SS-1202 Computer Systems and Information Technology


Module Code: SS-1202
Module Title: Computer Systems and Information Technology
Type of Module: Major Core
Modular Credits: 4MC

This module provides an overview of computer systems, web technology, computer network and information technology.

After completing this module, the student should be able to:

  • compare different types of computers,
  • explain the functions of various hardware components,
  • explain the functions of various software components,
  • compare different kinds of programming languages,
  • illustrate the functions of the different layers of network stacks,
  • explain the protocols used by common Internet applications.
  • write computer programs to solve a given problem

Canvas: Please regularly check the announcement list on Canvas. All assignments are to be submitted through Canvas.


The activities (lectures, tutorials, labs) during the following time slots are not fixed. They will be adjusted according to our progress.

  • 11:30-13:50, Tuesday, FSM1.12 (Lunch break: 12:10-13:10)
  • 14:00-16:50, Thursday, FSM1.19 (Afternoon break: 15:40-16:10, if possible)
  • You will spend about half of the time doing programming.


Examination 50% – 120 mins exam (9am, Thursday, 24 Nov 2016)
Coursework 50% – two class tests (15% each), two assignments (10% each).

Important Dates:

1 Sep, 23:55: Assignment 1 Due
8 Sep, 14:00-16:00: Class Test 1 (L1 to L6)
6 Oct, 23:55: Assignment 2 Due
3 Nov, 14:00-16:00: Class Test 2 (L6 to L10, Programming)
24 Nov, 09:00-11:00: Examination

Plan (subject to adjustment):

Week No. Tuesday Thursday
1 L1: Introduction L2: Hardware System
2 L3: Storage L4: Software System
3 L5: Number Systems Tutorial L4
4 L6: Data Representation 1 Tutorial L5
5 L7: Data Representation 2 Tutorial L6
6 Tutorial L7 Class Test 1 (L1-L6)
7 L8: Digital Logic Tutorial L8
8 Mid-semester Break Mid-semester Break
9 Programming Programming
10 Programming Programming
11 L9: Logic Circuit Design L9: Logic Circuit Design
12 L9: Logic Circuit Design Tutorial L9
13 L10: Computer Network and Internet Tutorial, Revision
14 Tutorial, Revision Class Test 2 (L6-10, Programming)
15 Tutorial, Revision Tutorial Revision
16 Revision Week Revision Week
17-18 Exam Week Exam Week


L1: Introduction to SS-1202

  • Definition of IT and Computer Systems
  • Applications of IT and Computer Systems
  • Characteristics of a Computer
  • Breaking Down the Function of a Computer
  • History: Computer Generations
  • Computer Categories
  • Block Diagram: Computer Components

L2: Hardware System

  • Computer Components
  • Overview of Computer System Hardware
  • Microcomputer Components (Slightly Elaborated)
  • Computer Connectivity
  • Microprocessor
  • Input and Output Devices

L3: Storage

  • Computer Data
    • Analog -> Digital -> Logic
  • Storage
    • Overview -> Hierarchy – > Primary -> Secondary
  • Primary Storage
    • Registers -> Cache -> ROM -> RAM
  • Secondary Storage
    • Hard Disk -> Flash Drive & Memory Card -> Optical Discs

L4: Software System

  • Overview
  • Levels of abstraction, classification.
  • Application software.
  • System Software.
    • Operating System
    • Device Driver
    • Utility Software
  • Programming Languages

L5: Number Systems

  • Number Systems
    • Binary, Hexadecimal
  • Conversion
    • Arithmetic: Addition, Subtraction, (Shifting), Multiplication, Division

L6: Data Representation 1

  • Integer
    • Unsigned
    • Sign & Magnitude
    • 1’s Complement
    • 2’s Complement
    • Excess-m
    • BCD
  • Text: ASCII

L7: Data Representation 2

  • Real Numbers
    • Fixed Point Notation
    • Exponential Form
    • IEEE 754 Floating Point Notation
  • Beyond Numbers & Text
    • Image Representation

L8: Digital Logic

  • Digital Systems
  • Manipulate zeros & ones
  • Logic gates
  • Digital logic circuits/networks
  • Boolean algebra

L9: Logic Circuit Design

  • Digital logic network:
    • Combinational Logic Network (CLN)
    • Sequential Logic Network (CLN) Design steps for CLN
  • Techniques:
    • Boolean expression truth table
    • Simplification of Boolean expression: K-map.
  • Karnaugh map (K-map)
    • Format
    • Grouping rules
    • Prime implicants
    • Don’t care

L10: Computer Network and Internet

  • Communicate Information
  • Network Topology
  • Network Components
  • Type of Computer Network
  • Internet: the WWW
  • Identifying the Nodes
  • Communication Protocols

L11: Computer Security, Privacy and Ethics (self learning)

  • Ethics: general, computer, guidelines.
  • Intellectual property: protection, fair use, software piracy, software licenses, free software.
  • Privacy: threat from IT, protecting privacy, individual responsibilities.
  • Security: risks, means of mitigation, good practices.
  • Health issues.


Tutorial L4: Word processing and spreadsheet

  • LibreOffice Portable 5.0 (Open Source software)
    This file is huge. Do not download at home unless you have a lot of data quota. Run the installation. You can install in a folder and run the applications from the folder. The folder may be in a USB drive.

Tutorial L5: Number Systems
Tutorial L6: Data Representation 1: Integers & Texts
Tutorial L7: Floating Point Numbers.

  • Converting Real Numbers between Bases
  • IEEE 754 Floating Point Standard

Tutorial L8: Digital Logic
Tutorial L9: Logic Circuit Design
Tutorial L10: Computer Network and Internet


Lab Work – A Guided Tour of Programming

Download final program (outcome) demo (only for Windows 64-bit).

In the lab sessions, you will learn the concepts of programming through a series of guided exercises. You are required to work in pairs, i.e. two students on one computer.

The programming tour starts by assuming you have zero programming knowledge.

Please prepare a USB flash drive for the use in the lab sessions. You should do the preparation work as described in the slides before the first lab session.

Programming IDE Files

Download the IDE from (huge file). Choose the one for your own OS.