1. Why is computer known as data processor?

seamaledicentAI and Robotics

Nov 17, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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B66/0859/2011
-
Mwangi Laban Kamau

BQS 214 ASSIGNMENT

1.
Why is computer known as data processor?

Computer is called a data processor since when raw data fed as input is converted (processed
)
to desired
information that is meaningful.

2.
Explain in brief
the various generations in computer technology?

Answer

There are five generations of computers; first generation, second generation, third generation, fourth
generation and fifth generation.

FIRST GENERATION

(mid 1940s)

It

was IBM pioneered and used vacuum

tube technology. It

was very large in size. It consumed a lot of
electrical power

(about) and emitted a lot of heat due to overheating. It had a small memory capacity and
therefore was very slow.

Examples are UNIVAC and ENIAC computers

SE
COND
GENERATION (
1957
-
1964
)

It used
transistor
technology which is

smaller in size and uses less power
. It was slightly small in size as
compared to the first generation. Had a larger memory capacity making it a bit faster with comparison to
the first generation and emitte
d less heat and was smaller in size.

An example was
IBM 7090

THIRD
GENERATION (
1964
-
1977
)

It used integrated circuit technology. It was small in size and consumed less power.It had a larger memory
capacity and was therefore
faster and more effective.
An exa
mple was IBM 360/91.

FOURTH GENERATION (1971)

It used large scale integrated circuit mounted onto a
single silicon
chip.

While the first generation filled
a
room, there were

some computers in the fourth generation that could fit on the palm of hand. All the
components of the computer were located from the central processing unit and memory for input and
output control.
This generation is also known as generation of micro
-
proc
essor and it saw the
development of

GUIs
, the
mouse

and
handheld

devices.

Examples are
:

IBM PC, Apple
-
Macintosh

FIFTH
GENERATION (
Present and beyond)

Fifth generation computing devices are based on artificial intelligence such as voice recognition. They are
still being developed and more advanced technology is being invented. The use of
par
allel and super
-
conductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. The objective of fifth generation computers
is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self
-
organization.


3.
Write a short
note on the fifth generation of computer.

What
makes the difference from the
fourth generation computer?

Answer

5th generation computers use ULSI (Ultra
-
Large Scale Integration) chips with millions of transistors
placed in a single integrated circuit in UL
SI chips.

Their computing devices are based on artificial intelligence such as voice recognition. They are still being
developed and more advanced technology is being invented. The use of parallel and super
-
conductors is
helping to make artificial intellig
ence a reality. The objective of fifth generation computers is to develop
devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self
-
organization.

The fifth generation computer is different from the fourth generation in terms of te
chnology used, its
devices are based on artificial intelligence while the fourth generation depend on normal data input

and
from that process that data.



4.
Why did the size of computer get reduced in third generation computer?

Answer

The third generation

reduced in size since it made use of integrated circuits which were very small as
compared to vacuum tubes and transistor used in the first and second generations respectively.

5.
Give short notes on the following

a)

Versatility

A computer's versatility is determined by its ability to handle multiple processes and programs
simultaneously. For a computer to be versatile, it must have a current operating system, contemporary
hardware and a suitable amount of peripherals.


b) Storag
e

Computer data storage

is determined by
its memory

capacity
.

It consists

of
computer

components and
recording media

used to retain digital
data
.

A computer has two

types of memori
es;

RAM (
Random access memory) which is a contemporary memory and ROM(Read only memory)

RAM is
used in the normal running o
f the computer and it determine
the speed of the computer.

Also a computer has another storage that helps it to store files in a comp
uter. This is called a hard disk.

There is also storage devices that are not part of the computer and are used for backing up work incase the
computer get infected by viruses.
This includes

Floppy disks, compact disks and USB disks such as flash
disks.

c)

Slide

rule

This is a mechanical
analog computer

which is used primarily for
multiplication

and
division
, and also for
functions such as
roots
,
logarithms

and
trigonometry
. It is however not normally used for
addition

or
subtraction
.

Slide rules come in a diverse range of styles and generally appear in a linear or circular form with a
standardized set of markings (scales) essential to performing math
ematical computations. Slide rules
manufactured for specialized fields such as
aviation

or
finance

typically feature addit
ional scales that aid
in calculations common to that field.

It was developed in the 17th century by
William Oughtred

and others based on the emerging work on
logarithms

by
John Napier
. Before the advent of the
pocket calculator
, it was the most commonly used
calculation tool in
science

and
engineering
. The use of slide rules

continued to grow through the 1950s
and 1960s even as
digital computing devices

were being gradually introduced until around 1974 when the
electronic
scientific calculator

made it largely obsolete and most suppliers left the business.

d) Babbage’s

analytical
Engine

Charles Babbage (1791
-
1871) designed t
he Analyti
cal Engine which was a special
-
purpose machine
designed to tabulate
logarithms

and
trigono
metric functions

by evaluating finite differences to create
approximating
polynomials
.


It had many essential features found in the modern digital computer. It was programmable using p
unched
cards, an idea borrowed from the Jacquard loom used for weaving complex patterns in textiles. The
Engine had a 'Store' where numbers and intermediate results could be held, and a separate 'Mill' where the
arithmetic processing was performed. It had
an internal repertoire of the four arithmetical functions and
could perform direct multiplication and division. It was also capable of functions for which we have
modern names: conditional branching, looping (iteration), microprogramming, parallel processi
ng,
iteration, latching, polling, and pulse
-
shaping, amongst others, though Babbage nowhere used these
terms. It had a variety of outputs including hardcopy printout, punched cards, graph plotting and the
automatic production of stereotypes
-

trays of soft

material into which results were impressed that could
be used as molds for making printing plates.


6. Distinguish

between micro
-
computers and mainframe computers

Answer

A
mini
-
computer

is a class of multi
-
user
computers

that lies in the middle range of the computing
spectrum, in between mainframe and micro
-
compu
ters while the mainframe. It can
support
10 to 12
terminals working well in what is know
n as distributed data processing. On the other hand the mainframe
computer is a large
computer

system that has the capability to support more powerful peripheral devices
and terminal and due to this it is used by very large organizations such as banks and
government agencies.

Mini
-
computers are majorly used by small businesses, colleges and schools since they are relatively
cheaper as compared to mainframe computers.

Besides the mini
-
computers have a large processing speed but not as high as that of
main
-
frame
computers. Due to this high speed, main
-
frame computers are used for complex scientific calculations,
large data processing application and for complex graphics applications.

Main
-
frame as opposed to mini
-
computers can support m
ulti
-
users and

mu
lti
-
programming.

The mini
-
computers
support

a single processing unit while the main
-
frame
is

implemented using two or
more central processing units
(
CPU
)

enabling it tom have a larger data storage capacity.