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Crashing Higher Computing?


Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:31 PM

Would it be feasible to crash into Higher Computing if I had NEVER done the subject before? Not even SG or anything....

Will the programming be too hard for me since everyone else is definitely two years ahead? This is because there are less than 8 students in my account class, so the subject has been cancelled , but it is not definite yet so in the meanwhile the teacher asked me to consider other subjects.... crying.gif

I only have a choice of Modern Studies Higher and Computing and I absolutely hate writing for the Modern Studies....


Posted 07 June 2006 - 04:30 PM

people who did it in SG tend not to remember the programming. There is also people in a comp sci degree with no qualifications in computing so i guess take it if you want


Posted 07 June 2006 - 04:43 PM

You can do it, it's quite an easy Higher.

st-and Paul

Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:31 PM

Yes, the programming in Higher isnt really that difficult, and there isnt a lot of it. For the first few weeks of my course they taught us the SG stuff again because we had forgotten it all. The rest of the course is pretty much remembering facts and things like that. There is nothing that is really conceptually difficult to understand.


Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:39 PM

Thanks guys. I feel better now.

st-and Paul

Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:45 PM

Yeah, easiest A i got last year. If you get a good coursework mark, then you take up to 60 marks into the exam with you. Leaving you to get something like 80/140 in the exam to just and no more scrape an A (assuming u get full marks). A lot easier than an A in Modern Studies, i heard it was quite a difficult Higher.


Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:54 PM

If Higher Computing is easy, how come I heard everyone saying that this year Credit paper is hard? Hmmm... makes me wonder.... ohmy.gif

st-and Paul

Posted 07 June 2006 - 06:56 PM

Theres more in SG computing. More to remember, u can pass the Higher with little or no knowledge of SG because a lot of it is just learning facts and things.


Posted 08 June 2006 - 06:36 AM

As long as your school has GREAT teaching, and lots of revision resources like mine, you will find Higher Computing relitively easy.

This year the one 5th year i know crashing it in my old school(yay!) is set to get an A or B, along with the rest of the Higher candidates.

The same person also got the highest coursework task mark this year.

So yes its an easy crash.

Also in my opinion there is equal amount of KU to remember in SG and Higher, just additional practical to do, plus a redundant unit(CDP).


Posted 09 June 2006 - 01:15 PM

I 'crashed' Higher Computing this year in S6. Compared to my AH courses (Economics, Applied Maths and Geography) it was a doddle.

Although I did have considerable practical knowledge of computing (including stuff more advanced than Higher level), I didn't know much of the theory hence I had to do as much work as everyone else in that area. Similarly, although I had some past experience of coding in HTML/VBscript, I was also a beginner at Java. Provided you get enough practice in class, you should be able to think in code by Christmas so the programming isn't particularly difficult (but finding the mistake that's causing the whole program to crash can be incredibly irritating! mad.gif)

Provided you've got good resources, a great teacher and don't let yourself be overwhelmed/fall behind, you should be fine.


Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:16 PM

Started my computer class today...

Binary is awkward.... and confusing at times... (I'm doomed, I found the easiest part of the course hard)


Starting to regret it here... *quickly reminds himself it will get easier over time with practice*

I also have have to stay back at lunch to catch up in the future... NooooOOooooo...

I'm holding you all responsible if i failed this subject.... tongue.gif

PS. Any good Higher books which covers everything in the syllabus? Also, is it necessary for me to purchase SG revision notes, just to see what it is like?

st-and Paul

Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:32 PM

No not really i am afraid. There is a revision book called How to Pass Higher Computing which has some notes and things, but it is more aimed at passing the exam and it doesnt cover what you would need for practicals. If you have any problems with any part of the course as it comes up, then there are a number of computer science students on this board, myself included who did Higher Computing (though the other ppl did the old course, i did the new course the year it first started). Binary isnt that hard, but its the hardest concept in the computer systems unit to grasp. Make sure you know how to do it, this comes up every year (particularly two's complement). There shouldnt be any need to buy a standard grade revision book really, as you can pass the course without much prior knowledge. The programming is something they will teach you anyhow


Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:40 PM

How about this book?

There are 360 pages (thick), overpriced and was newly published this year.

