B. K. Mody Government
Pharmacy College, Rajkot (212)
Sunny R. Shah
Chapter 1: Computer Fundamentals
Basic Computer Applications (210002)
• Binary conversions
• Application in Pharmacy
DEFINITION & CHARACTERISTICS
• Compute + Operator
• A computer is (operator)device that computes.
• Especially a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores,
correlates, or otherwise processes information.
• The basic parts of a computer includes computer hardware and computer software.
• It consists of an Input Device, a processor and an output device.
TYPE ATTRIBUTE EXAMPLE
Input Device Carries the message from the outer world to the computer Keyboard, Mouse, Joystick, Barcode readers, Scanners etc,
C.P.U It is the central processing unit, the primary attribute is to compute Various types of processors are available with different
functions as dictated by the user. It converts the data from input speeds and capacity. For e.g., AMD, Intel etc.,
device to a computer compatible language. The speed is measured
in hertz, Megahertz, Gigahertz etc.
Output Device The output device carries the information from the C.P.U to the user Monitor (CRT, LCD, LED, HD), Printers etc.
in an user friendly language
• As observed generally the computer have also evolved from a simple calculating tool to a complex machine able to perform numerous
tasks within a fraction of a second.
• The history of computer dates back to 3000 BCE in form of abacus.
• After that there were sequential changes with the time and accordingly the computer could be classified based on generations in which
they were derived.
• They are categorized historically as
GENERATION PIONEERS ATTRIBUTES
1. With john herschel and george peacock, produced a translation of lacroix’s calculus
1. Charles Babbage text.
Mechanical Devices 2. Ada Byron 2. Translated menebrea’s paper into english, myth is of world’s first programmer
3. Herman Hollerith 3. Evolution of electronic accounting machines
1. First large scale electronic digital computer
2. In 1943 Mauchly and Eckert prepare a proposal for the US Army to build an
Electronic Numerical Integrator (ENIAC),
3. construction of ENIAC and accumulators started
1. John Mauchly
4. ENIAC gives way to Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EVDAC) as
2. J. Presper Eckert
proposed by Neumann
3. John von Neumann
1st Generation computers 5. Prepares Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, EDSAC operational May,
4. Maurice Wilkes
5. Alan Turing
6. Prepares Automatic Computing Engine (ACE)
7. After that Univac were prepared with mercury delay lines and metal oxide tapes
having average access time of 222 second and 4 accumalators
8. IBM 701 (Defense Calculator) having memory stored using william tubes and
secondary memory consisting of memory tapes and drums.
1. John Bardeen
2. William Shockley 1. 1958 Philco introduces TRANSAC S-2000 first transistorized commercial machine
2nd Generation Computers
3. Walter Brittain 2. FORTRAN, ALGOL, and COBOL are first standardized programming languages
4. Grace Murray
1. Solid logic technology (integrated circuits) family of ―compatible‖ computers
3rd Generation Computers 1. Robert Noyce
(1964-1971) 2. Jack S. Kilby
1. Marcian Hoff 1. Large scale integrated circuits (MSI, LSI)
4th Generation Computers
2. Stephen Wozniak 2. Large databases
3. Steve Jobs 3. PASCAL,
The parts of computer could be broadly classified as of two types
1. Computer hardware
2. Computer software
The computer hardware are those parts of the computer which as the name suggests are hard in nature in sense they are the parts of computer
which could be touched and sensed.
Various physical parts constitute the computer
Monitor The monitor resembles a television set, and is where the computer displays information. Nowadays it
has been replaced by various sophisticated technologies producing LED and LCD as well as High
Keyboard The keyboard is the thing you type on to tell your computer what to do. It consists of alphabets A-Z,
number 0-9, and various other function keys
Mouse Unlike the keyboard, the mouse is another input device that you use to communicate with your
computer. It improves the communication ability as compared to keyboards.
Speakers Most computers can make sounds, just like a stereo system. In fact, you can even listen to audio
CD’s on most computers or watch DVDs. A prerequisite is a sound card.
Printer A printer is where a computer writes down information or output, onto paper, or a hardcopy.
• Computer software
• Software is a part of the computer you cannot touch.
• Software consist of computer programs and procedures that perform some tasks on your computer.
• Computer software is divided into three basic types.
