Unit 2 Computer Systems Assignment Sample
It is difficult to imagine life without Computer Systems. They are a part and parcel of our daily lives now- a- days. Their applications in business are crucial while their use at home for communication has made us rely on them for work with speed. So, in this era, the knowledge of computer is very essential. The knowledge should range from knowing various parts of the system to different types of computers that exists to designing a computer system to building and configuring and finally be able to handle routine tasks of the system. By this knowledge it will help us to make better use of the system and the available technology. Through this Unit 2 Computer Systems Assignment Sample I have learnt and implemented the concepts of computers and their application while understanding the different designs suitable for different environments.
Task 1 Understand the function of computer systems
1.2 With the aid of diagrams (if applicable) explain the function of the main computer hardware and software components such as (CPU, RAM, Hard Disk Drive etc..)?
Computer Hardware is what constitutes of a computer system’s body or physical elements like mouse, keyboard, computer data storage, hard drive disk, sound cards, motherboard, chips etc. while software is what makes these tangible parts operate as a logical device through machine read instructions. Popular computer games and design as suggested by mathematician Jon von Neumann is called Von Neumann architecture portraying computer as am electronic digital computer with Control Unit, Arithmetic logical unit with processor registers. There is memory unit to store instructions and data, external storage and input-output mechanisms. The heart of this system is the motherboard being a large rectangular board with integrated circuits and having 3 main components- CPU, RAM and disk drives(McClinctock, 1999).
Some of the hardware components are explained below:
- CPU or Central Processing Unit: This is the brain of the computer and it performs various instructions to get the desired results. The CPU get these results by performing various logical operations, input and output operation and arithmetic operations. The two major components of CPU are Central Unit (CU) and Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)
- RAM or Random Access Memory: This memory is used when the CPU has to access the data at real time. The given data is stored in RAM so that the processing becomes faster. In general, more the RAM of the system, more will be its processing speed.
- Hard Disk Drive: This is the hardware which is used to store the data permanently in the computer system. The data that is stored in hard drive can be videos, documents, files etc. Unlike RAM, the data stored in the hard disk is permanent even after the computer is switched off (Cuban, 2003).
Some of the software components are:
- Operating System: The operating system is the link between the software a hardware. Common type of OS used in the market are Windows, Mac and Linux. Operating systems are backbone of the computer system as the systems can’t run without them (Laplante, 2000). The below diagram shows how an operating system works:
- Applications Software: These software are designed to perform specific tasks. The common example are office, browsers, music players etc. All the work in the computer system is done with the help of these application software.
1.3 Explain the purpose of some system utilities such as (Virus protection, clean up tools, etc.) and Operating system such as (performance monitor etc.)?
The purpose of utility software is to maintain, optimize, and configure the computer. There are various utility software that are available, some of them are described below:
- Virus Protection: Protection of system from any type of threats is very important. These threats or viruses can attack the system internally or externally. The virus attack can lead to corruption of important data and loss of work. This can affect the day’s work and can lead to various problems. Hence, an antivirus is needed in the system so that a computer can be safeguarded from all the attacks. The antivirus purchased should be updated regularly so that it has all the latest virus definitions as there are new viruses emerging every day. So to give complete protection the antivirus should be purchased, installed and updated regularly.
- Clean up tools: The cleanup tool which is used in Windows is disk cleanup and is installed by default. The main purpose of this tool is to free any memory or space in the computer. This task is done by searching and analysing all the drives of the system and then removing all the files which are unnecessary or not used. The files which are removed in the disk cleanup process are temporary window and internet files, off-line files, setup log files, old files are compressed etc. The below figure shows interface for disk cleanup and the options that are provided to the user to select which files need to be deleted.
- Performance Monitor: It was initially called system monitor. With the growth in technology the enhanced version of software monitor is introduced and is called performance monitor and is pre-installed in Windows Vista and later. The main purpose of performance monitor is to find out the root cause of problems in the computer by analysing the performance of application, software components and even hardware components. The results of performance monitor can be shown in graphs, charts etc. and can update the results in a specific time interval.
1.4 When considering a different type of computer systems you are open with many options, discuss the factors that determines the performance of a computer?
The computer systems performance can be defined as the amount of valuable work done by the system in a given time by using some amount of resources. If the useful work done is more compared to the time taken and resources used, we can say the system has high performance. The performance of the computer can be determined by many factors and some of them are explained below:
- Response time: Computer is said to be high performance if it has low response time for an amount of work. This work can be any service like loading a website page to any complex work. Response time is summation of service time, wait time and transmission time.
