My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Computers and computer systems
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. THIS COURSE WAS UPDATED ON 20/7/2018.
Course learning outcomes
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.
First Published: 09/08/2012
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- 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
- Keep on learning
Tags, Ratings and Social Bookmarking
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of Participation
On completion of a course you will earn a Statement of Participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
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 and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
If you are new to university level study, we offer two gentle introductory routes to our qualifications find out Where to take your learning next? You could either choose to start with an Access courses or an open box module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
20 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.