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Definition of Computer

A computer is defined as an electronic device to carry out mathematical and

non-mathematical operations and process data with the help of certain programs.

A computer is a tool or an instrument that can perform the computations

fast accurately using the precise instructions given to it by a human user .

Need, Quality, Information

 Computers are designed to work with information.

 Information is more conceptual, numbers, words, and instructions are good
examples of information.
 The input given by means of input device
 The data is processed by the computer i.e several manipulation of data is done.
 Output is the way the computer communicates the results to us. It is displayed
through output devices. e.g. Monitor, printer, plotter etc.
 The processed data so obtained or we can say the meaningful data obtained after
it’s processing is called information.

Data Processing Concept

Computer is mainly used for data processing. It performs arithmetical and logical
operations on the input data in between the input and output which is called processing.
The processing methods are provided by the users by logical instructions known as


To many people , the word computer suggests “ computation” and the word means
‘math”, which scares some people, but this connection is misleading. Computer are not
calculators, although you can turn a computer into a calculator, the simplest definition, a
computer is an electronic device-a flexible machine that can manipulate data. Many of
these manipulations have nothing to do with math.

A computer is programmable that is, what the computer does depends on the program
the computer is using . A computer’s hardware- the machine and its components is
designed to be as flexible as possible . By using computer programs, called software, you
transform this flexible hardware into a tool for purpose.

No matter which program a computer is using, the machine itself performs only four
basic operation. The most widely accepted definition of the computer includes the
following operations .

Input A computer accepts data that is provided by means of an input device, such as a

Processing A computer performs operations on the data to transform it in some way.

Output A computer produces output on a device, operation.

Storage A computer stores the results of processing operation for future use.

This definition is often referred to as the IPOS cycle. The four steps of the IPOS cycle
–input, processing, output, storage do not have to occur in a rigid I-P-O-S sequence
under the direction of the program, the computer uses the steps of this process when
needed and so often as needed.

Characteristics of computer

1. Speed :- As computer is an electronic device . It’s internal speed is virtually

instantaneous. They can process millions of instructions per second. The unit of
measuring computation time is


Computer can work much faster than human beings. Today’s personal computers run at a
clock speed in the hundreds of megahertz.

2. Automation:- For doing every work, computer requires or needs a human user. Once
a program is in the computer’ memory, the individual instructions are then transferred,
one after the other to the control unit for exculpation. It simply means that the computers
are not intelligent as human beings. They always need to be programmed by a human

3. Versatility or Multipurpose:- computers are capable of performing almost any task,

provided that the task can be reduced to a series of logical steps. This is because, the
computer has only limited ability and it can perform only basic functions

Input/ output operations

Text manipulation & calculation
Logic / comparison operations
Storage and retrieval operations

4. Accuracy:- The accuracy of computers is consistently high. The circuits in a

computer have no mechanical parts to wear and malfunction. Modern computers have a
special error detecting & error correcting features, due to which they have become highly

5. Diligence:- Being a machine, a computer does not suffer from the human traits of
tiredness and lack of concentration . Diligence is a property by virtue of which a
computer can work continuously without getting tired & without loosing concentration.

6. Memory & Storage:- Memory is that area in computer where the storage of data
takes place. The stored data can be retrieved back easily in fraction of seconds. The
information is stored in the forms of files, but on discs and tapes. This helps in easy and
speedy retrieval of information. This is known as electronic storage system.


On the Basis of Types of computations performed

On the Basis of Size & Speed

On the basis of Computations Performed

1. Digital : Digital computer is a computer that stores data as discrete numbers or digits(
i.e0 and 1) and processes them in distinct steps e.g Digital clock. Thus , a digital
computer uses symbolic representations of its variables. A digital can easily store and
manipulate numbers, letters, images, sounds or graphical information represented by a
symbolic code.

2. Analog : An analog computer is a computer that processes, in parallel, a continuous

source of fluctuating variables. Thus an analog computers, variables are represented as
continuous, varying physical quantities e.g speedometer, analog clock etc.

