Mr Baumgarten

Computer Science teacher and self confessed geek

Unit 4 Hardware and software

  • 1.3.2 Computer architecture & the fetch-execute cycle
  • 1.3.6 Operating systems
  • 1.3.7 High & low level languages & their translators
  • 1.3.3 Input devices
  • 1.3.4 Output devices
  • 1.3.5 Memory, storage devices & media
  • 1.1.3 Data storage

Lesson 1: Computer architecture and the fetch-execute cycle (1.3.2)

"A computer processor does moronically simple things — it moves a byte from memory to register, adds a byte to another byte, moves the result back to memory. The only reason anything substantial gets completed is that these operations occur very quickly. To quote Robert Noyce, ‘After you become reconciled to the nanosecond, computer operations are conceptually fairly simple.’” *

Take notes on these two videos to introduce this topic:

There is an online simulator you can use to experiment with assembler if you are keen:

Key terms you should be comfortable with:

  • Von Neumann model for a computer system
  • Control Unit (CU),
  • Arithmetic logic unit (ALU)
  • Registers
    • Accumulator (ACC)
    • Program counter (PC)
    • Current instruction register (CIR)
    • Memory address register (MAR) & Memory data register (MDR)
  • Random access memory (RAM)
  • Bus

Test yourself

Lesson 2: Input devices (1.3.3) and Output devices (1.3.4)

Research task

Working in pairs, you will be allocated an input device and an output device for you to become an expert in, so you can teach your classmates about it.

You should be aiming to produce three artifacts per device:

  • A 3 minute presentation to be followed by a brief question & answer
  • A summary cheat sheet to distribute (1 double sided page)
  • Kahoot quiz to test your classmates with

Input devices list

  • 2D scanner
  • 3D scanner
  • Bar code reader
  • QR code reader
  • Digital camera
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Touch screen (resistive)
  • Touch screen (capacitive)
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Microphone

You are required to teach your classmates on:

  • The principles of operation (how each device works)
  • For example: How does a camera (a) capture an image, (b) convert it into a digital file
  • For example: How does a touch screen (a) detect a finger press, (b) determine where the finger press occurred
  • For example: How does a microphone (a) detect sound waves, (b) convert it into a digital signal
  • Include discussion of what sensors are used, and how they function
  • Real life scenarios where the devices are used in industry (eg: scanning passports at airport, barcode reader at supermarkets, touch screen information kiosks)
  • Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of your device to an alternative (at least 3).

Output devices list

  • Inkjet printer
  • Laser printer
  • 3D printer
  • 2D laser cutter
  • 3D cutter
  • Speakers and headphones
  • Actuators
  • LCD display
  • LED display
  • LCD projector
  • DLP projector

You are required to teach your classmates on:

  • The principles of operation (how the device works)
    • including what are the key components of each device and the role they play in creating the output?
    • including how is the digital signal from the computer converted into the physical output?
  • Describe how these are used in real-life scenarios such as industry.
  • Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of your device to an alternative.

Time & submission requirements:

  • You will be provided 6 periods of class time. Fridays will remain reserved for programming lessons during this time. That means the following lessons will be workinng time:
  • Wednesday 18 March (research)
  • Wednesday 25 March (research)
  • Monday 30 March (research)
  • Wednesday 1 April (organise your notes)
  • Wednesday 22 April (prepare presentations)
  • Monday 27 April (prepare handouts)
  • Submit by Google Classroom assignment
  • Please attach your Google Docs etc to the assignment straight away (without clicking submit) so I can check your progress as we go.
  • Assuming we are back in school, you will start presenting on Wednesday 29 April.
  • You may use a brief clip from a relevant video not of your own creation (but I'll waive a maximum of 30 seconds of your presentation time for it)
  • While I expect most will probably present in person, if you use to pre-record your presentation as a video, you may.

Memory, storage devices and media (1.3.5)

High and low-level languages and their translators (1.3.7)

Operating systems (1.3.6)

Data Storage (1.1.3)

Different storage formats

Error detection and correction

Some common file formats

Compression