Computer Platforms In The Case Computer Science Essay

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A plan is very important to check the main hardware and software components. The main focus is to ensure that the system is fully implemented and fully working and that all user requirements are met.

Test plans help a company identify what needs to be tested, what has already been tested, how a test was performed, and the progress of a the overall testing before shipping a product. Unlike a standard test, test plans are often more in depth and contain several hundred or thousands of different items that need to be tested.

In the example of the doctors practice the following techniques are used.

Integration testing; - integration testing is the phase in software testing in which individual software modules are combined and tested as a group. It occurs after unit testing and before validation testing. Integration testing takes as its input modules that have been unit tested, groups them in larger aggregates, applies tests defined in an integration test plan to those aggregates, and delivers as its output the integrated system ready for system testing. This test will be very important when looking at the doctors practice. The purpose of integration testing is to verify functional, performance, and reliability requirements placed on major design items. These design items are exercised through their interfaces using Black box testing, success and error cases being simulated via appropriate parameter and data inputs. Simulated usage of shared data areas and inter-process communication is tested and individual subsystems are exercised through their input interface. 

System testing; - in the doctors practice system testing is used to check for potential hardware failures. the following components are assessed in system testing

Computer hard drive (HDD)

A bad hard drive can cause an assortment of different issues on the system. Below are just a few of the possible issues the doctors practice may encounter.

Errors when reading, copying, moving, or deleting data on the computer.

Extremely slow.

Operating system unable to boot.

Other random errors or computer reboots.

Hard drive recovery systems can recover lost or damaged files, functional test system can check for the systems reliability and performance. There are different ways of increasing speed of the system if affected. Scandisk, Chkdsk and HDD health are different tools used to diagnose problems with the hardware.

"Although hardware failures can occur with your computer, if it is encountering errors, make sure you've exhausted all software troubleshooting. The majority of errors encountered on a computer are caused by software or hardware drivers, and not a failing hardware device."

Computer memory (RAM)

RAM (random access memory) is the computer memory which normally caused faults to computer hardware. Bad memory can cause an assortment of different issues on your computer. Below are just a few of the possible issues that might be encountered. It is important to remember that the below issues can also be caused by more than just bad memory.

System does not boot, instead you get a beep code.

Random system crashes causing BSOD, General Protection Fault error messages, Illegal Operations, Fatal Exceptions, etc.

System random reboots.

Installation of program fails.

There are several software programs available that are designed to test your computer's hardware including the computer's memory. Below are a few programs designed to test your computer's memory

Memtest86 - this is for testing computer memory, Memtest86 is a x86 compatible free memory tester. Extensive user guide with simple step-by-step instructions for using Memtest86 to diagnose and troubleshoot PC memory problems

DocMemory - Another great software solution to test the computer's memory. DocMemory Pro "is an advanced self-booting PC Memory Diagnostic Software. This user-friendly software is designed to capture all possible memory failures in a PC. Rigorous test pattern is exercised on both the PC Base and Extended Memory to locate defective memory. During Boot up, DocMemory is able to determine memory capacity with its Auto-Identification feature, displaying easy to read memory related information.

Memory testers - Company offers several different hardware solution for testing computer memory. These are the highest quality method for testing memory but something only likely to be used at a computer service centre because of their cost.

Computer motherboard & processor (CPU)

A bad computer motherboard or CPU can cause an assortment of different issues on your computer. Below are just a few of the possible issues that may be encountered. It is important to remember that the issues below can also be caused by more than just a bad motherboard and CPU.

Random system crashes causing General Protection Fault error messages, Operations, Fatal, etc.

System randomly reboots.

Just like addressed in the hard drive diagnosis, system checks need to be performed. Below is a listing of a software programs available that are designed to test your computer's motherboard and CPU.

Hot CPU Tester - the main software recommendation for testing a computer systems motherboard and CPU. This is a great tool.  Easy to run and use for looking for failures with your computer. In addition to testing a computer, this program also includes a burn-in feature for new computers or computers with a new motherboard or CPU.

PC-doctor - A fantastic but not cheap solution often used for service centres and technicians to diagnose computer hardware issues including motherboard issues.

PC Diagnostics -this is a programme that offers both hardware and software solutions for testing the majority of the hardware in your computer including the motherboard

Computer power supply (PSU)

Although there are some programs to help monitor the voltage and power supplied to the fans in the computer there is no software utility to test the integrity of computer power supplies.

There are methods of testing the power connectors on a power supply using a multimeter/ Volt-Ohm-Meter. "multimeter is a device used to test and measure current, voltage, and resistance"

However, because of the potential damage that can be caused to the power supply, potentially the motherboard and other components connected to it, it is important to be careful when testing. If power supply is faulty or bad immediate replacement is required.

