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Unit 1B – Capabilities & limitations of ICT. Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 1B – Capabilities & limitations of ICT. Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 1B – Capabilities & limitations of ICT

2 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system Your intermediate reports used to be done by hand, the system has now been computerised. What benefits are there of having a computerised reporting system ?

3 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system The old system was for subject teachers to transfer levels and effort grades from their mark books into a grid for pupils in each form. Image of markbook & grid sheets in here

4 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system These levels and grades were then copied onto pupil report sheets by form teachers. Image of report sheets in here

5 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system The grids and duplicates of the reports were then stored in a room. Image of bundles of reports in here

6 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system The new, computerised system requires teachers to select the class they teach and then enter levels and effort grades into the class list. Image of class list page in here

7 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system The data for each pupil is then processed and printed. Image of final printout in here

8 Capabilities & limitation of ICT ICT vs Manual methods of data processing Case Study – the school reporting system Consider the two systems and using a table (full page of A4 with explanations) make a comparison of the two systems : ManualComputerised Repetitive processing Speed of processing Data storage capacity Speed of searching Accuracy & speed of data communications Ability to produce different output formats

9 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Consider the effects of : Hardware Software Suitability of operating system Communication GIGO

10 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Hardware : Does the existing hardware meet minimum specifications for the software? Ideally it should meet the recommended specification. System Requirements Minimum System Requirements: Intel® Pentium® or AMD® Athlon® 2 GHz 512 MB RAM Windows® XP or Windows 2000 (XP recommended) USB 2.0 port Direct X® compatible graphics card (ATI® Radeon® or NVIDIA® GeForce" or higher recommended) Direct X compatible sound card 650 MB hard disk space DVD burner, mouse, CD-ROM drive Hardware specifications: External Hi-Speed USB 2.0 video capture device Composite video input (RCA connector) S-Video input (mini-DIN connector) Stereo audio input (2 x RCA connectors)

11 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Software : (object linking and embedding) OLE allows information to be shared between different programs –For example, a spreadsheet created in Excel can be included in a Word document either by embedding it in the document, or by creating a link from the document. An embedded object has no connection with its original source file. A linked object ensures that the information displayed in the document will always be displayed – via the link – directly from the source file.

12 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Software : Linked object –original information remains in the source file –destination file displays a representation of the linked information but stores only the location of the original data –linked information is updated automatically if you change the original data in the source file –Use if file size is a consideration Embedded object –becomes part of destination file. –because an embedded object has no links to the source file, the object is not updated if you change the original data

13 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Software : Consider the data processing efficiency of a piece of software in terms of : Ease of data entry Speed of processing Compatibility Memory requirements Unnecessary features

14 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Suitability of operating system Operating systems available are : Windows – most common PC op sys OSX (Panther) – most common apple mac op sys Unix/Linux – GUI similar to windows but open source MSDOS – command line driven op sys

15 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Suitability of operating system Operating systems deal with Memory management. Resource allocation and scheduling Backing store management Interrupt handling Allowing a user to communicate with the computer Controlling peripheral devices If the operating system does not run efficiently then the application software will not run efficiently.

16 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Communication If an application is being used on a network machine and the processing is taking place over the network (grid processing) then the efficiency & capability of the network becomes a factor when considering efficiency of processing. GIGO – garbage in = garbage out If the data entry method is inefficient or input data is not valid then the efficiency of processing is affected – errors will occur during the data processing stage.

17 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Other factors affecting efficiency Change in circumstance during software development Software takes a long time to develop, if during this time another product comes onto the market or a new system is released (win 98 vs win XP) then the development of the software is affected. Speed of implementation Once an organisation has acquired software it has to implement it, this involves installing & training. This has a direct affect on processing efficiency

18 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Other factors affecting efficiency Compatibility When windows XP was released, users who upgraded from win 98 suddenly found that their scanners / printers / applications would not work – oops. Insufficient testing Software development is a very competitive field with pressure to release products ahead of the field. As a result, software is sometimes not fully tested.