- Availability: The system’s availability needs to be high for a good computer performance. The system’s availability is measured by its reliability and hence more the reliability, less the downtime and hence more the availability.
- Processing Speed: CPU’s processing speed is measured in instructions per second. The commonly used measured system for processing speed is MIPS i.e. millions of instructions per second. The CPU speed depends on factors like instruction type that has to executed, the order of execution and the availability of branch instructions. MIPS is helpful when the processors of the same architecture has to be compared and the system with higher MIPS will have high performance.
There are various other parameters like latency, throughput, power consumption which helps the user to determine which is the system with best computer performance. By looking into all these factors, the user can pick the system according to their need.
Task 2 Be able to design computer systems
The company ColorPrint.com wants to open a new section for recording and producing marriage videos. Now for this purpose, we have to design a computer system that fulfills their needs and purposes. The designed computer system should be able to perform tasks like editing of videos, adding graphics etc. The computer should be designed in such a way that all the requirements that are intended are completed and all the users are satisfied. The computer should neither be designed in such a way that the configuration is high which implies higher cost and system is not utilized in its full capacity nor the configuration is too low that while doing tasks the system hangs or can’t perform its tasks properly. Hence, the system should be designed adequately and all the hardware and software should be selected carefully.
2.1 Discuss the various stages that you would follow in arriving at final specifications of recommended system. You should include Hardware / Software specification
For designing a system, the designer have to go through various stages before arriving at final specifications of the system. These stages helps the designer to gather all the information and come up with the right specifications. The stages are described in detail:
- Purpose: The designer first understand the purpose of the designed computer. In our case, the company needs the systems so that they can edit the videos, add the graphics, and mix various different sources. So, by identifying the right purpose we can come up with right specifications.
- Scope: It can be defined as the use of both hardware and software for ColorPrint.com. The company requires various hardware like keyboard, monitor, speakers etc. and software like music players, mixing software and other software.
- Requirements Determination: All the hardware and software requirements should be prepared by meeting all the stakeholders in the company. The designer should contact and talk to all the persons and ask them about their expectation from the system. Their expectations should be capturedand hence should be clear in the mind of the designer so that specifications are documented correctly. The expectation or requirements from each of the stakeholder should be taken and then a consolidated document should be made. After this the designer should select the common things out of consolidated document and keep in the requirement list. For all the uncommon items, the designer should use its expertise to final the requirements and come with the completed set of hardware and software requirements (Pressman, 2010).
The above stages are completed while preparing the specifications of the system. These stages are completed exhaustively by designers to make sure that designed system is fulfilling all the requirements. After the requirements are finalized then comes the selection of vendors for various hardware and software components. The selection should be done on the basis of the price of the equipment, the features it provide, brand and other various factors. The vendor selection is critical process as the wrong selection of vendors can cause long lasting problems for the company. Hence, proper consultation should be done in order to finalize the vendors. The software selection should also be selected carefully. The proper software for video mixing and other purposes should be selected and purchased with proper license. The selected software should be able to meet all the requirements and function properly. So, finalhardwarespecifications is finalized by the discussion with all the stakeholders involved in the system i.e. employees of the company, the vendors which are providing various software and other key persons. The computer designed with below hardware list will function properly and fulfil all the client requirements:
- Monitor of 13 to 14 inch
- Processor – Intel Pentium Core i3 or above
- RAM- 4GB DDR3
- Storage – SATA HDD capacity of 160 GB.
- Optical Disk Drive – A DVD writer with read-write speed of 4x or more
- Operating System – Windows 7 with 32 bit system
- Printer –Laser jet printer
- Graphics card - 4GB Radeon R9 290X which is best in the market.
- Scanners which are brilliant in resolution and gives excellent image quality
- Speakers which have excellent sound quality
- Other hardware requirements like keyboard, mouse etc.
Final software requirements are listed below:
- Network operating systems such as Windows 7 should be installed which provides better feature, faster processing, and great speed and security to the system
- Standard Microsoft office 2003 should be installed for various documentation purposes. Microsoft excel can be used for calculation purposes etc.
- Various media players like VLC, Windows Media Player and others should be installed so that songs and videos can be played comfortably
- Various songs and video mixing software should be purchased in order to mix various sounds and videos.
