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• In corporate decision making, managers should consider software before hardware. • Businesses need to first identify the task they want to support and the decisions they want to make, and therefore the information they need to produce. • Computer must handle four operations (Fig.4.1): – Accept data – Store data and instructions – Process data – Output data and/or information• In general, every computer has the following components: – Input devices • Receive signals from outside the computer and transfer them into the computer. Examples of input devices are keyboards, touch screens, mouse, digital pen, and etc. – Storage • It is different types of media e.g. magnetic disk, magnetic tapes, optical discs, and flash memory, that store data and information. Online or cloud storage (storing data on remote storage devices over the Internet or a private network) is an increasingly popular form of storage. – Output devices• They deliver information from the computer to a person. Examples are monitors, printers, speakers, and digital audio players for audio output and specialized output devices e.g. digital scoreboards.
• Bit: Binary digit – 0 or 1 • Byte: a combination of eight bits. • All data stores and processed by a computer, including text, images,and audio, is represented by bits and bytes.• Computer memory and storage capacity are measured in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), terabytes (TB), etc.Classification of Computers• Computers vary in size and power e.g. supercomputers to handheld devices.• They are classified by power – Power is determined mainly by processing speed and memory size. • More powerful computers are more expensive.Supercomputers• Supercomputers: most powerful computers at any given time.– Largest in physical size and most expensive – Designed for complex arithmetic calculations – Generally impractical for business purposes – Usually used by research institutions and government agencies. – RAMs consists of billions of bytes and their processing speed is trillions of instructions per second. – Manufacturers include IBM, Cray, Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC. • Parallel processing (multiprocessing): several CPUs process differentdata simultaneously.