PC Guide- Ultimate PC maintenance Ebook

Following are the topics covered in this PC maintenance ebook.
  1. Introduction to the PC
    How the PC Works
    The Computer's Primary Jobs
    How the Computer Computes
    Example: What Happens When You Press A Key
    Overview of Systems and Components
    PC Fundamentals
    Binary vs. Decimal Measurements
    Basic Electrical Components
    Signaling, Clocks and Synchronous Data Transfer
  2. Systems and Components Reference Guide
    System Case
    Parts of the System Case
    Styles and Sizes
    Form Factors
    Case Switches
    Case LEDs
    Drive Bays
    External Power
    Electrical Power Basics
    External Power Problems
    Protection Against Power Problems
    Uninterruptible Power Supplies
    Uninterruptible Power Supply Overview
    Uninterruptible Power Supply Types
    Parts of the Uninterruptible Power Supply
    Uninterruptible Power Supply Functions and Features
    Comparison of Power Protection Methods
    The Power Supply
    Power Supply Functions and Signals
    Parts of the Power Supply
    Power Supply Form Factors
    Power Supply Output and Ratings
    Power Supply Specifications and Certifications
    Motherboard and System Devices
    The Motherboard
    Motherboard Form Factors
    Parts of the Motherboard
    Motherboard Integrated Components
    System Chipset and Controllers
    Chipset Functions and Features
    Chipset Processor Support
    Chipset Cache Support
    Chipset Memory Support
    Chipset Timing and Flow Control
    Chipset Peripheral and I/O Bus Control
    Chipset Power Management Support
    Popular Chipsets
    Fourth Generation (486 Class) Chipsets
    Fifth Generation (Pentium Class) Intel Chipsets
    Fifth Generation (Pentium Class) Non-Intel Chipsets
    Sixth Generation (Pentium Pro / Pentium II Class) Chipsets
    Keyboard Controller Functions
    Super I/O Controller Functions
    Additional Integrated Motherboard Functions
    System Buses
    System Bus Functions and Features
    System Bus Types
    Older Bus Types
    Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Local Bus
    Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)
    System BIOS
    System BIOS Functions and Operation
    BIOS System Boot Operations
    BIOS Components and Features
    BIOS Setup Program
    BIOS Settings
    Standard Settings
    Advanced Features
    Advanced Chipset Features
    PCI / PnP Configuration
    Power Management
    Integrated Peripherals
    IDE Device Setup / Autodetection
    Security / Password Settings
    Hardware Device Settings / ("CPU Soft Menu")
    Auto Configuration and Defaults
    Exit Setup
    System Cache
    Role of Cache in the PC
    "Layers" of Cache
    Function and Operation of the System Cache
    Cache Characteristics
    Cache Transfer Technologies and Timing
    Cache Structure and Packaging
    System Resources
    Interrupts (IRQs)
    Interrupt Function and Operation
    IRQ Details By Number
    Direct Memory Access (DMA) Channels
    DMA Channel Function and Operation
    DMA Channel Details By Number
    Input / Output (I/O) Addresses
    Logical Devices
    Memory Addresses and Device BIOSes
    System Configuration
    Resource Conflicts and Conflict Resolution
    Plug and Play
    The Processor
    Roots of the Processor: Digital Logic and the Semiconductor
    Processor Physical Characteristics
    Processor Manufacturing
    Physical Chip Characteristics
    Processor Power and Voltage
    Processor Cooling
    Processor Packaging
    Processor Sockets and Slots
    Processor Architecture and Operation
    External Processor Interfaces and Operation
    Internal Processor Architecture and Operation
    Processor Instruction Sets
    Processor Modes
    Internal Architectural Components
    Instruction Execution Process
    Performance Enhancing Architectural Features
    Processor Performance
    Processor Families
    Explanation of Processor Summary Tables
    First Generation Processors
    Second Generation Processors
    Third Generation Processors
    Fourth Generation Processors
    Fifth Generation Processors
    Sixth Generation Processors
    System Memory
    Memory Technology Types
    Memory Speed, Access and Timing
    DRAM Technologies
    Memory Size
    Memory Packaging
    Memory Errors, Detection and Correction
    Logical Memory Layout
    Video Cards
    Video Card Overview
    Video System Interfaces
    Video Modes, Resolution and Color
    Video Memory Function and Speed
    Video Memory Technologies
    Video Display Standards
    3D Video Acceleration
    Full-Motion Video
    Video Card Performance
    Monitor Construction and Operation
    Monitor Resolution, Color and Refresh
    Monitor Size
    CRT Characteristics
    Monitor Power and Safety
    Hard Disk Drives
    A Brief History of the Hard Disk Drive
    Construction and Operation of the Hard Disk Drive
    Hard Disk Operational Overview
    Hard Disk Platters and Media
    Hard Disk Read/Write Heads
    Read/Write Head Operation
    Read/Write Head Technologies
    Hard Disk Head Sliders, Arms and Actuator
    Hard Disk Spindle Motor
    Hard Disk Connectors and Jumpers
    Hard Disk Logic Board
    Hard Disk Cache and Cache Circuitry
    Hard Disk Form Factors
    Hard Disk Packaging and Mounting
    Hard Disk Geometry and Low-Level Data Structures
    Data Encoding and Decoding
    Tracks, Cylinders and Sectors
    Formatting and Capacity
    Geometry Specifications and Translation
    Error Management and Recovery
    Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability
    Hard Disk Performance
    Hard Disk General Performance Issues
    Hard Disk Performance Measurement
    Hard Disk Performance Specifications
    General Notes On Performance Specifications
    Positioning Plus Transfer Performance Specifications
    Positioning Performance Specifications
    Transfer Performance Specifications
