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Desktop Computer Hardware and Software

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Title: Desktop Computer Hardware and Software


1
Desktop Computer Hardware and Software
Anil V Parwani, MD., PhD Department of
Pathology Division of Pathology Informatics UPMC
Shadyside Hospital University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pittsburgh, PA
2
Objectives
  •  An explanation of the elements of desktop
    computer specifications, including different
    types of memory chips, and peripheral interfaces
    (serial and parallel),
  • A discussion of operating system architecture,
    executable vs non-executable software.
  • Review basic hardware concepts

3
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE CHOICES!
  • Pathologists rely on computers
  • Instrumentation
  • Laboratory information systems
  • Electronic sign-out
  • Telepathology
  • Communication
  • Pathologists make decisions
  • What to buy
  • How much to spend
  • What is required

4
Basics
Computer
Monitor
(cable clutter)
Keyboard
Mouse
5
Tower Configuration
6
Monitor
  • CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)like a TV
  • Great color large/heavy
  • LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)like a laptop
  • Small light sharp getting very cheap
  • Resolution
  • Diagonal size (17 monitor, etc.)
  • Pixels (1024 x 768 1200 x 800)

7
CRT
8
LCD
9
BASIC Computer Components
  • CPU/motherboard
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Storage (Hard disks)
  • Optical disc drives (DVD/CD-ROM/burners)
  • Other stuff (power supply cooling)

10
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11
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12
Overview of Microcomputer Architecture
13
Microprocessors
  • Intel (Pentium, Celeron) AMD (Athlon, Turion),
    (IBM) PowerPC
  • Integrated circuit with millions of transistors
  • Executes program commands and math functions
  • Features
  • Clock speed (MHz)
  • The higher the number, the faster the processor
    is..
  • "Efficiency" (design)
  • Power consumption (heat)
  • 32 bit vs 64 bit

14
Central Processing Unit
  • The brainexecutes instructions
  • Usually major determinant of a computers worth
  • 2 big vendors (Intel and AMD)
  • Attributes
  • Speed (gigahertz)
  • Core (Pentium 4 CoreDuo Celeron)
  • Memory (cache, called L1 or L2)
  • Data bus width (32bit vs. 64bit)
  • Cost

15
DATA BASE WIDTH AND WORD SIZE
  • Data bus is a series of parallel wires, connects
    the internal components of the microprocessor.
  • Bus is a pathway for the electronic impulses
    that form bytes.
  • The more lanes this highway, the faster data can
    travel
  • Data bus width is measured in bits (8, 16, 32,
    64)
  • The maximum number of bits the CPU can process at
    once is its word size.
  • The word size of the CPU is important because it
    determines which operating system the CPU can use
    and which software can be run.

16
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17
OPERATING SYSTEMS AND WORD SIZE OPERATING
SYSTEM WORD SIZE
Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP 32 bits Windows XP
64-Bit Edition 2003 64 bits Linux 64 bits Mac
OS X 128 bits Windows Vista 32 bits/64 bits
18
30 years ago, Intels cofounder, Mr. Gordon
Moore, predicted that the computer processing
power could be doubled every 18-24 months. This
is measured by doubling the transistor counts in
a microprocessor, the brain of a computer. This
prediction is now known as Moores Law
19
Motherboard
  • Aka--Main board
  • This is a large circuit board containing the
    computers CPU, support chips, RAM and connecting
    internal components
  • Several varieties available for each CPU type
  • Chipsets
  • Expansion slots
  • USB ports firewire size included
    graphics/sound
  • RAM Speed, CPU Speed

20
Motherboard
  • Main board connecting internal components
  • Socket CPU mount
  • RAM memory
  • AGP high performance video
  • Card slots
  • Battery for persistent RAM
  • BIOS basic input-output system
  • Permanent memory
  • Initial startup and management of communication
    between components

21
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22
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23
Connectors
Keyboard Mouse Serial port Monitor Print
er (parallel) port Phone line (modem) USB
(4) Firewire Ethernet Microphone Audio in
and out
24
Graphics Cards
  • Secondary CPU (GPU) with its own RAM
  • Special high-throughput slot
  • AGP or PCI-Express
  • Permits 3D rendering and/or multiple displays
  • Sometimes included on motherboard
  • Business PCs Laptops cheap PCs

25
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26
Graphics
  • 3 major vendors Intel, ATI, and nVidia
  • Intel does integrated (motherboards)
  • For add-on cards, prices up to 600
  • Easy upgrade (along with RAM and HDD)
  • Can make a big difference for games

VGA Output
DVI Output
27
Memory
  • Memory (RAM) versus Storage (Hard Disk Drive or
    HDD)
  • RAM only while the computer is running
  • RAM is fastest but also volatile
  • HDD persistent
  • HDD can be put into the basement or FedExd
  • Slower but persistent and very high capacity
  • Several types of RAM
  • Cache system RAM flashRAM

28
Cache
  • A temporary storage area for frequently-accessed
    or recently-accessed data.
  • Having certain data stored in a cache speeds up
    the operation of the computer.
  • There are two kinds of cache internal (or memory
    cache) and external (or disk cache).
  • Internal cache is built into the processor, and
    external cache is on the motherboard.
  • When an item is called for, the computer first
    checks the internal cache, then the external
    cache, and finally the slower main storage.

