from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Met: Policing London: Episode FiveFriday, 31st July 2015 00:50 - BBC TwoIn the final episode of OU/BBC's The Met a new recruit learns his way around the London streets and Homicide... Read more: The Met: Policing London: Episode Five
Life: PrimatesFriday, 31st July 2015 11:00 - Eden
A History of Ideas: Writer Lisa Appignanesi on the Love of ChildrenFriday, 31st July 2015 12:04 - BBC Radio 4
Life: PrimatesFriday, 31st July 2015 17:00 - Eden
A History of Ideas: Theologian Giles Fraser on AltruismAvailable until Wednesday, 27th July 2016 00:00Giles Fraser explains why our genes determine our concern for others. Read more: A History of Ideas: Theologian Giles Fraser on Altruism
Great Ormond Street Hospital: Fix my genesAvailable until Saturday, 15th August 2015 00:20
The Bank: LendingAvailable until Saturday, 8th August 2015 00:50
OU on the BBC- Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant: Episode OneAvailable until Thursday, 27th August 2015 02:30
Can we find the rest of MH370?It looks as if part of MH370, the lost Malaysian Airlines jet, has been found. Will this help us... Read more: Can we find the rest of MH370?
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Beginners’ Italian: food and drinkThis free course, Beginners’ Italian: food and drink, focuses on buying drinks and snacks in an... Try: Beginners’ Italian: food and drink now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
Computers and computer systems
Computers and processors are ubiquitous in everyday life, and they're not only found in...
Computers and processors are ubiquitous in everyday life, and they're not only found in your PC. This unit introduces the different parts of computer systems and their use of binary code. Using the examples of kitchen scales, a digital camera and a computer artwork the unit, with the help of flowcharts, discusses how computers process data and instructions .
After studying this unit you will:
- know what all the terms highlighted in bold in the text mean;
- know the fundamental hardware components that make up a computer’s hardware and the role of each of these components;
- know the difference between an operating system and an application program, and what each is used for in a computer;
- be able to describe some examples of computers and state the effect that the use of computer technology has had on some common products;
- be able to identify the principal components of a given computer system and draw a diagram after the style of Figures 6 and 12 in this unit to represent the data flows between them.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning Outcomes
- 1 Computers and processors: introduction
- 2 Computers and computer systems
- 3 Some facts about processors
- 4 Representing data and instructions inside a computer
- 5 Examples of computers
- 6 A look to the future
- 7 Computer programs
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Computers and computer systems
There is more to computers and processors than simply PCs. In fact computers are ubiquitous in everyday life. This unit challenges how we view computers through the examples of processors in kitchen scales and digital cameras, as well as a work of art that, at heart, is a computer.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Computers and processors (T224) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
The Open University is conducting a survey investigating how people use the free educational content on our OpenLearn website. The aim is to provide a better free learning experience for everyone. So if you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d be delighted if you could take part and tell us what you think
Please note this will take you out of OpenLearn, we suggest you open this in a new tab by right clicking on the link and choosing ‘Open Link in new Tab’.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Computing courses or view the range of currently available OU Computing courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th October 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.