How to Design Basic Computer Systems


As part of the formal assessment for the programme you are required to submit a Computer Technology assignment. Please refer to your Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments. 
Learning Outcomes: 
After completing the module you should be able to: 
1. Demonstrate understanding of the function of computer systems hardware and software. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the function and operation of modern operating systems. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of how to design basic computer systems that are appropriate to a given scenario. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of how to build, configure and maintain computer systems. 5. Demonstrate understanding of the basic principles and components of a simple computer network.  6. Communicate technical information in language appropriate for the target readership. 
Your assignment should include: a title page containing your student number, the module name, the submission deadline and a word count; the appendices if relevant; and a reference list in Bournemouth University (BU) Harvard format. You should address all the elements of the assignment task listed below. Please note that tutors will use the assessment criteria set out below in assessing your work. 




We have our computer systems up and running. As with all things, computers too require maintenance, for both hardware and software. Our computers have the advantage of working in a dust-free air-conditioned environment and that reduces the burden on hardware.

Software Maintenance

We begin with focusing on the operating system, Windows and then talk about the application software, like Office, CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor etc.
Update Windows 

Frequency: One-time required
We will instruct our operating system to automatically download and install high-priority updates. Thus, we will keep getting better performance, security fixes as and when they are released, without any effort or intervention on our part.

To enable auto-update, perform the following steps ("How To Disable Automatic Updates In Windows 10 Home"):
1.    Right-click 'This PC' icon on desktop
2.    Click 'Manage' from the popup menu
3.    From the window that opens, in the left-pane, near the bottom of list, click 'Services and Applications'
4.    From the dropdown list, click 'Services'
5.    The center pane will populate with list of services. It should be alphabetically sorted. Scroll down to 'Windows Update' option and click it.
6.    On the opening window, in the 'Startup' option, click the dropdown and select 'Auto'
7.    Click OK
8.    Close the Management application opened in step 2

Update application software
Some software like CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor, Firefox and Google Chrome will download updates automatically and ask for your permission to install when they are ready. You are advised to grant permission to install if a restart of the application or computer will not affect your workflow.
For Microsoft Office, we will enable automatic updates, by performing the following steps ("Install Office Updates - Office Support"):
1.    Open Microsoft Word
2.    Click File in the top-left corner
3.    Click Account from the list on left
4.    Under Product Updates, choose Update Options
5.    Click Enable Updates option if available
6.    If the Enable Updates option is  not available, that means Microsoft Office is already set to automatically download updates as and when available. 


Software Security


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Frequency: already covered above
We are using Windows' default security software and they are activated by default and will be automatically updated, as the setting has been confirmed above.
Hardware Maintenance
If software is the soul of a computer, then hardware is the body. Without a fit body, brain is of little use. We recommend the following to help prolong the life of our computer systems:
For hard disk maintenance, Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragment is recommended (Student Guide For Personal Computer Maintenance 9-10). We may do this once a month.
Disk Cleanup
Frequency: once a month
Software, browsing Internet and using computer in general accumulates temporary files. These files have utility for a small period of time after which they are useless, and take up disk space with the result of slowing down computer. Thus we should delete them regularly. 
Perform the following steps  ("Disk Cleanup In Windows 1"):
1.    Press Windows button on keyboard
2.    Type 'Disk  Cleanup' and select it from list of results
3.    Under Files to delete, select all options. There is no risk. If some files are required, system will recreate them.
4.    Click OK to complete

Disk Defragment

Frequency: automatic, no manual intervention required 
Writing/deleting files results in scattering of data across the disk, and slows system as read/write head has to move more. Defragmentation moves related data together, thus increasing performance. 
This is automatic and will be done weekly in background, and we do not need to do anything. ("How And When To Defragment Your Hard Drive In Windows 10")
Clean Computer
Frequency: daily
We require to clean our computer systems daily. 
For keyboard, take a soft cloth, moisten it with water and run it over the keyboard. Make sure that either the computer is locked, or shut down, otherwise keypress will ruin whatever you are working on.
For monitor, take a wet-wipe or an extremely soft cloth, slightly moisten it and wipe the display.
For Central Processing Unit tower and backside of monitor, use a slightly moist plain cloth and wipe it.
Frequency: weekly
Once a week, before cleaning keyboard, turn the keyboard upside down and shake to remove dirt, hair, crumbs etc stuck in keyboard. ("How To Clean A Keyboard")

Hardware Security

For hardware security, we recommend the following:
1.    Premises are always staffed or locked. 
2.    Desks are not left unattended
3.    Access to computers by people other than staff is hindered by furniture, plants etc
Operating Procedures
We recommend the following operating procedures for the benefit of staff and equipment:
Starting and Shutting Down
1.    Quickly visually check the system and power plugs
2.    Start the computer, and if any disk checks are prompted, follow through them
3.    When done, shut down the computer from the menu
4.    Wait for the machine to completely switch off before leaving
Posture and environment
1.    User should be able to  place both feet on the ground and maintain an upright posture
2.    The top of monitor should be 2 to 3 inches below the horizontal eye level ("Healthycomputing - Monitor Seup And Usage")
3.    Monitor should at an arm's length from the user when he is sitting ("Healthycomputing - Monitor Seup And Usage")
4.    Monitor is centered to user's eyes ("Healthycomputing - Monitor Seup And Usage")
5.    User should try to keep wrists straight while typing and also ensure space between him and keyboard/mouse. ("Manage The Risks From Display Screen Equipment")
1.    Users should not install any software other than recommend in these guides. If any novel requirement comes up, then a senior should be discussed first
2.    Users should update software as and when prompted (detailed above)
3.    Users should stay in their directories and not change any file/directory in system folders
1.    Computers should be turned off in case they need to be moved even slightly.
These guidelines will help ensure a long and worry-free service from your hardware and software for your music studio. 


"How To Disable Automatic Updates In Windows 10 Home". YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
"Protect Your PC". N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
"Install Office Updates - Office Support". N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
Student Guide For Personal Computer Maintenance. 1st ed. Lehman College, 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
"How And When To Defragment Your Hard Drive In Windows 10". N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016. "Disk Cleanup In Windows 10". N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
"How To Clean A Keyboard". wikiHow. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 July 2016.
"Healthycomputing - Monitor Seup And Usage". N.p., 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.
"Manage The Risks From Display Screen Equipment". Marketing Donut. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.

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