Rodrigo Rivera-Reyes
Updated: September 2012
MIS 2113 Fall 2012 Prof. Nathan Stout
Content: 1. Hardware Concepts. 2. Software Terms. 3. MIS Test1 Study Guide w/Answers. 4. Databases
1. Hardware Concepts
CPU: (CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT) Transfers program or data from disk to main memory.
Has small amount of fast memory called “cache”
-Keeps frequently used instructions
-Large cache makes a computer faster, bus is expensive
Main memory: Contains program instructions and also contains operating system instructions.
RAM (Random Access Memory) a temporary memory to hold your data
(storage place inside your computer where 1s and 0s are kept until power is cut
off--also holds the program that you are working on)--RAM is also called Primary Storage
Secondary Storage--devices that can be used to permanently store your work
(Ex: floppy disk, hard disk, optical disk)
Byte: A byte is a unit of measurement used to measure data. One byte contains eight binary bits,
or a series of eight zeros and ones.
Cache: A cache stores recently-used information in a place where it can be accessed extremely
fast. For example, a Web browser like Internet Explorer uses a cache to store the pages, images,
and URLs of recently visited Web sites on your hard drive.
Client: is an application or system that accesses a service made available by a server.
CPU central processing unit is the portion of a computer system that carries out the
instructions of a computer program, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output
operations of the system. "Central Processing Unit." This is the pretty much the brain of your
FSB: Stands for "frontside bus." The FSB connects the computer's processor to the system
memory (RAM) and other components on the motherboard.
Hard-Drive: The hard drive is what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your
files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your
hand, yet can hold over 100 GB of data.
Or is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, primarily computer data.
Hertz: (abbreviated: Hz) is the standard unit of measurement used for measuring frequency.
Since frequency is measured in cycles per second, one hertz equals one cycle per second.
Input devices: An input device is any device that provides input to a computer. There are dozens
of possible input devices, but the two most common ones are a keyboard and mouse.
Motherboard: The motherboard is the main circuit board of your computer and is also known as
the mainboard or logic board.
Output Devices: Any device that outputs information from a computer is called, not
surprisingly, an output device. Since most information from a computer is output in either a
visual or auditory format, the most common output devices are the monitor and speakers.
Primary Storage: is the main area in a computer in which data is stored for quick access by the
computer's processor.
RPM: is a measure of the frequency of a rotation. It annotates the number of full rotations
completed in one minute around a fixed axis.
Server: is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a
local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) over the Internet.
USB is a data storage device that consists of flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial
Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable
Volatile memory, also known as volatile storage, is computer memory that requires power to
maintain the stored information, unlike non-volatile memory which does not require a
maintained power supply.
2. Software Terms
ADD-ON: is a software extension that adds extra features to a program. It may extend certain
functions within the program, add new items to the program's interface, or give the program
additional capabilities. For example, Mozilla Firefox, a popular Web browser, supports add-ons
such as the Google toolbar, ad blockers, and Web developer tools.
Application Software: is computer software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks.
Firmware: Computer software installed into devices such as printers, print servers, and
communication devices that are coded like other software. They are usually installed into readonly memory. Becomes part of device’s memory and can be changed and upgraded.
Operating system: Large, complex program that control computer’s resources. Driver: is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a
hardware device. Communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications
subsystem to which the hardware connects.
Horizontal Marketing Application: is application software that is useful in a wide range of
industries. This is the opposite of vertical market software, which has a scope of usefulness
limited to few industries. Horizontal market software is also known as "productivity software."
Examples of horizontal market software include word processors, web browsers, spreadsheet
applications and generic bookkeeping applications.
Operating Systems: program that controls all the computer functions, manages the hardware,
the cpu, the memory, etc
Off the Shelf Software: software you buy, install and its ready to use.
Open Source: When a software program is open source, it means the program's source code is
freely available to the public. Unlike commercial software, open source programs can be
modified and distributed by anyone and are often developed as a community rather than by a
single organization. For this reason, the phrase "open source community" is commonly used to
describe the developer of open source software development projects.
Upgrade: refers to the replacement of a product with a newer version of the same product
Verticle Market Software: A vertical market is one that supplies goods to a specific industry.
For example, a MIDI keyboard manufacturer develops products for a vertical market since the
keyboards are only used by people who want to create music on their computers. Vertical market
software, therefore, is software developed for niche applications or for a specific clientele.
Virtual System: is a system where all applications and data are centralized and users access this
data through nodes connected to these central places otherwise known as virtual servers. The
running of data, applications and operating systems on remote machines is referred to as
Zip File: is a "zipped" or compressed file. For example, when you download a file, if the
filename looks like this: "filename.zip," you are downloading a zipped file. "Zipping" a file
involves compressing one or more items into a smaller archive. A zipped file takes up less hard
drive space and takes less time to transfer to another computer. This is why most Windows files
that you find on the Internet are compressed.
