Information Systems @ Work

burpfancyElectronics - Devices

Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition





Solutions


Chapter

2


Information Systems @ Work



Build Your Own


Discussion Questions


1.

Student responses will vary. Smaller organizations could study the design of the
“vanity
-
free server” and implement their own.


2.

Student responses will vary.


Critic
al Thinking Questions


1.

Yes, the design does give Facebook a competitive advantage via the following
competitive force:
the rivalry among existing competitors
.


2.

Student responses will

vary.




Ethical and Societal Issues


Software Controls Nuclear Power Pl
ants


Discussion Questions


1.

Controlling the operations of computer hardware is one of the most critical
functions of systems software. Systems software also supports the application
programs’ problem
-
solving capabilities. Note that one of the most importan
t
functions of any OS is providing a user interface, which allows people to access
and in
teract with the computer system


an important function in an RPS
application.


2.

Advantages of proprietary software:



You can get exactly

what you need in terms

of featu
res, reports, and

so on.



Being involved in the

development offers

control over the results.



You can modify features

that you might need to

counteract an initiative

by
competitors or to

meet new supplier or

customer demands.


Disadvantages of proprietary so
ftware



It can take a long time and significant resources to develop required
features.

Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition






In
-
house system development staff may be hard pressed to provide the
required level of ongoing support and maintenance because of pressure to
move on to other new projec
ts.



The features and performance of software that has yet to be developed
presents more potential risk.




Advantages of off
-
the
-
shelf software



The initial cost is lower

because the software

firm can spread the

development costs over

many customers.



The so
ftware is likely to

meet the basic business

needs

you can analyze

existing features and the

performance of the

package before

purchasing.



The package is likely to

be of high quality because

many customer

firms
have tested the

software and helped

identify i
ts bugs.


Disadvantages of off
-
the
-
shelf software



An organization might have to

pay for features that are not

required and
never used.



The software might lack

important features, thus

requiring future
modification

or customization. This lack

can be very ex
pensive because

users must adopt future releases

of the software as well.



The software might not match

current work processes and

data standards.


Critical Thinking Questions


1.

Student responses will vary.


2.

Student responses will vary.



Review Questio
ns



1.

Green computing has three goals: reduce the use of hazardous material, allow
companies to lower their power
-
related costs (including potential cap and trade
fees), and enable the safe disposal or recycling of computers and computer
-
related
equipment.


2.

RAM is temporary and volatile
;
RAM chips lose their

contents if the current is
turned off or disrupted
. Read
-
only memory (ROM)

is usually nonvolatile. In
R
OM,

the combination of circuit states is fixed, and therefore its contents are not
lost if the powe
r

is removed.

ROM provides permanent storage for data and
instructions that do not change
.


3.

The purpose of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system is to transmit
data by a

mobile device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and
processed ac
cording to the

needs of an informa
tion system program
.


Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




One popular application of RFID is

to place a microchip on retail items and install
in
-
store readers that track the inventory on

the shelves t
o determine when shelves
should
be restocked.


4.

The
arithm
etic logic unit (
ALU
)
performs mathematical calculations and makes
logical comparisons. The control unit sequentially accesses program instructions,
decodes them, and coordinates data flows in and out of the ALU, registers,
primary storage, secondary stora
ge, and various output devices.



5.

Solid state storage devices (SSDs) store data in memory chips rather than
magnetic or optical

media. These memory chips require less power and provide
faster data access than magnetic

data
-
storage devices. In addition, SS
Ds have few
moving parts
, so they are less fragile than
hard disk drives. All these factors make
the SSD a preferred choice for portable computers.


6.

Classes of computers include:



Handheld computers

-

single
-
user computers that provide ease of
portability b
ecause of their small size

some are as small as a credit card.
These systems often include a variety of software and communications
capabilities.



Smartphone
-

combines the functionality of a mobile phone, camera, Web
browser, e
-
mail tool, MP3 player, and o
ther devices into a single handheld
device.



Laptop computer

-

a personal computer designed for use by mobile users.
It is small and light enough to sit comfortably on a user’s lap.



Notebook computer

-

an extremely lightweight computer that weighs less
than

7 pounds and can easily fit in a briefcase. It is smaller and lighter than
a laptop computer.



Netbook computers

-

the smallest (screen size of 7

10 inches), lightest
(under 2.5 pounds), and least expensive ($200

$800) members of the
laptop computer family
. They are great for tasks that do not require a lot of
computing power, such as sending and receiving e
-
mail or accessing the
Internet.



