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RAM (Random Access Memory) is a hardware component

Computing is usually defined as the activity of using and improving computer technology, computer hardware and software. It is the computer-specific part of information technology. Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems.

Computing Curricula 2005[1] defined computing:

In a general way, we can define computing to mean any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. Thus, computing includes designing and building hardware and software systems for a wide range of purposes; processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information; doing scientific studies using computers; making computer systems behave intelligently; creating and using communications and entertainment media; finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, and so on. The list is virtually endless, and the possibilities are vast.

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions called a computer program. The program has an executable form that the computer can use directly to execute the instructions. The same program in its human-readable source code form, enables a programmer to study and develop the algorithm. Because the instructions can be carried out in different types of computers, a single set of source instructions converts to machine instructions according to the central processing unit type.

The execution process carries out the instructions in a computer program. Instructions express the computations performed by the computer. They trigger sequences of simple actions on the executing machine. Those actions produce effects according to the semantics of the instructions.

Computer programming in general is the process of writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code and documentation of computer programs. This source code is written in a programming language, which is an artificial language, restrictive, demanding, and unforgiving to humans but easily translated by the computer. The purpose of programming is to invoke the desired behaviour (customization) from the machine. The process of writing high quality source code requires knowledge of both the application's domain and the computer science domain. The highest quality software is thus developed by a team of various domain experts, each person a specialist in some area of development. But the term programmer may apply to a range of program quality, from hacker to open source contributor to professional. And a single programmer could do most or all of the computer programming needed to generate the proof of concept to launch a new "killer" application.

Contents

Definitions

The term computing, more commonly known as computer science, has sometimes been narrowly defined, as in a 1989 ACM report on Computing as a Discipline[2]:

The discipline of computing is the systematic study of algorithmic processes that describe and transform information: their theory, analysis, design, efficiency, implementation, and application. The fundamental question underlying all computing is 'What can be (efficiently) automated?

Computing Curricula 2005[1] also recognizes that the meaning of computing depends on the context:-

Computing also has other meanings that are more specific, based on the context in which the term is used. For example, an information systems specialist will view computing somewhat differently from a software engineer. Regardless of the context, doing computing well can be complicated and difficult. Because society needs people to do computing well, we must think of computing not only as a profession but also as a discipline.

The term computing is also synonymous with counting and calculating. In earlier times it was used in reference to mechanical computing machines.

A computer is an electronic device that sends and receives data. The most common examples are microcomputers, minicomputers and mainframe computers. Other examples include mobile phones, mp3 players, satellites, video game consoles, virtually anything that can send and receive data.

Science and theory

Hardware

See information processor for a high-level block diagram.

Instruction-level taxonomies

After the commoditization of memory, attention turned to optimizing CPU performance at the instruction level. Various methods of speeding up the fetch-execute cycle include:

Software

History of computing

Business computing

Human factors

Computer network

Wired and wireless computer network

Computing technology based wireless networking (CbWN)

The main of goal of CbWN is to optimize the system performance of the flexible wireless network.

Computer security

Data

Numeric data

Character data

Other data topics

Mechatronics

Classes of computers

Companies - current

Companies - historic

Organizations

Professional

Standards bodies

See also: Standardization and Standards organization

Open standards

See also Open standard

See also

References

  1. ^ a b The Joint Task Force for Computing Curricula 2005. Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report (pdf)
  2. ^ Computing as a Discipline (pdf)

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Computers article)

From Wikiquote

A computer is a machine for manipulating data according to a list of instructions. Computers take many forms, from early room-sized complexes to modern personal computers (PCs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to tiny embedded systems that add sophisticated capabilities to other devices like toys and appliances.

Contents

Sourced

  • Dare to be gorgeous and unique. But don't ever be cryptic or otherwise unfathomable. Make it unforgettably great.
    • Robert J. Mical, Amiga Intuition Reference Manual, 1986, (ISBN 0201110768), p. 231
  • Mr. McKitrick, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that your defense system sucks.
  • Trust The Computer. The Computer is your friend.
  • "So computers are tools of the devil?" thought Newt. He had no problem believing it. Computers had to be the tools of somebody, and all he knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him.
  • Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
  • The simple fact is that without supporting directives or a mechanism for feedback, security is defined differently by each person and verified by no one. There is no metric for compliance with a "culture", and a "culture of security" is overridden by a culture of "get the job done" every time. If there are rules, write them down. If technology is put in place to implement or monitor the rules, write that down too. If people break the rules, follow up. If the rules prevent legitimate business from getting done, change them. It's that simple.
  • It used to be said of a man who had suffered a catastrophic setback in his line of work that he had been handed his head on a platter. We are being handed our heads with tweezers now.
  • I have bought this wonderful machine- a computer. Now I am rather an authority on gods, so I identified the machine- it seems to me to be an Old Testament god with a lot of rules and no mercy.

