Computer Platform


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Unit 01, Computer Platforms, Edexcel UK

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Computer Platform

  1. 1. Computer Platforms – Assessment Muhammad Farooq Siddiqui This document covers different components of computer systems along with their functions, different operating systems, along with features of Windows 7, health and safety requirements and security policies. NICON Systems Dubai Plaza, 6th Road, Rawalpindi +92 321 536 36007/2/2012
  4. 4. Intellitech Inc. is upgrading their whole computer systems. Firstly we need to find out a new computersystem for Intellitech Inc. . So we need to describe all the components of the computer system and thenwe need to choose out the specific components of the computer that fulfil the requirements of the client.Components of a Computer SystemMotherboard: mother-board is a circuit board situated in the system unit. Mother-board controls allstandard peripheral devices like hard drive, memory, CPU, and other device cards such as wireless card,sound card a nd graphic card etc. Mother board also controls some external devices such as monitor,printer, mouse, keyboards and USB drives.Central Processing Unit (CPU): It is the most important section in the whole computer system. It can becalled brain or heart of the computer system. We can calculate computer s power by the clock speed ofany computer. The clock speed can be measured in Gigahertz (GHz) or Megahertz (MHz). If the clockspeed is higher the more processes the CPU can do per seconds. There are many kinds of processors inuse like dual core, quad core, core i3, core i7 etc. core i7 is the fastest processor in the latest technologyfor desktop computers and laptops. We can choose the best processors by calculating its clock speed.Memory: Memory is as important component for any computer. It is as important as processor. Memorymanipulates the real speed of the computer. We can have better performance if we use higher memoryand less powerful processor, than we use less memory and powerful processor. Memory is available invariety of packages . There are varieties of memory packages in use.RAM (Random Access Memory): Random Access Memory is as important as processor. RAM is usedto store up and operate the data for short time. It is a volatile memory because the data stored on RAM iserased when the computer is turns off.- SRAM (Static Random Access Memory): SRAM is type of semiconductor memory. SRAM uses bistablelatching circuitry to store the each bit of data.- DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory): DRAM is stores each bit of data in a separate capacitorwithin an integrated circuit.- SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM): SDRAM is new memory package offered in PC. This memoryprovides single channel memory and this memory is available on mainstream and desktop systems.- DDR SDRAM (Double Data rate SDRAM): this RAM has all the features of SDRAM. In advance it givesdouble data rate than SDRAM. On motherboard s 66 MHz bus this memory gives 1.066 gigabyte transferrate.- RDRAM (Rambus dynamic RAM): this memory can create a new stream of data before the completionof the previous stream. This results in faster processes. This memory can transfer data at 533Mb/s perchannel.Hard-disks: Hard-disk is a non-volatile storage device for digital data.Hard disks are used to store the data and application on permanent basis. There are two kinds of hard-disks in use and those are internal and external hard-drive. The capacity of the hard drive depends onhow many applications do you want to use. The more hard-drive capacity is the more data you can storeon it.Video and sound card : A video card lets the computer play the videos and display the pictures.Multimedia users can use the higher capacity cards to get the best graphics and sound output.Printer: Printer is used to publish hard copies of document and photographs as well. There are many-4-|Page
  5. 5. choices available on market to choose from like laser printer, colour printer etc. 3 in 1 laser printer is latestin today s technology, that can print coloured documents and images and it also can scan .Monitors: Monitor is a output device that is used to enable the user to get the GUI. There are many kindsof monitors in use today. CRT: they are the older type monitors with curved screen. This display can be nice due to size and it ispopular due to less prize.LCD/TFT: these displays are flat screen display so they require a less desk space. They can also bemounted on wall or shelf. They require less power to run, more environment friendly.Plasma display: in this display the lights are creates by neutrons. So the colours looks like true. It has agot a good quality picture than LCD.OLED: it is an organic light-emitting diode. They are much thinner and brighter than LCD or plasma.DVD Writer : DVD writer is used to create the data CD s and DVD s. to write the DVD or CD thecomputer needs to loaded with some special kind of software which provides the facility to burn the CD sand DVD s.Operating SystemDefinition: Operating system is system software that controls the execution of computer programs andmay provide various services.This system software manages all the computer hardware. OS offers establishment to all applicationprograms and operates as a connection between computer hardware and user. User can interact with theOS using any user interface or using GUI. OS are designed that easy way; Users can execute anyprogram or applications very easily.Function of Operating systemsUser Interface: User Interface is the most useful function of OS User can have advantage of making thetasks easy with the use of User interface. They don t require remembering and writing long commandsprompts to do certain task. They can do hundreds of task with just single or double clicks of mouse.Device configuration: device configuration is also one of the important function users can use by OS.User can configure any external device manually for their easiness or they can just configure any deviceautomatically