3. Hybrid : A hybrid computer is one that combines both digital and analog technology.

On the Basis of Size and Speed


Mainframes are the most widely used type of computer in large businesses. IBM still
holds an estimated two-thirds of the mainframe market. A mainframe computer is
usually composed of several computers in addition to mainframe, or host processor.
Mainframe computer systems are powerful enough to support several hundred users
simultaneously at remote terminals. The capability to process many programs
concurrently for multiple users is known as multiprogramming


Supercomputers are the largest, fastest, most powerful and most expensive computers
made. These are rarely used for input/output –intensive processing, such as accounting
or record keeping operations. This type of computer has been developed for scientific
applications usually involving complex arithmetic and mathematical operations. One
such use in weather forecasting e.g. PARAM 1000 ( developed by India & Japan in1998 )

Mini Computers : These perform multi- tasking and allow many terminals to be
connected mini computer to each other and main frames has popularized them among
larger businesses. This is being challenged by the development in the microcomputers
under a range and practice of sharing resources of microcomputers under a network.
Minicomputers are still recognized as being able to process large amount of data.


There are many types of microcomputer platforms with varying capabilities. The most
common type of microcomputer is a desktop computer, which is a non portable personal
computer that fits on top of a desk. Most microcomputers enable the user to switch
between tasks. This capability is known as multitasking. Laptop computers are portable
computers. Portable computers came the age with the advent of notebook computers.


Computers may pose a threat to personal privacy, because firms can so easily accumulate
a detail picture of an individual’s buying habits.

 Computer manufacturing processes requires the use of hazardous chemicals,

which could endanger workers and pollute water supplies.
 Discarded computers are taking up too much rooms in our nation’s landfills.
 Too much work at the computer can result in painful nerve disorders, such as
carpal tunnel syndrome, the fastest growing type of occupational injury in the U.S
 Computer failures do occur- and if they occur in a critical systems, lives may be
 Computer may displace workers by automating tasks that people used to perform
or by enbling few workers to perform tasks more efficiently.


A computer is an electronic digital machine that takes data and performs a task upon an
instruction in a predetermined manner and provides the output.

The computer is an managerial tool capable of processing large quantities of data very
rapidly and accurately. It can perform arithmetic and logical operations and can dispense
results in a variety of formats. Computer can repeat programmed instructions almost
endlessly without error, can hold large quantities of information in storage and can be
used to stimulate decision modeling situations.

Components of a Computer:

Computer mainly has the Central Processing Unit (CPU) comprising of three parts, they
are Memory, (ii) Control Unit and (iii) Arithmetic and logical Unit (ALU)

The Memory Unit: is a group of chips known as (Random Access Memory). RAM chips
their main function is to store information and instructions that are in use by the CPU.
This unit is also termed as primary storage or working storage area.

The memory is measured in BYTES, each BYTES is basically made of eight Binary
Digits (BITS).

1024 Bytes is 1 kilo Byte (KB)

1024 KB is 1 mega Byte (MB)
1024 MB is 1 Giga Byte (GB)
1024 GB is 1 Tera Byte (TB)…so on

The Control Unit : is the main processes chip, which has the capacity to understand the
instruction, fed into the memory Unit. It makes the other units performs the tasks, by
assigning the work to the connected devices and parts according to the instruction fed to
it. The capacity of control unit is measured as speed in Hz (Hertz)

The Arithmetic and Logical Unit: is a part of the CPU, which as its name goes performs
arithmetical operations and logical operations.
The data received by the memory unit is assigned to this unit by the control unit along
with the instruction as to what ALU has to do with the data, whether to logically
evaluate or arithmetically. Once the activity is finished the output again upon the
instruction by the CU is kept in the memory unit.

The CPU is connected to different input and output devices. It’s ability to perform on
different devices using different software like windows has earned the multi-media


The First Generation: It consisted of more of mechanical devices and vacuum tubes. It
was as big as a foot ball field, using several miles of wire. It worked very slowing had to
be switched off frequently due to the heat it used to generate. Its maintenance was very
difficult due to its mammoth like structure.

