Prepared by: Dr. Tunde Olabiyisi Computer Science and Engineering Department Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso Nigeria
LESSON 1 BASIC CONCEPTS 1.1 INTRODUCTION Let us begin with the word ‘compute’. It means ‘to calculate’. We all are familiar with calculations in our day to day life. We apply mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. and many other formulae for calculations. Simpler calculations take less time. But complex calculations take much longer time. Another factor is accuracy in calculations. So man explored with the idea to develop a machine which can perform this type of arithmetic calculation faster and with full accuracy. This gave birth to a device or machine called ‘computer’. The computer we see today is quite different from the one made in the beginning. The number of applications of a computer has increased, the speed and accuracy of calculation has increased. You must appreciate the impact of computers in our day to day life. Reservation of tickets in Air Lines and Railways, payment of telephone and electricity bills, deposits and withdrawals of money from banks, business data processing, medical diagnosis, weather forecasting, etc. are some of the areas where computer has become extremely useful. However, there is one limitation of the computer. Human beings do calculations on their own. But computer is a dumb machine and it has to be given proper instructions to carry out its calculation. This is why we should know how a computer works. 1.2 OBJECTIVES After going through this lesson you will be in a position to • • • • • • • define a computer identify characteristics of computer know the origin and evolution of computer identify capability of computer in terms of speed and accuracy distinguish computer from human beings and calculator identify the role of computer appreciate the evolution of computer through five generations
1.3 WHAT IS A COMPUTER?... [continues]
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