1.What similarities exist among mechanical, electrical and optical methods of computation?

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1.

What similarities exist among mechanical, electrical and optical methods of
computation?

Ans:

The similarities that exist among mechanical, electrical and optical methods of
computation are:

a)

They accept numeric inputs

b)

They perform

computational functions, e.g. addition and subtraction

c)

They communicate results


2.

What shortcomings of mechanical computation were addressed by the introduction of

electronic computing devices?

Ans: The shortcomings of mechanical computation addressed b
y the introduction of


electronic computing devices are:


a)

They were faster due to the high speed of moving electrons

b)

They were more reliable and easier to build than their mechanical counterparts

c)

It was possible to perform complex calculations at spe
eds previously thought
impossible.

d)

Larger and more complex problems could be addressed and simple problems were
solved much faster.


3.

What shortcomings of electrical computation will be addressed by the introduction
of optical computing devices?



Optical
computing will result in higher speeds of computing, communication and storing
of data on direct or indirect mediums

4.

What is a CPU? What are its primary components?


The Central Processing Unit is a general
-
purpose processor. It executes all instructions
and controls all data movement within the computer system. Its primary components are
the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), Registers and Control Unit.


5.

What are registers? What is/are their function(s)?


Registers are high
-
speed storage locations within the C
PU that temporarily stores data or
instructions needed immediately or frequently. They are within the CPU unit.


6.

What is main memory? In what way(s) does it differ from registers?


Main memory (Primary Storage (RAM)) provides space outside of the CPU and

accessed
by the CPU to read and write to at a high rate of speed as well as hold current active
programs and data for those programs. Limited in storage capacity, volatile and faster
than Secondary Storage. Register is a device within the CPU that process

data at a much
higher speeds than the main memory it does not hold or process any programs.


7.

What are the differences of the Primary and Secondary Storage?



The Primary is volatile limited in memory but faster than Secondary Storage. Secondary
is non
-
vo
latile, high capacity storage units capable of holding non
-
executing programs
and data and well as current executing programs that does not fit within the Primary
storage capacity.


8.

How does a workstation differ from a microcomputer?


Workstations are targ
eted to a single
-
user operating system and a microcomputer usually
is targeted for scientific and engineering organizations and have more computer hardware
power.



9.


Mainframe
: computer system that handles the information processing needs of a large
numb
er of user and applications. It also respond to thousands of simultaneous requests
for shares resources.




Supercomputer:

it is designed for one purpose rapid mathematical computation.

Supercomputers employ de very latest (and most expensive) computer

technology.


10.


Describe three types of multi
-
computer configurations. What are their
comparative advantages and disadvantages?


The three types of multi
-
computer configuration are Cluster, Blade and Grid.

Cluster

Advantage
-

scalability and fault tole
rance



Disadvantage
-

complex configuration and administration

Blade

Advantage


same advantage as a cluster but more powerful computing power
and simpler to modify.


Disadvantage


lacks secondary storage, power supply and I/O connections

Grid

Advantage


computers may be in separate rooms, buildings, or continents unlike
clusters that are typically located close to each other. They also work on
exclusively same set of services or applications as well as cooperatively at some
times independently


Disadva
ntage


dissimilar computer systems connected by a high
-
speed network.

11.

What class (es) of computer system(s) normally are used to implement a server?


Micro, Midrange, Mainframe and Super are all classes of computer systems. The term
server can describe a

small micro to a super computer. A server is a computer system that
manages one or more shared resources over a local or wide area network.


12.

What is Grosch’s Law? Does it hold today? Why or why not?


Grosch’s Law is a “mathematical relationship between c
omputer size and cost per unit of
instruction execution that states the cost per executed instruction decreases as computer
system size increases”. “Taking into consideration that it was applicable to a single class
of computer


the main frame”. The law
does not hold today because of the many classes
of computers, networks, variety of computer configurations and costly software.


13.

How can a computer system be tuned to a particular application?


You can use a blade circuit board.


Application software is

a specific set of instructions for a specific task; System software
“is a collection of programs that implement utility functions (needed by many application
programs), allocate resources to application programs and manage computer resources”.
“Applicatio
n software is used directly by an end user whereas most System software does
not interact with the end user.”


14.

What characteristics differentiate application software from system software?


Application software is targeted to specific information
-
processin
g tasks like generating
customer credit card bills and is used directly by an end user. System software is targeted
to general
-
purpose tasks that support many application programs and users and most
system software does not interact with end users.


15.

In wh
at ways does system software make the development of application software
easier?


System software allowed application software to be tested by resuing programs each time
it makes a serve request.