SubjectsSubjects(version: 941)
Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Principles of Computers - NSWI120
Title: Principy počítačů
Guaranteed by: Department of Distributed and Dependable Systems (32-KDSS)
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Actual: from 2019
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 3
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: unlimited
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: Czech, English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Guarantor: Mgr. Pavel Ježek, Ph.D.
Class: Informatika Bc.
Classification: Informatics > Software Engineering
Is co-requisite for: NSWI170
Is incompatible with: NSWI169, NSWI178
Is pre-requisite for: NPRG017, NSWI143, NSWI092
Is interchangeable with: NSWI087, NSWI097
Annotation -
Last update: doc. RNDr. Pavel Töpfer, CSc. (27.05.2019)
The goal of the course is to introduce basic principles of computer architecture to first year students. The course assumes no prior knowledge of computer organization and operation, and is structured in a way that students can see through the typical user view of computer behavior. Students attending the course will understand the operation of a computer from a programmer’s perspective, learn how data are represented and stored in computers, understand how data is processed in computer systems, and discover the logical connections between programs and hardware.
Literature -
Last update: doc. RNDr. Pavel Töpfer, CSc. (27.05.2019)

Patterson, D. A., Henessy, J. L. Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software

Interface. 5th edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2013. ISBN 978-0124077263

Syllabus -
Last update: doc. RNDr. Pavel Töpfer, CSc. (27.05.2019)

Computer architecture

  • Stored program computer: von Neumann and Harvard architectures
  • Processor + main memory + input/output
  • Device controllers
  • Data storage technologies

Representations of numerical data

  • Binary and hexadecimal systems
  • Integer numbers (unsigned and signed)
  • Real numbers (fixed point and floating point)
  • Arithmetic in computers
  • Bitwise operations

Non-numerical data representation

  • Structured data and data formats
  • Text representation and character encodings (including Unicode)
  • Overview of image data representations (pixel, bitmap, bit depth, vector graphics)
  • Overview of sound data representations (sample, sample rate)


  • Bits, bytes
  • Address and address space
  • Storing data in memory: structures, endianness, overview of data alignment

Files and storage

  • File as a byte sequence (text vs. binary files), and address space analogy
  • Basic file operations
  • Directories and hierarchical file structure

Operating system

  • Basic overview of OS responsibilities as an abstraction layer

between hardware and applications

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