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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY This publication is available at
Army Knowledge Online (www.us.army.mil) and
General Dennis J. Reimer Training and Doctrine
Digital Library at (http://www.train.army.mil).
*TC 9-72
Department of the Army
Washington, D.C., 12 September 2005
Training Circular
No. 9-72
PREFACE .................................................................................................................................................... v
OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS.........................................................................................1-1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................1-1 Operating Principles........................................................................................................1-1 History of Computers ......................................................................................................1-2 Summary....................................................................................................................... 1-20 CHAPTER 2
HARDWARE...................................................................................................................2-1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................2-1 Central Processing Unit ..................................................................................................2-2 Control Section................................................................................................................2-2
Arithmetic-Logic Section .................................................................................................2-3 Memory (Internal Storage) Section .................................................................................2-3 Printers (Output) ........................................................................................................... 2-15 Keyboards (Input) ......................................................................................................... 2-17
Display Devices ............................................................................................................ 2-18 Summary....................................................................................................................... 2-23 CHAPTER 3
SOFTWARE....................................................................................................................3-1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................3-1 Computer Programs........................................................................................................3-1 Operating Systems .........................................................................................................3-1 Utility Programs...............................................................................................................3-7
Programming Languages................................................................................................3-9 Machine Languages........................................................................................................3-9 Distribution Restriction: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
*This publication supersedes FM 11-72, 30 September 1977.
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Symbolic Languages..................................................................................................... 3-10 Procedure-Oriented Languages ................................................................................... 3-10 Programming................................................................................................................. 3-11 Overview of Programming ............................................................................................ 3-12 Flowcharting.................................................................................................................. 3-13 Program Coding ............................................................................................................ 3-19
Summary....................................................................................................................... 3-28
DATA REPRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS................................................4-1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................4-1 Data.................................................................................................................................4-1 Computer Coding Systems .............................................................................................4-3 Data Storage Concepts...................................................................................................4-7 Storage Access Methods .............................................................................................. 4-12 Networks ....................................................................................................................... 4-14 Summary....................................................................................................................... 4-17 APPENDIX A
CHECK-ON-LEARNING ANSWERS ............................................................................A-1 GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................................. Glossary-1 REFERENCES......................................................................................................................... References-1 INDEX ................................................................................................................................................ Index-1 Figures
Figure 1-1.
Abacus ............................................................................................................. 1-2 Figure 1-2.
Bulkhead-Type Mechanical Computer............................................................. 1-4 Figure 1-3.
Electromechanical Computer........................................................................... 1-5 ii
Figure 1-4.
Electronic Digital Computer ............................................................................. 1-6 Figure 1-5.
Digital Computation.......................................................................................... 1-9 Figure 1-6.
Analog Computation ........................................................................................ 1-9 Figure 1-7.
First Generation Computers Used Vacuum Tubes.......................................... 1-11 Figure 1-8.
Second Generation Computers Used Transistors........................................... 1-11 Figure 1-9.
Third Generation Computers Used Microcircuits............................................. 1-12 Figure 1-10.
Fourth Generation Desktop Personal Computer ............................................. 1-13 Figure 1-11.
Programming Flowchart Used to Build a Payroll Program .............................. 1-15 Figure 1-12.
Floppy Disk ...................................................................................................... 1-18 Figure 1-13.
CD-ROM Disk .................................................................................................. 1-18
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Figure 2-1.
Functional Units of a Computer System .......................................................... 2-1 Figure 2-2.
Memory Locations............................................................................................ 2-4 Figure 2-3.
Two-State Principle of Magnetic Storage ........................................................ 2-5 Figure 2-4.
A Semiconductor Memory Chip (Integrated Circuit) ........................................ 2-6 Figure 2-5.
Bubble Memory ................................................................................................ 2-7 Figure 2-6.
Location of Tracks on the Disk’s Recording Surface....................................... 2-9 Figure 2-7.
A String of Bits Written to Disk on a Single Track ........................................... 2-10 Figure 2-8.
Data Records as They are Written to Disk on a Single Track ......................... 2-10 Figure 2-9.
Physical Organization of Data on a Disk (Cylinder Method) ........................... 2-11 Figure 2-10.
Physical Organization of Data on a Disk (Sector Method) .............................. 2-12 Figure 2-11.
Multiple Access Arms and Read/Write Heads Used With Disk Packs ............ 2-14 Figure 2-12.
Floppy Disk Drive Unit ..................................................................................... 2-14 Figure 2-13.
Printer............................................................................................................... 2-15 Figure 2-14.
Dot-Matrix Printing ........................................................................................... 2-16 Figure 2-15.
Keyboard Combined With a CRT and Microcomputer .................................... 2-17 Figure 2-16.
Keyboard Layout .............................................................................................. 2-18
Figure 2-17.
A 7 by 9 Picture Element Character ................................................................ 2-20 CHAPTER 3
Figure 3-1.
Printed Report Using a RPG Program............................................................. 3-8 Figure 3-2.
Evolution of a Program .................................................................................... 3-13 Figure 3-3.
System Flowchart ............................................................................................ 3-14 Figure 3-4.
Programming Flowchart................................................................................... 3-15 Figure 3-5.
Fundamental Flowcharting Symbols................................................................ 3-16 Figure 3-6.
Flowchart Template ......................................................................................... 3-17 Figure 3-7.
Problem Definition and Programming Flowchart ............................................. 3-18 Figure 3-8.
Programming Flowchart and Coded Program ................................................. 3-21 Figure 3-9.
Word Processing Example .............................................................................. 3-24 Figure 3-10.
Data Management Example (Prompts in Bold and Data In Italics) ................. 3-25 Figure 3-11.
Data Management Example (Sample Printed Report Sorted by Last Name) . 3-25 Figure 3-12.
Data Management Example (Calculation of Inventory Value)......................... 3-26 Figure 3-13.
Spreadsheet Example...................................................................................... 3-26 Figure 3-14.
Graphics Examples (Pie Chart) ....................................................................... 3-27 Figure 3-15.
Graphics Examples (Bar Chart)....................................................................... 3-27 12 September 2005
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Figure 4-1.
Communications Symbols ............................................................................... 4-2 Figure 4-2.
UPC Bar Code ................................................................................................. 4-3 Figure 4-3.
Format for EBCDIC and ASCII Codes............................................................. 4-3 Figure 4-4.
Eight-Bit EBCDIC Coding Chart (Including Hexadecimal Equivalents)........... 4-4 Figure 4-5.
DP-3 Represented Using 8-Bit EBCDIC Code ................................................ 4-5 Figure 4-6.
Packed Data .................................................................................................... 4-5
Figure 4-7.
Eight-Bit ASCII Coding Chart (Including Hexadecimal Equivalents) ............... 4-6 Figure 4-8.
Core Plane ....................................................................................................... 4-8 Figure 4-9.
Core Magnetized in One Direction................................................................... 4-8 Figure 4-10.
Core Planes Arranged Vertically to Represent Data ....................................... 4-9 Figure 4-11.
Fixed-Word-Length Versus Variable-Word-Length Storage, Fixed-Length Words, Containing Eight Characters Each, Occupying Two Address
Locations (Word Addressable) ........................................................................ 4-10 Fixed-Word-Length Versus Variable-Word-Length Storage, Variable-Length Words (Character Addressable) ........................................... 4-10 Figure 4-12.
Figure 4-13.
Word Lengths Used on Flexible Byte-Addressable Computers ...................... 4-13 Figure 4-14.
Data Organization ............................................................................................ 4-13
Figure 4-15.
Local Area Network System ............................................................................ 4-14 Figure 4-16.
Modem ............................................................................................................. 4-15 Figure 4-17.
Modems Used in Network System................................................................... 4-16 Tables
Table 4-1.
DP-3 Characters in EBCDIC and ASCII .......................................................... 4-5 TC 9-72
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The objective of this training circular (TC) is to describe the basic principles,
techniques, and procedures associated with digital computers. This TC covers
operational concepts of digital computers along with the hardware, software, and
data representation and communications used with digital computers.
Check-on-learning questions are included at the end of each chapter. Appendix A
(Check-on-Learning Answers) is included to provide answers to the check-onlearning questions from each chapter.
This training circular applies to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army
National Guard of the United States, and the United States Army Reserve.
The proponent of this publication is the United States Army Training and Doctrine
Command (TRADOC). Submit changes for improving this publication on DA Form
2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward it to:
Department of the Army
Training Directorate, Fixed/Arm Division
401 1st Street, Room 225
Fort Lee, VA 23801-1511
Unless this publication states otherwise, masculine noun and pronouns do not refer
exclusively to men.
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Operational Concepts
Digital computers are used in many facets of today's Army. It is
impossible for one training circular (TC) to cover in depth all the ways they
are used. However, this chapter will cover a few of the ways.
The operating principles of personal computers (PCs) relate directly
to the operating principles of mainframe computers. Since PCs are more
widely used than the large mainframes, the desktop PC will be used for most
of the examples. When you have satisfactorily completed these chapters, you
will learn the basic terminology used in the digital computer world. You will
also have a better understanding of how computers are able to perform the
demanding tasks assigned to them.
The word “computer” could be defined as an instrument for
performing mathematical operations at very high speeds. Some of these
operations include the following:
• Addition.
• Subtraction.
• Multiplication.
• Division.
• Integration.
• Vector resolution.
• Coordinate conversion.
• Special function generation.
However, the use of computers goes well beyond the mathematical operations
Computers have made military, scientific, and commercial advances
possible that before were considered impossible. For example, the
mathematics involved in orbiting a satellite around the earth would require a
lifetime of several teams of mathematicians. With the aid of electronic digital
computers, the conquest of space has now become a reality.
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Computers are used when repetitious calculations or the processing
of large amounts of data are necessary. The most frequent applications are
found in the military, scientific, and commercial fields. They are used in
many varied projects. The range from mail sorting, through engineering
design, to the identification and destruction of enemy targets. The following
are some advantages of digital computers:
• Speed.
• Accuracy.
• Reliability.
• Manpower savings.
Computers are frequently able to take over routine jobs. This allows people to
perform more important work, work that cannot be handled by a computer.
The ever-increasing need for faster and more efficient computers has
created amazing technological advances. Ever since man discovered that it
was necessary to count objects, he has been looking for easier ways to count.
Contrary to popular belief, digital computers are not a new idea. The abacus
(see Figure 1-1) is a manually operated digital computer used in ancient
civilizations and still currently used in the Orient. For those who consider
the abacus outdated, in a contest between a person using a modern calculator
and a person using an abacus, the person using the abacus won.
Figure 1-1. Abacus
In 1642, a Frenchman (Blaise Pascal) invented the first mechanical
adding machine (calculator). Twenty years later, an Englishman (Sir Samuel
Morland) developed a more compact device that could add, subtract, and
multiply. In 1682, a German (Wilhelm Liebnitz) perfected a machine that
could perform all the basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication,
and division), as well as extract the square root. Liebnitz's principles are still
in use today in modern electronic digital computers.
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Electronics were introduced to the computer field as early as 1919.
An article by W. H. Eccles and F. W. Jordan described an electronic "trigger
circuit" that could be used for automatic counting. It was called the EcclesJordan multivibrator. This was a little ahead of its time because a trigger
circuit is one of many components required to make an electronic digital
computer. Modern digital computers use these circuits (known as flip-flops)
to store information, perform arithmetic operations, and control the timing
sequences within the computer.
Under the pressure of military needs in World War II, the science of
electronic data processing made giant strides forward. In 1944, Harvard
University developed a computing system known as the Automatic Sequence
Controlled Calculator. After the initial design and construction, several
improved models were built.
1-10. Meanwhile, at the University of Pennsylvania, a second system was
being developed. This system, completed in 1946, was named “ENIAC”.
ENIAC used 18,000 vacuum tubes in its circuitry. In spite of these bulky, hot
tubes, it worked quite successfully. The first problem assigned to ENIAC was
a calculation in nuclear physics that would have taken 100 years to solve by
conventional methods. The ENIAC solved the problem in two weeks, only two
hours of which were actually spent on the calculation. The remainder of the
time was spent checking the results and operational details. All modern
computers are based on these two early developments conducted at Harvard
University and the University of Pennsylvania.
1-11. The UNIVAC I was developed in 1950. This machine was usually
regarded as the most successful electronic data processor of its day. An
outstanding feature of the UNIVAC I was that it checked its own results in
each step of a problem. This eliminated the need to run the problems more
than once to ensure accuracy.
1-12. During the first outbreak of publicity about computers (especially
when the UNIVAC predicted the outcome of the 1952 presidential election),
the term "giant brain" caused much confusion and uneasiness. Many people
assumed that science had created a thinking device superior to the human
mind. Most people now know better and realized that this “giant brain” was
wholly dependent upon human instructions to perform even the simplest
jobs. A computer is only a machine and definitely cannot think for itself.
However, the field of artificial intelligence is developing computer systems
that can "think." That is, the systems can mimic human thought in a specific
area and exhibit improved performance with experience and operation. The
field of digital computers is still in the growing stages. New types of circuitry
and new ways of accomplishing things are continuing to be developed at a
rapid rate.
1-13. In the military field, the accomplishments of digital computers are
many and varied. One outstanding example is in weapons systems. Most of
the controlling is done by digital computers.
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Computers can be classified in the following ways:
of technology
electromechanical, or electronic).
The purpose for which they were designed (general purpose or
special purpose).
By the type of data they can handle (digital or analog).
By the amount they cost (from hundreds of dollars and up).
By their physical size (handheld to room size).
The following types of computers will be briefly explained:
Mechanical, electromechanical, and electronic.
Special purpose and general purpose.
Analog and digital.
1-15. Mechanical computers are devices used for the computation of
mathematical problems. They are made up of components such as
integrators, sliding racks, cams, gears, springs, and driveshafts. Figure 1-2
shows a typical mechanical computer used by the Army. These computers are
analog in nature. Their physical size depends on the number of functions the
computer has to perform. In an analog computer, a continuing input will give
a constantly updated output. Since the analog computer is perfect for target
information, the Army uses this type of computer primarily for fire control.
As weapon systems become more and more complex, the need for different
computers becomes apparent. Functions that now have to be performed have
increased the size of the computer to an unreasonable scale.
Figure 1-2. Bulkhead-Type Mechanical Computer
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ELECTROMECHANICAL COMPUTERS 1-16. Electromechanical computers came next. These computers were
different from mechanical computers in that they use electrical components
to perform and to increase the accuracy of some of the calculations. Since
electrical components are smaller than their mechanical counterparts, the
size of the computer was reduced, even though it performs more functions.
The components used to perform the calculations are such devices as:
Servo amplifiers.
Summing networks.
Linear potentiometers.
Figure 1-3 shows one of the Army's electromechanical computers. These
computers are used in gun fire control and missile fire control. Even though
they are better than the mechanical computer, they still have their
drawbacks. The prime importance of these computers is that they are special
purpose computers. This means they can only be used for one job, dependent
on their design characteristics. By today's Army standards, they are still too
large and the maintenance time on them is excessive. The need for a more
accurate, reliable, versatile, and smaller computer was recognized.
Figure 1-3. Electromechanical Computer
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ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS 1-17. Electronic computers came next. The early electronic computers
mathematical processes were solved by only using electrical voltages applied
to elements such as amplifiers, summing networks, differentiating, and
integrating circuits. The weak link in this type of electrical computation was
the vacuum tube. To correct this, transistors that consume less power and
last longer than vacuum tubes were used in the amplifiers. Through
technological research and development, electronic computers have
progressed from tubes, to transistors, to miniaturized circuits, to integrated
circuitry. These advances have made it possible to reduce the size and weight
of computers. Figure 1-4 is an example of one of many modern electronic
digital computers.
Figure 1-4. Electronic Digital Computer
1-18. A special purpose computer, as the name implies, is designed to
perform a specific operation and usually satisfies the needs of a particular
type of problem. Such a computer system would be useful in weather
predictions, satellite tracking, or oil exploration. While a special purpose
computer may have many of the same features found in a general purpose
computer, its applicability to a particular problem is a function of its design
rather than a stored program. The instructions that control it are built
directly into the computer. This makes for a more efficient and effective
operation. However, a drawback of this specialization is the computer's lack
of versatility. It cannot be used to perform other operations.
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GENERAL PURPOSE COMPUTERS 1-19. Most people will probably use this type of computer. General purpose
computers are designed to perform a wide variety of functions and
operations. The reason they can perform a wide variety of operations is
because they can store and execute different programs in its internal storage.
Unfortunately, having this ability is often achieved at the expense of speed
and efficiency. However, in most situations, the flexibility of these types of
computers makes this compromise a most acceptable one.
1-20. All analog computers are special purpose computers. They are
designed to measure continuous electrical or physical conditions (such as
current, voltage, flow, temperature, length, or pressure). They then convert
these measurements into related mechanical or electrical quantities. The
early analog computers were strictly mechanical or electromechanical
devices. They did not operate on digits (in binary notation, either of the
characters, 0 and 1). If digits were involved at all, they were obtained
indirectly. A wristwatch (if nondigital) as well as a car's speedometer, oil
pressure, temperature, and fuel gauges are also considered analog
computers. The output of an analog computer is often an adjustment to the
control of a machine (such as an adjustment to a valve that controls the flow
of steam to a turbine generator or a temperature setting to control the ovens
in a ship's galley for baking). Analog computers are also used for controlling
processes. To do so, they must convert analog data to digital form, process it,
and then convert the digital results back to analog form.
1-21. A digital computer can process data with greater accuracy than an
analog computer. However, in some systems, an analog computer can process
data faster than a digital computer. Some computers combine the functions
of both analog and digital computers. They are called hybrid computers.
1-22. Digital computers perform arithmetic and logic functions on separate
discrete data (like numbers) or combinations of discrete data (such as names,
rates, and divisions). This makes them different from analog computers that
operate on continuous data, like measuring temperature changes. Digital
computers may be either special purpose or general purpose. Word
processing is among the most common applications for personal computers.
Digital computers are generally used for business and scientific data
processing. The following are some examples when digital computers are
1-23. Accounting. Computers are ideal for keeping payroll records,
printing paychecks, billing customers, preparing tax returns, and taking care
of many other accounting tasks.
1-24. Recordkeeping. Computers can record information like inventories
and personnel files. They can also keep track of books checked out of a
library. Airline ticket counters today are much more efficient than they used
to be, thanks to centralized reservation computers that can be reached over
the telephone lines.
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1-25. Industrial Uses. Industrial computers save considerable time and
reduce waste by efficiently performing hundreds of industrial tasks. Some of
these tasks range from filling sales orders, routing parts to various locations
on an assembly line, designing earthquake-resistant structures, and
controlling an entire oil refinery.
1-26. Science. Research and development applications are the most
numerous. Digital computers are being used to do lengthy and complicated
mathematical calculations millions of times faster than people. They are also
used in the following ways:
Collect, store, and evaluate data from experiments.
Analyze weather patterns.
Forecast crop statistics.
Design other computers.
1-27. A computer must first have instructions loaded before it can perform
any work. This is done by means of a list of instructions called a program.
The instructions in the program must be written in one of the languages the
computer understands. The most popular generic term for computer
programs is “software” (this is covered in Chapter 3). Hardware (covered in
Chapter 2) refers to the computer and related equipment. It is easy to say
that both computer hardware and software are interdependent because
neither can perform without the other.