- Software such as movie maker should also be installed which helps in making complete movie i.e. adding songs, pictures, giving various effects etc. so that objective of ColorPrint.com is achieved.
- Software such as Nero etc. can be used in burning DVD which can be produced in DVD and recorded for future use.
- Software such as antivirus and other security related software will be installed so that the data is protected from external threats (Armstrong, 2014).
2.2 Justify you selection of Hardware/ Software giving alternative approach, including the justification in choosing the component and alternatives?
The system designed should be sustainable in all conditions i.e. it should perform all the requirements as per the company. The requirements are finalized in such a way that the system equipped with these specification can be used easily by the employees and do not face any issues. The technicality of the software should be according to the skill level of employees. The software and hardware components which are recommended are because of the following reasons:
- The system should be equipped with high quality of players, mixers and other software because the task in hand is to add graphics, edit videos from various sources, mixing of songs and various other things. For these reasons, all these software should be bought and installed properly. These software will be required in day to day operations of the company and are critical for the work. These software if not working properly will hamper the work and will defeat the purpose of setting up the entire computer system
- Software like Nero is used which help in burning CD and DVD which will help in producing DVD.
- As per the hardware requirement, the monitor should be colour monitor with good resolution as there is lot of video mixing and hence monitor with high pixel density is required.
- The graphic card should be best in market as there is lot of work around graphics and hence a good graphic card is required. It will help in visualizing the pictures and other animations better.
- The RAM should be high because processing of videos, another graphical images and processes would take higher memory and hence for the smooth processing of mixing these videos and all the processes high RAM is required and hence we recommended 4GB of DDR3 RAM
- Since, after all the mixing of videos and images the final DVD is to be created for this an Optical DVD writer is installed which with the help of various software will enable that the content is burned in DVD.
- Other software like Microsoft Office can be used in documenting, calculation and other things. Antivirus like McAfee are purchased in order to secure data. This will protect the data from corrupting. The data can be corrupted via various internal and external threats.
- Other hardware components like keyboard, monitor, speakers, scanners can be used as various input and output devices used to feed data to the system and display data to the user respectively (Babich, 1986).
Task 3 Be able to build and configure computer systems
3.1 With the aid of diagram if applicable describe the process (step by step process) of assembling a typical personal computer, including the health and safety procedures?
The designed computer system needs to be configured for the use. The steps for configuring a computer system are explained below:
- First, gather all the essential hardware components like monitor, CPU, keyboard, mouse etc., cords etc. and other components which needs to be assembled. The below figure (Figure 1) shows various components which needs to be assembled.
- Now, first connect CPU and monitor. This is done via the blue cable. One end of this cable will go behind the CPU and other behind the monitor. The below figure (Figure 2) shows the blue cable and where it goes behind the CPU.
- After connecting the monitor to CPU, look for the keyboard cable and connect it to the CPU. The keyboard cable is shown in the below diagram..
The slot where the keyboard cable goes to CPU is shown in the below diagram.
Nowadays keyboards with USB slots are also available in the market which are also connected to the CPU in the same way.
- After the keyboard connection, the mouse cable is also connected to the CPU. The mouse cable is either in USB or in circular form. The below diagram shows USB cable of mouse connected to CPU.
- The speakers are also connected to the CPU. The cable of the speaker is connected to the back of the CPU. The below diagram shows the where the audio cable can be connected to CPU.
- Now, attach the power cables onto the computer systems. Connect the first cable into the monitor and second onto the CPU and then connect the power cable to the source to switch on the computer system.
The above is a step by step process of how the computer system is assembled. In assembling the process there are various health and safety measures which is also be taken care in order to make sure that system is assembled correctly and there are no chances of any accident. The systems are run on the electric supply and hence precautions has to be taken so that there is no chance of an accident and any harm to any individual can be avoided. To safeguard the people from any shocks it will be advised to use antistatic mats and straps. Various other training sessions will be conducted by the organization for the employees which will help them to avoid accidents and also teach them some safety procedures. They will taught about how to shut down systems properly after the day’s work so that no accidents can happen. Also, in case of any big issues, they will be instructed to not to handle issues by their own instead call the right person (Richardson, 2010).
3.2 Installing an operating system can be assumed to be the first step after assembling andpost-assembling a personal computer, Describe in (step by step Process), how you wouldinstall the operating system with mentioning clear documentation process?
