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Nov 8, 2013 (4 years and 1 day ago)

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COMPUTERS


A Scientific research report about computer








Ellen Kathrine Bock
-
Svendsen & Anette Busk


American College of Norway


09/13
-
2007






















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ABSTRACT


Th
is assignment contends the basic facts on computers and how it works. You can
find information on different parts of the machine

and the background for it.

In the history part you’ll find the early beginning of the computer in the 1940
s, t
he
World Wide Web

in 1991, how far we have come today and some facts about the
near future.



































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CONTENTS







































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7

INTRODUCTION




Computer
s, mobile phones, microwaves are equipments almost everyone in the
world to day are familiar with, we use them on a
n

everyday bases as tools to lighten
our way of living. But what is a computer, who invented this technology, and how do
they really work? In

this research paper we have tried to gader some information in
this specific topic!






















































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BACKGROUND/THEORETICAL FOUNDATION


Wh
at is a computer? Despite the

the commonhod of computers, f
e
w people know
how this

technology

came to life, and
what’s

really happening
inside

the
little

metal
box.
It important to be aver that This is two we probably aren’t able

to dig deep

into
this topic, but we hope to scratch the surface and understand at least the basics of
this h
uge technological that’s currently under development.











































9

WHAT IS A COMPUTER!

Definition

-

An electronic device for the storage and processing of information”


Technically, a computer is a programmable machine. This mea
ns it can
execute a programmed list of instructions and respond to new instructions that it is
given. Today, however, the term is most often used to refer to the desktop and laptop
computers that most people use. When referring to a desktop model, the term

"computer" technically only

refers to the computer itself
-

not the monitor, keyboard,
and mouse. Still, it is acceptable to refer to everything together as the computer. If
you want to be really technical, the box that holds the computer is called the "s
ystem
unit."


Today a computer is used in very part of the world by all
sorts

of people,
young and old.
A computer can be use as a

big informational source by lo
g
ging on
diffe
re
nt networks such as the internet. It can be used to store personal information
,

programs and files
and it

can be used to save music film
s and movies.




Some of the major parts of a personal computer (or PC) include the
motherboard, CPU, memory (or RAM), hard drive, and video card. While personal
computers are by far the most common

type of computers today, there are several
other types of computers. For example, a "minicomputer" is a powerful computer that
can support many users at once. A "mainframe" is a large, high
-
powered computer
that can perform billions of calculations from m
ultiple sources at one time. Finally, a
"supercomputer" is a machine that can process billions of instructions a second and
is used to calculate extremely complex calculation
.













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HISTORY

1940
:

The Complex Number Calculator (CNC) is completed. This
is considered to be
the first demonstration of remote access computing. In 1939, Bell Telephone
Laboratories completed this calculator, designed

by researcher George Stibitz.

1940
:

Stibitz demonstrated the CNC at an American Mathematical Society
conference

held at Dartmouth College
.

Stibitz stunned the group by performing
calculations remotely on the CNC (located in New York City) using a Teletype
connected via special telephone lines.

1941
:

Konrad Zuse finishes the Z3 computer.
It is the first general pur
pose
programmable

calculator. He pioneers the use of binary math and
Boolean

logic in
electronic calculation
.
Using 2,300 relays, the Z3 used floating point binary arithmetic
and had a 22
-
bit word length. The original Z3 was destroyed in a bombing raid of
Berlin in late 1943. However, Zuse later supervised a reconstruction of the Z3 in the
1960s which is currently
on display at the Deutsche

Museum in Berlin.

1944
:

The first Colossus is operational at Bletchley Park. Designed by British
engineer Tommy Flower
s, the Colossus was designed to break the complex Lorenz
ciphers used by the Nazis during WWII. A total of ten Colossi were delivered to
Bletchley.

Colossus reduced the time to break Lorenz messages from weeks to
hours. The machine’s existence was not made

public until the 1970s

1946
:

In February, the public got its first glimpse of the ENIAC.

ENIAC, or Electronic
Numerical Integrator Analyzor and Computer, is developed by the Ballistics Research
Laboratory in Maryland to assist in the preparation of firing

tables for artillery. It is
built at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering and
completed in November.

1951
:

The UNIVAC delivered to the U.S. Census Bureau was the first commercial
computer to attract widespread public att
ention. Although manufactured by
Remington Rand, the machine often was mistakenly referred to as the "IBM
UNIVAC." Remington Rand eventually sold 46 machines at
more than $1 million
each. The
cost

was

$750,000 plus $185,000 for a high speed printer.


50s a
nd early 60s:

T
imesharing, the concept of linking a large numbers of users to a
single c
omputer via remote terminals

developed at MIT
.

1964:

The IBM 360 is introduced in April and quickly becomes the standard
institutional mainframe computer. By the mid
-
80
s the 360 and its descendents will
have generated more than $100 billion in revenue for IBM.