    Other Performance Specifications
    Hard Disk Internal Performance Factors
    Mechanical Design Factors
    Data Recording and Encoding Factors
    Controller and Cache Factors
    Hard Disk External Performance Factors
    Disk Interface Factors
    PC System Factors
    File System Factors
    Hard Disk Quality and Reliability
    Hard Disk Quality and Reliability Specifications
    Hard Disk Quality and Reliability Issues
    Hard Disk Quality and Reliability Features
    Hard Disk Warranty and Disaster Recovery Issues
    Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)
    Why Use RAID? Benefits and Costs, Tradeoffs and Limitations
    RAID Concepts and Issues
    General RAID Concepts
    RAID Performance Issues
    RAID Reliability Issues
    RAID Levels
    Technical Factors Differentiating RAID Levels
    Single RAID Levels
    Multiple (Nested) RAID Levels
    "Just A Bunch Of Disks"
    Summary Comparison of RAID Levels
    RAID Configuration and Implementation
    RAID Controllers and Controller Features
    RAID Hard Disk Drive Requirements
    RAID Management
    Advanced RAID Features
    Hard Disk BIOS and Capacity Factors
    BIOS and the Hard Disk
    Hard Disk Size Barriers
    BIOS Translation Modes
    Overcoming BIOS Disk Size Barriers
    Hard Disk Interfaces and Configuration
    Hard Disk General Interface Factors
    Obsolete Hard Disk Interfaces
    Specialty and Future Hard Disk Interfaces
    Integrated Drive Electronics / AT Attachment (IDE/ATA) Interface
    Overview and History of the IDE/ATA Interface
    Official IDE/ATA Standards and Feature Sets
    Unofficial IDE/ATA Standards and Marketing Programs
    IDE/ATA Transfer Modes and Protocols
    IDE/ATA Configuration and Cabling
    Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI)
    Overview and History of the SCSI Interface
    SCSI Standards
    SCSI Data Transfer Modes and Feature Sets
    SCSI Protocols and Interface Features
    Summary of SCSI Protocols and Transfer Modes
    SCSI Host Adapters
    SCSI Cables and Connectors
    SCSI Configuration and Cabling
    IDE/ATA vs. SCSI: Interface Comparison
    Hard Disk Logical Structures and File Systems
    Operating Systems and File Systems
    PC File Systems
    PC Operating System and File System Cross-Reference
    Major Disk Structures and the Boot Process
    FAT File System Disk Volume Structures
    Clusters and File Allocation
    Partitioning, Partition Sizes and Drive Lettering
    Disk Partitioning and Formatting Programs
    Disk Compression
    New Technology File System (NTFS)
    Overview and History of NTFS
    NTFS Versions
    NTFS Architecture and Structures
    NTFS Directories and Files
    NTFS Security and Permissions
    NTFS Reliability Features and System Management
    Other NTFS Features and Advantages
    NTFS Implementation Considerations
    Floppy Disk Drives
    Floppy Disk Drive Construction and Operation
    Floppy Disk Media and Low-Level Data Structures
    Floppy Disk Formats and Logical Structures
    Floppy Disk Interfacing and Configuration
    CD-ROM Drives
    CD-ROM Drive Construction and Operation
    Compact Disk Media
    Compact Disk Formats
    Recordable CD (CD-R)
    Rewriteable CD (CD-RW)
    CD-ROM Performance and Reliability
    CD-ROM Interfaces and Configuration
    Keyboard Construction and Operation
    Other Regular Keyboard Components
    Keyboard Operation
    Keyboard Key Groupings
    Keyboard Layouts
    General Layout Issues
    Alphanumeric Key Layouts
    Standard Keyboard Layouts
    Non-Standard Keyboard Layouts
    Special Keyboard Features and Accessories
    Keyboard Software Issues
    The PC Buyer's Guide
    Introduction To The PC Buyer's Guide
    Step-By-Step Summary Guide To Buying A PC
    Requirements Analysis
    General Requirements Analysis Issues
    Determining Your PC Requirements
    Buying, Building and Upgrading
    Budget Considerations
    PC Use Profiles
    Designing and Specifying PC Systems and Components
    PC Types
    Designing PCs: Structure and Subsystems
    PC Structural Design
    PC Subsystem Design
    Key Performance Issues In PC System Design
    Key Non-Performance Issues In PC System Design
    Component Specification Issues
    System-Based Key Component Selection
    Detailed Considerations and Tips for Specifying Particular Components
    Notebook PC Specification Issues
    Software Issues in PC Specification
    Understanding PC Sources, Vendors and Prices
    The PC Industry, Vendors and The Market
    Sources For PC Systems and Components
    Retail Sources
    Online, Catalog and Mail Order Sources
    Other Sources
    Summary Comparison of PC Sources
    Cross-Reference Between PC Sources and PC Types
    Researching Vendors and Prices
    Vendor Evaluation Factors
    Reputation and History
    Pricing, Selection and Stock
    Factors Affecting Pricing
    Customer Service
    Guarantees and Return Policies
    Warranty Service and Warranty Policies
    Vendor "Danger Signals"
    Purchasing PCs and Components
    Purchase Timing
    Delivery Methods and Issues
    Payment Methods
    Immediate Payment Options
    Delayed Payment Options
    Comparison of Payment Methods
    Making The Purchase
    Vendor and Order Problems and Solutions
    Common Vendor and Order Problems
    Dealing With Difficult Vendors and Order Problems
    Dealing With Vendor Abuses and Deceptive Practices
    After The Purchase
    Upon System Receipt
    Problems With Your System
    Final Matters
    System Care Guide
    Preventive Maintenance
    System Care: Protecting Your PC
    General System Care Factors
    Environmental Care Factors
    Cooling and Ventilation Care Factors
    Power Care Factors
    Care of Specific Components
    Care of Media
    Data Loss and Virus Prevention
    Data Problem Prevention
    Data Problem Detection
    Virus Detection and Protection
    Background on Viruses
