INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER
Definitions of a Computer
a) A computer is an electronic device that can accept data input, process it according to some specified instructions, output the information, and store the results for future use. b) It may also be defined as an electronic, versatile, digital device that works under a set of controlled programs to simplify work i.e. convert data into information. Characteristics of modern computers
1. Speed. Computers operate at extremely high speeds. Their speed is measured in millions of instructions per second (MIPS). 2. Automatic (Spontaneous). The computers are automatic. They do not need any supervision in order to do tasks when instructed. 3. Accuracy. Computers are very accurate. The errors made in computing are due to the users but not technological weakness. If a user enters wrong data, the computer gives wrong Information. This trend is described as GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) 4. Versatility. Computers are versatile. Modern Computers can perform different kinds of tasks at the same time. For example you can play music while typing a document at the same time. This is also known as multi-tasking. 5. Diligence (Endurance). Computers have the ability to perform the same task for a long time without getting tired. This is because a computer is a machine, and so does not have human behaviors of tiredness and lack of concentration. For example, Computers which are used for controlling the satellites. 6. Storage. For a computer to be able to work, it must have some form of work space where data is stored before being processed. All information is stored on a hard disk or in the Random Access Memory (RAM). 7. Artificial intelligence. Computers are artificially intelligent i.e. they can be programmed to assume capabilities such as learning, reasoning, adaptation, and self-correction. For example computers can respond as if they were thinking by playing chess, recognize handwriting and speech. However, the computers themselves cannot think. The artificial intelligence is only supported by the power of the programs installed in them. 8. Adaptability: Modern Computers can be adapted to comply with different settings and environments. For example, they can be used as personal computers, for home use, banking, communication, entertainment, weather forecasting, space explorations, teaching, railways, medicine etc. 9. Communication: Most computers today have the capability of communicating with other computers. We can connect two or more computers by a communication device such as modem. These computers can share data, instructions, and information. The connected computers are called network. Limitations of a computer
1) Alternatives: Unlike human beings who can try a new option when one alternative fails, computers lack this ability. They cannot try another alternative when they fail to perform the given task. 2) Experience: They cannot work on experience of past events. 3) Creativity: Computers are not creative i.e. they depend on man’s discovery and inventions. 4) Common sense: They lack natural brains and therefore have no common sense. 5) Computers cannot think: They lack the ability to think and reason like human beings. 6) Data correctness: If the data contains a mistake, a computer will not be in position to correct. This is called GIGO. 7) Program Correctness: If the data entered is correct and the program written to process this data has mistakes, the information obtained will be incorrect. 8) Dependence: They cannot operate themselves and depend on man as their master and controller.
A computer system consists of interrelated organs or parts which function together for the same goal. i)
vi) Users (Human ware)
Computer Hardware refers to the physical and tangible...
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