Tablet computers

-

portable, lightweight computers with no keyboard that
allow you to roam the office, home, or factory

floor carrying the device
like a clipboard.


7.

E
xamp
les of recent operating systems include
Windows 7,
Apple’s iOS
, and
Android
.


8.

Software as a service (SaaS) allows businesses to subscribe to

Web
-
delivered
business application software by paying a monthly
service charge or a per
-
use

fee.

SaaS can reduce

expenses by sharing its running applications among many
businesses.


Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




9.

The
re are

two basic types of software
:
systems software and application software.

Systems software is the set of programs designed to coo
rdinate the activities and
functions

of the hardware and various programs throughout the computer system.
Each type of systems

software is designed for a specific CPU design and class of
hardware. Application software

consists of programs that help users s
olve
particular computing problems. In most cases,

application software resides on the
computer’s hard disk before it is brought into the computer’s

main memory and
run.


10.

Cloud computing refers to the use of computing resources, including

software and
data

storage, on the Internet (the cloud) rather than on local computers. Cloud
computing provid
es the benefit of being able to
easily collaborate with others by
sharing documents on the Internet.


11.

An application service provider, or ASP, is a company that pro
vides both end
-
user
support and the computers on which to run the software from the user's facilities.
Application service providers use the Internet to quickly change and upgrade
software. Using an application service provider is not without risks: sensit
ive
information can be compromise
d in a number of different ways. The

application
service provider might be unable to keep its computers and networks up and
running as consistently as needed, or a disaster might befall the application
service provider's da
ta facility.


12.

Applications make use of the operating system by making requests for services
through a defined application program interface (API). Programmers can use
APIs to create application software without having to understand the inner
workings of th
e operating system.


13.

Workgroup application software is designed to support teamwork, whether people
are in the same location or dispersed around the world. This support can be
accomplished with software known as groupware that helps groups of people
work t
ogether effectively.

Examples of workgroup software include group
scheduling software, electronic mail, and other software that enables people to
share ideas. Lotus Notes and Domino are examples of workgroup software from
IBM.


Discussion Questions


1.

Softwa
re upgrades are an important source of increased revenue for software
manufacturers and can provide useful new functionality and improved quality for
software users.





Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




2.

It could be argued that with no hard disk, thin clients

never pick up viruses or
suffe
r a hard disk crash. Unlike personal

computers, thin clients download
software from a network when needed, making support,

distribution, and updating
of software applications much easier and less expensive.




3.

Responses

will vary.
Handheld computers often
include a variety of software and
communications capabilities. Most can communicate with desktop computers
over wireless networks.

A smartphone combines the functionality of a mobile
phone, camera, Web browser, e
-
mail tool, MP3 player, and other devices in
to a
single handheld device.


4.

A student’s perception of the ultimate computer will change from month to month
as better equipment and new ideas enter the marketplace. In order to locate
information about computers,
students should perform a Web search usin
g
key
words such as ‘computer systems’ or ‘computer sales’. A large number of
computer sales outlets will be displayed. Most offer ultimate configurations
.


5.

For most companies, the spheres of influence are personal, workgroup, and
enterprise. Information
systems that operate within the personal sphere of
influence serve the needs of an individual user. These information systems enable
their users to improve their personal effectiveness, increasing the amount of work
they can do and its quality. Such softwa
re is often referred to as personal
productivity software.


A workgroup is two or more people who work together to achieve a common
goal. An information system that operates in the workgroup sphere of influence
supports a workgroup in the attainment of a
common goal.


Information systems that operate within the enterprise sphere of influence support
the firm in its interaction with its environment.



6.

S
ources
of
application

software are

proprietary software and

off
-
the
-
shelf
software
. An advantage
of propr
ietary
software is that you can get exactly what
you need in terms of features and reports. A disadvantage however is that it can
take a long time
,

plus significant resources
,

to develop required features. An
advantage of off
-
the
-
shelf software is that the

initial cost is lower since the
software firm is able to spread the development costs over a large number of
customers. One disadvantage is that the organization may have to pay for features
that are not required and
are
never used
.


7.

Software as a service

(SaaS) allows businesses to subscribe to

Web
-
delivered
business application software by paying a monthly service charge or a per
-
use

fee.

SaaS can reduce

expenses by sharing its running applications among many
businesses.
In addit
i
on
, by p
roviding one hig
h
-
quality SaaS application to
thousands of

businesses is much more cost
-
effective than custom designing
software for each business.


Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




8.

