For your midterm project, complete the following using screenshots, images or diagram of sample products, processes, etc. to illustrate and descriptive texts to address the items below (you may also consult YouTube.com as a source). This is not a research paper; however, provide your source(s):
1. Identify at least three types of computers, how they process information, and the purpose and function of each computer.
2. Identify how software and hardware work together to perform computing tasks and how software is developed and upgraded.
3. Identify at least three different types of application software and provide a general description each application software.
4. Using an operating system, identify what is an operating system, how it works, and how it solves common problems related to the operating systems.
5. Illustrate the process of using an operating system to manipulate a computer’s desktop, files and disks.
6. Use screenshots, images or diagram of sample products, processes, etc. to illustrate and descriptive texts to explain each items provided.
Submission Instructions: Upon completion, submit your completed project in this area of the classroom for grading.
Midterm Project Assignment
1. Types Of Computers, How They Process Information, And Their Purpose And Function.
A computer is an electronic gadget or device that is programmable by manipulating symbols. Within the computing environment, there exist three key types of computers which include but not limited to the following;
a) Supercomputer and mainframe computer
These are the fastest computers currently available in the market. The fact that they are the fastest computers available also means that they tend to be very expensive to acquire. These computers are mainly employed in specialized applications requiring application of huge volume of mathematical calculations (Wyckoff, 2013). Among the common applications where these computers are used include in activities such as electronic design, energy research, geological data analysis and weather forecasting.
Figure 1: Mainframe Computer (Retrieved from TheEconomist, 2012))
Mainframe and supercomputers tend to be large in size as shown in Figure 1 above and they perform specialized applications requiring application of huge volume of mathematical calculations.
These are midsized computers with multiprocessing system capacity that supports from one to at least 200 users simultaneously (Mitra, 2018). Minicomputers differ from mainframe computers in the sense that they have smaller memory storage and their processing speeds tend to be lower.
This type of computer is used in applications such as engineering, desktop publishing and software development. As such, these computers tend to have a very high resolution, a large RAM and graphic screens while the graphical user interfaces are designed to produce high quality graphics (Mitra, 2018). The computers employ huge storage devices popularly known as the disk drives. However, today there are some special and more advanced types of workstation computers that come without disks and are popular referred to as diskless workstations. In most cases, workstations tend to use Windows NT or the UNIX operating systems (Mitra, 2018).
2. How Hardware and Software Work Together in Perform Computing Tasks
Computer hardware and software work to complement each other. This implies that with software, computer hardware cannot function properly and vice versa. Software primary role in this set up is to provide basic instructions that match the hardware that is in use. As such, both of them tend to be useless when any of them is not present and therefore they have to work together for a computer to function effectively (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017).
When developing software, software developers will tend to main a space or a room for future improvements keeping in mind that the software may need to be upgraded in the future to meet a certain need (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017). As such, a module is placed within the software to assist in future improvements or upgrades.
Once software has been upgraded by the developer, the module on the software is able to detect this upgrade when a computer is connected to the internet. As such, the software upgrades automatically without any need to have a user interface.
3. Types Of Application Software
There are different types of application software with the common including the following;
An application suite- it is made of a collection of applications that are bundled together. These applications tend to have related functionalities. An example of an application suite is the business applications which is part of a suite with some of the components or applications that makes this suite being the Microsoft word, spreadsheet software, database software, among others (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017).
Enterprise Software – This type of application is required in organizations to process different data flows across different departments. Examples of a enterprise software includes enterprise resource and planning system, supply chain management software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017).
Simulation software – it is a type of application software used to stimulate abstract systems in order to achieve research, training and entertainment purposes. Using this type of software mathematical models that try to predict the outcome or behavior of physical or real-world systems is developed. Today this simulation software have become very important tools in mathematical modeling in different fields such as computational physics, climatology, manufacturing, engineering, economics, among others. The most common simulation software is MATLAB (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017).
4. An Operating System
An operating system can be described as a program that is loaded into a computer so as to manage all other programs within the computer (Mitra, 2018). In other words, an operating system offers the software programs within a given computer the platform on which to execute their different functionalities. Operating systems therefore provide the main control program used by a computer to schedule various tasks, manage storages and handle communications. The most common challenge faced by operating systems is that they are susceptible to virus attacks. However, (Mitra, 2018) adds that this challenge can be mitigated by adopting preventive measures such as the use of antivirus as well as performing regular updates on the operating system to seal any weaknesses.
5. the Process of Using an Operating System to Manipulate a Computer’s Desktop, Files and Disks
Operating systems usually enhance the functionality and performance of various systems and in the process reducing on the dependency of different user applications. As such, operating systems primary role is to handle important decisions within a computer system by undertaking all the key processes like the creation and deletion occurring within the system (Mitra, 2018). Among the common process of applying the operating system to manipulate the computer disk and files includes the following;
(a) To remove and install various computer software
(b) To control and manage configuration of computer systems.
(c) Changing setting of the operating system so as to manipulate the files within the system.
Mitra, A. (2018). Categories of Computer Use and Their Relationships with Attitudes Toward Computers. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 30(3), 281–295. doi: 10.1080/08886504.1998.10782227
Schindler, L. A., Burkholder, G. J., Morad, O. A., & Marsh, C. (2017). Computer-based technology and student engagement: a critical review of the literature. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14(1). doi: 10.1186/s41239-017-0063-0
TheEconomist. (2012, September 6). Old dog, new tricks. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/node/21562274/all-comments
Wyckoff, S. (2013). Computer-Assisted Translation Mainframe To Microprocessor. Compcon Fall 79. Proceedings. doi: 10.1109/cmpcon.1979.729155