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Chapter 1 The Big Picture. Computing Systems. Computing systems are dynamic entities used to solve problems and interact with their environment. They consist of devices, programs, and data. 2. Computing Systems.

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Chapter 1 the big picture

Chapter 1The Big Picture

Computing systems
Computing Systems

Computing systems are dynamic entities used to solve problems and interact with their environment.

They consist of devices, programs, and data.


Computing systems1
Computing Systems

Hardware - The physical elements of a computing system (printer, circuit boards, wires, keyboard…).

Software - The programs that provide the instructions for a computer to execute.

Data - Information in a form a computer can use.


Layers of a computing system
Layers of a Computing System



Operating System






Abstraction - A mental model that removes complex details.

This is a key concept. Abstraction will reappear throughout the course – be sure you understand it!


Early history of computing
Early History of Computing

Abacus (2400 BC)

An early device to record numeric values.

Blaise Pascal(1623-1662)

Created a mechanical device to add, subtract, divide & multiply.

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)

Created a mechanical device to perform all four whole number operations.

Joseph Jacquard

Jacquard’s Loom(1801), the punched card


Early history of computing1
Early History of Computing

Charles Babbage (1792-1871)

Difference Engine, Analytical Engine

Augusta Ada Byron (Lovelace)

Babage’s assistant

Considered to be the first Programmer,

  • Invented the concept of the loop

    William Burroughs (1857-1898)

    Adding Machine

    Herman Hollerith (1860-1929)

    Electro-mechanical Tabulator

Early history of computing2
Early History of Computing

  • Alan Turing (1912-1954)

  • Turing Machine- an abstract mathematical model

  • Artificial Intelligence Testing

  • Early computers launch new era in mathematics, physics, engineering and economics.

    • Harvard Mark I (1939)

    • ENIAC - Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator

    • EDVAC - Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

    • first machine with a stored program

    • UNIVAC I - Universal Automatic Computer (1951)


First generation hardware 1951 1959
First Generation Hardware (1951-1959)

Vacuum Tubes

Large, not very reliable, generated a lot of heat

Magnetic Drum

Memory device that rotated under a read/write head

Card Readers  Magnetic Tape Drives

Sequential auxiliary storage devices


Second generation hardware 1959 1965
Second Generation Hardware (1959-1965)


Replaced vacuum tubefast, small, durable, cheap

Magnetic Cores

Replaced magnetic drumsinformation available instantly

Magnetic Disks

Replaced magnetic tapedata can be accessed directly


Third generation hardware 1965 1971
Third Generation Hardware (1965-1971)

Integrated Circuits

Replaced circuit boardssmaller, cheaper, faster, more reliable


Now used for memory construction


An input/output device with a keyboard and screen


Fourth generation hardware 1971
Fourth Generation Hardware (1971-?)

Large-scale Integration

Great advances in chip technology

PCs, the Commercial Market, Workstations

Personal Computers were developed as new companies like Apple and Atari came into being. Workstations emerged.


Parallel computing and networking
Parallel Computing and Networking

Parallel Computing

Computers rely on interconnected central processing units that increase processing speed.


With the Ethernet small computers could be connected and share resources. A file server connected PCs in the late 1980s.

ARPANET and LANs  Internet


First generation software 1951 1959
First Generation Software (1951-1959)

Machine Language

Computer programs were written in binary (1s and 0s).

Assembly Languages and translators

Programs were written in artificial programming languages and were then translated into machine language.

Programmer Changes

Programmers divide into application programmers and systems programmers.


Second generation software 1959 1965
Second Generation Software (1959-1965)

High Level Languages

English-like statements make programming easier.

Fortran, COBOL, Lisp are examples.







Third generation software 1965 1971
Third Generation Software (1965-1971)

  • Systems Software

    • utility programs,

    • language translators,

    • and the operating system, which decides which

      programs to run and when.

  • Separation between Users and Hardware

    Computer programmers began to write programs to be used by people who did not know how to program.


Third generation software 1965 19711
Third Generation Software (1965-1971)

Application Package

Systems Software

High-Level Languages

Assembly Language

Machine Language


Fourth generation software 1971 1989
Fourth Generation Software (1971-1989)

  • Structured Programming

  • Pascal, C, C++

  • New Application Software for Users

    • spreadsheets

    • word processors

    • database management systems


Fifth generation software 1990 present
Fifth Generation Software (1990- present)


The Windows operating system, and other Microsoft application programs dominate the market.

Object-Oriented Design

Based on a hierarchy of data objects (i.e. Java).

World Wide Web

Allows easy global communication through the Internet.

New Users

Today’s user needs no computer knowledge.


Computing as a tool
Computing as a Tool

Programmer / User

Systems Programmer

(builds tools)

Applications Programmer

(uses tools)

Domain-Specific Programs

User with No

Computer Background