Frank E. Ritter
24 January 2001
Consider that you are designing a computer or are reviewing the design of a new computer. If you find the specification unclear, note that it unclear, how it is unclear, and propose clarifying information of your choice.
Your document is not graded, but if it were, it would be done in a binary mode, either 1 point or 0 points. It is designed to get you to think about the math involved in such decisions, and motivate the use of the math in the module. Your document should be prepared on plain paper and could be as short as 1 page, may be up to two.
(a) Consider using trinary logic in 3 bit words (e.g., 222 is the largest number). Is this a strong enough code to represent the 8 bit ASCII set?
(b) The computer must be able to sort the largest 1,000, 10,000, and 1,000,000 towns on a variety of dimensions, and compute the fastest path between sets of them, and find the optimum set of them that gives you the closest to any given number of target consumers. How fast a processor do you need?
(c) Can the computer also thus find (search for) numbers in the same sized sets once they are sorted in a reasonable time?
(d) The user, who is under external time pressue to update forms, must be able to access with their mouse any 1 mm point on the screen within 1 second. How big can you make the screen?
(e) There are two networks that it can be connected to. The topology of one can be represented by a planar graph, the second cannot be represented by a planar graph, although both have the same number of computers on them. Which one is better?
(f) The computer must be able to store, at lowest cost, ten million pages of text. How much disk space is needed as real minimum?