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Hardware and software

[1] In order to use computers effectively to solve problems in our environment, computersystems are devised. A " system" implies a good mixture of integrated parts working together to form a useful whole. Computer system may be discussed in two parts.

[2] The first part is hardware- the physical, electronic, and electromechanical devices that are thought of and recognized as " computers". The second part is software- the programs that control and coordinate the activities of the computer hardware and that direct the processing of data.

[3] The basic components of computer hardware are joined together in a computer system. The centerpiece is called the computer, the processor, or usually the central processing unit (CPU). The term " computer" usually refers to those parts of the hardware in which calculations and other data manipulations are performed, and to the internal memory in which data and instructions are stored during the actual execution of programs. The various peripherals whichinclude inputand/or outputdevices, various secondary memorydevices, and so on, are attached to the CPU.

[4] Computer software can be divided into two very broad categories - system softwareand applications software. The former is often simply referred to as " systems". These, when brought into internal memory, direct the computer to perform tasks. The latter may be provided along with the hardware by a systems supplier as part of a computer product designed to answer a specific need in certain areas. These complete hardware/software products are called turnkey systems.

[5] The success or failure of any computer system depends on the skill with which the hardware and software components are selected and blended. A poorly chosen system can be a monstrosity incapable of performing the tasks for which it was originally acquired.

VIII. Which statement best expresses the main idea of the text? Why do you think so?

1. Only hardware is necessary to make up a computer system.

2. Software alone doesn't constitute a computer system.

3. A computer system needs both hardware and software to be complete.

IX. Indicate whether the following ideas are stated or not stated in the text.

1. A system implies a good mixture of parts working together.

2. Input and output devices operate more slowly than the deci­sion - making devices.

3. The control unit and the arithmetic-logical unit are part of the processor.

4. The " computer" is the hardware.

5. Software is the programs on disks.

6. The processor is usually referred to as the CPU.

7. The word " computer" means the processor and the internal memory.

8. System software is usually referred to as programs.

9. Complete hardware/software products are called turnkey systems.

10. Computers process specially prepared items of information.

X. Match the words in column A with the words or statements in column B.


1. hardware

2. software

3. processor

4. peripheral

5. system software

6. applications software

7. turnkey systems

8. computer systems


a. the computer

b. input/output and secondary memory devices

с short for central processing unit

d. physical electronic and electromechanical devices

e. hardware plus software

f. hardware/software packages

g. used for a specific job to direct the computer

h. the programs

XI. Use the following words to complete the para­graph.

Central processing unit, applications software, peripheral devices, systems software, mass memory, hardware, input/output, software.

A computer system consists of two components:... and.... Each component is subdivided into different parts. The Central Processing Unit and the... constitute the... component. Systems software and...comprise the... component. Devices that are used for mass storage are considered part of the... component. These devices along with Input and Output devices are referred to as... devices.

Unit 4 “Main hardware”


I. Read and guess the meaning of the following international words:

Practice, coordinate, activity, result, functional, arithme­tic-logical, command, function, portion, direction, manual, mul­tiplication

II. Translate the following word combinations:

Common practice, basic instructions, to coordinate the activities, digital computer, functional unit, control unit, arithm­etic-logic unit, electronic circuit, coordinating control signals, step-by-step operations, logical operations, special purpose, piece of equipment

III. Memorize the following " false friends ":

1. division - 1) деление; разделение;

2) определение, отдел, раздел;

3) перегородка, граница;

4) разногласие, раздоры;

5) военная дивизия

2. direction - 1) направление;

2) руководство, управление;

3) указание, распоряжение;

4) pl. директивы;

5) дирекция, правление

3. storage - 1) склад(ы), хранилище;

2) хранение;

3) накопление, аккумулирование;

4) запоминающее устройство

IV. Phrases with prepositions for you to remember:

1. to make up - 1) составлять, собирать;

2) пополнять, возмещать, компенсировать, наверстывать;

3) выдумывать;

4) устраивать, улаживать;

5) мириться

2. to select from - отбирать из, выбирать из

3. to start up. - 1) запустить;

2) возникать, появляться (об идее); вскочить start up - запуск

4. on the one hand..., on the other (hand)... - с одной стороны..., с другой стороны...


V. Define the functions of the Gerund in the following sentences and translate them:

1. A laser is a machine for making and concentrating light waves into a very intense beam. 2. Go on making the experiment. 3. The idea of using lasers came from A.Prokhorov and N.Basov. 4. The laser beam is made by exciting the atoms of a suitable material. 5. Measuring tempe­rature is necessary in many experiments. 6. There can be no progress in science without experimenting. 7. Solving such problems helps us greatly. 8. Their wish is mastering the fundamentals of radio-engineer­ing. 9. The melting point of aluminum is 657°C. 10. I remember visiting this laboratory. 11. They succeeded in obtaining these data.


VI. Choose the sentences with the Gerund from the ones given below and translate them:

1. Special instruments measuring cosmic radio signals are being installed in the observatory. 2. Penetrating into space was very important for mankind. 3. Applying the method we get better results. 4. Upon adding heat we can change the state of a substance. 5. When measuring the voltage we use a voltmeter. 6. A number of materials, including some gases and semiconductors, possess this property. 7. For many centuries men were interested in obtaining new sources of energy. 8. The engineer insisted on experimenting as the best method to solve this problem. 9. The importance of scientific researches and discoveries is growing with every year.


VII. Translate the following sentences paying attention to the func­tions of the Gerund:

1. Large-scale application of electronic technique is a trend of technical progress capable of revolutionizing many branches of industry. 2. St. Petersburg physicists have developed a method for using optical quantum generators for spectral analysis. 3. When atoms or molecules are excited they emit electromagnetic waves. By counting the number of waves in a certain period, a very accurate measure of time can be defined. 4. The operating speeds of these systems will be measured in nano-seconds.5. Telemetry is the science of seeing some place without being there. 6. Electronics is not so much a new subject as a new way of looking at electricity. 7. We know of Kondakov's having made the first synthetic rubber in the world. 8. Russian physicists saw in semicon­ductors the way of solving complicated engineering problems. 9. These scientists continue working in this promising field of knowledge. 10. We know of Yoffe's having contributed much to the research of transis­tors.

VIII. Read and translate the text.


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