What is a computer? Explain the advantages of computers in daily life
A computer is a machine or device that performs processes, calculations, and operations based on instructions provided by a software or hardware program. It has the ability to accept data (input), process it, and then produce outputs. Computers can also store data for later uses inappropriate storage devices, and retrieve it whenever it is necessary.
Modern computers are electronic devices used for a variety of purposes ranging from browsing the web, writing documents, editing videos, creating applications, playing video games, etc.
They are designed to execute applications and provide a variety of solutions by combining integrated hardware and software components.
Techopedia Explains Computer
The earliest digital electronic device that could be defined as the first modern computer is the Colossus. Built-in 1943-44, the Colossus was devised to crack the Lorenz SZ 40/42, a German encryption machine used to support military communications during World War II.
The device used 2,400 vacuum tubes to perform multiple boolean logical operations to decode encrypted data.
Modern computers come in all shapes and sizes to perform a broad range of different functions. Although the first ones that come to mind are desktop and laptop computers, many other less-assuming devices — such as grocery scanners, ATMs, and smart TVs — are computers as well.
The diffusion of smartphones, game consoles, wearables, and smart appliances made computers much more readily available in our daily life.
A computer is made up of multiple parts and components that facilitate user functionality.
A computer has two primary categories:
Physical structure that houses a computer’s processor, memory, storage, communication ports, and peripheral devices. Each of these components (called devices) have a different purpose, which may be either accepting inputs, storing data, or sending outputs.
For example, a mouse and a microphone are input devices used to record user activities and transform them into data that is transmitted to the system unit. A hard disk is a storage unit where data is stored and accessed by other devices.
A monitor or a speaker are output devices that transform processed data into (respectively) video and audio signals.
Usually, the core components that represent the bare minimum that allow a computer to function are:
The component that processes and executes inputs received from hardware and software.
A mainboard that provides a basic connection between all the other hardware components and devices (internal and external).
A temporary data storage space that stores the information the CPU is actively using.
A storage device where data is stored on a permanent basis. It’s slower but less volatile than the RAM.
Power supply unit
That’s pretty self-explanatory: without power, no electronic device can work!
All parts of a computer that are not strictly physical, such as data, programs, applications, protocols, etc., are broadly defined as “software.” Although the software has no material form, it is no less critical to receive information, encode, store and process it.
Computer software includes all executable and non-executable data, such as documents, digital media, libraries, and online information. A computer’s operating system (OS) and all its applications are a software as well.
A computer works with software programs that are sent to its underlying hardware architecture for reading, interpretation, and execution.
Computers are classified according to computing power, capacity, size, mobility, and other factors, such as personal computers (PC), desktop computers, laptop computers, minicomputers, handheld computers and devices, mainframes, or supercomputers.
Advantages of Computers
The computer has become a necessity in our lives. It is the best way to communicate with people all around the world. We can easily access information from anywhere at any time. The computer also helps us to learn new things. Below listed are the major advantage of computers.
- High Speed
One of the reasons for the improvement in the quality of life is personal computer’s speed. The modern computer offers great speed, helping us to do our tasks within a matter of seconds. Let’s say, you want to watch a video. You’ll just go to YouTube and find the required video within seconds.
Humans make errors. Hence, while complex calculations, we check once with the calculator. The fact that computers are extremely accurate makes them quite reliable. You’ll trust the information or answer that a calculator gives, just due to its accuracy.
A lot of tasks can be automated saving a lot of time. For example, instead of manually calculating some values like mean, a median of a large dataset, we just use excel. This saves a lot of time ensuring 100% accuracy.
The storage capacity of the computer is usually in GigaBytes (GBs) or more. We can store videos, images, games, etc. on our computer and access it easily after downloading it.
- Ease of Access
Let’s say we have to search for a book in a library and we don’t know anything except the name of the book. It would be an arduous task. But, on a computer, just type the name of the file, and voila! This ease of access provided by our personal computer contributes towards saving our time and efforts.
Multitasking means working on multiple tasks simultaneously. Suppose you read an article online and you need to write down the meanings of the words that are unfamiliar. You, then search on Google, note down the meaning on a word file, and continue reading the article. This is one example of multitasking offered by computers.
- A better understanding of data
A computer supports a lot of tools for data analysis and mining. Organizations make use of this benefit of computers to support data analysis and visualization helpful for decision making.
- Reduced Cost for Online Ventures
Affordable Computers and Laptops with internet connectivity are a boon for start-ups that function online. It lowers the cost by reducing infrastructure, inventory, and rent expenses. Just they need a team with laptops and internet connectivity with a software license relevant to their industry.
Information and Communication Technologies