1-28. The fundamental difference between analog and digital computers is
that digital computers deal with discrete quantities (such as beads on an
abacus, notches on a toothed wheel, or electrical pulses). However, analog
computers deal with continuous physical variables (such as electrical
voltages or mechanical shaft rotations). Computation with analog computers
depends on the relation of information to a measurement of some physical
quantity. For example, the number of boards in a picket fence can be
determined by either a digital or an analog system. In the digital method (see
Figure 1-5), an adding machine is used when the boards are counted one by
one. In the analog method (see Figure 1-6), a string is drawn (marked off in
inches for the width of each board including the gap) over the length of the
fence, and then measure the length of the string. The number of boards may
then be determined by dividing the length of string by the number of inches
per board.
1-29. The accuracy of an analog computer is restricted to the accuracy with
which physical quantities can be sensed and displayed. This, in turn, is
related to the quality of the components used in constructing the computer
(for example, the tolerance of electrical resistors or mechanical shafts and the
quality of the output equipment). In an analog computer, for example, if the
constant is represented by a voltage, it probably could be read only to the
third decimal place.
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Operational Concepts
Figure 1-5. Digital Computation
Figure 1-6. Analog Computation
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1-30. However, the number of significant figures carried in the
computations governs the accuracy of a digital computer. This, in turn, is
determined by the computer's design. In a digital computer, the number of
decimal places in the constant could be many, depending on the design of the
computer-processing unit. Therefore, the digital computer is capable of
higher precision and accuracy. However, a computer, regardless of its
accuracy, would be of no use if the wrong one was chosen for a given task.
1-31. Most of the computer systems used will be general purpose digital
computers. The remainder of this chapter will be about general purpose
digital computers.
1-32. In the electronic computer world, technological advancement is
measured by generations. A specific system is said to belong to a specific
"generation." Each generation indicates a significant change in computer
design. The UNIVAC I represents the first generation. Presently, we are in
the fourth generation of computers.
1-33. The computers of the first generation (1951-1958) were physically
very large machines characterized by the vacuum tube (see Figure 1-7). Since
they used vacuum tubes, they were very unreliable, required much power to
run, and produced so much heat that adequate air conditioning was critical
to protect the computer parts. Compared to today's computers, they had slow
input and output devices, were slow in processing, and had small storage
capacities. Many of the internal processing functions were measured in
thousandths of a second (millisecond). The software (computer program) used
on first generation computers was unsophisticated and machine oriented.
This meant that the programmers had to code all computer instructions and
data in actual machine language. They also had to keep track of where
instructions and data were stored in memory. Using such a machine
language (see chapter 3) was efficient for the computer but difficult for the
1-34. The computers of the second generation (1959-1963) were
characterized by transistors (see Figure 1-8) instead of vacuum tubes.
Transistors were smaller, less expensive, generated almost no heat, and
required very little power. Therefore, second generation computers were
smaller, required less power, and produced a lot less heat. The use of small,
long-lasting transistors also increased processing speeds and reliability. Cost
performance also improved. Storage capacity greatly increased with the
introduction of magnetic disk storage and the use of magnetic cores for main
storage. High-speed card readers, printers, and magnetic tape units were
also introduced. Internal processing speeds also increased. Functions were
measured in millionths of a second (microseconds). Like the first generation,
computers of the second generation were designed to process either scientific
or business oriented problems but not both. The software was also improved.
Symbolic machine languages or “assembly languages” were used instead of
actual machine languages. This allowed the programmer to use mnemonic
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Operational Concepts
operation codes for instruction operations and symbolic names for storage
locations or stored variables. Compiler languages were also developed for
second generation computers (see chapter 3).
Figure 1-7. First Generation Computers Used Vacuum Tubes
Figure 1-8. Second Generation Computers Used Transistors
1-35. The computers of this generation (1964-1970), many of which are still
in use, were characterized by miniaturized circuits. This reduced the physical
size of computers even more and increased their durability and internal
processing speeds. One design used solid-state logic microcircuits (see Figure
1-9) for which conductors, resistors, diodes, and transistors had been
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miniaturized and combined on half-inch ceramic squares. Another smaller
design, used silicon wafers on which the circuit and its components were
etched. The smaller circuits allowed for faster internal processing speeds,
resulting in faster execution of instructions. Internal processing speeds were
measured in billionths of a second (nanoseconds). The faster computers made
it possible to run jobs that were considered impractical or impossible on first
or second generation computers. Since the miniature components were more
reliable, maintenance was reduced. New mass storage, such as the data cell,
was introduced during this generation. This type of storage gave a storage
capacity of over 100 million characters. Drum and disk capacities and speed
were increased. The portable disk pack was also developed. Faster and
higher density magnetic tapes also came into use. Considerable
improvements were made to card readers and printers, while the overall cost
was greatly reduced. Applications (covered in later chapters), using online
processing, real-time processing, time-sharing, multi-programming, multi­
processing, and teleprocessing became widely accepted.
1-36. Manufacturers of third generation computers produced a series of
similar and compatible computers. This allowed programs written for one
computer model to run on larger models of the same series. Most third
generation systems were designed to handle scientific and business data
processing applications. Improved program and operating software had been
designed to provide better control, resulting in faster processing. These
enhancements were of significant importance to the computer operator. They
simplified system initialization (booting) and reduced the need for inputs to
the program from a keyboard (console intervention) by the operator.
Figure 1-9. Third Generation Computers Used Microcircuits
1-37. The computers of the fourth generation (1971 to the present) are not
easily distinguished from earlier generations, yet there are some striking and
important differences. The manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs) has
advanced to the point where thousands of circuits (active components) can be
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placed on a silicon wafer only a fraction of an inch in size (the computer on a
chip). This has led to what is called large-scale integration and very largescale integration. As a result of this technology, computers are significantly
smaller in physical size and lower in cost. Yet they have retained large
memory capacities and are ultra fast. Large mainframe computers are
increasingly complex. Medium-sized computers can perform the same tasks
as large third generation computers. A new breed of computers (called
microcomputers [personal computers]) are small and inexpensive, but yet
they provide a large amount of computing power (see Figure 1-10).
1-38. Even though the computer industry still has a long way to go in the
field of miniaturization, there are some things in store for the future (such as
the power of a large mainframe computer on a single super chip). The future
challenges will not be in increasing the storage or increasing the computer's
power, but rather in properly and effectively using the computing power
available. This is where software (programs such as assemblers, report
generators, subroutine libraries, compilers, operating systems, and
applications programs) will come into play (see chapter 3). Some believe that
new development of software and in learning how to use these extraordinary,
powerful machines will be far more important than further developments in
hardware over the next 10 to 20 years. As a result, the next 20 years may be
even more interesting and surprising than the last 20 years.
Figure 1-10. Fourth Generation Desktop Personal Computer
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USES OF A DIGITAL COMPUTER 1-39. In today’s modern computer world, uses of the digital computer are
almost as limitless as a person's imagination. New and better programs are
being written every day for easier and greater uses. Consider how many
mathematicians it would take, when it takes only one computer, to put an
astronaut in orbit around the moon. Think back to the days without word
processing when a document had to be retyped entirely when any changes
were needed. Think back to the days of using an adding machine to prepare
and revise budgets and accounting reports. The primary uses of general
purpose digital computers in the Army are word processing and accounting
and recordkeeping.
1-40. The word processor can be considered a typewriter with a display
screen. To the hundreds of thousands of word processor users, the computer
is nothing more than a typewriter. Both have keyboards and a mechanism for
making the image of the character, which is selected on the keyboard; appear
on some type of visual medium. When using an electric typewriter, the
process is strictly mechanical. When a key is pressed, it causes the typeface
to strike the paper, and in so doing, it leaves an impression. In the computer,
the process is more indirect. A program stored in the computer's memory
causes a visual representation to appear on a cathode-ray tube (CRT) and
then outputted to a printer. However, from the viewpoint of the user, the
result is the same (a printed document).
1-41. A further breakthrough came with the development of word
processing application programs for microcomputers. These programs cost a
fraction of their office machine counterparts and could be run on general
purpose microcomputers. This was unique because general purpose
microcomputers could be used for functions such as spreadsheets, data base
management systems, and programming in common computer languages.
1-42. The Army saw obvious uses for microcomputers using word
processing programs. These uses include manuscript writing, memorandum
writing, filing of identification card applications, and recordkeeping.
1-43. There are virtually unlimited applications for the computer in today's
modern business world. These applications range from basic accounting
functions to controlling the manufacture of products, and of course, keeping
records of these actions. Six standard systems dealing with accounting
applications are widely accepted. These systems are:
Order entry.
Inventory control.
Accounts receivable.
Accounts payable.
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Operational Concepts
General ledger.
Figure 1-11 shows a simplified flowchart of payroll. The area of
recordkeeping has two requirements, legal and audit. The Army has included
similar functions in its Shipboard Non-Tactical ADP Program (called SNAP)
for work center use.
1-44. Knowing about the hardware (the equipment) and the software (the
programs) will help a person to effectively use a desktop PC. Also, knowing
how to handle floppy and compact disk-read only memory (CD-ROM) disks
and how to back up programs and data files will be effective in using a
desktop PC. A desktop PC (see Figure 1-10) usually consists of a CRT display
screen, a keyboard, a mouse, a central processing unit (CPU) (with a floppy
disk drive and CD-ROM drive), a zip drive, and a printer (not shown).
Software (computer programs) is needed to make the computer operate. The
first program needed is the operating system. The operating system manages
the computer and allows the application programs to run (like word
processing or recordkeeping programs).
Figure 1-11. Programming Flowchart Used to Build a Payroll Program
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OPERATING SYSTEM 1-45. An operating system is simply a set of programs and routines that
lets a person use the computer. A digital computer uses one central set of
programs called the operating system to manage execution of other programs
and to perform common functions like read, write, or print. Most computers
today come with a preloaded operating system. If not, an operating system,
along with other programs, can be ordered to perform these common
functions. These orders are called system calls when other programs use
them or simply a command when put them through the keyboard.
1-46. The operating system must first be loaded into the computer so that
the operator could use the computer programs. The operating system can be
loaded using the floppy disk drive (disk drive A) or CD-ROM drive on the
desktop PC (see Figure 1-10).
1-47. Each desktop PC has a built-in program called "bootstrap loader."
When a computer is turned on for the first time, this program tries to load, or
"boot," an operating system from disk into the computer's internal memory.
The term “boot” comes from the idea of “pulling yourself up by your
bootstraps”. The computer loads a small program that then tells it how to
load a second, bigger program (the operating system). The operating system
then tells it how to load another program (an applications program or utility
program) to perform a specific job or function. The first thing to know about
using a computer is that computers and their programs are very particular.
They require complete accuracy and attention to detail on the operator’s part.
They are not good at guessing what an operator meant. The operator will
quickly learn there are a few things that can go wrong at this point, in which
case the computer will display an error message on the display screen similar
to this:
This means the computer is not reading anything in disk A drive. Check for
the following:
No floppy disk in drive A.
Floppy disk inserted incorrectly in drive.
Another error message that might be displayed is:
This means the computer is properly reading the inserted floppy disk, but
there is no operating system on the disk. Replace the disk with one that does
contain the operating system.
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Operational Concepts
Proper Booting
1-48. Once the operating system is properly booted (loaded), the following
will be displayed:
The computer is displaying what is called a prompt. At this point the
operator can tell the computer what to do next, such as run an application
Running an Application Program
1-49. To load an application program into the computer from drive A, a
disk with the application program must be inserted into disk drive A. Next,
the name of the program following the operating system prompt (A>) must be
typed in, as follows.
This tells the system what program to load and run (in this case, word
processing). The computer then does what the application program tells it to
do. If the application is word processing, the system is ready for the operator
to type a new document, correct an existing document, print a document, and
so on. More about the operating system and application programs are covered
in chapter 3.
1-50. Each application program will have its own set of instructions to
follow. In addition to printed documentation, many programs will include
online HELP screens that can be displayed while working. These explain to
the operator how to perform a given function or operation.
Two more areas that needs attention are the following:
Correctly handling of floppy and CD-ROM disks.
Making backup copies to ensure work is not lost.
1-52. A 3 1/2-inch floppy disk (see Figure 1-12) and a CD-ROM disk (see
Figure 1-13) are the most common ways in which to store data either directly
or by backing up the data stored on hard (or fixed) disk. Since floppy and CD­
ROM disks are extremely fragile, certain guidelines should be followed to
ensure their proper care and handling. This includes properly labeling and
backing up disks.
1-53. Never touch the exposed surface of a floppy disk or read/write side of
a CD-ROM disk. A sliding bar protects the read/write surface of a 3 1/2-inch
disk. Also, never slide this bar to expose the read/write disk. Touching the
surface of the read/write disk could destroy the read/write capability or
destroy the data that is already stored on the disk. Care must also be taken
when handling CD-ROM disks. Try to avoid touching the read/write side of
the disk. Handle a CD-ROM disk by its outer edges.
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Figure 1-12. Floppy Disk
Figure 1-13. CD-ROM Disk
1-54. Never try to distort the shape of a disk. Never place heavy objects
(such as books) on top of disks. Store floppy disks in the box they came in or
in filing containers that are specifically designed for storing disks. Store CD­
ROM disks in either a paper or plastic protective jacket. Try to store disks
vertically. If disks are stored horizontally, do not stack more than ten disks.
1-55. Floppy and CD-ROM disks are subject to exposure from magnetic
fields, smoke, heat, and sunlight. X-rays may also have a negative effect.
Care must be taken from exposure.
Magnetic Fields
1-56. Floppy and CD-ROM disks should never be exposed to anything that
could be the source of a magnetic field. Exposure of a disk to a magnetic field
could cause the destruction of some or all of the data contained on that disk.
Some common sources of magnetic energy are CRTs, disk drives, and perhaps
the most common, the telephone.
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Operational Concepts
1-57. Smoke can cause buildup on disks and on disk drives. DO NOT
SMOKE while working at a terminal or computer.
Heat and Sunlight
1-58. Never expose floppy or CD-ROM disks to excessive heat or direct
sunlight. These can cause the disks to become warped or distorted so they
cannot be used. Disks will typically operate only between 10 and 50 degrees
Celsius (50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit). They will accept a relative humidity
of 10 percent to 80 percent.
1-59. There is some question about the effect that airport X-ray machines
have on disks. Walk-through X-ray machines at airports usually have no
effect on floppy or CD-ROM disks. However, this is not to say there will be no
effect. It is up to the person carrying the disks to take appropriate measures
to protect the disks. Do not take chances if there is a possibility that the Xray machines can affect the disks.
1-60. When labeling the outside of a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk, write the label
before attaching it to the disk. Never use a pencil or ballpoint pen to write on
a label once that label has been attached to a disk. Using an instrument with
a sharp point to write on the label can actually etch into the surface of the
disk underneath the protective sheath, destroying that disk. Use a felt-tip
marker if a label has already been attached to a disk. When labeling a CD­
ROM disk, use a fine tip permanent marker. Never mark on the read/write
side of the disk.
Data Backup
1-61. In almost all computer systems, the possibility exists for errors to
occur that accidentally alter or destroy the data stored in the databases or
files. This may occur because of natural disasters (such as fire, flood, or
power outages). It may also occur through operator error or equipment
malfunction. Therefore, it is essential to provide a means to ensure that any
data lost can be recovered. The most common method is backup files. A
backup file is merely a copy of a file. If for some reason the file or database is
destroyed or becomes unusable, the backup file can be used to recreate the
file or database. Floppy and CD-ROM disks are the most commonly used
media for backup.
1-62. Floppy Disk. The most common method of creating a backup for a
microcomputer is to use a floppy disk and the disk copy procedure. This is
done by using the original database or file and copying the information onto a
blank floppy disk. The instructions for this procedure will be provided with
the particular computer and program in use.
1-63. CD-ROM Disk. Another method of creating a backup is to use CD­
ROM disks. The information contained on a floppy disk or hard drive,
whether it is a database or file, can be copied onto a CD-ROM disk.
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SUMMARY 1-64. This chapter has presented information on the history and
classification of computers. It introduced electronic digital computers and
their uses and operation. The information that follows summarizes the
important points of this chapter.
1-65. Early computers were MECHANICAL or ELECTROMECHANICAL.
ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS came into use in the 1940s.
1-66. ANALOG COMPUTERS are special purpose computers designed to
measure continuous electrical or physical conditions.
1-67. DIGITAL COMPUTERS are special or general purpose computers
designed to perform arithmetic and logic functions on separate discrete data.
They are generally used for business and scientific data processing.
1-68. Digital computers have evolved through four generations: vacuum
tubes, transistors, miniaturized circuits, and ICs.
WORD PROCESSING is one of the most widespread uses of desktop
1-70. ACCOUNTING AND RECORDKEEPING are also major uses of
computers. Included are order entry, inventory control, accounts receivable,
accounts payable, general ledger, and payroll.
of computers used by work center supervisors for logistic and administrative
support. This system expedites the storage and retrieval of information the
Army has about its ships.
1-72. A DESKTOP (PERSONAL) COMPUTER is a microcomputer with at
least a display screen, keyboard, mouse, and floppy disk drive. It may also
have additional devices such as a CD-ROM drive and a zip drive.
1-73. An OPERATING SYSTEM is loaded into the computer to let the
operator and other programs use the computer. It also provides common
functions like read, write, and print.
1-74. A computer can be directed to run an APPLICATION PROGRAM by
telling the operating system the name of program to run. Common
application programs are word processing, accounting, and recordkeeping.
1-75. FLOPPY DISKS and CD-ROM disks are used for data storage and
backup. To ensure that disks are not damaged, use care in handling, labeling,
and storing the disks.
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Operational Concepts
Check-on-Learning Questions
1. What are some of the ways that computers are classified?
2. Are mechanical computers classified as digital or analog?
3. The Army uses analog computers primarily for what purpose?
4. How do electromechanical computers differ from mechanical computers?
5. In electronic computers, transistors
subsequently replaced the transistors?
6. A computer that is designed to perform a specific operation and usually satisfies the
needs of a particular type of problem, is said to be what type of computer?
7. Rather than using a stored program, a special purpose computer's applicability to a
particular problem is a function of what?
8. What is a drawback to the special purpose computer?
9. How does a general purpose computer most differ from a special purpose computer?
10. How is a general purpose computer able to perform different operations?
11. In a general purpose computer, the ability to perform a wide variety of operations is
achieved at the expense of what capabilities?
12. Are analog computers special purpose or general purpose computers?
13. What sorts of conditions are analog computers designed to measure?
14. Early analog computers were strictly mechanical or electromechanical devices. True
or false?
15. What are computers called that combine the functions of both analog and digital
16. Digital computers are generally used for what purposes?
17. What is the fundamental difference between analog and digital computers?
18. How is the accuracy of an analog computer restricted?
19. In an analog computer, a constant represented by a voltage can be read to what
decimal place?
20. The accuracy of a digital computer is governed by what factor?
21. In a digital computer, what determines the n
umber of decimal places in the
22. You will most likely be working with what type of computer?
23. How many generations currently characterize the electronic computer world?
24. What does each generation of computer systems indicate?
25. Size-wise, how would computers of the first generation be characterized?
26. In first generation computers, internal processing functions were measured by what
division of time?
27. What characterized the software used in first generation computers?
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28. How were processing speed and reliability increased in second generation
29. How was the storage capacity greatly increased in second generation computers?
30. With improvements in software, what kind of computer languages could be used on
second generation computers?
31. What major benefit resulted from third generation computers?
32. In third generation computers, internal processing speeds were measured by what
division of time?
