You are on page 1of 11



Definition of Computer
 Computer is a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data, and
provides output in a useful format.
 Computer is an electronic device that helps people performs different tasks.
 The word “computer” came from its root word “compute,” which came from the Latin word,
“computare,” which means “arithmetic,” “accounting” or “reckoning.” Based from its literal
definition, a computer is someone or is something, particularly a device that computes
mathematical problems needed to be solved.

The abacus was an early aid for mathematical computations. Its only value is that it aids the
memory of the human performing the calculation. A skilled abacus operator can work on addition and
subtraction problems at the speed of a person equipped with a hand calculator. “The abacus is often
wrongly attributed to China. In fact, the oldest surviving abacus was used in 300 B.C. by the

Famous People Involved in Computers and Timeline

 John Napier – Napier ’s bones, based on logarithms which was able to multiply, divide and
calculate square and cube roots.
 William Ougthred – Slide Rule, it can compute complex arithmetic computations to mechanical
equivalent of addition and subtraction.
 Blaise Pascal – Pascaline, a mechanical adding machine.
 Gottfried Leibniz – Is known as one of the founding fathers of calculus.
 Joseph-Marie Jacquard – Invents an automatic loom controlled by punched cards
 Charles Babbage – Father of computer.
 Alexander Graham Bell – Invents the telephone called the Photophone.
 Herman Hollerith – Invents a counting machine which increment mechanical counters. Founder
of International Business Machine (IBM) Company.
 Alan Turing – Develops the concept of a theoretical computing machine.
 Konrad Zuse – Creates the Z1 Computer a binary digital computer using punch tape
 William Hewlett and David Packard – Founded the Hewlett Packard (HP) Company.
 John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry – Developed the ABC (Atanasoft-Berry Computer)
 Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper – Designed the MARK series of computers at Harvard
University. The term computer ‘bug’ as computer bug was first used by Grace Hopper
 John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly – Develop the ENIAC ( Electronic Numerical
Integrator and Computer), UNIVAC & EDVAC.
 William Shockley – William Shockley invents the transistor at Bell Labs
 Douglas Engelbart – Invents and patents the first computer mouse.
 Howard Aiken – Howard Aiken develops the Harvard-MARK II.
 Bill Gates & Paul Allen –The Microsoft Corporation was founded April 4, 1975 by Bill Gates and
Paul Allen.
 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs – Founders of Apple Computers.
 Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau – Propose a 'hypertext' system starting the modern
 Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google is founded on September 7, 1998.

4 Basic Functions of Computer

Before learning how to use a computer, you must first learn the different functions that
a computer can perform. Basically, there are four functions, input, output, storage, processing.

Computer can keep track of any different types of information. With software like microsoft word,
notepad. it makes inputing any data such as words, articles relatively easy. Examples of input devices
include, your keyboard, computer mouse, microphone etc.

Computer can rapidly solve all types of numerical problems. Solving numerical problems can be
considered as an example of computer processing. With the ability of data manipulation of company,
task can be completed efficiently with effectively. Saving lots and lots of time and effort, compared to
human work.

Imagine you have a collection of ten thousand photos. You are going to london to meet your
relative and were told to bring that ten thousands photos over. Guess what? That is alot of things. So
with the advent of computer, you can just save that ten thousand photos and bring your laptop over.

Output is one of the most commonly used functions in computer. It may refers to the graph that is
being plotted in microsoft excel, the song that you are playing from media player, the powerpoint
Data and Information

Data is raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. Data can be something simple and
seemingly random and useless until it is organized. Latin 'datum' meaning "that which is given".
Data was the plural form of datum singular.

When data is processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make
it useful, it is called Information. Information is interpreted data.


The history of computer development is often referred to in reference to the different generations
of computing devices. Each of the five generation of computers is characterized by a major technological
development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller,
cheaper, more powerful and more efficient and reliable devices. Learn about each generation and the
developments that led to the current devices that we use today.