First generation computers could accomplish mathematical operations like addition,

subtraction, multiplication, division, table reference etc. at good speed and those
computers were the fastest calculating machine of their time.

Examples of 1 generation Computers are ENIAC, EDVAC, EDSAC, UNIVAN, ACE,


The Second Generation: This used transistor as main components. This had reduced it’s
size to a huge hall. It didn’t lose much of the negative characterstics of its earlier version.
Low maintenance and more advanced in terms of aritemetic logic unit and control unit.
Examples of II Generation :- PDP-1, developed by DEC, It was the first minicomputer.
NCR 304 ( National Cash Register)

The Third Generation : This had integrated Circuit (ICs) as its Components. This
further reduce the size a grate deal. The advent of micro-electronics technology started
the method of integrating large number of circuit elements in small surface of silicon
known as ‘chips’. The new invention of integrated circuit( ICS) defines the third
generation of computers.

The Major Development of the Third Generation Computers are as follows:

IC circuits were used

Semi conductor (Integrated circuit) memories were used as main memory

The CPU design was made simple and a technique called microprogramming was

The operating systems were facilitated with the efficient method of sharing the facilities
or resources such as processor and memory space, automatically.

The Fourth Generation

This refined the ICs to Large Scale Integrated Circuits (LSIC) and Very Large Scale
Integrated Circuits (VLSIC ). This generation is still holding the reins is very popular
and has been part of almost everybody’s life one way or other on the other in the
present day. This has made a possible the personal computers, Laptop computers and
palm top computers.

Examples of IV Generation :-

IBM PC developed in 1981, having Intel 8088 memory chip.

IBM PC/ AT developed in 1982, having Intel 80286 chips.

386, developed in 1985 having Intel 80386 chips.

CRAY-2, developed in 1985, was the fourth generation supercomputer.

486, developed in 1989, had intel 80486 memory chips.

Pentium, developed in 1995, has Pentium (80586) memory chips..

The Fifth Generation Computer

These are some of the limitations of fourth generations. unlike the human brain a
computer cannot think on its own, cannot learn by experience cannot handle real time
situations. It is a programimg language that uses instructions to make it perform a task.

In such computers, technology of AI ( Artificial Intelligence) is used for making “ expert

systems” which can perform tasks with as much intelligence as the human beings i.e. they
have special abilities to think make decisions.


Primary Storage/ Memory: As mentioned earlier, the memory in the CPU is the
primary storage. It keeps the data and instructions that are being used by the CPU and the
processed output from the ALU. This memory is the highly volatile memory, it looses all
that it has stored in itself if power is off for even a fraction of a second. All the
information is processed and stored in chips.

Two Basic kind of Memory chips:-

RAM: stands for Random Access Memory.

Both reading and writing can take place, therefore it is also known as Read-write
memory. It holds information and data temporarily.

The word “random” refers to the fact that any piece of data can be returned quickly and
in constant time, regardless of its physical location and whether or not it is related to the
previous data.

ROM: It stands for read Only Memory, because only reading can be done; writing is not

Instructions are permanently imprinted in physical components by the manufacturer and

are not accessible or changeable by the user.

It is non volatile i.e the data will not get lost, if the power is not turned off.

It contains the instructions for booting the computer and loading operating system for the
hard into RAM.


Computer’s main memory is the primary storage. Additional storage facilities are needed
to store information and retrieve it as and when it is required. Such storage facilities as
referred as secondary storage media. It is used to store data permanently.

Secondary storage devices are -:

Optical disk
Magnetic disk ( Hard disk & floppy disk )
Magnetic tapes


1. An optical is an electronic data storage medium that can be written to and read
using a low powered laser beam.
2. An optical disk is impressed with a series of spiral pits in a flat surface.
3. Optical disk can store more data at lower cost therefore, they are used as a
complement to magnetic storage media.

Example of optical disk are CD and DVD


It is a thin circular metal plate coated on both the sides with a magnetic material. It is
similar to a gramophone record. It is of two types :-

Floppy disk : It is made of flexible plastic which is coated with magnetic oxide.
Flexible disk is enclosed within a square plastic referred as cartridge, which gives
handling protection to the disk surface. It is random access storage medium. Data is
stored in tracks and sectors. Each sector holds 512 Bytes worth of data.