    Virus Infection Mechanisms and Prevention
    Virus Scanning and Antivirus Software
    Backups and Disaster Recovery
    A Mental Exercise To Underscore the Importance of Backups
    The Risks To Your Data
    Backup Methods, Devices and Media
    Backup Scheduling and Media Rotation Systems
    What To Back Up
    How To Back Up
    Boot Disks
    Disaster Recovery
    Troubleshooting and Repair Guide
    General Troubleshooting Techniques
    Troubleshooting and Your Mental State
    Steps To Take First When Troubleshooting
    General Diagnostic Techniques
    Diagnostic, Troubleshooting and Repair Tools
    The Troubleshooting Expert
    Using the Troubleshooting Expert
    Troubleshooting Boot Problems
    Boot Problem Troubleshooting Walkthrough
    Quick Access to Boot Process Troubleshooting
    Troubleshooting The System Overall
    Troubleshooting BIOS Beep Codes
    American Megatrends Inc. (AMI BIOS)
    Award BIOS
    Phoenix BIOS
    Older BIOS Family (Phoenix BIOS Plus, PhoenixBIOS 1.x)
    Newer BIOS Family (PhoenixBIOS 4.x)
    Other Brand
    Troubleshooting Boot-Time Error Messages
    Troubleshooting Run-Time Error Messages
    Troubleshooting System Instablity, Reboots and Crashes
    Troubleshooting System Slowdowns
    Troubleshooting Specific Components
    System Case
    Assembly or Physical Issues
    LEDs or Case Buttons
    Key Lock
    Power Sources and Power Protection Devices
    Motherboard and System Devices
    General Failures
    CMOS Memory or Real-Time Clock
    System BIOS
    Physical Issues
    Secondary Cache
    System Bus, Resources and Expansion Cards
    The Processor
    System Memory
    Apparent Failure
    Parity Errors
    Memory Not Recognized
    Out of Memory Problems
    Performance Issues
    Video Cards
    Failure or Improper Operation
    Image Quality Problems
    Performance or Video Mode Issues
    Failure or Improper Operation
    Image Quality Problems
    Hard Disk Drives
    Booting or Operation Problems
    Missing Space Issues
    Configuration Issues
    Dynamic Drive Overlay Problems
    Disk Compression Issues
    Drive Letter Issues
    Physical Problems
    File System Problems
    Performance Issues
    Windows Issues
    Floppy Disk Drives
    Booting or Operation Problems
    Disk Formatting Problems
    Physical Problems
    File System Problems
    CD-ROM Drives
    Drive Not Recognized
    Configuration Problems
    Physical Problems
    Audio Issues
    Performance Issues
    Peripheral I/O Ports
    Operation and Connection Problems
    Speed Issues
    Errors and Download Problems
    Call Waiting Problems
    Software Modem Issues
    Operating Systems and Applications
    Obtaining Technical Support
    Using Automated Technical Support Systems
    Calling For Technical Support
    Other Alternatives for Technical Support
    Repairs, Returns and Refunds
    Determining the Feasibility of Repair
    Deciding On A Course Of Action
    Performing a Repair or Return
    System Optimization and Enhancement Guide
    System Optimizations and Enhancements
    Using the System Optimizations and Enhancements
    Enhance and Streamline the Boot Process
    Improve the PC's Physical and Environmental Characteristics
    System Resource (IRQ, DMA, I/O, COM) Conservation and Optimization
    General System Performance Optimization
    Operating System Performance Optimization
    Hard Disk Performance Optimization
    Windows System Resource Optimization
    Conventional and Upper Memory Optimization
    Video and Image Optimization
    File System Optimization and Freeing Disk Space
    Improve the Reliability of the System
    Miscellaneous Improvements
    Overclocking: The Dissenting Opinion
    Introduction to Overclocking
    Overclocking Risks and Rewards
    Should You Overclock?
    Procedure Guide
    Explanation of Procedure Overviews
    General Installation and Assembly Tips
    New PC Assembly Procedure
    Configuration Procedures
    System Layout Planning Procedure
    Case Floor Relocation Procedure
    Floppy Disk Drive Connection Procedure
    Hard Disk Drive Connection Procedure
    CD-ROM Drive Connection Procedure
    IDE/ATA Device Configuration Procedure
    Motherboard Configuration Procedure
    Motherboard and Case Connection Procedure
    External Peripheral Connection Procedure
    Physical Installation Procedures
    System Case Preparation Procedure
    Floppy Disk Drive Physical Installation Procedure
    Hard Disk Drive Physical Installation Procedure
    CD-ROM Drive Physical Installation Procedure
    Processor Physical Installation Procedure
    Heat Sink Physical Installation Procedure
    Cache Module Physical Installation Procedure
    Memory Module Physical Installation Procedure
    Motherboard Physical Installation Procedure
    I/O Port Connector Physical Installation Procedure
    PS/2 Mouse Port Connector Physical Installation Procedure
    Video Card Physical Installation Procedure
    Uninstallation and Disassembly Procedures
    System Case Cover Removal Procedure
    Setup and Inspection Procedures
    Post-Assembly Inspection Procedure
    Post-Assembly Initial Boot Procedure
    Safe BIOS Setup Procedure
    Post-Assembly Initial Test Procedure
    Hard Disk Partitioning and Formatting Procedure
    CD-ROM Driver Installation Procedure
    System Documentation Procedure
    Identification Procedures
    Video Card Identification Procedure
    Windows 95 Version Identification Procedure
    File System Identification Procedure
    Software Procedures
    Boot Disk Creation Procedure
    Manual Windows 95 Recovery Procedure
    Windows 95 Installation Procedure
    Technical Resource Guide (Including Links)
    Reference Tables
    Online Technical Resources (Links)
    General World Wide Web Links
    Component-Specific World Wide Web Links
    USEnet Newsgroups
    Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

