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Chapter: Computer Programming

Basic Computer Organization

Basic Computer Organization
A standard fully featured desktop configuration has basically four types of featured devices 1. Input Devices 2. Output Devices 3. Memory 4. Storage Devices



A standard fully featured desktop configuration has basically four types of featured devices


1. Input Devices   2. Output Devices                   3. Memory  4. Storage Devices



Introduction to CPU

§    CPU


§    The Arithmetic / Logic Unit (ALU)


§    The Control Unit


§    Main Memory


§    External Memory


§    Input / Output Devices


§    The System Bus



The fundamental operation of most CPUs


- To execute a sequence of stored instructions called a program.


1.   The program is represented by a series of numbers that are kept in some kind of computer memory.


2.  There are four steps that nearly all CPUs use in their operation: fetch, decode, execute, and write back.


3. Fetch:

o  Retrieving an instruction from program memory.

o  The location in program memory is determined by a program counter (PC)


o After an instruction is fetched, the PC is incremented by the length of the instruction word in terms of memory units.


Decode :


1.The instruction is broken up into parts that have significance to other portions of the CPU.


2.The way in which the numerical instruction value is interpreted is defined by the CPU's instruction set architecture (ISA).


3.Opcode, indicates which operation to perform.


4.The remaining parts of the number usually provide information required for that instruction, such as operands for an addition operation.


5.Such operands may be given as a constant value or as a place to locate a value: a register or a memory address, as determined by some addressing mode.


Execute :


1.During this step, various portions of the CPU are connected so they can perform the desired operation.


2.If, for instance, an addition operation was requested, an arithmetic logic unit (ALU) will be connected to a set of inputs and a set of outputs.


3.The inputs provide the numbers to be added, and the outputs will contain the final sum.


4. If the addition operation produces a result too large for the CPU to handle, an arithmetic overflow flag in a flags register may also be set.


Write back :


1.Simply "writes back" the results of the execute step to some form of memory.


2.Very often the results are written to some internal CPU register for quick access by subsequent instructions.


3.In other cases results may be written to slower, but cheaper and larger, main memory.


Some types of instructions manipulate the program counter rather than directly produce result data.




Anything that feeds the data into the computer. This data can be in alpha-numeric form which needs to be keyed-in or in its very basic natural form i.e. hear, smell, touch, see; taste & the sixth sense


Typical input devices are:                

1.       Keyboard

2.       Mouse

3.       Joystick

4.       Digitizing Tablet

5.       Touch Sensitive Screen

6.       Light Pen

7.       Space Mouse

8.Digital Stills Camera

9.       Magnetic Ink Character


Recognition (MICR)      (OMR)

11. Image Scanner

12.     Bar Codes

13.     Magnetic Reader 

14.     Smart Cards

15.     Voice Data Entry

16.     Sound Capture

17. Video Capture


The Keyboard is the standard data input and operator control device for a computer. It consists of the standard QWERTY layout with a numeric keypad and additional function keys for control purposes.


The Mouse is a popular input device. You move it across the desk and its movement is shown on the screen by a marker known as a 'cursor'. You will need to click the buttons at the top of the mouse to select an option.


Track ball looks like a mouse, as the roller is on the top with selection buttons on the side. It is also a pointing device used to move the cursor and works like a mouse. For moving the cursor in a particular direction, the user spins the ball in that direction. It is sometimes considered better than a mouse, because it requires little arm movement and less desktop space. It is generally used with Portable computers.

Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) is used to recognize the magnetically charged characters, mainly found on bank cheques. The magnetically charged characters are written by special ink called magnetic ink. MICR device reads the patterns of these characters and compares them with special patterns stored in memory. Using MICR device, a large volume of cheques can be processed in a day. MICR is widely used by the banking industry for the processing of cheques.



The joystick is a rotary lever. Similar to an aircraft's control stick, it enables you to move within the screen's environment, and is widely used in the computer games industry.


A Digitising Tablet is a pointing device that facilitates the accurate input of drawings and designs. A drawing can be placed directly on the tablet, and the user traces outlines or inputs coordinate positions with a hand-held stylus.


