what is computer

Topics: Computer data storage, Hard disk drive, Computer Pages: 9 (2075 words) Published: May 14, 2014

What is a computer:
A computer is an electronic device that executes the instructions in a program. A device that accepts data, processes the data in accordance with the stored program, generates results and usually consists of input, output, storage, Airthmatic logic and control units. A computer has four functions:

a. accepts data
Input: Data or information written into the computer by user

The Information Processing Cycle

b.processes data
Processing: The calculations performed according to the given instructions

c. produces output
Output: Results produced or generated by the computer

d. stores results
Storage: Place where data and instructions are stored/placed within the computer

Some Beginning Terms
Hardware 
the physical parts of the computer.
Software 
the programs (instructions) that tell the computer what to do Data 
individual facts like first name, price, quantity ordered
Information 
data which has been massaged into a useful form, like a complete mailing address

What makes a computer powerful?

Speed
A computer can do billions of actions per second.

Reliability
Failures are usually due to human error, one way or another. (Blush for us all!)

Storage
A computer can keep huge amounts of data.

The Parts a Computer

The Monitor
The Computer Monitor is the computer user's window into the workings of the computer.  It consists of a television picture tube that had been modified to accept the type of video signal created by the computer's electronics

The Keyboard
The Keyboard is the primary input device used to communicate with the computer.  A computer keyboard closely resembles a conventional typewriter keyboard with the addition of numerous keys that are used specifically for computing functions.

The Mouse

The Floppy Diskette Drive

The CD-ROM Drive

Peripherals
Computer peripherals are any electronic devices that can be connected to a computer other than the standard input-output devices (monitor, keyboard, and mouse).   Peripheral devices include speakers, microphones, printers, scanners, digital cameras, plotters, and modems. 
The Interface
When your computer completes its startup routine, called booting, you will find yourself looking at a screen displaying the Windows interface. This means what you see and interact with. The Desktop and the Taskbar are the two main parts of the interface. Let's inspect the parts on a simplified desktop.

The Desktop

The large area that is the upper part of the screen is called the Desktop. Sometimes (to keep you confused!) people may use the term Desktop to refer to everything you see on the monitor after Windows has gotten started. The main purpose of the Desktop is to hold shortcut icons that will help you work efficiently. The Desktop is really just a folder inside the Windows folder, so it can hold anything that any other folder can hold. It can be decorated with interesting textures or pictures. We'll discuss how later. Taskbar

Across the bottom of the screen we see the Taskbar. Normally it is in view all the time. The Taskbar's main job is to show what applications are currently running. The middle section of the bar shows a button for each open application. Each button shows an icon with a label that shows the program and the current document, when there is room to see it! The icons and labels for the tasks adjust in size to fit the space on the Taskbar. So if you have several programs running, you may not see much of each one's taskbar icon, as in the illustration which is sized for this small window. The Taskbar also holds the Start menu button at the far left and the Notification Area at the far right. Other toolbars, such as Quick Launch, Address, Links, Windows Media Player, may also display on the Taskbar. Start Menu...
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