Hard disk: It is the most popular medium for secondary storage. It is made up of a
metal plate coat on both side with a magnetic material. A disk pack consists of a no. of
these disks ( 3 or more) mounted above half an inch apart from each other on a central
shaft. Each disk consists of no. of invisible concentric circle called tracks. The number of
tracks and sectors on a disk is known as its ‘format’. The hard disk direct access storage


1. Magnetic tapes are similar to cassette tapes in being accessed only serially.
2. It is very popular medium for storage of voluminous amount of processing data.
3. Each record on a tape is separated by blank spaces called the inter record gaps.
4. it is reusable and erasable.


Input devices are those devices are those devices through which data can be fed into the
computer. In the other words, input devices accepts data from outside world and converts
the data in binary forms and finally sends it to the computer for further processing.
Examples of Input Devices

Keyboard OBCR
MICR Scanner
Digitizer Microphone
Webcam Mouse

Joystick Light pen



Output devices are those devices through output or processed information can be
obtained . In other words, output devices accepts data in binary from the computer and
converts the coded data to human acceptable form and finally outputs the converted result
to the outside world. Examples of Output devices are :

Monitor or V.D.U ( Visual Display Unit )



Software is a set of programs that governs and controls the operation of a computer
system. Without software , hardware can not perform on its own. So, this is the software,
which make the hardware run. Software can be classified as

System Software
Application Software

1.System Software : System software encompasses those programs that are used to
manage the resources of computer at low level. System Software is generally required
loading, supervising, controlling, and execution of computer programs. It is further
classified as:

a. Operating System
b. Language processors

Operating System: An operating system is a program which performs as an interface

between a user and a hardware. This system makes the computer system convenient to

An operating system is an important component of a computer system which controls all

other components of the computer system. Main components of a computer system are :

The Hardware
The Operating System
The application Program routines ( compiler, linkers, utility programs etc )

The user

Where hardware provides physical resources, the application program routines tell the the
ways in which these resources are used to solve the various problems of the user and the
operating system controls and coordinates the use of the hardware among various user.

Language processors

The computer does not understand any language other its own machine language which is
based on two digit ( 0 and 1). But programs can not write their programs in machine
language. They prefer to write their programs in one of the High Level Languages
because it is much easier to write programs in such languages when compared to the
machine language. Therefore, it becomes necessary to process a HLL programs so as to
make it understandable to the computer. And the system program which programs this
job of translator is called the language processor. There are three types of language

(i ) Assembler : This language processor converts the program written in assembly

language or low level language into machine language.

(ii ) Interpreter : This language processor converts the program written in high Level
Language into machine language. It converts and executes a program line by line. If it
finds any error in any line, it reports it at the same time. Program execution does not
proceed until the error is rectified. Interpreter is very much useful as it reports the errors
at the same time. But, when all errors are removed and there is no works remains for
interpreter even then it does not leave the place in memory. Therefore, it is always
present in the memory whether it is required or not.

(iii ) Compiler : this language processor also converts HLL program into machine
language. Here the conversion process works differently. It converts the whole HLL
programs in one time and reports all the errors of the program with their respective line
numbers. When all the errors are removed, the program is recompiled and after that the
compiler is required no more in the memory. Therefore , if we combine interpreter and
compiler, it gives the combination for HLL program translation . When all the errors are
removed the program can be compiled. This process is executed to remove the language
translator from the memory.


An application software is the set of necessary programs to carry out operations for a
specified application. This type of software is meant for one specific application.
For example, the software that can prepare results for a school cannot perform railway
reservation functions.

The programmers write these programs to enable us to perform a specific task on the
computer such as financial accounting , inventory control, result preparation , railway
reservation , engineering design , etc. Application software can further be subdivided into
two categories.
Customized Application Software

This type of software is made according to a user’s requirements. This software is

developed to meet all the requirements asked by the user. However, this software cannot
be directly installed at any other user’s machine as the requirements of this user may
differ from the first one. This software is also called tailor made software.