33. The data cell had a storage capacity of how many characters?
34. What type of applications were most third generation computer systems designed to
35. What type of computers are small and inexpensive yet provide a lot of computing
36. What will be one of the future challenges involving computer power?
37. What is one of the more widespread uses of the computer?
38. How many systems dealing with accounting applications have been widely accepted?
39. What is a central set of programs called that manages the execution of other
programs and performs common functions like read, write, and print?
40. What is the function of a built-in program called a bootstrap loader?
41. What does it mean when the error message “NO SYSTEM” is displayed?
42. How should CD-ROM disks be handled?
43. If disks are stored horizontally, how many can be stacked?
44. What can exposure to a magnetic field do to the data on a disk?
45. What is the temperature range within which a disk will operate?
46. What is the purpose of creating backup files?
47. What is the most common method of creating backup files for a microcomputer?
48. Name another method used to create backup files.
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Chapter 2
Components or tools of a computer system are grouped into one of
two categories, hardware or software. Software will be covered in Chapter 3.
Machines that make up the computer system are known as hardware. This
hardware includes all the mechanical, electrical, electronic, and magnetic
devices within the computer itself (the CPU). It also includes all related
peripheral devices (printers, CD-ROM drives, zip drives, and so on). These
devices will be covered in this chapter to show how they function and how
they relate to one another. Figure 2-1 shows the functional units of a
computer system (the inputs, the CPU, and the outputs). The inputs can be
located on any storage medium from floppy disks, CD-ROM disks, zip disks,
and so on. Inputs can also be entries from a console keyboard or a CRT
terminal. The CPU will process the data from one or more of these inputs to
produce output. The output may be contained in floppy disk, CD-ROM disk,
zip disk; or it may be located in printed reports or information displayed on a
console typewriter or CRT terminal. Figure 2-1 also shows the data flow,
instruction flow, and flow of control. The discussion of hardware begins with
the CPU, moves into storage media (magnetic disk, floppy disk, and CD­
ROM), and ends with a discussion of input/output devices and how they
Figure 2-1. Functional Units of a Computer System
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The brain of a computer system (which is generally referred to as the
mainframe) is the CPU. The CPU IS THE COMPUTER. The CPU processes
the data transferred to it from one of the various input devices. The CPU
then transfers either the intermediate or final results of the processing to one
of many output devices. A central control section and work areas are required
to perform calculations or manipulate data. The CPU is the computing center
of the system. It consists of a control section, internal storage section (main
or primary memory), and arithmetic-logic section (see Figure 2-1). Each of
the sections within the CPU serves a specific function and has a particular
relationship to the other sections within the CPU.
The control section may be compared to a telephone exchange
because it uses the instructions contained in the program in much the same
manner as the telephone exchange uses telephone numbers. When a
telephone number is dialed, it causes the telephone exchange to energize
certain switches and control lines to connect the dialing telephone with the
telephone having the number dialed. In a similar manner, each programmed
instruction, when executed, causes the control section to energize certain
control lines, enabling the computer to perform the function or operation
indicated by the instruction.
The program may be stored in the internal circuits of the computer
(computer memory) or it may be read instruction-by-instruction from
external media. The internally stored program type of computer, generally
referred to only as a stored-program computer, is the most practical type to
use when speed and fully automatic operation are desired.
Computer programs may be so complex that the number of
instructions plus the parameters necessary for program execution will exceed
the memory capacity of a stored-program computer. When this occurs, the
program may be sectionalized (or broken down into modules). One or more
modules are then stored in computer memory and the rest in an easily
accessible auxiliary memory. As each module is executed producing the
desired results, it is then swapped out of internal memory and the next
succeeding module reads in.
In addition to the commands that tell the computer what to do, the
control unit also controls how and when each specific operation is performed.
It is also active in initiating circuits that locate any information stored within
the computer or in an auxiliary storage device and in moving this
information to the point where the actual manipulation or modification is
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The four major types of instructions are:
• Transfer. The basic function of transfer instructions is to transfer
(move) data from one location to another.
• Arithmetic. Arithmetic instructions combine two pieces of data to
form a single piece of data using one of the arithmetic operations.
• Logic. Logic instructions transform the digital computer into a
system that is more than just a high-speed adding machine. Using
logic instructions, the programmer may construct a program with
any number of alternate sequences. For example, through the use
of logic instructions, a computer being used for maintenance
inventory will have one sequence to follow if the number of a given
item on hand is greater than the order amount and another
sequence if it is smaller. The choice of which sequence to use will
be made by the control section under the influence of the logic
instruction. Logic instructions provide the computer with the
ability to make decisions based on the results of previously
generated data. That is, the logic instructions permit the computer
to select the proper program sequence to be executed from among
the alternatives provided by the programmer.
• Control. Control instructions send commands to devices not
under direct command of the control section, such as input/output
units or devices.
The arithmetic-logic section performs all arithmetic operations
(adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing). Through its logic capability,
it tests various conditions encountered during processing and takes action
based on the result. As indicated by the solid arrows in Figure 2-1, data flows
between the arithmetic-logic section and the internal storage section during
processing. Specifically, data is transferred as needed from the internal
storage section to the arithmetic-logic section, processed, and returned to the
internal storage section. At no time does processing take place in the storage
section. Data may be transferred back and forth between these two sections
several times before processing is completed. The results are then transferred
from internal storage to an output unit as indicated by the solid arrow (see
Figure 2-1).
All memory (internal storage) sections must contain facilities to store
computer data or instructions (that are intelligible to the computer) until
these instructions or data are needed in the performance of the computer
calculations. Before the stored computer program can begin to process input
data, it is first necessary to store in its memory a sequence of instructions,
tables of constants, and other data it will use in its computations. The
process by which these instructions and data are read into the computer is
called loading.
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2-10. The first step in loading instructions and data into a computer is to
manually place enough instructions into memory. Load the instructions by
using the keyboard or electronically using an operating system (discussed in
chapter 1). The instructions can be used to bring in more instructions as
desired. In this manner, a few instructions are used to bootstrap more
instructions. Some computers make use of an auxiliary (wired) memory that
permanently stores the bootstrap program, thereby making manual loading
2-11. The memory (internal storage) section of a computer is essentially an
electronically operated file cabinet. It has a large number (usually several
hundred thousand) of storage locations, each referred to as a storage address
or register. Every item of data and program instruction read into the
computer during the loading process is stored or filed in a specific storage
address and is almost instantly accessible.
2-12. Remember that the internal storage section is the holding area where
instructions and data are kept. For the control section to control and
coordinate all processing activity, it must be able to locate each instruction
and data item in storage. To understand how the control section is able to
find these instructions and data items, look at storage as nothing more than
a collection of mailboxes. Each mailbox has a unique address and represents
a location in memory (see Figure 2-2). Like the mail in a mailbox, the
contents of a storage location can change, but the number on a mailbox or
memory address always remains the same. In this manner, a particular
program instruction or data item that is held in storage can be located by
knowing its address. Some computers can address each character of data in
memory directly. Others address computer words that each contains a group
of characters at a single address. Some of the more common types of internal
storage media used in today's computers are magnetic core and
Figure 2-2. Memory Locations
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MAGNETIC CORE STORAGE 2-13. Although magnetic core storage is no longer as popular as it once
was, it will be covered in some detail because its concepts are easily
understood and apply generally to the more integrated semiconductor and
bubble-type memories. Magnetic core storage is made up of tiny doughnutshaped rings made of ferrite (iron) that are strung on a grid of very thin
wires (see Figure 2-3). Since data in computers is stored in binary form, a
two-state device is needed to represent the two binary digits (bits), 0 for OFF
and 1 for ON. In core storage, each ferrite ring (depending on its magnetic
state) can represent a 0 or 1 bit. If magnetized in one direction, it represents
a 1 bit, and if magnetized in the opposite direction, it represents a 0 bit.
Sending an electric current through the wires on which the core is strung
magnetizes these cores. It is this direction of current that determines the
state of each core.
Figure 2-3. Two-State Principle of Magnetic Storage
2-14. Semiconductor memory consists of hundreds of thousands of tiny
electronic circuits etched on a silicon chip (see Figure 2-4). Each of these
electronic circuits is called a bit cell and can be in either an OFF or ON state
to represent a 0 or 1 bit, depending on whether or not current is flowing
through that cell. Another name used for semiconductor memory chips is the
ICs. Developments in technology have led to large-scale integration (LSI),
which means that more and more circuits can be squeezed onto the same
silicon chip. Companies are even manufacturing very large-scale integration
(VLSI), which means even further miniaturization.
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2-15. Some of the advantages of semiconductor storage are fast internal
processing speeds, high reliability, low power consumption, high density
(many circuits), and low cost. However, there is a drawback to this type of
storage. It is volatile, which means all data in memory is lost when the power
supply is removed. Should the power on a computer fail and there is no
backup power supply, all the stored data is lost. This is not the case with
magnetic core storage. Core storage is nonvolatile. This means the data is
retained even if there is a power failure or breakdown, since the cores store
data in the form of magnetic charges rather than electric current.
Figure 2-4. A Semiconductor Memory Chip (Integrated Circuit)
2-16. Another technological development, in 1981, in storage media was
the introduction of bubble memory (see Figure 2-5). Bubble memory consisted
of a very thin crystal made of semiconductor material. The molecules of this
special crystal acted as tiny magnets. The polarity of these molecules or
"magnetic domains" could be switched in an opposite direction by passing a
current through a control circuit imprinted on top of the crystal. In this
manner, data could then be stored by changing the polarity of the magnetic
domains. The name bubble memory comes from viewing the magnetic
domains (they look like tiny bubbles) under a microscope.
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Figure 2-5. Bubble Memory
2-17. Since the principle is the same as for magnetic core storage, bubble
memory is considered nonvolatile. The data is retained even if there is a
power failure. The process of reading from bubble memory is nondestructive,
meaning that the data is still present after being read. This is not the case
with core storage, which must be regenerated after being read. Bubble
memory became obsolete within five years when battery backup
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor-Random Access Memory (CMOS­
RAM) became affordable.
2-18. There is another way to classify internal (primary or main) storage.
This method of classification is based on the following different kinds of
memories used within the CPU:
Read-only memory.
Random-access memory.
Programmable read-only memory.
Erasable programmable read-only memory.
2-19. In most computers, it is useful to have often used instructions, such
as those used to bootstrap (initial system load) the computer or other
specialized programs, permanently stored inside the computer. Memory that
enables us to do this without the programs and data being lost (even when
the computer is powered down) is called read-only memory. The computer
manufacturer provides these programs in read-only memory (ROM).
However, they can be updated to meet hardware requirements. Many
complex functions such as routines to extract square roots, translators for
programming languages, and operating systems can be placed in ROM. Since
these instructions are hardwired (permanent), they can be performed quickly
and accurately. Another advantage of ROM is that a computer facility can
order programs tailored for its needs and have them permanently installed in
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ROM by the manufacturer. Such programs are called microprograms or
2-20. Another kind of memory used inside computers is called randomaccess memory or read/write memory. Random-access memory (RAM) is like a
blackboard on which notes can be scribbled, read, and then erased when
finished reading them. In the computer, RAM is the working memory. Data
can be read (retrieved) from or written (stored) into RAM just by giving the
computer the address of the location where the data is stored or will be
stored. When the data is no longer needed, it is simply written over. This
allows the storage to be used again for something else. Core, semiconductor,
and bubble storage all have random access capabilities.
2-21. An alternative to ROM is programmable read-only memory (PROM).
PROM can be purchased already programmed by the manufacturer or in a
blank state. By using a blank PROM, enter any program can be entered into
the memory. However, once the PROM has been written into, it can never be
altered or changed. Therefore; along with the advantage of ROM, there is the
additional flexibility to program the memory to meet a unique need. The
main disadvantage of PROM is that if a mistake is made and entered into
PROM, it cannot be corrected or erased. A special device is needed to "burn"
the program into PROM.
2-22. The erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) was
developed to overcome the drawback of PROM. EPROMs can also be
purchased blank from the manufacturer or programmed locally. However,
this requires special equipment. The big difference with EPROM is that it
can be erased if and when the need arises. Data and programs can be
retrieved over and over again without destroying the contents of the EPROM.
They will safely stay there until the EPROM is reprogrammed by first
erasing it with a burst of ultra-violet light. This is an advantage because if a
mistake is made while programming the EPROM, it is not considered fatal.
The EPROM can be erased and corrected. It also allows the flexibility to
change programs to include improvements or modifications in the future.
2-23. The last kind of memory (which will be briefly introduced) is called
secondary storage or auxiliary storage. This is memory outside the main body
of the computer (CPU) where programs and data are stored for future use.
When the computer is ready to use these programs and data, they are read
into internal storage. Secondary (auxiliary) storage media extends the
storage capabilities of the computer system. Secondary storage is needed for
the following two reasons:
Since the computer's internal storage is limited in size, it cannot
always hold all the data that is needed.
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Data and programs do not disappear when power is turned off.
Secondary storage is nonvolatile. This means information is lost
only if it is intentionally erased by the user.
The three types of secondary storage most commonly used are 3 1/2-inch
floppy disks, CD-ROM disks, and zip disks.
2-24. Disk storage devices are popular largely because of their direct-access
capabilities. Most every system (micro, mini, and mainframe) will have disk
capability. Magnetic disks resemble round platters that are coated with a
magnetizable recording material (iron oxide). However, their similarities end
there. Magnetic disks come in many different sizes and storage capacities.
They range from 3 inches to 4 feet in diameter and can store from 1.44
megabytes (MBs) on a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk to 250 MB on a zip disk. They
can be portable in that they are removable or they can be permanently
mounted in the storage devices called disk drive units or disk drives. They
can be made of rigid metal (hard disks) or flexible plastic (floppy disks or
2-25. Data is stored on all disks in a number of invisible concentric circles
called tracks. Each track has a designated number beginning with track 000
at the outer edge of the disk. The numbering continues sequentially toward
the center to track 199, 800, or whatever is the highest track number. No
track ever touches another (see Figure 2-6). The number of tracks can vary
from 35 to 77 on a floppy disk surface and from 200 to over 800 on hard disk
Figure 2-6. Location of Tracks on the Disk's Recording Surface
2-26. Data is written as tiny magnetic bits (or spots) on the disk surface.
Eight-bit codes are generally used to represent data. Each code represents a
different number, letter, or special character. Chapter 4 will explain how the
codes are formed. When data is read from the disk, the data on the disk
remains unchanged. When data is written on the disk, it replaces any data
previously stored on the same area of the disk.
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2-27. Characters are stored on a single track as strings of magnetized bits
(0s and 1s) (see Figure 2-7). The 1 bits indicate magnetized spots or ON bits.
The 0 bits represent unmagnetized portions of the track or OFF bits.
Although the tracks get smaller as they get closer to the center of the disk
platter, each track can hold the same amount of data because the data
density is greater on tracks near the center.
Figure 2-7. A String of Bits Written to Disk on a Single Track
2-28. A track can hold one or more records. A record is a set of related data
treated as a unit. The records on a track are separated by gaps in which no
data is recorded, and each of the records is preceded by a disk address. This
address indicates the unique position of the record on the track and is used to
directly access the record. Figure 2-8 shows a track on which five records
have been recorded. Because of the gaps and addresses, the amount of data
that can be stored on a track is reduced as the number of records per track is
increased. Records on disk can be blocked (grouped together). Only one disk
address is needed per block, and as a result, fewer gaps occur. The blocking
technique can be used to increase the amount of data that can be stored on
one track.
Figure 2-8. Data Records as They are Written to Disk on a Single Track
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2-29. The storage capacity of a disk depends on the bits per inch of track
and the tracks per inch of surface. Using Winchester technology, the
designers of disk drive units were able to increase the data density of a disk
by increasing the number of tracks. Winchester was the code name used by
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) during the development of
this technology. The designers originally planned to use dual disk drives to
introduce the new concept. Each drive was to have a storage capacity of 30
million characters, and therefore was expected to be a "30-30." Since that was
the caliber of a famous rifle, the new product was nicknamed "Winchester."
The designers found that data density could be improved and storage
capacity increased by reducing the flying height. Flying height is the distance
of the read/write heads over the disk surfaces when reading and writing. By
doing this, smaller magnetized spots could be precisely written and then
read. The read/write heads were moved so close to the disk that a human
hair looked like a mountain in the path of the flying head. Winchester
technology reduced this potential problem by sealing the disks in a
contamination-free container. This eliminated foreign objects from coming in
contact with the read/write heads.
2-30. Depending on the manufacturer and the model of disk drive in use,
data can be physically organized in one of two ways on a disk pack. One way
uses the cylinder method and the other uses the sector method. On diskettes,
data is organized using the sector method.
Cylinder Method
2-31. This method uses a cylinder as the basic reference point. Figure 2-9
shows a disk pack containing six disk platters with 10 recording surfaces.
Looking down through the disk pack from the top will show that all the
tracks with the same number line up vertically. Together they are called a
cylinder. These 10 tracks, one on each recording surface, can be referenced by
the 10 read/write heads on the five access arms at each discrete location
where the access arms can be positioned. To physically reference a record
stored using the cylinder method, a computer program must specify the
cylinder number, the recording surface number, and the record number. In
Figure 2-9 the record is stored in cylinder 25 of recording surface 6 and is the
first record on that track. Special data stored on each track specifies the
beginning of the track so that the first record, second record, third record,
and so on, can be identified.
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Figure 2-9. Physical Organization of Data on a Disk (Cylinder Method)
Sector Method
2-32. Another way to physically organize data on the disk pack (and on
diskettes) is to use the sector method. This requires that each of the tracks be
divided into individual storage areas called sectors (see Figure 2-10). The
number of sectors varies with the disk system used; however, there are
usually eight or more. Each sector holds a specific number of characters.
Before a record can be accessed, a computer program must again give the
disk drive the record's address specifying the track number, the surface
number, and the sector number of the record. One or more read/write heads
are then moved to the proper track, the head over the specified surface is
activated, and the data is read from or written to the designated sector as it
spins under the head.
Figure 2-10. Physical Organization of Data on a Disk (Sector Method)
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2-33. Input and output devices are similar in operation but perform
opposite functions. It is through the use of these devices that the computer is
able to communicate with the outside world. Input data may exist in any one
of the following three forms:
Manual inputs from a keyboard, mouse, light pen, and touchpad.
Analog inputs from instruments or sensors.
Inputs from a source on or in which data has previously been
stored in a form intelligible to the computer.
2-34. Computers can process hundreds of thousands of computer words or
characters per second. A study of the first method (manual input) reflects the
inability of human-operated keyboards or keypunches to supply data at a
speed that matches the speed of digital computers. A high average speed for
keyboard operation is two or three characters per second. When coded to form
computer words, this would reduce the data input rate to the computer to
less than a computer word per second. Since mainframe computers are
capable of reading several thousand times this amount of information per
second, it is clear that manual inputs should be reduced to make more
efficient use of computer time. However, as a rule, the keyboard is the
normal input media for microcomputers.
2-35. Input data that has previously been recorded on magnetic disks,
floppy disks, CD-ROM disks, or zip disks in a form understood by the
program may also be entered into the computer. These are much faster
methods than entering data manually from a keyboard. The most commonly
used input devices in this category are a magnetic disk drive unit, a floppy
disk drive unit, CD-ROM drive, and zip drive.
Output information is also made available in three forms:
Displayed information (codes, numbers, words, or symbols
presented on a display device like a cathode-ray screen).
Control signals (information that operates a control device; such
as a lever, aileron, or actuator).
