General Information Technology
Supplementary Material to
Teacher Resource Guide
Name: Mohamed Ismail Mohamed Nifras
Reg No: 2011/CSC/010
Dept of Computer Science,
University of Jaffna.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Computers
A computer is a man-made, programmable electronic machine that can store, retrieve, and process data according to a given set of instructions. Whatever information given to a computer is termed input. The computer input typically comprises of two things: Data and Instructions. The data are the facts, which are to be processed, and the instructions describe how the computer should process the data. The data which has been converted or organized into a more useful or intelligible form for direct utilization or helps human beings in their decision making process is typically termed information.
The heart of the computer is a microprocessor chip. Today microprocessors are embedded inside various every-day machines such as cars, television sets and washing machines. These microprocessors usually control some function of the machine and are hidden from the user. The term computer can virtually be applied to any such device that has a microprocessor in it. However most people describe a computer as a device that comprises of a keyboard, mouse, a central processing device and a screen.
Characteristics of Computers
A computer can perform tasks very fast.
The amount of work that a human being can do in an entire.
The accuracy of a computer is consistently high and the degree of accuracy of a particular computer depends upon its design. Errors can occur in a computer, but these are mainly due to human mistakes. Diligence
Unlike human beings, a computer is free from
Lack of concentration
A computer is capable of performing almost any task provided that the task can be reduced to a series of logical steps. Power of Remembering
Every piece of information that a user ‘stores’ on a computer can be retained as long as is needed and can be recalled when necessary. Even after several years, the information recalled would be identical to what was fed to the computer. A computer will never ‘lose’ stored information on its own; a user has to ‘remove’ the information from it. No I. Q.
A computer can only perform tasks which a human being can.
The difference is that it performs these tasks with unmatchable speed and accuracy. No Feeling
Computers are devoid of emotions.
A Brief History of Computers
In the beginning, man used his fingers and toes to perform simple computations such as addition and subtraction. Later, man realized that by using some objects to represent digits, it might be possible to perform computations beyond the limited scope of one’s own fingers and toes.
The first man-made computing device is the “Abacus”. In the Abacus, small beads are arranged on a series of vertical rods in a manner that by manipulating them, it is possible with some skill and practice, to make rapid calculations. Addition, subtraction, division and multiplication can be performed on a standard abacus. The abacus is still in use today by shopkeepers in East Asia and some parts of North America.
Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, invented an adding machine. The machine has adopted partly the principles of the abacus but did away with the use of the hand to move the beads or counters. Instead, Pascal used wheels to move counters.
Charles Babbage, an English mathematician who lived in the nineteenth century. He foresaw a machine that could perform all mathematical calculations, store values in its memory and perform logical comparisons among values.
The Age of Microcomputers
The age of microcomputers began in 1975 when a company called MITS introduced the ALTAIR 8800. It was a computer, which can be programmed by flicking...