General Application Software

This type of software is developed keeping in mind the general requirements for carrying
out a specific job. Because it fulfills the general requirements, many users can use it at
one time.

Types of language used in Computers

Language is basically used for communication or giving instructions. As human beings

use different languages in order to communicate among them. Similarly, human being
requires computer languages for aiding communication with computer.

Low Level Language or machine Language Or binary Language : the language that
the microprocessor can read and interpret is called low level Language or machine
Language. It is called binary language because low level language code consists of
binary bits . i.e 0 and 1. These ‘0’ and ‘1’ represents the state of the pulse in the circuit.
If there is pulse in the circuit then it represented as “1’ and the absence of pulse is
indicated by ‘0’ .

Therefore, this language is very difficult to understand. But the main advantage of this
language is that it is faster in execution as the computer directly starts executing it.

High Level Language : A high level language does not require the programmer to have a
detailed knowledge of computers. A high level language contains statements that are like
English and mathematics. One statement from the instructions set of high level language
is capable to perform an operation which requires many machine instructions. Therefore,
it is much easier to write a program using a high level language than using either
assembly or machine language. It is easily understandable by human beings because high
level language code consists of English language like statements e.g COBAL, PASCAL,

Assembly Language : The languages that that used Mnemonic operations codes and
symbolic rotations were called assembly languages. Assembly languages are closely
related to machine languages and the internal architecture of the computer system on
which they are used. These languages are called low level languages .
The program in assembly language cannot be executed unless it is converted into
machine language. A program written to convert assembly language instruction to
machine language is called an assembler. Converting the assembly language program to
machine language programs is called assembling the program.


An operating system , is a software program that enables the computer hardware to

communicate and operate with the computer software. Without a computer operating
system, a computer would be useless.

Thus an operating is a large collection of specialized programs, which manages resources

such as memory, processor, file system and input/ output devices. It gets loaded in the
computers main memory as soon as the power is put on. It keeps the track of the status of
each resourse and decides who will have a control over computer resources, for how
long and when. In the other words it acts as an interface between the software and
hardware, or between the user and the computer. Examples: UNIX ( first OS), DOS,
LINUX, WINDOWS 3.1,95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, vista etc.

Functions of an Operating System

1. Memory Management : Current computer architectures arrange the computer’s

memory in a hierarchical manner, starting from the fastest registers, CPU cache,
random access memory , and disk storage. This activity usually refered to as
virtual memory management , increases the amount of memory available for each
process by making the disk storage seem like main memory.
2. Process Management: Process Management is an Operating system’s way of
dealing with running multiple processes .Process management involves
computing and distributing CPU tome as well as other resources. Most operation
system allow a process to be assigned a priority which affects its allocation of
CPU time.
3. Disk Management : These program used to perform some “ housekeeping
functions such as –

a. formatting disk
b. displaying the content of a disk
c. Checking a disk for reading and writing
d Determining the space remaining on a disk
5. Making a back up copy of the back up contents of a hard disk and restoring the
contents from a back up copy.
4. File Management : All operating systems include support for a variety of file
systems. A file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and data
they contain to make it easy to find and access them.

Networking : Most current operating systems are capable of using the TCP/ IP
networking protocols. This means the one system can appear on a network of the other
and share resources such as files, printers and scanners using either wired or wireless


It is an acronym that stands for Disk Operating System. It is written by BILL GATES
and PAUL ALLEN in 1980s. It is a single user and unitasking system. The early version
of DOS is known as QDOS ( Quick & Dirty DOS) Written by Tim Paterson . DOS
prepared by Microsoft Company is known as MS- DOS. It’s current version is MS-DOS
8.0 . Similarly, DOS developed by IBM (International Business Machine ) is called PC-

Internal Commands

The commands which are present in the COMMAND.COM file are called internal
command. Some important internal commands of DOS are as follows:

