This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Data, Information, Processing Applications of Computers Characteristics of Computers Types of Computers
CHAPTER - 1
1.1 DATA, INFORMATION, PROCESSING
The electronic computer allows man to increase his productivity and permits him to do tasks he would be unable to complete without the computer. A computer is a machine capable of (1) accepting data; (2) performing described operations on the data, and (3) providing the results of these operations. Thus the computer also permits man to improve his output per unit of time, or productivity. We can say that the computer’s two most important contributions as a productive tool are to increase (1) the speed of operation, and (2) accuracy and quality of operation in terms of productivity. Of course, when we consider these two factors, we realize that the computer enables us to do tasks that we would probably never even attempt to do manually. For example, if the number of input data is greater than million and the time necessary to accomplish a task is more than fifty years, we would probably never attempt it. Yet it is such task that we can ask the computer to accomplish. Symbols are the basis of any language. The computer accepts and processes symbols in an order to provide information. The symbols that today’s computers process are the letters of the alphabet and numbers, as well as several useful algebraic and business symbols. The term electronic implies that the computer is powered by electrical and electronic devices rather than by mechanical ones or those affected by heat or air pressure. Here digital refers to discrete, noncontinuous quantities, as contrasted with continuous quantities. For example, the computer accepts individual numbers, or signs, or other symbols. This set of statements leads to the definition:
( 1 )
An arithmetic unit in which numbers can be added. we shall find it necessary to carry out the same steps to complete the processing. ( 2 ) . 3. It is constructed primarily of electric or electronic devices. but which is increasingly accomplished automatically by data processing service companies. as shown in Figure The five basic units or functions are: 1. Information processing is a series of planned actions and operations upon input data. This processing work required: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Data input Storage and retrieval of data. compared in size to other numbers. It is composed of five basic units. subtracted. and instructions for data-processing actions Arithmetic steps Output of result Control of all above steps Now. taken to obtain a desired result. A computer follows a similar process. 2.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS Electronic Digital Computer is an information-processing device that accepts and processes data represented by discrete symbols. etc. The actions taken may be illustrated by a common data processing operation which a person usually accomplishes manually. An input unit which accepts the necessary input data and instructions. A storage or memory unit in which computer instructions and the data as well as intermediate results are stored. if we want to construct an automatic information-processor.
Same is true for computers also. Homes : Computers are increasingly becoming smaller in size. track enemy air craft using radars. We may recall the recent American-Iraq war in which the American Army used computers extensively to launch missiles. the instructions and the intermediate results of the calculations. Science and Engineering : Here computers are used to solve complex mathematical ( 3 ) .2 APPLICATION OF COMPUTERS Major technical innovations have always had a severe impact on the lives of individuals. Society includes the organisations. transport. Defence : Today. reliably. These are finding their way into homes where they are used for keeping accounts. where individuals work. 1. directs their order of operation and supervises the overall excution of the computer There are several devices which accomplish the function of input. The entire operation was conducted by commanders sitting in distant places. our defence is worthless. Computers have entered every area of the society. and at high speed. The control unit supervises the flow of information and calculations and requests from memory the instructions and data necessary at each stage in the calculation sequence. The control functions are shown as dotted lines in Figure. Computers are being used in almost every sphere of activity ranging from home to defence and entertainment to business and commerce. (The incorporation of instructions in the storage unit for ready and high-speed accessibility is the stored-program concept introduced by John Von Neumann. legal and financial.) Since the instructions are in the memory. The arithmetic and control functions are accomplished by the central processing unit located with storage in the system. medical. 5. just as the intermediate calculation results are. However. the high-speed ability of the arithmetic unit would be wasted if for each operation it had to go back to the input unit for the same information at every step.COMPUTER AWARENESS 4. industrial. and storage. without computers. administrative. The basic unit of the computer is the arithmetic unit. It performs the arithmetic operations accurately. it is possible for the computer to modify the instructions themselves as the calculation progresses. Let us see how computers are used in various spheres of our life today. commercial. affordable and easy to operate and use. The storage unit holds the data. The organisations are educational. study. The input and output units serve as connections between the user and the machine. output. An output unit which provides the desired result in a suitable form. such as a printed report or letter. plan attacks and strategies etc. A control unit which controls the other four units. social. sending mail playing games etc.
