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5.4 Conclusion

You have seen that although the three products you have looked at are very different types of computer, they all embody the same basic functionality and a version of Figure 3 can be drawn for each product to illustrate this.

One feature of the PC is the range of forms of secondary memory it can use, and also the vari
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5.1 The personal computer

Over the following screens you will look at three different examples of computers: a PC, which is obviously a computer, and a set of electronic kitchen scales and a digital camera, which are not so obviously computers. You will find that all three of these examples match with the functional block diagram of a computer given in
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3.2 What does a processor look like?

So what do these devices that are manufactured in such vast quantities look like? Processors are manufactured as integrated circuits. Essentially they are circuits, around the size of a fingernail, which contain many millions of electronic components manufactured as one very complex circuit. Figure 4(a) shows how a processor manufactured as an integrated circuit is packaged so it can be used as a component in an electronic circuit. The pins of the package are connected to the integrated circu
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2.1 Processors

Figure 2 shows an advertisement for a laptop. The main features of the computer are listed in this advert. One item on the list is ‘Processor: AMD E450 1.65 GHz’. So this computer uses an AMD E450 processor, running at a speed of 1.65 GHz. A processor is an essential component of a computer; it carries out, or executes, the instructions that make up the computer program. PCs use one main processor and several other ‘supporting’ processors, and adverts for PCs often specify what main p
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2.3 Synchronous and asynchronous message passing

Synchronous message passing involves one entity (usually a client) in the message passing process sending a message and a second entity (usually a server) receiving it, carrying out some processing and then sending back some response which the first entity processes in some way. While the second entity is carrying out the processing the first entity pauses waiting for the response.

In asynchronous message passing each entity in the process does not have to wait for the next part
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6.2.11 Dynamic pricing

The dynamic pricing model is one which has a number of different instantiations. Basically, such models treat the price of a product or service (primarily a product) as variable and open to negotiation.

The name-your-price instantiation of this model is where the customer of a site offers the price that he or she thinks is reasonable for a product or service. The administrator of the website will pass on this bid to the provider of the product or service who will decide whether t
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