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Network Managed Service Providers The focus of this book is upon the architecture and organization of computers, computer systems, and computer-based IT systems. Technically, there is a slight difference in definition between the terms ‘‘computer architecture’’ and ‘‘computer organization.’’ In this book we will usually not attempt to differentiate these terms and will use them interchangeably
Network Managed Service Providers In this book we will be concerned with all four components of computer systems: hardware, software, data, and interconnectivity, and with the interactions between each component. We will also look initially at the larger picture: the organization of computer systems as components, themselves, to form enterprise IT systems. Chapter 2 of this first part is concerned with the system as a whole. The remainder of this book is divided into four additional parts, consisting of discussions of number systems and the representation of data in the computer, the hardware that makes up the computer, the software that the computer uses, and the networks that interconnect computers
Network Managed Service Providers Our first step will be to examine the concept of systems in general. We will look at the characteristics and qualities that define a system. We will then use that basic understanding to look at the characteristics of computer-based IT systems and show how the various elements and requirements of computer systems fit into the system concept. Part 1 illustrates fundamental IT architecture concepts with several examples of IT system architectures.
Network Managed Service Providers we will look at the different forms the input data may take, and we will consider the translation processes required to convert data into forms that the computer hardware and software can process. You will see how the various data types that are familiar to you from programming languages are stored and manipulated inside the computer. You’ll learn the many different ways in which math calculations can be performed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. You will see the difference between a number and the alphanumeric representation of a number, and understand why that difference can be critical in whether a program works or not. You will be able to relate the size of a word processing text to the storage capability of the computer’s disk
Network Managed Service Providers we will take a detailed look at the various components of the hardware and how they fit together. You will learn how the CPU works, how different I/O devices work, and even how text and graphics manage to appear, seemingly by magic, on the display screen. You will learn what makes some computers faster and more powerful than others, and what that means. You will learn about different ways of connecting I/O devices to the computer and see why you get a fast response from some devices, a slow response from others. You’ll learn the difference between a serial port, a USB port, and a parallel port. We’ll even explain the difference between PCI and PCI Express buses
Network Managed Service Providers Most important, you will have the opportunity to see what a simple, program-obedient machine the computer really is. You will learn about the limitations of a computer. We all tend to think of the computer as a resource of infinite capacity, speed, and perhaps even intelligence, but of course that’s not true. We will consider how these limitations affect your work as a user, and as a means of specifying a system that will your meet your needs and requirements
Network Managed Service Providers will provide a careful introduction to the foundational principles of communication and networking. We will consider the basic communication technologies, networking hardware, software, channels and channel media, protocols, and methodologies that are required to support communication between computer systems in an IT system environment
Network Managed Service Providers There are also four supplementary chapters covering topics that are somewhat outside the scope of the text, but important and interesting nonetheless. The first supplementary chapter introduces the fundamental logic that makes up a computer. The second supplementary chapter provides case studies that describe the hardware and system software of important real-world computer systems. These examples include the ×86 family of PC hardware, the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems, Linux operating systems, and IBM mainframe hardware and software. The remaining two supplementary chapters, on CPU instruction addressing modes and on programming tools, have been maintained and updated from the 3rd edition. The supplementary chapters can be found on the book’s website,
Network Managed Service Providers Additional related topics of current interest may also be found on the book’s website. The website also contains numerous links to reference materials, both general to computing as well as specific to individual topics discussed within the book
Network Managed Service Providers Although a study of the history of computing is generally outside the scope of this book, a brief introduction is useful in showing the wide-ranging and quirky path by which IT has arrived to its present position. It is of particular interest to note that nearly all of the revolutionary concepts that define computer systems today were developed between thirty and sixty years ago; today’s advances are more evolutionary and incremental in nature. This suggests that an understanding of the basic concepts that we are presenting in this book should serve you, the reader, well in your ability to understand the importance and significance of future developments as they occur.
Network Managed Service Providers It is not possible, nor particularly useful, to identify the date of the ‘‘invention’’ of the computer. Indeed, it has always been the aspiration of humankind to create devices that would simplify people’s work. Thus, it is not surprising that people were envisioning mechanical devices to simplify the jobs of routine data processing and calculation even in ancient times. In fact, there is recent evidence of the existence of an ancient computing device used for astronomical calculations. Instead, this discussion covers just a few of the major developments related to computer architecture
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