A Touch Sensitive Screen is a pointing device that enables the user to interact with the computer by touching the screen. There are three types of Touch Screens: pressure-sensitive, capacitive surface and light beam.


A Light Pen is a pointing device shaped like a pen and is connected to a VDU. The tip of the light pen contains a light-sensitive element which, when placed against the screen, detects the light from the screen enabling the computer to identify the location of the pen on the screen. Light pens have the advantage of 'drawing' directly onto the screen, but this can become uncomfortable, and they are not as accurate as digitising tablets.


The Space mouse is different from a normal mouse as it has an X axis, a Y axis and a Z axis. It can be used for developing and moving around 3-D environments.


Digital Stills Cameras capture an image which is stored in memory within the camera. When the memory is full it can be erased and further images captured. The digital images can then be downloaded from the camera to a computer where they can be displayed, manipulated or printed.



The Optical Mark Reader (OMR) can read information in the form of numbers or letters and put it into the computer. The marks have to be precisely located as in multiple choice test papers.


Scanners allow information such as a photo or text to be input into a computer. Scanners are usually either A4 size (flatbed), or hand-held to scan a much smaller area. If text is to be scanned, you would use an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program to recognise the printed text and then convert it to a digital text file that can be accessed using a computer.


A Bar Code is a pattern printed in lines of differing thickness. The system gives fast and error-free entry of information into the computer. You might have seen bar codes on goods in supermarkets, in libraries and on magazines. Bar codes provide a quick method of recording the sale of items.


Card Reader: This input device reads a magnetic strip on a card. Handy for security reasons, it provides quick identification of the card's owner. This method is used to run bank cash points or to provide quick identification of people entering buildings.

Smart Card: This input device stores data in a microprocessor embedded in the card. This allows information, which can be updated, to be stored on the card. This method is used in store cards which accumulate points for the purchaser, and to store phone numbers for cellular phones.





Output devices display information in a way that you can you can understand. The most common output device is a monitor. It looks a lot a like a TV and houses the computer screen. The monitor allows you to 'see' what you and the computer are doing together.


Brief of Output Device


Output devices are pieces of equipment that are used to get information or any other response out from computer. These devices display information that has been held or generated within a computer. Output devices display information in a way that you can understand. The most common output device is a monitor.


Types of Output Device

Printing: Plotter, Printer

Sound         : Speakers

Visual         : Monitor


A Printer is another common part of a computer system. It takes what you see on the computer screen and prints it on paper. There are two types of printers; Impact Printers and Non-Impact Printers.


Speakers are output devices that allow you to hear sound from your computer. Computer speakers are just like stereo speakers. There are usually two of them and they come in various sizes.




Purpose of Storage


The fundamental components of a general-purpose computer are arithmetic and logic unit, control circuitry, storage space, and input/output devices. If storage was removed, the device we had would be a simple calculator instead of a computer. The ability to store instructions that form a computer program, and the information that the instructions manipulate is what makes stored program architecture computers versatile.


Primary Storage


Primary storage is directly connected to the central processing unit of the computer. It must be present for the CPU to function correctly, just as in a biological analogy the lungs must be present (for oxygen storage) for the heart to function (to pump and oxygenate the blood). As shown in the diagram, primary storage typically consists of three kinds of storage:

Processors Register


It is the internal to the central processing unit. Registers contain information that the arithmetic and logic unit needs to carry out the current instruction. They are technically the fastest of all forms of computer storage.



Main memory


It contains the programs that are currently being run and the data the programs are operating on. The arithmetic and logic unit can very quickly transfer information between a processor register and locations in main storage, also known as a "memory addresses". In modern computers, electronic solid-state random access memory is used for main storage, and is directly connected to the CPU via a "memory bus" and a "data bus".


Cache memory


It is a special type of internal memory used by many central processing units to increase their performance or "throughput". Some of the information in the main memory is duplicated in the cache memory, which is slightly slower but of much greater capacity than the processor registers, and faster but much smaller than main memory.