Software

  • Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?
    • "Epigrams in Programming", SIGPLAN, Association for Computing Machinery, September 1982
  • Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
  • A refund for defective software might be nice, except it would bankrupt the entire software industry in the first year.
  • Interviewer: Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer? Bill Gates: No. the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system. You got to be willing to read other people's code, then write your own, then have other people review your code. You've got to want to be in this incredible feedback loop where you get the world-class people to tell you what you're doing wrong.
    • "Programmers at Work: Interviews With 19 Programmers Who Shaped the Computer Industry", Tempus, by Susan Lammers (Editor)

Computer games

Programming

Unix

  • Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of Minix.
  • Will journalling become prevalent in the Unix world at large? Probably not. After all, it's nonstandard.
    • The UNIX Hater's Handbook, 1994, ISBN 1568842031, unidentified chapter/page
  • Linux users think Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Linus as a burnt offering, GNU users think Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Stallman as a burnt offering. Linux users believe in the holy trinity of GNU/Linux/NvidiaBlobs, BSD users believe in the one and only UNIX. Linux users are fine with Tux toys and stickers, BSD users believe in no graven images. Linux users are subdivided into those that argue about interpretations of freedom and whether the establishment is corrupt, BSD users are subdivided according to which BSD is the true descendant of UNIX(pbuh).
  • UNIX is user-friendly, it just chooses its friends.

Unsourced

  • If you think you can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.
  • The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.
  • Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.
  • Quantum mechanic Seth Lloyd says the universe is one giant, hackable computer. Let's hope it's not running Windows.
  • On two occasions I have been asked [by members of parliament!], "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not rightly able to apprehend the kind of confusion that could provoke such a question.
  • Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.
  • Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.
  • [Software are among the] things which can be copied infinitely over and over again, without any further costs.
  • A world full of computers which you can't understand, can't fix and can't use [because it is controlled by inaccessible proprietorial software] is a world controlled by machines.
  • .HELP SEX: This system is a computer and as such is not able to help with enquiries of this nature. For details on reproduction, see the Xerox documentation.
    • Famous Help text from Essex Dec 10
  • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
  • Don't trust a computer you can't throw out a window.
  • A computer is like air conditioning; it becomes useless when you open Windows.
  • "I'm not afraid of computers taking over the world. They're just sitting there. I can hit them with a two by four."

Misattributed

  • I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
    • Commonly attributed to Thomas J. Watson (1874–1956), general manager and chairman of IBM, but there is no evidence he ever said or wrote this. The earliest known citations occurred in the 1980s.[2]

See also

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiversity

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The Computer Science Portal

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Welcome to the Computer Science Portal. This Portal is a directory of Computer Science pages at Wikiversity. This directory page provides links to Computer Science learning resources that have been developed by the various Wikiversity Computer Science content development projects. The main content development project is the School of Computer Science. This portal features exciting examples of Computer Science learning resources. Wikiversity participants who are interested in Computer Science are invited to create and participate in learning projects and learning resources and help organize them by developing this portal. We're just starting, but we already have some good materials. The Computer Science Portal serves to provide quick access to everything in the Computer Science category.

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Featured learning resource

This month's featured resource is Computer Networks

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Featured development projects

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Selected research

Building an artificial neural network using reinforcement learning strategies
This project is devoted to making a neural network model of hippocampal place cells and simulating the activity of model neurons under conditions that model when a laboratory animal is in a Morris water maze.

What is happening in an animal's brain as it learns to swim consistently straight to a target? At this point, science can't really answer this question in full detail. One can only speak of spatial learning, place learning, cognitive maps formation and memory in general. This project tries to explore a mathematical model of these processes by making use of computers.

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Did you know...

Wikiversity screen saver prototype 0.04en - 2007-Oct-01.OGG
Watch a video preview of the screen saver in Ogg file format,
only 320x240 view).

Did you know that Wikiversity has its own screen saver?

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Related portals

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Content development projects

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Categories

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Quotes

"To me programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge." Grace Hopper,

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Computer Science learning projects

Anthropomorphic Robotics - Computer science program - Introduction to Computer Science - Introduction to Programming in Java - A Hands-On Introduction to Game Design and Production Processes - C Source Codes - Operating Systems - Operate a personal computer - Checking open proxies - Configuring and administering a network operating system - Conway's Game of Life - Cryptography - Data Structures and Algorithms - Distributed P2P search engine - Embedded System Engineering - Websites Qualification - Information management using open source - Introduction to SQL - Introduction to algorithms - Introduction to boolean logic - Markerless Tracking - Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Research Project - OpenMoko - Python Operators - Quantum computing - Reinforcement learning - Remote Learning Development - Wikiversity computer skills - Software testing/Introduction - Unsolved problems in software engineering - Wikiversity screen saver

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Things you can do

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Here are some tasks you can do:
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Computer Science news

News
  • Always looking for new contributors and participants!
  • August 9, 2007: Introduction to Technical Writing welcomes contributors and editors
  • January 19, 2007: computer science portal
  • August 16, 2006: - School of Computer Science founded!

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