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Notes > Foundations of Computing > Introduction

A very basic definition of Computing would be counting and calculating. Nowadays, the use of electronic computers has led to far more complex "computing". Modern day computing is not just about the operation and use of computers. The electrical processes that take place within computer hardware as well as the theoretical concepts and logic surrounding computers are all associated with modern day computing.

A computer is a general purpose machine which processes data according to instructions stored internally. These instructions can be temporarily or permanently stored in the computer. The Hardware consists of the central computer and all equipment or peripherals attatched to it. Data is processed into information under the control of a stored program. The user controls the computer by entering instructions as well as original data. Information is output as the result or processing.


Abstraction is a useful technique when it comes to handling the development of a system. It also helps to make a system more understandable at different levels. Computer systems are too complicated to be viewed and understood as a whole by a single person.

Data Flow Digrams can be used to aid this process by decscribing the system as a whole then breaking it down into components which are then explained in more detail. Similarly, boolean logic and logic gates can also be used to describe the logic and circuitry in a computer. Diagrams can describe the system from a high level down to a low level.

The different levels of a computer system:

  • Applications
  • Programming Language
  • Operating System
  • The machine itself
  • Logical elements
  • Electric circuitry

Input/Output tables can be used to resolve whether a statement does actually occur. These tables are also known as truth tables. 0 represents False and 1 represents True.

The algebraic expressions for the 3 basic operators are as follows:

  • ~ not
  • ^ and
  • v or

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