1973:

Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf develop
the basic ideas of the Internet.

1974:

Researchers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research
Centre

designed the Alto. T
he
first work s
tation with a built
-
in mouse for input. The Alto stored several files in
windows, offered menus and icons, and could link to a local area network. Although
Xerox never sold the Alto commercially, it gave a number of them to universities.
Engineers later in
corporated its features into work stations and personal computers.


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1
977
:

The Apple II became an instant success when released with its printed circuit
motherboard, switching power supply, keyboard, case assembly, manual, game
paddles, A/C
power cord
, and c
assette tape with the computer game "Breakout."

1982
:

Commodore introduces the Commodore 64. The C64, as it was better known,
sold for $595, came with 64KB of RAM and featured impressive graphics. Thousands
of software titles were released over the lifesp
an of the C64. By the time the C64 was
discontinued in 1993, it had sold more than 22 million units and is recognized by the
2006 Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest selling single computer model
of all time

1983
:

Apple introduced its Lisa. The
first personal computer with a graphical user
interface, its development was central in the move to such systems for personal
computers. The
Lisa’s

sloth and high price ($10,000) led to its ultimate failure.

The Lisa ran on a Motorola 68000 microprocessor
and came equipped with 1
megabyte of RAM, a 12
-
inch black
-
and
-
white monitor, dual 5 1/4
-
inch floppy disk
drives and a 5 megabyte Profile hard drive

1984
:

Apple Computer launched the Macintosh, the first successful mouse
-
driven
computer with a graphic user
interface, with a single $1.5 million commercial
during
the

Super Bowl. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Macintosh
included many of the
Lisa’s

features at a much more affordable price: $2,500.



1988
:

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who left App
le to form his own company,
unveiled the NeXT. The computer he created failed but was recognized as an
important innovation. At a base price of $6,500, the NeXT ran too slowly to be
popular
.

1991:

Tim Berners
-
Lee develops the World Wide Web. CERN releases
the first Web
server.

1992:

T
he number of hosts breaks 1,000,000.

1993:

The World Wide Web sports a growth rate of 34
1,634% in service traffic in its

third year
.


1994:

The main U.S. Internet backbone traffic begins routing through commercial
providers a
s NSFNET reverts to a research network.

1996:

The Internet 1996 World Exposition is the first World's Fair to be held on the
internet


With

hundreds of millions of people using comput
ers every day, we are still in what
the
professionals

call

fourth genera
tion

of computer
technology
. Some skill is still
required to use the computer even if only to surf

the Web and send e
-
mail.

The fifth generation implies faster hardware and more sophisticated software that
uses artificial intelligence (AI) routinely. Natur
al language recognition is a major
component of the fifth generation. When you can have a reasonably intelligent
conversation with the average computer, you will be in the fifth generation, perhaps in
the 2015
-
2020.


12

HOW COMPUTERS WORK

If you have ever wond
ered how computers work, here is a chance for you to
understand the basics. While the technical aspects of what makes computers work
could be difficult for a non
-
professional to understand, the mechanical aspects of it
can give you a clear idea of what and

how things happen inside a processor.

Computers work thanks to a series of hardware devices that are closely
interconnected. The basic components of a
computer

are the
motherboard
, or tower;
the monitor; and the keyboard. The mouse may or may not be essential to the
functioning of a computer, depending on the type and model.

Most of the essential things that make computers work a
re inside the tower, away
from your eyes. The central processing unit (
CPU
), located inside the computer
tower, is the central stop for all the processes the computer goes through. As a
command is s
ent, such as "open a program" or "turn the monitor on," the CPU
interprets this order and then acts accordingly.

Once the computer is turned on, or booted up, the CPU goes on to activate certain
sections so that it can then give you access to programs and

processes. Computers
work based on the CPU granting access to users, so malfunctioning of the booting up
process would mean that the computer could not be used, even if everything inside is
working properly.

The first step to make computers work is to ru
n the
BIOS

software, which checks
basic data such as hard memory, RAM, type of video card installed, and CD
-
ROM/Floppy drives. BIOS also checks for booting up errors and offers to fix them if
necessa
ry. BIOS is also known as ROM BIOS or Read
-
Only Memory Basic
Input/Output System.

Input/output (I/O) is the name given to the processes or components needed to
interact with the CPU and make computers work. These include the monitor and
keyboard, but also

CD
-
ROMs,
Floppy disks
, and removable
flash memory

cards.
Input/output processes allow you to order the computer to do someth
ing, making the
essential for interaction and use.

In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic
components to work together efficiently. For example, every computer requires a
bus

that transmits data from one part of the computer to another.

Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows, though there is
considerable overlap:



memory (RAM)

--

used to store values during execution of a program,



CPU
(Central Processor Unit)

--

does the `work',



disc drive

--

`permanently' stores files,



keyboard

--

allows user to
input

information,



VDU

--

visually
outputs

data,


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Input/output (I/O
)
:
H
ard disks

are common I/O devices used with computers.I/O is
the means by which a computer receives information from the outside world and
sends results back. Devices that provide input or output to the computer are called
peripherals
. On a typical
personal computer
, peripherals include input devices like
the keyboard and
mouse
, and output devices such as the
display

and
printer
.
Hard
disks
,
floppy disks

and
optical discs

serve as both input and output devices.
Computer networking

is another form of I/O.

Often, I/O devices are complex computers in their own
right with their own CPU and
memory. A
graphics processing unit

might contain fifty or more tiny computers that
perform the calculations necessary to displa
y
3D graphics
. Modern
desktop
computers

contain many smaller computers that assi
st the main CPU in performing
I/O.

Hardware
The term hardware covers all of those parts of a computer that are tangible
objects. Circuits, displays, power supplies, cables, keyboards, printers and mice are
all hardware.

Software

refers to parts of the compu
ter which do not have a material form, such as
programs, data, protocols, etc. When software is stored in hardware that cannot
easily be modified (such as
BIOS

ROM

in an
IBM PC compatible
), it is sometimes
called "firmware" to indicate that it falls into an uncertain area somewhere

between
hardware and software.


Random access memory

(RAM) is the best known form of
computer memory
. RAM
is considered "random access" because you can access any memory cell directly if
you

know the row and column that intersect at that cell.

RAM is the most important factor in computer performance. If you don't have enough,
adding RAM can make more of a difference than getting a new CPU!

Microsoft recommends 128MB as the minimum RAM requ
irement. At 64MB, you may
experience frequent application problems. For optimal performance with standard
desktop applications, 256MB is recommended



















14

WHAT IS A COMPUTER?


We are all familiar with what a computer is in a specific, contempor
ary sense.
Personal computers are found in most aspects of daily life, and for some it is hard to
even imagine a world without them. But the term
computer

means more than simply
the Macs and PCs we are familiar with. A computer is, at its most basic, a mac
hine
which can take instructions, and perform computations based on those instructions.

It is the ability to take instructions


often known as programs in the parlance of
computers


and execute
them, which

distinguishes a computer from a mechanical
calcu
lator. While both are able to make computations, a calculator responds simply to
immediate input. In fact, most modern calculators are actually computers, with a
number of pre
-
installed programs to help aid in complex tasks.

Computers range from the very s
mall to the very large. Some are capable of doing
millions of calculations in a single second, while others may take long periods of time
to do even the most simple calculations. But theoretically, anything one computer is
capable of
doing;

another compute
r will also be able to do. Given the right
instructions, and sufficient memory, a computer found in a wristwatch should be able
to accomplish anything a supercomputer can


although it might take thousands of
years for the wristwatch to complete the operat
ion.

At one time, computers were extremely large, and required enormous amounts of
power. This made them useful only for a small amount of tasks


computing
trajectories for astronomical or military applications, for example, or code breaking.
Over time, w
ith technological advances, the computer was scaled down and its
energy requirements lowered immensely. This allowed the power of the computer to
be harnessed for a staggering array of uses.

As prevalent as personal computers are, they do not nearly begin
to scratch the
surface of computer use in our world. Interactive devices of all sorts contain their own
computers.
Cellular telephones,
GPS

units, portable organizers, ATM machines, gas
pumps, and mil
lions of other devices all make use of computers to streamline their
operations, and to offer features which would be impossible without a compute



A programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are:


It responds to a specific s
et of
instructions

in a well
-
defined manner.



It can
execute

a
pre
-
recorded

list of instructions (a
program
).

Modern computers are electronic and
digital
. The actual machinery
--

wires,
transistors
,
and circuits
--

is called
hardware
; the instructions and
data

are called
so
ftware
.




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All general
-
purpose computers require the following hardware components:


memory

:

Enables a
computer

to
store
, at least temporari
ly, data and
programs.


mass storage

device
:

Allows a computer to permanently retain large
amounts of data. Common mass storage

devices include
disk drives

and
tape
drives
.


input device

:

Usually a
keyboard

and
mouse
, the input device is the
conduit through which data and instructions enter a computer.


output device

:

A
display screen
,
printer
, or other device that lets you s
ee
what the computer has accomplished.


central processing unit

(CPU):

The heart of the computer, this is the
component that actually executes instructions.



















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DISCUSSION

We have
learned

who a computer works and how it has

developed

through time. This
is a wide subject and it is difficult to discus all the

different topics within this field
. We
ha
ve bare
ly
scratched the surface

of this subject

but we have gathered the most
important facts and information.



































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REFERENCES