Computer Systems in the modern world

Define a computer system
Describe the importance of
computer systems in the modern
Explain the need for reliability in computer
Explain the need for adherence to professional
standards in the development, use and
maintenance of computer systems
Explain the importance of ethical,
environmental and legal considerations when
creating computer systems.
We’re surrounded by a multitude of
computer systems in every day life that:
› Keep us safe
› Enable us to do our jobs
› Entertain us
› Run our homes
› Enable us to communicate with other
Apart from obvious (laptops\PCs)
Embedded computer system to control
 Handles complex wash cycle
 Ensures correct amount of water is used
 Water heated to correct temp.
Embedded computer systems – invisible
 Developed by engineers – Easy life
Set top satellite box
 Contains a computer system that:
› Checks subscriber account is valid – reads
inserted smart card
› Handles channel decryption
› Electronic Program Guide
› Handle recording & playback
Blue Ray\DVD player
 TV – stream content from internet
 Smart Phone
Heavily reliant on CS’s to do job
 Help to create professional work
 Hopefully mistake free
 Collaboration – work with people on
other side of the world, from home & on
the move. Share documents
 Teleworking
ATM – cash & other services
 Keeping accounts secure (1995- 20
million credit card details stolen – poor
 Keep track of customer accounts
 Online banking
X-Rays, CAT\MRI scanners, blood analysis
 IV & radiotherapy machines
 Monitoring: blood pressure & heart rate
 Admin systems: patient booking stock
 NHS wasted £12 billion on computer
system that was never used
School network – hot desking
 Library system
 Attendance system (SIMS)
 Biometric systems
Online ticket booking system
 Touch screens – ticket printing
 Projector & audio system
 Air conditioning system
Very complex supply chain – where
correct item needs to be in right place
at right time. (from bread rolls to a tank)
 Logistics handled by systems that track
items using barcodes & RFID
Weapon systems with sophisticated onboard CS – pin point accuracy
 Connects to GPS satellites to work out its
current path in real time
Command & control – chain of
command (Iraq – 120,000 US troops)
 General issues orders to officers – officers
to troops etc
 Requires reliable, tough comms. System
 Military systems include:
› Digital radio backpack
› Sophisticated satellites
21st century soldier
 “situational awareness” is key term
 Imagine platoon where all soldiers know
where their comrades are in real-time –
through helmet mounted graphical
 Connect to RT video feeds from hovering
cameras. Becoming reality – computer
systems are at the heart
Almost 100% reliant on CS’s we need to
be able to trust that they will be reliable.
When they go wrong it can range from
being an inconvenience to life
Tesco Bank – customers still unable to
access online accounts – several days –
computer glitch.
 Vodaphone mobile network disrupted
after break-in at its exchange
 Facebook says its suffering its worst
shutdown in 4 years
Many computer systems have thousands
\ millions of lines of code
 Limitless pathways through them
 Testing is vital to ensure systems are
 Testing very expensive & time consuming
– many bugs are missed
They’re everywhere
 Take for granted their impact on our lives