This is the age of computer technology as computers are used in almost all the fields. The word “Computer” is derived from the Latin word “Computare” which means to calculate. To make the calculation is the primary function of the computer. Besides calculation, communication, processing and storing data are some other important functions of the computer.
A computer is an electronic device that receives input process it and displays the result of processing as output. It works on the principle of IPO cycle (Input- Processing-Output)
Working process of computer: (IPO-Cycle)
The whole process that involves input, processing, and output action is said to be IPO cycle.
IPO Cycle of Computer:
Steps Involved in IPO-Cycle of Computer:
1) Input: First of all, the computer takes input with the help of input devices such as keyboard, and mouse. Users provide input data to the computer system. Input data is stored in the primary memory of the computer for processing.
2) Processing: After receiving input, computer’s CPU process the data and perform the calculations as instructed and generate the result for displaying as output. Output data are stored in a storage unit and displayed on the monitor.
3) Output: Finally, after processing, the computer displays the result of processing on the output device. Monitor displays the softcopy output and printer prints the output on the paper.
The output can be saved in the hard disk or in any secondary storage device permanently for future use.
The basic operations of computer:
Important terms used in computer:
Data: It is the raw facts and figures in an unorganized form.
Information: Information is the processed data that gives meaning.
Input: It is the data and instructions given to computer with the help of input devices such and keyboard, mouse, etc.
Processing: The process of converting raw data and instructions into information is called processing.
Output: The result of processing is called the output. It is displayed on the monitor or printed on the printer after processing the data.
Advantages of computer:
1) It helps to perform many tasks with great speed.
2) It helps in online learning.
3) It is used in school, college, bank, industry, hospital, etc.
4) It stores a huge amount of data in an organized form.
5) It helps to make communication.
6) It provides us entertainment.
Disadvantages of computer:
1) Continuous use of computers creates health problem
2) Cyber crime
3) Creates social isolation and impact on social culture
4) Virus attack
5) It distracts students from their studies.
Features of computer:
1) High speed
Limitations of computer:
1) It cannot make decisions.
2) It cannot do anything without instruction.
3) It does not have feelings.
4) It cannot operate without electricity.
A computer works with great speed and accuracy compared to humans while performing mathematical calculations. Computer is very fast machine because it can process millions or even more instructions per second. The time taken by computers for their operations is measured in different units as milliseconds, microseconds, nanoseconds, and picoseconds.
A computer has built-in memory called primary memory (RAM and ROM) where it stores data. Secondary storage are removable devices such as CDs, pen drives, are also used to store huge amount of data.
Computers perform calculations with 100% accuracy so they are called an accurate machine. Errors may occur due to data inconsistency or inaccuracy. The computer does not make mistakes until wrong input is provided. The error caused due to wrong input is called GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out).
A computer can perform millions of tasks or calculations with the same consistency and accuracy. It doesn’t feel tired or lack of concentration. A computer is called a diligent machine because it can perform the same task repeatedly without losing speed and accuracy.
A computer is reliable as it gives consistent results for a similar set of data. If we give the same set of input any number of times, we will get the same result.
Versatility refers to the capability of a computer to perform different kinds of works in different fields with similar efficiency. A computer is called a versatile machine as it is used in different fields.
The computer performs all the tasks automatically. The user provides commands and the computer automatically performs all the tasks.
Application areas of computer:
Computers are used at homes for several purposes like online bill payment, watching movies or shows at home, home tutoring, social media access, playing games, internet access, etc.
Computers are used in education sector for online classes, online examinations, referring e-books, online tutoring, etc. They help in increased use of audio-visual aids in the education field.
Computer are used in offices of school colleges, banks and other organization to carry out different official tasks.
Computers are used in hospitals to maintain a database of patients’ history, diagnosis, X-rays, live monitoring of patients, etc.
In the banking sector, computers are used to store details of customers and conduct transactions, such as withdrawal and deposit of money through ATMs. Banks have reduced manual errors and expenses to a great extent through extensive use of computers.
Computers are used to perform several tasks in industries like managing inventory, designing purpose, creating virtual sample products, interior designing, video conferencing, etc. Computers are also used to operate huge machines in industries.
Nowadays, computers are totally integrated into the business. The main objective of business is transaction processing, which involves transactions with suppliers, employees or customers. Computers can make these transactions easy and accurate.
Computers help to watch movies online, play games online; act as a virtual entertainer in playing games, listening to music, etc. Videos can be fed from computers to full- screen televisions.