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Computers and computer systems

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Computers and processors are ubiquitous in everyday life, and they're not only found in your PC. This free course, Computers and computer systems, introduces the different parts of a computer system and their use of binary code. Using the examples of kitchen scales, a digital camera and a computer artwork the course, with the help of flowcharts, discusses how computers process data and instructions .

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand what all the terms highlighted in bold in the text mean
  • understand the fundamental hardware components that make up a computer’s hardware and the role of each of these components
  • understand the difference between an operating system and an application program, and what each is used for in a computer
  • describe some examples of computers and state the effect that the use of computer technology has had on some common products
  • identify the principal components of a given computer system and draw a diagram after the style of Figures 6 and 12 to represent the data flows between them.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Thursday 17th March 2016
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Computing
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Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Figure 1 ENIAC Computer. Photo © Science Photo Library

Rozin, D. ‘Wooden Mirror’, 2001, IEEE Spectrum, March 2001, p.29. Copyright © 2001 IEEE. Reproduced, with permission, from IEEE Spectrum, March 2001

All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

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