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Assignment #02 - Fundamental Computer Terminology
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- Ian! D. Allen - idallen@idallen.ca - www.idallen.com
Available online: Friday September 24, 2010
Upload due date in the Blackboard Assignment Area:
Upload "assignment02.txt" before 19:00 (7pm) on Thursday September 30, 2010
Answers will be posted shortly after the due date/time and discussed
in class, if there are any questions about the answers.
Submission method: Upload via the "Assignments" assignment02 upload.
Use the file name given above. Upload only one single file of plain text,
not HTML, not MSWord. No fonts, no word-processing. Plain text only.
Did I mention that the format is plain text (e.g. using Notepad)?
Answers will be posted after the due date/time so that you can check
your answers before coming to class and ask questions about the answers
in class. Please check your answers (and my answers!). I go over
each assignment in class if there are questions about the answers.
No questions means no review - I'll presume you know the material.
Questions similar to ones on these assignments will appear on your tests
and exams.
Not all assignments will be marked. See the Week 1 Notes for details.
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Edit this file and answer the following questions, showing the method
or formula you used to get the answer. Upload the file containing the
methods, formulas, questions and answers before the due date. Some of
the answers below will require reading the links published in the weekly
course notes.
1. What is the minimum number of binary bits needed to represent 43,386 items?
2. Assuming an 8-bit word, show, in binary, how such a word would be
encoded to represent the decimal number 87 using unsigned binary encoding.
3. What is the minimum number of binary bits needed to represent 87 items?
4. Develop a binary encoding scheme which could be used to encode a field to
represent one of the weeks of the year. Use the minimum number of bits.
5. Assuming unsigned binary encoding, what decimal value is represented
by the binary pattern: 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 ?
6. Convert 16-bit hexadecimal 0x142A to decimal. (Show your method!)
7. Convert decimal 2.5625 to binary. (Show your method!)
8. Which has more *Precision* available - a 32-bit integer or a 32-bit
floating-point number?
9. Which has more *Range* available - a 32-bit integer or a 32-bit
floating-point number?
10. What is the approximate range, in powers of ten, of IEEE 754
single-precision floating-point numbers? (i.e. what is the approximate
largest and approximate smallest number)
11. How close to zero can you get with IEEE 754 32-bit floating point?
(What is the non-zero value that is closest to zero?) Express the
answer in both approximate power-of-two notation and in approximate
power-of-ten notation.
12. Explain why, in a computer, floating point mathematics may not be
associative or distributive, i.e. (A+B)+C may not equal A+(B+C).
13. Define the term "word" as it is used in computer architecture.
14. Which of these measurements are powers of two, and which are powers of ten?
a) amount of hard disk capacity?
b) amount of CDROM capacity?
c) computer memory size?
d) processor speed (clock frequency)?
e) processor bus speed (e.g. PCI bus or front side bus or memory bus)?
f) network card speed?
g) dial-up modem speed?
h) ADSL modem speed?
i) Distances in kilometres?
15. Give two reasons why you can't store 12GB of system memory in a file
on a hard drive with an advertised capacity of 12GB.
16. What is the difference between writing KB (kilobyte) and KiB (kibibyte)
and MB (megabyte) and MiB (mebibyte)?
17. Exactly how many bytes (in decimal) are in 4GiB of memory?
18. Exactly how many bytes (in decimal) are on an advertised 4GB hard disk?
19. How many power-of-two MiB are on an advertised 2TB hard disk?
20. By what percentage is a power-of-two GiB larger than a power-of-ten GB?
21. What is the prefix used for a thousand Gigabytes?
22. If a memory has an access time of 10ns, how many accesses can you make
in one second (give the answer in MHz)?
23. If a CPU has a clock frequency of 3.6 GHz, how long (in ns) does one
access cycle take?
24. What is the closest power of two to 1000 (i.e. closest to 10**3)?
25. How many ns (nanoseconds) are in a ms (millisecond)?
26. How may MiB are in a GiB? Give the answer as a power of two.
27. What is 2**16 in decimal? (This is a common number worth remembering.)
28. A computer has a 32-bit word size. Using this word size, what is the
largest size memory it can address, in GiBi? (Microsoft Windows XP
computers are limited to using this much memory.)
29. Why isn't a disk that rotates at 10,000 RPM exactly twice as fast as a
disk that rotates at 5,000 RPM? What else is involved?
30. What is the standards group responsible for the Internet standards?
Give the full name and the 4-letter acronym.
31. In the world of Internet standards, what do the letters "RFC" stand for?
32. What is the modern version of Moore's Law?
33. Why can't Moore's law continue indefinitely?
34. Put these terms in order, from most general (high level) to most
specific (low level):
CPU microcode
CPU Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)
Logic gates
Microprocessor Assembly Language
Java or C++ Language
35. Why do computer programmers always start counting with zero (0), and
not with one (1)?
36. Whose name is attached to the idea of a computer that can store its
programs and instructions in memory (a stored-program computer)?
37. What is the "von Neumann bottleneck"?
38. What are some ways to work around the "von Neumann bottleneck"?
39. By what order of magnitude (power of 10) is something that runs in
nanoseconds (e.g. a CPU) faster than something that runs in
milliseconds (e.g. a hard disk)?
40. You have a program that takes 5 minutes to finish, running entirely
in the computer's memory. With a bigger data set, you need to change
the program to access the hard disk instead of memory. You change the
program so that *all* accesses are via the slower hard disk. Roughly how
long (in years) will it now take your "5-minute" program to finish?
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| Ian! D. Allen - idallen@idallen.ca - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
| Home Page: http://idallen.com/ Contact Improv: http://contactimprov.ca/
| College professor (Free/Libre GNU+Linux) at: http://teaching.idallen.com/
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