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Information System Hardware and Software


Information technology involves a wide range of operations where computer software as well as hardware is utilized. A number of new devices have been produced lately and are available in computer shops’ displays. A visit to one of the computer shops provided a good opportunity during which some of these latest information technology software and software were observed among them being a recorder used in radio astronomy. This recorder is normally used in the recording process of data collected by telescopes which is later transformed into a comprehensible form.

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Current developments in the area of information technology have necessitated the production of more efficient software as well as hardware systems. A number of latest systems of information technology were observed at a local computer store where they were displayed for sale. Among the current products displayed in that computer store was a band recording system which is based on disk usage. The recording system is basically designed to increase the efficiency of radio telescopes used in Australia. (Stair, Reynolds, 2003).

Hardware System

This latest product consists of input, output as well as storage systems which necessitates its operation. Storage systems included disk drives which were of the “Apple XRaid” type. This particular type of disk drive is cost effective and has the ability to record data amounting to one hundred megabytes per second. Input systems observed in the recorder include an interface board and interface converter which are constituent parts of radio telescopes. They were combined to form an Nforce Chipset used in data capturing process which is later converted to a form that can be understood by the computer. A high technology computer also forms part of this recording system and it comprises of additional input devices like keyboard and mouse. Output devices contained in the recording system include a monitor and a radio telescope. The computer particularly known as Power Edge contained more storage systems including a virtual memory of three gigabytes and a hard drive whose memory amounted to thirty six gigabytes. (Stair, Reynolds, 2003).

Systems and Application Software

Systems software was also observed which included a VSIB card that was used in the actual data recording and it had modifications enabling more information to be incorporated in already recorded data particularly timestamp data. Timestamp contains data that gives the format of date, month and year during which a particular operation takes place which in this case is recording operations. Additional information enables the acquisition of very precise recordings where even the first as well as last second of recording operation is shown. Another systems’ software observed in the recording system was a Linux which made VSIB card accessible while at the same time it provided an additional virtual memory section which was not available to other parts of that entire system. The Linux also ensured that virtual memory was always available in order to support timely and efficient recording processes. Other than systems software, application software was also observed as a constituent part the recording system which included a very complex writing program known as BasebandDSP. This program has the capability of supporting a variety of file formats used during data entry and interpretation. (Stair, Reynolds, 2006).

Business Use of BasebandDSP

The main business use of this application software is to enable efficient radio astronomy operations mainly performed in Australia. Radio astronomers make use of radio telescopes in which recorders are incorporated to carry out recording processes. BasebandDSP which is the application program that supports writing of all file formats has a very essential role in radio astronomy. It enables the ones performing the practice to do it efficiently due to the high level of flexibility provided. In order to make BasebandDSP more efficient, it was provided with an additional file format which would enable processing of all types of recoded data that would be written during recording. (Stair, Reynolds, 2003).


It is clear that information technology is undergoing considerable developments as depicted by latest software and hardware displayed in the local computer store. The store contained high technology input, output as well as storage devices which increased the efficiency of recorders used in radio astronomy operations. The recorder is comprised of an Nforce computer which is equally efficient due its large memory allowance. Systems as well as application software that necessitate efficient operation of the recording system were also observed in the store. All these make up the improved systems of recording which is used by Australians when carrying out radio astronomy (Harp, 2002).


  1. Harp G. (2002): Advanced telescope and instrumentation control software, North Carolina: Elsevier pp 1-11
  2. Stair M. & Reynolds W. (2003): Fundamentals of information systems (2nd ed.), Boston: Thompson course Technology pp 10-21
  3. Stair M. & Reynolds W. (2006): Fundamentals of information systems (3rd ed.), Boston: Thompson course Technology pp 12-16

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