Transportation : Transportation companies and agencies rely on computers. The cargo movement is also being computerised which will not only impart efficiency to the handling but will also enable a consignor to know the exact status of his consignment in a few moments. Pharma companies use computers in various ways such as for designing experiments. Entertainment : Increasing use of computers is made in this field. Today compact. Business and Finance : No other sphere of activity has been as profoundly affected by computers as banking and finance. advertisement agencies to quickly produce films or advertisement clips. Even in India. Inventories of medicine are also computerised so that availability of medicines are always known and stock-outs are avoided by ordering replenishments well in advance. identification of customers to payment of cash up to back office functions such as balancing of books. are now easily produced with the help of graphics or computers. funds transfer and reconciliation are all computerised. “Independence Day”. particularly reservations & now many state roadways have computerised their reservations enabling passengers to book their journeys quickly and conveniently. published papers etc. Right from automatic maintenance of customer ledgers. The movies such as “Jurassic Park” . big hospitals have no option but to computerise the records to enable them to track the patients’ history to help doctors in diagnosing and administering medicine. accounts. MIS. private banks and co-operative banks have started fully computerised banking. Similarly the administration of the hospitals which is increasingly becoming a specialty is being done with the help of computers. journals. Railway reservations are now done on computers. Medical or Bioengineering is a fast developing branch of science which uses computers every where. Air-lines & Railways had computerised their activities much earlier. The volume of business of banking after introduction of computers has grown more than thousand fold. Before computers. Apart from enabling quicker reservations. it has enabled persons to plan journeys from any place to any other place with greater ease and less worry. maintain libraries of periodicals. audio and images to be combined to help film makers. Hospitals and Medicine : As the number of patients keep growing. till recently were difficult to make. With the improvement of technology. In addition to assisting in technical matters. ( 4 ) . electronics and computers are being used in increased measures for diagnosing patients.disk (CDs) used in record players are examples of computer technology having invaded this area. analysing results of experiments and even formulation of drugs.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS and scientific calculations which would otherwise require years of effort. “Titanic” and “Jaws” have used computers extensively to give special effects to the images. Computers enable sound. Animation films. the launching of spacecraft and landing on the moon would have been distant dreams. Most banks abroad are fully dependent on computers for their functioning and even a half-an hour halt in the computer functions cost them millions of dollars. computers aid the administrators to keep records. “Terminator”.
Commerce : It is the commercial world . by Govt. administration and decision-making called e-governance by the tele-communication sector for switching. data base management system. where computers have a major role to play.which makes the maximum use of computers in a variety of applications.000. consumer billing & maintenance etc.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF COMPUTERS What is so special about a computer? Yes. It will be very difficult for the financial world to exist without the assistance of computers. 1. insurance and credit companies .000 of second PICOSEC ps = 1/1. Industry : Many industrial organisations such as steel. Education : Although there is a very little impact of computers in the class-room of Indian schools.000 of second NANOSEC ns = 1/1. The vital characteristics of the computer are as follows: I.. computer aided methods such as . Many assembling work of the industry are being undertaken by the processes controlled by micro-computers. its characteristics.000. because the computer is electronic device. presentation software etc. Speed : Computer works on electrical pulses. billionth or even in a trillionth of second. especially in Universities . in maintenance of records.COMPUTER AWARENESS Other Areas : Other spheres of activity where computers are being used are in schools and education. which separates it from rest of the machines. It is capable of executing over ten thousand instructions in a second.000. Besides word processing.Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) and Computer Assisted Instructions (CAI) exist. its internal speed is instantaneous. chemical. store and forward facility. sales and purchase etc. Education is the area.more so in the science and technology department.000. The introduction of micro-computers enable the offices to function faster and efficiently. The trend has increased with the advent of microcomputers. MICROSEC ms = 1/1. other packages used in the offices are spread sheet. millionth. Administration : Every organisation has its own internal administration. and the administrative tasks are performed by computers. An arithmetic calculation can be performed in a thousandth. inventory. banks.000. In USA and UK. A number of software packages are used in business.000.00O of second ( 5 ) . MILLISEC ms = 1/1000 of second. which travel at incredible speeds and. oil companies depend upon computers not only for their own internal administration but also for the actual control of the plant processes. the industry for production planning.shops.