Memory is often used as a shorter synonym for Random Access Memory (RAM). This kind of memory is located on one or more microchips that are physically close to the microprocessor in your computer. Most desktop and notebook computers sold today include at least 512 megabytes of RAM (which is really the minimum to be able to install an operating system). They are upgradeable, so you can add more when your computer runs really slowly.


The more RAM you have, the less frequently the computer has to access instructions and data from the more slowly accessed hard disk form of storage. Memory should be distinguished from storage, or the physical medium that holds the much larger amounts of data that won't fit into RAM and may not be immediately needed there.


Storage devices include hard disks, floppy disks, CDROMs, and tape backup systems. The terms auxiliary storage, auxiliary memory, and secondary memory have also been used for this kind of data repository.


RAM is temporary memory and is erased when you turn off your computer, so remember to save your work to a permanent form of storage space like those mentioned above before exiting programs or turning off your computer.




There are two types of RAM used in PCs - Dynamic and Static RAM.


Dynamic RAM (DRAM): The information stored in Dynamic RAM has to be refreshed after every few milliseconds otherwise it will get erased. DRAM has higher storage capacity and is cheaper than Static RAM.


Static RAM (SRAM): The information stored in Static RAM need not be refreshed, but it remains stable as long as power supply is provided. SRAM is costlier but has higher speed than DRAM.


Additional kinds of integrated and quickly accessible memory are Read Only Memory (ROM), Programmable ROM (PROM), and Erasable Programmable ROM (EPROM). These are used to keep special programs and data, such as the BIOS, that need to be in your computer all the time. ROM is "built-in" computer memory containing data that normally can only be read, not written to (hence the name read only).



ROM contains the programming that allows your computer to be "booted up" or regenerated each time you turn it on. Unlike a computer's random access memory (RAM), the data in ROM is not lost when the computer power is turned off. The ROM is sustained by a small long life battery in your computer called the CMOS battery. If you ever do the hardware setup procedure with your computer, you effectively will be writing to ROM. It is non volatile, but not suited to storage of large quantities of data because it is expensive to produce. Typically, ROM must also be completely erased before it can be rewritten,


PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)


A variation of the ROM chip is programmable read only memory. PROM can be programmed to record information using a facility known as PROM-programmer. However once the chip has been programmed the recorded information cannot be changed, i.e. the PROM becomes a ROM and the information can only be read.


EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory)


As the name suggests the Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory, information can be erased and the chip programmed a new to record different information using a special PROM-Programmer. When EPROM is in use information can only be read and the information remains on the chip until it is erased.




The purpose of storage in a computer is to hold data or information and get that data to the CPU as quickly as possible when it is needed. Computers use disks for storage: hard disks that are located inside the computer, and floppy or compact disks that are used externally.



         Computers Method of storing data & information for long term basis i.e. even after PC is switched off.


      It is non - volatile

     Can be easily removed and moved & attached to some other device

     Memory capacity can be extended to a greater extent

     Cheaper than primary memory


Storage Involves Two Processes

a) Writing data                                           b)      Reading data


Floppy Disks


The floppy disk drive (FDD) was invented at IBM by Alan Shugart in 1967. The first floppy drives used an 8-inch disk (later called a "diskette" as it got smaller), which evolved into the 5.25-inch disk that was used on the first IBM Personal Computer in August 1981. The 5.25-inch disk held 360 kilobytes compared to the 1.44 megabyte capacity of today's 3.5-inch diskette.


The 5.25-inch disks were dubbed "floppy" because the diskette packaging was a very flexible plastic envelope, unlike the rigid case used to hold today's 3.5-inch diskettes.


By the mid-1980s, the improved designs of the read/write heads, along with improvements in the magnetic recording media, led to the less-flexible, 3.5-inch, 1.44-megabyte (MB) capacity FDD in use today. For a few years, computers had both FDD sizes (3.5-inch and 5.25-inch). But by the mid-1990s, the 5.25-inch version had fallen out of popularity, partly because the diskette's recording surface could easily become contaminated by fingerprints through the open access area.