Recordings (information that is stored in a machine language or
human language on disks [floppy, CD-ROM, and zip] or printed
Devices that display, store, or read information includes magnetic tape units,
magnetic disk drive units, floppy disk drive units, printers, and display
2-37. Magnetic disk drive units are storage devices that read and write
information on the magnetized surfaces of rotating disks. The disks are made
of thin metal, coated on each side so that data can be recorded in the form of
magnetized spots. As the disks spin, characters can be stored on them or
retrieved in a direct manner. This direct accessing of data has a big
advantage over the sequential accessing of data. It gives us fast, immediate
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access to specific data without having to examine each and every record from
the beginning. The disk drive can also be directed to begin reading at any
2-38. Located within each disk drive unit is a drive motor that rotates the
disk at a constant speed, normally 3,600 revolutions per minute (rpm) (or 60
revolutions per second [rps]). The rotational speed for a floppy disk (because
of its plastic base) is usually between 300 and 400 rpm. Data is written on
the tracks of a spinning disk surface and read from the surface by one or
more (multiple) read/write heads. When reading from and writing to hard
disks (rigid disks), the read/write heads float on a cushion of air and do not
actually touch the surface of the disk. The distance between the head and the
surface varies from a millionth of an inch to one-half millionth of an inch.
This distance is called the flying height. When multiple disks (platters) are
packaged together as a unit in a disk pack, a number of access arms and
read/write heads are used to access both surfaces of each platter (see Figure
2-11). The disk pack shown consists of six metal disks mounted on a central
spindle. Data can be recorded on all surfaces except the top surface of the top
disk and the bottom surface of the bottom disk. These two surfaces are
intentionally left blank for protection.
2-39. Floppy disk drive units are physically smaller than magnetic disk
drive units and are typically used with desktop PCs (see Figure 2-12). The
unit consists of a disk drive in which the disk rotates and a controller
containing the electronic circuitry that feeds signals onto and from the disk.
The 3 1/2-inch floppy is the most common size used. The disk (diskette) is
made of a thin, hard plastic shell. The platter (floppy disk) located inside the
shell, is coated with magnetic material so characters can be recorded on the
surface in the form of magnetized spots.
Figure 2-11. Multiple Access Arms and Read/Write Heads Used With Disk Packs
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Figure 2-12. Floppy Disk Drive Unit
2-40. Printers (see Figure 2-13) are widely used output devices that
express coded characters on hard (paper document) copy. They print out
computer program results as numbers, letters, words, symbols, graphics, or
drawings. Printers range from electronic typewriters to high-speed printers.
High-speed printers are usually used on mainframes and minis to prepare
supply requisitions, paychecks, inventory, or financial reports at ten lines per
second and faster. The types of printers that will be discussed are the daisy­
wheel, dot matrix, ink jet, and laser. These are the ones commonly used with
Figure 2-13. Printer
2-41. Daisy-wheel printers have the most professional-looking, pleasing-tothe-eye print of all the printers in the character-at-a-time impact printer
class. Daisy-wheel printers were often used in an office or word processing
environment. However, they have been replaced by ink jet and laser printers.
The daisy-wheel printer uses a round disk, with embossed characters located
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at the end of each petal-like projection (one character per petal), similar to
the petals of a daisy. A drive motor spins the wheel at a high rate of speed.
When the desired character spins to the correct position, the print hammer
strikes that character, causing it to be printed on the paper. Once the
character is printed, the daisy wheel continues to move, searching out the
next character to be printed, until the line is completed. The speeds of daisy­
wheel printers range from 30 to 60 characters per second (cps).
2-42. Dot-matrix printers create characters in much the same way
numbers on the scoreboard at a football game are seen. In contrast to daisy­
wheel printers, dot-matrix printers use arrangements of tiny pins or
hammers, called a dot matrix, to generate characters a dot at a time. A dotmatrix print head builds characters out of the dots created by the pins in the
matrix. Figure 2-14, view A, shows what dot-matrix characters look like
2-43. The dot matrix is defined in terms of rows and columns of dots. A 5 by
7 matrix uses up to five vertical columns of seven dots to create a character.
Figure 2-14, view D, shows an example of a 5 by 7 matrix printing the letter
H. The size of dot matrixes varies from a 5 by 7 matrix to as large as a 58 by
18 matrix. A number of dot-matrix printers use a single vertical column of
pins to print characters (see Figure 2-14, view B). The characters are printed
by moving (stepping) the print head a small amount and printing the vertical
columns one at a time until the character is printed (see Figure 2-14, views C
and D).
2-44. The size of the matrix determines the quality of the printed
character. In other words, the more dots used to print a character, the better
the character is filled in and the higher its print quality. Dot-matrix printers
are faster than the daisy-wheel printers with speeds ranging from 60 to 350
cps, but their print quality is not as good.
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Figure 2-14. Dot-Matrix Printing
2-45. Ink jet printers use a technique very similar to the way a can of spray
paint and a stencil are used. A spray of electrically charged ink is shot (under
pressure) toward the paper. Before reaching the paper, the ink is passed
through an electrical field that creates the letters in a matrix form. The print
resulting from this process consists of easy-to-read, high-quality characters.
Some manufacturers use large droplets of ink for faster printing, while
others use small droplets for better clarity but with slightly reduced printing
speeds. These types of printers can print up to 300 cps.
2-46. Laser printers direct a beam of light through a rotating disk
containing the full range of print characters. The appropriate character
image is directed onto photographic paper, which is then put through a toner,
developed, and used to make additional copies. The print resulting from this
process consists of sharp, clean images that are easy on the eyes. These types
of printers can print up to 20,000-plus lines per minute, or 26,666 cps.
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KEYBOARDS (INPUT) 2-47. A keyboard is nothing more than an array of switches called
keyswitches. Keyboards are designed to input a code to the computer when a
keyswitch is depressed. Each key on the keyboard is assigned a particular
code value and is usually imprinted with a legend to identify its function.
Figure 2-15 shows a keyboard combined with a CRT on a microcomputer.
Figure 2-15. Keyboard Combined With a CRT and Microcomputer
2-48. The primary purpose of a keyboard is to enter or input alphanumeric
(numbers, letters, and special characters) character codes. The major
grouping of keyswitches on a keyboard will be in one of the two styles of a
typewriter keyboard arrangement (QWERTY or DVORAK). The typewriter
keyswitches are arranged in four rows of 10 or more switches. The keyboard
arrangement shown in Figure 2-16 is called QWERTY. The rows are usually
offset to the row above to make it easier to reach all the keys when typing.
The tops of the individual keyswitches are sculptured to conform to the shape
of the human finger.
2-49. Other groupings of keyswitches are used for special purposes, such as
number entry (calculator) keypads, special function switches (F1-F12), and
cursor control keys (to move to different locations on the screen use the
cursor control key). The special function switches allow an operator to use the
special functions designed in the software. For example, in a word processing
program, special function switches to do the following:
Check the spelling of a document.
Search for a particular portion of text.
Move text from one place to another.
Print hard copies of a document.
These are just a few of the functions allowed. The more familiar an operator
gets with a computer, the more functions they will learn.
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Figure 2-16. Keyboard Layout
2-50. Keyboard designs vary from device to device. Keyboards are
dependent on the requirements of the system on which they are installed.
Keyboards are generally used with nontactical computer systems. However,
the newer tactical display system consoles have optional keyboards for data
entry. A keyboard may be built into the display device or it may be a separate
component connected only by a communication cable.
2-51. Display devices are the CRTs and other displays that are part of
computer terminals, computer consoles, and microcomputers. They are
designed to project, show, exhibit, or display soft copy information
(alphanumeric or graphic symbology).
2-52. The information displayed on a display device screen is not
permanent. That is where the term “soft copy” comes from. The information
is available for viewing only as long as it is on the display screen. Two types
of display devices used with PCs are the raster scan CRTs and the flat panel
2-53. Raster scan CRTs (television [TV] scan video monitors or display
monitors) are used extensively in the display of alphanumeric data and
graphics. They are used primarily in nontactical display applications such as
user terminals and desktop PCs.
2-54. The raster is a series of horizontal lines crossing the face of the CRT
screen. Each horizontal line is made up of one trace of the electron beam from
left to right. The raster starts at the top left corner of the CRT screen. As
each horizontal line is completed, the blanked electron beam is rapidly
returned or retraced to the left of the screen.
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2-55. Vertical deflection moves the beam down and the horizontal sweep
repeats. When the vertical sweep reaches the bottom line of the raster, a
vertical blanked retrace returns the sweep to the starting position of the
raster, and the process is repeated.
2-56. Each completed raster scan is referred to as a field (two fields make
up a frame). The display rate of fields and frames determines the amount of
flicker in the display that is perceived by the human eye. Each field is made
up of approximately 525 horizontal lines. The actual number of horizontal
lines varies from device to device. A frame consists of the interlaced lines of
two fields. The horizontal lines of the two fields are interlaced to smooth out
the display. A display rate of 30 frames per second produces a smooth,
flicker-free raster and corresponding display on the screen.
2-57. The actual display of data results from the use of picture elements. A
picture element is a variable dot of light derived from video signals input to
the display monitor. The picture elements, often called pixels or pels, are
contained in the horizontal scan lines crossing the face of the CRT screen.
The horizontal and vertical sweeps are continuous and repetitive in nature.
2-58. Pictures with alphanumeric characters and graphics can be created
and displayed by varying the intensity or brightness of the picture element
dots. This is done in conjunction with the phosphor coating on the face of the
2-59. The number of picture elements in each horizontal line varies from
device to device. The actual number of picture elements is dependent on the
Frequency bandwidth of the video monitor.
The number of characters to be displayed on a line.
The physical size of the screen.
2-60. Each picture element is addressable by a row and column address.
Picture elements are numbered from left to right on each horizontal line
(column number). Each horizontal line has a row number. Picture elements,
at a minimum, will have OFF (blanked) or ON (full intensity) states. Many
display devices have the capability to display picture elements at varying
degrees of intensity for the display of graphics.
2-61. Characters are assembled on the screen in much the same way as a
dot-matrix print head prints a character. It takes several horizontal lines and
picture elements on each line to create a character. Figure 2-17 shows the
generation of the character “A,” seven picture elements wide and nine
horizontal lines high. The character is built using what is, in effect, a 7 by 9
dot matrix. The picture elements used to build the character would be at full
intensity; the remaining picture elements in the matrix would be blanked. If
light characters on a darkened screen were desired, then the character
picture elements would be blanked and the remainder displayed at full
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2-62. Approximately 640 picture elements per horizontal line are required
for the display of an 80-character line. Therefore, there will be 140,000
picture elements on a raster scan display screen (80 alphanumeric characters
per line and 25 lines).
Figure 2-17. A 7 by 9 Picture Element Character
2-63. Horizontal resolution is defined in terms of the number of picture
elements that can be displayed on the horizontal line without overlapping or
running into each other. It is often stated in terms of lines of resolution. In
other words, a monitor with a horizontal resolution of 1,000 lines can display
1,000 vertical lines using 1,000 picture elements per line.
2-64. Vertical resolution depends on the number of horizontal scan lines
used by the particular display raster. Generally, the greater the number of
scanned lines, the easier it is to resolve a horizontal line of display. This
characteristic remains true up to a point, called the merge point, where the
human eye cannot detect the variation between the lines.
2-65. Raster scan displays are repetitive in nature. The raster frame is
displayed approximately 30 times a second.
2-66. The basic video monitor does nothing more than display the video
signals it receives. If no video signals are received, then all the picture
elements remain blanked, and the screen is blank in each frame. For data to
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be displayed accurately, each and every frame must blank and unblank the
same picture elements.
2-67. The digital logic that drives video monitors is designed to take
advantage of the repetitive nature of frames. There can only be a fixed
number of picture elements on the screen of a display. Therefore, the
contents of the display screen are organized into a data unit called a page.
2-68. The page contains the status of every picture element on the display
screen. The page is usually stored in some form of random-access memory,
RAM chips being the most common. The contents of page memory (or as it is
sometimes called, video memory) are continually scanned by the video
generation logic and used to develop the video signals for the picture element
display. The picture element locations in page memory are read in time to
develop the video signals for the picture element display on the horizontal
2-69. If the display is to be changed, the contents of page memory must be
changed. The display on the screen changes as new data is stored in page
2-70. Displays that reference page memory by picture element address, are
called unformatted or fully populated displays. These displays are more
commonly used for graphics rather than alphanumeric characters.
2-71. Displays are often organized by character position and line number.
These displays are known as formatted displays. This display method is used
with devices displaying alphanumeric characters only or those with an
alternate graphic capability.
2-72. The video generation logic of these types of displays scans the entire
page memory, as before, to generate the display picture elements. The
difference is in the way the new data is written into the page memory.
Individual picture element addresses are not used. Character addresses are
used to reference page memory.
2-73. The screen is organized into character lines. Each line is made up of a
fixed number of character positions or columns. A fixed number of character
lines can be displayed. A common arrangement found on display screens is
twenty-five 80-character lines or 2,000 characters.
2-74. The character set that can be displayed on a device's formatted
screen is stored in ROMs or PROMs. That is, the dot-matrix (picture
element) patterns for each individual character to be displayed are stored.
Different character sets may be displayed by simply replacing the
appropriate ROM or PROM chips with new chips containing different
character patterns.
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12 September 2005
2-75. Upon receipt of a character code and a row and column address, the
device logic reads the picture element pattern (dot matrix) from the ROM
and writes the pattern into the appropriate character position in the page
memory. The desired character is then displayed at the correct position.
Other display devices store the codes in page memory and convert the codes
to picture element dots when scanning memory to refresh or redisplay the
characters on the screen. The use of formatted displays greatly simplifies the
programming requirements for the display of alphanumeric data.
2-76. A number of display methods are in use and are designed to reduce
the depth of the CRT display caused by the length of the tube. These devices
are collectively known as flat panel displays. Three types of flat panel
displays commonly in use with computer systems are liquid crystal displays
(LCDs), gas plasma displays (GPDs), and electroluminescent displays (ELDs).
The screens of these flat panel displays are made up of pairs of electrodes.
Each pair of electrodes is used to generate one picture element.
2-77. The LCD differs from the GPDs and ELDs in that it does not
generate its own light for the picture elements. The LCD requires an external
light source, often called a backlight, for computer applications. The liquid
crystal material between the charged electrodes becomes translucent when
voltage is applied and allows the backlight to shine through as a picture
2-78. In the GPDs and ELDs, the picture element light is generated by
ionizing a gas (neon or neon argon) between the charged electrodes (GPD) or
by stimulating a luminescent material in the same manner (ELD). In either
case, the picture element only emits light when voltage is applied to the
2-79. One of the advantages of flat panel displays is that smaller voltages
are required for their operation than for a CRT. GPDs use approximately 200
volts to charge the electrodes and ELDs require only 20 volts.
2-80. The picture elements in these displays are addressed by the row and
column method. Displays with as many as 737,280 picture elements (960
rows by 768 columns) have been developed.
2-81. The picture elements on flat panel displays are not lighted
continually. This would require a large amount of power and generate
excessive heat. A sequential scan similar to a CRT raster is used. Once again,
a page memory is required. The picture element electrodes turn on and off as
the scan sequentially addresses page memory.
2-82. Picture elements that display a dot are momentarily turned on and
off starting with the first picture element in the top row, or line, and ending
with the last picture element on the bottom row. The picture elements are
turned on and off at a high enough frequency that the human eye cannot
detect the flicker of the off-on-off cycle.
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2-83. The sequential scan used to light the picture elements is continuous
and repetitive. Once again, the page memory must be changed to change the
display. Flat panel displays may be formatted or unformatted in the same
manner as CRT displays.
2-84. This chapter has presented information on digital computer
hardware. It also presented terminology needed to understand digital
computers. Chapter 2 also discussed the input and output devices associated
with digital computers. The information that follows summarizes the
important points of this chapter.
2-85. The CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT is the brain of the computer.
This is generally referred to as the CPU or mainframe.
2-86. The CONTROL SECTION directs the flow of traffic (operations) and
data and maintains order within the computer.
2-87. The ARITHMETIC-LOGIC SECTION performs all arithmetic
operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing). It also tests
various conditions during processing and takes action based on the result.
2-88. INTERNAL STORAGE is sometimes referred to as primary storage,
main storage, or main memory (because its functions are similar to human
memory). It stores the programs and data.
2-89. MAGNETIC CORE STORAGE is made up of tiny doughnut-shaped
rings made of ferrite (iron) that are strung on a grid of very thin wires.
2-90. SEMICONDUCTOR STORAGE consists of hundreds of thousands of
tiny electronic circuits etched on a silicon chip.
2-91. BUBBLE STORAGE is made up of semiconductor material in the
form of a very thin crystal.
2-92. READ-ONLY MEMORY allows us to permanently store programs
that will not be lost even when the computer is powered down.
2-93. RANDOM-ACCESS MEMORY is read/write memory. It is the
working memory. It is like a blackboard, where notes can be scribbled, then
read, and then erased when finished with them.
2-94. SECONDARY STORAGE is the memory outside the main body of the
computer (CPU) where programs and data are stored for future use.
MAGNETIC DISK is a direct access storage device.
2-96. INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICES are the means by which the computer
communicates with the outside world. These include magnetic tape units,
magnetic disk drive units, floppy disk drive units, printers (daisy-wheel, dotmatrix, ink jet, and laser), and display devices (raster scan CRT and flat
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Check-on-Learning Questions
1. What is the brain of a computer system?
2. How many sections make up the central processing unit?
3. What are the names of the sections that make up the CPU?
4. The control section can be compared to what?
5. What are the four major types of instructions in the control section?
6. What capability allows the arithmetic/logic section to test various conditions
encountered during processing and takes action based on the result?
7. In the arithmetic/logic section, data is returned to what section after processing?
8. What is the process by which instructions and data are read into a computer?
9. Magnetic core storage is made up of what?
10. A semiconductor memory consists of what?
11. What is another name for semiconductor memory chips?
12. In computer storage, what does volatile mean?
13. What type of storage can retain its data even if there is a power failure or
14. Bubble memory consists of what type of material?
15. How are the magnetic domains of a bubble memory switched?
16. What does it mean when it says that reading from bubble memory is nondestructive?
17. In what types of memory are often-used instructions and programs permanently
stored inside the computer?
18. Who provides the programs stored in ROM?
19. Can programs in ROM be updated?
20. What is another name for random-access memory?
21. How is data read from or written into RAM?
22. In what two states, or modes, can programmable read-only memory be purchased?
23. What is the main disadvantage of PROM?
24. What is the biggest difference between PROM and EPROM?
25. How is EPROM erased?
26. Why are disk storage devices popular?
27. How is data stored on all disks?
28. What precedes each record on a disk?
29. How is the storage capacity of a disk determined?
30. What two ways can data be physically organized on a disk pack?
31. What devices are used that enables the computer to communicate with the outside
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32. What is the normal input media for microcomputers?
33. Why is direct accessing of data a big advantage over the sequential accessing of data?
34. What is the most commonly used size floppy disk?
35. What output device expresses coded characters as hard copy (paper documents)?
36. What four types of printers are commonly used with personal computers?
37. What is the primary purpose of a keyboard?
38. Raster scan or TV scan video monitors are used extensively for what purpose?
39. How many fields make up a frame?
40. A field is approximately how many horizontal lines?
41. What are picture elements often called?
42. Vertical resolution depends on what?
43. What are used to reference page memory?
44. Flat panel displays are designed to reduce what problem of a CRT display?
45. What does the liquid crystal display require for computer applications?
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Chapter 3
Software plays a major role in computer data processing. For
example, without software, the computer could not perform simple addition.
