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Introduction to Computing

1. With a neat schematic block diagram of a digital computer describe its

functional units.
Central Processing

and Logic
Input Unit

Control Unit

Output Unit

Memory Unit

Main memory: ROM, RAM

Secondary memory: hard disk


Input Unit: The user can enter the data or program (instructions) to the computer
It converts the data into a suitable form that can be understood by the
The converted data is stored in the form of 0s and 1s and then sent to
Central processing unit
The user can also interact with other devices such as CPU, MU and
output unit.
Output unit: Accepts the result or data from memory which are in the form of 0s and 1s.
Output the results or data to a form which is suitable for human understanding.

Introduction to Computing

Central Processing Unit; The data received from the input device is processed in this unit.
It consists of two functional units: 1. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)
2. Control Unit (CU)
1. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU);o An ALU consists of electronic circuitry which performs calculations with
basic arithmetic operations such as addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication
(*), division (/).
o It also consists of logic circuitry which performs logic operations like true or
false, yes or no.
2. Control Unit (CU):o The unit controls and co-ordinates all parts of computer system.
o It executes an instruction by signaling to carry out the necessary data transfers
and manipulations.
o Identifies what action to be taken. (decoding)
Memory Unit (MU):This is the storage device where the data and instructions fed by the user are stored.
The computer memory is classified into
Main memory: This is the place where the data and instructions supplied by
the input devices are stored.
This is the temporary memory because the data and instructions are erased
When the power goes off.
It consists of RAM and ROM main memories.
Secondary memory: This is the permanent memory and also called as back up
It stores a large about of information for a long time.
Cache memory: This is the high speed memory and placed between the CPU and the
main memory.
Users cannot access it.

Introduction to Computing

2. Explain the different types of computers.

Digital Computer
Based on technology

Analog Computer
Hybrid computer


Micro computer
Mini computer
Computers for

Main frame computer

Super computer

l. Computers based on technology

Digital computer:-Computers accept and process data in terms of digital data such as 0s
and 1s
Series of 8 consecutive bits is called a byte
Series of bytes represent data or instruction
E.g. (Personal Digital Computer Assistant)

Analog computer:-They accept data whose values keep changing with respect to time.
Data may be in the form of continuous voltages, frequencies, temperature etc.
Processing is done on continuously varying signals.
E.g. Speedometer

Hybrid Computer:-It is designed to handle digital and analog computers and hence also
called analog-digital computer.
Accepts analog signals and converts into digital form.

2. Computers for organization: Micro Computer:-It is powerful, easy maintenance, low cost, unporable.

Introduction to Computing

It is the most common type of PC and commonly called as desktop.

They are small in size and do not have large storage capacities. The length of a microcomputer
lines in the range 8-32 bits
E.g.: IBM PC, PS/2

Mini computer:-Computers with capabilities intermediate of that between main frame and
micro computers. Hence called mid-range computers.
Word length is 32 bits
It is used by small and mid-size business organizations.

Main frame computer:-It is more powerful than micro computers and their word length
size is 48,60 or 64 bits
They have high processing speeds and can store large amounts of data
They are used in research organizations, large industries, and large business and government
They consume more electricity
E.g.: IBM 3000 series, UNIVAC 1180
Super computers:-Computers that are used for scientific and engineering applications.
Word length is 64-96 bit.
They can handle very large data bases or a great amount of data computation.
They can perform one trillion operations per second.
Used in the field of science and defense, designing and launching missiles, weather forecasting,
biomedical research
Highest processing speed for at a given time.
E.g: CRAY-3, HITAC S-300

Introduction to Computing

4. What are the different kinds of memory used in computers? Explain with examples.




Volatile memory-RAM
Primary memory
Non-volatile memory-ROM
Secondary memory
Cache memory
Primary memory:
The memory is accessible directly to the CPU of the computer.
The memory is very fast.
This allows the CPU to store and retrieve data quickly.
Volatile memory: The memory that loses its contents when the computer is turned off.
Since the CPU can read the data from the memory or can write the data into the memory
they are also called as read-write memories.
E g. RAM (Random Access Memory): It is possible to read and write the data into the
memory. It is temporary memory.
Non volatile memory: The memory that retains its contents even after the computer is
turned off memory. They hold the data permanently.
E.g. ROM (Read Only Memory): The information stored in it can be only be read.
Secondary Memory:
Its is the permanent memory which stores large amount of information for a long time
Its also called back up memory or auxiliary memory.
It is connected to CPU and is made of magnetic material.
E.g. Floppy disc, hard disc
Cache memory:
Its a high speed memory and is placed between CPU and main memory.

