1.2 Software and Hardware
Hardware: the physical components of your computer: the 'box' and its contents (microprocessor, hard disk, graphics card, etc.), together with the monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Hardware includes components called:
Peripherals: Separate hardware items that are added onto the basic computer unit, such as the monitor, modem, printer, keyboard.
Software: programs that make a computer do things. There are three basic categories of software: Operating Systems (e.g. Windows), languages (e.g. Java and C) and applications (e.g. word processors and spreadsheets)
Software can be divided into three basic categories:
Operating systems: the operating system (e.g. DOS, Windows, and UNIX) manages the computer's resources, provides a means of interfacing with the user and runs application packages.
Languages: These allow developers to write new software programs, examples include Basic, C, Assembler, Pascal, C++, Visual Basic and Java.
Applications: applications programs (e.g. word processors, spreadsheets) allow you to perform activities using your computer.
1.3 Binary, Bits and Bytes
Transistors: tiny switches that only can be in one of two states; that is, on or off.
In mathematics the term binary is used to refer to a number system which has only two digits, that is 1 and 0.Any number from the denary system can be represented in binary; 0 in denary is 0 in binary. Similarly 1 in denary is 1 in binary. When you get to 2 in denary you have a problem. How do you represent two? You simply create a new column and start afresh, using 1 and 0, so 2 in denary becomes 10 in binary. When you move on to 3 (in denary) you proceed as before; 3 becomes 11 in binary. The table below will explain a bit in another way.
The difference between data and instructions:
Data: is the current...