It is the software that makes everything happen. Putting it another way,
software brings the computer to life.
Remember, it takes a program to make the computer function. An
operating system must be loaded into the computer to manage the computer's
resources and operations. Also, job information must be inputted to the
operating system to tell the computer what operation to perform. For
example, the following are some things a computer can do:
• Assemble or compile a Common Business Oriented Language
(COBOL) program.
• Run the payroll or print inventory reports.
• Copy a tape using a utility program.
• Print the data from a disk file, also using a utility program.
• Test a program.
This job information may be entered into the computer from floppy disk or
CD-ROM disk. The programmer or user may also enter the information from
a remote computer terminal. The operating system receives and processes
the job information and executes the programs according to that job
Software can be defined as all the stored programs and routines
(operating aids) needed to fully use the capabilities of a computer. Generally
speaking, the saying goes, “If it is not hardware, then it must be software.”
The operating system is the heart of any computer system. Through
it, everything else is accomplished. An operating system is a software
program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate
with the computer software. Without an operating system, a computer would
be useless. Operating systems are designed basically to provide the operator
with the most efficient way of executing many user programs. An operating
system is a collection of many programs used by the computer to manage its
own resources and operations. These programs control the execution of other
programs. They schedule, assign resources, monitor, and control the work of
the computer. There are several types.
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As computers have progressed and developed so have the types of
operating systems. Below is a basic list of the different types of operating
systems and a few examples of operating systems that fall into each of the
categories. Many operating systems will fall into more then one of the below
Graphical User Interface
Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating systems contain graphics
and icons and are commonly navigated using by using a computer mouse. See
the GUI dictionary for a complete definition. The following are some
examples of GUI operating systems:
• System 7.x.
• Windows 98.
• Windows CE.
Multi-user operating systems allow for multiple users to use the
same computer at the same time and/or different times. See the multi-user
dictionary for a complete definition. The following are some examples of
multi-user operating systems:
• Windows 2000.
Multi-processing operating systems are capable of supporting and
using more than one computer processor. The following are some examples of
multi-processing operating systems:
• Windows 2000.
Multi-tasking operating systems are capable of allowing multiple
software processes to be run at the same time. The following are some
examples of multi-tasking operating systems:
Windows 2000.
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3-10. Multi-reading operating systems allow different parts of a software
program to run concurrently. The following are some examples of multireading operating systems:
Windows 2000.
3-11. Operating systems are designed to provide various operating modes.
Some systems can only do one task at a time, while others can perform
several at a time. Some systems allow only one person to use the system, and
others allow multiple users. Single user/single tasking operating systems
(such as CP/M®-801, CP/M-86®1, and MS-DOS®(1, 2)2) are the simplest and
most common on microcomputers. Single user/multi-tasking operating
systems allow an operator to do more than one task as long as the tasks do
not use the same type of resources. For example, while printing one job,
another job can be running, as long as the second job does not require the
printer. Examples are Concurrent CP/M-863, Concurrent DOS33, and MS­
DOS® (3.0 and above)2. Multi-user and multi-tasking operating systems let
more than one user access the same resources at the same time. This is
especially useful for sharing common data. These are only feasible on
processors (the functional unit in a computer that interprets and executes
instructions) of 16 bits or more and with large memories. UNIX44 is an
example. There are also multi-processor systems, shared resource systems.
This means each user (or operator) has a dedicated microprocessor (CPU)
that shares common resources (disks, printers, and so on).
1. CP/M and CP/M-86 are registered trademarks of Digital Research Inc.
2. MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
3. Concurrent CP/M and Concurrent DOS are trademarks of Digital Research
4. UNIX is a trademark of AT&T.
3-12. To be usable, an applications program must be compatible with the
operating system. Therefore, the availability of application software for a
particular operating system is critical. Because of this, several operating
systems have become the most popular. For 8-bit microcomputers, Control
Program for Microprocessors is widely used because it has been adopted by
many hardware manufacturers. MS-DOS, designed from CP/M, dominates in
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lower performance 16-bit systems. UNIX, an operating system for larger
computers, is being used on the more powerful 16-bit and 32-bit
microcomputers. Microcomputer manufacturers also offer other operating
3-13. To overcome the applications software compatibility problem, some
software comes in several versions so it can be run under several different
operating systems. One thing to remember is that not all applications
software will run on all systems. Check to ensure compatibility exists, if not,
the right version is needed.
3-14. A PC cannot do anything useful unless it is running an operating
system. An operating system is a basic type of software that acts as a
supervisor in the use of all applications, games, or other programs. The
operating system sets the rules for using memory, drives, and other parts of
the computer. However, before a PC can run an operating system, it needs
some way to load the operating system from disk to RAM. The way to do this
is with the bootstrap or simply to boot a small amount of code that is a
permanent part of the PC. The bootstrap is aptly named because it lets the
PC do something entirely on its own, without any outside operating system.
3-15. The boot operation does not do much. In fact, it has only two
functions. One is to run a POST, or power-on-self-test, and the other is to
search drives for an operating system.
3-16. After conducting a POST check of all the hardware components of a
PC, the boot program contained on the computer’s ROM Basic Input-Out
System (BIOS) chips checks drive A to see whether it contains a formatted
floppy disk. If a disk is mounted in the drive, the program searches specific
locations on the disk for the files that make up the first two parts of the
operating system. If no floppy disk is in the drive, the boot program checks
for system files on the main hard drive (usually C drive). If that also fails, the
program searches any disc in the CD-ROM drive. Ordinarily, these system
files will not be seen because each is marked with a special file attribute that
usually hides it from any file listing. For a Windows system, the files are
named, IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS. If the floppy drive is empty, the boot
program checks hard drive C for the system files, and on some system, as a
last resort, checks the CD-ROM drive. If a boot disk does not contain the
files, the boot program generates an error message.
3-17. After locating a disk with the system files, either a floppy or within
the hard-drive, the boot program reads the data stored on the disk’s first
sector and copies that data to specific locations in RAM. This information
constitutes the boot record, commonly known as the Master Boot Record in
Windows 2000.
3-18. The boot record takes control of the PC and loads the IO.SYS into
RAM. The IO.SYS file contains extensions to the ROM BIOS and includes a
routine called SYSINIT that manages the rest of the boot up. After loading
the IO.SYS, the boot record no longer is needed and is replaced in RAM by
another code.
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3-19. SYSINIT assumes control of the start-up process and loads
MSDOS.SYS into RAM. The MSDOS.SYS file works with the BIOS to
manage files, execute programs, and respond to signals from hardware.
3-20. SYSINIT searches the root directory of the boot disk for a file named
CONFIG.SYS. If it exists, it tells MSDOS.SYS to execute the commands in
the file. CONFIG.SYS is a file created by the user. Its commands tell the
operating system how to handle certain operations, such as how many files
can be opened at one time. CONFIG.SYS can also contain code that extends
the capabilities of the BIOS to control memory or hardware devices. In
Windows, drivers are loaded through records in a file called the Registry.
3-21. SYSINIT tells MSDOS.SYS to load the file COMMAND.COM. This
operating system file consists of three parts. One is a further extension to the
input/output functions. This part is loaded in memory with the BIOS and
becomes a part of the operating system.
3-22. The second part of COMMAND.COM contains the internal DOS
commands, such as COPY and TYPE. It is loaded at the high end of
conventional RAM, where any application program can overwrite it if it
needs the memory.
3-23. The third part of COMMAND.COM is used only once and then
discarded. This part searches the root directory for a file named
AUTOEXEC.BAT. This file is created by the computer’s user and contains a
series of DOS batch file commands and/or the names of program that the
user wants to run each time the computer is turned on.
3-24. When these functions are complete, the boot operation is complete. If
nothing is wrong with the operating system, the computer is ready for use.
3-25. Operating systems are now found as a permanent part of some
computing devices such as palm-sized PCs (which handles limited amount of
information). However, in most cases, the operating system is loaded from
hard disk for the following two reasons.
3-26. Upgrading the operating system is simpler when loading from a disk.
When a company such as Microsoft (which makes MS-DOS and Windows the most commonly used PC operating system) wants to add new features or
fix serious bugs, it can simply issue a new set of disks or service packs.
Sometimes, all that is necessary is a single file that patches a flaw in the
operating system. It is cheaper for Microsoft to distribute an operating
system on disk than to design a microchip that contains the operating
system. It is also easier for computer users to install a new operating system
from disk than it is to swap chips.
3-27. The other reason for loading an operating system from disk is that it
gives users a choice of operating systems. Although most PCs based on
microprocessors built by Intel uses Windows or MS-DOS, there are
alternative operating systems, such as LINUX, OS/2, and UNIX.
3-28. There are several actions that must be performed that are beyond
basic functions. These actions include checking the OS version, the Device
Manger, and the Control Panel.
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3-29. In order to check the version of the OS in use, simply open the
System Properties Window. This can be done in several ways:
Click Start, then Settings, and then Control Panels. Scroll down
until the system icon is visible, and Double-Click that icon
Right-Click My Computer, and click on Properties.
Or simply click on Start – Run – and type WINVER and press
The first two choices may display a window with several more pieces of
information besides just the operating system version. It also tells us the
Registered Key used to install the OS and the name of the registered user,
which can help during re-installations and when contacting technical
support. It also displays the amount of RAM and the processor type installed
on the computer, which can help with diagnosing problems.
3-30. The most important piece of troubleshooting information that can be
found is in a little application known as the Device Manager. In Windows
2000, it is found under the Hardware tab, but in Windows ’98, it has its own
tab. The Device Manager gives a quick glimpse at drivers and equipment
that are installed on a computer. It also displays how they are functioning.
3-31. By clicking the (+) sign beside an item, the exact drivers that are
being used by that equipment are displayed. Yellow circles over items mean
the item is not functioning properly and has its driver's temporarily
suspended until the problem is diagnosed. A red circle over an item is a
driver that has been manually turned off by a user. The most important
aspect of this is the fact that it shows devices that are working and those
which are not.
3-32. The other major features of Windows 9x/ME/XP/2000 are its control
panels. These are applications that reside within Windows that allow the
operator to perform very distinct functions. The Device Manager resides
within here, as well as the Printer Control Panel, Sound Control Panel,
Modem Control Panel, Networking Control Panel, and more. These control
panels are used to provide specific functions that are not part of outside
3-33. For example, a modem is required to connect to the Internet. Use the
Modem Control Panel to detect, set up, and configure the modem. Use the
Networking Control Panel to add and configure Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and client software. Finally, use the
Internet Control Panel to set up the dialing properties and connection
3-34. It is impossible to go into detail on each control panel. However, the
name of the control panel should explain what it does. Select each control
panel to learn the functions of each one. The most used ones are the
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Accessibility Options, Printers, Networking, Modem, and System control
3-35. Another type of program is called utilities. In addition to the utility
commands (like disk copy and rename), which are built into the operating
system, there are some other independent utility programs. These are
standard programs that run under control of the operating system just like
the applications programs. They are called utilities because they perform
general types of functions that have little relationship to the content of the
data. Utility programs eliminate the need for programmers to write new
programs when all they want to do is copy, print, or sort a data file. Although
a new program is not needed, the operator will have to tell the program what
they want it to do. This is done by providing information about files, data
fields, and the process to be used. For example, a sort program arranges data
records in a specified order. The operator will have to tell the sort program
what fields to sort on and whether to sort in ascending or descending
3-36. Let us examine two types of utility programs to get some idea of how
a utility program works. The first will be sort-merge and the second, the
report program generators.
3-37. Sorting is the term given to arranging data records in a predefined
sequence or order. Merging is the combining of two or more ordered files into
one file. An example of this is by putting a list of people's names in
alphabetical order and then arranging them in sequence by last name.
3-38. By knowing the alphabetical sequence (B comes after A, C after B,
and so on); it is easy to arrange a list manually, even though it is time
consuming. However, on a computer; the sequence of characters is also
defined. It is called the collating sequence. Every coding system has a
collating sequence. The capability of a computer to compare two values and
determine which is greater (B is greater than A, C is greater than B, and so
on) makes sorting possible. Numbers and special characters are also part of
the collating sequence. In Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
(EBCDIC), which is discussed in detail in chapter 4, special characters such
as #, $, &, and * are located in front of alphabetic characters, and numbers
follow. When records are sorted in the defined sequence, they are in
ascending sequence. Most sort programs also allow sorting in reverse order.
This is called descending sequence. In EBCDIC, it is 9-0, Z-A, then special
3-39. To sort a data file, the operator must tell the sort program what data
field or fields to sort on. These fields are called sort (or sorting) keys. In the
example, the last name is the major sort key and the first name is the minor
sort key.
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3-40. Sorting is needed in many applications. For example, addresses will
be in zip code order for mailings; personnel records may be kept in service
number order; and inventory records may be kept in stock number order, and
so on. Since many of the files are large, sorting is very time-consuming and it
is one of the processes most used on computer systems. The more a process is
used, the more familiar an operator will become of the process.
3-41. Sort-merge programs usually have phases. The sort-merge program
initializes the program by reading the parameters, producing the program
code for the sort, allocating the memory space, and setting up other
functions. The sort-merge program then reads in as many input data records
as the memory space allocated can hold, arranges (sorts) them in sequence,
and writes them out to an intermediate sort-work file. It continues reading
input, sorting and writing intermediate sort-work files, until all the input is
processed. It then merges (combines) the ordered intermediate sort-work files
to produce one output file in the sequence specified. The merging process can
be accomplished with less memory than the sort process since the
intermediate sort-work files are all in the same sequence. Records from each
work file can be read, the sort keys compared based on the collating sequence
and sort parameters, and records written to the output file maintaining the
specified sequence.
3-42. Report Program Generators (RPGs) are used to generate programs to
print detail and summary reports of data files. Figure 3-1 is an example of a
printed report. RPGs were designed to save programming time. Rather than
writing procedural steps in a language like Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic
Instruction Code (BASIC) or COBOL, the RPG programmer writes the printed
report requirements on specially designed forms.
Figure 3-1. Printed Report Using a RPG Program
The following are included in the report requirements:
An input file description.
The report heading information lines.
The input data record fields.
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The calculations to be performed.
The data fields to be printed and summarized.
The RPG program takes this information and generates a program for the
specific problem. That program will then be run with the specified input data
file to produce the printed report. The input data file must be in the sequence
in which the report, to be generated, is to summarize the data.
In Figure 3-1, requisitions were summarized based on unit
identification codes (UICs). First, the input data file was sorted on the field
that contained the UIC. Next, specifications were provided to the RPG
program to tell it to accumulate totals from the detail (individual) data
records until the UIC changed. Lastly, the total number of requisitions and
total cost for that UIC were printed. Also (even though not shown), each
detail record could have been printed. The UIC is called the control field.
Each time the control field changes, there is a control break. Each time there
is a control break the program prints the summary information. After all
records are read and processed, it prints a summary line (TOTALS) for all
UICs. RPGs can also be used to generate a program to update data files.
3-45. Programmers must use a language that can be understood by the
computer. Several methods can achieve human-computer communication.
For example, let us assume the computer only understands French and the
programmer speaks English. One approach to communicate with the
computer is for the programmer to code the instructions with the help of a
translating dictionary before giving them to the processor. This would be fine
so far as the computer is concerned; however, it would be very awkward for
the programmer.
3-46. Another approach is a compromise between the programmer and
computer. The programmer first writes instructions in a code that is easier to
relate to English. This code is not the computer's language; therefore, the
computer does not understand the orders. The programmer solves this
problem by giving the computer another program, one that enables it to
translate the instruction codes into its own language. This translation
program would be equivalent to an English-to-French dictionary, leaving the
translating job to be done by the computer.
3-47. The third and most desirable approach from an individual's
standpoint is for the computer to accept and interpret instructions written in
everyday English terms. Each of these approaches has its place in the
evolution of programming languages and is used today in computers.
3-48. With early computers, the programmer had to translate instructions
into the machine language form that the computers understood. This
language was a string of numbers that represented the instruction code and
operand address(es).
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3-49. In addition to remembering dozens of code numbers for the
instructions in the computer's instruction set, the programmer also had to
keep track of the storage locations of data and instructions. This process was
very time-consuming, quite expensive, and often resulted in errors.
Correcting errors or making modifications to these programs was a very
tedious process.
3-50. In the early 1950s, mnemonic instruction codes and symbolic
addresses were developed. This improved the program preparation process by
substituting letter symbols (mnemonic codes) for basic machine language
instruction codes. Each computer has mnemonic codes, although the symbols
vary among the different makes and models of computers. The computer still
uses machine language in actual processing, but it translates the symbolic
language into machine language equivalent. The following are some
advantages of using symbolic languages over machine language coding:
Less time is required to write a program.
Detail is reduced.
Fewer errors are made (errors which are made are easier to find).
Programs are easier to modify.
3-51. The development of mnemonic techniques and macroinstructions led
to the development of procedure-oriented languages. Macroinstructions allow
the programmer to write a single instruction that is equivalent to a specified
sequence of machine instructions. These procedure-oriented languages are
oriented toward a specific class of processing problems. A class of similar
problems is isolated and a language is developed to process these types of
applications. Several languages have been designed to process problems of a
scientific-mathematical nature and others that emphasize file processing.
3-52. Procedure-oriented languages were developed to allow a programmer
to work in a language that is close to English or mathematical notation. This
improves overall efficiency and simplifies the communications process
between the programmer and the computer. These languages have allowed
us to be more concerned with the problems to be solved rather than with the
details of computer operation. For example:
COBOL was developed for business applications. It uses
statements of everyday English and is good for handling large
data files.
FORmula TRANslator (FORTRAN) was developed for
mathematical work. Engineers, scientists, statisticians, and
others for whom mathematical operations are most important
often use this language.
BASIC, although this form of programming is no longer practiced
as widely, was designed as a teaching language to help beginning
programmers write programs. Therefore, it is a general-purpose,
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introductory language that is fairly easy to learn and to use. With
the increase in the use of microcomputers, BASIC has regained
popularity and is available on most microcomputer systems.
3-53. Other languages gaining in popularity are PASCAL and Ada.
PASCAL is being used by many colleges and universities to teach
programming because it is fairly easy to learn, yet is a more powerful
language than BASIC. Although PASCAL is not yet a standardized language,
it is still used rather extensively on microcomputers. It has greater
programming capabilities on small computers than are possible with BASIC.
3-54. Ada's development was initiated by the United States Department of
Defense. Ada is a modern general-purpose language designed with the
professional programmer in mind and has many unique features to aid in the
implementation of large-scale applications and real-time systems. Since Ada
is so strongly supported by the DOD and other advocates, it will become an
important language like those previously mentioned. Its primary
disadvantage relates to its size and complexity, which will require
considerable adjustment on the part of most programmers.
3-55. The most familiar of the procedure-oriented languages are BASIC
and FORTRAN for scientific or mathematical problems and COBOL for file
3-56. Programs written in procedure-oriented languages, unlike those in
symbolic languages, may be used with a number of different computer makes
and models. This feature greatly reduces reprogramming expenses when
changing from one computer system to another. The following are some other
advantages to procedure-oriented languages:
They are easier to learn than symbolic languages.
They require less time to write.
They provide better documentation.
They are easier to maintain.
However, there are some disadvantages of procedure-oriented languages.
They require more space in memory and they process data at a slower rate
than symbolic languages.
3-57. Programming is simply the process of planning the computer solution
to a problem. A generalized process or program for finding the total
resistance of a parallel resistance circuit can be derived by computing the
following steps:
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Step 1. Take the reciprocal of the resistance of all resistors
(expressed in ohms).
