from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Saturday, 3rd October 2015 16:55 - BBC TwoThis final episode considers the challenges faced by the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - and asks what the... Read more: The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteSaturday, 3rd October 2015 17:30 - BBC Radio 4
The Great British Year: WinterMonday, 5th October 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageTuesday, 6th October 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteAvailable for over a yearHow do you value something like a painting? What makes one artist worth more than another? Who decides what is in... Read more: The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of Taste
BBC Inside Science: Preserving global diversity: Kew specialAvailable for over a year
Countdown To Life: The Extraordinary Making Of You: The Final PushAvailable until Saturday, 31st October 2015 00:15
The ascent of woman: PowerAvailable until Friday, 30th October 2015 02:30
Who will lead Britain out of the European UnionPerhaps it's not surprising that campaigners against the European Union don't want to work... Read more: Who will lead Britain out of the European Union
OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015Two mathematicians who threw shapes; then more free learning through the day. Read more: OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015
Learning to teachThis free course, which comprises four study units, is aimed at people who are considering... Try: Learning to teach 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
Representing and manipulating data in computers
Computers are all around us: in cars, kitchen scales, digital cameras, etc. But how do...
Computers are all around us: in cars, kitchen scales, digital cameras, etc. But how do they store the data they hold? This unit will help you to understand how the data in a computer represents something in the outside world. You will also explore how ASCII code and Unicode are used to control data.
After studying this unit you will:
- know what all the terms highlighted in bold in the text mean;
- know how the following types of data are represented in a computer, and what the limitations of such representations are: positive and negative integers; fractions; analogue physical quantities such as weight; true/false quantities; still pictures; text; moving pictures; sound;
- know, at an introductory level, what data compression is and why it is useful;
- know, at an introductory level, how input and output subsystems support the conversion of various types of information to and from data types usable by a computer;
- describe what a computer program is and how it utilises the memory and the processor;
- use a flowchart to describe the implementation of a given task;
- perform calculations relating to file sizes for text, still images, moving images and sound;
- convert between binary and denary representations for both positive and negative integers;
- perform simple arithmetic operations on pairs of 8-bit binary numbers;
- find the 2’s complement of a given binary number;
- perform the NOT operation on 8-bit binary codes, and the AND, OR and XOR logic operations on pairs of 8-bit binary codes.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Representing data in computers: introduction
- 2 Representing data in the kitchen scales
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 Representing numbers: positive integers
- 2.3 Representing numbers: fractions
- 2.4 Representing numbers: negative integers
- 2.5 Representing weights
- 2.6 Representing true/false quantities
- 2.7 Input and output considerations
- 3 Representing data in the digital camera
- 4 Representing data in the PC
- 5 Representing data in computers: conclusion
- 6 Manipulating data in computers: introduction
- 7 Binary arithmetic
- 8 Logic operations
- 9 Conclusion
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!
Representing and manipulating data in computers
Computers are designed to receive, store, manipulate and present data. This unit explains how computers do this, with reference to the examples of a PC, kitchen scales and a digital camera. In particular it explores the idea that the data in a computer represents something in the real world.
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.
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, 30th June 2011
- 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.