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Hardware and Software Essay Sample

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Hardware and Software Essay Sample

The processor is the brain of a computer. It reads instructions from your software and tells computer what to do. The speed at which the CPU processes information internally is measured in Megahertz (MHz) and Gigahertz (GHz). 1 GHz is equal to 1,000 MHz. Generally, processors with higher MHz or GHz enhance your ability to run creative, entertainment, communication, and productivity applications.

The processor has three main functions:

1. It controls the transmission of data from input devices to memory.

2. It processes the data held in main memory.

3. It controls the transmission of information from main memory to output devices.

The processor is held on a single board called a mother board.

Operating System

I think operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer. Operating systems provide a software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, run. The application programs must be written to run on top of a particular operating system. Your choice of operating system, therefore, determines to a great extent the applications you can run. For PCs, the most popular operating systems are DOS, OS/2, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux.

Monitors

I think a large monitor is better because it will accommodate all those floating palettes that modern graphics applications have and it will have more room to see the design. It saves time when people are working on more than windows. It makes it easier to move about thing between different windows.

Video Cards

Video card is the piece of hardware that takes that output and tells the monitor which of the dots on the screen to light up (and in what color) to allow you to see it. I think video card is one of the components that has an impact on system performance and it can impact on performance more than any other component in the PC. These cards can shift millions of pixel for high quality view of the images.

Hard Drives

I think backing up data is very important. This could be done on Hard Disks. For Example a self employed designer may back up work files onto external hard disk, CD, DVD, or Removable disk drive but as organisation are larger, therefore they might back up using automated backup software. Because organisations have to transfer the data onto external drives for their clients, it could be transferred to CD format, DVD and Zip Disks.

Optical

Example of Optical drive is a DVD drive, this drive offers playback of CD-ROM discs allowing users to view high definition programs directly on a properly configured computer. These Drives could be built in or externally attached via a USB 2.0. These can be used by designers to transfer data on a CD/DVD to show their clients.

Sound Cards

I think 3D Sound Cards are very good for PCs. It enables a computer to manipulate and output sounds. Sound cards are necessary for nearly all CD-ROMs and have become commonplace for personal computers. Sound cards enable the computer to output sound through speakers connected to the board.

Scanner

Scanners can copy the image of a document, such as a photograph, or a newspaper article and create a digital version of that document so that it can be read by a computer. There are different two types of scanners which printers use today:

** Flatbed

** Sheet fed

Flatbed: These scanners can scan flat originals of different sizes. They can even scan small 3D objects (For Example, hand).

Sheet Fed: These scanners work a bit differently than flatbed scanners: instead of having a moving scanning head, the sheet fed scanner moved the paper past a stationary scanning head.

Printer

Printing quality is very important for designers/companies. Printing is a process for production of texts and images, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing. These are mostly used for the printing of flyers, sales material and to the designing of photographs. Printer can be connected through a USB cable or sometimes there is no cable required, they can just be connected via local network. There are two main types of printers:

** Ink jet

** Laser

Inkjet Printers: Ink Jet printers use dots of colored ink onto paper to create an output image. They are not very expensive to buy and it will almost print in colour. However, they can be expensive to operate if you do a lot of printing and it can be slow, and the output is faded.

Laser Printers: These printers are used to create high-quality printout at high speed. They are expensive, however, and they are generally limited to black and white outputs.

Types of Software

Macromedia Studio 8

Macromedia Studio 8 is a complete toolkit for Web designers and animators, and it introduces new features. Many digital content makers can find their way around Macromedia software, but the upgrade to Studio 8 makes common tasks easier to execute for those without coding expertise. This package includes the following software:

1. Flash 8: An animation tool.

2. Dream weaver 8: A Web design application.

3. Fireworks 8: A graphics editor.

4. FlashPaper 2: PDF maker.

5. Contribute 3: The Web site manager.

It introduces alpha channel video creation and provides new effects that animators can manipulate in real time to shrink the file sizes and hasten the playback time of Flash animation on end-user desktops. Flash, Fireworks, and Dream weaver now optimize multimedia content for cell phones, Pads, and other mobile.

