Information Technology Exam guide Unit 1: Fundamentals of Hardware and Software

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On completion of this Section, students should:

1. appreciate the fundamental hardware and software terminologies and concepts;

2. develop expertise in the operation and use of microcomputer-based systems


The students should be able to:


State the functions of the basic components of all computers and list examples where applicable;

Control unit, ALU, main memory/immediate access storage, backing store/disk storage, peripheral devices.
2. Explain the functions and uses of primary storage devices and media;

Bistable devices, PROM, EPROM, RAM, ROM, byte, kilobyte bit, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, word, wordsize, address, location and address content.


State and compare the characteristics and uses of secondary storage devices and media;

Magnetic tape, floppy disk, rnicro-floppy disk, hard disk (fixed head, moving head, exchangeable), optical disks, Magneto Optical disk, CD, DVD

Explain and use terms associated with backing storage devices and media;

Read/write head, sectors, tracks, buffers, cylinders, access time, sequential access, direct access.
5. State the characteristics and uses of input devices and media;

Optical mark reader (OMR), character readers (OCR, MICR), mouse, joystick, light-pen, touch terminals, voice data entry (VDE), voice response unit, pads and tablets, point of sale (POS), bar code, keyboard, key-to disk, scanners.

6. Compare the characteristics and functions of output devices and media;

Visual display unit (VDU); resolution, printers,
character, line, page, impact, non-impact, plotters,
voice, microfilm, permanent copy (hard copy), temporary copy (soft copy), speed, print quality, storage capacity, human readable, machine readable.


Describe how data are stored and manipulated within the computer.

Binary number, Binary addition, ASCII, discrete and continous data, parity, conversion of decimal to binary and binary to decimal. Representation of intergers(postive and negative); sign and magnitude; two's complement; characters, BCD representation.

8. Distinguish between systems and application programs;

Operating system functions, batch processing systems, on line systems, disk formatting, file management, data transfer, resource management.

9. Discuss the difference between generalized and specialised application packages;

Application programs, custom-written software, general purpose software; specialized software package, customization of general purpose software.

10. Distinguish between types of user interface;

Command driven, menu driven, HELP facilities, pull- down and pop-up menus, icons. Hardware: touch screens, pivoted monitors, antiglare screen.

11. Describe and apply appropriate file management techniques;

Directories, naming of files, labelling of diskettes, storage of files on diskettes, user back-up; user check point.

12. Use the appropriate operating system functions to:

(i) create a directory/folder; (ii) produce a directory listing of files;
(iii) prepare a diskette to store data;
(iv) copy single files from one diskette to another;
(v) create a backup copy of a diskette;
(vi) delete unwanted files;

13. Recognize and use the terms commonly associated with data communication;

Point-to-point and broadcast transmission computer network, modem, bandwidth, simplex, duplex, half duplex protocol, local area network, wide area network, up-load, down-load, e-mail, bulletin board, data transfer mode, voice band.


Detect and rectify low level problems with the computer hardware.

Loose interfacing cables, improperly adjusted monitor controls, changing ribbons/cartridges.


Paul misalaba (not verified) 1 August 2011 - 5:22am

Hi all concerned,
with all respect, i would like to ask on the information technology basis material on line courses if is applicable, what can i do so that i can acquire it.
what kind of rewarded credits for how long and and its fees structure.

wishing all the best and you will repply me with positive responce.


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