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FSU CGS 2060 - Exam 2

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Technology in Focus: Computing AlternativesCh. 6: Understanding and Assessing Hardware: Evaluating Your SystemCh. 7: Networking: Connecting Computing DevicesTechnology in Focus: Under the HoodCh. 8: Digital Lifestyle: Managing Digital Data and DevicesCh. 9: Securing Your System: Protecting Your Digital Data and DevicesTechnology in Focus: Careers in ITCGS 2060 Exam 2Technology in Focus: Computing AlternativesApplication Software AlternativesOpen source software: freely distributed, contains the source code, and can in turn be distributed to others. Can be downloaded for free from various web sites, installed on many computers, changes can be made to the source code, and it can be redistributed.OpenOffice: suite similar to Microsoft Office. Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentation), Base (database). By default, files saved in Write use the .odt extension. GIMP is a free alterative to Adobe Photoshop that can be used to edit images.Dia: free program allows you to create Visio-like diagrams and charts.SketchUp: charting option by Google. Full-featured 3D modeling software application.Operating System AlternativesBecause Windows is the most widely used OS, it’s a prime target for viruses and hacking.Linux: offers portability and reduces risk of picking up viruses or malware. Also, it enhances privacy and takes up less space on the hard drive, allowing the computer to run faster. Available for download in various packages known as distributions or distros. One popular Linux distro is Ubuntu.Mac OS X Lion: based on UNIX operating system, which is stable and reliable. Safe alternative to Windows. The new Mission Control feature acts as a command center for the desktop.Hardware AlternativesParts needed to make your own computer: case (ATX-style with adequate cooling fans and enough drive bays to handle the hard drive), motherboard (accommodate CPU chosen, drive bay), processor/CPU (fastest that can be afforded), RAM, hard drive, power supply, video card, sound card, optical drives (CD/DVD and Blu-ray – necessary for software installation).A disadvantage of building your own computer is not having outside support if something goes wrong.Ch. 6: Understanding and Assessing Hardware: Evaluating Your SystemYour Ideal ComputerTo determine whether you need to upgrade your system or purchase a new one, you need to define your ideal system and what you want it to do. Then you need to perform a system evaluation to assess the subsystems in your computer, including the CPU, memory, storage, video, and audio.Moore’s Law: describes the pace at which CPUs (small chips thought of as the “brains” of the computer) improve. Predicts that the number of transistors inside a CPU will increase so fast that CPU capacity will double every 18 months. The number of transistors on a CPU chip helps determine how fast it can process data. Best described as an observation of the rate of increasing transistor density.Desktop systems are a better value than notebooks in terms of computing power gained for your dollar. You pay more for each component of a notebook. Desktops have larger monitors and are more reliable with a longer life span.Notebooks are often equipped with an ExpressCard slot, which can add a solid-state drive (SSD), eSATA, and FireWire ports and other capabilities to your system.System evaluation: conducted to determine whether your computer system has the right hardware components to do what you ultimately want it to do. Look at your computer’s subsystems, see what they do, and check how they perform.Evaluating the CPU SystemYour computer’s CPU processes instructions, performs calculations, manages the flow of information through the computer system, and is responsible for processing the data you input into information. CPU speed is measured in gigahertz. It has several components, including L2 cache, ALU, and level 1 cache memory.The CPU is critically important because it processes instructions, performs calculations, and manages the flow of info through a computer system. First, it fetches the required piece of data or instruction from RAM (temporary storage location for all the data and instructions the computer needs while it’s running). Then it decodes the instruction into something the computer can understand. Then, it executes the instruction and stores the RAM before fetching the next instruction. This is a machine cycle.The primary distinction between CPUs is processing power, which is determined by the number of cores, clock speed, the amount of cache memory, and front side bus performance.Core: complete processing section from a CPU embedded into one physical chip. Multi-core processing allows more to get done. The most recent design innovation for PC processors, an improvement upon Hyperthreading, is the use of multiple cores on one CPU chip. With this, two or more processors reside on the same chip, enabling the execution of two sets of instructions at the same time. With multiple cores, each program has the full attention of its own processing cores, which results in faster processing and smoother multitasking.Clock speed of CPU dictates how many instructions the CPU can finish in one second. Each CPU is designed to run at a specific processing speed. The faster the clock speed, the more quickly the next instruction is processed.CPU’s cache memory: form of random access memory that can be reached more quickly than regular RAM. Because of its ready access to the CPU, cache memory gets data to the CPU for processing much faster than bringing the data in from RAM. There are several levels of cache memory defined by a chip’s proximity to the CPU.Front side bus (FSB): main path for data movements within the system, carrying data from the CPU to memory, the video card and other components on the motherboard. This connects theprocessor (CPU) in your computer to the system memory. The highway on which data travels between the CPU and RAM. The total number of cars that go by in one minute depends on the number of lanes of highway and the speed of the cars. The throughput of the FSB depends on how much data it transfers per cycle (bytes) and its clock frequency (Hz). The faster the FSB, the faster you get data to the processor, the faster your processor can work on it.Hyperthreading: provides quicker processing of information by enabling a new set of instructions to start executing before the previous set has finished.CPU benchmarks: measurements


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