by recommended settings of OS. They can easily install and uninstall any device drivers.File management: OS also directs and categorizes all the data that the user stores on computer. Oskeeps the track of each and every bit of data in the computer. Users are able to search files and folders orapplication in search box which is placed in start menu. All the operating system provides their own typeof file management system. Hierarchical management is one of the main examples of the filemanagement system o f OS. Hierarchical management system uses directories to categorize files.Security: security of the data is the biggest issue for all users. Some new operating systems come withthe inbuilt firewall, so the unauthorized and unwanted application cannot access the computerautomatically. Firewall also protects the computers form malwares and viruses. User can set passwordsand biometric characteristics to secure their data and their computer accessed by unauthorised persons.-5-|Page
  6. 6. Features of operating systemMultitasking: when the computer is using two or more tasks at the same time that can be called asmultitasking. OS can determines the order of the process which should be done while multitasking. Withthe help of OS user can load a webpage while executing an application in background and typingsomething in MS-Word. In short we can say that user can have access to many programmes at a sametime.Multiple users: this system provides the facility to login multiple users to access their sessions whilekeeping another user logged on the same machine. Some operating systems have facility to allowhundreds of user to make their sessions.Multiprocessing: Multiprocessing is a task where user computer can run different type of programmes indifferent processors. Different jobs are processed on the different processors.Different types of Operating systems:Apple Mac OS XMac OS X is the latest Operating system produced by Apple. Mac OS X is the world s most advancedoperating system. In this OS all the tasks are made much easier to learn and to perform and users findfun to do the work. OS X provides the highest graphics quality can be found on any latest technology. Ithas got the most striking feature of user interface; it is also integrated with advance graphical processors.User can have preview of any file/folder by using quick look function. This is a very new feature of thisOS. User can have very high resolution previews so they can actually read the text in preview itself.User can upgrade the software of this OS. OS X can only run the software manufactured by apple. Onimportant thing is this OS can only be used in apple computers or laptops. This OS is very suitable forentertainment because it has got the best graphics feature.Windows 7Windows is the latest OS made by Windows Corporation. This is also a very good OS. It has got manynew features that make it easy for the user to work on certain task. Windows 7 supports the full 64-bitPCs; so it has got the new desktop standard. Windows search has been made easier and quicker onwindows 7. It has also got some features that simplify the everyday tasks.Windows 7 can be upgraded with the latest updates. User can run thousands of software on this OS.Windows 7 is not a virus free OS but it has got a features like windows firewall and defender; whichmakes the computer safe from the attacks of malware and virus.Comparison of Mac OS X and Windows 7:1. Mac finder and windows explorer both have got very impressive user interface to access the files. Bothof the operating systems have got their own feature like Mac OS X has sidebar in finder and libraries inwindows 7.-6-|Page
  7. 7. 2. Both of the OS has got a newer way to get quick look of any file or folder. In OS X there is a quick lookfeature which gives the file preview in high definition so user can easily read the text in preview. Inwindows 7 the preview is very small to understand or have quick look of the document. So OS X s quicklook feature is better than windows preview.3. Windows task bar and Mac dock are also one of the new features in both of the OS. Windows task baris the best improvement interface. In OS X the Mac dock gives just the simple feature of access the taskwhile taskbar has got such new features like pin program to task bar or recent and frequent tasks etc. sowindows taskbar is better than Mac dock.4. In OS X the Mac menu bar is always fixed to the top of the screen and the programmes attaches therewith users permission or need. In windows 7 system tray you can customize the programmes that youwant to keep there for quick launch. User can also have access to one click calendar.5. If we look at the backup utility in windows not too much has changed. It is the old wizard that asks youto choose the backup drive. Whereas, in the OS X there is easy and really funny utility of time machine.Time machine is dead simple setup and over animated.Recommended computer system for the Intellitech Inc.:I have chosen the certain kind of computer system depending upon the requirements of the client.For the best use of computer system for the company employers I have chosen the core i3 processor withthe processor clock speed of 2.24GHz. That is the very good processor to meet the requirements of thechair person. If we place 3 GB of RAM with one 1 GB SDRAM and the other 2 GB SDRAM will be goodfor the use of company employers. The other important component for any computer is hard drive. Thecompany employers will use the computer to save their projects and designs for the new business ideas.So 260GB of HDD will be the best match for the computer system.I will recommend the 17 Plasma monitors for the company s new computer system. The companyemployers can design their projects and designs with great colour and clarity.Windows 7 is the best OS to install in the company’s new computer system. It is 64-bit operating system.There are thousands of applications and software compatible with windows 7. The user interface of thisoperating system is easy to learn and use. The employers can e asily get used to with this system.Company chair person can install 3 in 1 laser printer which comes with inbuilt Bluetooth and wirelessfacility so the employers can use it easily, that is very user friendly.For additional devices, we can install video and sound card that are used for basic purpose of image andvideo watching. We can also install a DVD -writer so that the employers will able to burn the data disks.We need to design centralized help desk for all the users of the company so that they will be able to usethe new computer system easily.Computer with following specification is proposed for Intellitech Inc.Hardware: Core 2 DUO Processor (Intel) 4 GB DDR 2 RAM-7-|Page
