Midterm 1 Solution

CS 14F

September 25, 1996

  1. Multiple Choice Questions.

  2. Short Answer Questions. Answer each question

    1. (10 pts.) Briefly compare and contrast software and the microprocessor.

      Software runs on, and controls, the microprocessor. The microprocessor controls the rest of the computer; it executes programs (software). Software is to hardware as the mind is to the body. The microprocessor can be likened to the ``heart'' of the computer.

    2. (5 pts.) Compare and contrast dot-matrix and laser printers.

      Laser printers are faster, more costly, much quieter, and produce higher quality output than dot-matrix printers.

    3. (10 pts.) The operating system and application programs are both software. What distinguishes them? How do they interact?

      The operating system is a layer of software between applications and the hardware. It provides various services to application programs, such as a filesystem for storing application datea.

    4. (5 pts.) Convert the binary number to decimal.

      16 + 4 + 1 = 21

    5. (5 pts.) What is the name of the code used for storing characters in a PC's memory? Why is this code needed?

      ASCII. It's needed because the computer only understand binary numbers. Therefore, characters must be represented by a binary code.

    6. (10 pts.) In class, we discussed a four layer diagram showing how a user related to a computer's hardware through software. Draw the diagram and briefly describe the layers.

      1. Hardware is the physical computer: PC, workstation, mainframe, etc.

      2. Operating system is just that: MS-DOS, Windows 95, Unix, etc.

      3. Application software is word processors, spreadsheets, presentation graphics programs, etc.

      4. User is us.

    7. (5 pts.) What is pipelining and why is it used in microprocessors?

      Pipelining is an assembly-line technique used to by some microprocessors to execute instructions more quickly. It enhances performance by enabling the microprocessor to execute programs more quickly.

Thomas P. Kelliher
Wed Oct 2 22:48:30 EDT 1996
Tom Kelliher