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When was the computer invented? - Fixed Topic

At 27 tonnes and the size of an entire room, the world's first computer is just as elaborate as its name suggests ? ENIAC or Electronic Numerator Integrator Analyser and Computer. True to form, ENIAC also makes big noises, cracking and buzzing while performing an equation of 5,000 additions. Before the invention of ENIAC, it took a room full of people to calculate a similar equation. Basic answer 1945!


Intel Launches Fastest Processor on the Planet

Intel Corporation introduced its most advanced desktop processor ever, the Intel® Core™ i7 processor. The Core i7 processor is the first member of a new family of Nehalem processor designs and is the most sophisticated ever built, with new technologies that boost performance on demand and maximize data throughput. The Core i7 processor speeds video editing, immersive games and other popular Internet and computer activities by up to 40 percent without increasing power consumption.
Broadly heralded by the computing industry as a technical marvel, the Intel® Core™ i7 processor holds a new world record of 117 for the SPECint_base_rate2006* benchmark test that measures the performance of a processor. This is the first time ever for any single processor to exceed a score of 100 points.


"Intel has delivered the fastest desktop processor on Earth to the most demanding users on Earth, the ones who are using their PCs for video, gaming and music," said Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "When you couple what is Intel's biggest leap in chip design with other incredible innovations like Intel's solid state drives, the Core i7 processor has redefined the computer of tomorrow."

Tech Web sites have been extremely positive in their product reviews. Anandtech states that "Core i7 continues to fuel Intel's beacon of performance." "The Core i7 is everything they promised it would be," says PC Perspective. "Nehalem is a masterpiece," says the Lost Circuits Web site. The Tech Report calls it "one of the most consequential shifts in the industry."

Intel's unique Turbo Boost Technology accelerates performance to match a computer user's needs and workloads. Through a sophisticated on-die power control unit and using new "power gate" transistors based on Intel's advanced 45 nanometer, high-k metal gate manufacturing process, Turbo Boost automatically adjusts the clock speed of one or more of the four individual processing cores for single- and multi-threaded applications to boost performance, without increasing power consumption. The Core i7 also has the latest Intel power-saving technologies, allowing desktops to go into sleep states formerly reserved for Intel-based notebooks.

The Core i7 processor more than doubles the memory bandwidth of previous Intel "Extreme" platforms, speeding the transfer of computer bits and bites in and out of the processor with Intel® Quickpath Technology. Designed with Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology, the processor also allows multiple computing threads to run simultaneously, effectively enabling it to do two things at once. As a result, the Core i7 quad-core processor delivers 8-threaded performance.

The Intel Core i7 processor also offers unrivaled performance for immersive 3-D games - over 40 percent faster than previous Intel high-performance processors on both the 3DMark Vantage CPU* physics and AI tests, popular industry computer benchmarks that measure gaming performance. The Extreme Edition uses 8 threads to run games with advanced artificial intelligence and physics to make games act and feel real.

The Intel® Core™ i7 processors and Intel® X58 Express Chipset-based Intel® Desktop Board DX58SO Extreme Series are for sale immediately from several computer manufacturers online and in retail stores, as well as a boxed retail product via channel online sales.

The Core i7 processor is the first member of the Intel Nehalem microarchitecture family; server and mobile product versions will be in production later. Each Core i7 processor features an 8 MB level 3 cache and three channels of DDR3 1066 memory to deliver the best memory performance of any desktop platform. Intel's top performance processor, the Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme Edition, also removes overspeed protection, allowing Intel's knowledgeable customers or hobbyists to further increase the chip's speed.


Sony Unveils 3 New VAIO Notebooks

Sony Malaysia yesterday launched its latest series of VAIO (Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer) notebooks in Kuala Lumpur. The new three models launched were the VAIO Z, the VAIO SR and the VAIO FW.


The VAIO Z is now the flagship of VAIO notebooks for Sony and is target at business execs that requires high performance and ultra portability. Boosting a carbon fibre body the VAIO Z wights in at only 1.48kg but comes with features such as 2 graphics system (Intel GMA4500M integrated and NVIDIA Geforce 9300M discreet), 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Microsoft Windows Vista Business and even 802.11 draft-N wireless capability. Available September 2008 onwards, this flagship model will carry a suggested retail price of RM7,988.

The VAIO SR is also marketed as a business notebook albeit as a mid-range model but it does comes in 3 colours, pink, silver and the mandatory black. One unique feature of the VAIO SR is the MODE button which switches between business, entertainment and personal modes on press. What this is, is actually 3 different desktop settings where you will be able to customize different wallpapers, themes and on screen-icons depending on your requirements. The VAIO SR comes in 2 flavours depending on the specifications and is available now. Prices start from RM4,488.

Last but not least is the VAIO SW which is build primarily for the entertainment enthusiasts. With its 16.4" Wide LCD, Blu-ray player and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 graphics, this notebook is literally a mobile cinema. Lugging this baby around will be a chore at 3kgs but once you get use to its HD capable 1600x900 resolution, 2.53Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4GBs for DDR2 memory, you'll wish for nothing less. The VAIO FW is available now from RM4,988 onwards in gun metal, silver or black.



HP & Compaq Unveils Six New Notebook PCs

HP unveiled six new notebook PCs at a press conference yesterday. This includes the new HP Pavilion dv4, dv5, dv7 Entertainment Notebook PCs and under the Compaq branding, the Presario CQ20, CQ40 and CQ45.