The installation of operating system is the first step after assembling the system. But before installing any operating system there are some things which need to be kept in mind. The important one is to check that your system contains required specifications. The correct specs are important as it helps in the smooth running of the OS. If the specs are not up to the mark then system may hang sometime, have less processing speed and it worst case may crash. For Windows 7, some of the specs are at least 1 GB RAM, 16GB of hard disk space and many other requirements (Bic and Shaw, 2003) . For installing operating system various steps are followed. In ColourPrint.com systems we have recommended Windows 7 as our operating system. So below is the list of steps that are followed while installing Windows 7 OS:
- Begin Setup: Insert the CD into the drive and do the correct BIOS setting. As the computer starts, a message will be displayed telling to “press a key to boot from CD”. After pressing the key the setup of Windows 7 will launch and see the windows loading all the necessary files. The below diagram (Figure 1) explains the same
- After completion, the user will be asked to select the preferred language and other options as shown in the below diagram (Figure 2):
- After choosing the preference, the user have to click Install Now button which is at the centre of the screen. The same is shown in the below diagram (Figure 3):
- The user now have to read the terms and conditions and if the user is satisfies that check the accept button on the bottom of the screen and then press next to proceed further. Figure 4 describes the same:
- After accepting the terms and conditions, the user will be given to choose two options. The user have to choose custom option as this is the first time we are installing any operating system on the computer system. Figure 5 describes the same.
- After choosing custom install, select the drive where you have to install the operating system. In this select the unallocated drive space as shown in the below figure and then click next. Figure 6 describes the same
- After clicking various windows files will start to download. After the processes starts the computer will restart several times as the part of the process. The setup will update registry, configure computer services, load drivers, check video settings etc. This activity generally takes 30 minutes on an average. The below diagram (Figure 7) shown the list of activities which computer does while installing operating system:
- After this enter the username and computer name for the system and then click next. The below diagram (Figure 8) shows the next:
- After this type in the product key which the user gets while buying the license. The key is unique and is 25 characters long. Check the update for windows checkbox. The below diagram i.e. Figure 9 describes the same:
- After that setup date and time and the computer’s wide area networking preference. The images for both the processes are shown below (Figure 10):
- After doing this the windows desktop will appear for the first time and below diagram shows how it will look like and is shown in Figure 11
The above 11 step process is how the windows in installed in any system. But after the windows installation, the user should the windows for any update available. Also, the user should install all the necessary devices and drivers that are required. For example sound driver needs to be installed specifically to hear the sound.
Task 4 Be able to undertake routine maintenance on computer systems
4.3 Discuss what needed to be considered before upgrading any hardware or software of an existing computer system. What critical issues should be addressed before any major updates and/or upgrades in an organization?
Hardware or software upgrades are very important for any computer system as it offers various advantages. The upgrades can provide better security, provide new features to the users and many other advantages to the table. But before any upgrade there are some issues or things which need to be kept in mind. Some of them are explained below:
- Hardware compatibility: If the user is thinking of updating operating system then it has to make sure that then we have required hardware specification so that update can go through smoothly. In case of any mismatch, it can cause in system not running smoothly or in worst case the system may crash.
- Before any update the user have to check that there is availability of updated drivers if required.
- Sometimes, when you plan to update OS or any other software it leads to incompatibility among other applications.
- Other issues which can come is the performance issues. The organization may ensure that there is no reduction in performance of the system.
- The organization also have to see the skills of their employees. They have to make sure that all the new software updates can be used by their employees. If there is a mismatch between the skills and the version of the software then it can hamper the work and will cause delays in the desired output (Eitner and Mahanty, 2000).
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This Unit 2 Computer Systems Assignment Sample helped me to focus on a computer systems parts both hardware and software and essentially propose a configuration by using the concepts of computer systems. The various industrial and home applications work as deciding factors to the required configuration for the requirement. The processing speeds, battery backup mechanisms are available to suit to different needs. The assignment helped in understanding the system, their capability in different business environment. It has helped in understanding how to design, build and configure the computer system according to the needs. The needs are different for different types of users and hence the user needs to understand the requirements completely and then build the system accordingly. This assignment has helped me to gain this knowledge and gave holistic knowledge of computer system which will definitely help me in future.
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Cuban, L. (2003). Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard University Press. Chapter 3: High-Tech Schools, Low-Tech Learning (pp. 68-98).
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Laplante, P. A. (Dec 21, 2000). Dictionary of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology. CRC Press. p. 366.
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