Computer CD/DVD disc drives

A bad disc drive can cause an assortment of different issues on your computer. Below are just a few of the possible issues you may encounter. It is important to remember that the issues described below can also be caused by more than just a bad disc drive.

Error when reading CD or DVD.

CD's or DVD's may not play or play audio or video properly.

CD or DVD programs may not install or encounter errors after being installed.

There are several different ways to test your computer's disc drives if it's bad or has flaws that are causing issues with your computer. Below is a listing of these recommendations.

CDRoller - Great program that is used to test and if needed recover data from CD's and DVD's.

CDCheck - Another great program used to help check CD drives (no DVD compatibility) and can also be used to help recover data from damaged discs.

CD/DVD Diagnostic - Diagnostic program from InfraDyne that is not only capable of testing a drive and disc, but also recovering some or all data from discs that may be bad.

b) Produce a system documentation of your system

User documentation is a documentation to support the end users of the system. This includes both the software and hardware.

Key features in effective user documentation are that it allows the user to

find information quickly

understand information

use the information to get right results

get help if there are any problems


In relation to the task of doctors Practice Company the following will be advantages of user documentation

Allows all users to use the full potential of the computer product

Adds value to the product

Reduces the hours that a help desk might spend supporting the product

The system which is implemented in the doctors practice is very easy to use. The user can simply log in and enter the username and password and have access to the data.


The monitor is the computer hardware which displays the inputs and images without saving them to the computer memory. In the doctors practice the monitor is used together with the CPU to view various tasks and operations in the computer. Monitor needs to be configured / adjusted depending on the user needs. In some cases brightness, contrast and sharpness needs to be adjusted

CPU - Central Processing Unit

CPU contains important hardware components that are in the system. The CPU main devices include, hard drive, RAM, processor and CD/DVD drives. The doctor's practice need to make sure that all devices within the CPU are in working order and all faulty parts are addressed and replaced


Mouse is used for navigating through different programs. In order to access various functionalities of software such as opening a new file. Mouse can be moved in any direction where the user wants. Scroll up or down Selected items can be opened or closed.


Keyboard contains many keys for input. Used o enter data in the system. It contains letters, numbers and symbols and used according to user desire


Printer is the machine that is used to print the documents. Keyboard and mouse are used to locate the specific document and the expected outcome is printed on a piece of paper.


Photocopier is used to make a dublicate copy of the document. Document must be placed in the screen in the copier and lid closed.

Produce a security policy for your system

There are various threats that can affect the systems performance in different ways. Different security threats and procedures are as follows


 Computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly, but erroneously, used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware 

and spyware programs that do not have a reproductive ability.

Antivirus software needs to be installed on the computer to combat there threats and reduce the risks of virus attacks.



Spyware is a term used to describe a software program that is intentionally installed on the computer by a user to monitor or spy on what other users of the same computer are doing. Spyware programs are often used to help with tracking users' habits and help with delivering proper advertisements to a user. Spyware is installed onto a user's machine when installing free programs such as free music sharing programs, visiting web pages such as adult oriented web pages, and through other downloads and plug-ins on the Internet.

Antispyware software's are used to detect and eliminate potential threats


Alternatively referred to as scumware, malware is a software program that has been intentionally designed to change a user's settings without his or her permission, delete a competing software program, cause a competing software program to stop working, or leave a computer open to attacks.

General antivirus software e.g Norton or Trojan removal software packages are used to detect and eliminate potential threats

Unauthorised access

It is very important to have a password on a system to prevent unauthorised access on the system. Depending on the level of access per user, everyone needs to have a username and a password to access the system.


Threats to physical access of the system will affect the computer files and documents and it is important to back up the files in case of damage. Backup information will be updated regularly and if the hard disc or computer itself is affected then backup can be used to keep the system working and recover lost data.

D ) Demonstrate that the system meets health and safety requirements

" the number of computers in the workplace has increased rapidly over the last few years and it is now quite normal for most staff in organisations to be exposed to computer usage. The health and safety at work lays down legal standards for computer equipment and requires employers to take steps to minimise risks for all workers. Workers have received substantial damages for injuries caused through use of computers where the employer could have foreseen the risk but did nothing about it"

( accessed 28th nov 2012)

Doctors practice surgery health and safety requirements

UK government outlines health and safety requirements in computer environments, different risks are identified and need of professional procedures is discussed. The guideline was provided by the department of works and displayed in the doctors practice surgery.