Step 2. Sum the values obtained in step 1.
Step 3. Take the reciprocal of the sum derived in step 2.
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To progress from this example to preparing a program for a computer is not
difficult. However, one basic characteristic to remember about the computer
is that it cannot think. It can only follow certain commands, and these
commands must be correctly expressed and must cover all possibilities. If a
program is to be useful in a computer, it must be broken down into
specifically defined operations or steps. Then the instructions, along with
other data necessary for performing these operations or steps, must be
communicated to the computer in the form of a language or code that is
acceptable to the machine. In broader terms, the computer follows certain
steps in executing a program. It must first read the instructions (sequentially
unless otherwise programmed) and then in accordance with these
instructions, it executes the following procedures:
Locates the parameters (constants) and such other data as may
be necessary for problem solution.
Transfers the parameters and data to the point of manipulation.
Manipulates the parameters and data in accordance with certain
rules of logic.
Stores the results of such manipulations in a specific location.
Provides the operator (user) with a useful output.
3-58. Even a program of elementary characters (such as the one above)
would involve breaking each of the steps down into a series of machine
operations. Then these instructions, parameters, and the data necessary for
problem solution must be translated into a language or code that the
computer can accept. Next, an introduction will be provided to the problem
solving concepts and flowcharting necessary to develop a program.
3-59. Before learning to program in any language, it is helpful to establish
some context for the productive part of the entire programming effort. This
context includes the understanding and agreement that there are four
fundamental and discrete steps involved in solving a problem on a computer.
The four steps are as follows:
Step 1. State, analyze, and define the problem.
Step 2. Develop the program logic and prepare a program
flowchart or decision table.
Step 3. Code the program, prepare the code in machine-readable
form, prepare test data, and perform debug and test runs.
Step 4. Complete the documentation and prepare operator
procedures for implementation and production.
3-60. Figure 3-2 depicts the evolution of a program. Programming can be
complicated. Before actually starting to write or code a program, advance
understanding/definition and flowcharting, fall into the advance planning
phase of programming. It is important at this point to develop correct habits
and procedures, since this will prevent later difficulties in program
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3-61. Whether working with a systems analyst, a customer, or solving a
problem on your own, it is extremely important that there is a thorough
understanding of the problem. Every aspect of the problem must be defined:
What is the problem?
What information (or data) is needed?
Where and how will the information be obtained?
What is the desired output?
Figure 3-2. Evolution of a Program
3-62. Starting with only a portion of the information, or an incomplete
definition, will result in having to constantly alter what has been done to
accommodate the additional facts as they become available. It is easier and
more efficient to begin programming after all of the necessary information is
understood. Once there is a thorough understanding of the problem, the next
step is flowcharting.
3-63. Flowcharting is one method of pictorially representing a procedural
(step-by-step) solution to a problem. Prepare a flowchart before starting to
write the computer instructions required to produce the desired results.
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Flowcharts use different shaped symbols connected by one-way arrows to
represent operations, data flow, equipment, and so forth.
3-64. The two types of flowcharts are system (data) flowcharts and
programming flowcharts. A system (data) flowchart (see Figure 3-3) defines
the major phases of the processing, as well as the various data media used. It
shows the relationship of many jobs that make up an entire system. In the
system (data) flowchart, an entire program run or phase is always
represented by a single processing symbol, together with the input/output
symbols showing the path of data through a problem solution.
3-65. The second type of flowchart and the one covered in this TC is the
programming flowchart (see Figure 3-4). It is constructed by the programmer
to represent the sequence of operations the computer will perform to solve a
specific problem. It graphically describes what will take place in the program.
It displays specific operations and decisions and their sequence within the
3-66. It is important to know the tools used in flowcharting. These tools are
the fundamental symbols, graphic symbols, flowcharting template, and
flowcharting worksheet.
3-67. FUNDAMENTAL SYMBOLS. Know the symbols and their related
meanings before starting to construct a flowchart. These symbols are
standard for the military (as directed by Department of the Army Automated
Data Systems Documentation Standards).
Figure 3-3. System Flowchart
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Figure 3-4. Programming Flowchart
3-68. Symbols are used to represent functions. These fundamental
functions are processing, decision, input/output, terminal, flow lines, and
connector symbols. All flowcharts may be initially constructed using only
these fundamental symbols as a rough outline to work from. Each symbol
corresponds to one of the functions of a computer and specifies the
instruction(s) to be performed by the computer. The contents of these symbols
are called statements. Figure 3-5 shows the shape, definition, example, and
explanation of the fundamental flowcharting symbols.
3-69. GRAPHIC SYMBOLS. Within a flowchart, graphic symbols are
used to specify arithmetic operations and relational conditions. The following
are commonly used arithmetic and relational symbols:
plus, add
minus, subtract
plus or minus =
equal to
greater than
less than
greater than or equal to ≤
less than or equal to ≠
not equal
YES or Y (Yes) NO or N (No) TRUE or T (True)
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Figure 3-5. Fundamental Flowcharting Symbols
3-70. FLOWCHARTING TEMPLATE. Use a flowcharting template in
order to aid in the drawing of flowcharting symbols. Figure 3-6 shows a
template containing the standard symbol cutouts. A template is usually
made of plastic with the symbols cut out to allow tracing the outline.
3-71. FLOWCHARTING SOFTWARE. A more simple form and easier
way of drawing flowcharts is to use software developed for this task.
Microsoft developed VISIO®, a complete and very easy to use program that
allows the programmer to lay out the flow of program with a simple dragand-drop function. This program can be found on the web at
(http://www.microsoft.com/office/visio). However, the most popular would
have to be SmartDraw 6.0. This can be found on the web at
(http://www.smartdraw.com). Developed by SmartDraw, it is a relatively
smaller program that offers all the vital tools for flowcharting and its
interface is easier to understand and use.
3-72. FLOWCHART WORKSHEET. The flowchart worksheet is a means
of standardizing documentation. It provides space for drawing programming
flowcharts and contains an area for identification of the job (including
application, procedure, date, and page numbers). The flowchart worksheet
can in helpful in developing flowcharts. If this form is not available, a plain
piece of paper will do.
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Figure 3-6. Flowchart Template
3-73. There is no "best way" to construct a flowchart. There is no way to
standardize problem resolution. Flowcharting and programming techniques
are often unique and conform to the individual's own methods or direction of
problem resolution.
3-74. The following will show an example of developing a programming
flowchart. It is not the intent to say this is the best way; rather, it is just one
of the ways. By following this text example, an operator should grasp the
idea of solving problems through flowchart construction. As the operator
gains experience and familiarity with a computer system, these ideas will
serve as a foundation.
3-75. The first thing that needs to be known before developing a flowchart
is what problem needs to be solved. After that, study the problem definition
and develop a flowchart to show the logic, steps, and sequence of steps the
computer must execute to solve the problem.
3-76. As an example, suppose you have taken out a short-term second
mortgage on a new home and you want to determine the following:
Real costs.
Amount of interest.
Amount to be applied to principal.
Final payment at the end of the three-year loan period.
The first step in completely understanding the problem is to know what are
the inputs and the outputs and what steps are needed to answer the
questions. Even when specifying a problem of your own, you will normally
not think in small, detailed, sequential steps. However, that is exactly how a
computer operates—one step after another in a specified order. Therefore, it
is necessary to think the problem solution through step by step. The problem
might be clarified by using the Problem Definition (see Figure 3-7).
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3-77. After you have attained this level of narrative problem definition, you
are ready to develop a flowchart showing the logic and sequence of steps you
want the computer to execute to solve the problem. Figure 3-7 also shows a
programming flowchart of this problem. Study both the problem definition
and the flowchart to see their relationship and content.
3-78. You now have a plan of what you want the computer to do. The next
step is to code a program that can be translated by a computer into a set of
instructions it can execute. This step is called program coding.
Figure 3-7. Problem Definition and Programming Flowchart
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PROGRAM CODING 3-79. It is important to remember that program coding is not the first step
of programming. Too often the tendency is to start coding too soon.
Remember, a great deal of planning and preparation must be done before
sitting down to code the computer instructions to solve a problem. For the
example amortization problem (see Figure 3-7), the specifications have been
analyzed in terms of the following:
The output desired.
The operations and procedures required in producing the output.
The input data needed.
In conjunction with this analysis, a programming flowchart has been
developed that outlines the procedures for taking the input data and
processing it into usable output. The operator is now ready to code the
instructions that will control the computer during processing. This requires
that the operator knows a programming language. All programming
languages (FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC and so on) are composed of
instructions that enable the computer to process a particular application or
perform a particular function.
3-80. The instruction is the fundamental element in program preparation.
Like a sentence, an instruction consists of a subject and a predicate.
However, the subject is usually not specifically mentioned; rather, it is some
implied part of the computer system directed to execute a command. For
example, the chief tells a sailor to "dump the trash." The sailor will interpret
this instruction correctly even though the subject "you" is omitted. Similarly,
if the computer is told to "ADD 1234," the control section may interpret this
to mean that the arithmetic-logic section should add the contents of address
1234 to the contents of the accumulator (a register in which the result of an
operation is formed).
3-81. In addition to an implied subject, every computer instruction has an
explicit predicate consisting of at least two parts. The first part is referred to
as the command or operation; it answers the question "what?" It tells the
computer what operation to perform (such as read, print, and input). An
operation code is used to communicate the programmer's intent to the
computer. The second specific part of the predicate, known as the operand,
names the object of the operation. In general, the operand answers the
question "where?" Operands may indicate the following:
The location of data to be processed.
The location where the result of processing will be stored.
The location of the next instruction to be executed. When this
type of operand is not specified, the instructions are executed in
3-82. The number of operands and the structure or format of the
instructions varies from one computer to another. However, the operation
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always comes first in the instruction and is followed by the operand(s). The
programmer must prepare instructions according to the format required by
the language and the computer to be used.
3-83. The number of instructions in a computer's instruction set may range
from less than 30 to more than 100. These instructions may be classified into
categories by the action they perform (such as input/output, data movement,
arithmetic, logic, and transfer of control). Each of these categories are
described below:
Input/output. These instructions are used to communicate
between I/O devices and the central processor.
Data movement. These instructions are used for copying data
from one storage location to another and for rearranging and
changing data elements in some prescribed manner.
Arithmetic. These instructions permit addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division. They are common in all digital
Logic. These instructions allow comparison between variables, or
between variables and constants.
Transfer of control. These instructions are classified into two
types—conditional and unconditional.
Conditional transfer of control instructions is used to
branch or change the sequence of program control,
depending on the outcome of the comparison. If the
outcome of a comparison is true, control is transferred to
a specific statement number. If it proves false, processing
continues sequentially through the program.
Unconditional transfer of control instructions is used to
change the sequence of program control to a specified
program statement regardless of any condition.
3-84. Regardless of the language used, the programmer must adhere to
strict rules with regard to punctuation and statement structure when coding
any program. Using the programming flowchart shown in Figure 3-4, a
program coded in BASIC has been added to show the relationship of the
flowchart to the actual coded instructions (see Figure 3-8). Do not worry
about complete understanding, just look at the instructions with the
flowchart to get an idea of what coded instructions look like.
3-85. Specific information about the computer is needed in order to code a
program. For example, how the language is implemented on that particular
computer. The computer manufacturer or software designer will provide
these specifics in their user's manual. Get a copy of the user's manual and
study it before starting to code. The differences may seem minor, but they
may prevent a program from running. Once coding is completed, the program
must be debugged and tested before implementation.
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Figure 3-8. Programming Flowchart and Coded Program
3-86. Errors caused by faulty logic and coding mistakes are referred to as
"bugs." Finding and correcting these mistakes and errors that prevent the
program from running and producing correct output is called "debugging."
3-87. Rarely do complex programs run to completion on the first attempt.
Time spent debugging and testing often equals or exceeds the time spent in
program coding. This is particularly true if insufficient time was spent on
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program definition and logic development. The following are some common
mistakes that cause program bugs:
Mistakes in coding punctuation.
Incorrect operation codes.
Transposed characters.
Keying errors.
Failure to provide a sequence of instructions (a program path)
needed to process certain conditions.
3-88. To reduce the number of errors, carefully check the coding sheets
before they are keyed into the computer. This process is known as "desk­
checking" and should include an examination for program completeness.
Typical input data should be manually traced through the program
processing paths to identify possible errors. After desk-checking the program
for accuracy, the program is ready to be assembled or compiled. Assembly
and compiler programs prepare the program (source program) to be executed
by the computer. These programs will also have error diagnostic features
that detect certain types of mistakes in the program. These mistakes must be
corrected. Even if the program passes error-free through the assembly or
compiler program, this does not mean the program is perfected. However, it
usually means the program is ready for testing.
3-89. Once a program reaches the testing stage, it usually has proven it
will run and produce output. The purpose of testing is to determine that all
data can be processed correctly and that the output is correct. The testing
process involves processing input test data that will produce known results.
The test data should include the following:
Typical data, which will test the commonly used program paths.
Unusual but valid data, which will test the program paths used
to process exceptions.
Incorrect, incomplete, or inappropriate data, which will test the
program's error routines.
If the program does not pass these tests, more testing is required. Examine
the errors and review the coding to make the needed coding corrections.
When the program passes these tests, it is ready for computer
documentation must be completed.
3-90. Documentation is a continuous process. Documentation begins with
the problem definition. Documentation involves collecting, organizing,
storing, and otherwise maintaining a complete record of the programs and
other documents associated with the data processing system.
3-91. The Army has established documentation standards to ensure
completeness and uniformity for the use of computer system information
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between commands and between civilian and Army organizations. A
documentation package should include the following:
A definition of the problem. Why was the program written?
What were the objectives? Who requested and approved the
program? These are the types of questions that should be
A description of the system. The system environment
(hardware, software, and organization) in which the program
functions should be described (including systems flowcharts).
General systems specifications should be clearly defined outlining
the scope of the problem, the form and type of input data to be
used, and the form and type of output required.
A description of the program. Programming flowcharts,
program listings, program controls, test data, test results, and
storage dumps. These and other documents should be included
that describe the program and give a historical record of problems
and/or changes.
Operator instructions. Items that should be included are
computer switch settings, loading and unloading procedures, and
starting, running, and termination procedures.
3-92. The program is ready for use after the documentation is complete and
the test output is correct. If a program is designed to replace a program in an
existing system, it is generally wise to have a period of parallel processing.
This means that the job application is processed both by the old program and
by the new program. The purpose of this period is to verify processing
accuracy and completeness.
3-93. Fortunately, a program does not have to be written for every problem
to be solved. Instead, packaged or off-the-shelf programs can be used that are
designed for specific classes of applications. More and more packaged
software (software written by the manufacturer, a software house, or CDA)
becomes available every day for general use. It may be up to the operator to
set up and process a job within the specifications of a packaged program.
Four classes of packaged software (word processing, data management,
spreadsheets, and graphics) that are used in everyday work are described
3-94. Word processing software is used for any function that involves text
(letters, memos, forms, reports, and so on). At a minimum, it includes
routines for creating, editing, storing, retrieving, and printing text. Under
the word processing software control, text is generally entered from the
keyboard (see Figure 3-9) and it is printed on a display screen. After
inputting of text is completed, it can be stored on a floppy disk or CD-ROM
disk, sent to print, or continue to make changes. Changes to text (adding or
deleting words, characters, lines, sentences, or paragraphs) can be made by
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using the edit functions. Text can also be rearranged. For example, move a
paragraph or block of information to another place in the same document or
even move it to a different document. Word processing is particularly useful
for text documents that are repetitive or that require a lot of revisions. It
saves a lot of re-keying.
Figure 3-9. Word Processing Example
3-95. Other features and software often available with a word processing
software package include the following:
Spell and grammar checks.
Mailing list programs.
Document compilation programs.
Communications programs.
3-96. The spell and grammar checks help find misspelled words (but not
misused words) and misuse of sentence structure and punctuation. During
spell check, the software scans the text matching each word against a built-in
dictionary of words. If the word is not found in the dictionary, the system
flags the word. If known, correct the spelling or check the spelling by using a
dictionary. The grammar check flags sentence structure and usually
recommends a better wording. Even with these checks, the document must
still be proofread to see that everything was keyed and that the words are
used correctly.
3-97. Mailing list programs are designed for maintaining name and
address files. They often include a capability to individualize letters and
reports by inserting names, words, or phrases.
3-98. Document compilation programs are useful when there are standard
paragraphs of information that needs to be combined in different ways for
various purposes. For example, if answering inquiries or putting together
contracts or proposals; once the standard paragraphs that are needed are
selected, variable information can then be added. This saves both keying and
proofreading time.
3-99. Communications software and hardware enables an operator to
transmit and receive text on a microcomputer. Many organizations use this
capability for electronic mail. In a matter of minutes an operator can enter
and transmit a memo to other commands or to personnel in other locations.
Monthly reports, notices, or any documents prepared on the microcomputer
can also be transmitted.
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DATA MANAGEMENT 3-100. Data management software allows an operator to enter data and
then retrieve it in a variety of ways. First, data fields must be defined and
also a display screen setup with prompts. Next, enter the data records
according to the prompts (see Figure 3-10). The system writes the records on
a floppy disk or CD-ROM disk. Once a file has been keyed and stored, records
can be retrieved by a field or several fields or by searching the records for
specific data. For example, if a list of all personnel who reported aboard ship
before January 2004 is needed, tell the system to search the file and print
selected fields of all records that meet that condition. Tell the system what
fields to print (such as name, grade, SSN, and date reported) and where
(what print positions) to print them. At the same time, specify in what order
the records are to be printed. Figure 3-11 shows an example of the records
printed in alphabetical order by last name. The software also provides
routines so records can be easily added, deleted, or changed.
Figure 3-10. Data Management Example (Prompts in Bold and Data in Italics)
Figure 3-11. Data Management Example (Sample Printed Report Sorted by Last Name)
3-101. Reports can also be generated by specifying what records to use, what
fields to print, where to print the fields, and which data fields, if any, need to
be combined. For example, the supply officer wants to know the value of the
inventory. The extended price can be calculated by multiplying the item
quantity by the unit price and than the extended prices can be totaled (see
Figure 3-12). The information to be used in report and column headings can
also be specified.
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Figure 3-12. Data Management Example (Calculation of Inventory Value)
3-102. Data management programs on microcomputers are not as
sophisticated as the database management systems on mainframes and
minicomputers. However, they do provide an extremely useful capability in
offices or aboard ship.
3-103. A spreadsheet is a table of rows and columns (see Figure 3-13).
Spreadsheet processors allow the set up a table of rows and columns to add
headings and specify what calculations to perform on the columns. Values for
the basic information must be entered into the appropriate rows and
columns. Then the processor performs the calculations. Figure 3-13 is an
example of a spreadsheet showing the projected magnetic media
requirements costs. Enter the item descriptions, column headings, report
title, and data for columns 1, 2, and 4. The software calculates column 3 by
adding columns 1 and 2. The software also multiplies column 3 times column
4 and puts the result in column 5. It can also subtotal and total the columns
specified, in this case, columns 1 through 3 and column 5.
Figure 3-13. Spreadsheet Example
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3-104. Graphics capability is available on many microcomputers. One use is
to produce data displays like graphs, pie charts (see Figure 3-14), and bar
charts (see Figure 3-15). On some micros line drawings can be created, on
others, sophisticated engineering drawings can be created. High-resolution
color graphics are also available for specialized applications.
