Introduction to Computer and its basic definition

This is the first article on mycomputernotes.com. It explains what is computer and its basic definition.

Introduction to Computer

In the world of the modern digital age, computers are found everywhere. In the last three decades, computers have become the vital elements of our day to day lives, whether at schools, homes, or workplaces. Almost every sphere of modern human civilization, computers help to make our task easier.  Without it, modern human civilization can no longer exist. Some of the sectors where extensive use of computers are: banking service, business data processing, medical diagnostics, modern education system, etc.

The basic definition of a computer states that it is an electronic device that can process the given data and give them meaningful and desired output. The computer processes the raw data given to it as a means of input by basic mathematical calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and logical decisions. It does the job so accurately and very fast as compared to the human brain.

Basic Definition of Computer

The computer can be defined as an electronic device that can process the raw data and give required and useful information. In the entire process, the computer performs the basic four functions:

  • Input: receives the raw data from the input device.
  • Process: processes the raw data and give a meaningful result.
  • Output: produces or displays the processed information as an output
  • Storage: stores the processed information in the storage unit.

introduction to computer and its basic definition

Input

The computer cannot work itself. We have to give input to it to get work done. The input unit of the computer receives the raw data or instruction that needs to be processed. The device that receives the raw input is called the input device.

Examples of input devices are mouse, keyboard, joystick, scanner, microphone, etc.

Process

The raw data is processed to give the desired result. The processor does this job. It receives the raw instruction from the input device, processes it to give meaningful output. The processing task is performed by processors, or more commonly known as microprocessors. The microprocessors are the tiny piece of the integrated circuits that are made up of semiconductors.

The input received from the input devices is fed to the processor for incorporating the processing jobs. The mathematical calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and logical functions are performed for processing the input. Once, the processing job is finished, the result will be displayed at the output.

Output

The data after processing has to be displayed as processed information. The output device is responsible for displaying the meaningful result as an output. The resultant output displayed at the output device are in the form of text, graphics (images), audio or video that are easily readable and understandable by the human.

There are many different kinds of output devices are available displaying the meaningful result after processing. However, the most commonly ouptut devices in use are printers (to get hard copy of the output), monitors (to display the result on the screen), plotters (to printer hard copy of graphics images like maps), speakers (gives audio output), etc.

Storage

The storage is the vital component of any computer system. During the processing of raw data to meaningful information, the processor needs a storage unit to store the result temporarily or permanently. This job is done by the storage unit for storing the  information.

The storage unit may of two types : primary amd secondary memory

Primary memory stores the information temporarily and placed just adjacent to the processors. The primary memory are Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM), Cache memory, accumulators, etc. The primary memory is faster than secondary memory, but they have much lower capacity to hold the data.

Whereas, secondary memory stores the information permanently. The examples of secondary memory are hard disk, optical drives, floppy disk, flash drives, etc. The secondary memory is much slower than primary memory. However, it has the higher capacity to store the information as compared to the primary memory.

 

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