Week #3: Computer Basics, Memory & CPU Speed

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Week #3: Computer Basics, Memory & CPU Speed

Post by rjagodowski »

Continuing on to discuss Tutorials 8 & 9 on this site: Computer Basics dealing with Operating Systems & Applications and the Tutorials 10, 11 & 12 on Using a Computer.

Please read and watch each of the presentations at home, taking notes as necessary.

What is Linux? from Linux.com.

Here's a quick summary of some of the differences among Windows, Mac & Linux operating systems.

Open Source alternatives to MicroSoft Office: LibreOffice and OpenOffice

We discussed Virtual Operating Systems, called Virtual Machines or VMs for short. Here's a link on How to Create and Use Virtual Machines.

In lab next week (9/28-10/2), I'll bring in a magnetic core memory unit from an old mainframe computer from the 50's - 60's. Here's more information on that technology from Wikipedia. The unit demo'd has 4 1kilobit sections 4 x (32x32) and was equivalent to 4 of the units shown in the first picture in the upper right of the Wikipedia link above. The wikipedia article notes that the cost early on was about $1 per bit. Translated, that memory board demo'd could've been a $4,000 item at one time. By comparison, this 128 GigaByte Memory for $999.99 by Samsung sold by New Egg is near state of the art by today's standards. However, this is 268,435,456 times MORE memory. 268 MILLION TIMES MORE!!! Adjusted for inflation, $4,000 in 1960 would be worth about $34,000 in today's dollars. So, 268 million times more memory for less than 1/34th of the cost. That's the result of 50 years of computer and electronics advancements in integrated circuit development in action.

Then we'll go back to Week #1 to talk about CPU speed.
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