Computer Studies GCSE by Graham Taylor (auth.)

By Graham Taylor (auth.)

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E. e. the magnitude) of the number. Conventionally 1 is negative and 0 is positive. The sign bit can be at either end of the binary number. Examples (the sign bit is underlined): Note: the ninth bit or overflow bit is ignored; the 8-bit answer is correct (see next section for errors). 1011 =-3 100110 = +19 1011 =-5 (iv) Fixed- and Floating-point Numbers SM fractions have the most significant bit as the sign bit also. g. 54 would be a typical figure to denote the pence field. Integers, or fractions in sign and magnitude, complement or binary coded decimal (BCD) coding are all fixed-point numbers.

Storage capacity - backing storage capacities are much greater than main memory. Speed - the speed of a computer depends largely on the speed of its main memory. Therefore, the fastest devices (semiconductor chips) are used for main memory. Levels of Storage It is useful to build on the simple division of main and backing store and for modern computers, particularly large ones, storage can be divided into four levels: • • • • Main memory - used, as we have seen, to store programs and data currently being executed or processed.

If you must write on a label that is already on a disk, use a felt-tip pen. Ball-point pens and pencils can cause damage. ; do not touch exposed areas such as the read/write head. Store in protective envelope in an upright position away from heat or direct sunlight when not in use. Do not bend or use paper clips on it. Keep away from magnets and X-rays which may destroy data held on disk. Back-ups: keep a duplicate of the disk. This reduces the chance of losing vital information and is good insurance.

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