It must be great, right? smile.gif

I'm not too keen on programming, binary and all that crap lol, but i must say the course is interesting! I wish we will move on to theory part soon, there's so much about computer that I want to know! laugh.gif


Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:23 PM

nothing wrong with that book but i tihnk its the textbook my teacher used in class anyway well uses in class now

st-and Paul

Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:49 PM

Ah good they have finally written a book for the new course. The previous book was very good, I used it for part of my higher computing but the syllabuses didnt match up, particularly for the computer systems unit which changed considerably for the new course. Just wait till u get to the last unit, then you might struggle for notes then. And just cos the book is nice and thick doesnt mean that its any good, try Calculus a complete course, 1000 pages on calculus, and about as clear as mud in explanations tongue.gif


Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:27 PM

Haha... i'm already struggling here lol...

The teacher never explained this to me..so give me a hand here.

What is signed and magnitude and how do you this? My teacher told me about Least Significant Number but the booklet says Most Significant Number, what the heck? And what about the two's complement?

Let say that you want to find a base 2 from a decimal number of -5. Do you write the number as positive binary, flipped the binaries around and add 1?

And how do you change base2 back to base 10? Do you have to do the same thing, except that you must use subtraction of 1?

Also, i know how to calculate the range from the formula given.... but what does you use it for?

There is also something about exponent & mantissa... again, haven't got a clue about this....

And oh..what do you use ASCII for?

Sorry that i've asked too many questions but i'm completely lost. sad.gif


Posted 15 June 2006 - 04:32 PM

what you mean is signed magnitude repesentation, this is a method of representing numbers where the left most bit is used to represent the polarity of the number (negative or positive)

two's complement is used as a better way of representing positive and negative integers. This method means we only have one value for zero. To represent a negative number in two's complement we take the positive value of the number, invert all the bits (ie zero to ones and ones to zeros) then add one to that new number. The result is the negative representation of a number

to go from base 2 to base 10:

this is a pain to try and explain so here we go

in base 10 we have groups of 1's. 10's,100's etc. Which is 10^0,10^1,10^2 etc

so using the same system in base 2 we have groups of 1's.2's,4's etc. Which is 2^0,2^1,2^2

Can you work out 10110 to base 10?

The range of values you can represent is important, as a programmer you need to be able to work out if at any point your program will produce a number which cannot be represented with the word size given. This is known as overflow. Also important in working out the number of bits you need to represent images in a certain color depth

exponent and mantissa is the 2 of 3 things involved in pointing point representation. This is a method of storing real numbers(numbers with a point)

the mantissa holds the numbers involved in the number being stored(if we had 12.4 the mantissa would be 124)

the exponent is the number in places we had to move the point to get a mantissa where everything is to the left of the point(for the example above the exponent would be 1)

the final part of floating point is the base but this is assumed since a computer is a bi-state device

ASCII is the representation for characters. So when type a key on your keyboard a ASCII code is sent from the keyboard to the main tower of the computer


Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:00 PM

Thanks Dave. And btw, the signed representation thing, the teacher writes a note in my book about looking at the far right to see whether it is positive (0) or negative (1), because only the first seven bits are used?

I'm confused since my booklet and you have confirmed by believe of looking at the left side, or the Most Significant Bit but the teacher actually looked at the LSB... blink.gif

But then again, he told me that 1 is positive until I pointed the book at him.... hmmmmm....

Lets practice: Correct me here, Dave.

Change -5 into binary:

+ve = 0000 0101

invert= 1111 1010
+ (plus) 1

= 1111 1011

Change binary to +ve/-ve number (is it the same step for both?)

= 0000 0101
-(minus) 1

invert= 1111 1011


Posted 15 June 2006 - 07:05 PM

erm yes not entire sure what your teacher is saying, perhaps you are misreading what he is saying. The first 7 bits are used that is correct however in binary we read from right to left. Not left to right like you would when reading a book

The change from binery to +ve/-ve thing i am not sure what you mean


Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:38 PM

I mean, changing the base2 to the base10.

Anyway, how do you change fractional decimal (0.234 for example) to binary and vice versa??

I seriously need to get a book, my school uses the heriott-watt university module and it doesn't seems to explain things in detail. dry.gif

Do you think i'll be fine? I've only started learning for 2 days. There's a lot more theory that i needed to grasp, it seems that everything in computing correlates to each other.

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