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

Corel released the newest version of its image editing suite, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2. X2 is an easy-to-use, powerful image editor at an affordable price. Retailing for just $99 or less, X2 is certainly a viable option for consumers who are also considering products from Adobe. What sets X2 apart from the competition is a wide array of old and new features (some of which are unique to Corel).

Photoshop 8.0 CS Win

Adobe Photoshop CS means superior results faster, with new features and enhancements that helps creating and managing images easily and efficiently. The essential new and improved features help graphic and Web designers, photographers and video professionals create the highest quality images, with the control, flexibility, and capability that is expected from the professional standard in desktop digital imaging.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 2007 packs more improvements into the world’s leading application. Package Includes:

** Microsoft Word – Create and edit text and graphics in letters, reports, web pages or e-mail messages.

** Microsoft Excel – Perform calculations, analyse information and manage lists in spreadsheets or web pages.

** Microsoft PowerPoint – Create and edit presentations for slide shows, meetings and web pages.

** Microsoft Outlook – Send and receive e-mail, manage schedules, contacts and tasks, and record activities.

** Microsoft Publisher – Create and edit newsletters, brochures, flyers, and web sites.

** Microsoft Access – Create databases and programs to track and manage information.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, InfoPath, Visio, and OneNote all work basically as they did before, only it’s more easily. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are the only programs to get the full interface upgrade. Outlook gets the new interface upgrade only in its content-creation screens.

Xara Xtreme

Xara Xtreme is a top class graphics tool, It does not matter what the level of graphics experience. With its amazing speed, small size, reasonable system requirements, moderate price, and powerful feature set, it’s hard to go wrong with Xara Xtreme. Although it’s currently only for Windows, Xara has announced plans to make Xtreme open source and to develop Macintosh and Linux versions.

1. Xara Xtreme is a fast yet powerful vector-based drawing and illustration program for Windows.

2. Includes a Picture Editor where you can crop, rotate, enhance and sharpen bitmap-based photos.

3. Suitable for Web graphics, illustration, technical drawing, animation, cartooning, and compositions.

Task One (M1)

I have outlined the following two hardware and stated the limitations of each hardware in terms of capture, manipulation and storage of graphics.

1. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Monitors

2. Inkjet Printer

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Monitors:

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors are based on a newer technology and are becoming very popular, mainly because they have great space and energy saving advantages over CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors. CRT and LCD monitors are based on completely different technologies, and thus have quite different display. One of the biggest advantages of LCD monitors is that they are compact and lightweight.

Limitations:

1. Most CRT monitors are capable of displaying unlimited colors but LCD monitors are only capable of hundreds or thousands of colors.

2. CRT monitors are usually capable of displaying multiple video resolutions but an important issue with LCD monitors is resolution.

** A CRT screen can be looked at from a very wide angle, practically from the side, but an LCD monitor typically has a smaller viewing angle, needing to be viewed more directly from the front.

** CRT monitors are generally more affordable than LCD monitors.

Inkjet Printer:

Inkjet printers have made rapid technological advances in recent years. The three-colour printer has been around for several years now and has succeeded in making colour printing an affordable option; but as the superior four-colour model became cheaper to produce, the replaceable cartridge model was gradually phased out. With each new product on the market showing improvements in performance, usability, and output quality.

Limitations:

1. Slower than a laser printer.

2. An Inkjet printer is a way to have color printing available. The color is sprayed onto the paper.

3. They can be expensive to operate if you do a lot of printing and it can be slow, and the output is faded.

4. Cartridges need to be changed more frequently and the special coated paper required to produce high-quality output is very expensive.

5. Inkjets work out to be more expensive than laser printers.

Task One (M1)

Software Packages

1. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

2. Adobe PhotoShop 8.0 CS Win

I have chosen two of the software, which I think are good for creating, capturing and manipulation graphic images.

I have chose these because the company has the Microsoft Vista as their operating system and both of these work the best on and have been especially designed for Microsoft Windows Vista. Both of these can be used by professionals. I have explained the software and features it has for each.

