What is a computer? | Basic Computer Skills

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The basic computer system and its devices will be discussed in this post on basic computer skills. For people who are beginners in the realm of computers, this post will be very helpful.

We'll discuss and cover the following topics. Visit “BasicComputer Course Lesson 1” on our YouTube Channel.

  1. Introduction to computer system
  2. Uses of computers
  3. Characteristics of computer

Introduction to Computer System

The computer is revolutionizing the methods in which we communicate, operate a business, and learn about various academic disciplines. Nowadays, knowledge is more widely available because of advances in computer technology.

What is a computer?

The “Computer” is derived from the Latin word “Compute”, which means to calculate. So a computer is normally considered to be a calculating device that can perform arithmetic and logical operations at a very fast speed.

OR

A computer is an electronic machine that can accept data, process it, and give results, after that processing.



Other definitions of Computer:

A computer is an electronic machine that solved our problems.

OR

A computer is an electronic machine that converts data into information.

Data 

Data are basic values or facts. A computer uses many different types of data stored in digital formats, such as text, numbers, and multimedia.

Information 

When information is entered into and stored in a computer, it is generally referred to as data.

Part of computer 

A Computer has four parts.

  1. CPU   
  2. Monitor 
  3. Keyboard 
  4. Mouse


CPU (Central Processing Unit) 

A box that contains different electronic components of the computer used to process data. There are two cases of the system unit, the first tower case, and the second desktop case. It includes the motherboard, processor (CPU), RAM, hard drive, module cards, ports, power supply, and connectors. 

The Central Processing Unit is abbreviated as CPU. It is sometimes referred to as a microprocessor or processor. It is simply the brain of the computer. It carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical control, and input/output (I/O) operations. 

System Unit Organization Chart


Parts of Systems Unit 

There are many parts of the system unit, which are the following:

  • Motherboard 
  • Microprocessor 
  • RAM 
  • ROM
  • Cache Memory 
  • Storage Devices

Motherboard

It is also called the main board, or system board. It is the most important component of a unit system. If it doesn't work properly, your system is a useless machine. Each component of the system unit connects directly to the motherboard. 

Microprocessor

It is also known as CPU (Central Processing Unit) or processor. It is simply the brain of the computer. 

It carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical control, and input/output (I/O) operations.

RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the type of main or primary memory. It is a temporary storage area to hold the data and instructions that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) needs. 

Each program is loaded into memory to run. This allows the CPU direct access to the program. This is of volatile nature. DRAM, SRAM & MRAM are its three types. 

ROM

ROM stands for Read Only Memory. It is a non-volatile memory because ROM retains its contents even when the computer is turned off. Instructions on a ROM can neither be selected nor changed. 

It prepares a computer for use by telling how to access the hard disk, and find and load the operating system. ROM has three types named PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM. It is also called BIOS (Basic Input Output System). 

Cache Memory

This relatively new type of memory is expensive, fast and small memory than RAM. It resides within or near the CPU. It holds recently or frequently used instructions. It is used to enhance the speed of the computer by reducing the transfer time of data with the CPU.

Storage Devices 

These are non-volatile in nature. These devices are used to store data, instructions, and information permanently. Important examples of storage are hard disk, optical disk, USB Flash Drive, Floppy disk, and, Zip disk. For more detail on Storage Devices review our post "Computer Hardware and Software". 

Uses of Computer 

The computer is playing a very important role in every field of life. Computers are everywhere such as at home, and at school. In daily life, a large number of activities are dependent on computers. The main fields where the computer is playing a very important role are:

Government

A government runs the country by making policies and providing citizens with up-to-date information. The computers used in all government departments have their own websites. The computers are used in all government offices to perform various activities. Government agencies use computers as part of their daily routine. 

Education

Education is the process of developing knowledge through instructions. The instruction is received from people such as parents, teachers, etc., and from printed material such as books journals, etc. Today, the modern technology to get knowledge is by using computers.  

Agriculture

In the agriculture field also, the computer is playing a very important role. Agriculture scientists use a computer for analyzing agricultural data. The students of agriculture also use a computer to get the latest information about agriculture on the internet. The farmers also use computers to get information about crops and calculate bills and costs per acre as well as to get information about crops' market prices.  

Industry

In industry, computers are used to control the manufacturing system and the continuous running of the machinery. Computers also help in monitoring temperature, and pressure, checking the quality and accuracy, and measurement needed in the manufacturing process.

Publishing

In the field of publishing, the computer is playing a very important role such as publishing books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Publishers use computer and word processors and graphics software to design pages for books or magazines. Many writers and publishers use the internet to collect information that is used for compiling a new book or magazine. Some websites allow you to download an entire book, called an electronic book (e-book). The journalists also use notebook computers and digital cameras to capture and record news.   

