Unit 2 Assignment Tom Taylor.

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Unit 2 Assignment

Tom Taylor.

Computer Parts.

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of the computer, where all
the commands are processed. It runs the software and processes the data from the
system. Most modern
Processors are dual or quad core, Quad core means that the
CPU runs 4 times quicker than a conventional chip.

The Hard disk drive is a data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital
information using rapidly rotating disks coated wi
th iron filings. A hdd is non volatile so
the data is preserved when the computer is switched off. A hdd consists of one or more
hard, rigid platters.


Solid state drives don’t actually contain a disk, or a motor, it’s a data storage
device wh
ich used integrated circuits as memory to store data. Unlike the HDD, SSDs
contain no moving parts, which means they are a lot qui
ter when running, less likely to
crash, and have a lower access time. The SSD costs around 7 to 8 times the price of

RAM is a form of computer data storage, a random access device allows stored
data to be accessed in any random order. The ram sits on the motherboard.

It holds the
software and data
that you are running at the time. You will usually find 1

2 or 4 ba
of RAM. You can add more RAM to your machine if you want to speed it up.

Read Only Memory:
ROM is a form of built in memory in a computer that holds data.
This data


read from the c
hip, but not written to, hence r
ead only. ROM is
volatile so the stored data is preserved when power is switched off

: A graphics processing unit (GPU), also occasionally called visual processing unit
(VPU), is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter
memory to
accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a

A power supply unit converts mains AC into low
voltage regulated DC power for
the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use a

switch mode power supply. Some power supplies have a manual selector

The motherboard is the main part of the computer, all hardware in the
computer system either connects to the motherboard in some way, or sits on it.

In compu
ting, an input device is any peripheral (piece of computer hardware
equipment) used to provide data and control signals to an information processing
system such as a computer or other information appliance. Examples of input devices
include keyboards, mous
e, scanners, digital cameras and joysticks.


An output device is any piece of computer hardware equipment used to
communicate the results of data processing carried out by an information processing
system (such as a computer) which converts the
electronically generated information
into human
readable form.

Role of an operating system.

Operating systems are needed to run a computer, The most common operating systems at the
moment are those produced by Microsoft, the most up to
date is Windows 8.1. The operating
system, as well as essential hardware and software, provides the programs that you need to get
up and sustain a running computer system. The three main operating systems are


Apple Mac


Each operating system is better suited for different tasks, for example, Apple mac is better for
those who do a lot of design on their computer system. There are two types of operating
system, CLI (Command line interface) and GUI (Graphic
user interface). Early operating
systems such as DOS (Disk operating system) relied on command line interpreters. To be able
to use the computer, the user would have to put in individual commands that the computer
understands. When the computer had finishe
d what it was asked to do, it would display a
command line prompt. Not many people could use these systems because to operate them you
needed to know how to give commands in the DOS language.

One of the reasons CLI is still
used is because it is ideal for
very quick expert use.

WIMP stands for windows, icons, menu,
and pointer
. When Windows operating systems were introduced in the mid 1980’s, Instead of
needing to know complicated computer languages, the user could simply indicate what they
wanted to do by
clicking on an option or icon, Filling in boxes in a form, or clicking a button. GUI
systems are attractive and user friendly so they appeal to a big audience. Operating systems
manage hardware and run software. Without it the computer would be just as use
ful as a
cardboard box. Operating systems offer the user a password, so that unauthorised persons
can’t access the computer system. This helps protect the user’s files and data.

Here is a picture of a modern command line interface runnning linux.

A benefit of GUI are that it provides a much easier to follow interface. For example to delete a
file, the user may be able to simply drag the file over to the ‘trash’ icon. Another is that
applications running under GUI have features in common. For e
xample, skills you learn to apply
in a word processor, like Microsoft Word, you can also apply when making a spreadsheet on
something like Excel.

Comparing Windows 8 and Apple Mac OS X

I will compare the different aspects that make up Windows 8 and Mac O
Mountain Lion.

User interface

Both Operating systems have a respectable user interface, Windows 8 has
been developed so it is touch friendly, which a lot of users that have just a
mouse and keyboard, do not like. Although it is compatible
with touch
screen computers, which gives it a competitive advantage over Mountain
Lion, Users find it complicated and annoyin
g. On the other hand some

me being one of them,

like the new Windows 8 start
up screen,
which is customisable, so the user can put icon
s for whatever apps they
want, where they want. Here is the start
up screen.

On to the Mountain Lion interface, many people criticise the fact that scroll
bars are invisible, so when searching through menus and documents, there
is no indication to the
user that there is unseen content that can be
accessed by scrolling down.

Although this seems like a big miss, the
Windows 8 actually doesn’t have a start button, so it can be difficult for
people to access
things such as ‘my computer’ and ‘all programs’.


Both Operating systems come with basic software that

the user to
use email, media, and
simple tasks like word processing.

Both Windows 8 and Mountain Lion have Email Clients so active sync,
Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail can be used. But Apples

software is slightly
more versatile. It is easier to organise emails into categories and folders.
Apple comes pre
installed with the iLife package, iLife is used for
organizing, editing, and publishing photos, music and movies. The iMovie
that is in the i
Life package is much more professional than Windows Movie
maker. Also Mountain Lion has a GarageBand audio recording app, this is
used for recording audio, such as singing. Windows offers no real response
to this, If you need to record decent quality audio
, you will have to
download an app for it. Apples software also has more in
depth editing
options compared to Windows 8.

Mountain Lion

has Itunes available, which users can use to purchase and
download media to watch
offline, whereas Windows 8 doesn’t have

a built
in media store, so a third party app is required to download music and
films, which can be more expensive, or worse quality. Also it looks more
professional that apple have included a built in media store,(Itunes).

As an alternative to downloadin
g a third party app, you can spend £7 on
Windows Media Centre.

Windows offers a free video call app, because Skype is pre
installed and
accessible from the touch friendly start up screen.
And you can use
Facetime on mac, so these cancel each other out.

ernet explorer is the
web browser installed on Windows, but a lot of people chose to download
google chrome because it is a lot more simple and modern than internet
explorer, and it offers the chrome web store, so users can download apps
onto their chrome.

Safari is the browser installed on mountain lion, which
has impressive launch and page load times, but if it was my decision, I
would go with Windows and download chrome.


I think that both operating systems

are impressive in different ways
, bu
t if it
was down to me I would recommend Windows 8. I say this because,
although Mountain Lion is much better for design, and probably media,
Windows 8 is a lot cheaper to have, because it is unlikely you will find a
apple computer for less than £1000, whe
reas a very good Windows 8
computer could be purchased for less than £300. Also with Windows 8 you
have much more freedom in what you do, you can download Chrome web
browser and have a much better browsing experience than Safari, you can
download media fro
m more than one place, which isn’t the case with Apple,
Obviously with touchscreen laptops getting more and more common,
Windows 8 is the one to go for because it offers a touch friendly interface,
so you can use your fingers to navigate around the files a
nd menus. If you
are looking for great quality, and you’re not fussed about paying
extortionate prices, I would go ahead and buy an Apple mac, although they
are very expensive, they are better for design, and if you are serious about
media and design, I wo
uld definitely recommend you go for Mountain Lion
But overall, I would choose Windows 8, I find it really easy to navigate
around and very quick to start up, its also quick at loading programs and
pages online.