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

Corel released the newest version of its image editing suite, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2. The new “X2” gives enthusiast digital photographers an entirely new set of tools to unlock their creative potential. It is packed with applications for downloading, viewing, sorting, and editing/processing images, is X2.

The new graphite-coloured workspace is to enable users to concentrate on the image instead of the interface, but the graphite is mostly for the benefit of Vista users, and it can be operated to use the brighter XP-style colour scheme.

The new features are very welcome, such as the automatic saving of every picture you work on into a sub-folder of its original folder, in effect creating a digital negative you can always revert to if things go pear-shaped during editing.

There is tool which can make people look thinner than they really are. What it actually does is make a sort of digital pleat in the picture so that anybody under the cursor looks a little bit thinner, but the rest of the picture, including anybody unfortunate enough to be nearby, gets stretched to fill in the missing pixels and ends up looking slightly fatter.

The Makeover tools, which are designed to hide blemishes, remove red-eye, whiten teeth and add fake tans, have been expanded with an eye whitener, just in case subjects have had a rough night before the shoot and are sporting bloodshot eyes that might give the game away.

Features they give to the User:

1. Express Lab

2. HDR Photo Merge

3. Layers Style

4. Visible Watermarks

5. Auto-Preserve Originals

6. Photo Aging Tools

7. Compatibility with Photo Shop Plug-ins

Features Explained

1. Express Lab: This helps users quickly view and fix multiple photos in the same amount of time it used to take to edit just one. Common tools such as crop, rotate, red-eye removal, makeover/blemish removal, brightness, saturation, and other quick fix tools.

2. HDR Photo Merge: High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photo Merge tool can combine two or more bracketed exposures in order to produce one perfect exposure.

3. Layer Styles: It can easily apply effects such as embossing, drop shadows, or even reflections that will automatically update whenever the underlying layer is edited.

4. Visible Watermarks: This feature allows to “stamp” images with a watermark. This is perfect for protecting copyright when uploading images online.

5. Auto-Preserve Originals: It will never lose favorite photos by mistake again thanks to a feature that automatically preserves the original photos when saved an edited version , giving a way to get the original image back in case making a mistake during the editing process.

6. Photo Aging Tools: It is a unique and easy-to-use feature with the ability to apply aging filters to images and make them look like film images from decades long ago.

7. Compatibility with PhotoShop Plug-ins: An excellent feature in Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo series is compatibility with “most” PhotoShop plug-ins and filters.

Corel PhotoShop 8.0 CS win

Review

This is the new version of PhotoShop and it’s the photo graphics editor standard against the other graphic software. It is used by more graphics professionals than just about any other photo-editing and paint program. The new version has the CS (Creative Suite) extension, which includes few new features for most types of user. Everybody should benefit from the improved file browser, which offers many of the features of photo album-style products. As well as viewing thumbnails, you can preview in different sizes before loading.

There’s now a simple way to match colours between photo-objects, while leaving their underlying textures unchanged. This kind of colour replacement first appeared as a red-eye tool in PhotoShop Elements.

Graphic designers will like this version of PhotoShop CS for its introduction of text on a path, with which you can create and edit text running at angles and along curves. You can also work on images up to 300,000 pixels square; large enough for billboard design, and develop multiple versions of graphics using layers to hold the version differences.

Adobe includes Image Ready CS with PhotoShop CS. This Web image designer and editor offers improved multiple selection controls, direct export to Macromedia Flash and more compact HTML code when finished designing.

These are the Features of this Software:

1. Professional toolset

2. Colour Correction

3. Enhanced layer control

4. Improved File Browser

5. Advanced Web capabilities

6. Healing Brush

7. Special effect filters

8. Advanced type control

9. Customized workspace

10. Unparalleled efficiency

These are the top ten features of why should they get this product:

1. Professional toolset. This tool can help in creating original images or modifying photos using a full assortment of painting, drawing tools.