NIBBLE = 4 bits. a step-by-step procedure which applied to the problem leads to solution. imprecise programming logic. pocket PCs (electronic organizers. is humanly impossible. 1. being limited . Workstations are some sophisticated desktop microcomputers used for technical purposes. MB = 1024 KB. VI. inaccurate data. a computer does not suffer from the human traits of tiredness and lack of concentration. The speed with which a computer can perform. Storage : This is a very vital characteristic of the computer. minicomputers mainframe Computers.4 TYPES OF COMPUTERS Computers are classified in to microcomputers. The storage space available in the Central Processing Unit. Versatility : Computers seem capable of performing almost any task. Programming is to convert these step-by-step procedures as a set of instructions in computer language to solve the problem. BIT . and supercomputers.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS II. poorly designed systems.large quantity of data and entire instructions of all the required programs can not be stored in it. ( 6 ) .the smallest unit of storage. If three million calculations are to be performed. Microcomputers may be either personal computers (PCs) or workstations. Automation : Once a program is in the computer’s memory. to input data and the instructions for processing. These are stored outside and read into the memory of CPU at the time of processing.” for holding databases and programs for many PCs. GB = 1024 MB III. notebooks. which separates it from rest of the machines. Errors in computing are due to machinery failure. The smallest unit of storage is bit (acronym of Binary DigiT). V. Precision is the degree of accuracy to which the computer give the result. computer performs all these calculations with the same speed and accuracy. IV. it would continue without human intervention until completion.e. PCs include desktop units. palmtops. KB = 1024 bytes. laptops. CPU follows the instructions until it meets the last instruction. Diligence : Being a machine. provided the task can be reduced to series of logical steps. BYTE = 8 bits. personal digital assistants). i. An algorithm. Minicomputers are intermediate size machines that have become important as “servers. subnotebooks. Once the process had begun. The precision of computers is phenomenal. and pen computers. Accuracy : Accuracy of computers is consistently high. It performs numeric and non-numeric tasks equally well.
COMPUTER AWARENESS Mainframes are the large size of computer and are used in large companies to handle millions of transactions. which (though the sizes overlap) are given the following names. the larger the computer. n n n n Microcomputers Minicomputers Mainframe computers Super computers ( 7 ) . medium. The high-capacity minis called super computers are the fastest calculating devices and are used for large-scale projects. Computers are often classified into four sizes-small. Super computers have two designs: vector processing and massively parallel processing. the greater its processing power. and extra-large. Generally law says that . large.
MICROCOMPUTERS OR PERSONAL COMPUTERS : A small. introduced in 1977 by Apple Computer. At the high end. in 1981. High-end models of the Macintosh and PC offer the same computing power and graphics capability as low-end workstations by Sun Microsystems. there is great variety. the world of personal computers is basically divided between Apple Macintoshes and PCs. In price. it is common to link them together to form a network. However. new models and competing operating systems seemed to appear daily. personal computers range anywhere from a few thousand rupees to over fifty thousand rupees. IBM entered the fray with its first personal computer. During the late 1970s and early 1980s. In terms of power. The IBM PC quickly became the personal computer of choice. although personal computers are designed as single-user systems. In general Microcomputers are considered to be of two types : personal computer ( 8 ) . and for running spreadsheet and database management applications. Today. One of the first and most popular personal computers was the Apple II. which remains a major player in the personal computer marketplace. Hewlett-Packard. One of the few companies to survive IBM’s onslaught was Apple Computer. Then.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS I. All are based on the microprocessor technology that enables manufacturers to put an entire CPU on one chip. The principal characteristics of personal computers are that they are single-user systems and are based on microprocessors. and most other personal computer manufacturers fell by the wayside. Businesses use personal computers for word processing. Personal computers first appeared in the late 1970s. desktop publishing. the distinction between personal computers and workstations has faded. At home. the most popular use for personal computers is for playing games. relatively inexpensive computer designed for an individual user is called personal computers (PC) or Microcomputers. known as the IBM PC. and DEC. accounting.
to the exclusion of other types of personal computers. portable computer — small enough that it can sit on your lap. desktop model computers are generally limited to three internal mass storage devices. modern notebook computers are nearly equivalent to personal computers. Notebook computers use a variety of techniques. Microcomputers or PC comes in various sizes. such as Macintoshes. memory capacity. and increasingly the term PC came to mean IBM or IBM-compatible personal computers. In terms of computing power. laptop computers are more frequently called notebook computers.COMPUTER AWARENESS (PC) and workstations. Desktop model computers are broad and low. typically with the monitor sitting on top of the computer. all this power in a small package is expensive. Desktop models designed to be very small are sometimes referred to as slim line models. the principal difference between a notebook computer and a personal computer is the display screen. Aside from size. to produce a lightweight and nonbulky display screen. The first personal computer produced by IBM was called the PC. PERSONAL COMPUTERS (PC) : PC is the short name for personal computer or IBM PC. They have the same CPUs. Nowadays. whereas tower model computers are narrow and tall. Because of their shape. known as flat-panel technologies. Notebook computers cost ( 9 ) . However. as follows : (a) Desktop Models : A computer designed to fit comfortably on top of a desk. (b) (c) Notebook Computers : An extremely lightweight personal computer. and disk drives. Notebook computers typically weigh less than 6 pounds and are small enough to fit easily in a briefcase. Laptop Computers : A small.