When you look at a floppy disk, you'll see a plastic case that measures 3 1/2 by 5 inches. Inside that case is a very thin piece of plastic that is coated with microscopic iron particles. This disk is much like the tape inside a video or audio cassette. Basically, a floppy disk drive reads and writes data to a small, circular piece of metal-coated plastic similar to audio cassette tape.


At one end of it is a small metal cover with a rectangular hole in it. That cover can be moved aside to show the flexible disk inside. But never touch the inner disk - you could damage the data that is stored on it. On one side of the floppy disk is a place for a label. On the other side is a silver circle with two holes in it. When the disk is inserted into the disk drive, the drive hooks into those holes to spin the circle. This causes the disk inside to spin at about 300 rpm! At the same time, the silver metal cover on the end is pushed aside so that the head in the disk drive can read and write to the disk.


Floppy disks are the smallest type of storage, holding only 1.44MB.


3.5-inch Diskettes (Floppy Disks) features:

     Spin rate: app. 300 revolutions per minute (rpm)

     High density (HD) disks more common today than older, double density (DD) disks

     Storage Capacity of HD disks is 1.44 MB



Floppy Disk Drive Terminology


Floppy disk - Also called diskette. The common size is 3.5 inches.


Floppy disk drive - The electromechanical device that reads and writes floppy disks.


Track - Concentric ring of data on a side of a disk.


Sector - A subset of a track, similar to wedge or a slice of pie.


It consists of a read/write head and a motor rotating the disk at a high speed of about 300 rotations per minute. It can be fitted inside the cabinet of the computer and from outside, the slit where the disk is to be inserted, is visible. When the disk drive is closed after inserting the floppy inside, the monitor catches the disk through the Central of Disk hub, and then it starts rotating.


There are two read/write heads depending upon the floppy being one sided or two sided. The head consists of a read/write coil wound on a ring of magnetic material. During write operation, when the current passes in one direction, through the coil, the disk surface touching the head is magnetized in one direction. For reading the data, the procedure is reverse. I.e. the magnetized spots on the disk touching the read/write head induce the electronic pulses, which are sent to CPU.


The major parts of a FDD include:


Read/Write Heads: Located on both sides of a diskette, they move together on the same assembly. The heads are not directly opposite each other in an effort to prevent interaction between write operations on each of the two media surfaces. The same head is used for reading and writing, while a second, wider head is used for erasing a track just prior to it being written. This allows the data to be written on a wider "clean slate," without interfering with the analog data on an adjacent track.


Drive Motor: A very small spindle motor engages the metal hub at the center of the diskette, spinning it at either 300 or 360 rotations per minute (RPM).


Stepper Motor: This motor makes a precise number of stepped revolutions to move the read/write head assembly to the proper track position. The read/write head assembly is fastened to the stepper motor shaft.


Mechanical Frame: A system of levers that opens the little protective window on the diskette to allow the read/write heads to touch the dual-sided diskette media. An external button allows the diskette to be ejected, at which point the spring-loaded protective window on the diskette closes.


Circuit Board: Contains all of the electronics to handle the data read from or written to the diskette. It also controls the stepper-motor control circuits used to move the read/write heads to each track, as well as the movement of the read/write heads toward the diskette surface.


Electronic optics check for the presence of an opening in the lower corner of a 3.5-inch diskette (or a notch in the side of a 5.25-inch diskette) to see if the user wants to prevent data from being written on it.


Hard Disks


Your computer uses two types of memory: primary memory which is stored on chips located on the motherboard, and secondary memory that is stored in the hard drive. Primary memory holds all of the essential memory that tells your computer how to be a computer. Secondary memory holds the information that you store in the computer.


Inside the hard disk drive case you will find circular disks that are made from polished steel. On the disks, there are many tracks or cylinders. Within the hard drive, an electronic reading/writing device called the head passes back and forth over the cylinders, reading information from the disk or writing information to it. Hard drives spin at 3600 or more rpm (Revolutions Per Minute) - that means that in one minute, the hard drive spins around over 7200 times!