Figure 3-14. Graphics Examples (Pie Chart)
Figure 3-15. Graphics Examples (Bar Chart)
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3-105. All printers are not compatible for graphics output. They must be
capable of producing graphics and also be compatible with the software.
Some character printers can be used for limited graphics. Dot-matrix printers
and plotters work well for graphics output. Laser and ink jet printers are also
good for both text and graphics.
3-106. This chapter has presented information on digital computers
software. The information that follows summarizes the important points in
this chapter.
3-107. OPERATING SYSTEMS are a collection of many programs used by
the computer to manage its own resources and operations and to perform
commonly used functions like copy, print, and so on.
3-108. UTILITY PROGRAMS perform such tasks as sorting, merging, and
transferring (copying) data from one input/output device to another (such as
from card to tape, tape to tape, tape to disk, and so on).
3-109. SORT-MERGE PROGRAMS arrange data records in a predefined
sequence or order and are capable of combining two or more ordered files into
one file.
3-110. REPORT PROGRAM GENERATORS are used to generate programs
to print detail and summary reports of data files.
3-111. PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES are the means by which human-tocomputer communication is achieved. They are used to write the instructions
to tell the computer what to do to solve a given problem.
3-112. A MACHINE LANGUAGE uses a string of numbers that represent
the instruction codes and operand addresses to tell the computer what to do.
3-113. SYMBOLIC LANGUAGES improves the program preparation
process by substituting letter symbols (mnemonic codes) for basic machine
language instruction codes.
3-114. A PROCEDURE ORIENTED LANGUAGE is a programming
language oriented toward a specific class of processing problems. Examples
3-115. PROGRAMMING is the process of planning and coding the computer
instructions to solve a problem.
3-116. FLOWCHARTING is one method of pictorially representing a
procedural (step-by-step) solution to a problem before actually starting to
write the computer instructions required to produce the desired results.
3-117. PACKAGED SOFTWARE is designed for specific classes of
applications. Examples are word processing, spreadsheets, data
management, and graphics. The manufacturer, a software house, or a central
design agency usually writes these off-the-shelf programs.
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Check-on-Learning Questions
1. What is the heart of any computer system?
2. Which types of operating systems are the simplest and most common on
3. What types of operating systems lets more than one user access the same resources
at the same time?
4. Why is the availability of applications software for a particular operating system
5. How is the applications software compatibility problem overcome?
6. What is the name of the record that takes control of the PC and loads the IO.SYS
into RAM?
7. What is the simplest way to upgrade an operating system?
8. What programs eliminate the need for programmers to write new programs when all
they want to do is copy, print, or sort a data file?
9. How do we tell a utility program what we want it to do?
10. What is the term given to arranging data records in a predefined sequence or order?
11. What must the sort program be told to do in order to sort a data file?
12. For what purpose are report program generators used?
13. With early computers, the programmer had to translate instructions into what type
of language form?
14. When were mnemonic instruction codes and symbolic addresses developed?
15. Why were procedure-oriented languages developed?
16. What computer language was developed for mathematical work?
17. What are two disadvantages of procedure-oriented languages?
18. What is programming?
19. In programming, how many steps are involved in solving a problem on a computer?
20. What is required before starting to write or code a program?
21. What are the two types of flowcharts?
22. What type of flowchart does the programmer construct to represent the sequence of
operations the computer will perform to solve a specific problem?
23. How many tools are used in flowcharting?
24. Is there a "best way" to construct a flowchart?
25. What is the first thing that needs to be known before developing a flowchart?
26. What is the fundamental element in program preparation?
27. What types of instruction permit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division?
28. What must be done to the program after the coding is completed?
29. How do we refer to errors caused by faulty logic and coding mistakes?
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30. What is the purpose of testing a program?
31. When does documentation begin?
32. What is packaged software?
33. What does data management software allow you to do?
34. What are spreadsheets?
35. Are all printers capable of handling graphics output?
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Chapter 4
Data Representation and Communications
One of the major problems faced today with digital computers is
communication. Chapter 2 covered the several types of input devices that
read data into a computer. However, there is more than one way of getting
data into the computer to be processed. In order to process data you must
determine the following:
• How to prepare the data to be used as input.
• How to convert human-readable documents into a computerreadable form.
• What type of input media to use.
• How to transmit data that will be used by another computer some
distance away.
There are several ways to perform this conversion and transmission process.
Data is a general term used to describe raw facts. Data is nothing
more than a collection of related elements or items that, when properly coded
into some type of input medium, can be processed by a computer. Data items
might include service number, name, pay grade, or any other fact. Until some
meaning is given to determine what the data is about, it will remain just
data. When this data has been processed together with other facts, it then
has meaning and becomes information that could be understood and properly
Data is represented by symbols. Symbols convey meaning only when
understood. The symbol is just a representation of the information and may
convey one meaning to some, another meaning to others, and no meaning at
all to those that do not know their significance. Data must be reduced to a set
of symbols that the computer can read and interpret before there can be any
communication with the computer (see Figure 4-1). The first computers were
designed to manipulate numbers to solve arithmetic problems. Many other
symbols can be created, used, and manipulated to represent facts in the
world. Manipulating these symbols is possible if an identifying code or coded
number is assigned to the symbol to be stored and processed. The letters in a
name such as “ALBERT” or “CAROL” can be represented by different codes,
as can all special characters (such as #, &, $, and @). The data represented is
called source data.
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Figure 4-1. Communications Symbols
Source data or raw data is typically written on some type of paper
document, which is referred to as a source document. The data contained on
the source document must be converted into a machine-readable form for
processing either by direct or indirect means. The data may be entered
directly into the computer in its original form (such as, right from the source
document on which it is recorded by way of magnetic ink characters, optically
recognizable characters, or bar code recognition). Or the data on the
documents may be entered indirectly on input media (such as floppy disk,
OCR, CD-ROM disk, and zip disk). It may also be keyed directly into a
computer from a keyboard.
In 1973, the Uniform Grocery Code Council recommended the
adoption of the Universal Product Code (UPC) symbol. This symbol is still in
use in the United States (US) today. In 1981, the United States Department
of Defense adopted the use of Code 39 for marking all products sold to the US
military with a system called Logistics Marking System (LOGMARS). The
complete UPC bar code number consists of the UPC bar code prefix and a
unique product identification (ID) number that the supplier randomly
assigns. The UPC bar code symbol is created by inputting the UPC bar code
number into the UPC bar code software. The UPC bar code software will
then generate the UPC bar code symbol that is printed on the retail product
packaging. The UPC bar code number (and associated bar code symbol)
consists of the manufacturer number, which is combined with a product
number (assigned by the manufacturer) and a check digit (assigned by a
mathematical equation found in most bar code software). The UPC symbol is
consists of a row of 59 black and white bars. Printed beneath the bars is a
series of 12 numbers. In the UPC bar code sample in Figure 4-2, a 6 digit
number, "012345" has been assigned (leaving 5 digits to represent items plus one 'check digit'). This initial number "012345" represents the
manufacturer on all of their products as well as in any Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) applications. For example, the UPC prefix code for the
Coca-Cola Company is 049000 (this prefix was assigned and licensed to the
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Coca-Cola Company from the Uniform Code Council [UCC]). Therefore, this
049000 number will appear in the first 6 digits of the Coca-Cola Company’s
entire product UPC bar codes. The 5 numbers that follow, identify the
specific product, and its size, color, flavor, and so on (depending on type of
product). The last number (in Figure 4-2) is called the 'check digit' and is
used to guard against errors (when numbers are manually keyed in) and
fraud. There is a mathematical formula that, when applied, produces the
proper check digit. The UPC bar code (see Figure 4-2), aside from speeding
checkout, allows retailers and manufacturers to manage and replenish
inventory more efficiently. The bar code also automates many processes and
operations, like special promotions, coupons, and product returns.
Figure 4-2. UPC Bar Code
Some sort of coding system must be used to represent numeric,
alphabetic, and special characters in a computer's internal storage and on
magnetic media. In computers, the code is made up of fixed size groups of
binary positions. Each binary position in a group is assigned a specific value
(for example, 8, 4, 2, or 1). In this way, every character can be represented by
a combination of bits that is different from any other combination.
There are a number of selected coding systems that are used to
represent data. The coding systems that will be covered are EBCDIC and
ASCII. Regardless of what coding system is used, each character will have an
additional bit called a check bit or parity bit.
Using an 8-bit code, it is possible to represent 256 different
characters or bit combinations. This provides a unique code for each decimal
value 0 through 9 (for a total of 10), each uppercase and lowercase letter (for
a total of 52), and for a variety of special characters. In addition to four
numeric bits, four zone bit positions are used in 8-bit code (see Figure 4-3).
Each group of the eight bits makes up one alphabetic, numeric, or special
character and is called a byte.
Figure 4-3. Format For EBCDIC and ASCII Codes
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Figure 4-3 shows that the four rightmost bits in EBCDIC are
assigned values of 8, 4, 2, and 1. The next four bits to the left are called the
zone bits. Figure 4-4 shows the EBCDIC coding chart for uppercase and
lowercase alphabetic characters and for the numeric digits 0 through 9 (along
with their hexadecimal equivalents). Hexadecimal is a number system used
with some computer systems. It has a base of 16 (0-9 and A-F). A represents
10; B represents 11; C represents 12; D represents 13; E represents 14; and F
represents 15. In EBCDIC, the bit pattern 1100 is the zone combination used
for the alphabetic characters A through I, 1101 is used for the characters J
through R, and 1110 is the zone combination used for characters S through Z.
The bit pattern 1111 is the zone combination used when representing
decimal digits. For example, the code 11000001 is equivalent to the letter A;
the code 11110001 is equivalent to the decimal digit 1. Other zone
combinations are used when forming special characters. Not all of the 256
combinations of 8-bit code have been assigned characters. Figure 4-5 shows
how the characters DP-3 are represented using EBCDIC.
4-10. Since one numeric character can be represented and stored using
only four bits (8-4-2-1), using an 8-bit code allows the representation of two
numeric characters (decimal digits) (see Figure 4-6). Representing two
numeric characters in one byte (eight bits) is referred to as packing or packed
data. By packing data (numeric characters only) in this way, it allows us to
conserve the amount of storage space required, and at the same time,
increases processing speed.
Figure 4-4. Eight-Bit EBCDIC Coding Chart (Including Hexadecimal Equivalents)
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Figure 4-5. DP-3 Represented Using 8-Bit EBCDIC Code
Figure 4-6. Packed Data
4-11. Another 8-bit code known as ASCII was originally designed as a 7-bit
code. Several computer manufacturers cooperated to develop this code for
transmitting and processing data. The purpose was to standardize a binary
code to give the computer user the capability of using several machines to
process data regardless of the manufacturer (such as IBM, Honeywell,
UNIVAC, Burroughs, and so on). However, since most computers are
designed to handle (store and manipulate) 8-bit code, an 8-bit version of
ASCII was developed. ASCII is commonly used in the transmission of data
through data communications and is used almost exclusively to represent
data internally in microcomputers.
4-12. The concepts and advantages of ASCII are identical to those of
EBCDIC. The important difference between the two coding systems lies in
the 8-bit combinations assigned to represent the various alphabetic, numeric,
and special characters. Notice that the selection of bit patterns, when using
ASCII 8-bit code, are different from those when using EBCDIC. Table 4-1
shows a comparison of the characters DP-3 in EBCDIC and ASCII.
Table 4-1. DP-3 Characters in EBCDIC and ASCII
4-13. In ASCII, rather than breaking letters into three groups, uppercase
letters are assigned codes beginning with hexadecimal value 41 and
continuing sequentially through hexadecimal value 5A. Lowercase letters are
also assigned hexadecimal values of 61 through 7A. The decimal values 1
through 9 are assigned the zone code 0011 in ASCII rather that 1111 as in
EBCDIC. Figure 4-7 is the ASCII coding chart showing uppercase and
lowercase alphabetic characters and numeric digits 0 through 9.
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Figure 4-7. Eight-Bit ASCII Coding Chart (Including Hexadecimal Equivalents)
4-14. This additional bit in each storage location is used to detect errors in
the circuitry. Therefore, a computer that uses an 8-bit code (such as EBCDIC
or ASCII) will have a ninth bit for parity checking.
4-15. The parity bit provides an internal means for checking the validity,
the correctness, of code construction. This means that the total number of
bits in a character, including the parity bit, must always be odd or always be
even, depending upon whether the particular computer system or device
being used is odd or even parity. Therefore, the coding is said to be in either
odd or even parity code and the test for bit count is called a parity check.
4-16. The following covers bits and bytes, primary storage, and storage
capacities. Also covered are the ways data may be stored and retrieved inside
the computer.
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Data Representation and Communications
4-17. Chapter 2 covered that a computer's primary storage area, each
serving a specific purpose, is divided into the following four areas:
Input storage area accepts and holds input data to be processed.
Working storage area holds intermediate processing results.
Output storage area holds the final processing results.
Program storage area holds the processing instructions (the
Remember, each of these separate areas do not have built-in physical
boundaries. Instead, the boundaries are determined by the individual
programs being used.
4-18. A bit is a single binary digit that represents the smallest unit of data.
However, computers usually do not operate on single bits. Instead, they store
and manipulate a fixed number of bits. The smallest unit or number of bits a
computer works with is most often eight bits. These eight bits make up a
byte. EBCDIC and ASCII codes use eight bits (excluding the parity bit), and
that eight bits represent a single character (such as the letter A or the
number 7). Therefore, the computer can store and manipulate an individual
byte (a single character) or a group of bytes (several characters or a word) at
a time. These individual bytes, or groups of bytes, form the basic unit of
4-19. Primary storage capacities are usually specified in number of bytes.
The symbol "K" is used whenever reference is made to the size of memory,
especially when the memory is quite large. The symbol K is equal to 1,024
units or positions of storage. Therefore, if a computer has 512K bytes (not
bits) of primary storage, then it can hold 512 x 1,024 or 524,288 characters
(bytes) of data in its memory.
4-20. In primary storage, many magnetic cores are strung together on a
screen of wire to form what is called a core plane (see Figure 4-8). Each core
can store one binary bit (0 or 1) of data. Current flowing through the wires on
which the core is strung magnetizes a core. Therefore, a core magnetized in
one direction represents a binary 0 and when magnetized in the opposite
direction, a binary 1. It is the direction in which the core is magnetized that
determines whether it contains a binary 0 or a binary 1 (see Figure 4-9).
These core planes look very much like small window screens and are
arranged vertically to represent data (see Figure 4-10). Figure 4-10 shows the
nine planes needed to code in 8-bit EBCDIC. The ninth plane provides for a
parity (check) bit. Figure 4-10 also shows DP-3 in EBCDIC code, even parity.
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Figure 4-8. Core Plane
Figure 4-9. Core Magnetized in One Direction
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Figure 4-10. Core Planes Arranged Vertically to Represent Data
4-21. The storage capacity of an address is designed and built into the
computer by the manufacturer. Over the years, several different design
approaches to partition primary storage have been used. With this in mind,
let us take a look at some of the ways primary storage is partitioned into
4-22. One way to design or organize the primary storage section is to store
a fixed number of characters (bytes) at each address location. These
characters can be referenced as a single entity called a word (see Figure 4­
11). The name “CHARLIE” (address location 400) or the amount he is paid, in
this case $69.00 (address location 401), are each treated as a single word.
Computers that are built to retrieve, manipulate, and store a fixed number of
characters in each address are said to be word-oriented, word-addressable
machines, or fixed-word-length computers.
4-23. Another way to design the primary storage section is to store a single
character, such as the letter L or the number 8, in each address location. An
address is assigned to each location in storage. Computers designed in this
way are said to be character-oriented or character addressable. They are also
called variable-word-length computers. Therefore, the name “CHARLIE” (see
Figure 4-12) now requires seven address locations (300 through 306), while
the amount paid ($69.00) occupies six address locations (307 through 312).
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Figure 4-11. Fixed-Word-Length Versus Variable-Word-Length Storage, Fixed-Length Words, Containing Eight Characters Each, Occupying Two Address Locations (Word Addressable) Figure 4-12. Fixed-Word-Length Versus Variable-Word-Length Storage,
Variable-Length Words (Character Addressable)
4-24. Whether a computer addresses a group of bytes as a word or
addresses each byte individually is a function of the circuitry. Both designs
have advantages and disadvantages. Variable-word-length computers make
the most efficient use of available storage space, since a character can be
placed in every storage location. In a fixed-word-length computer, storage
space may be wasted. For example, if the storage capacity in each address of
a fixed-word-length computer is eight bytes, and some of the data elements to
be stored contain only three or four characters, then many of the storage
positions in each word are not being used.
4-25. Fixed-word-length computers have faster calculating speeds since
they can add two data words in a single operation. This is not so with
character-addressable computers since they can only add one digit (byte) in
each number during a single machine operation. Therefore, eight steps are
required to complete the calculation.
4-26. The larger mainframe computers (super-computers like the CRAY-1
and CYBER 205) use only fixed-word-length storage. Most microcomputers
use the variable-word-length approach, allowing them to operate on one
character at a time. Somewhere in between these two extremes are the
dozens of existing minicomputer and mainframe models that have what is
called built-in flexibility.
4-27. These flexible computers are byte-oriented but can operate in either a
fixed- or variable-word-length mode through the use of proper program
instructions. Let us take a look at how these flexible computers operate in a
variable- and fixed-word-length environment.
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4-28. Working in a variable-word-length environment, each address holds
one alphanumeric character (see Figure 4-12). Since a byte usually
represents a single alphanumeric character, unless packed data is being
used, a flexible computer is often said to be byte-addressable. Do not be
confused; the terms “character-addressable,” “character-oriented,” and “byte­
addressable” all have the same meaning. By using the appropriate program
instructions, a programmer can retrieve a stored data element by identifying
the address of the first character (say, position 300 as in Figure 4-12) and
specifying the number of address locations to be included in the word. In this
case there are seven locations—positions 300 through 306.
4-29. When a flexible computer is working in a fixed-word-length
environment, each address identifies a group of bytes that can be operated on
as a unit. This processing method helps to achieve faster calculating speeds.
A programmer can use program instructions to cause the computer to
automatically retrieve, manipulate, and store, as a unit, a fixed word of say,
two, four, or eight bytes of data in one machine operation by identifying the
address of the first character of data. At the same time, all remaining bytes
are acted upon as a unit moving from left to right. Figure 4-13 shows the
different word lengths possible with many byte-addressable computers. They
are half-word (2 bytes), full-word (4 bytes), and double-word (8 bytes). The
next step is to see how these bits and bytes are represented (coded) on some
of the more common secondary storage media.
4-30. Secondary storage devices (also called auxiliary or mass storage
devices) are those devices that are not part of the CPU. They include external
core, semiconductor, thin film, and several different types of mass storage
such as RAID and CD-ROM disk.
4-31. Remember, it takes a certain number of bits to make one byte
(normally eight), and when bytes are grouped together at a single address
they make up a word in the computer's memory. When data is recorded on
some type of magnetic storage medium (such as disk or tape); it is normally
organized by bits, characters (bytes), fields, records, and files (see Figure
4-14). The following definitions will help in understanding the relationship
between bits, characters, bytes, words, fields, records, and files:
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BIT - The smallest unit of data; it represents one binary digit
(0 or 1).
CHARACTER (BYTE) - A group of related bits (usually eight)
that make up a single character-letter, number, or special
WORD - A group of related bytes that are treated as a single
addressable unit or entity in memory.