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PC Architecture

By Michael Karbo
  • PC Architecture. Preface.
  • Chapter 1. The PC, history and logic.
  • Chapter 2. The Von Neumann model.
  • Chapter 3. A data processor.
  • Chapter 4. Intro to the motherboard.
  • Chapter 5. It all starts with the CPU.
  • Chapter 6. The CPU and the motherboard.
  • Chapter 7. The south bridge.
  • Chapter 8. Inside and around the CPU.
  • Chapter 9. Moores' Law.
  • Chapter 10. The cache.
  • Chapter 11. The L2 cache.
  • Chapter 12. Data and instructions.
  • Chapter 13. FPU’s and multimedia.
  • Chapter 14. Examples of CPU’s.
  • Chapter 15. The evolution of the Pentium 4.
  • Chapter 16. Choosing a CPU.
  • Chapter 17. The CPU’s immediate surroundings.
  • Chapter 18. Overclocking.
  • Chapter 19. Different types of RAM.
  • Chapter 20. RAM technologies.
  • Chapter 21. Advice on RAM.
  • Chapter 22. Chipsets and hubs.
  • Chapter 23. Data for the monitor.
  • Chapter 24. Intro to the I/O system.
  • Chapter 25. From ISA to PCI Express.
  • Chapter 26. The CPU and the motherboard.
  • Chapter 27. Inside and around the CPU.
  • Chapter 28. The cache.
  • Chapter 29. Data and instructions.
  • Chapter 30. Inside the CPU.
  • Chapter 31. FPU’s and multimedia.
  • Chapter 32. Examples of CPU’s.
  • Chapter 33. Choosing a CPU.
  • Chapter 34. The CPU’s immediate surroundings.
  • Chapter 35. Different types of RAM.
  • Chapter 36. Chipsets and hubs.
  • Chapter 37. Data for the monitor.
  • Chapter 38. The PC’s I/O system.
  • Chapter 39. From ISA to PCI.
  • Chapter 40. I/O buses using IRQ’s.
  • Chapter 41. Check your adapters.
  • Chapter 42. I/O and The south bridge.
  • Chapter 43. SCSI, USB and Firewire.
  • Chapter 44. Hard disks, ATA and SATA.
  • Chapter 45. System software. A small glossary.

Chapter 1. The PC, history and logic
The PC is a fascinating subject, and I want to take you on an illustrated, guided tour of its workings. But first I will tell you a bit about the background and history of computers. I will also have to introduce certain terms and expressions, since computer science is a subject with its own terminology. Then I will start to go through the actual PC architecture!

The historical PC
The PC is a microcomputer, according to the traditional division of computers based on size.
No-one uses the expression microcomputer much anymore, but that is what the PC actually is. If we look at computers based on size, we find the PC at the bottom of the hierarchy.
  • Mainframes and super computers are the biggest computers – million dollar machines, as big as a refrigerator or bigger. An example is the IBM model 390.
  • Minicomputers are large, powerful machines which are often found at the centre of networks of “dumb” terminals and PC’s. For example, IBM’s AS/400. A definition that was used in the past, was that minicomputers cost between $10,000 and $100,000.
  • Workstations are very powerful user machines. They have the capacity to execute technical/scientific programs and calculations, and typically use a UNIX variant or Windows NT as their operating system. Workstations used to be equipped with powerful RISC processors, like Digital Alpha, Sun Sparc or MIPS, but today workstations can be configured with one or more of Intel’s more powerful CPU’s.
  • The PC is the baby of the family: Small, cheap, mass-produced computers which typically run Windows and which are used for standard programs which can be purchased anywhere.......