29
Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Primary storage for programs and data in use,
    measured in megabytes
  • Very fast, connected to CPU by main ("front
    side") bus
  • Volatile (contents lost when power is turned off)
  • Common functional types
  • SRAM static RAM, stable as long as power is on
  • DRAM dynamic RAM, requires refreshing but small
    and cheap
  • SDRAM synchronous DRAM (performance advantages)
  • Others
  • Physical layout
  • SIMM single inline memory module
  • DIMM dual inline memory module (pins are
    different on each side of the chip)

30
RAM
31
Hard Disk Drives
  • Currently a bottleneck for most systems
  • Slowest link in the chain
  • Still getting cheaper with ever-increasing sizes
  • Speed also getting better
  • Refer to this as storage, not as memory

32
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33
Flash RAM
  • This is special RAM that acts like an HDD
  • It is RAM, but it stays put (ie non-volatile)
  • No moving parts

34
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35
Units of RAM and Storage
  • Engineer (and Windows)
  • 1 byte 8 bits (1 bit is a single 0 or 1)
  • 1 kilobyte 1024 bytes (or 210 bytes)
  • 1 megabyte 1024 KB (aka 220 bytes)
  • 1 gigabyte 1024 MB (230 bytes)
  • Marketing Person (and general public)
  • 1 kilobyte 1000 bytes
  • 1 megabyte 1,000,000 bytes
  • 1 gigabyte 1,000,000,000 bytes

36
Optical Disc Drives
  • CD and DVD burners
  • Numerous media
  • Know the difference between R and RW
  • CD-RW vs. CD-R DVD-R (or DVDR) vs DVD-RW (or
    DVDRW)
  • Re-writable media is obsolete (avoid it)
  • Useful for backup

37
Peripherals
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Digital Cameras (maybe)
  • Other stuff
  • Game controllers Bar code scanners WebCams
    etc.
  • USB and Firewire 99 of them

38
Networking Hardware
  • NIC
  • Hubs/Switches
  • Routers
  • Wireless
  • Firewall

39
Cables
40
Network Hubs
  • Small 10/100 baseT
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to set up
  • Small wireless
  • Inexpensive, limited range
  • Require wireless cards in computers
  • Security issues to consider
  • Enterprise 10/100 baseT
  • One or more per building floor
  • Remote administration

41
Computer Types (PC)
  • Desktop PC (Personal Computer)
  • IBM PC (1981) gt Wintel
  • Apple II series (1977) gt Macintosh
  • Inexpensive easy to use etc.
  • Now a commodity item
  • Homogenous good traded mainly on price

42
Current Minimums
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 100 GB Hard Drive
  • Built-in network adapter
  • All other variables (CPU, display, etc.) are
    probably acceptable.

43
Industrial Strength Computer (Server)
  • Optimized for specific purpose
  • Centrally stored data (patient data images)
  • Web pages (web server)
  • Managing all printers for a department (print
    server)
  • Support multiple simultaneous users
  • Security
  • High availability
  • Redundant parts (disks power supplies etc.)
  • Hot-swap parts replacement (dont turn it off)
  • Snappy support from vendor (not cheap)

44
Servers
  • CPU demands different from desktop PC
  • Parallelismmultiple CPUs with large cache
  • Lots of I/Oseveral hard drives permit redundancy
    (RAID)
  • 24/7 operation versus repeated on/off
  • Server hardware is much more expensive than
    consumer-grade PC hardware

45
Low End Server
(almost looks like a regular desktop PC)
46
Rack Server
  • (each rack-mounted unit is a complete computer)
  • Rack system dates back to telephone industry
  • Width is fixed but height can vary

47
Blade Servers
  • Each blade is an incomplete computer
  • The enclosure provides power, etc.

48
Laptops/Notebooks
  • Small and light
  • Low power consumption
  • Sturdy
  • Secure

49
SOFTWARE
50
Operating System
  • Does all the dirty work
  • Interacts with Hardware
  • Memory CPU storage
  • Drivers for interaction with peripherals
  • Presents consistent environment to user
  • Windows programs all similar look/feel
  • Versus Macintosh (one mouse button!)
  • or Linux

51
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52
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53
Operating System and Files
  • Chunk of related information is a file
  • Data file (image Word document PDF article)
  • Application file (set of instructions)
  • Graphical interface permits interaction with
    files (ie skipping the application layer)
  • windows (to view files) folders (to hold
    collections of related files)
  • View, organize, copy, delete, move, etc.