19 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Other factors affecting efficiency Poor communication with user The user interface may not be very friendly (how ?) Validation rules may not have sensible error messages, informing the user of their mistake The instruction manual could be poor

20 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Ability of user If the user is clueless then the efficiency of data entry / processing is affected. It has been postulated that if a monkey randomly hit keys on a PC for 10,000 years then at some point they would type the entire works of Shakespeare !

21 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Poor post implementation Post implementation is the procedures / actions that are carried out after the software has been installed. These could be : Training Monitoring Evaluation

22 Capabilities & limitation of ICT Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems Maintenance procedures Required for a number of reasons Errors may appear in the software Original requirements are modified Hardware developments may make it desirable to change the software to take advantage New legislation may be introduced

23 Perfective maintenance system can be made better in some way without changing its functionality. Adaptive maintenance changing needs in a company may mean systems need to be adapted – e.g. a single-user system may be adapted to a multi- user system. Corrective maintenance involves correction of previously undetected errors. e.g. the millennium bug. Many major programs are released with bugs that require maintenance releases – patches or service packs to fix them (most of the Microsoft products) Types of maintenance Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

24 Process triggered by: – user or management requests – Further development by manufacturer Cost and impact on system are assessed for feasibility New release has to be programmed and tested Software packages generally have release numbers – Minor releases are indicated by a change in number suffix e.g. 3.0 to 3.1 with Windows – Major releases are often indicated by a change like 4.0 to 5.0 or by a change in name Types of maintenance (cont) Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

25 Types of maintenance (cont) Most software developers would prefer to be working on exciting new projects Maintenance is very expensive Cost-effectiveness depends upon A clearly-defined and well-documented original system Suitably qualified and informed analysts and programmers A clear and uncomplicated dialogue path between user and developer A transparent structure that allows analysts and programmers to assess fully the impact of any changes Limiting the amount of change at any one time Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

26 Cost Cost can be considered in terms of money, time and human resources. If a system has a high financial cost and takes a long time to be implemented or process data then it would be considered inefficient. Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

27 Hardware ( refer previous notes ) The hardware that is needed to run software efficiently is a factor to be considered : Is the hardware powerful enough to run the software ? Is the hardware reliable enough ? Is new hardware needed to run the software ? Is the hardware compatible (mac vs PC) Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

28 Support When you purchase software you often receive a form of support. This may be in the form of : - Help files - Online (internet) help - Technical advice over the phone - Engineer callouts - Updates Factors affecting the efficiency of data processing systems

29 Nature & Capabilities of Software What is software? Types of software Generic software Drivers, protocols and standards for interfacing with peripherals and storage devices Object linking and embedding Functionality of internet software Compatibility and portability Features of software & evaluation/comparison Upgrading - technical and human implications Reliability - how do we make software reliable?

30 What is software? Hardware is the physical components that make up a computer system. Software is the programs and data that make the hardware do something useful. Software is NOT the CD or floppy disc that the program comes on - usually you are just buying the licence to use the software, and not the software itself. Nature & Capabilities of Software

31 Firmware You may also come across the term Firmware - this is software that is stored in hardware (i.e. on a chip) and is usually found in embedded systems. Not all computers are multi-purpose desktop or laptop PCs, mainframe or mini-computers, so are designed for a specific purpose and are built into machinery - these are called embedded systems. Embedded systems are mostly used for control, e.g. in washing machines. Nature & Capabilities of Software

32 Types of Software Specific purpose - e.g. Encarta, POS, etc. Generic - e.g. spreadsheets, databases, etc. Off the shelf - i.e. a product such as Sage Accounts Bespoke - i.e. custom-made for the user Operating systems Utility programs Applications There are three main categories of software: Applications come in different types : Nature & Capabilities of Software

33 Operating Systems Control and manage the computers resources –memory management –resource allocation –storage –communication –interrupt handling Examples include Windows (NT, 2000 and XP only, not versions up to 98), Unix, Linux, CPM, Mac-OS. Heathcote says that they are installed on the hard disc, but this is not always the case, e.g. RISC-OS, PDAs, embedded systems and early home computers such as Spectrums and VIC-20s! Nature & Capabilities of Software

