User:Vtaylor/CIS 50 Introduction to Computers, Data Processing, and Applications/Winter 2012/3. Hardware - computers, peripherals and networks

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3. Hardware - computers, peripherals and networks

Starting with things we can touch and see, there are a wide variety of objects - physical, mechanical, electronic, that are considered in the broad classification of "hardware".

hardware - basics (bits, bytes, MB, Gigs), history, mechanical calculators, tabulating machines, transistors, silicon, output devices, operating systems, open source - Linux, networks, telecommunication, server farms, blades


Silicon: Silicon is an element found in the earth’s crust. It is a metalloid, and is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. In terms of IS, silicon has become and invaluable element in technological devices. Computer chips are made of metal and silicon, which is an ideal semiconductor. Several computer chips are put together to create a central processing unit, or CPU. The CPU is the heart of the computer. Silicon computer chips have allowed computers to become faster and more compact. Because of the importance of silicon in the technology industry, the South Bay has come to be known as, of course, the Silicon Valley.

History of Semiconductor This website is basically a timeline of the silicon semiconductors in computers and how silicon chips have grown in capabilities. The site includes a timeline, people, companies, resources, and a glossary of semiconductors in computers. This is relevant to the course because it provides a history of semiconductors in computers, which are the foundation of modern electronics. Silicon, The Element This website is about silicon as an element—what silicon is. It shows the atomic number, weight, melting point, etc. Among other things, silicon is used in the manufacture of transistors and microchips. This site relates to this course because it provides information for what silicon is, where it falls on the periodic table, and why it is used in the manufacture of solid-state elecontronic devices. After Silicon This website is about silicon chips and coming up with ways to manage heat extraction (because of increased density in chips). The article points out how shrinking transistors “enables smaller, faster, and more powerful hardware” but that there will come a point where transistors cannot shrink any smaller. This main point of this article is asking what the next step will be taken for future hardware. One of the suggestions is 3-D chips, “such 3D chips would be made by staking layers of silicon circuits on top of each other, joined using verticle copper interconnects, known as through-silicon vias (TSVs).”

Operating Systems - This article gives the definition of operating system and its functions. - This article briefly explains different types of operating systems and has a listing of many of the different operating systems available today, the dates they were released, the platforms they have been developed for and who developed them.

Tabulating Machines

The History- I chose the keywords Tabulating Machines as I thought it might also encompass the keyword history a little bit. This link has a some info on Herman Hollerith and the first commercial tabulating machines as well as some really good pictures to scan past of computing at the start of the 20th century.


Description/History - This site delves into the history of transistors. It describes what transistors are and how and why they were first created.

Telecommunications - This power point presentation goes over the basics of telecommunications and its relation to business and information systems. It is very informative and helpful in the sense that it has a lot of very easy to understand definitions and diagrams.One definition of telecommunications is the transmission of signals over long distances.

Open Source

I chose the key word open source. Open source is more of an idea of creating and sharing among the digital community in an effort to build upon and enhance, usually a program or operating system. An example of this would be the operating system Linux.

Linux, Open source summary, Open source community


This article defines networks as the "information highway for data," connecting computers together. It also contains other guides and articles on networking.

Basics (bit)

Wikipedia, the world's information from experience, explains a bit as "the basic unit of information in computing and telecommunications; it is the amount of information stored by a digital device or other physical system that exists in one of two possible distinct states." To better understand, a bit is the smallest possible unit of data in a computer, much like an electron is the smallest unit of of an atom. A bit is the building blocks of what we know as data.

Operating Systems

1. shows how operating systems work, as stated in the link. Without operating systems, there would be no hardware so this is a major component of information systems.

2. gives a list and examples of a few Operating Systems, mostly under the name of Java

3. gives a glimpse on how Operating Systems operate. And what machines have operating systems. Here, I learn all computers, keyboards, disk drives, printers, mouses, have operating systems

Bits, Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB...the list goes on.. This Website defines the meaning and differences between the Bits and Bytes family. We use this in our everyday life and most of do not even know that we do. Very helpful to know.

Server Farms: Large network of stacked servers commonly used by companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook. These "farms" can take up in excess of one million square feet, run all day and night and consume vast amounts of electricity.