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2.5: Summary

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    Information systems hardware consists of the components of digital technology that you can touch. This chapter covered the components that make up a personal computer, with the understanding that the configuration of a personal computer is very similar to that of any type of digital computing device. A personal computer is made up of many components, most importantly the CPU, motherboard, RAM, hard disk, removable media, and input/output devices. Variations on the personal computer, such as the smartphone, were also examined. Finally, commoditization of the personal computer was addressed.

    Study Questions

    1. Write your own description of what the term information systems hardware means.
    2. What has lead to the shift toward mobility in computing?
    3. What is the impact of Moore’s Law on the various hardware components described in this chapter?
    4. Write a one page summary of one of the items linked to in the “Integrated Computing” section.
    5. Explain why the personal computer is now considered a commodity.
    6. The CPU can also be thought of as the _____________ of the computer.
    7. List the units of measure for data storage in increasing order from smallest to largest, kilobyte to yottabyte.
    8. What is the bus of a computer?
    9. Name two differences between RAM and a hard disk.
    10. What are the advantages of solid-state drives over hard disks?


    1. If you could build your own personal computer, what components would you purchase? Put together a list of the components you would use to create it, including a computer case, motherboard, CPU, hard disk, RAM, and DVD drive. How can you be sure they are all compatible with each other? How much would it cost? How does this compare to a similar computer purchased from a vendor such as Dell or HP?
    2. Re-read the section on IoT, then find at least two scholarly articles about IoT. Prepare a minimum of three slides that address issues related to IoT. Be sure to give attribution to your sources.
    3. What is the current status of solid-state drives vs. hard disks? Research online and compare prices, capacities, speed, and durability. Again, be sure to give attribution to your sources.


    1. Review the sidebar on the binary number system. Represent the following decimal numbers in binary: 16, 100. Represent the following binary numbers in decimal: 1011, 100100. Write the decimal number 254 in an 8-bit byte.
    2. Re-read the section on IoT, then look around your building (dorm, apartment, or house) and make a list of possible instances of IoTs. Be sure to list their location and likely function.

    1. Moore, G. E. (1965). Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. Electronics Magazine, 4.
    2. Huang, J. (2018, April 2). Move Over Moore’s Law: Make Room for Huang’s Law. IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved from
    3. Wikipedia. (n.d.) Universal Serial Bus. Retrieved from
    4. Stevens, J. (2017). Mobile Internet Statistics and Facts 2017. Internet Statistics & Facts, August 17, 2017. Retrieved from
    5. Statista. (2018). Global market share held by tablet vendors 4th quarter 2017. Retrieved from
    6. Ranger, S. (2018, January 19). What is the IoT? ZDNet. Retrieved from

    This page titled 2.5: Summary is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David T. Bourgeois (Saylor Foundation) .

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