Assignment Overview
The first 5 topics in this unit present the fundamentals of Computer Systems. The first assignment is designed to evaluate your understanding of these topics. This takes the form of a research exercise and a series of short answer questions in an online assessment through the Learning Management System (LMS). To achieve this aim, you are asked to choose a modern computer device, and research its system specification and components.

Research Task
Choose a popular consumer computer device, of reasonable complexity (i.e. with different types of memory, a CPU and Operating System), with lots of information publically available. For example, modern phones and tablets would make a good choice. You should research the following areas in relation to your chosen device. Try to get a good understanding of your device before you attempt to answer the questions. Write your answers in a normal word processor, and copy the answers into the assignment spaces in LMS.

Assignment Questions
The following are short answer questions on LMS. You are expected to write 1-3 paragraphs to answer each of the questions. Marks will be deducted for answers that are not written using correct grammar and spelling. Referencing isn’t necessary, but the following questions should be answered in your own words and not copied from sources – marks will be deducted for plagiarism.

1. Name your chosen device and describe its main functions. Provide some detail as to the range of activities possible with the device.
 Make of device (1 mark)
 Model of device (1 mark)
 Technically, what the device does (4 marks)
 What this means the device can achieve (4marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

2. Describe the physical footprint of the device. Talk about how the physical footprint/ergonomics of the device supports the main functional aims of the device.
 The physical design of the device (size, shape, material) (2 marks)
 How does the physical device relate to the user (how it interacts) (2 marks)
 2 marks for each main aspect/functional aim of the devices physical design (6 marks total)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

3. Describe the main components on its main system board.
 A good overview of the components (2 marks)
 More detailed discussion of the components and how they support the devices functionality (4 marks)
 Description of how the components are connected using interconnects (4 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

4. Describe the type(s) of primary memory in the device.
 Overview of the primary memory (2 mark)
 Technical specifications of the primary memory on the device (2 marks)
 Discussion of why this memory was chosen (3 marks)
 How is primary memory used to support the devices functionality (3 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

5. Describe the main method of storage in the device.
 Overview of the storage in the device (1 mark)
 More detail of the storage used (4 marks)
 Provision of expansion (2 marks)
 How is main memory used to support the devices functionality (3 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

6. Describe the main technical characteristics of the CPU used in the device.
 Identifying the CPU correctly (2 marks)
 The main features of the CPU and how they interact (5 marks)
 Cache (1 mark)
 A discussion of the parallelism features of the CPU (2 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

7. Describe the main groups of instructions in the CPU instruction set (if there are multiple, choose one). This answer can vary significantly. The answer could be Max Marks Breakdown:
 Boolean logic support (1 mark)
 Maths (add, multiple,) (1 mark)
 Floating point (1 mark)
 Control flow(loops, goto.) (1 mark)
 I/O support (1 mark)
 Anything else – multimedia,. (5 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

8. Describe how the main instruction set of the CPU has evolved over time.
 Technically how it’s changed over time (e.g. which sets of instructions added) (5 marks)
 Discussion on how the instruction set has adapted or goals changed (e.g. the addition of multimedia instructions or power management) (5 marks)
Marks are taken off for bad English or excessive copying of material.

9. Which operating system does the device use? Briefly describe the history of the OS. (If a mobile device, has it evolved from a desktop OS; what recent changes have occurred).
 An overview of the OS. If there is no OS, how is memory management, process management and other OS functions achieved on the device. (5 marks)
 An overview of the history of the OS used. How has it adapted to the platform. (5 marks)

10. Describe the main methods of creating software for the device? (Describe the most common programming methods, which development environments and tools are used).
 Programming (The languages supported e.g. Obj-C) (4 marks)
 Development environments (The development environment e.g. Xcode)/platform (4 marks)
 Software distribution (e.g. App stores) (2 marks)

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