Introduction of Computer
A computer is a programmable device that accepts data as input and processes it with a group of instructions (a program) to supply the result as output. It renders output just after performing mathematical and logical operations and may save the output for future use. It can process numerical as well as non-numerical calculations. The term “computer” is derived from the Latin word “computare” which suggests to calculate.
A computer is made to execute applications and provides a spread of solutions through integrated hardware and software components. It works with the help of programs and represents the decimal numbers through a string of binary digits. It also features a memory that stores the info , programs, and results of processing. The components of a computer like machinery that has wires, transistors, circuits, hard disc are called hardware. Whereas, the programs and data are called software.
It is believed that the Analytical Engine was the first computer which was invented by Charles Babbage in 1837. It used punch cards as read-only memory. Charles Babbage is additionally referred to as the daddy of the pc .
Functions of computer
Input – Takes data as input.
Storage – Stores the data/instructions in its memory and uses them as required.
Process – Processes the data and converts it into useful information.
Output- Generates the output.
Advantages of Computer
Following are certain advantages of computers.
- Speed – The computer works on electricity. The electrical pulse travel at the speed of light. They perform high speed arithmetic and logical operations.The speed ofa computer at performing single operation can be measured in terms of:
i .Milliseconds = One thousandth of a second (1/1000)
ii.Microseconds = One millionth of a second (1/1,000,000)
iii. Nanoseconds = One billionth of a second (1/1,000,000,000)
iv. Picoseconds = One tillionth of a second (1/1,000,000,000,000).
- Accuracy – Computers are perfectly accurate. They can perform calculation with great accuracy as their circuits have no mechanical parts to wear and tear. Computers fed with wrong instructions would give wrong results, otherwise they always produce accurate result. We call this ‘Garbage In Garbage Out’ (GIGO).
- Reliability – Computers have high degree of reliability because they carry out the calculations with high speed and accuracy. Computers do the calculation repeatedly without making mistakes. And their circuits have no mechanical parts to wear and tea like in other machines.
- Power of remembering – A computer can store and recall any amount of information because of it’s secondary storage capability. Every piece of information can be retained as long as desired by the user and can be recalled almost instantaneously. Even after several years, the information recalled will be as accurate as on the day when it was fed.
- Diligence – The computer is a machine, does not suffer from the human traits of tirednes Nor does it loses concentration even after working continuously for a long time This characteristics is especially useful for those jobs where same tasks is done again and again. It can perform long and complex calculations with same speed and accuracy from the start till the end.
- Storage – The computers have a lot of storage devices which can store a tremendous amount of data. Data storage is an essential function of the computer. Second storage devices like hard disk and USB pen drives can store a large amount of data permanently.
- Communication – Most computers today have the capability of communicating with other computers. Computers with this capability can share any of the four information processing cycle operation-input, process, output and storage-with another computer.
- Versitile – Computers are versatile. It can carry out processes ranging from simple mathematical calculations to highly complex and logical evaluations for any extended period of time. Computers can communicate with other computers and can receive and send data in various forms such as text, video, etc. This ability of computer to communicate to one another has led to the development of computer networks, Internet, and so on.
Disadvantages of computer
Some of the weaknesses of a computer are as follows:
- I.Q Zero – Computer has no intelligence of its own. Its L.Q is zero. It can only perform what is programmed to do. Hence, only the user can determine what tasks a computer will have to perform. Computers have no sense of meaning, cannot perceive and are only able to make simple robotic decision about the data they receive.
- Lack of decision-making Power – Computers are incapable of decision making as they do not possess the essential elements necessary to take a decision.
- Dependency – It functions as per the user’s instruction, thus it is fully dependent on humans.
Read more: Computer Fundamentals
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