  8. 8. 320 GB HDD 256 MB VGA DVD ± RWUser Guide:User Accounts:Start > Control panel > User Accounts >With user accounts users can change or remove their account passwords. User administrator canmanage more than one account.Disk Defragment:Computer > Right click on drive > properties > Tools > Defragment Now-8-|Page
  9. 9. Disk defragmentation describes the process of consolidating fragmented files on your computers harddisk. Fragmentation happens to a hard disk over time as you save, change, or delete files. The changesthat you save to a file are often stored at a location on the hard disk thats different from the original file.Additional changes are saved to even more locations. Over time, both the file and the hard disk itselfbecome fragmented, and your computer slows down as it has to look in many different places to open afile.Disk Defragmenter is a tool that rearranges the data on your hard disk and reunites fragmented files soyour computer can run more efficiently. In this version of Windows, Disk Defragmenter runs on a scheduleso you dont have to remember to run it, although you can still run it manually or change the schedule ituses.Disc Cleanup:The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk by searching your disk for files that youcan safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disk Cleanup to perform any ofthe following tasks to free up space on your hard disk: Remove temporary Internet files. Remove downloaded program files. For example, ActiveX controls and Java applets that are downloaded from the Internet.-9-|Page
  10. 10. Empty the Recycle Bin. Remove Windows temporary files. Remove optional Windows components that you are not using. Remove installed programs that you no longer use.You can start Disk Cleanup, by doing any of the following: Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK. -or- Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. -or- In Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, click Properties, click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.Date and Time:Start > Control panel > Date and time (Clock, Language and Region)- 10 - | P a g e
  11. 11. Users can change date, time, and time zone in this program.Region and Language Settings:Start > Control panel > Regional and language (Clock, Language and region)Regional options settingsThe Regional Options tab contains the following settings: Standards and formats These are user-specific settings and are stored as part of the user profile. Location This is a user-specific setting and is stored as part of the user profile.Language settingsThe Languages tab contains the following settings: Default input language This is a user-specific setting and is stored as part of the user profile. Installed services This is a computer-wide setting.Note To access these language settings, click Details in Text services and input languages.- 11 - | P a g e
  12. 12. Advanced settingsThe Advanced tab contains the following settings: Language for non-Unicode programs This is a computer-wide setting. Default user account settings Click to select the Apply all settings to the current user account and to the default user profile check box to apply changes to the default user profile.Programs and Features:Start > Control Panel > Program and FeaturesYou can uninstall a program from your computer if you no longer use it or if you want to free up space onyour hard disk. You can use Programs and Features to uninstall programs or to change the programsconfiguration by adding or removing certain options.- 12 - | P a g e
  13. 13. 1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clicking Programs and Features. 2. Select a program, and then click Uninstall. Some programs include the option to change or repair the program in addition to uninstalling it. but many simply offer the option to uninstall. To change a program, click Change or Repair. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.Security and User Policy:1. Networked systems shall update regularly with the latest vendor patches for all software executed onWorkstations and Servers.2. Users shall select passwords that cannot be found in a dictionary and that are of sufficient length thatthe probability of determining the password over a network shall take at least 160 hours. Currently, this isat least 8 characters but shall be automatically increased as technology allows.- 13 - | P a g e
  14. 14. 3. All users passwords attached to a network wherein a compromise has occurred or is suspect shall bechanged immediately.4. Enable client operating system user profiles so that specific users and groups have their own securitysettings that reflect their level of trust in the network.5. Force password changes often. Passwords should be valid for no longer than 30 days.6. Train users to prevent mishaps, by doing things such as turning off a workstation that holds shareddata when it is not required.7. Execute a virus scanner automatically whenever a user logs onto the computer.8. Use workstation user accounts and system policies to prevent individual users from controlling thesecurity of their workstations.9. Disable password caching so passwords do not accumulate on client computers.10. Client computers shall be restricted such that their network settings may not be modified by nonadministrative personnel. Implement the following specific policies:* Disable the network control panel for all users except administrator and trusted knowledgeable users.