The operating system for a mainframe computer c
an accommodate
hundreds or

thousands of users

at the same time. The operatin
g system for a laptop computer

allows one user

at time to operate the computer
. The operating systems for both
execute
s

the following
activities
:



Performing common computer hardware functions



Providing a user interface



Providing a degree of hardware indepe
ndence



Managing system memory



Managing processing tasks



Providing networking capability



Controlling access to system resources



Managing files




9.

Responses will vary.
Persona
l productivity software include word processors,
spreadsheets, and databases.



10.

Gri
d computing is the use of a collection of computers, often owned by many
people or

organizations, to work in a coordinated manner to solve a common
problem. Grid computing is one low
-
cost approach to parallel processing. The
grid can include dozens, hundre
ds, or even thousands of computers that run
collectively to solve extremely large

parallel processing problems.
Cloud
computing refers to the use of computing resources, including software and data
storage, on the Internet (the cloud) rather than on local
computers.



Problem
-
Solving Exercises


1.

Students should

use a database program to document the features and capabilities
of three different e
-
book readers.


2.

Students should
e
nter
smartphone specifications into an Excel spreadsheet

and e
-
mail the document t
o their instructor.


3.

Students should
develop a ten
-
slide presentation that compares the advantages and
disadvantages of proprietary software versus off
-
the shelf software.




Team Activities


1.

Students should visit

three different

retail stores in search of

their

ideal e
-
book
reader.


2.

Students should
visit a retail store that employs Radio Frequency Identification
chips to track
inventory and document the advantages and disadvantages
observed
in this technology

Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition





3.

Students should
write a report

on the advantag
es and limitations of the spelling
and grammar

checking features of

the word processing program
used to prepare
the report.



Web Exercises


1.

Students should
conduct research on Web to identify the current three fastest
supercomputers and how they are being

used.


2.

Students should write a two
-
page report

identifying

the current state of
development and production of advanced technology secondary storage devices
.



3.

Students should
use the Internet to search for information on embedded operating
systems.



Care
er Exercises


1.

Student
s

should
submit a report that answers the questions posed.


2.

Student
s should
submit a report that answers the questions posed.


Case Studies


Case 1:

Serving Up Football



Discussion Questions


1.

Student response
s

will vary. Because footb
all games are usually scheduled for
evenings and weekends, resources that are normally shared among businesses in
more than 90 locations can now be allocated to the stadium.


2.

Student response
s

will vary. Aside from the cost of the servers and the space
th
ey
woul
d occupy, they would have cost about $2.2 million per year just in power and
cooling.



Critical Thinking Questions


1.

Student responses will vary.


2.

Student response
s

will vary. The initial configuration of blade servers can be very
expensive and l
abor
-
intensive. Blade servers are also not suitable for applications
that require less than 5
-
10 servers.

Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




Case 2:
Your Next Car on a Tablet



Discussion Questions


1.

Chief operating officer Seth Berkowitz saw a spike in the percentage of mobile
page views t
hat came from iPads in the summer of 2010 and knew something was
up. In response, the Inside Line iPhone app

was created.


2.

Student response
s

will vary.


Critical Thinking Questions


1.

Student response
s

will vary. The objective of both firms is not only to ma
ximize
sales by simplifying the buying process, but also to acquire data on the site’s
visitors that can be data mined.


2.

Student responses will vary.



Questions for Web Case


Altitude Online: Choosing Hardware


Discussion Questions


1.

During the systems

analysis phase, Altitude Online will be able to d
etermine what
new hardware

devices it requires
to support the service that its
employees use
.


2.

Jon and the systems administrators will determine the exact amount of processing
power and storage capacity the
y need after further investigation and collaboration
with the ERP vendor.


Critical Thinking Questions


1.

Altitude Online

could donate the old hardware to high schools and/or universities.


2.

There was a more immediate need for
employees that work outside the
Altitude
Online offices

to
have convenient access to e
-
mail and corporate systems from
any location.







Fundament
als of Informati
on Systems, 7
th

Edition




Altitude Online: Choosing Software



Discussion Questions


1.

Many of its Web developers and graphic artists prefer the Mac platform, while its
business

staff tends to prefer the Windows platform.



2.

Because software packages are sold with a license that specifies how many copies
can be used.



Critical Thinking Questions


1.

Altitude Online uses Microsoft Office for its word processing, spreadsheet, email,

and presentation capabilities. Many of its customers and partners use Office as
well, so using the same software makes Altitude Online compatible with those it
does business with
.


2.

Student
responses will

vary.