CS 231 - Micro Electronics

Review for Second Test

The following questions are provided to help you study for the second test. Do not expect to see these exact questions on the test.

  1. What is the difference between random access and serial access?

  2. How was memory generally set in early mainframe computers?

  3. What do we call the time that a CPU spends waiting for data from a storage device?

  4. What is a track? What is a sector? What is a cylinder?

  5. How is a magnetic disk hard drive different from a solid state drive?

  6. How many bytes are typically held in a sector on a hard drive?

  7. What do we call the time needed to move a read/write head from one track to another? What do we call the time needed to switch from the head on one platter to the head on another platter?

  8. How is magnetic tape similar to magnetic disks? How are they different?

  9. What are the two data representing structures on optical disks usually called? How are they read by computer devices?

  10. What is the difference between volatile and nonvolatile memory?

  11. What kind of RAM typically uses just transistors? What kind typically uses transistors and capacitors? What is the advantage of one over the other?

  12. What is a bus?

  13. What devices communicate through the system bus?

  14. What devices communicate through the storage bus? What is the address bus for?

  15. What is a video bus? What is the advantage to having one?

  16. What is the memory bus? What does it connect?

  17. What is the control bus for?

  18. What is a bus clock? What is it used for?

  19. What is an I/O port? Why does the text call it a logical abstraction?

  20. How is an I/O port typically implemented on a workstation or a server?

  21. What is a buffer? How is it different from a cache? Why are buffers and caches used from the perspective of a user?

  22. What can happen when a print job is sent to a printer that has an insufficiently large buffer?

  23. What is a peripheral device? Why are some devices installed inside the computer case still considered peripheral devices?

  24. How do CRT displays work?

  25. What is a color palette, with regard to video displays?

  26. How do LCD displays work?

  27. What are some reasons we no longer use CRT displays?

  28. What is the difference between raster and vector graphics?

  29. What do we call the process of representing a color by placing a mixture of component color pixels close to each other on a display or on paper?

  30. What do we call the parts of an image that is produced on a display? What do we generally call the parts of an image that is produced on printed output?

  31. How is sound generally represented in real life, as an analog or a digital event?

  32. How does sound need to be processed to be stored in computer files?

  33. Human speech is generally represented by sets of sounds instead of letters when reproduced by a computer. What are these sounds called?

  34. What is lossy compression? Why is it used instead of lossless compression in some cases?

  35. What is MIDI?

  36. What do we call a collection of characters that have a similar appearance, which can be used on a display or sent to a printer?

  37. What do we call the measurement of the size of characters on an output device?

  38. What kind of scanner is used at a supermarket checkout? What kind is used to read printed documents into editable files?

  39. What kind of light source is generally used by bar code scanners?

  40. What kind of printer uses an inked ribbon that is struck against paper?

  41. What kind of printer uses electrical charges to attract ink powder to an image on paper?