2. Colour correction. It can Improve the color, contrast of any image with a comprehensive set of professional color-correction tools.

3. Enhanced layer control. It can combine images, text, and effects on hundreds of layers that can be organise with up to five levels of nesting and save in different combinations as Layer.

4. Improved File Browser. It can quickly preview, tag, and sort images; search and edit keywords; and automatically share batches of files from the improved File Browser.

** Advanced Web capabilities. It can create sophisticated Web page elements, such as roll-overs and animations, using Image Ready.

** Healing Brush. It removes dust, scratches, blemishes, wrinkles, and other flaws with the Healing Brush.

** Special effect filters. It is easy to experiment and achieve amazing results by accessing more than 95 special effects filters, Preview and apply more than one filter at a time with the new Filter Gallery.

** Advanced type control. People can add vector-based text that can be edited at any time, format, warp, convert to outlines, and use for masks or other special effects.

** Customized workspace. People can work the way that’s best for you by saving personalised workspace and tool settings, and creating customised keyboard shortcuts.

** Unparalleled efficiency. Users can automate production tasks with built-in or customised scripts and the actions palette which lets users record editing steps to quickly process batches of files.

Graphic and Web designers can take advantage of the features that include improved file management, new design possibilities, a way to create for the Web, and support for 16-bit images, digital camera and non-square pixels. This Software can create the highest quality images more efficiently.

Task Two (P2)

1. Monitor

2. Printer

Monitors: The Company bought 17″ LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors. These are flat screen monitors. I believe that the LCD monitors take less desk space but I would suggest that the company change monitors from LCD to CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) because i think CRT monitors are still considered to have a better colour range and are easier to calibrate colour accuracy. These monitors are still very popular in graphic arts where high quality reproduction is important.

Benefits:

1. The designs would be seen in better and true colours because most CRT monitors are capable of displaying unlimited colours.

2. It will have better resolution because CRT monitors are usually capable of displaying multiple video resolutions, each with the same quality.

3. There is no concern about the brightness of the monitor.

4. I think it will give a better preview from different angles because a CRT screen can be looked at from a very wide angle, practically from the side.

5. CRT monitors are generally more affordable than LCD monitors.

I would suggest them to buy CRT monitors OR buy bigger LCD flat monitor because I think a larger monitor will accommodate all those floating palettes that modern graphic applications have and they will have more room to see the network. They can change from 17″ to 21″ a monitor which is an ideal for designers.

Benefits:

1. Makes Clicking Easier – it’s easier to click on larger targets.

2. Enhances Readability – It’s easier to read larger fonts.

3. Better proof that it can work and look good – Design is working and looking good.

4. Some of the monitors produce excellent colour quality and they can be moved around for a better landscape and portrait mode.

Printers: They already bought a Colour Laser Printer but which is Black and White. These printers are generally quite fast, but they are more expensive. These printers use technology similar to that of a photocopier to create high-quality printout at high speed. They are expensive, however, and they are generally limited to black and white. I would suggest the company to buy a printer which is colour because when looking at a design colour is the most attractive.

Benefits:

1. Colour Laser printers replaces toner than cartridges, they are more expensive but it lasts more than a cartridge.

2. Output from the printer would be colourful. A hardcopy of the image can be seen in colour.

Task Three (D2)

An output for graphics is very important. There are different types of Outputs that can be used for graphics.

1. Monitor

2. Printer

3. Scanner

4. Digital Cameras

5. Mobile Phones

Monitor: A monitor is the screen on which words, numbers, and graphics can be seen. The monitor is the most common output device.

Printer:

You can print your output on hardcopy devices such as laser printers and plotters. Some printers (daisy-wheel and line printers) can print only text. Other printers can print both text and graphics.

Scanner: Scanners will take an image of a drawing or photo and converts them into digital images.

Digital Cameras: A digital camera is a device that’s used for taking photographs, like a conventional camera. The image is stored in the camera in digital form. In order to see the pictures, the user connects the camera to the computer and views the images on screen. The pictures can be saved on disk and can also be edited, using a graphics package.

