Development of Computers

Development of Computers The earliest known device to record computations was the abacus. It dates back to ancient times and was invented by the Chinese. Ten beads were strung onto wires attached to a frame. Addition and subtraction were read from the final positions of the beads. It was considered the first manual tool used in calculating answers to problems that provided information and in a primitive way storing the results. Abacus Mechanical Clock During the Middle Ages the first closed system in terms of calculating information was invented by use of a mechanical clock. The parts of the clock calculated the time of day. The time was displayed through the position of two hands on its face. The inventor pre-programmed the clock instructions through the manner in which the pull of the weights and the swing of the pendulum with the movement of the gears established the position of the hands on the clock face. Mathematics John Napier (Scotsman mid 1600s) discovered logarith




Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define a computer
b) state the different parts of a computer
c) explain how Computers have developed
d) classify the various types of computers
e) identify areas where computers are used
f) define a computer laboratory
g) state the safety precautions and practices in a computer laboratory
h) demonstrate basic hands-on skills on the use of a computer. 
 1.2.1 Definition of a computer.
1.2.2 Parts of a computer.
1.2.3 Development of Computers
1.2.4 Classification of computers
            Physical Size
1.2.5 Areas where computers are used
1.2.6 Definition of a Computer laboratory
1.2.7 Safety precautions and practices in a computer laboratory
            Handing of materials and equipment
            Stable power supply
            Burglar proofing
            Lab layout
            Dust/damp control
            Standard furniture
1.2.8 Hands-on skills
            Start-up, restarting and shut-down (Booting)
            Keyboard layout
            Practical Keyboard and mouse skills


Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) describe a computer system
b) explain the functional organization of the elements of a Computer system
c) describe input devices of a computer system
d) describe the Central Processing Unit (CPU)
e) describe the output devices of a computer system
f) describe the types of secondary storage devices and media
g) distinguish between power and interface cables
h) explain basic computer set-up and cabling
i) distinguish between system software and application software
j) evaluate the criteria for selecting a computer system. 
2.2.1 Description of a Computer system.
2.2.2 Functional organization of the elements of a computer System.
2.2.3 Input devices e.g.
            Keying devices
            Pointing devices
            Scanning devices
            Speech recognition devices
            Other digital devices
2.2.4 Central Processing Unit (CPU)
            Control Unit
            Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)
            clock speeds
2.2.5 Output Device
    Soft copy output devices e.g.
            Visual display unit –Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), flat panel, cathode ray;
            Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
            Sound output
            light emitting
            Hard copy output devices e.g
            printers (impact, non-impact)
2.2.6 Secondary/Auxiliary Storage Devices and Media
         Fixed-e.g. Hard disk
         Removable- e.g.
            floppy disks
            optical disks (CD-R, WORM, CD-RW, DVDs)
            zip disks

 2.2.7 Power and Interface Cables.
            Power Cable
            Parallel Cable
            Serial Cable
2.2.8 Basic Computer Set-up and Cabling.
            Connecting basic computer components
            Connecting other computer peripherals

2.2.9 Classification of software.
a) System software
        i) firmware
        ii) networking software
        iii) operating system
        iv) utilities
b) Application software
        a) standard software
        b) user developed (in-house)
2.2.10 Criteria for selecting a Computer System (Specifications)
    Hardware Considerations
            Processor speed
            memory capacity
            user needs
            other considerations
    Software Considerations
            user needs
            user friendliness Software Considerations
            system requirements
            other software considerations


Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define an operating system
b) state the functions of an operating system
c) describe types of operating systems
d) describe how operating systems organize information
e) manage files using an operating system
f) manage disks using an operating system
g) identify internal and peripheral devices under Operating System control
h) install and configure an operating system. 
 3.2.1 Definition of an operating system
3.2.2 Functions of an operating system
            Job scheduling
            Resource Control
             Input/Output handling
             Memory Management
             Error handling
             Interrupt handling
3.2.3 Types of Operating Systems
    Number of users
        i) single user
        ii) multi user
    Number of tasks i) single tasking ii) multi tasking
        i) Command line
        ii) menu driven interface
        iii) Graphical User Interface (GUI)
3.2.4 Organization of Information using an Operating System
            Storage media
3.2.5 File management using an Operating system
            Description of files
Types of files
        i) system files
        ii) application files
    Functions of files
        i) storage of data
        ii) organization of information
    Creating files
    Manipulating files
        i) viewing files and directories
        ii) organization of information
        iii) creating files/directories
        iv) opening
        v) editing
        vi) renaming
        vii) finding/searching
        viii) sorting
        ix) copying
        x) moving
        xi) deleting
3.2.6 Disk Management using an Operating system
            Disk Diagnostics/Disk Compression
            Back up
3.2.7 Devices under Operating System Control
            Memory (Ram)
            Storage devices
            Input/Output devices and ports
            Communication devices and ports
3.2.7 Installation and Configuration of an Operating system
            Trouble shooting


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