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Computer

Hardware and
Software
Lesson Objectives:

 Defining software, hardware and firmware.


 Outline the functions of the main internal hardware component.
 Explore the functions of systems software, programming languages
and applications software.
Software

 The programs used to direct the operation of a computer, as well as


documentation giving instructions on how to use them.
 Programs and data used to control hardware and interface the user
to the PC (Personal Computer).
 Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the
state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence.
 Non-physical- you cannot touch or feel software.
 Categorised into system software, programming software and
application software.
Hardware

 The term hardware refers to computer equipment, the actual


machinery used in a computer system.
 Hardware is the various physical components that comprise a
computer system, as opposed to the non-tangible software
elements.
 Hardware can be physically touched and physically connected to
a computer system.
 Software run on hardware and tells it to perform certain tasks.
 Basic components of hardware involve input devices, output
devices, CPU, memory and storage.
Firmware

 Is a software program or set of instructions programmed on a


hardware device. It provides the necessary instructions for how the
device communicates with the other computer hardware.
 Firmware is typically stored permanently on the hardware directly,
such as flash ROM (Read-Only-Memory). Added at the time of
manufacturing.
 Device drivers are a clear reference to the contents found in the
flash ROM’s firmware.
Types of Software

 Software is categorised into 3 main groups, that is;


 System software (also known as Operating System (OS))
 Application software
 Programming languages
System Software/Operating System

 An OS is a set of programs responsible for monitoring sequences of


events in the computer system, controlling the resources of the
computer system (e.g. distribution of memory and handling
peripheral devices) and supporting communications between the
elements making up the computer system. You can consider an
operating system as an interpreter between the user, application
software and hardware.
 Translate inputs from various sources into a language which a
machine understand.
 Examples- Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, UNIX etc.
Application Software

 Is actually the software which users use to interact with the


computer.
 Application software performs specific data or text processing
functions.
 Application software is actually installed within an OS, and more
than one application software programs can be installed within a
single OS.
 Examples- Microsoft Office Word (for word processing), Excel (for
spreadsheets) , Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox (for surfing on the
internet), Outlook (for emailing), Anti-virus, Windows Media Player.
Programming languages

 Used exclusively by computer programmers.


 Used to create other application software programs as well as OS.
 Also comes with compiler packages which interprets human
language and translate it into machine language.
 Examples- Java, C++, PHP (for web development).
Hardware’s main internal
components
 Central Processing Unit.
 Memory.
 Storage unit.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)

 This is the brain or heart of the computer equipment. The CPU carries out
the calculations for the program and controls the other components of the
system. It does the function by organising circuits into two main units, called
Arithmetic Logic Unit and Control Unit.
 ALU- The ALU contains arithmetic circuits that can subtract multiply and
divide two numbers. More complex operations such as finding the square
root of a number are done by sequence of their basic operations. The ALU
has logic circuits that can compare two numbers to determine if they are
equal or if one number is greater than storage locations called storage
registers for storing numbers used in calculations and for storing the results of
calculations.
 CU- The control Unit controls the whole computer system by performing
the following functions:
- directs and coordinates all operation called for by the program
- activates the appropriate circuits necessary for inputs and output
devices.
- Causes the entire computer system to operate in an automatic manner.
Memory
 Memory is internal storage areas in the computer. The term memory
identifies data storage that comes in the form of chips.
 Every computer comes with a certain amount of physical memory,
usually referred to as main memory or RAM.
 There are several different types of memory:
 RAM (random-access memory): This is the same as main memory. When
used by itself, the term RAM refers to read and write memory; that is, you
can both write data into RAM and read data from RAM. This is in
contrast to ROM, which permits you only to read data. Most RAM is
volatile, which means that it requires a steady flow of electricity to
maintain its contents. As soon as the power is turned off, whatever data
was in RAM is lost.
 ROM (read-only memory): Computers almost always contain a small
amount of read-only memory that holds instructions for starting up the
computer. Unlike RAM, ROM cannot be written to.
Cont….

 PROM (programmable read-only memory): A PROM is a memory chip


on which you can store a program. But once the PROM has been used,
you cannot wipe it clean and use it to store something else. Like ROMs,
PROMs are non-volatile.
 EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory): An EPROM is a
special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet
light.
 EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory): An
EEPROM is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to
an electrical charge.
Secondary Storage
 Secondary Storage is an optional attachment, which is cable –
connected to the CPU. Secondary is non-volatile. Any data or
programs stored in secondary storage stays there, even with the
computer power turned off, unless someone purposely erases them.
Secondary storage is a permanent form of storage.
 The main types of mass storage are:
 Floppy disks: Relatively slow and have a small capacity, but they are
portable, inexpensive, and universal. Typical capacity 1.44MB.
 Hard disks: Very fast and with more capacity than floppy disks, but also
more expensive. Some hard disk systems are portable (removable
cartridges), but most are not. Storage capacity up to 500GB or more.
 Optical disks: Unlike floppy and hard disks, which use electromagnetism to
encode data, optical disk systems use a laser to read and write data.
Optical disks have very large storage capacity, but they are not as fast as
hard disks. In addition, the inexpensive optical disk drives are read-only.
Read/write varieties are expensive. Typical storage capacity 640MB.
 Tapes: Relatively inexpensive and can have very large storage capacities,
but they do not permit random access of data. Storage capacity up to
400GB
The end