The term computer was once used to refer to a person who did computation, unlike today. The development of early prototypes that led to the modern computer is credited to many individuals throughout history. A series of breakthroughs, beginning with transistor computers and then integrated circuit computers, resulted in the development of transistor technology and the integrated circuit chip, causing digital computers to largely replace analog computers. In this essay, we will discuss the various components and types of computer and talk about their uses in various fields.
A computer is an electronic tool that manipulates data or information. It can store, retrieve, and process information. We can type documents, send emails, play games, and browse the Web using a computer. It can also be used to edit spreadsheets, presentations, and even videos, or create them. Early computers were conceived only as devices for calculating. Simple manual devices such as the abacus have helped individuals do calculations since ancient times. Some mechanical devices were built early in the Industrial Revolution to automate long, tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. In the early 20th century, more sophisticated electrical machines performed specialized analog calculations.
All those parts of a computer that are tangible physical objects are covered by the term hardware. The hardware includes circuits, computer chips, graphics cards, sound cards, memory (RAM), motherboards, displays, power supplies, cables, keyboards, printers and "mice" input devices.
There are Five Main Hardware Components :
These are devices which are used to enter data/information in the central processing unit. Example- Keyboard, mouse, scanner, document reader, barcode reader, optical character reader, magnetic reader etc.
These are devices which provide the processed data/information into human-readable form. Example- Monitor, printer, speaker, projector etc.
The control unit handles the various components of the computer; it reads and interprets (decodes) the instructions for the program, transforming them into control signals that activate other computer parts.
Arithmetic Logic Unit:
It is capable of performing arithmetical and logical functions. The set of arithmetic operations supported by a specific ALU may be restricted to addition and subtraction or may include functions of multiplication, division, trigonometries such as sine, cosine, etc and square roots.
Central Processing Unit:
The ALU, control unit and registers and together called the CPU. It is sometimes called the computer's brain, and its job is to perform commands. We send instructions to the CPU whenever we press a key, click the mouse, or start an application.
Software refers to computer parts, such as programs, data, protocols, etc., that do not have a material form. In contrast to the physical hardware from which the system is built, the software is that portion of a computer system consisting of encoded information or computer instructions.
It is sometimes called "firmware" when the software is stored in hardware that can not be easily modified, such as with a BIOS ROM on an IBM PC compatible computer.
Computer hardware and software require each other, and neither of them can be realistically used on their own. There are four main components of a general-purpose computer: the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), the control unit, the memory, and the I/O (collectively called input and output) devices.
Computers are used in various fields, such as homes, businesses, government offices, research organizations, educational institutions, medicine, entertainment, etc., because of their features and powerful functions. They have taken sectors and companies to a whole new level.
Computers are best suited for the collection, analysis, categorization, and storage of data in science, research and engineering. They also help scientists to exchange data both internally and internationally with each other.
Computers in the government sector are used to perform various functions and improve their services. In most cases, data processing tasks, the maintenance of citizens' databases, and the promotion of a paperless environment are the primary purposes of using computers. In addition to this, computers play a key role in the country's defence system.
Health and Medicine-
They are used to preserve information, records, live patient monitoring, X-rays, and more from patients. Computers assist in setting up laboratory tools, monitoring heart rate and blood pressure, etc. Besides, computers allow physicians to easily exchange patient data with other medical specialists.
They help people get different educational materials (such as images, videos, e-books, etc.) in one place. Also, computers are best suited for online classes, online tutoring, online exams, and task and project creation. Also, they can be used to maintain and track student performance and other data.
Most countries use online banking systems so that customers can access their data directly. People can verify the balance of their account, transfer cash, and pay online bills, including credit cards. Besides, banks use computers to execute transactions and store client information, transaction records, etc.
A computer's a programmable device that accepts raw data(input) and processes it as output with a group of instructions (a program) to supply the result. It renders output after performing mathematical and logical operations and can save the output for future use. The word "computer" derives from the word "computare" in Latin, which means calculating.
Computers are of different types based on different criteria. Based on their size, computers are of five types:
It is a single-user computer that has less capacity for speed and storage than the other types. For a CPU, it uses a microprocessor. Laptops, desktop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets, and smartphones are common examples of microcomputers. Microcomputers are generally designed and built for general use, such as browsing, information search, the internet, MS Office, social media, etc.
Minicomputers are also referred to as "Midrange Computers." They are multi-user computers designed to simultaneously support multiple users. Therefore, they are generally used by small companies and firms.
It is also a multi-user computer that large companies and government organizations use to run their business operations as large amounts of data can be stored and processed. Banks, universities, and insurance companies, for example, use mainframe computers to store data from their customers, students, and policyholders.
Among all types of computers, super computers are the fastest and most costly computers. They have an enormous capacity for storage and computing speeds and can therefore perform millions of instructions per second.
It is a single-user computer with a comparatively more powerful microprocessor and a high-quality monitor compared to a mini-computer.
It increases productivity.
It helps in connecting to the internet.
It helps in organizing data and information.
It allows storing large amounts of data.
1. Name Any Three Popular Operating Systems.
Ans. The memory and processes of the computer, as well as all its software and hardware, are managed by an operating system. It also enables you to interact with the pc without knowing the language of the computer. A computer is useless without an operating system. Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are the three most common personal computer operating systems.
2. What are the Characteristics of a Computer?
Ans. Some characteristics of computers are as follows-
Speed- Solves complex computation faster than any human being.
Accuracy- As it is programmed, the result is accurately given, whatever be the input.
Storage- With appropriate format, computers can store mass data.
Diligence- It can perform for hours, without a break.
Versatility- It has the capability to perform various tasks simultaneously.