How RAID Drives work…

vraid2RAID drives store the same data on separate hard disks. The theory being if one fails there will always be a backup of data. So in practice no data will be lost. Usually RAID drives are fitted into main servers that act as a repository for data on a network.
With computing and computer science taking a greater role in education we have introduced a new program to cover the RAID drives aspect of the computing curriculum at key stage 3, also useful for computer science k-12.
Colleges are unlikely to let students loose on dismantling their server so we have developed Visual RAID to allow students to see the operation of these types of drives.
Visual RAID simulates the operation of a servers dual RAID hard disk drives.
Each virtual drive has a controller board, four magnetic platters and eight read/write heads.
Up to 32 bits of data can be written and read from the RAID drive.
The drive simulates data being written and read from the top platter.
Virtual data can be written in a safe environment.
Data can be read from the virtual disk and be displayed as binary, bytes and ASCII.
RAID drives are used in servers. The principal reason for having a second hard disk is to have an exact replica of the data from RAID drive 1. If for any reason one of the RAID drives breaks down, data will be still intact on the other drive.
RAID stands for redundant array of independent disks.
So when data is being written it is sent to both RAID drives at the same time. When data is being read it is only read in from one RAID drive. In Visual RAID data is read in from Drive 1.
Data limits
Our hard drive is fixed to write at sector 1 from here we can write 32 bits of data. In total 32 bits of data can be written to the disks.
The program simulates data being written to sector 1. The start address is 0000000200 Addresses are offset from this start address.
Write to disk

Every part of the platter has its own unique capability to store a binary 0 or binary 1 when writing to the platter the magnetic surface will contain either 0 or 1. In our simulation a red dot signifies a 0 a gap signifies a binary 1. As the disks are spinning all the time a circular data trail is left.
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Teach how computer storage works…

Different types of computer storage abound these days from the hard disk drive central to any windows pc’s operation to USB Memory sticks used for temporary storage. With computing and computer science taking a greater role in education we have introduced a new program to cover the computer storage aspect of the computing curriculum at key stage 3, also useful for computer science k-12.

Explore Computer Storage introduces the main computer storage devices with clear graphics.
Describes primary and secondary storage.
Introduces the main types of computer data storage.
Hard Disk.
Shows how the hard disk drive works with clear graphics.
Introduces the system memory found on a computers motherboard.
RAID drives.
Describes the purpose of RAID drives.
CD/DVD Drive.
Shows how CD/DVD drives works with clear graphics.
USB Memory Sticks.
Introduces the external USB type memory sticks.
Memory Cards.
Introduces the external Memory Cards.
Includes some simulations of the various storage types in use.
Can be deployed in your classroom to enable students to learn at their pace.

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Teach how computer memory works

Teaching students how computer memory works can be challenging with this in mind we have developed a windows program that simulates in 3D graphics the process of reading and writing data to a memory matrix. Particularly useful for students in key stage 3 computing or computer science k-12 Visual Memory provides a virtual teaching solution.

Visual Memory demonstrates a memory chip in operation. The memory chip has 16 address lines and 8 data lines. The program simulates in 3D the operation of a typical dram memory chip. Each memory location is accessible you can write either to each location.
Single bit or byte retrieval is possible. Memory is programmed individually by each cell.

The memory is organised as a memory matrix, this ensures an easy to use program for students. In the simulations the data lines change to red when data travels through them.
In the visual memory main window is a 3D representation of a simple memory chip. This is based on a DRAM chip. Each cell features a transistor and capacitor.
Students can write to and read from the virtual memory.
More information is available on the Camboard website.