Chapter 1

  • Systems Architecture definition
  • Why knowledge of systems architecture is important to different roles and job titles (high-level overview from online lecture and in-class discussion)
Chapter 2
  • Definition of a computer, functions
  • Types of implementations for automated computation 
    • Limitations of early mechanical systems; advantages of electronic implementation, optical, quantum computing
  • Processor function, types (distinction between general-purpose and special-purpose)
  • Function of components (primary storage; bus; secondary storage; I/O)
  • CPU components – CU, ALU, Registers
  • Computer types and classifications
  • Virtualization
  • Multicomputer configurations – cluster, blade, grid, cloud
  • Types of software classifications – distinction between application programs, utility programs, and system software; layered approach to software design
  • Operating System functions

Chapter 3
  • Data representation – definition
  • Reasons for binary representation
  • Numbering systems
    • Conversions (bin-hex-decimal); unsigned integers; signed integers (two’s complement method only) – note: be able to do this without a calculator
  • Goals/Tradeoffs of data representation/encoding methods – be sure that you know CARES and be able to explain goals and tradeoffs in context of the primitive data types; how are they related;   
  • Five primitive data types
  • Problems of range limitations (how caused), overflow and underflow; precision and truncation 
  • Character data representation (ASCII, EBCDIC, Unicode) – basic differences, impact on range/compactness/standardization
  • Data structures (arrays, linked list, doubly-linked list)