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(CHAPTER ONE) WELCOME ABOARD CYBERSPACE: THE NEW FRONTIER (TODAY’S GENERATION) - the digital online community may be conceived as a “system” which contains elements of: hardware (servers, supercomputers, laptops, smart phones), software (programs, applications), information (databanks, web media content), people (casual users, experts, you, me), connections (DSL, internet, WWW, LANs, T1 which is a high security device) RECURRING THEMES: A) notion of abstraction: - be able to take things generally - engineering is much to complicated to get nitty gritty all the time with - focus on the big picture and don’t concentrate on minor details if the system works - at the same time, be able to get into the minor details and know about them enough if some problem comes up (otherwise you’ll be dependent on the system to work first try) - example: “go to the airport” instead of telling the driver all the directions - look at the big picture without details - productivity enhancer: don’t worry about the details (you can drive a car without knowing how the engine works) until something goes wrong (that’s when you have to get into the details) - notion that we can concentrate on one “level” of the big picture at a time - engineers use abstraction as a primary problem solving technique - abstraction does not mean being clueless about the neighboring levels B) hardware and software are equally important - you’ll be better off as an engineer if you know both aspects of it: hardware and software - specialize in one of them, sure, but know how to deal with the other one too - computer & software engineering: LOOK THIS UP LATER ON NOTES
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A COMPUTER SYSTEM: A) facts - directs the processing of information - performs actual processing of information - basic components are binary switches - computing system consists of hardware, software, users, procedures, and he data that work together for some stated purpose - hardware: electronics related mechanical parts of the computer - software: program instructions B) computing machines (system) types - general purpose: servers, desktops, laptops - special purpose: cash registers, game consoles, telephone switches (built for a ore special purpose) - embedded-in: cars (breaks), smart phones, printers, DVD players, industrial robots, refrigerators that detects low milk levels and orders it for you
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