Working with computers

The law relating to health and safety issues for work with computers is contained in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, which define a 'user' as an employee who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work.

Checklist for workstations

The DSE Regulations detail the minimum standards for workstations, which are summarised below.

The display screen should:

display well-defined characters of adequate size and spacing

have a stable image

have easily adjustable brightness and contrast

tilt and swivel easily to suit the user

be free from glare and reflections

use a separate base for the screen, or an adjustable table.

The keyboard should:

be tilt able and separate from the screen to allow the user to adopt a comfortable working position

have a space in front to provide support for the hands or arms of the user

have a matt surface

Have clearly legible symbols on the keys.

The work surface should:

provide adequate space for the user

have a low reflective surface

be of adequate size to allow the screen, keyboard, etc to be flexibly arranged

have a stable, adjustment document holder, which should be at the same level as the screen and at the same viewing distance.

The work chair

This should have a seat that is adjustable in height, with a seat back adjustable in height and tilt. A footrest should be available.

Under the regulations, users have a right to eye sight tests upon starting computer work and at regular intervals thereafter, at the employer's expense. Where tests show that the user requires special spectacles/lenses for computer work, the employer must pay for the cost of a basic pair.

Computer cables

Computer cables need to be well organised to ensure no hazars to the users who operate or walk around the systems. The

Electrical safety

The use, inspection, maintenance and repair of electrical equipment and installations in the doctors practice is legally required to be managed effectively.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place a duty on employers to carry out risk assessments, which involves identifying hazards in the workplace, including those electrical.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which apply to all educational establishments, require employers to assess activities taking place on or near electrical systems that may lead to danger and/or personal injury. These regulations make it clear that the maintenance and repair of electrical equipment must be carried out by competent persons under a planned programme of work 

Visual checks of electrical equipment

The following questions could be asked:

Is there any obvious damage to the plug?

Are there any loose or bare wires?

Do any parts of the equipment appear to be missing?

Is the equipment becoming hot when it is running?

Is it becoming particularly noisy?

Is there a smell of burning?

Inspection and testing

The Health and Safety Executive advises the following.

An inventory of all electrical equipment is prepared, which may be taken room-by-room or department-by-department.

The inventory is periodically updated by a competent person who should examine the equipment. Obsolete, redundant or defective equipment should be taken out of service and be properly repaired or disposed of. If the latter, they should be removed from the inventory.

Fixed electrical installations should be inspected and tested by a competent person at least every five years. More frequent inspections will be necessary when installations are subject to damage or abuse.

A test certificate confirming the date and results of the inspection and test should be prepared - a copy of it should be retained by the school or college.

All electrical equipment including socket outlets and other fittings such as lights, should be chosen bearing in mind the use and abuse to which they may be subjected. Remember, items which are close to where pupils/students sit may be interfered with.

e). Explain how to customise operating systems

Once the operating system is installed on the machine, it can be optimised according to user specification needs. In the doctors practice the system used is windows vista as an operating system which is easy to customise and make changes. Windows vista allows us to change the appearance and functionality with the help of a few clicks

To customise the vista operating system, the user needs to click on the taskbar and go to properties and following dialog box will appear

The tool bar can be customised with various options

There are various options for each program or control on the taskbar. We can chose the appropriate and click OK to make the necessary changes.

We can also customized the display by right clicking the desktop and go to properties

Evaluate the performance of the selected system.

"Regular monitoring of your PC is as important as monitoring your own health. This is because PC problems that may that may be small and controllable in the initial stages may go out of control if left unattended. Evaluating the performance of your PC at regular intervals helps in diagnosing its functioning and any possible issues. It is also useful for finding the exact statistics related to performance so that nessesary steps can be taken,if required,on time so that you do not need to bother about finding computer support service providers to get things sorted out" ( http://ezinearticles

Tasks were needed to be carried out in relation to the doctor practice surgery needs and ensure the system performance is as expected. Various software's were used to automatically troubleshoot and repair Windows performance problems. Improve, optimize and speed up the computers and make slow running PCs faster.

The following issues were addressed

Power plan is set to power saver

More than one user is logged on to this computer

Multiple anti-virus programs are running (Norton)

Several programs are running when Windows starts

Running advanced visual effects (like Vista transparency)and running multiple programs at once may affect performance

Feedback was required in order to understand the user needs and if the system addressed their issues.

The following issues were achieved

Short response time for a given piece of work

High throughput (rate of processing work)

Low utilization of computing resource(s)

High availability of the computing system or application

Fast (or highly compact) data compression and decompression

High bandwidth / short data transmission time

We found that the selected system performance is on quality standards and all issues were addressed.