Types of Software Description
System Software It is the Operating System and is the base program on a computer and is considered system
software. It tells the computer how to work or operate. The operating system also allows you to load
other programs that do specialized tasks on to your computer.
Various operating system software have been made available for eg.
Windows- Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 etc.,
Apart from windows certain other operating systems are also available such as MAC from Apple, etc,
Application software Application software allows you to accomplish one or more specific and tailor made tasks. For e.g.,
Microsoft Office and its sub parts, gaming software, Tally etc.,
Programming software This type of softwares assist the engineers to write and develop a specific software and design
programmes. For e.g., C+, C++, Visual Basic etc.
The devices that input the information in computer are called input devices
• Keyboard: The most primary input device is keyboard. The keyboard is the thing you type on to tell your computer what to do. It consists
of alphabets A-Z, number 0-9, and various other function keys
• Mouse: Unlike the keyboard, the mouse is another input device that you use to communicate with your computer. It improves the
communication ability as compared to keyboards. It consists of ball which locates the cursor on the screen and performs various
functions. Nowadays the balls have been replaced by LASER light. It has generally this options, right click, left click, double click , scroll
click and scrolling option.
• Scanner: They are used to create a picture out of any given document such as word file, document etc., by converting the document into
a digital file by scanning. They are categorized based on the resolution of the scanned picture such as 75 dot per inch, 150 dpi etc,.
• Digital Camera: The camera could also be used as an input device by connecting it to the computer.
• The devices that output the information from the computer are called output devices. For e.g.,
• Monitor: It resembles to a T.V., nowadays various sophisticated monitors are used which employ Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Light
emitting diode (LED), instead of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT).
• Printer: Different types of printers are available such as dot matrix, DeskJet, Inkjet, LASER etc.,
• They are used to keep data when the power to the computer is turned off
• The devices which store the data on or outside the computer are called storage devices.
• They are as follows:
• Hard Disk: Usually mounted inside the computer’s system unit. Can store billions of characters of data. Stated in forms of bytes:
Megabytes, Gigabytes or Terabytes
• Magnetic Storage: Recording of data onto disks or tape by magnetizing particles of an oxide based surface coating. A fairly permanent
type of storage that can be modified. Used by mainframe or microcomputers
• Floppy Drive: It is a floppy disc which could store data upto 1.44 Mb and is almost obsolete and superseded by faster, smaller and better
• Optical Discs: They consists of
• Compact Disc (CD): It is a storage device which stores information up to 700Mbs. They are available in ready only, writable and
• Digital Versatile Disc (DVD): It is also called Digital Video Disk. They could store up to 4.5 Gb to 8 Gb of data. They are also available in
the form of ready only, writable and rewritable formats.
• Blu Ray Technology: Highly advanced technology, which could store up to 30 Gb to 50 Gb of data.
• Solid-State Storage: They consists of
– Flash memory cards
• Widely used in notebook computers
• Used to record MP3 music files
– Key chain hard drives
• Key chain flash memory devices
• Connects to a USB port
LIST OF STORAGE DEVICES
– Magnetic tape and disks
– Compact Disk Read-Only Memory (CD-ROM)
– Write Once Read Many - (WORM)
– Magneto-optical disks
– Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)
– Optical disks
– Digital Video Disks
– Memory cards
– Flash memory
– Removable storage
CLASSIFICATION OF COMPUTERS
• The computers are classified generally based on their content and the intent of the use.
• They are classified as Supercomputers, Mainframe computers, Minicomputers, Networked computers, Microcomputers, Personal
computers, Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks, PDA etc
Supercomputer A supercomputer is the most powerful computer available at a given time.
Capacity: Gargantuan — the largest in the world
Speed: Extremely fast — the fastest supercomputer is the Earth Simulator, located at the Yokohama Institute for
Earth Sciences in Japan.
Users: Only used by very large organizations that need their immense
calculating power — weather forecasting and climate research are two of the most common uses of supercomputers
Mainframe A mainframe is a big, powerful, expensive computer that can support many users at the same time. Large systems
such as these centralize data processing and storage.
Capacity: Enormous - the capacity of several hundred or even thousands of PCs
Speed: Very fast - much, much faster than a PC
Users: Only used by large businesses and organizations
Minicomputer Minicomputers are mid-sized, multi-user computers that are smaller and less powerful than mainframe computers.
