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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2010 - 2011

Module Title Introduction to Computer Hardware
Module Code CA112
School School of Computing

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr. Monica WardOffice NumberL1.09
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This modules aims to introduce students to: Computer Hardware in general; basic Computer Hardware concepts; basic Computer Hardware installation; Computer Hardware types and designs; Computer Hardware selection, deployment and management

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the evolution of Computer Hardware
2. Interpret Computer Hardware specifications
3. Demonstrate basic Computer Hardware installation skills
4. Compare Computer Hardware types and designs
5. Relate Computer Hardware to suitable deployment context
6. Discuss the merits of particular Computer Hardware
7. Write reports recommending particular Computer Hardware options for specific contexts
8. Discuss the procedures for operating systems and devoice driver installation
9. Explain how Computer Hardware should be managed within an organisation

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial12No Description
Laboratory24No Description
Independent Study65No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Computer Hardware Overview
History (from vacuum tubes to present day machines); understanding how and why things have and continue to change; Moore''s Law; overview of "small hardware" (about the insides of machines) and "big hardware" (how machines are put together and interfaced with the world).

Computer Hardware components and specification
Disk types (hard disk, internal/external disk, optical disk); size (bits, bytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes), speed (MHz, GHz), capacity, other features; basic terminology (e.g. RAM, ROM, cache, DDR2 SDRAM etc.); review of computer hardware suppliers' specifications (e.g. Toshiba, Dell, Sony, others)

Computer Hardware installation ("small hardware")
How to install hardware, working with external devices (e.g. printers), memory (e.g. flash cards, internal/external hard drives, USB memory); relationship between hardware and software; computer accessories (e.g. keyboards, mice, speakers, headphones, graphic cards, cameras); device drivers

Computer Hardware types
Embedded, handheld, netbooks, notebooks, laptops, desktops, servers, mainframes, clusters, high-end machines

Computer Hardware usage contexts ("big hardware")
Small, medium and large enterprises; non-traditional contexts; case studies in choosing machines and infrastructure for enterprises (including budget and data processing needs)

Computer Hardware Lifecycle
Computer hardware evaluation and acquisition, hardware management, Purchasing policy, procurement, maintenance (warranty, technical support), upgrading (when and how, cost-benefit analysis), decommissioning (wiping hard disks, WEE, recycling, disposing)

Basic computer systems security and protection
Disaster recovery, data protection, software licensing and computer viruses

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
    BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
    ECBSc in Enterprise Computing
    ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
    ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
    HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
    HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
    SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
    SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)