Exemplar 3
Mark Pavone
Former Student of Southbank Institute
Document Title
Bits, Bytes, Chips and Computers
Full / Abridged
This is a full version
SEMESTER 1, 2003
If you were to continually update then your computer
would be up to scratch but that is not affordable or
cost effective for the average person: therefore
software and expansions updates are the best way to
go, although eventually the computer will not satisfy
your needs of speed and power and a new computer
may have to be purchased depending on your
demand of the product.
It is commonly known that computers outdate quickly,
in fact the power of a computer doubles every 18
months, the speed is faster by 100,000 times every
25 years and the number of transistors on chips has
doubled in the last 26 years: therefore when buying a
computer the latest and the best technology is the
way to go, but is not always affordable and depends
on the situation.
Where to Shop when you are looking at purchasing
a computer, it is best to look around for the best deal.
Don’t always assume that the “Big Name” computer
stores are the way to go. They usually have bigger
overheads and higher prices caused from advertising
and other factors. The smaller dealers can most often
offer a better deal and sometimes better service.
Guide to Buying a Computer
You’re Task Once you have finished reading this
brochure your task is to research a similar advert to
the one below. Try to make sense of all the technical
literature by referring to this manual.
If you were buying a computer today for between
$1000-2000 the following would be what you would
expect (Depending on brand and type) compared to a
computer system in 2005.
in 2002
Capacity in
Hard Drive
CD 24x
180x, DVD
1-3 years
Depends on
Good luck and Happy Computing
Other Computer Guides in the Series
Guide to accessories
Guide to Computer Problem Solving
Guide to the Internet
Pavone’s Bits, Bytes, Chips & Computers
4/56 Central Avenue Indooroopilly
Ph 0407644557
Future Solutions Now
Introduction-This guide will help you to
understand the basic components and makeup
of computers as well as the technical talk that
some salespeople use to prey on the naive. The
brochure defines and explains the CPU,
motherboard, expansion cards and slots,
peripheral devices, disk drives, monitors, CD
ROM’s and modems.
CPU (Not R2D2’s friend) It is a Central
Processing Unit that controls all internal and
external devices. It was referred to in Megahertz,
but now referred to in GHz i.e.
1.3GHz, 1.8GHz etc. Hertz
being a measure of
frequency. 1000MHz=1GHz
Motherboard Is a printed
circuit board with most components being
mounted on it or connected to it and the
input/output circuitry is situated on it. It can also
be referred to as the main board, main unit or
system board.
Expansion slot Expansion slots are where
some peripheral devices are connected; they
are located inside of the computer case and
allow for additional capabilities for the computer.
Cards (Not ace of spades) an expansion card,
commonly called an adaptor, is a circuit board
that provides further potential for the computer
and is inserted in the compatible expansion slot
RAM Random Access Memory is a collection of
chips or cells, which holds all the information
(main memory); it allows you to access any part
of the stored information on the computer. It is
measured in Megabytes and is usually in the
form of 128Mb, 256Mb, and now more
advanced 512Mb.
Peripheral devices Are devices connected to
the computer externally through ports. They are
Input/output devices that feed or are
fed information in communication
with the computer. Examples are
Mouse, keyboard, monitor, scanner,
and printer.
Disk Drives Hard disk, Floppy disk and CDROM are all examples of disk drives and are
used by the computer to read or write data from
these sources. Hard disk drive capacity is
measured in Gigabytes i.e. 20GB or 40GB and
Floppy drives are measured in MB i.e. 1.44MB
Bus is just a cluster of wires and connections
between the CPU and the rest of the
components. The Bus determines the speed of
the computer and is measured in
Software Are the programs for computers. I.e.
Games, word programs.
Hardware Are the mechanical and electronic
components of a computer.
Monitors (The screen of the computer, not the
reptiles) Monitors specifications are measures in
inches (the overall size of the
screen) and mm dot pitch which
refers to the sharpness and quality of
the picture. The lower the dot pitch
the better the quality. i.e. 0.26 is better than 0.28.
CD ROM Compact disc drives are standard
these days in computers. They are referred to in
spin speed i.e. 24x. Some CD ROM’s can burn
or write compact disks as well as play and write
DVD’s (usually much more expensive).
Modem is a device which enables
communication to a computer
through a phone line, i.e. the internet. Modems
are represented by 56K bits/second which refers
to the speed of the modem.
What to look for when buying a
Computers are continually getting faster, more
powerful, increasing in storage capacity, and
decreasing in size as technology expands.
To keep up with all the trends it is important to
understand your requirements of a computer, how
much to spend, whether you are getting good value
for money and is the technology going to get outdated
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