Computer architecture

File Management

File Systems save their data in files.

They consist of:

  • Files (duh)
  • Folders
  • Partitions

File contains data or program code. Folder groups files, partitions is a physical space on the hard drive, like a virtual drive.

Physical: One disk
Logical: A partition on a disk

File is the smallest unit that may be written to the peripheral memory.


Name, type, size, location


Accessed/modified/changed timestamps.

Access rights. owner.

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Memory Management

Two more topics: Memory Management and File Management.

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Operating Systems

Yay yay yay.

This might be the absolutely last entry. It takes up the entire second section of the course, but it's far shorter.

An operating system is the software that controls the execution of other programs on the hardware and also administers the various resources.

This includes service programs (txt editor etc)

The hierarchy looks like this:

Operating System

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Onward with the Processor!

We come to Pipelining. Pipelining is a way to improve the efficiency of a processor.

The idea is to execute several commands in parallel, thus using the resources more effectively. As mentioned previously, the command consists of several phases: Fetch, Read, Execute, Write.

In theory, four commands could be pipelines through the processor at once, each in a different phase.

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The von Neumann Computer

Note to Google users:

Thanks to Drupal's search-engine friendly set-up, this page is receiving fairly good rankings for any searches on the von-Neumann computer, and accordingly a lot of traffic. Please be aware that I am not an expert on this topic, and the text below is a haphazard summary of the syllabus I wrote here to revise for my examination.

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The final challenge

In 22.5 hours, I will be in the last exam this year - Computer Architecture. The topic is quite interesting, but hopelessly extensive. It also requires gratuitous memorizing, which isn't my forté.

Distinguish the four bus systems PCI, SCSI, USB and Firewire, naming three distinctive properties of each.

In other words, what I'm expected to memorize from the script is that:

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