Optical Storage

   Compact Disk Read-Only Memory (CD-ROM)

   CD-Recordable (CD-R)/CD-Rewritable (CD-RW)

   Digital Video Disk Read-Only Memory (DVD-ROM)

   DVD Recordable (DVD-R/DVD Rewritable (DVD-RW)

    Photo CD


Optical Storage Devices Data is stored on a reflective surface so it can be read by a beam of laser light. Two Kinds of Optical Storage Devices


   CD-ROM (compact disk read-only memory)

   DVD-ROM (digital video disk read-only memory)


Compact Disks


Instead of electromagnetism, CDs use pits (microscopic indentations) and lands (flat surfaces) to store information much the same way floppies and hard disks use magnetic and non-magnetic storage. Inside the CD-Rom is a laser that reflects light off of the surface of the disk to an electric eye. The pattern of reflected light (pit) and no reflected light (land) creates a code that represents data.


CDs usually store about 650MB. This is quite a bit more than the 1.44MB that a floppy disk stores. A DVD or Digital Video Disk holds even more information than a CD, because the DVD can store information on two levels, in smaller pits or sometimes on both sides.


Recordable Optical Technologies

   CD-Recordable (CD-R)

   CD-Rewritable (CD-RW)


   DVD-Recordable (DVD-R)


CD ROM - Compact Disc Read Only Memory.


Unlike magnetic storage device which store data on multiple concentric tracks, all CD formats store data on one physical track, which spirals continuously from the center to the outer edge of the recording area. Data resides on the thin aluminum substrate immediately beneath the label. The data on the CD is recorded as a series of microscopic pits and lands physically embossed on an aluminum substrate. Optical drives use a low power laser to read data from those discs without physical contact between the head and the disc which contributes to the high reliability and permanence of storage device.


To write the data on a CD a higher power laser are used to record the data on a CD. It creates the pits and land on aluminum substrate. The data is stored permanently on the disc. These types of discs are called as WORM (Write Once Read Many). Data written to CD cannot subsequently be deleted or overwritten which can be classified as advantage or disadvantage depending upon the requirement of the user. However if the CD is partially filled then the more data can be added to it later on till it is full. CDs are usually cheap and cost effective in terms of storage capacity and transferring the data.


The CD‘s were further developed where the data could be deleted and re written. These types of


CDs are called as CD Rewritable. These types of discs can be used by deleting the data and making the space for new data. These CD‘s can be written and rewritten at least 1000 times.



CD ROM Drive


CD ROM drives are so well standardized and have become so ubiquitous that many treat them as commodity items. Although CD ROM drives differ in reliability, which standards they support and numerous other respects, there are two important performance measures.


·        Data transfer rate

·        Average access


Data transfer rate: Data transfer rate means how fast the drive delivers sequential data to the interface. This rate is determined by drive rotation speed, and is rated by a number followed by ‗X‘. All the other things equal, a 32X drive delivers data twice the speed of a 16X drive. Fast data transfer rate is most important when the drive is used to transfer the large file or many sequential smaller files. For example: Gaming video.


CD ROM drive transfers the data at some integer multiple of this basic 150 KB/s 1X rate. Rather than designating drives by actual KB/s output drive manufacturers use a multiple of the standard 1X rate. For example: a 12X drive transfer data at (12*150KB/s) 1800 KB/s and so on.


The data on a CD is saved on tracks, which spirals from the center of the CD to outer edge. The portions of the tracks towards center are shorter than those towards the edge. Moving the data under the head at a constant rate requires spinning the disc faster as the head moves from the center where there is less data per revolution to the edge where there is more data. Hence the rotation rate of the disc changes as it progresses from inner to outer portions of the disc.



CD Writers


CD recordable and CD rewritable drives are collectively called as CD writers or CD burners. They are essentially CD ROM drives with one difference. They have a more powerful laser that, in addition to reading discs, can record data to special CD media.


Pen Drives / Flash Drives

·        Pen Drives / Flash Drives are flash memory storage devices.


·        They are faster, portable and have a capability of storing large data.

·        It consists of a small printed circuit board with a LED encased in a robust plastic

·        The male type connector is used to connect to the host PC

·        They are also used a MP3 players



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