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A history of the personal computer: the people and the technology

This book is an exciting history of the personal computer revolution. Early personal computing, the "first" personal computer, invention of the microprocessor at intel and the first microcomputer are detailed. It also traces the evolution of the personal computer from the hardware and software hacker, to its use as a consumer appliance on the internet. This is the only book that provides such comprehensive coverage. It not only describes the hardware and software, but also the companies and people who made it happen.
Hardware from the MITS Altair to the IBM Personal Computer and the Apple Macintosh are covered. Separate chapters describe the developments at significant companies such as Apple Computer and IBM. Successful companies such as Compaq and Dell and the less successful ones such as Commodore and Osborne are also detailed.
Details of the software that powered the hardware are described. This includes application programs, operating systems, and programming languages. Two chapters describe the founding of Microsoft by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and the major contributions by the company to the personal computer industry.
The development of components such as disk drives, memory, modems, printers and video terminals are included. Associations, clubs, conventions and the numerous magazines that supported the industry are also chronicled.
The most extensive bibliography on the history of the personal computer industry and a complete index make the book a valuable reference source.
Finally share the excitement of the incredible success and fortunes created by people such as Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Hardware Reference Material

Facts and figures on a variety of topics. If your not careful, you just may learn something new.
This ebook offers computer hardware description of various topics including
  1. Cables - Types and standards - General descriptions of networking and peripheral cables.
  2. RAM - Descriptions - Technology overview: banking, capacity and form factors.
  3. Processors - Intel Family - From the 8086 to the Pentium 4.
  4. Hard Drives - Standards - ST-506, ESDI, ATA, SCSI .
  5. Main Board - Evolution and Technology - XT, AT,baby AT, ATX .
  6. PC Bus types - Expansion Slots - Peripheral connectors and internal data routes.
  7. Storage Media - How data is stored - Methods for storing data onto digital media.
  8. Networking - IEEE 802.3 LAN's - Ethernets, TCP/IP, Equipment.

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Hardware Book

Welcome to the Hardware Book. Internet's largest free collection of connector pinouts and cable descriptions.
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB)
  • ATX Power Supply
  • S-Video
  • VGA (15)
  • Serial (PC 9)
  • ATA (44) Internal
  • Pop-Port
  • IEEE1394


  • Nullmodem (9-9)
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Straight Thru
  • Video to TV SCART
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T and 100Base-T4 Crossover
  • S-Video to SCART
  • S-Video to Composite
  • Cisco Console (9)
  • 9 to 15 pin VGA
  • IEEE1394 cable
  • Amiga to SCART


  • Apple TV
  • 800XL
  • Amiga 500
  • Amiga 1200
  • 800
  • C64
  • 800XE
  • 400
  • 1200XL
  • ZX Spectrum 128K


  • PS/2 to Serial Mouse
  • PS/2 Keyboard Y (Gateway)
  • GameCube Memory Card to SD
  • 9 to 25 Serial
  • DIN to Mini-DIN Keyboard
  • Serial to PS/2 Mouse
  • Macintosh Video to VGA
  • PS/2 Keyboard Y (IBM Thinkpad)
  • Mini-DIN to DIN Keyboard
  • Nullmodem


  • Atari
  • Sega
  • IBM
  • SGI
  • Apple
  • NEC
  • Commodore
  • Sinclair Research
  • Spectravideo
  • Mattel

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Basic Computing Using Windows

Computers and Peripherals
What is a computer? A computer is a machine that inputs (takes in) facts and information (known as data), and then processes (does something to or with) it. Afterwards it outputs, or displays, the results for you to see. Data is all kinds of information, including, pictures, letters, numbers, and sounds. There are two main parts of computers, hardware and software. Hardware is all of the parts of the computer you can see and touch. Software is the instructions that a computer uses to do what you ask it to. Pieces of software are often called programs.
Many people mistakenly think that where the computer normally displays things is the computer. This is not true. That is the monitor. The computer is usually a box. Also, you may call the whole assembly of all the hardware (the computer and the monitor, for example) the computer.
There are different styles of monitors. One of these is the one already shown. It is called a CRT monitor. It takes more power than the other popular kind, called LCDs. However, CRT monitors work faster, which makes them better for fast games because the movement will blur less. LCDs are thinner than CRTs, but they are more expensive.