Introduction to Computing

The data and instructions stored in it are accessed at a higher speed

Users cannot access this memory
It stores data and instructions that are currently to be executed

5. Discuss the applications, merits and demerits of a computer.

Science:-Used by scientists to analyze large quantity of data to analyze the effect of
earthquake on buildings and dams for satellite launching and remote controlling.
Education:-E-Learning is becoming popular. Computers are used as teaching aid in
majority of educational institutions.
Medicine and Health:-Diagnosing the illness to monitoring the patients status till his
complete recovery.
Using the computer generated images and results; they can pin-point the cause of
the disease
Engineering/Architecture/Manufacturing:-Engineers and architects use the computers for
planning, designing and drawing the layouts for house, roads, dams etc.
Communication:-send and receive e-mails, e-shopping, e-banking, e-commerce, elearning etc.
Business and banking:-For numerous administrative purposes, preparing salary bills
Used in banking, insurance sectors and marketing for online payments and
transactions, publishing etc.
Online business
Governments:-Used for weather forecasting, in military, satellite launching and
controlling, communication, e-government etc.
For police force to search for the information on criminals, crime scenes, driving
licenses etc.
Entertainment:-Used in music industry, games etc.
Computer animation and colorful graphics with multimedia effect.
Merits: Speed:-The computers can process data at very high speed.
Speed is measured in terms in terms of MIPS and BIPS.
Accuracy:-The results produced by the computer are very accurate.
Reliability:-It gives correct and consistent result always even if they are used in adverse
Storage capability:-They can store large amounts of data and can be retrieved at any time
in fraction of a second.
Versatility:-They can do variety of jobs based on the instructions given to them.
Diligence:-They can perform complicated work without any break for days together;
even year together without committing any error.
De-merits: Non-Intelligent:-It just performs the specified operations.
It does not think whenever it finds a command, instead it works accordingly.
It does not possess any intelligent for analyzing the problem.
Inactive:-If the power supply is stopped then the computer ceases to work.

Introduction to Computing

6. What are editors, assembler, compilers, interpreters?

It allows the user to
enter program and
edit it

Debugging is easy
E.g.: Turbo C

The process of
converting assembly
instructions to
machine readable
form is carried out
by a programmable
Debugging is easy
E.g,: TASM

It takes entire high
level language
program as input
and translates it into
machine language

It takes one
statement of a high
level language
program as input
and translates it into
machine language
and executes it.

Debugging is faster
E.g. TC computer

Debugging is slow

7. What are the 4 primary functions that an operating system performs?

a. Memory Management:-Allocating memory to the running program and reallocating when they
are terminated
b. Processor Management:-Processing of jobs, deciding on the job scheduling technique and how
a job to be processed longs.
Releasing the processor when the jobs are terminated.
c. Device Management:-Allocating the input and output devices to the running processes and
reallocating them when processes are terminated.
d. File Mnagement: - Manging the file systems in terms of where the files are stored, their status
and memory locations, opening and closing the files, providing access permission to the files.
E.g. of operating system are DOS, UNIX, WINDOWS NT, LINUX
8. Differentiate between WINDOWS and LINUX operating systems.
It is not free of cost
It is available free of cost
It supports GUI(Graphical User Interface)
It does not support GUI(Graphical User
Networking is possible
Networking is not possible
Requires very high configuration
High configuration is not required
Multi-media facility available
Multi-media support not available
Mobile computing is possible
Mobile computing is not possible
User friendly
Not user friendly

9. What is software? What are the different types of software?

Software is a set of programs which direct the various hardware components.

Introduction to Computing

Application software
System software
Application software; It tells the computer how to accomplish specific tasks, such as word processing or
drawing for the user.
Word processing software for creating text based documents
Spreadsheet for creating numeric based documents such as budgets
Database management software for building and manipulating large sets of data
Presentation program for creating and presenting electronic slide shows
Graphics program for designing illustrations or manipulating photographs, movies or
Web design tools and web browsers
Entertainment and education software
System software: It is any program that controls the computer hardware or that can be used to maintain the
computer in some way so that it runs more effectively
It has 3 basic types
-Operating system tells the computer how to use its own components.
It acts as an interrupt between the hardware application programs and the user
-A network operating system allows computer to communicate and share data across a network
while controlling network operations and overseeing the networks security
-A utility is a program that makes the computer system easier to use or perform highly specified
10. Brief history of computers

Invented by
Charles Babbage
Lady Lovelace
Augusta Ada King
Konrad Zuse
John Atanasoff
Alan Turing and his team
Von Neumann
Mauchly & Eckert

Name of the computer

Analytical Engine- Father of computers
Punch cards Mother of computers
First computer programmer
General Purpose digital computer
Atanasoff- Berry computer (ABC)
Mark I
Stored Program concept

Introduction to Computing

Types of









Introduction to Computing