Basic Computing series part 3 (Basic Computing concepts)

Data: It is a raw input. It can anything ranging from name to age. It is a mere fact arranged in random order.

Database: It is collection of related data. Example Name register of a company is collection of names of employees of a company.

Information: It is a processed data. Hence it is a organised data. It is useful in decision making process. Information regarding number of students failed in certain subject may be useful for planning future course of action while unorganized data cannot be useful in decision making process.

Units Of Information/Data:

All data in computer is stored in binary format. Binary format consists of only 1 and 0. Bit is the basic unit of memory. It can hold one binary value that is either 1 or 0. All the other units of memory is discussed below.

1 Nibble=4 bits

1 byte= 8 bits

1 Kilobyte(KB)=1024 bytes

1 Megabyte(MB)=1024 KB

1 Gigabyte(GB)=1024 MB

1 Terabyte(TB)=1024 GB

1 Pettabyte(PB)=1024 TB

1 Exabyte(EB)=1024 PB

1 Zettabyte(ZB)=1024 EB

ASCII system:

I have already mentioned in this article that computer only handles the data in binary format. So all characters,symbols and numbers are converted into 7 binary integers by ASCII system(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) so that computer can understand the word,letter and symbol typed by the user. ASCII can convert 128 characters,numbers and symbols to equivalent 7 digit binary integer.

Program is the set of instructions to computer to do a specific task. Programming language acts as a interface between the user and computer. Since the invention of computer, this interfacing method has evolved a lot. Advanced programming languages has made the interface between computer and human as a easier and interactive. In early days of computing ,coding was needed to do any task. The command prompt that you use in the windows were actually acted as a interface. Graphical User Interface(GUI) made interface as an interactive one through the use of icons and dialog boxes.

Types of programming Language:

As i have said earlier, every computer needs program to do any task. First generation computers use low level programming language or machine level programming language. Programs are written in binary format so that computer can understand  it without any problem. Low level programming languages are very hard since they are binary format. Debugging (correcting the error) is also very difficult in case of low level programming language. Assembler level language were used in second generation computers. Mnemonic codes were used to write programs. Mnemonic code is a simple translation of complex binary code. Example 12 is used in program  instead of “001100” to represent any operation. Since computer cannot understand the this codes, a translator is needed in assembly language. High level language is an advanced programming language in which program is written as instructions that are easy to remember.COBOL(Common Business Oriented Language),FORTAN(Formula Translation) and C are examples of High level language.

Compiler and Interpreter:

In order to understand instructions given by programmer, computer needs compiler or Interpreter. Compiler translates entire program into machine level language. It also shows syntax(the way the instructions are written) error and executes program after typing the whole program. Interpreter translates every line of program into machine language as they are entered. It will show syntax error and executes instructions after typing every line of the program.C,C++ uses compiler while basic,Perl and Python uses Interpreter.

System software: It is critical information necessary for the operation of the computer. It is fed into the ROM of the computer. It does booting processing. Booting initiates the computer by checking whether all the necessary software and hardware working properly. Operating System(OS) is a system software that interfaces computer hardware and software and they are necessary to run other application which are called as application software. Commonly used OS in computers are Microsoft’s Windows, UNIX, Linux, DOS and MAC OS. More information regarding application software will be discussed in next part of this series,


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