Internal Commands

CLS – Clear the screen C:\> CLS

MD - Make/Create Directory C:\> MD TEMP
CD - Change Directory C:\> CD TEMP
RD - Remove Directory C:\> RD TEMP
COPY – Copy file from one destination to other C:\> COPY IHM.XLS A:\
TYPE - To see the content of the file C:\> TYPE IHM.DOC
VER - Display the current version of Windows C:\> VER
REN - Rename the file C:\> REN IHM.XLS GTK.XLS
DATE - To Change the Date C:\> DATE
TIME - To Change the Time C:\> TIME
DEL - To delete the file C:\> DEL IHM.XLS
DIR - List the name of the directory and C:\> DIR A:
files present in the given directory C:\> DIR C:\TEMP
EXIT - To ext from Dos Mode to Windows C:\> EXIT
PROMPT- It is use to set system prompt. C:\> PROMPT

External Commands

PRINT – To print the file through a printer C:\> PRINT IHM.DOC

FORMAT – Format a Floppy, Pen drive or Had Drive C:\> FORMAT A:
DISCOPY – Copy all files from one disk to another C:\>DISCOPY A: B:
FDISK – Create Partition of a disk C:\> FDISK
DELTREE – To delete the file and a sub directory C:\> DELTREE C:\TEMP


A computer has many peripheral devices attached with it like mouse, keyboard, printer ,
scanner, modem etc. These are either input devices. OS does the allocation and release of
these devices to and from jobs on user requisition. Thus operating system acts as an
interface between these peripherals and the user. Interface can be of two types-



It refers to character User Interface It refers to Graphical user Interface

It provides a text-mode Interface It provides a graphical- mode interface that

contains icons and images to represents
commands & options.

It is not user friendly It is user friendly

It is unitasking It is multitasking

It refers to a single user o.s It refers to a multi user o.s.

Windows are most popular GUI based operating system that was developed by
Microsoft Company of America. Windows are very user friendly and easy to use . It has
folders rather directories in DOS.

Difference between Window & windows: A window refers to a rectangular area in which
a program / a file or message is displayed. On the other hand windows refers to
Operating system.

Features of Window -98 & Window 2000

Windows 98 is an upgrade to Microsoft’s windows 95 operating system. It incorporates

most of the features of its predecessor and includes some new features and additional
device drivers, as well as fixing many of the bugs in window 95.
Window 98 integrates the many new interface changes introduced by internet Explorer
4.0, such as Active Desktop ( which allows you to


1. Folder : Folder are special files that can hold multiple documents.
2. Sub-folder : It stands for sub-directory or other folder.
3. Object : It refers to shortcuts, programs or file
4. Navigation : This term is used for transversal in a directory
5. Icons : Icons represent the program or folders loaded into your computers
6. Desktop : It is the working area of the windows displayed in your computer.
7 Taskbar: The taskbar is the horizontal bar along the bottom of the desktop.
8 Pointer : A pointer is the arrow we use to choose things on screen .
9 Titlebar : It is horizontal bar displayed at the top of every program of window
10 Scrollbar : It is gray rectangle with small black arrows on both end.
11 Menubar : A menu bar is an onscreen display that lists available categories of
commands. It is located at the top of the program window.
12 File : A file is a collection of information , with a unique name stored in your
computer or on a removable disk.

Basic window Operations

My Computer: My computer is an icon that represents all the drives on your system. To
open a particular drive, either double click on it or write click on it and then choose open
or explore option.

Control panel : It is used to view or manipulate basic system settings such as display
settings, adding and removing hardware and changing accessibility option etc.

Recycle Bin : It is an icon on the windows desktop. It represents a directory where

deleted files are temporarily stored. When we delete a file in windows explorer or my
computer, the file appears in the recycle Bin. The file remains in the recycle Bin until we
empty the recycle Bin or restore the file.

Window Explorer : Window explorer is the software program that best lets we manage
our computer’s files. It represents our computer as one big filling cabinet.


Today modern world requires a fast communication channel to move data frequently
from one place to another, the concept of networking has been introduced. In
networking, the computers in the different parts of the world are interconnected to share
data and information with each other.

What is computer Network ?

Computer network is a collection of interconnected computers, which are able to

exchange information between each other.

