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Systems engineering: Challenging complexity
This free course, Systems engineering: Challenging complexity, examines system engineering and why it is important. You will learn to identify and evaluate the importance of relationships within the process and assess the relative importance of stakeholders. You will also be able to classify a systems engineering project in terms of the balance of demands, choice and constraints. Author(s): Creator not set

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Processes that can be applied to data

Having looked at some forms of data, we now turn our attention to processes that can be applied to data. Each process that we consider in this section will input data of a specified form, and will result in a corresponding value. For example, one process, which we will call ASC, takes a character as input, and has as its resulting value the integer giving the ASCII code of the input character (as listed in Author(s): The Open University

2.5 Sequences

You have already met sequences briefly, and have seen that a sequence contains items given in a particular order, and that repetitions are of significance.

One might have a sequence containing integers, such as [22, −31, 44, 0, 2, 0, 11] or a sequence containing characters, such as [‘W’,‘o’,‘r’,‘d’]. However, we will aim to avoid mixing the forms of data in a sequence. A sequence of characters may also be referred to as a string, and that “Word” is another notation
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4.2.3 ATM adaptation layer

The basic function of the ATM adaptation layer is to convert the user data supplied by higher layers into 48-byte blocks of data. The ATM adaptation layer is divided into two sub-layers – the convergence sub-layer, and the segmentation and re-assembly sub-layer. The convergence sub-layer provides services to higher layers through a set of protocols, but I do not need to describe these here. The segmentation and re-assembly sub-layer separates the messages from the conve
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6.5.1 Virtual worlds

Are you bored with your surroundings? Do you sometimes wish you were someone else? Help may be at hand. All the digital models we have looked at so far are based on our own world. But we needn't be limited by this. Why not create completely new worlds inside the computer and live in them whenever we wish? It has already been done.


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6.1 Kings of infinite space?

I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

This section draws together the themes of the previous sections by:

  • discussing how the digital world can be manipulated;

  • explaining how this process has significant implications for science, politics and
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5.5.5 Summary

In this section I've briefly considered the very contentious question of what digital representations mean, but this debate must be left to another course. I have also described some of the devices that take digital information back into the analogue world of sight and sound, presenting it in a form that is meaningful to human eyes and ears.


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5.5.2 Printers

Colour models were dealt with in Subsection 4.7.

You probably also own a printer. Many computers now come with them as part of a package. There are two main types in use today: inkjets and lasers.

InkJet printers work, as their name suggests, by firing tiny droplets of ink at the
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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8.1 Introduction

Study note: You may like to have the Numeracy Resource to hand as you study Section 15. It offers extra practice with the logic operations, and you may find this useful.

Please click on the 'View document' link below to read the Numeracy Resource.

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2.2.4 Positive integers: encoding larger integers

The examples and activities in this section have looked only at 8-bit numbers. They have illustrated all of the principles of encoding positive integers as binary numbers without introducing the complication of larger numbers. But of course with 8 bits only relatively small integers can be encoded.

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14.3 Personal Digital Assistants

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or handheld computers are small, portable computers. They each contain a small processor and have specially written operating systems. Two popular types of PDA at the time of writing (early 2005) are those running the Palm OS operating system and those using the Windows Mobile operating system, (also called Pocket PC). There is a range of applications purposely written for PDAs, but many also use special versions of popular applications like Microsoft
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14.1 Introduction

Now that I have introduced you to the processes carried out by a stand-alone computer, I will move on to discuss what happens when computers are linked.


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12.1 Introduction

Data must be stored somewhere when it is not being manipulated. Modern ICT systems require increasingly large amounts of data to be stored for later use, and it is important that the data can be accessed quickly. Data may be stored on the stand-alone computer's hard disk in the form of files.

You may want to move files from one stand-alone computer to another. In addition, you may want to move files from a device, such as a digital camera, to a computer. These activities require some fo
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11.2 The processor

The processor can be thought of as the 'brain' of the computer in that it manages everything the computer does. A processor is contained on a single microchip or 'chip'. A chip is a small, thin slice of silicon, which might measure only a centimetre across but can contain hundreds of millions of transistors. The transistors are joined together into circuits by tiny wires which can be more than a hundred times thinner than a human hair. These tiny circuits enable the proce
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4.1.3 The receiver

The receiver receives data from the network and manipulates it into a message to send to User 2. Sometimes the receiver may also store or retrieve data.

In the mobile phone communication system, the data received from the network must be manipulated back into sound before being sent to the user. In addition, some mobile phones can store and retrieve data about the user's contacts, so that when a call is received they can translate the phone number of the caller into a name which is then
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1.6.5 Using speech to good effect

Speech output is a powerful way of communicating information. It has particular benefits for the visually impaired. For those whose eyesight is good, speaking lifts may seem a novelty, but they provide useful information and reassurance for the visually impaired. Some applications of the technology have less obvious benefits, such as supermarket checkouts that read out the product and prices. These were found to breach the customer's sense of privacy and to be noisy. Again, good design depend
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4.2 Using images to good effect

The following are the main types of image.

  • Pictures. These include photographs, drawings and cartoons.

  • Diagrams. These include maps and other representations of relationships between objects, such as family trees and Venn diagrams. Some writers classify maps as charts. We have chosen not to do this.

  • Graphs and charts. These are visual representations of numbers. Thus, they include pie charts, histogram
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Leadership and followership
This free course, Leadership and followership, will help you to explore what makes a good leader, recognise common leadership challenges, and identify the skills you need to develop if you want to enhance your own leadership experience. First published on Thu, 09 Aug 2018 as Author(s): Creator not set

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