Mobile Phones: A mobile phone can be used to take photographs like a digital camera. The image is stored in the phone memory. The user can see the picture by connecting the phone to a computer to view or manipulate. The pictures can be moved from the phone memory to the computer hard disk.

Resolution is very important for any type of output device. Resolution Refers to the sharpness and clarity of an image. The term is most often used to describe how well an image matches with the original. The correct resolution for an image is determined by the output device (World Wide Web, Inkjet printer, laser printer, etc).

1. Printer Resolution – Measured by the number of ink dots per inch or (DPI). DPI is dots of ink, toner that is placed on a paper.

2. Scanner Resolution – The correct resolution for a scan is determined by the targeted output device or display. For Example, a scanned image will only be viewed on a computer monitor.

3. Digital Camera Resolution – When deciding on resolution needs, thinking about intended output is important. If digital camera is there only to create images for the web then a one Mega Pixel camera is sufficient.

Size

Size refers to the physical dimensions of an image. Image can be created by using inches and centimetres and by resolution using pixels. If the picture is for the screens (On a Monitor) then using pixels is a good idea but for printing using inches and centimetres is good.

Colour

The colour depth of the image is not same as the actual number of colours it contains. The colour depth tells the maximum number of colours the image is capable of containing.

Images with the colour depth of 15 million colours look the best because they contain the most colours. However not all devices can display 16 million colours. For Example, GIF images, a popular format for the web (Monitor), can only contain 256 colours.

It is very important that we keep in mind what the picture is for and where is it going to be viewed to audience.

To improve performance of graphics output, most graphics devices provide some form of buffering. By default, Scheme’s graphics procedures flush this buffer after every drawing operation. The procedures in this section allow the user to control the flushing of the output buffer.

When exporting an image for screen outputs, it’s very important what format of the picture is exported. These are few formats that are mostly used for screen and printing outputs.

1. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

2. GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

3. PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

4. BMP (Bitmap)

5. TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is designed for compressing either full-colour or Gray-scale digital images of “natural”, real-world scenes. It does not work very well on non-realistic images and does not handle black-and-white. It is one of the most popular image formats used on the Internet. It can reduce a file’s size by as much as 96%.

It is used when 24-bit colour are used and mostly when it is for Internet distribution.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

It is one of the two most common file formats for graphic images on the World Wide Web. It supports up to 8-bit colour images, and it is optimised for high contrast images and blocks of colours. It uses loss-less compression, GIF supports single colour transparency and animation and it does not support layers or alpha channels.

It is used when a single colour transparency needed, when a single file animation is produced for use on the Internet and when the picture have fewer than or acceptable with 256 colours.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

It is a file format designed for the web graphics and is used to transmit and store bit-mapped images. It was created specifically for the Internet and other networks. It supports 24-bit colour with loss-less compression, one alpha channel, alpha transparency, and slightly better compression than GIF. The current generation of net scape Navigator and Internet Explorer may not completely support PNG and previous browsers do not support it at all. It also does not support layers.

It is mostly used for high colour alpha transparency and for loss-less compression of high colour images.

BMP (Bitmap)

This was invented by Microsoft. Many graphics programs running under Windows, which support monochrome up to 24-bit colour formats, use the BMP format. The BMP format does not support image file compression.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

A TIFF is one of most widely supported file format for storing images on a computer. It can handle a range from one bit to 24 bits of photographic image, but as an older format, images saved as TIFF files tend to be larger than JPEG or .PSD formats.

Tagged-Image File Format is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images.

Affects of Output devices:

** Colour is most important thing which affects everyone’s eye on any of the output.

Monitors:

** Monitor size will affect the design output because there are designs which look differently when we view by using wide screen monitor rather than normal standard screen.

** TRC monitor can harm the eye sight, because of the UV radiation, however LCD monitors aren’t dangerous for the eye sight but if you have a TRC kind monitor you could put a filter to protect the eyesight.

Printing:

4. When printing a hardcopy from a printer, the most important thing is that what paper is going to be useful and what printer is required to print out the original design.

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