In other words, it is a collection of computers and peripheral devices connected by

communication links that allows the network components to work together

Networking refers to an art of arranging computers in a network.
According to Andrews and Mcfredries “ Networking is a means of connecting computers
together so that can share resources, such as files and peripherals (printers, modems, CD-
ROM, drives etc) and services. It involves both hardware and software.’’


There are three types of networks are widely used on the basis of geographical area and
transmission .

LAN (Local Area Network) : A network in which all nodes are connected with network
cable and which occupies a relatively small geographical area. For example; a building,
office, or department, or a home. It is restricted to the 10 km in size.

MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) : It is larger in size and its maximum limit upto
100 km. It is a bigger version of LAN and almost uses a similar technology. It links
computers of nearby corporate offices or various offices in the same city. A MAN can
support both data and voice. A local cable television network is a good example of

WAN (Wide Area Network) A WAN is larger than MAN. It covers a large geographical
area, often a country or a continent. It contains a collection of machines intended for
running application program. In WAN, computers are connected with each other with
various telephone lines and satellites. Internet is the most important example of WAN.


We connect two or more work stations by using cables. Communication channels are the
connecting cables being used in the network. There are three main type of cables that are
used as a communication channel between different workstations . These are as follows :

1. Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted Pair Cable is the most common form of wiring in the data communication
applications. It is the basis for most of the internet telephone wiring. It is made of two
identical wires wrapped together in a twisted form. Both wires have the same impedance
to ground to make it a balance medium.

This feature helps to lower the cables, susceptibility to noise from neighboring cable or
external sources. The main advantage of this medium is that it is capable of carrying a
signal over long distances with the usages of repeaters. It is an adequate medium for
two speed applications where the distances between computers are small.

2. Coaxial Cables

It consists of a solid wire core surrounded by one or more foils or wires shields, each
separated from the other by some kind of plastic insulator. The inner core carries the
signal and shield provides the ground. It is used for television signals. The data
transmission characteristics of coaxial cables are quite better than those of twisted pairs.
It consists of less need for repeaters.

3. Optical Fiber Cables

Optical fiber cable consists of thin strands of glass or glass like material . the data to be
transmitted are modulated onto the tight beam using frequency modulation technique.
And the signal can then be picked up at the receiving end by pin field effect transistor
demodulated. The installation of optical fibre cables is little difficult as these cables are
quite fragile and may need special shielding to make them strong for an office
environment. The main advantages of optical fibre over other media are their complete
immunity to noise, their high speed and low attenuation.


As we know that we can convert data from digital to analog form and from analog to
digital form. The device which is used to convert digital data into analog form and vise
versa, is called a Modem. The analog signal are transferred through the telephone lines
and then converted into digital form by Modem. Therefore, modem performs the job of a
Modulator and Demodulator. The main use of a modem is that it allows higher speed pf
transmission on a given analog line and it reduces the effects of noise and distortion.


Lan card is an electronic card which is installed in the CPU of the central computer. If the
terminal connected with it have their own processor, then in that case each terminal
requires a separate Lan Cards installed in the computers are further connected with


Repeater is used to regenerate data and voice signals. Repeater reads the incoming signals
and amplifies them and transmits them to another segment of the of the network.

For example, Ethernet is a nine port repeater that is used to connect thin wires from
digital network to other cables.

Amplifying repeaters : They simply amplify the entire signal. They have the
disadvantage that as well as amplifying the data signal , they also amplify and existing
noise or interface as well.

Example: Used on broadband networks such as ATM.

Signal Generating Repeaters: This type of repeater “reads” the signal and then creates
a(stronger) duplicate of the data signal before sending on it.

Example: Used on baseband networks such as Ethernet. This networks can only transmit
one (digital) signal at a time. Data is represented by the on or off state of signals.


It is a network device where the information flow is accumulated and then distributed to
various groups. Hubs are basically signal splitters- they take the signals received through
one port and distribute them among the other ports hubs are powered devices. They may
include LED’s which can monitor power, active connections, traffic and collisions.

Types of Hubs

Passive Hubs
Active Hubs
Intelligent Hubs

Network Interface Card (NIC) : It is a circuit board, plugged into one of the expansion
slots of the work station and server.