Minicomputers are commonly used as servers in a network.
Capacity: Less than a mainframe computer, but greater then a microcomputer
Speed: Slower than a mainframe computer, faster than a microcomputer
Users: Only organizations that cannot afford or do not need the processing
power of a mainframe system
Microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, single-user computer with a microprocessor as its CPU. Desktop computers, laptop
computers, tablet PCs, and many types of handheld devices are all types of microcomputers.
Networked Computer A network is a group of computers that are connected so that they can share equipment and information. Most people
on a network use workstations, which are simply PCs that are connected to the network. A sewer is a central
computer where users on the network can save their files and information.
Capacity: (Workstation) Same as a PC, only needs a network card (Server) Greater than a PC, often more than 100
Speed: (Workstation) Same as a PC (Server) Generally faster than a PC, may use multiple CPUs
Users: (Workstation) People in a networked office or organization
(Server) Generally a network administrator or engineer
Personal computers A PC is a personal computer, originally designed by IBM way back in 1981.
Capacity: Average hard disk size is 20GB to 80 GB
Speed: Fast. Average speed is from I GHz to 3 GHz
Users: Just about everyone uses a PC! Homes, offices, schools...
Developed by Apple, a Macintosh is a computer, but it is NOT a PC. Macs
have a different operating system and use their own software and hardware
Laptops, notebooks, A laptop, or notebook, is a lighter and more portable version of a PC or Mac that can run on batteries.
netbooks Capacity: Average hard disk size is 10 GB to 40 GB Speed: Fast, but slightly less than a PC. Average speed is from
700 MHz to 2 GHz
Personal Data Assisstant A PDA, or Personal Data Assistant, is a handheld computer that is generally used to keep track of appointments and
Capacity: Much smaller than a PC - 8MB to 64 MB of storage space
Speed: Much slower than a PC -8 MHz to 266 MHz
Cost: Expensive when compared to the capacities of a PC
Users: Business people and others who need to be organized
• Peripherals are those devices that are joined to the computer for ease of access and increase the utility of computers.
• Some of the peripherals routinely used are
– Printers: Different types of printers are available such as dot matrix, DeskJet, Inkjet, LASER etc.,
– Web cams: They are used to view through computers using a camera which may or may not be inbuilt. Different types of webcams
are available depending upon the resolution such as VGA, Mega Pixels etc.
– Scanners: They are used to create a picture out of any given document such as word file, document etc., by converting the
document into a digital file by scanning.
– Apart from these numerous various other devices could be plugged and use depending upon the requirements such as fingerprint
reader, barcode reader, etc,.
ASCII AND BINARY CONVERSIONS
• ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
• Computers can only understand their language and hence to convert human language in to a computer friendly language ASCII was
• Computer can only understand numbers and so an ASCII code is numerical representation of the input language.
• For converting the normal language to a computer friendly language various conversions are required.
• Various binary conversions convert the decimal number to 0 and 1 or their combination.
APPLICATION IN PHARMACY
• Computers are omni present in pharmaceutical research and development laboratories, and nearly everyone has at least one used in
some way to aid in his or her role
• The scope of computer use to virtually all stages of pharmaceutical research and development
• The computer has a very wide range and extent of applications is pharmacy field.
• The various areas where the computer could be applied are but not limited to:
– In day to day work of a pharmaceutical student in form of an excel spreadsheet to word
– Performing various calculations which requires statistical inference
– In data analysis and data management in preclinical and clinical studies.
– Statistical modeling in pharmaceutical research
– Computer aided drug designs
– For predicting the metabolism of drug inside the body
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VIRUS
• A virus is a computer program that can copy itself and hence the name given so.
• Generally the acronym virus stands for Vital Information Resource Under Seize. (Not Official)
• The work on automatic self reproducing was first coined by Jon Von Neuman in 1949.
• Virus is a different term with respect to adware, malware, which do not have reproducing ability.
• They are also technically different from trojan horses and worms.
IMAGES OF COMPUTER PERIPHERALS
• Computer Application in Pharmaceutical Research and Development: Edited by Sean Ekins by John Wiley & Sons Publication.
• Computer organization and design fundamentals by David Tarnoff
• Images were obtained from Google image search