Overview Of Computing Systems


Computing Systems Overview:

Welcome to the fundamentals of computing systems course material. In this overview, we will delve into the core components and functionalities that make up computing systems. A computer system is a complex interconnection of hardware and software components working harmoniously to process data and provide valuable information.

Defining Computer Systems:

A computer system is a programmable machine that processes input data following a specific set of instructions to produce output. It comprises several key elements, including the central processing unit (CPU), memory units, input devices, output devices, storage devices, and more. The nature of a computer system lies in its ability to execute programmed instructions effectively.

Functional Parts of Computer Systems:

The functional parts of a computer system include the CPU, which acts as the brain of the computer, controlling all operations. The CPU consists of the Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU), Control Unit (CU), and various registers such as the Memory Data Register (MDR) and Memory Address Register (MAR).

Characteristics of Computers:

Computers exhibit various characteristics that distinguish them from other devices. These include being electronic in nature, providing high accuracy in calculations, operating at incredible speeds, facilitating interactive communication, ensuring reliability in operations, maintaining consistency in output, offering large storage capacities, and more.

Distinguishing Hardware and Software:

Hardware refers to the physical components of a computer system that you can touch, such as the monitor, keyboard, and processor. On the other hand, software comprises programs and applications that instruct the hardware on what tasks to perform.

Components of Computer Hardware:

The hardware components of a computer system include the CPU, which processes data, peripherals like input and output devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse, printer), and storage media such as hard disks and USB drives. Each component plays a vital role in the functioning of the computer.

Input and Output Devices:

Input devices allow users to input data into the computer, while output devices display or produce results based on the processed information. Major input devices include keyboards, mice, scanners, and joysticks, while common output devices include monitors, printers, and speakers.

Storage Units:

Computers utilize primary memory units like RAM and ROM for temporary and permanent storage, respectively. Secondary storage devices like hard disks and CDs serve for long-term data retention. Each storage unit has unique characteristics and applications in the computer system.

Registers and Memory:

Registers like the Memory Data Register (MDR) and Memory Address Register (MAR) store and retrieve data during processing. They work closely with the CPU and memory units to ensure seamless data flow within the system.

Logic Circuits and Gates:

Logic circuits within a computer system use gates like AND, NOT, OR, NOR, and NAND to perform logical operations. These gates process data binary values, aiding in decision-making processes and calculations.

System and Application Software:

System software manages the computer's resources and provides a platform for running applications. Application software serves specific purposes like word processing (e.g., MS Word) and data analysis (e.g., SPSS), catering to various user needs.


In conclusion, understanding the overview of computing systems is crucial for comprehending the inner workings of computers. By grasping the fundamentals of hardware, software, memory, and processing units, individuals can navigate and utilize computer systems effectively in various domains.


  1. Construct Truth Table for Standard Logic Gates
  2. Interpret Logic Equations for Standard Logic Gates
  3. List Components of Computer Hardware, Their Functions, and Different Types
  4. Define Utility Software
  5. Define Different Types and Uses of Gates
  6. Explain the Functions of ALU, CU, and Registers
  7. Explain the Similarities and Differences Among Inkjet, Laser, and Line Printers
  8. Define Computer System in Relation to Its Nature and Programmability
  9. Define and Give Examples of Hardware Devices
  10. State the Major Steps Involved in How a Computer Converts Data to Required Information
  11. Define Translators
  12. Relate the Relationships Between Micro, Mega, Giga, and Terra Bytes
  13. List Different Units by Which Storage is Measured and Their Relationships
  14. Enumerate Factors Affecting the Speed of Data Transfer
  15. Explain the Functions of the Following Registers
  16. Identify the Differences Between Hardware and Software
  17. Distinguish Between Primary and Secondary Memory Units
  18. List Functional Parts of Computer Systems
  19. Define Comparator
  20. Explain the Characteristics of Computers
  21. Explain the Features, Functions, and Operations of the Mouse
  22. Define Operating System (OS)
  23. Explain the Differences Between User Application Program and General-Purpose Application Packages
  24. List the Components of CPU
  25. Define and Give Examples of Output Devices
  26. Explain the Functions of Major Input Devices and Give Examples
  27. Give Examples of Common Off Shelf Application Packages and Their Examples
  28. Explain the Classification of Keys on the Keyboard
  29. Differentiate Between System and Application Software
  30. Differentiate Between Open Source and Proprietary Software
  31. Explain the Differences Between Input and Output Devices

Lesson Note

Computing systems are the backbone of modern technology, encompassing a broad range of interrelated components designed to process, store, and communicate information. In this overview, we will explore various aspects of computing systems, including their components, functions, software, and more.

Lesson Evaluation

Congratulations on completing the lesson on Overview Of Computing Systems. Now that youve explored the key concepts and ideas, its time to put your knowledge to the test. This section offers a variety of practice questions designed to reinforce your understanding and help you gauge your grasp of the material.

You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Use this evaluation section as an opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to identify any areas where you may need additional study. Don't be discouraged by any challenges you encounter; instead, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. Define Computer System in relation to its nature and programmability. A. A collection of hardware components B. A collection of software components C. A combination of hardware and software components that work together D. A single component of a computer Answer: C. A combination of hardware and software components that work together
  2. List functional parts of computer systems. A. Only input devices B. Only output devices C. Only hardware components D. Input devices, output devices, storage, and processing components Answer: D. Input devices, output devices, storage, and processing components
  3. Explain the characteristics of computers. A. Only mechanical B. Only slow C. Electronic, fast, reliable, interactive D. Only manual Answer: C. Electronic, fast, reliable, interactive
  4. Identify the differences between hardware and software. A. Hardware is tangible, software is intangible B. Hardware is intangible, software is tangible C. Both are intangible D. Both are tangible Answer: A. Hardware is tangible, software is intangible
  5. Define and give examples of hardware devices. A. Only printers B. Only monitors C. Physical components of a computer system, e.g., CPU, keyboard D. Only software components Answer: C. Physical components of a computer system, e.g., CPU, keyboard

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Past Questions

Wondering what past questions for this topic looks like? Here are a number of questions about Overview Of Computing Systems from previous years

Question 1 Report

(a) List two operations that can be performed on computer file.

(b) State three precautions to be taken in order to secure a computer file.

(c) State three advantages of computerized file over manual files.

(d)What is an antivirus?

Question 1 Report

Which of the following monitors has only two colours

Question 1 Report

The number of entries in the figure above is?

Practice a number of Overview Of Computing Systems past questions