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Basic Elements of a Computer

As we know all computer systems perform the functions of inputting, storing, processing, controlling, and outputting. Now we'll get acquainted with the computer system units that per­form these functions.

The electronic and mechanical parts that make up a computer system are called hardware. Thus, the input, storage, processing and control devices are hardware. Not visible, the information in the form of data and programs is the software — the set of computer programs, proce­dures, and associated documentation that make possible the effective operation of the computer system. Software programs are of two types: systems software and applications software.

Systems software are the programs designed to control the operation of a computer system. They do not solve specific problems they are written to assist people in the use of the computer system by performing tasks, such as controlling all of the operations required, to move data into and out of a computer all of the steps in executing an application program. The person who prepares systems software is referred to as a systems programmer. Systems programmers are highly trained specialists and important members of the architectural team.

Applications software are the programs written to solve spe­cific problems (applications), such as payroll, inventory control, and investment analysis. The word program usually refers to an application program, and the word programmer is usually a person who prepares applications software.

Often programs, particularly systems software, are stored in an area of memory not used for applications software. These protected programs are stored in an area of memory called read-only memory (ROM), which can be read from but not written on.

Firmwareis a term that is commonly used to describe certain programs that are stored in ROM. Firmware often refers to a sequence of instructions (software) that is substituted for hardware. For example, in an instance where cost is more important than performance, the computer system architect might decide not to use special electronic circuits (hardware) to multiply two numbers, but instead write instructions (software) to cause the machine to accomplish the same function by repeat­ed use of circuits already designed to perform addition.

Vocabulary Notes

inputting – введення (даних)

storing – зберігання (даних)

processing – обробка(даних)

controlling – керування, управління

outputting – вивід

to get acquainted[q'kweInt]познайомитися

proce­dure[prq'sJdZq]процес, алгоритм

data[ 'deItq] дані, інформація

hardware –апаратне обладнання, «комп’ютерне залізо»

software –програмне забезпечення

systems software –системне програмне забезпечення

application software – прикладне програмне забезпечення

specific problems=application – специфічні (прикладні) задачі (завдання)

to execute['eksIkjHt]виконувати

an application program –прикладна програма

a systems programmer –системний програміст

architectural['RkItekCqrql]team – група розробників (проектувальників)

payroll– платіжна відомість

inventory control – переоблік

investment analysis – інвестиційний аналіз

read-only memory (ROM)– постійна пам'ять

firmware – вбудоване/мікропроцесорне програмне забезпечення, «зашиті програми» в ROM

computer system architect['R:kItekt]розробник архітектури комп’ютерної системи


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