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FIELD - One or more related characters that are treated as a
unit of information. A field (also referred to as a data item) may
be alphabetic, numeric, or alphanumeric, and may be either fixed
or variable in length. For example, a SSN is of a fixed length; that
is, it is always 9 positions in length. However, names are variable
length because they may be from 2 to 25 positions in length.
RECORD - A group of related fields, all pertaining to the same
subject (a person, a thing, or an event). For example, a payroll
record (LES) might include fields for a name, amount paid, taxes
withheld, earned leave, and any allotments that are deducted. On
the other hand, a supply inventory record might consist of fields
containing the stock number, the name of the item, its unit price,
the quantity on hand, and its bin location.
FILE - A collection of related records such as the payroll or
supply inventory records. Normally, all records within the file are
in the same format.
4-32. Processing data is thought of in terms of data files. For example, to
process a parts inventory, a master parts inventory file and the file that
contains up-to-date information on each part that has been issued is needed.
The master parts inventory file would have a record for every part in the
inventory. The update file and the parts issued file would have a record for
each part issued. A program is used to read the records on the parts issued
file and to update the matching records on the master parts inventory file.
Depending on whether the data is stored on magnetic tape or disk or in
internal storage, the program would use different methods to access storage
to obtain the data.
4-33. How data files are stored in secondary storage varies with the types
of media and devices being used. Data files may be stored on or in sequentialaccess storage, direct-access storage, or random-access storage.
4-34. When operating in a sequential environment, a particular record can
be read only by first reading all the records that come before it in the file.
This method has now been replaced by other more modern, not sequential,
methods (such as RAID and hard drive).
4-35. Direct-access storage allows access to data directly from the media
without first having to read the front data. Floppy disks and CD-ROM disks
are examples of direct-access storage media. Data can be obtained quickly
from anywhere on the media. However, the amount of time it takes to access
a record is dependent to some extent on the mechanical process involved. It is
usually necessary to scan some (but not all) of the preceding data.
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Figure 4-13. Word Lengths Used On Flexible Byte-Addressable Computers
Figure 4-14. Data Organization
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RANDOM-ACCESS STORAGE 4-36. Random-access storage media refers to magnetic core, semiconductor,
and thin film. In this type of storage, a given item of data can be selected
from anywhere in storage without having to scan any preceding items and
the access time is independent of the storage location.
4-37. A network can be defined as any system composed of one or more
computers and terminals. However, most are composed of multiple terminals
and computers. The below explains how networks allow dissimilar computers
to work together as a team.
4-38. In LANs, various machines are linked together within a building or
adjacent buildings. Figure 4-15 shows an example of a LAN. A LAN allows
dissimilar machines to exchange information within one universal system.
With the ability to communicate, the dissimilar machines act as a team. The
information that exists in one system can be reused without being reentered
via keyboard or disk into another separate system. A universal system for the
integration and exchange of information is connected to all input devices. The
entire system is usually housed within the same building or the same
geographic area. A local area network is made up of a communications
facility (for example, a coaxial cable, such as that used for cable television)
and interface units creating a link for the computers and terminals to the
communications facility. The two designs that can be used are broadband or
Figure 4-15. Local Area Network System
4-39. A baseband communications channel uses the basic frequency band of
radio waves and a coaxial cable. This coaxial cable has one channel, which is
like a party line. Only two machines can use this cable at one time, even
though many have the channel available. There is no central switching unit
to route traffic over the network.
4-40. A more expensive channel, called a broadband communications
channel, can handle more advanced applications. This includes transmission
of voice as well as data and text. Since the controller can be used to route
traffic for a large number of simultaneous users, the users are able to share
one of the many individual channels of the system.
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WIDE AREA NETWORKS 4-41. Wide area networks provide for global connections and are sometimes
referred to as global networks. Organizations are able to send information
from city to city, across the nation, and to other countries throughout the
world through the expansion of local area networks into larger network
configurations. Larger telecommunications networks use combinations of
telephone lines, microwave radio links, and satellites to send information. In
1965, the first successful communications satellite for business applications
was launched after many tries with primitive satellites. With the launching
of larger and more complex satellites, the size and complexity of earth
stations have been shrinking. Since satellite service costs have been steadily
decreasing, it is becoming more cost-effective to use them for business-type
4-42. Since both signals and data can be transmitted and received through
cables (communications lines), they are referred to as input/output channels.
When data is transmitted directly to a computer over long distances, it
becomes necessary to add two other devices, one at each end of the
communications line. These devices are called modems (see Figure 4-16). The
word “modem” is an acronym for modulator/demodulator (combines first
syllable of each word). A modem converts the digital signal produced by a
terminal or the computer to an audio signal suitable for transmission over
the communications line. The modem at the other end of the line converts the
audio signal back to a digital signal before it is supplied to the computers or a
terminal. If this conversion were not carried out, the digital signal would
degenerate during transmission and become garbled.
Figure 4-16. Modem
4-43. The physical link or medium that is used to carry (or transmit) data
from one location to another is a communications channel. It allows remotely
located input/output devices to communicate directly with the computer's
CPU. Telephone lines (often referred to as land lines) are a frequently used
type of communications channel.
4-44. In a simple data communications system, terminals and other remote
I/O devices are linked directly to one or more CPUs to allow users to enter
data and programs and receive output information. Interface elements (those
devices, such as modems, that serve to interconnect) are used to bridge and
control the different data communications environments. Modems permit the
system to switch back and forth from computer digital data to analog signals
that can be transmitted over communications lines.
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4-45. A modem never knows exactly when to expect data. Therefore, it
must receive some type of signal warning that data is about to be
transmitted. This gives the modem time to get itself aligned and in
synchronization with the incoming signal. Special characters, known as
message characters, provide this warning and are placed in front of and
behind the data to mark the beginning and ending of the message. The two
methods of transmission used are called asynchronous and synchronous.
4-46. With asynchronous transmission, each character of data must be
surrounded by message characters. As a result, more total bits must be
transmitted (transferred) than would be necessary if the synchronous method
were used.
4-47. With synchronous transmission, only a single set of start and stop
message characters is needed per block of data. This allows more characters
to be transmitted per second. Synchronous transmission is more efficient and
faster. However, it has the disadvantage of requiring a more complex and
expensive modem than does the asynchronous transmission.
4-48. Whenever data is transferred between devices, it also involves an
exchange of prearranged signals. This is known as “handshaking”. These
signals, in combination with a prearranged pattern of message characters,
define the rules for exchanging data over a communications line. The exact
rules depend upon each individual computer manufacturer, the telephone
company, and the related devices (modems) that make up the computer
system. “Protocol” is the term used for the specific set of rules that govern
handshaking and message characters.
4-49. In a network system (see Figure 4-17), data to be sent to the main
computer's CPU is entered through a remote online user terminal (far left).
The data is keyed in digital form and sent to a nearby modem for conversion
into an analog signal suitable for transmission. This converted data is then
transmitted over the telephone (or land) lines to another modem located near
the main computer system's CPU. The data, now in digital form, can be sent
directly to the CPU for processing. The same route is followed when
information is sent from the CPU back to the remote terminal. Data
communications and networks expand the use of computer technology by
providing a means for computers and other machines to talk to each other.
Figure 4-17. Modems Used In Network System
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4-50. This chapter has presented information on data. The information
that follows summarizes the important points in this chapter.
4-51. DATA is a general term used to describe raw facts like a service
number, name, and paygrade.
4-52. DATA REPRESENTATION is accomplished by the use of symbols.
The symbol itself is not the information, but it is merely a representation.
Symbols convey meaning only when understood. In computers, symbols are
represented by CODES.
4-53. SOURCE DATA is raw data typically written on some type of paper
4-54. COMPUTER CODING SYSTEMS are used to represent numeric,
alphabetic, and special characters in computer storage and on magnetic
(EBCDIC) is an 8-bit code used in computers to represent numbers, letters,
and special characters.
INTERCHANGE (ASCII) is another 8-bit code developed to standardize a
binary code to give the computer user the capability of using several
machines to process data regardless of the manufacturer.
A PARITY BIT is used to detect errors in computer circuitry.
4-58. MAGNETIC CORE STORAGE is used as primary storage in some
4-59. STORAGE CAPACITY AND ADDRESSES are designed and built
into the computer by the manufacturer.
4-60. Data in SECONDARY STORAGE (like floppy disk or CD-ROM disk)
is normally organized by bits, characters (bytes), fields, records, and files.
4-61. STORAGE ACCESS METHODS vary with the types of media and
devices being used.
4-62. SEQUENTIAL-ACCESS STORAGE is associated with RAID and
hard drives.
4-63. DIRECT-ACCESS STORAGE is obtained by using floppy disks and
CD-ROM disks.
semiconductor, thin film, and bubble storage.
4-65. A NETWORK is any system composed of one or more computers and
terminals. However, most are composed of multiple terminals and computers.
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4-66. LOCAL AREA NETWORKS (LANs) allow dissimilar machines to
exchange information within one universal system within a building or small
geographic area.
4-67. WIDE AREA NETWORKS provide for global connections and are
sometimes referred to as global networks.
4-68. A MODEM converts the digital signal produced by a terminal or the
computer to an audio signal suitable for transmission over a communications
line. It also converts the audio signal back to a digital signal before it is
supplied to a terminal or computer.
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Data Representation and Communications
Check-on-Learning Questions
1. What is a general term used to describe raw facts?
2. How is data represented?
3. By what two means can the data contained on a source document be converted into a
machine-readable form for processing?
4. By using an 8-bit code, how many characters or bit combinations can be represented?
5. What is the base of a hexadecimal number system?
6. What term is used for the representation of two numeric characters stored in eight
7. What was the purpose of several computer manufacturers cooperating to develop
ASCII code for processing and transmitting data?
8. Are there any differences in the concepts and advantages of ASCII and EBCDIC?
9. How is the parity bit in each storage location used?
10. What area in the computer holds the processing instructions (the program)?
11. What is a bit?
12. How many bits make up a byte?
13. Primary storage capacities are usually specified in what unit of measure?
14. How many core planes are needed to code in 8-bit EBCDIC?
15. Who designs and builds the storage capacity of an address into a computer?
16. What is another name for computers designed to be character-oriented or characteraddressable?
17. Which computer has the faster calculating speeds—the variable-word-length or the
18. Any system composed of one or more computers and terminals can be defined as
19. What consists of a local area network?
20. How many designs are there of local area networks that can be used?
21. What are the different designs of local area networks called?
22. In what year was the first successful communications satellite for business
applications launched?
23. What is the name of the device that is added to each end of a communications line in
order to transmit data to a computer over long distances?
24. What are the names of the two methods of transmission over a modem?
25. Whenever data is transferred b
etween devices, it involves the exchange of
prearranged signals. What is this process called?
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Check-on-Learning Answers
CHAPTER 1 (Operational Concepts)
Five ways.
Fire control.
Use electrical components.
Integrated circuitry.
Special purpose.
Its design.
Cannot be used to perform other operations.
Designed to perform a wide variety of functions and operations.
They can store and execute different programs in its internal storage.
Speed and efficiency.
Special purpose.
Continuous electrical or physical conditions.
Hybrid computers.
For business and scientific data processing.
Digital uses discrete data while analog uses continuous data.
By the accuracy with which physical quantities can be sensed and displayed.
Number of significant figures.
Design of the computer processing unit.
General purpose digital computers.
Technological advancement.
Very large.
Thousands of a second (millisecond).
Unsophisticated and machine oriented.
Use of small, long-lasting transistors.
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Use of magnetic disk storage and magnetic cores.
Symbolic machine languages.
Reduced physical size of computers.
Billionths of a second (nanosecond).
Over 100 million.
Scientific and business data processing.
How to properly and effectively use the available computer power.
Word processing.
Operating system.
To load an operating system.
No operating system loaded on disk.
By its outer edges.
Destruction of some or all of the data.
10 and 50 degrees Celsius (50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit).
To recover a file that has become destroyed or unusable.
Use floppy disk and the disk copy procedure.
CD-ROM disks.
CHAPTER 2 (Hardware)
The CPU.
Control section, internal storage section, and arithmetic-logic section.
A telephone exchange.
Transfer, arithmetic, logic, control.
Internal storage.
Tiny doughnut-shaped rings made of ferrite (iron).
Hundreds of thousands of tiny electronic circuits.
Integrated circuit.
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________________________________________________________________ Check-on-Learning Answers
All data in memory is lost when the power supply is removed.
Core storage.
By passing a current through a control circuit imprinted on top of the crystal.
The data is still present after being read.
Read-only memory.
Computer manufacturer.
Read/write memory.
Giving the computer the address of the location where the data is stored or will be stored.
Already programmed or blank.
If a mistake is made and entered, it cannot be corrected or erased.
It can be erased?
Burst of ultra-violent light.
Their direct-access capabilities.
Disk address.
Bits per inch of track and the tracks per inch of surface.
Cylinder and sector.
Input and output devices.
The keyboard.
Gives fast, immediate access to specific data without having to examine each record from
the beginning.
3 1/2-inch.
Daisy-wheel, dot matrix, ink jet, and laser.
To enter or input alphanumeric character codes.
Display alphanumeric data and graphics.
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Pixels or pels.
The number of horizontal scan lines.
Character addresses.
External light source (backlight).
CHAPTER 3 (Software)
Operating system.
Single user/single tasking.
Must be compatible with operating system.
Comes in several versions.
From a disk.
Provide it with information about files, data fields, and the process to use.
What data field or fields to sort on.
To generate programs to print detail and summary reports of data files.
Early 1950s.
To allow a programmer to work in a language that is close to English or mathematical
FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator).
Require more space and they process data at a slower rate than symbolic languages.
The process of planning the computer solution to a problem.
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________________________________________________________________ Check-on-Learning Answers
Advance preparation.
System (data) and programming.
What problem you are attempting to solve.
Debugged and tested before implementation.
To determine that all data can be processed correctly and that the output is correct.
With the problem definition.
Software written by the manufacturer, a software house, or central design agency.
To enter data and then retrieve it in a variety of ways.
A table of rows and columns.
CHAPTER 4 (Data Representation and Communications)
By symbols.
Direct or indirect.
Packing or packed data.
Standardize a binary code.
To detect errors in the circuitry.
Program storage area.
A single binary digit that represents the smallest unit of data.
Number of bytes.
The manufacturer.
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Variable-word-length computer.
Various machines linked together within a building or adjacent buildings.
Broadband and baseband.
A modem.
Asynchronous and synchronous.
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DOD Standard Computer Software Language named after
Lady Ada Augusta Byron
automated data processing
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
American Telephone & Telegraph
Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
Basic Input-Out System
compact disk-read only memory
Central Design Agency
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor-Random Access Memory
COmmon Business Oriented Language
Control Program for Microprocessors
central processing unit
characters per second
cathode-ray tube
Department of the Army
District of Columbia
Department of Defense
disk operating system
This keyboard arranges its letters according to frequency. The home
row uses all five vowels and the five most common consonants
Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
Electronic Data Interchange
electroluminescent display
Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer
erasable programmable read-only memory
field manual
FORmula TRANslator
gas plasma display
graphical user interface
International Business Machines Corporation
integrated circuit
local area network
liquid crystal display
light emitting diode
Leave and Earning Statement
Linus Torvald’s UNIX (flavor of UNIX for PCs)
Logistics Marking System
large-scale integration
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Millennium Edition (Microsoft Windows)
Microsoft-Disk Operating System
Windows 95/98
optical character reader
operating system
high level structured programming language named for 17th century
mathematician Blaise Pascal
personal computer
programmable read-only memory
This name originates from the first six letters in the top alphabet row
(the one just below the numbers) of standard typewriter keyboard.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks
random-access memory
read-only memory
report program generator
revolutions per minute
revolutions per second
A self-service shopping facility that an ashore supply activity operates
to provide a ready supply of relatively low-cost items needed by
military customers and some items for public customers in the area.
Shipboard Non-Tactical ADP Program
social security number
training circular
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
Training and Doctrine Command
Uniform Code Council
unit identification code
Universal Automatic Computer I
trademark of AT&T
Universal Product Code
United States
a drawing and diagramming solution to help people transform
business and technical concepts into visual diagrams.
very large-scale integration
Experience (Microsoft Windows XP)
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DA Form 2028.
Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms. FM 11-72.
Communications-Electronics Fundamentals: Digital Computers. 12 September 2005
30 September 1977
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This page intentionally left blank. INDEX
Analog computers, 1-7 C
Central processing unit,
sections arithmetic-logic, 2-3
control, 2-2
memory (internal
storage), 2-3 Computer accuracy, 1-8
analog, 1-7
classification, 1-4
definition, 1-1
digital, 1-7 and 1-14 electromechanical, 1-5
electronic, 1-6
general purpose, 1-7 history, 1-2 and 1-3 mechanical, 1-4
programs, 1-8, 3-1 special purpose, 1-6 Computer coding systems, 4-3 through 4-6 Computer programs, 1-8, 2-2, 3-1
Data management, 3-25 and 3-26 representation (sym
bols), 4-1 and 4-2 source, 4-2
Desktop personal computer, 1-10, 1-15 Digital computer, Generations first, 1-10
fourth generation and beyond, 1-12 second, 1-10
third, 1-11
Digital computers, 1-7 and
12 September 2005
Disk data (storage) cylinder method, 2-11 sector method, 2-12 Display devices, 2-18 through 2-23 M
Mechanical computers, 1-4 Memory
erasable program
mable read-only, 2-8 programmable read
only, 2-8 random-access, 2-8
read-only, 2-7
computers, 1-5 Electronic computers, 1-6 ENIAC, 1-3 F
Flowcharting constructing, 3-17
definition, 3-13
symbols, 3-15 and 3-16 tools, 3-14 and 3-15 N
Networks, 4-14 through 4-16 O
Operating principles, 1-1 Operating system
(booting), 1-16 and 1-17 Operating systems definition, 3-1
design, 3-3
functions, 3-4 and 3-5 types of, 3-2 and 3-3 Output devices (printers), 2-15, 2-16, and 2-17 G
General purpose com-
puters, 1-7 Generations (digital com-
puters) First, 1-10
Fourth and beyond, 1-12 Second, 1-10
Third, 1-11
Input devices keyboards, 2-17 and 2-18 Internal storage (types of), 2-4 L
Languages machine, 3-9
3-10 programming, 3-9
symbolic, 3-10
TC 9-72
Printers daily-wheel, 2-15
dot-matrix, 2-15
ink jet, 2-16 laser, 2-17
Program (coding), 3-19 through 3-21 Programming definition, 3-11
overview, 3-12
Index-1 TC 9-72
Special purpose computers, 1-6 Storage bubble, 2-6
internal (classifications of), 2-7 internal (types of), 2-4 magnetic core, 2-5 magnetic disk, 2-9 secondary, 2-8
semiconductor, 2-5
Storage access methods direct-access, 4-12
4-12 random-access, 4-14
Storage devices (input/output) external, 2-12
floppy disk drive units, 2-14 magnetic disk drive units, 2-13 Storage media, handling and backup, 1-17, 1-18, and 1-19 U
UNIVAC I, 1-3 Utility Programs sort-merge, 3-7
report program
generators (RPG), 3-8 W
Word processing, 1-14, 3-23 and 3-24 Index-2
TC 9-72
12 September 2005 TC 9-72 12 SEPT 2005
By Order of the Secretary of the Army:
General, United States Army
Chief of Staff
Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army
DISTRIBUTION: Active Army, Army National Guard, and United States Army Reserve: Not to be distributed. Electronic Media Only. PIN: 082689-000 
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