Simply speaking computer is a calculating device. The name is derived from the Latin word computare meaning “to compute”, and can be applied as properly to an abacus or an adding machine as to the modern computer. However, the concept of computer has come to mean a special type of programing machine having some basic characteristics.
- Fast and reliable
- Receive, process and store information
- A multitasking machine perform quickly, accurately
What is Computer
Following are some definitions of computer which will clear your concept
- An electronic machine can store and process information. It is defined as stored program digital computing system.
- A Computer is an electronic device of wires, transistors, circuits, instructions and data can transmit, store and manipulate information.
- A Computer is a machine that accepts data and processes that data (data may be numbers, letters or both or even sounds). Information is turned into electrical pulses so that it may be processed by sorting, collating and deleting mathematical manipulation and other forms of data processing.
A computer accepts information using an input device. The information is processed by a central processing unit or stored in a storage unit i.e. Hard Disk and then processed. The result is supplied by an output devices. If the input and output units are connected to a manufacturing process, the computer can control the process and the system is called a computing system.
Functions of Computer Input Storage Process & Output
To understand computer basic concept one must know about the 4 functions of computer.
Input. Computer receiver information from users. A user enters information using input devices like keyboard, mouse or any other devices like webcam, punch card, magnetic tapes, joystick or magnetic disk etc. The Input unit accept information using input devices then it convert the given data to readable form and this data moves to Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Storage. The given information stored in a computer using different storage devices i.e. central process unit and auxiliary memory. The auxiliary memory also known as secondary or external storage have hard devices for example Floppy, Hard Disk, Compact Disk and Flash Drive. These different storage devices have both advantages and disadvantages. Auxiliary storage speed up information and store it long term and permanently.
Processing. It is considered the basic computing operation. It execute the instructions, control storage data and input or output devices attached the computer.
Output. Last but not the least the output unit which represents results from the operations of central processing unit CPU. The result may be in hard or soft form i.e. visual display unit, printers and headphones.
Classification of Computers
Analog Computers. It accepts analog input and provide analog output information. it represents physical quantities like acceleration, temperature, distance or voltages in mechanical or electrical circuits and does not need any storage device. Examples of analog computer are thermometer, speedometer and analog clock.
Digital Computer. This computer accept digital input and provide digital output after processing information and the operation are in binary system of 0 and 1. By manipulating the binary digits and numbers it can perform any task like analyze data, mathematical calculations etc. Examples of digital computers are Apple Macintosh, IBM PC.
Hybrid Computer. This computer is the combination of both analog and digital computers in terms of speed and accuracy. Hybrid computers can measure physical and digital quantities. Examples of hybrid computer is the machine measure heartbeat in hospital, devices installed fuel pumps.