Historical Evaluation of Computer

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➢ What is a computer? Why it is also known as a data processor?

A device that computes, especially a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information is known to be a computer.

A computer is an electronic device which manipulates or transforms data. It accepts data, stores data, process data according to a set of instructions, and also retrieve the data when required. Hence it is known as a data processor.

➢ What is data processing? Differentiate between data and information. Which is more useful to the people and why?

A series of operations on data by a computer in order to retrieve or transform or classify information is called data processing.

| DATA | Information | |1. Data is the piece of value that we can consider as single entity. |1. Information maybe considered as a data that has been organized and | | |that are processed. | |2. Data does not increase. |2. Information increases understanding. | |3. Data can not be directly used for taking intelligent decision. |3. Information helps to take intelligent decisions. | |4. Data is not collection of information. |4. Information is an organized collection of data. | |5. Data comprises information. |5. Information does not comprise data. |

Between data and information, information is more useful to the people. As we know data is the raw material of a computer. On the other hand we can say data is un-organized or unprocessed information. Information can be used to take intelligent decisions but data can not be. For example, data collected from the educational institutes of a country can be processed and after the processing the data becomes information. Now we can use that information to find out the literacy rate of that country or to determine the average student quality of a region or a district or the whole country. These important things could not be done with the unprocessed information or data that we collected first. So information is more useful than data.

➢ List out and explain some of the important characteristics of a computer.

There are 8 major characteristics of a computer. They are:

1. Automatic: A machine is said to be automatic. If it works by itself without human intervention. Computers are automatic machines because once started on a job, they carry on, until the job is finished. Normally without any human assistance. However a computer needs to be instructed. After the proper instruction is given according to the job that is being performed, a computer will do the job automatically.

2. Speed: A computer is a very fast device. It can perform in a few seconds, the amount of work that a human being can do in an entire year if he worked day and night and did nothing else. To put it in a different manner, a computer does in one minute what would take a human his entire lifetime. While talking about the speed of a computer we do not talk in the terms of second or even milliseconds (10-3). Our units of speeds are the microseconds (10-6), the nanoseconds (10-9) and even the picoseconds (10-12). A powerful computer is capable of performing several billion of simple arithmetic operations in a second.

3. Accuracy: In addition to being very fast computer are very accurate. The accuracy of a computer is consistently high and the degree of accuracy of a c particular computer depends upon its design. Errors can occur in a computer. These are mainly due to human...
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