The new Pavilions follow a simple method of differentiating themselves with their screen size. Hence dv4 comes with a 14.4" display, while dv5 has a 15.4" display and dv7 sports a 17" display.

vaio laptop

Touting elegance and mobility, the dv4 comes equipped with the latest offering from Intel, Centrino 2 up to 2.8GHz, Nvidia GeForce 9000 graphics that provides 1280x800 resolution on the optional HD BrightView WXGA screen, integrated TV tuner and optional wireless broadband. The dv4 starts at a retail price of RM3,999 and is available now.

Continue to read more on the other notebooks.

The midrange dv5 also boost Intel Centrino 2 technology up to 2.8GHz, discreet Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics that outputs a stunning 1680x1050 resolution and blu-ray optical drive. Expect prices from RM5,999 for this baby. Available now.


The ultimate in performance and HD entertainment, the dv7 while might be similar in specifications to the dv5, has the addition of a remote control, full sized keyboard including the numeric pad and HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer. This range topper starts at a whopping RM6,999 and will be available later this month.

Standard on all Pavilions are built-in biometric scanner, HDMI port, tv tuner, illuminated HP logo on the cover and metallised finishing for the keyboard and palm rest area.

The Compaq Presario CQ20 is a HP Designed in Asia for Asia (DIAFA) product. This means its only available in the Asian market. The 12.1" diagonal notebook has built-in wireless capability utilizing the latest Intel Centrino 2 technology but only weighs in at 1.68kg.

The CQ45 and CQ40 are AMD Turion powered notebooks. Paired with a ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics powering a 14.1" widescreen display providing up to 1280x800 resolution.

The CQ20 retails from RM2,709 while the CQ45 and CQ40 are priced at RM2,809 and RM2,509 respectively. All Presario models are available now.

Computer Data

To help understand computers it is best to first learn about computer data. Computer data is information required by the computer to be able to operate. It is used to :

  • Run programs - This is the actual executable program data that the computer will execute to run the program such as Microsoft Word.
  • Store program or system configuration information.
  • Store information that the computer user needs such as text files or other files that are associated with the program the computer user is running. A common example of a program the computer user is running is the Microsoft Office suite of products which include Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and others. These programs are also known as applications.



Data Structure

Computer data is in what is called binary format. This means that it is always a 0 or a 1. It only has these two states and must be in one of them.

There are several fundamental data units which include:

  • Bit - A data unit which must be in one of the two binary states described above. It is the smallest data unit that exists.
  • Byte - 8 bits of data which has a possible value from 0 to 255.
  • Word - Two bytes or 16 bits of data with a possible unsigned value from 0 to 16535.


Data transmission

Data transmission is the act of sending data from one place to another. Data is transmitted both inside and outside your computer. There are two fundamental methods of data transmission.

  • Serial - Data is sent on a single line and one bit is sent at at a time. This is similar to a line which one item must come one after another.
  • Parallel - Data is sent on more than one line at a time. This may be any number of bits at a time, but is usually one word at a time (two bytes) or possibly three bytes at a time.


Computer Hardware

The term computer hardware refers to the various electronic components that are required for you to use a computer along with the hardware components inside the computer case. As you know your computer equipment is made of several common components. These include:

  • The main computer box.
  • A monitor - Looks like a television screen.
  • A keyboard.
  • A mouse.
  • Speakers.
  • An optional printer

The main computer box is the main component of the computer. It has computer hardware parts inside that perform the following functions:

  • Temporary storage of information (known as data in more technical terms) - This function is done by memory.
  • Permanent storage of information - This function is done by a hard disk, floppy disk, or CD ROM.
  • Manipulation or processing of data - Used to determine where data is stored and perform calculations which support operations that the user is doing.
  • Interfacing to the outside components or to the outside world - This supports the ability for the user to communicate with the computer and know how the computer is responding to commands which are done primarily through the monitor, keyboard, and mouse along with their interface components in the main computer box.
  • A power supply which provides the electrical power to the components in the computer box.



The term software describes the programs that run on your system. This includes your computer operating system and other computer programs which run. Software is written in a computer language (such as Basic, C, Java, or others) by programmers. The computer language is in a text format and can be read by a person although if you do not understand the structure and rules of the language you may not understand it very well. Once a program is written, an operation is performed on it which is called compiling. Compiling is the process of changing the textual written language into a binary language which can be understood by the computer.

Writing these text files and converting them to computer readable files is the way operating systems and most application programs are created.


BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)

BIOS is a low level program used by your system to interface to computer devices such as your video card, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, and other devices. What BIOS programs provide in the computer are very simple function calls or small subprograms which can be used by higher level programs to perform simple operations on computer devices. For example a BIOS program would provide the ability to write a character to memory on a video card.

BIOS is normally written in a low level computer language and is permanently or semi-permanently written into the computer system. This type of computer program is commonly referred to as firmware since it was historically written permanently into computer systems. Although BIOS is a program, because of its permanent state, it was not quite considered to be software so the term firmware is used to describe it.

Historically BIOS programs were written into a type of memory called ROM (read only memory). This type of memory would not lose its data when the computer lost power thus ensuring these BIOS programs would always be available. There were different variants of ROM memory some of which could be written multiple times but this memory could not normally be changed or re-programmed once the computer system was sold to the customer. Once ROM memory was written to, it could not be written to again and could only be read when in the possession of the customer. In more recent years a more flexible form of memory was developed called flash ROM which allows ROM memory to be written to after the computer system is in possession of the customer.