An electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program.
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. A computer system is a “complete” computer that includes the hardware, operating system (main software), and peripheral equipment needed and used for “full” operation.
Who invented a computer?
Many people throughout history are credited with developing early prototypes that led to the modern computer. During World War II, physicist John Mauchly, engineer J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and their colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania designed the first programmable digital computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (EINAC).
The first computers were used primarily for numerical calculations. However, as any information can be numerically encoded, people soon realized that computers are capable of general-purpose information processing. Their capacity to handle large amounts of data has extended the range and accuracy of weather forecasting. Their speed has allowed them to make decisions about routing telephone connections through a network and to control mechanical systems such as automobiles, nuclear reactors, and robotic surgical tools. They are also cheap enough to be embedded in everyday appliances and to make clothes dryers and rice cookers “smart.”
Analog computers use continuous physical magnitudes to represent quantitative information. At first they represented quantities with mechanical components (see differential analyzer and integrator), but after World War II voltages were used; by the 1960s digital computers had largely replaced them. Nonetheless, analog computers, and some hybrid digital-analog systems, continued in use through the 1960s in tasks such as aircraft and spaceflight simulation.
In contrast to analog computers, digital computers represent information in discrete form, generally as sequences of 0s and 1s (binary digits, or bits). The modern era of digital computers began in the late 1930s and early 1940s in the United States, Britain, and Germany. The first devices used switches operated by electromagnets (relays). Their programs were stored on punched paper tape or cards, and they had limited internal data storage. For historical developments, see the section Invention of the modern computer.
A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller computers that was developed in the mid-1960s and sold for much less than mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and its direct competitors.
These computers came to be called mainframes, though the term did not become common until smaller computers were built. Mainframe computers were characterized by having (for their time) large storage capabilities, fast components, and powerful computational abilities. They were highly reliable, and, because they frequently served vital needs in an organization, they were sometimes designed with redundant components that let them survive partial failures. Because they were complex systems, they were operated by a staff of systems programmers, who alone had access to the computer. Other users submitted “batch jobs” to be run one at a time on the mainframe.
Such systems remain important today, though they are no longer the sole, or even primary, central computing resource of an organization, which will typically have hundreds or thousands of personal computers (PCs). Mainframes now provide high-capacity data storage for Internet servers, or, through time-sharing techniques, they allow hundreds or thousands of users to run programs simultaneously. Because of their current roles, these computers are now called servers rather than mainframes.
Technically, a computer is a programmable machine. If you want to be really technical, the box that holds the computer is called the “system unit.” Some of the major parts of a personal computer (or PC) include the motherboard, CPU, memory (or RAM), hard drive, and video card.
1. Processor (CPU):
The component that processes and executes inputs received from hardware and software.
A mainboard that provides basic connection between all the other hardware components and devices (internal and external).
3. Memory (RAM):
A temporary data storage space that stores the information the CPU is actively using.
4. Storage Device:
A storage device where data is stored on a permanent basis. It’s slower but less volatile than the RAM.
5. Power Supply Unit:
That’s pretty self-explanatory: without power, no electronic device can work!
Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer and related devices. Internal hardware devices include motherboards, hard drives, and RAM. External hardware devices include monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and scanners.
Software is a collection of instructions and data that tell a computer how to work. Software is the programs and routines for a computer or the program material for an electronic device which make it run. An example of software is Excel or Windows or iTunes.
Advantages of Computers:
Here are some advantages of Computers;
1. Increases your Productivity:
Computers increase your productivity and, with a good understanding of the software running on them, you become more productive at everything you do. For example, once you have a basic understanding of using a word processor, you can create, store, edit, share, and print documents and letters.
2. Store Cast amount of Information:
Computers are capable of storing and accessing vast amounts of information. For example, a computer and devices like eBook readers can store hundreds or thousands of books, given enough storage capacity. By storing books, documents, movies, pictures, and songs digitally, you can quickly find what you need with a search and share information between devices.
3. Get a better Understanding of Data:
Computers can also give you a better understanding of data and big data. For example, a business could have a database of items they’ve sold. Using that data, they can quickly identify what sells best at what time of year, when to mark up or down items, and what items are not selling. Having access to this type of information can give the business a better understanding of their customers and a competitive edge against their competitors.
4. Connects you to the Internet:
Connecting a computer to the Internet unlocks its full potential. Once connected, your choices and available options, as far as information goes, are almost limitless. Many of the benefits listed on this page pertain to a computer connected to the Internet.
5. Helps to Search Information:
A computer can use its stored information more efficiently than any other device. In our earlier example, we mentioned the ability to store thousands of books. Once those books are stored on a computer, they can be sorted into categories, alphabetized, and searched to find what you’re looking for in a few seconds. Trying to find the same text in a thousand books would take a human months, if not years.
6. Helps to make Money:
When connected to the Internet, a computer could help you make money in many different ways. For example, it’s cheaper to create and run an online store than to have a physical store. Also, once online, your store or product has a global audience, and you could sell to anyone in the world.
7. Help you Learn and keep you Informed:
The computer connected to the Internet is a great learning tool that helps answer almost any question, teaching you anything that interests you. You can also access worldwide news to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news, weather, and stories around the world. You could learn a new profession by reading websites or watching videos. You could even sign up for online courses that teach you about any subject you’d learn in school.
8. Improves your Abilities:
Are you not the best speller, have poor grammar, not great at math, don’t have a great memory, or need help with something else? Using a computer improves all your abilities, or if you have a hard time learning, you can rely on the computer as an assistant.
9. Improves your Employment Options:
Knowing how to use a computer and having a computer can improve your employment options and allow you to work from home. For example, in the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, many offices needed their employees to work from home. Knowing how to use a computer and having a computer at home allowed many office workers to continue their work even during the crisis. Also, by getting skilled at computers, you’ll be qualified for many different types of jobs, allowing you to change your place of employment for higher pay or something else computer-related.