Upgrading & Repairing PCs Eighth Edition

Welcome to Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 8th Edition. This book is for people who want to upgrade, repair, maintain, and troubleshoot computers. It covers the full range of PC-compatible systems from the oldest 8-bit machines to the latest in high-end 64-bit workstations.
In addition, this book covers state-of-the-art hardware and accessories that make the most modern personal computers easier, faster, and more productive to use. Hardware coverage includes all of the Intel and Intel-compatible processors through the Pentium, Pentium Pro, and new Pentium II CPU chips; new cache and main memory technology; PCI local bus technology; CD-ROM drives; tape backups; sound boards; PC-Card and Cardbus devices for laptops; IDE and SCSI-interface devices; larger and faster hard drives; and new video adapter and display capabilities.
The comprehensive coverage of the PC-compatible personal computer in this book has consistently won acclaim since debuting as the first book of its kind on the market in 1988. Now with the release of this eighth edition, Upgrading and Repairing PCs continues its place as not only the best selling book of its type, but also the most comprehensive and easily used reference on even the most modern systems--those based on cutting-edge hardware and software. The book examines PCs in-depth, outlines the differences among them, and presents options for configuring each system at the time you purchase it.
Sections of this book provide detailed information about each internal component of a personal computer system, from the processor to the keyboard and video display. The book examines the options available in modern, high-performance PC configurations, and how to use them to your advantage; it focuses on much of the hardware and software available today and specifies the optimum configurations for achieving maximum benefit for the time and money you spend. At a glance, here are the major system components and peripherals covered in this edition of Upgrading and Repairing PCs:
  • Pentium II, Pentium Pro, Pentium, 486, and earlier central processing unit (CPU) chips.
  • The latest processor upgrade socket and slot specifications.
  • New motherboard chipsets and designs, including the ATX form factor.
  • Special bus architectures and devices, including high-speed PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) and VL-Bus (VESA Local), EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture), and MCA (Micro Channel Architecture).
  • Bus resources which often conflict such as Interrupt ReQuest (IRQ) lines, Direct Memory Access (DMA) channels, and Input Output (I/O) port addresses.
  • Plug and Play architecture.
  • Larger, faster hard drives and hard drive interfaces, including EIDE and SCSI.
  • Floppy drives, including 360K, 1.2M, 1.44M, and 2.88M drives.
  • New storage devices such as DVD, CD-ROM, and Magneto-Optical drives.
  • Increasing system memory capacity with SIMM and DIMM modules.
  • New types of memory including Synchronous Pipeline Burst cache, EDO RAM, Burst EDO, and Synchronous DRAM.
  • Large-screen Super VGA monitors and high-speed graphics adapter cards.
  • Peripheral devices such as CD-ROM drives, sound boards, and tape backups.
  • PC-Card and Cardbus devices for laptops.

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Topics on the engineering of computer software and hardware systems: techniques for controlling complexity, system infrastructure, networks and distributed systems, atomicity and coordination of parallel activities, recovery and reliability, privacy of information, impact of computer systems on society. Case studies of working systems and outside reading in the current literature provide comparisons and contrasts. The group project is to write an NSF systems proposal to fund a middle-ware product, for announcement RFP01-63.

Intro to Systems, Critical Thinking about Systems, the Role of Complexity

  • Lucky's Bozos on the bus
  • Science of Scientific Writing
  • Worse is better
  • Architecture of Complexity

System Models, System Design

  • Hints for Computer System Design
  • An Investigation of the Therac-25 Accident
  • The X Window System

Basics of Operating Systems, Storage, Virtual Memory

  • The UNIX time-sharing system
  • Disk System Architectures for High Performance Computing
  • Virtual Memory for an Object Oriented Language

Other topics covering in this ebook are Distributed Systems, Virtual memory discussion, Networking, Distributed Storage, Security, Name Services, Time and Coordination, Distributed Transactions, Replication and Distributed Multimedia.

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How Computers Work

Includes the basics of digital logical design, computer organization and architecture including assembly language, processor design, memory hierarchies and pipelining. Students examine the detailed construction of a very simple computer. Problem sets use Beta-Sim, a RISC simulator written by Mike Wessler. A higher level view of a modern RISC architecture is studied, using the Patterson and Hennessey introductory text, from both the programmer's point of view and the hardware designer's point of view. The distinction between RISC and CISC architectures is emphasized.
  • Philosophy and Roadmap, Simple Programs, Beta ISA
  • Storage Allocation, Stack Discipline, Calling Conventions
  • Unpipelined Beta, Exceptions
  • Implementing the ALU
  • Implementation of Beta Memories
  • Synchronous Finite State Machines (FSMs)
  • Flip flops, Asynchronous FSMs, Dynamic Discipline, Timing
  • Arbitration and Metastability
  • Static Discipline, Transistor-level design
  • Physics of Communication and Computation
  • Latency vs. Throughput, Explicit Parallelism
  • Pipelining the Beta, Hazards, Stalling, Anullment
  • Caches
  • Virtual Memory, Cache Coherence, Integration of Caches
  • Communications Networks
  • Explicitly Parallel Machines, Future Machines

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How Computers Work - Processor and Main Memory

By Roger Young
Computers are the most complex machines that have ever been created. Very few people really know how they work. This book will tell you how they work and no technical knowledge is required. It explains the operation of a simple, but fully functional, computer in complete detail. The simple computer described consists mainly of a processor and main memory. Relays, which are explained, are used in the circuitry instead of transistors for simplicity. This book does not cover peripherals like modems, mice, disk drives, or monitors.
Did you ever wonder what a bit, a pixel, a latch, a word (of memory), a data bus, an address bus, a memory, a register, a processor, a timing diagram, a clock (of a processor), an instruction, or machine code is? Though most explanations of how computers work are a lot of analogies or require a background in electrical engineering, this book will tell you precisely what each of them is and how each of them works without requiring any previous knowledge of computers or electronics. However, this book starts out very easy and gets harder as it goes along. You must read the book starting at the first page and not skip around because later topics depend on understanding earlier topics. How far you can get may depend on your background. A junior high school science background should be enough. There is no mathematics required other than simple addition and multiplication. This is a short book, but it must be studied carefully. This means that you will have to read some parts more than once to understand them. Get as far as you can. You will be much more knowledgeable about how computers work when you are done than when you started, even if you are not able to get through the whole text. This is a technical book though it is aimed at a non-technical audience. Though this book takes considerable effort to understand, it is very easy for what it explains. After you have studied this book, if you go back and read it, it will seem simple. Good Luck!

