A computer is an electronic device that accepts data from input devices processes it in processing unit and after that processing gives results/output through output devices.
The ‘computer’ is derived from the word ‘compute’ which means to calculate. So a computer is normally considered to be calculating device that can perform arithmetic and logical operations at a very fast speed.
- Mainframe computers
- Microcomputers or PC’s (Personal Computers)
Characteristics of a Computer:
- Speed: –As you know computer can work very fast. It takes only few seconds for calculations that we take hours to complete. You will be surprised to know that computer can perform millions (1,000,000) of instructions and even more per second.
- Storage: –A computer can store a large amount of data permanently. User can use this data at any time. We can store any type of data in a computer. Text, graphic, pictures, audio and video files can be stored easily. The storage capacity of the computer is increasing rapidly.
- Accuracy: – Accuracy means to provide results without any error. Computers can process large amount of data and generate error-free results. A modern computer performs millions of operations in one second without any error.
- Diligence: – A computer is free from tiredness, lack of concentration, etc. It can work for hours without creating any error. If millions of calculations are to be performed, a computer will perform every calculation with the same accuracy. Due to this capability it overpowers human being in routine type of work.
- Versatility: –It means the capacity to perform completely different type of work. You may use your computer to prepare payroll slips. Next moment you may use it for inventory management or to prepare electric bills.
- Power of Remembering: – Computer has the power of storing any amount of information or data. Any information can be stored and recalled as long as you require it, for any numbers of years. It depends entirely upon you how much data you want to store in a computer and when to lose or retrieve these data.