addresses. such as a calendar and address book. but they are practical for certain functions such as phone books and calendars. Palmtops that use a pen rather than a keyboard for input are often called hand-held computers or PDAs.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS about twice as much as equivalent regular-sized computers. using a stylus rather than a keyboard for input. One model transmits data via infrared light. Palmtop : A small computer that literally fits in your palm is called plamtop. This means that they also incorporate handwriting recognition features. Although extremely convenient to carry. ( 10 ) . palmtops are severely limited. a handheld device that combines computing. Electronic organisers or Electronic Diary are specialized pocket computers that mainly store appointments. Unlike portable computers. and “to do” lists. The most popular hand-held computers are those that are specifically designed to provide PIM (personal information manager) functions. fax sender. Recent versions feature wireless links to other computers for data transfer. (d) Pocket or hand-held computer : A portable computer that is small enough to be held in one’s hand. telephone/fax. and networking features. Some PDAs can also react to voice input by using voice recognition technologies. POCKET COMPUTERS MAY BE CLASSIFIED INTO AS THREE TYPES : (i) (ii) (iii) PDA : PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant. An example of an electronic organizer is the CASIO type electronic diary. Compared to full-size computers. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone. Some electronic organizers can share stored data with an IBM-compatible PC through a connecting wire. resembling a TV remote control. and personal organizer. handheld computers have not replaced notebook computers because of their small keyboards and screens. most PDAs are pen-based.
A server in this case could refer to the program that is managing resources rather than the entire computer. Most pen computers are hand-held devices. For example. In terms of the principal concerns of this bookcomputers and communications minicomputers are also becoming more important as “servers “. The entire network is called Client-Server Network. II Servers are often dedicated. A minicomputer is a multiprocessing system capable of supporting from 4 to about 200 users simultaneously. On multiprocessing operating systems. ( 11 ) . a file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. often for accounting or design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM). Traditionally. A print server is a computer that manages one or more printers. which are too small for a full-size keyboard. a single computer can execute several programs at once. In size and power. and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic. minicomputers lie between microcomputer and mainframes is called minicomputer. however. minicomputers have been used to serve the needs of medium-sized companies or of departments within larger companies. Pen computers generally require special operating systems that support handwriting recognition so that users can write on the screen or on a tablet instead of typing on a keyboard. MINICOMPUTER : A midsized computer. meaning that they perform no other tasks besides their server tasks. A database server is a computer system that processes database queries. A server is a computer on a network that manages network resources. Any user on the network can store files on the server.COMPUTER AWARENESS (iv) Pen computer : A computer that utilizes an electronic pen (called a stylus) rather than a keyboard for input is called pen computer.
Arithmetic unit. fluid dynamic calculations. Mini Computers. Business. Hospitals. Unisys and IBM are the largest manufacturers of mainframes. nuclear energy research. speed and cost as : Microcomputers. Supercomputers are very expensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. Computers are widely used in all spheres of human life. For example. Lets Revise • Computer is an electronic device used to process data (as words or numbers) and provide us useful information. ( 12 ) . Other uses of supercomputers include animated graphics. In the hierarchy that starts with a simple microprocessor (in watches. Versatility. of users simultaneously. SUPERCOMPUTERS : The fastest type of computer is called supercomputer. But supercomputers can execute a single program faster than a mainframe. mainframes are just below supercomputers. Finance. Schools etc. Transportation. • The five basic units of a computer are : Input unit. Mainframe Computers and Super Computers. Stroage. Control unit and Output unit. Storage/Memory Unit. They had efficiently made their way into science. Diligence. processing capacity. Englineering. Defence. or even thousands. weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. • Computers are widely categoriesed into four groups on the basis of their size. IV. • • The most important characteristics of computers are : speed. and petroleum exploration. Entertainment. MAINFRAME : Mainframe computers are very large and expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds.H3 – INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER AND APPLICATIONS III. In some ways. Home. Accuracy. mainframes are more powerful than supercomputers because they support more simultaneous programs. for example) at the bottom and moves to supercomputers at the top.
Describe the basic units of computer Draw its figure.COMPUTER AWARENESS Exercise 1. 2. process and information in your own words with an example. 4. What are the characteristics of a computer that differentiate it from other elecronic device. Explain the classification of computers. Describe data. 3. 222 ( 13 ) . 5. Mention any five application of computers you had come across.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.