RSA Hardware Implementation

By Cetin Kaya Koc
The RSA algorithm, invented by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman [25], is one of the simplest public-key cryptosystems.
The RSA algorithm can be used to send encrypted messages and to produce digital signatures for electronic documents. It provides a procedure for signing a digital document, and verifying whether the signature is indeed authentic. The signing of a digital document is somewhat dierent from signing a paper document, where the same signature is being produced for all paper documents. A digital signature cannot be a constant; it is a function of the digital document for which it was produced. After the signature (which is just another piece of digital data) of a digital document is obtained, it is attached to the document for anyone wishing the verify the authenticity of the document and the signature. We refer the reader to the technical reports Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Today's Cryptography and Public Key Cryptography Standards published by the RSA Laboratories [26, 27] for answers to certain questions on these issues.
Computation of Modular Exponentiation
Once the modulus and the private and public exponents are determined, the senders and recipients perform a single operation for signing, veri cation, encryption, and decryption. The operation required is the computation of Me (mod n), i.e., the modular exponentiation. The modular exponentiation operation is a common operation for scrambling; it is used in several cryptosystems. For example, the Diffie-Hellman key exchange scheme requires modular exponentiation [6]. Furthermore, the ElGamal signature scheme [7] and the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) of the National Institute for Standards and Technology [22] also require the computation of modular exponentiation. However, we note that the exponentiation process in a cryptosystem based on the discrete logarithm problem is slightly dierent: The base (M) and the modulus (n) are known in advance. This allows some precomputation since powers of the base can be precomputed and saved [5]. In the exponentiation process for the RSA algorithm, we know the exponent (e) and the modulus (n) in advance but not the base (M); thus, such optimizations are not likely to be applicable.
In the following sections we will review techniques for implementation of the modular exponentiation operation in hardware. We will study techniques for exponentiation, modular multiplication, modular addition, and addition operations. We intend to cover mathematical and algorithmic aspects of the modular exponentiation operation, providing the necessary knowledge to the hardware designer who is interested implementing the RSA algorithm using a particular technology. We draw our material from computer arithmetic books [32, 10, 34, 17], collection of articles [31, 30], and journal and conference articles on hardware structures for performing the modularmultiplication and exponentiations [24, 16, 28, 9, 4, 13, 14, 15, 33]. For implementing the RSA algorithm in software, we refer the reader to the companion report High-Speed RSA Implementation published by the RSA Laboratories [12].

Embedded, Everywhere: A Research Agenda For Networked Systems Of Embedded Computers

By Committee On Networked Systems Of Embedded Computers
Continued advances in information technologies are enabling a growing number of physical devices to be imbued with computing and communications capabilities. Aircraft, cars, household appliances, cellular telephones, and health monitoring devices all contain microprocessors that are being linked with other information processing devices. Such examples represent only the very beginning of what is possible. As microprocessors continue to shrink, wireless radios are also becoming more powerful and compact. As the cost of these and related technologies continues to decrease, computing and communications technologies will be embedded into everyday objects of all kinds to allow objects to sense and react to their changing environments. Networks comprising thousands or millions of sensors could monitor the environment, the battlefield, or the factory floor; smart spaces containing hundreds of smart surfaces and intelligent appliances could provide access to computational resources.
Getting to this point will not be easy. Networks of embedded computers pose a host of challenges qualitatively different from those faced by more traditional computers or stand-alone embedded computers because they will be more tightly integrated with their physical environments, more autonomous, and more constrained in terms of space, power, and other resources. They will also need to operate, communicate, and adapt in real time, often unattended. Enabling such innovation will require that a number of research challenges be overcome. How can large numbers of embedded computing devices assemble themselves seamlessly into an integrated network? How can their performance be guaranteed? How can social issues raised by the advent of more pervasive information collection and processing--for example, concerns about privacy, robustness, and usability--be addressed?
This report examines both issues related to components of embedded computers--such as hardware needs, operating systems, programming capabilities, and human interfaces--and systems-level issues resulting from the interconnection of multiple embedded computers--system architectures, coordination, adaptation, reliability, security, safety, interoperability, stability, and guaranteed performance. To that end, the committee attempted to answer questions such as the following:
  • What are networked systems of embedded computing systems? How do networks of embedded computers differ from more traditional computer networks? How do these differences affect research needs?
  • What types of applications could arise from greater networking of embedded systems?
  • What are the general characteristics of different applications? What would be the benefits and capabilities of such systems?
  • How can systems of interconnected embedded processors be more easily designed, developed, and maintained? How can system reliability, safety, operability, and maintainability be ensured in networked systems? How do such considerations differ for embedded and more traditional forms of computing?
  • What kinds of advances are needed in enabling component technologies, such as hardware devices, operating systems, and communications networks, to make EmNets possible and more capable?
  • What types of user interfaces are needed to allow users to interact with and to program systems composed of large numbers of interconnected embedded systems? How do these requirements differ for different kinds of users (experts, novices, system integrators)? What types of "programming" will consumers be expected to perform?
  • How can the stability and effectiveness of interconnected systems of embedded computers be assured if individual components come from a wide variety of developers and use a variety of hardware and software platforms, some of which may run the latest versions of the software, and others of which may be several generations behind?

