • Successive generations of electronic computers have greater speed, smaller size, larger memory.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

First generation

First Generation

  • 1st Generation: (1945-1956).

  • Vacuum Tubes used as switching and storage components.

  • Atanasoff & Berry (1939) first electronic digital computer.

  • Turing (1943) Colossus machine built to decode encrypted messages. (*Turing Test)

  • ENIAC (1946) first general purpose computer. (decimal not binary machine)

  • UNIVAC (1951) first commercial computer - commissioned for 1950 US census.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

First generation1

First Generation

  • Problems with vacuum tube machines:

    • severe overheating,

    • manual setting of each instruction,

    • use of machine language only.

  • Magnetic core used for memory, punched cards and later magnetic tape for secondary storage.

  • Computers used for scientific and government purposes.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

First generation2

First Generation

  • In 1945 John von Neumann proposed the ‘stored program concept’, with memory to store both data and instructions.

  • Loading a new program into memory then allows a new function for the computer.

  • In Von Neumann’s basic design, the program is executed in a sequential manner.

  • While still the model for most conventional computers, parallel processing has recently challenged this aspect of the traditional computing device

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Second generation

Second Generation

2nd Generation: (1956-1963). Transistors.

  • Transistors replaced vacuum tubes. smaller, faster, more reliable, and use less energy

  • Development of symbolic languagesSimpler programming -eg ADD instead of 00000101, high level languages Fortran and Cobol.

  • Provision of system software (OS).

  • Computers used by military, government and big business.

  • Problems: 100s or 1000s of transistors required for powerful machines, expensive and cumbersome

  • This problem was solved by the invention of the integrated circuit

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Third generation

Third Generation

3rd generation: (1964-1971). Integrated Circuits.

  • Complete electronic circuit on single silicon chip, smaller than single transistor.

  • 1000’s of components on one chip.(SSI to MSI)

  • cheap, fast and reliable.

  • used by small business

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Fourth generation

Fourth Generation

4th generation: (1975-1984). Microprocessors

  • Microprocessor contains ALL elements of CPU on one chip (Intel’s 4004, 1971).

  • Progressively greater integration (from LSI to VLSI) - 100,000’s to millions of components per chip.

  • Increasing

    • complexity of instruction sets,

    • no of bits handled at once,

    • amount of memory addressed.

  • Advent of personal computers and other microprocessor controlled devices.

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Fifth generation

Fifth Generation

  • 5th Generation:Ultra Large Scale Integrated Circuits (ULSI): over 1 million Transistors per Integrated Circuit or Chip

Prepared by Natalie Rose

Performance enhancements

Performance Enhancements

Computer performance has been greatly enhanced by the following :

  • Faster clock speed

  • Overlapping & Parallel instruction processing

  • Wider, faster data paths (Buses)

  • Faster disk access

  • Bigger and Faster memory, including advanced cache technology

  • Optimised software

Prepared by Natalie Rose

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