* Disable the registry editing tools for all users except system administrators.* Enable the shell restrictions for accounts that serve a particular purpose, such as public e-mailaccounts, public word-processing accounts, process control, etc.* Hide the general and details pages for printers in the network, disable deletion of printers,and disablethe addition of printers.* Hide the remote administration page and the user profiles page for all users except administrators.11. Disable booting the A: drive in the BIOS and apply a password to the BIOS to keep the user fromusing a DOS boot floppy.12. Hide the display settings page from everyone except administrators.13. Limit the rights of default Administrators group, and create a separate group with full access.14. Provide periodic security training for new and established employees alike. A periodic refresher keepsusers aware of security problems.15. Require alphanumeric passwords so that a hacker cannot quickly determine the password to a useraccount simply by performing a “dictionary scan.”16. Modify the client operating system to boot directly to the allowed application or a menu restricted toallowed applications.17. All users of workstation and pc’s are to ensure that their screens are blank when not to be used- 14 - | P a g e
  15. 15. 18. Approving Login procedures must be strictly observed a users leaving their screen unattended mustfirstly lock access to their workstation because may be unauthorized systems may be gained via a validuser is and password.19. Managing user access must be authorized by the owner of the system and such access, including theappropriate access rights or privileges must be recorded in an access control list. Such records are to beregarded as high confidential documents.Maintenance Plan:Part of any successful business is keeping your equipment in good working order. For most businesses,computers are integral to day-to-day operations. Fact is, slow-running computers, computer crashes andother computer problems can take valuable time away from other pressing tasks. For best results, werecommend performing the following maintenance each week or month.Weekly:Back up your e-mail program. Don’t lose important e-mails from clients and co-workers because of amalfunctioning e-mail program. When backing up your e-mail program, it is a good idea to also have thisbackup on a different drive on which your computer your e-mail is located. If you can’t back-up your e-mail on another drive, then just back it up to a CD. This way, if your computer fails, you will still have yourfull e-mail intact (or at least most of it).If you use Outlook as your e-mail program, you’ll want to do the following to back up your Outlook. First,open Outlook and click on File. Then, select Import and Export and choose Export a File and click Next.Next, select Personal Folder File (.pst) and then click Next. After that, click personal file folders, check thebox that says Include Subfolders, and then click Next. The program will then ask you for a location. Werecommend naming a new folder on your computer something easy to remember such as OutlookBackup. After naming your back-up folder, click browse in this panel in Outlook and chose the Outlookbackup folder. We suggest that you check Replace Duplicates with Items Exported. Finally, click Finish. Itmight take quite sometime if your outlook is too large, so you might want to do this at the end of your day.Once the back-up process starts, do not open Outlook until the back-up process is complete.Also, if you use Outlook as a filing cabinet for important docs, have your IT professional create archivesfor Outlook to reduce the size of your e-mail file. In the event of a crash, smaller Outlook files are mucheasier to retrieve than larger Outlook files.Monthly:Perform a disk cleanup: The disk cleanup tool on your computer helps you free up space on your hard disk for maximumcomputing speed. In order to perform a disk cleanup on a Windows-based PC, go to the Start button onyour desktop. Click All Programs and then select Accessories from the drop-down menu. FromAccessories, select System Tools and then Disk Cleanup. Select C: Drive and click OK. After the scan iscompleted (it will take about two to three minutes), delete all Temporary files, Recycle Bin and TemporaryInternet Files.Update Anti-Virus:- 15 - | P a g e
  16. 16. Make sure your data files from your virus protection software are completely up-to-date. Your virusprotection software is your first line of defense against debilitating computer viruses, so it’s important toensure that it is up to snuff. Your virus protection software should be set to update itself automatically, butif you have to download the latest DAT files, be sure to run a full or complete scan of your computer. Werecommend that, if you haven’t already, install both Super Anti-Spyware and Malware Bytes on yourcomputer. For optimal protection, buy full versions of both programs.Run a disk defragmenter:On a Windows computer, the purpose of your disk defragmenter is decrease the time it takes to read andwrite files by rearranging files stored on your computer. (Note: you should always run this after everythingelse above is completed.) To run your disk defragmenter, click on the START button on your desktop.Then click All Programs and select Accessories. From Accessories, go to System Tools and choose DiskDefragmenter. (Note: you should always run this after everything else above is completed.)Also, it is a GREAT idea to make sure all important documents on your computer are backed up at anoffsite location. This way, you lose nothing if your computer crashes. We recommend that your ITprofessional creates an emergency plan in case of fire so that you also have a full backup of all your dataoff location. Believe us, you DO NOT want to wait until an emergency situation to get a plan in action.When you depend on a computer for your livelihood, doesn’t it make sense to make sure your computeris healthy? Keep your computer in tip-top condition by keeping on a regular maintenance schedule.- 16 - | P a g e