Entertainment

The computer has also played a very important role in the entertainment of humans. The computer has become needed by humans for entertainment at their home. For example, to play video games at home, different game software is available to play games. Similarly, the software is available to see movies and enjoy music. Today movie files and famous songs are mostly available on CDs & DVDs or on the web at a very low cost. You can listen to music while you work on the computer.   

E-Commerce

E-commerce, (Electronic Commerce), e-trade, or e-business is a financial business transaction conducted electronically between business partners over a computer network (such as on the internet). With e-commerce, transactions can occur instantaneously and globally. This saves time for participants or both ends. The users can buy, sell, and exchange products or services via a computer network. Today, many mobile computers can also access the internet using wireless links.     

Banking

One of the most popular uses of e-commerce is electronic banking. Electronic banking is also known as cyber-banking. It includes various banking activities conducted from home, a business, or on the road instead of a physical bank location. All over the world, about 99 percent of banks are online.  

Diagnosis of Diseases

The computer is also used in hospitals for diagnoses. For example, laboratory tests on blood and tissue chemistry have become dependent on computer analysis. The physicians and dentists also use the computer-aided learning (CAL) program. Many websites also provide up-to-date medical, fitness, etc. information. These websites also maintain databases about various problems and their solutions. There are also medical chat rooms on the internet.                          

Traveling           

The computer is also playing a very important role in traveling by car or airplane to arrive easily and safely at your destination. Today many vehicles manufactured use special electronic equipment in the car that controls various activities of the car. These cars have a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver that reports your vehicle location. These cars also have “Onboard Navigation Systems” that have the following features.

  • Track the vehicle if it is stolen
  • Provide emergency services
  • Provide directions
  • Provide roadside assistance
  • Perform remote diagnostics if a warning light appears on the dashboard
  • To make hotel and restaurant reservations

Today many vehicles also include options such as screens with e-mail and internet access, printers, fax capability, etc. Airlines also provide online access. The passengers can connect their notebook or handheld computer to the web during their flights. Some airlines also provide web surfing devices to their passenger during their flights.

The computer is also used in cars to monitor fluid levels, temperatures, electrical systems, etc. It is also used to monitor air traffic etc.

Mathematical Calculations     

A computer has a speed of calculating millions of calculations per second. We can perform large mathematical calculations in a very short time. 

Characteristics of Computer

Nowadays the computer is playing the main role in everyday life it has become the need of people just like television, telephone or other electronic devices at home. It solves human problems very quickly as well as accurately. The important characteristics of a computer are described below:

Speed        

The computer is a very high-speed electronic device. The operations on the data inside the computer are performed through electronic circuits according to the given instructions. The data and instructions flow along these circuits at a high speed that is close to the speed of light. Computers can perform millions of billion operations on data in one second. The computer generates signals during the operations process, therefore, the speed of a computer is usually measured in Mega Hertz (MHz) Giga Hertz (GHz).

Accuracy     

In addition to being a very fast computer is also a very accurate device. It gives accurate output results provided that the correct input data and set of instructions are given to the computer. It means that output is totally dependent on the given instruction and input data. If input data is incorrect then the resulting output will be incorrect. In computer terminology, it is known as garbage-in garbage-out.

Storage       

A computer has internal storage (memory) as well as external or secondary storage. In secondary storage, a large amount of data and programs can be stored for future use. The stored data and programs are available at any time for processing. Similarly, information downloaded from the internet can be saved on the storage media.

Efficiency    

Efficiency is one of the most wonderful things about computers. The computer can perform multiple tasks simultaneously. For example preparation of the result of the examination, communication on network and storage and retrieval of information, etc.

Automation          

A computer can automatically perform operations without interference from the user during the operations. It controls automatically different devices attached to the computer. It executes automatically the program instruction one by one.

Consistency      

People often have difficulty repeating their instructions again and again. For example, a lecturer feels difficulty to repeat some lecture in a classroom again and again. The computer can repeat actions consistently (again and again) without losing its concentration:

  • To run a spell checker (built into a word processor) for checking spellings in a document.
  • To play multimedia animations for training purposes.
  • To deliver a lecture through a computer in a classroom etc.

A computer will carry out the activity, in the same way, every time. You can listen to a lecture are perform any action again and again.

Reliability

The electronic components in modern computers have a very low failure rate. The modern computer can perform very complicated calculations without creating any problems and produces consistent (reliable) results. In general, computers are very reliable. Many personal computers have never needed a service call. Communications are also very reliable and generally available whenever needed. 

Conclusion 

We have created this post for the newbies who are new to the computer field. It is designed to develop basic computer skills to enhance your knowledge. Also, you can review our post on Computer Hardware and Software. If there is any kind of lack in this post or if liked it, please comment to us. Thanks.

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