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Embedded Linux Distributions Quick Reference Guide

From linuxdevices.com
This Quick Reference Guide provides brief descriptions of many of the currently available commercial and non-commercial sources for Embedded Linux distributions and implementations, and includes pointers to more detailed information. We sincerely hope this guide will assist you in locating Linux-based solutions that match your system requirements.
This quick reference guide is organized in four parts . . .
  • Part 1: Introduction and Overview to this Guide -- you are reading it now.
  • Part 2: Embedded Linux Commercial Distributions -- these are Embedded Linux distributions that are maintained and supported by companies as commercial products. They offer a wide range of capabililties and target a broad assortment of markets, from high-end telecommunications infrastructure, to handheld computers, to "deeply embedded" data acquisition and control.
  • Part 3: Open Source Embedded Linux Implementations -- the Embedded Linux implementations in this category are available as downloadable object and source code, and are covered by open source licenses.
  • Part 4: Recommended further reading -- here, we provide a "recommended reading list" of selected LinuxDevices.com articles and whitepapers that provide additional information about Embedded Linux distributions, techniques, and technologies.

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Elliptic Curve Cryptosystems on Reconfigurable Hardware

by Martin Christopher Rosner
Security issues will play an important role in the majority of communication and computer networks of the future. As the Internet becomes more and more accessible to the public, security measures will have to be strengthened. Elliptic curve cryptosystems allow for shorter operand lengths than other public-key schemes based on the discrete logarithm in nite elds and the integer factorization problem and are thus attractive for many applications.
This thesis describes an implementation of a crypto engine based on elliptic curves. The underlying algebraic structures are composite Galois fields GF((2n)m) in a standard base representation. As a major new feature, the system is developed for a recon gurable platform based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). FPGAs combine the flexibility of software solutions with the security of traditional hardware implementations. In particular, it is possible to easily change all algorithm parameters such as curve coefficients, field order, or field representation.
The thesis deals with the design and implementation of elliptic curve point multiplication architectures. The architectures are described in VHDL and mapped to Xilinx FPGA devices. Architectures over Galois fields of dierent order and representation were implemented and compared. Area and timing measurements are provided for all architectures. It is shown that a full point multiplication on elliptic curves of real-world size can be implemented on commercially available FPGAs.

Attacks on Cryptoprocessor Transaction Sets

By Mike Bond
Attacks are presented on the IBM 4758 CCA and the Visa Security Module. Two new attack principles are demonstrated. Related key attacks use known or chosen differences between two cryptographic keys. Data protected with one key can then be abused by manipulation using the other key. Meet in the middle attacks work by generating a large number of unknown keys of the same type, thus reducing the key space that must be searched to discover the value of one of the keys in the type. Design heuristics are presented to avoid these attacks and other common errors.
A cryptoprocessor is a tamper-resistant processor designed to manage cryptographic keys and data in high-risk situations. The concept of a cryptoprocessor arose because conventional operating systems are too bug-ridden and computers too physically insecure to be trusted with information of high value. A normal microprocessor is enclosed within a tamper-resistant environment, so that sensitive information can only be altered or released through a tightly defined software interface – a transaction set. In combination with access control, the transaction set should prevent abuse of the sensitive information. However, as the functionality and flexibility of transaction sets have been pushed up by manufacturers and clients, this extra complexity has made bugs in transaction sets inevitable.
Sections 2 and 3 of this paper give an overview of cryptoprocessors in the context of four important architectural principles, and then describe the new vulnerabilities in a generalised way. Sections 4 and 5 introduce attacks on two widely fielded cryptoprocessors – the IBM 4758, and the Visa Security Module. Finally, some straightforward design heuristics are suggested that, whilst not guaranteeing the security of a transaction set, will at least stop the same mistakes being made over again.

ABCs of System Programming Volume 5 - OS/390

This redbook is Volume 5 of a five-volume set that is designed to introduce the structure of an OS/390 and S/390 operating environment. The set will help you install, tailor, and configure an OS/390 operating system, and is intended for system programmers who are new to an OS/390 environment.
In this Volume, Chapter 1 provides an description of a base and Parallel Sysplex. A sysplex is a collection of OS/390 systems that cooperate, using certain hardware and software products, to process work.
Chapter 2 describes the MVS System Logger. System logger is a set of services that allows an application to write, browse, and delete log data. You can use system logger services to merge data from multiple instances of an application, including merging data from different systems across a sysplex.
Chapter 3 describes Global resource serialization (GRS) which offers the control needed to ensure the integrity of resources in a multisystem environment. Combining the systems that access shared resources into a global resource serialization complex enables you to serialize resourcesacross multiple systems.
Chapter 4 describes the operation of an MVS system which involves console operations or how operators interact with MVS to monitor or control the hardware and software and message and command processing that forms the basis of operator interaction with MVS and the basis of MVS automation.
Chapter 5 describes Automatic Restart Management (ARM) which is the key to automating the restarting of subsystems and applications (referred to collectively as applications) so they can recover work they were doing at the time of an application or system failure and release resources, such as locks, that they were holding. With an automatic restart management policy, you can optionally control the way restarts are done.
Chapter 6 describes the hardware management console (HMC) which provides a single point of control to manage your central processor complex (CPC).
Chapter 7 describes workload management which provides a way to define MVS externals and tune MVS without having to specify low-level parameters. The focus is on setting performance goals for work, and letting the Workload Manager handle processing to meet the goals.
Chapter 8 describes problem diagnosis. MVS supplies many tools and service aids that assist with problem diagnosis. These tools includes dumps and traces, while service aids includes the other facilities provided for diagnosis.

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