Category:I600 Introduction to Computers and Informatics

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In this course we'll give an introduction to variety of topics.

Points: 6 ECTS

Grading: homework + exam

Lecturer: Lauri Võsandi


Introduction to computer hardware

Homework:

  • Follow instructions on Getting started with Ubuntu
  • Place your preferred ISO image to a memory stick using dd or Win32 Disk Imager and boot it on your personal laptop.
  • Open up terminal by pressing Ctrl-Alt-T.
  • Use cat /proc/cpuinfo and check what CPU model and how many cores your computer has.
  • Use cat /proc/meminfo and check how much RAM your computer has.
  • Use lspci -t -v -nn to enuerate PCI and PCI Express devices.
  • Use lsusb and lsusb -t to enumerate USB devices.
  • Use fdisk -l to enumerate disks and partitions.
  • Use lsblk to enumerate block devices.
  • Use xrandr to enumerate display outputs.
  • Use alsamixer to check which audio devices are available, use F6 to select between audio devices.
  • Use dmidecode to see even more information about your computer.
  • Use ifconfig -a to list all network interfaces.
  • What audio card is your machine using?
  • What graphics controller is your machine using? How is it connected to your machine? What video output resolutions are available and which one is currently used?
  • What webcam is your machine using? How is it connected to your machine?
  • What wireless chipset your computer has? How is it connected to your machine?
  • What bluetooth device your computer has? How is it connected to your machine?
  • Is there a cellular modem connected and how it's connected?
  • Boot the ISO image in VirtualBox and follow the same steps as above, what are the differences and why?
  • Collect command outputs, answer to questions and send it as plain text e-mail to lauri [dotchka] vosandi [plus] i600 [ät] gmail [dotchka] com

Jargon: CPU, RAM, ROM, HDD, SSD, PCI, PCI Express, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, DVI, LCD, TFT, LED, AMOLED,

Exam questions:

  • Different buses and their uses
  • What are the differences between HDD and SDD? [1]
  • What are difference between volatile/non-volatile, RAM, ROM, EEPROM and where are they used?
  • What are difference between asynchronous/synchronous, dynmic/static RAM and where are they used?
  • What is cache? What is cache coherence? [2]
  • What are differences between resistive and capacitive touchscreen? [3]
  • Name screen technologies making use of TFT technology? [4]
  • What are the differences between linear vs switching power regulation? [5]
  • Name uses for light polarization filters?
  • What are the benefits of twisted pair and differential signaling?
  • Active matrix vs passive matrix in display technology
  • What is resistance? Capacitance? Inductance?

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