Hardware & Software

The physical parts or components of a computer, including monitors, keyboard, memory, storage devices and more.

Control Systems

A control system is a group of mechanical or electronic devices that uses control loops to control other devices or systems.  Control systems are automated with the use of computers. It is a vital part of the automation industry.  Some types of control loops are as follows: ICS – Industrial Control Systems SCADA – Supervisory …

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The Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Candidates should be able to: state the purpose of the CPU describe the function of the CPU as fetching and executing instructions stored in memory explain how common characteristics of CPUs such as clock speed, cache size and number of cores affect their performance. What is the purpose and function of the CPU? The purpose …

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Types of Memory

Candidates should be able to: describe the difference between RAM and ROM explain the need for ROM in a computer system describe the purpose of RAM in a computer system explain how the amount of RAM in a personal computer affects the performance of the computer explain the need for virtual memory describe cache memory …

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Software and Operating Systems

Candidates should be able to: explain the need for the following functions of an operating system: user interface memory management peripheral management multi-tasking security describe the purpose and use of common utility programs for: computer security (antivirus, spyware protection and firewalls) disk organisation (formatting, file transfer, and defragmentation) system maintenance (system information and diagnosis, system …

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Output Devices

Computer output devices receive information out of the computer, carrying data that has been processed by the computer to the user.  Output devices provide data in different forms like audio, visual and hard copy.  It is usually used for display, projection or physical reproduction.  Monitors and printers are two of the most familiar output devices used with a computer. Computer output devices are all peripheral …

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Logic Circuits

A logic circuit is a circuit that executes a processing or controlling function in a computer.  This circuit implements logical operations on information to process it. Logic circuits utilize two values for a physical quantity, like voltage, to denote the Boolean values true and false or 1 and 0 respectively.  Logic circuits have inputs and the outputs can be …

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Operating System (OS)

An operating system (OS) is initially installed into the computer by a boot program.   It administers all the other programs in a computer like the applications or application programs.  The application programs requests for services from the OS through a defined application program interface (API).  Users interact directly with the OS through a user interface like a command …

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Sensors

Sensors are advanced devices that are often used to sense and react to electrical or optical signals.  A sensor translates the physical characteristic into a signal which can be calculated electrically.  For example, the mercury in the glass thermometer increases and decreases the liquid to translate the calculated temperature which can be viewed on the regulated glass tube. …

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Memory and Storage

In computer terms, storage or memory refers to computer components and recording media used to save and keep digital information.  Technically, there is no difference between the two.  But in general usage, storage refers to hard drives and memory refers to Random Access Memory (RAM). Memory or Random Access Memory In general, the term memory …

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High and Low Level Languages

High-level Language A high-level language is a programming language intended to streamline computer programming.  It is called high-level because it is quite a few steps away from the original code run on a computer’s central processing unit (CPU).  High-level source code comprises of easy-to-read structure that is later translated into a low-level language, which can …

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Von Neumann Architecture

The Von Neumann architecture is about the structure that a computer should follow.  Most of the computers today follow this framework.  A Von Neumann-based computer has the following characteristics: Utilises a single processor Utilises one memory for both instructions and data Implements programs by executing one instruction at a time John Von Neumann John Louis …

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Fetch Execute Cycle

A computer program is made up of sets of instructions which are encoded using the binary numbering system.  The fetch – decode – execute cycle is the order of steps that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) uses to follow instructions.  The fetch execute cycle was first proposed by John von Neumann who is famous for …

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Logic Gates

Logic gates execute basic logical functions and are the core components of digital integrated circuits.  Most logic gates accept an input of two binary values and provide an output of a single binary value.  Some circuits have a few logic gates, while others have many logic gates.  A microprocessor has millions of logic gates. The …

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Translators

A translator is a programming language processor that converts a computer program from one language to another.  It takes a program written in source code and converts it into machine code.  It discovers and identifies the error during translation. Purpose of Translator It translates high-level language program into a machine language program that the central …

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Input Devices

An input device is a piece of hardware used to provide data to a computer used for interaction and control.  It allows input of raw data to the computer for processing. Here’s a list of some input devices used in computers and other computing devices: Keyboard – one of the primary input devices used to …

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Storage Devices

A storage device is a piece of computer hardware used for saving, carrying and pulling out data.  It can keep and retain information short-term or long-term.  It can be a device inside or outside a computer or server.  Other terms for storage device is storage medium or storage media. A storage device is one of …

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