34 Shell Operating Systems Kernel The kernel is hardware specific and controls primary and secondary storage, input and output. The shell provides the user interface - this could be a command line or a Graphical User Interface. It is possible that an operating system, e.g. Windows NT or Linux, could run on several platforms (e.g. Intel, Power PC, DEC Alpha) by having the same shell with different kernels Nature & Capabilities of Software

35 Memory Management System resources and hardware often require memory which must be allocated by the OS Most modern operating systems are capable of multi-tasking (running several programs at once) - each program will require its own area of memory to store data. Some types of OS can use multiple processors, so they must also decide where a process takes places, as well as which memory it will use! Nature & Capabilities of Software

36 Memory Management Non-volatile, usually magnetic media - stored without power Slower - access time of around 8ms Cheaper, e.g. 40Gb for £35 Volatile - i.e. contents are lost without power Fast - access time of around 7ns for PC RAM Relatively expensive - 1Gb DDR RAM costs £140 Primary storage (e.g. RAM): Secondary storage (e.g. hard disc): Nature & Capabilities of Software

37 Virtual Memory Sometimes the operating system can use secondary storage to supplement primary storage in a way that is transparent to the application - this is called virtual memory RAM overflows onto the disc - e.g. in the Windows paging/ swap-file Nature & Capabilities of Software

38 Disc Storage Constant angular velocity Constant linear velocity Sect or CLV discs (e.g. Compact Discs) slow down as sectors nearer the edge are read - the sectors are the same physical length so that capacity is increased Nature & Capabilities of Software

39 File Allocation and Fragmentation File A is written File B is written File A is edited Disc is fragmented The disc is now defragmented - the sectors are contiguous and so quicker to read Location of file is stored in the File Allocation Table (FAT) A A A B B A B B A B B Nature & Capabilities of Software

40 User Interface Manages multi-tasking – e.g. each application in a separate window Allocates events to the appropriate application: –Mouse movement –Mouse click/double-click –Key presses –Timers Shell Keystrokes Mouse movements or clicks GUI WIMP Menu Command Nature & Capabilities of Software

41 User Interface Provides the ability to transfer information between applications – e.g. the clipboard in Windows Provides a consistent appearance to applications, e.g. menus, help, printing and error messages Application B Copy Application A Past e Clipboard Nature & Capabilities of Software

42 Peripherals Peripherals can be connected to a computer either internally - e.g. video or sound cards - or externally, through USB, serial or parallel ports. Internal devices are serviced through interrupts - the OS polls each device in turn to see whether it requires any processing time. The operating system communicates with the device through a driver. A driver is a piece of software that translates the users instructions - e.g. that they want a particular piece of text to be bold - into the device-specific control codes that the particular hardware uses. Nature & Capabilities of Software

43 Utility Programs A utility is a small program, usually with a technical function - they often come with an operating system. Examples of utilities are: –Virus checkers –Windows Explorer/File Manager/Xtree –Printer Manager –Scandisk & Defrag –Winzip (or other compression software) –Norton Utilities/PC Tools –Compilers and interpreters –Performance monitoring –Backup and restore Nature & Capabilities of Software

44 Applications Written for a specific purpose - inflexible Such systems may be bespoke or off-the-shelf Bespoke systems are those written specifically for a particular customer, usually in a language such as C++, Visual BASIC or Java, e.g. –Point of Sale (POS) systems –Insurance quotation systems –Management Information Systems (MIS) Off-the-shelf software is the boxed products you might see in PC World: –Sage Accounting –AutoRoute Nature & Capabilities of Software

45 Bespoke Software Purpose-designed for task - it does exactly what you want (or what you asked for, anyway!) Purpose-designed for hardware Extra features can be integrated more easily More likely to be bug- ridden Tied into one suppliers, e.g. for: –documentation (no books!) –training –support Portability of data is less likely Much more expensive Nature & Capabilities of Software

46 General Purpose/Generic Software Some software wasnt designed for a specific purpose - they are known as generic or content-free applications Examples of generic software include: –word processors and DTP applications –database management systems –spreadsheets Integrated packages contain several of these functions in one application - e.g. Microsoft Works or Lotus Symphony Software suites contain these functions in separate applications, e.g. Microsoft Office or Lotus SmartSuite Nature & Capabilities of Software


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