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OFFICE AUTOMATION UNIT I 1 Concept of Hardware and Software Hardware The term hardware refers to mechanical device that makes up computer Computer hardware consists of interconnected electronic devices that we can use to control computer s operation input and output Examples of hardware are CPU keyboard mouse hard disk etc Hardware Components Computer hardware is a collection of several components working together Some parts are essential and others are added advantages Computer hardware is made up of CPU and peripherals as shown in image below A set of instructions that drives computer to do stipulated tasks is called a program Software instructions are programmed in a computer language translated into machine language and executed by computer Software can be categorized into two types Software System software Application software System Software System software operates directly on hardware devices of computer It provides a platform to run an application It provides and supports user functionality Examples of system software include operating systems such as Windows Linux Unix etc Application Software An application software is designed for benefit of users to perform one or more tasks Examples of application software include Microsoft Word Excel PowerPoint Oracle etc Differences between Software and Hardware Sr No Software Hardware It is a collection of programs to bring computer hardware system into operation It includes physical components of computer system It includes numbers alphabets alphanumeric symbols identifiers keywords etc It consists of electronic components like ICs diodes registers crystals boards insulators etc Software products evolve by adding new features to existing programs to support hardware Hardware design is based on architectural decisions to make it work over a range of environmental conditions and time It will vary as per computer and its built in functions and programming language It is mostly constructed for all types of computer systems It is designed and developed by experienced programmers in high level language The hardware can understand only low level language or machine language It is represented in any high level language such as BASIC COBOL C C JAVA etc The hardware works only on binary codes 1 s and 0 s 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 Memory Unit A memory unit is a small storage device that holds a memory for a computer and can be accessed through the software Memory units are typically used to store the information of the programs The computer has two types of storage systems volatile and non volatile Importance of Memory Units o Speed Memory units make it possible to store and retrieve instructions and data quickly which reduces processing instances and boosts overall system performance This is crucial when handling huge amounts of data or operating complicated programs o Temporary storage Memory units serve as temporary storage for data and programs that are currently in use allowing users to quickly move between programs and files without waiting for data to be loaded from a storage device o Multitasking Memory units allow computer systems and different digital devices to do many tasks simultaneously because they can store and retrieve data for multiple programs simultaneously o Reliability Memory devices are extremely reliable because they re made to resist normal wear and tear They are a strong and reliable storage option because they are less vulnerable to damage from outside forces like shock or vibration o Accessibility Memory units are readily available and can be quickly updated or changed This makes increasing a system s memory capacity simple enabling users to manage more data and execute demanding programs o Energy efficiency Memory units use less power than standard hard drives resulting in lower heat generation and reduced cooling requirements Types of memory units Different kinds of memory units are utilized in computers and each has its own purpose Let s observe some common types 1 RAM Random access memory RAM is like a quick and temporary workspace in your computer It stores data and programs that your computer is actively using When you open a file or run the software it gets loaded into RAM so your laptop can access it quickly However RAM is only sometimes permanent storage so everything in RAM is lost when you switch off your computer 2 ROM read only memory ROM is a memory that stores essential records that your laptop needs to start up and run essential functions It carries firmware or software programs This is permanently programmed into the computer s circuitry The records in ROM cannot be modified so it is secure and reliable 3 Cache Memory Cache memory is a volatile memory used to store data or often accessed instructions Since the cache memory accesses data more quickly than RAM this can enhance system performance Data can be accessed more quickly thanks to the greater proximity of cache memory to the CPU 4 Virtual Memory Virtual memory is a method of increasing available memory by utilizing hard drive space When RAM is at capacity the computer temporarily transfers some data to the hard drive to make room in RAM for different programs This method enhances computer performance when running numerous programs by allowing the machine to store more information than is feasible in RAM 5 Flash Memory Flash memory is a non volatile memory frequently appearing in solid nation drives USB drives and memory cards It is extra reliable and faster than traditional hard drives making it appropriate for usage in devices that are portable Transistors used in flash memory for data storage remain current even if the power has been switched off 6 Registers Registers are small quick memory units found on the CPU They can temporarily store data during processing like computation results or the content of certain memory addresses Although registers are the quickest type of memory currently accessible their production costs are also the highest 3 Central Processing Unit CPU A Central Processing Unit is also called a processor central processor or microprocessor It carries out all the important functions of a computer It receives instructions from both the hardware and active software and produces output accordingly It then performs calculations manipulates data and produces output based on those instructions It stores all important programs like operating systems that manage the computer s resources and allows you to interact with it and application

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