54
Files
  • Files are stored on a hard disk or DVD/CD
  • OS interacts with hardware
  • OS permits interaction with files
  • Graphical metaphor (windows clicking and
    dragging)
  • Text interface (command-line you type commands)
  • OS can automatically start application if user
    wants to open a data file

55
Applications
  • Collection of instructions a program
  • A file that can do something
  • Office productivity software (word, PPT)
  • CoPath
  • Web browser (Internet Explorer Firefox)
  • Some start automatically (anti-virus program)

56
Pathologist Applications
  • LIS (CP and/or AP)
  • EMR/HIS/PACS (hospital chart radiology)
  • Office productivity (Word Powerpoint)
  • Email
  • Web browser (possibly in combination with above)
  • Imaging
  • Telepathology

57
Laboratory Information System Software
  • Pathologist workflow (signout grossing QA)
  • Patient information
  • Surgeon demographics gross description
    diagnosis
  • Case images
  • Keywords for searching (Snomed Codes)
  • Exchange patient info with other systems
  • Reporting (print/fax)
  • Billing

58
Old Style (pre-1999ish)
  • Mainframe/terminal architecture
  • Powerful mainframe supports access by multiple
    simultaneous users
  • Terminals are keyboard/monitor without a box
    (directly hooked up to the mainframe via the
    network )
  • All intelligence (computing) occurs in a central
    computer (thats why terminals are dumb)
  • Text-based

59
Terminal System
Multiple Dumb Terminals
Terminal Server (mainframe computer)
Every keystroke sent to mainframe (like 1
computer box with multiple keyboard/monitor sets)
PC with terminal emulator
60
Terminal Text Interface
61
Terminal Setup
  • Pros
  • Workstations are cheap and simple and identical
    (easy to support)
  • All software is in the computer room
  • Easily updated or changed
  • Cons
  • Limited to text interface
  • Expensive
  • Not redundant (ie central vulnerability for
    failure)

62
Client-Server Architecture
  • Client is more than a dumb terminal
  • Examplethe Web
  • Client software Internet Explorer
  • Server serves web pages to client upon request

63
Client Server
Requests sent
Data/info returned
Clients
Servers (may be multiple)
64
Client Server
  • Clients are regular desktop PCs (cheap)
  • Servers are cheaper than mainframe type computers
    (usually)
  • Can more cheaply/easily use multiple servers that
    work together
  • Permits GUI (like a web page)

65
Fat Client (Thick Client)
  • Client software is robust/complex
  • CoPath Plus
  • Google Earth
  • Yahoo/MSN/AIM messenger
  • Web browser
  • Full featured clients but may cause issues
  • Updates
  • Complexity vulnerability for failure
  • Dependent on client computer
  • May not work quickly/well

66
Thick Client
Clients are complex and must be maintained
Requests sent
Data/info returned
Server
Lots of information is exchanged if a 5MB image
is requested, the transfer occurs across the
network/internet
Clients
67
Thick Clients
  • Pros
  • Better performance with large files
  • More computer resources on a thick client (more
    RAM better CPU etc.)
  • Less demand on servers than thin clients (the
    alternative)

68
Thin Client
  • Most of the computing occurs on the server
  • Like a modern dumb terminal
  • Examples Citrix Stentor web browsers (sorta)
  • Citrix is an environment upon which one can run
    other programs (like firing up Word from within
    CoPathyoure firing it up on the server, not on
    the local computer)
  • Real Thin clients are very sparse (almost dumb)
  • Just enough to get onto a network and connect
    with a server (in theory)

69
Middleware
  • This is (sometimes home-made) software that helps
    2 different software systems interact
  • Exampleinterface software that links APLIS to
    the ADT (admission/discharge transaction) system
  • ExampleEndnote is middleware that permits one to
    integrate electronic search engine data (medline)
    into word documents

70
Pathology Middleware
  • Currently under development
  • Improving APLIS workflow
  • Images
  • Login management
  • Pathology information integration (research, EMR
    systems)
  • Pathology PACS (Stentor for pathology images
    including virtual slides
  • Helper apps (mitosis counters) that would
    assist pathologists and automatically interact
    with CoPath or EMR

71
Summary
  • Reviewed the components of a microcomputer and
    how they work together
  • Discussed typical peripheral connections
  • Reviewed basic network hardware and cabling
  • Brief overview of types of softwareoperating
    system vs. applications
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