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Final Exam

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

1. Pick three and explain their function and role in a modern computer. Explain using examples from your work of the semester:


Operating System-The Operating System is the basic software that allows you to run other programs. Most operating systems come with a new computer, but if your looking to upgrade your operating system it will ussually cost you some bills. Microsoft XP and Vista cost money to buy. Their are free alternatives to this like ubuntu and other linux OS. Apple computers their own special MAC OS.


Networking-Networking and network cables connects computers to each other and to the internet. When a bunch of computers are connected together using the same Ethernet is called LAN (Local Area Network). Ethernet works with a bunch of signals and wires. Lately people are switching to Wi-Fi which is wireless ethernet. To have Ethernet you must have a LAN card in your computer so that the cable can plug into. There are different speeds of network cards, but all the ones in the cabinet are pretty much the same.


Hard Drive-A Hard Drive is a device that is used to magnetically store and recall information. Hard drives record data by magnetizing magnetic materials in a certain pattern. Then, when the hard drive needs to read that data, it reads the pattern. Most hard drives are 5.25 inches, and are needed to store the operating system, programs, documents, music and everything else. We tried using a MAC hard drive with a PC but it didn't work.


2. Discuss working within the class group to solve problems and gather information about your projects. How could you use this experience or recreate it to do work in the future? I can use alot of what I've done in this class in the future. The first two weeks of the course I learned to effectively search for information on google. At first I was having trouble finding good information, but after Mr. Connors pointed me to some good starter sites like wikipedia and howstuff works, I was able to search again with the right keywords and find some relevant information. I also learned to ask my classmates when I needed help. Alot of the kids in the class knew alot more than me coming into the class, and they were very helpful while I was doing my projects.


3. Describe the most significant challenge you overcame while working on computers this semester. What did you do to overcome the challenge? The biggest challenge we overcame was installing an operating system on our wooden computer. We tried three times installing ubuntu, but it always froze about midway through. We tried another disc but no luck. We installed a new CD-R drive, but no luck. Finnally I brought a copy of Windows XP from my house and it worked on the first try. One of the other big challenges I overcame was the whole input/output device. I had no idea what I was doing going into that project. After watching some of the other kids, I made a functional speaker (that wasn't very loud) but still worked. I learned to sauter wires to the speaker, then those wires to the 1/8 inch headphone cable, so now I have a speaker I can carry around in my pocket.


4. What was the most important thing you learned from this class? Explain. One of the most important things I learned is that their is always a cheaper (or free) alternative. When we did the Pentium III project we used a free operating system in ubuntu linux. It was hard to get used to at first, but I'm sure if I spent more time with it I would be able to use it as a free alternative to Windows XP. The only reason I don't use it more is because there are not enough programs that work with linux yet, and the few that I downloaded I had trouble installing. With the wooden computer, we used parts from a cabinet and a couple pieces of wood, and we were able to create a computer that could run Windows XP and worked effectively. I learned that steel wool lights up on a battery.


5. What do you wish you learned from this class? I wish we did more soldering in this class. I learned how to solder, which I have wanted to learn for awhile. I wish we did the case mod projects. We were the only group that just screwed parts down to a piece of wood, so I wish we had spent the time to design a custom computer case. I wish I learned more about how the chips and such function. I understand what each part of the computer does, but I don't understand how the part does what it does. I don't understand the motherboard, or how PCI cards work. I know you plug them into the PCI slot and I know each one has a different function, but I don't understand how you can just plug a sound card into the motherboard, and speaker into the soundcard, and some how have music. I guess I don't understand how the individual chips work.

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