I know that you are enjoying the HTML / CSS classes powered by codecademy.com. We also need to look at next week. EXAMS! Don’t worry, I will be helping you by writing everything you’ll need to know in order to score a high mark. If you haven’t already ready my blog post on how to write and study for an exam IMO, please read that first. It will also have your exam topics. In this article i will be expanding on the topics to explain it further in sha Allah. So, let’s begin?
When writing the exam, I took questions or example right out of your book. If you can figure out what question I’m trying to explain. Just study that question. I won’t tell you the answers or the questions on the exam though. The exam will be dealing with Units 1 – 4.
Software vs. Hardware
We looked at different types of hardware and software. There is a difference between the two. You can remember by hardware being something hard or something you can touch. For example, a mouse is hard so that would be hardware, so is a monitor or a printer, you can touch them physically. While software is soft, something you cannot physically touch. You can touch the hard drive or the DVD, but these are storage devices, not hardware.
There are two different types of software. System and application software. System software is something your system has pre-installed. This could be Notepad, Internet browser or Minesweeper. You don’t need to download or install something else. Application software is something extra you would like to put in your computer. This could be Microsoft Word, Anti-virus software or Mozilla Firefox.
When we looked inside a computer, we saw different parts that make a computer work. From the motherboard, processor (CPU), RAM, power supply and heatsink. Some of these is more important than the other. If we have a very expensive power supply it won’t help us out so much. Since it’s just powering the computer hardware it won’t make the computer faster but will only help it power all the devices properly. The two most important computer hardware components would be the CPU and the RAM.
The CPU is responsible for processing all the information and telling that information where to go. It like a traffic police officer directing traffic. The cars can only go as fast as the officer directs the traffic. the CPU is also known as the brain of the computer. The faster, bigger and more smarter the brain the easier the tasks will be
The RAM is responsible for allowing the information to travel as fast as it can. It also allows the information to be stored temporarily (volatile). With the information stored in the RAM it can be sent to the CPU to it can used in the correct way. So, using the traffic police officer, the RAM would be like having the cars move really fast and having more lanes on the road. more lanes equals less traffic jam and more speed.
Along with RAM, there will be ROM. They sound and function similar but there is a bit of a difference. While RAM is volatile, ROM is non-volatile. This means that the information on the ROM cannot be changed. If it were to be changed then the computer wouldn’t start. An example would be the BIOS ROM. This ROM is responsible for starting up the computer. It wakes all the other components up so they can do their work. If you didn’t have someone to wake you up and you just slept all the time, it would be impossible for you to wake up.
Using a Computer System to Communicate
There are 5 ways to communicate using ICT / Computer systems. They are
- mutlimedia presentations
- music scores
For each example there is a different way to reach the audience, a different audience and a description and key features.
- Newsletters should have lots of information and pictures on it. This will be given out to a club or group. They are handed out by hand.
- Flyers have information but less than a newsletter. More colorful and the font size is bigger. They are used to advertise a service or company. They can be given out by hand or inserted in magazines / newspapers. They are given out to people who would be interested in that service or company
- Posters have the biggest image and fewest words. They are very good at attracting an audience that is not interested. Since they are so big they can’t help but be noticed. They can be posted on walls or on billboards.
Websites are electronic versions of the previously mentioned. They have good and bad points. Some of the good points is that it can be accessed by everyone worldwide, publicly available and can offer features that would be impossible to print out like video, sound and animation. A few bad points is that it’s not available to everyone, its much harder to advertise a website than a flyer and its much harder to create than a the previously mentioned.
Presentations are much more engaging. If they give a good presentation, the audience will be more involved and willing to listen. You don’t need a computer, the computer is just a tool to help you. That’s the thing about presentations, you will need to have the information so that the people can understand it but you also need to have a good presence. If you look don’t confident or haven’t practiced your presentation, people will NOT listen.
We didn’t look at music scores. Although they are used to communicate information. As a Muslim, I don’t agree with it and decided not to teach you this.
Cartoons can be for children and adults. Depending on the content. They can send messages that will stick you with for a long time. They usually are not written like the others. More subtle. I remember back in the 90’s when GI Joe gave Public Service Announcements. This method was very deliberate and we knew they were trying to tell us something. Other cartoons, like X-Men will tell you messages through the story line or morals. They are very hard to pull off but can be the most lasting.
Input & Output Devices
These devices are used to read or input information into a computer. They can be as simple as a keyboard or a mouse or as complicated as a Optical Character Reader (OCR) or a Light Pen. I will not go over all the different devices with their description, pros and cons. You can look through them briefly.
Output devices are used to display information. It can be from a monitor or a printer. They translate that information and display it in a way that we can understand. There are different types of output devices in general.
- CRT – These monitors are not used anymore. They are very heavy and big. You can see well from different angles. Pretty cheap to buy but not good on power consumption
- TFT – We are used to these monitors. They are light and thin. They consume less energy. There is also ones that can be viewed from different angles. Prices can vary from moderate to very expensive. Not much wrong about them.
- Projector – Can be setup anywhere and can replace a monitor / screen. There much more expensive than a TFT monitor. They bulb also costs a lot to buy. They can be great for a large screen but need external power.
- Laser – Very fast but expensive. Can print at high quality but has to have maintenance to keep it working. The toner can print a lot of paper but is expensive.
- InkJet – Not so fast but can also be expensive. Its not the printer that is expensive, that is very cheap. The ink is the expensive part. They tend to break often and need replacement or repair. Maintenance by the user can help let the printer last longer.
- Dot Matrix – Used in offices, they are used to print invoices, receipts and other office related documents. Very low cost to operate as it doesn’t use much ink. It’s very slow and cannot print in color and it’s also more expensive than regular printers
- Plotter – Very large printer used to print large documents like posters and blueprints. It’s quite slow. They are very expensive to buy and you won’t be using it all the time
- Speaker – I think you know what a speaker is. Sound comes out. If you have a hard time hearing, they won’t help you so much. Since they are simple, they last for a long time.
There are many types of storage devices, each with their own pro and cons. One thing is for sure, we need them. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to store any information. No information means no nothing. Lets say we go to the store and you need a type of storage device. There are some things you should consider.
- Ease of Use – Are additional devices required to read the media?
- Speed of Access – How often and how quickly does the information need to be accessed?
- Permanence – For how long does the information need to be stored and can it be stored safely?
- Storage Capacity – How much information needs to be stored- megabytes or terabytes?
Asking yourself these questions will help you tremendously.
For the practical part of your exam, there is so much to go over. Because of that, I will ask you to look over for yourself. There will be 3 exercises to choose from. Total will be worth 60% of your mark, so please study and practice.
You will be asked to choose 2 of the 3 and finish it on the computer. You may look through your book and see the practical section.
I hope that I have helped you out as much as I can this year. It’s a pleasure teaching you. I hope to see great results from you in sha Allah. Any comments, questions or concerns can be given below. Just reply, and I’ll try my best to reply as quickly and as best as I can.