The terms “Information Technology” is widely used nowadays. It refers to the subjects related to creating, managing, processing and exchanging information.
In this era of information technology, computer is used in almost all walks of life. Computers are widely used in several fields, such as education, communication, entertainment, banking, medicine, weather forecasting and scientific research. We can use computer to perform a variety of tasks, such as drafting letter, performing calculations, maintain records about students, creating question papers, analyzing exam results and even creating attractive pictures. In spite of the field of working, today every person needs to have basic knowledge of computer to excel in his/her respective field. Due to this reason, the basic knowledge of computers is necessary for everyone.
Computer (commonly operated machine particularly used for trade education and research)
The word computer comes from the word “compute”, which means, “to calculate”. A computer is electronic device/machine that can perform arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division etc. as well as logical operations like comparisons at very high speed. A computer is also called a “Data Processor” because it can store, process, and retrieve data whenever desired.
Data Processing: The activity of processing data using a computer is called Data Processing.
Data is raw material used as input and information is processed data obtained as output of data processing.
Characteristics of computer
A computer is equipped with number of characteristics that helps it to handle the different problems more efficiently, some of the main characteristics are:
Accuracy: Computer system always produces accurate results with valid data and instructions. In simple terms, one cannot expert correct and accurate results when the instruction set to manipulate the data is incorrect or the data which user is supplying to the computer is wrong.
Speed: A computer performs operations with very high speed. It can process millions of instructions in fraction of seconds. The speed of a computer varies from computer to computer. It is basically measured in nanoseconds and picoseconds. With the introduction of very fast processing units and other devices connected to computer the speed of the computer is increasing day by day.
Large storage capacity: A computer has a large storage capacity. It can store large volume of data. We can store any kind of data in computer’s storage. This data can be text, picture, sound, video etc.
Versatility: A computer is a versatile machine. It can perform a number of jobs depending upon the instruction fed to it. Like a computer can be used to write a letter to a friend in a word processor and at the same time listen to various songs through a media player. The same machine (computer) works in different fields with different applic
ations to perform various tasks. This property of computer is called versatility.
Reliability: Computerized storage of data is much more reliable than the manual storage. We can store the data in computer’s storage for a long period of time expert until any kind of system failure occurs.
Diligence: Unlike human being, the computer can work continuously without getting tried. It can perform the same task repeatedly with same processing speed. Without the lack of concentration they help us in doing a number of jobs that require a great accuracy.
Automatic: a machine that works itself without any human involvement is said to be an automatic machine. Computers are automatic machines; they can work on any given job automatically till it gets finished without any human interference.
Source of Entertainment: Today, computer has become a great source of entertainment. We can play video games, enjoy music and watch movies or various satellite channels through computer. We can also communicate with watch other through computer by means text messages, audio/video messages.
Cost effectiveness: Computers reduce the amount of paperwork and human effort, thereby reducing costs. For example, we can create and edit student reports easily using a computer. We can send electronic reports to management via e-mail.
No Intelligence: a computer has no intelligence of its own. It depends upon user’s instructions for any kind of task. Now days, some artificial intelligence (AI) has been introduced that helps the computer to take some decisions on its own. Robots are the example of such AI systems.