3. MIS Test 1 Study Guide
Management Info-System: the develop and use of information systems to help businesses
achieve goals and objectives
Key elements: -Development and use -Information systems -Business goals and objectives
IS: a group of components that interact to produce information
IT- Hardware, software, data components;; “information tools;;” referred to as methods, interventions, standards, products
Systems thinking- the ability to model the components of the system, to connect the inputs and
outputs among those components into sensible whole that reflects the structure and dynamics of
the phenomenon observed.
Data→ information→ knowledge→ wisdom * Moore’s Law- describes a long-term trend in the
history of computing hardware whereby the number of transistors that can be placed
inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years
* What is the significance of Moore's Law for MIS and all business students?
-Because of the Moore’s law, the cost of data communications and data storage is essentially
* How has the knowledge worker changed over the last century in the USA?
-Rise of the knowledge workers= rise in the number of professionals and technical workers and
decline in farmers.
* Can you explain the transistion/ tranformation from data to wisdom?
-Data→ information→ knowledge→ wisdom * What are the five components of the information system framework?
* Do you understand the symmetry of the IS framework and the roles of the components?
-hardware: keyboard, mouse, storage disk… -software: Word, Excel… -data: words, sentences, numbers… -procedure: the method you use to start a report, printing, saving… -people: you, me, he, she… * Explain the key elements of an MIS.
1.- Development and use 2.-Information systems 3.-Business goals and objectives
* Explain how IT differs from IS and their relationship.
-IT alone will not help an organization achieve goals
-IS =IT+ People+ Procedures
-IS makes IT useful
* Explain the role of business people with regard to the development and use of
information systems.
-Take an active role in IS to ensure that systems meet your needs
-Understand how IT systems are constructed
-Consider all users’ needs before development -Learn how to employ IT systems
-Take into account ancillary IT functions
-Backup and Maintenance
* Can you explain the concept of systems thinking?
-The ability to connect one thing with the other
4. Databases
Database Management System (DBMS)- used to create tables, relationships in databases
Lowest *Field- individual characteristics about an entity fields are also called attributes or
columns depending on the type of DBMS
Record- A group of fields or attributes to describe a single instance of an entity. These are also
called rows depending on the DBMS
Table- a collection of records or instances for a given entity. These are sometimes called files
depending on the DBMS
Database- a collection of tables or entities containing information to support a Highest given
system or a particular topic area
Foreign Key- a field(s) that points to a primary key in another table and ensures referential
integrity of the data
Primary Key- a unique attribute type used to identify a single instance of an entity
Multi-user processing- 2 or more users using the database and creates problems
Query- a means of getting answers from database data * Instance- any entity that can be
manipulated by the commands of a programming language
SQL- international standard for processing database
Referential Integrity- a property of data which, when satisfied, requires every value of one
attribute (column) of a relation (table) to exist as a value of another attribute in a different (or the
same) relation (table)
Metadata- data that describes data; make databases more useful; make databases easier to use
Report- show data in structured context, may compute values
Data Resource Management- a managerial activity that applies information systems
technologies to the task of managing an organization’s data resources to meet the information needs of their business stakeholders
Form- used to read, insert, modify, and delete data
Entity- things we store information about
Attributes- these are pieces of information about an entity
Compound primary key- a unique combination of attributes types used to identify a single
instance of an entity (multi-field primary key)
ERD- entity-relationship diagram
Data Model- a map or diagram that represents entities and their relationships; used by database
administrators to design tables with their corresponding associations
Cardinality- associations of databases
Data Normalization- a technique to make complex databases more efficient by eliminating as
much redundant data as possible
Data Dictionary- document database designers use; aids development and use of database
Data Mining- a method companies use to analyze information to better understand their
customers, products, markets, or any other phase of their business for which they have data
* Explain the issue of a lost-update problem.
-Occurs when an update made by a transaction is lost due to an update made by another
* Understand and explain the importance of referential integrity.
-Improved data quality
-Faster development
-Fewer bugs
-Consistency across applications
* Understand, explain similarities/differences between database and a spreadsheet.
-They both organize and keep track of things
-Spreadsheets keep lists of single concept. Ex: student test scores in a course
-Databases keep lists that involve multiple themes/concepts. Ex: student grades, grades for all
courses in a department, courses offered in all departments, faculty records… * Explain the hierarchy of data elements.
-Bytes/data are grouped into columns/fields
-Columns grouped into rows/records
-Rows are grouped into tables/files
* Understand the importance of metadata.
-Data that describes data
-Make databases more useful
-Make databases easier to use
* Explain the concept of Data Resource Management.
- A managerial activity that applies information systems technologies to the task of managing an
organization’s data resources to meet the information needs of their business stakeholders.
* Understand the role of business rules with a database
-A collection of related data organized in a way that makes it valuable and useful
-Allows organizations to retrieve, store, and analyze information easily
-Is vital to an organization’s success in running operations and making decisions * Why is good design so important with regard to a database?
-Poor design results in unwanted data redundancy: unnecessary duplication of data
-Poor design generates errors leading to bad business decisions
-Good design ensures data integrity
-Good design ensures referential integrity
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