The server and workstation should have the same type of NIC. NICs are usually
reserved for servers.

This have two major functions like

* They create the physical connection between the node and the rest of the network
* Their firmware is responsible for breaking data down into packets when transmitting
data and resembling the packets when receiving data.

Types of NICs are

ARCNET ( Attached Resource Computer Network ) It offers a speed of 2.5 Mbps.

ETHERNET CARDS: Data transmission speed is 10 Mbps


The pattern of interconnection of various computers in a network is called the network

topology. In other word , it can be defined as the manner by which the computers are
physically connected together in a network.

Topology determines following-

a. the complexity of network

b Strategy for physically expanding the network
c The cost of network installation

Kinds of Topologies

STAR TOPOLOGY: In Star Topology, all the terminals are directly connected to
central computer. This topology is used in most existing information networks involving
data processing or voice communication. The main advantage of star topology is that it is
very easy to add and remove any terminal without disturbing the network. If any terminal
fails, it can be easily disconnected without harming the work. The disadvantage of this
topology is that all activities are controlled by the server. Therefore, server is heavily
burdened. Each terminal is connected to the centre. So a larger quantity of cable is
required in this topology.

BUS TOPOLOGY : All the terminals are connected one after the another in a straight
line. This topology is also known as linear topology. The server can receive as well as
send the messages. A very short cable is required in this topology because there is a
single common data path connecting all terminals. It is comparatively cheaper and easy
to in stall. The main disadvantage of this topology is that it is very difficult to detect
fault and its isolation. If more than one terminal are taking part in communication, they
increase the burden on bus cable and the last terminal will take more time than the other
terminals for receiving and sending data.

RING TOPOLOGY : In this server and all the terminals are arranged in a circle and
connected with each other with cables in such a way a closed loop is formed. . This
topology is also called a loop. All nodes are transmitters and receivers. Data are
transmitted in one direction around the ring i.e. a node can expect transmission from a
node before it and the node itself can send transmission to other nodes. The amount of
cable required is generally less than for a star topology. The main disadvantage of this is,
if failure of one computer in the ring can affect the entire work. Difficult to or remove
node in a ring i.e each additional node involves system disruption and reduces

TREE TOPOLOGY : A tree network consists of star – configured nodes connected to

switches / concentrators, each connected to a linear bus backbone. It is a special case of
star topology. All nodes and links are connected in a hierarchical order using a coaxial
cable. The topmost node is called the root. All nodes in the tree are descendant of the
root node. Two or more than two nodes sharing the same parents are called siblings.

It uses some ‘‘ traffic control’’ mechanism that determines when to allow traffic to
travel up and down the branches of a tree. Allow easier trouble shooting.

The disadvantage of this is if there is disruption or error in any one branch of a tree , then
the whole network goes down. This ensure that there is only one path from one node to
any other node in the tree.

Expand the Following

ALU- Arithmetic and logical Unit

CPU- central Processing Unit

USB- Universal serial bus

PROM - Programmable Read Only Memory

EEPROM- Programmable Read Only Memory

DML – Data Manipulation Language

CAD – computer Aided Design

GIGO – Garbage in Garbage out

FORTRAN – Formula Transfer

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language

VLSIC – Very Large Scale Integration Circuit

DBMS – Database Management System

OCR – Optical Character Reader

EDP – Electronic data Processing

UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply

NIC – Network Interface Card

VDU – Visual Display Unit

CAM – Computer Aided Manufacturing

WAN – Wide Area Network

ISP – Internet Service Provider

E- Mail – Electronic Mail

MAN – Metropolitan Area Network


HDD – Hard Disk Drive

BIOS – Basic Input Output System

MICR – Magnetic Ink Character Reader

UNIVAC – Universal Automatic Computer

ASCII – American Standard Code For Information Interchange

COBAL – Common Business Oriented Language

PDF – Portable Document Format

HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

IP – Internet Protocol

NTFS – New Technology File System

GPRS – General Pocket Radio Service

LED – Light Emitting Diode