Computer Introduction

What is Computer? | General Introduction of Computer | Computer Speed | Computer Introduction | Feature of Computer | Limitations of Computer | Functions of Computer | Data Processing and Electronic Data Processing

Introduction | What is Computer?

A computer is a man-made electronic machine that stores read and processes data to produce meaningful information as output. It works very fast and does not make mistakes but its capacity is limited. It is made of the English word ‘compute’. It operates under the control of a set of instructions that are stored in its memory unit. A computer accepts data from an input device and processes it into useful information that it displays on its output device.

Actually, a computer is a collection of hardware and software components that helps us to accomplish many different tasks. The hardware consists of the computer itself and includes a CPU, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, and any equipment connected to it. Software is the set of instructions that the computer follows in performing a task.

Feature of Computer:

Compters are the foundation of business, travel, and leisure of life today. The common characteristics that make computers of all sizes such a powerful machine are speed, accuracy and reliability, storage capacity, ability to operate automatically, diligence, scientific approach, and versatility.

1. Speed

Computers provide the processing speed required by all facets of society. The quick service we expect at the bank, at the grocery store, on the stock exchange, and on the Internet are dependent on the speed of computers. The speed of a computer is measured in the following time units for the access time of instructions per second.

Millisecond [1ms]A thousandth of a second or 1/1000
Microsecond [1ms]A millionth of a second or 1/10000000
Nanosecond [1ns]A thousand millionth of a second or 1/1000000000
Picosecond [1ps]A million millionth of a second or 1/1000000000000
KIPSKilo Instructions Per Second
MIPSMillion Instructions Per Second

2. Accuracy and Reliability

Computers are quite accurate and extremely reliable as well. They are only a machine and do not make errors on their own. Errors are caused by humans, not by computers.

3. High Storage Capacity

Computers can store an enormous amount of data that must be located and retrieved very quickly. The capability to store and retrieve volumes of data is the core of the Information Age.

4. Automation

Once a process has been initiated, it is capable of functioning automatically. It does not require an operator at each stage of the process.

5. Diligence

It is capable of operating at exactly the same level of speed and accuracy even if it has to carry out the most voluminous and complex operations for a long period of time. It does not suffer from physical and mental fatigue, lack of concentration and laziness.

6. Versatility

The wide use of computers in so many areas such as commerce, scientific applications, and education in day-to-day life is ample evidence of its versatility.

Limitations of a Computer

1. Lack of Intelligence (Programmed by Human/ Can’t Think)

Though the computer is programmed to work efficiently, fast and accurately, but it is programmed by human beings to do so. Without a program, the computer is nothing. A program is a set of instructions. The computer only follows these instructions. If the instructions are not accurate the working of the computer will not be accurate.

2. Prone to Virus

The computer sometimes malfunctions and results in loss of data if some virus attacks.

3. Depends on Electricity

One of the limitations also includes machine failure in case of some hardware or software problem. The computer sometimes results in loss of data if power fails.

Functions of a Computer

1. Data Collection

Data collection is a process of preparing and collecting data to obtain information to keep on record, make decisions and pass the information on to others. Computers collect or gather data, which means that they allow users to input data.

2. Data Storage

Data storage means that it retains digital data used for computing at some interval of time

3. Data Processing

Data processing is a process to convert data into information.

4. Data Output

It is processed data which we get as an output.

Impact of Computerization

(i) Time-saving (ii) Errorless work (iii) Saving of paper (iv) Unemployment

Data Processing and Electronic Data Processing

In the past, manual techniques used for collecting, manipulating, and distributing data to achieve certain objectives, were owned as Data Processing. As technology advances, computers are used to achieve results accomplished by humans and machines. Example: calculator, typewriter, and computer. This is known as Electronic Data Processing (E.D.P).

The major objective of data processing is to get the desired information from any raw data. Data refers to raw facts that are gathered from any source but are not organized. That data cannot be used to make decisions. Thus, information refers to processing data that is well organised or presented in a meaningful fashion and increases the understanding of the data. This helps in decision-making. Processing involves transforming input into output.

What is a Computer?

A computer is an electronic machine.

What is meant by data processing?

Collecting, manipulating, and distributing data to achieve certain objectives, were owned as Data Processing.

Which is called Input?

Data going to the computer is called input.

Input is modified into the computer by

Input is modified into the computer by the CPU.

Which is called data in computer?

Information containing numbers and symbols is called data in the computer.

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