First Generation (1940-1956) Vacuum Tubes

First generation computers relied on machine language, the lowest-level programming
language understood by computers, to perform operations, and they could only solve one
problem at a time. Input was based on punched cards and paper tape, and output was displayed
on printouts.
The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing devices.
The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census
Bureau in 1951.

Second Generation (1956-1963) Transistors

Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers.
The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late
1950s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become
smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation
predecessors. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the
computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation
computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.
Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic,
or assembly languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level
programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions
of COBOL and FORTRAN. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in
their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.

Third Generation (1964-1971) Integrated Circuits

The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of
computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors,
which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.
Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers
through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the
device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the
memory. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were
smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.

Fourth Generation (1971-Present) Microprocessors

The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of
integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled an entire
room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the
components of the computer—from the central processing unit and memory to input/output
controls—on a single chip. In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in
1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop
computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use
microprocessors. As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together
to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation
computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.

Fifth Generation (Present and Beyond) Artificial Intelligence

Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in
development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being
used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial
intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically
change the face of computers in years to come. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to
develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-

There are four main classifications of computers: Mainframe computers, micro-computers mini-
computers, and super-computers. Here is a brief breakdown of each:

Mainframe computers
Mainframe computers are extremely powerful and large computers that have the capacity
to process the activity of multiple users at one time. Many other smaller, less powerful computers
(otherwise known as terminals) are networked with the mainframe, meaning they are attached to the
central mainframe computer. From here, the mainframe has the capability to process and store things
that come from the connected terminals.

These are most commonly known as personal computers and the computers that people use
on a daily basis. Micro-computers contain their own microprocessor, which performs the job of a
mainframe computer but with considerably less power as it is only required to process the activities of
one machine.
Microprocessors became the most common type of processing equipment as they featured
predominantly in personal computers. Typically, personal computers were used for playing music and
movies as well as surfing the Internet and word processing amongst other things. Micro-computers
are your typical laptop or desktop computers and are widely available at relatively affordable prices.

These computers fall in the gap between micro-computers and mainframe computers. They
possess much more power than a micro-computer, but not enough to perform the tasks of a
mainframe computer. These were developed in the 60s and gradually became less expensive as time
moved on and technology became more widely available.

Super computers
Super computers are the most powerful computers ever invented. They are used
to process an enormous amount of terminal activity; even more than that of a mainframe computer. In
fact, in the event of optimizing the performance of a mainframe computer , that will create a super


 System Unit

The system unit is the actual computer; everything else is called a peripheral device. Your
computer's system unit probably has at least one floppy disk drive, and one CD or DVD drive, into
which you can insert floppy disks and CDs.

Parts of System Unit

 Motherboard is the main circuit board in a computer. A motherboard provides a way for
hardware in a computer to communicate with each other.

 Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is also known as hard drive. This is the computer's main storage
device used to store all data on the computer permanently.

 CD-ROM/DVD-ROM DRIVE is a device that uses photo diodes to detect reflecting lights
on optic discs and uses a laser to read or write data.

 Random Access Memory (RAM) is a piece of hardware that allows stored data to be
accessed randomly. Its main function is to store the data temporarily.

 Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer and one of the most
important chips in the computer.

 Power Supply Unit is also called as power supply or PSU. This is the device that
supplies power to your personal computer.

 Expansion Card is also known as Also known as an add-on card, internal card or
interface adapter or interface card. Expansion card is an electronic board or card added
in a personal computer so the computer will have a new functions.
 Video Card is commonly known as graphics accelerator card, display adapter, or
graphics card. This is a hardware component whose main function is to generate and
display the output images to a computer monitor.

 Mouse

Obviously you know how to use your mouse, since you must have used it to get here. But
let's take a look at the facts and buzzwords anyway. Your mouse probably has at least two buttons on
it. The button on the left is called the primary mouse button, the button on the right is called
the secondary mouse button or just the right mouse button. I'll just refer to them as the left and right
mouse buttons.

 Keyboard

Like the mouse, the keyboard is a means of interacting with your computer. You really only
need to use the keyboard when you're typing text. Most of the keys on the keyboard are laid out like
the keys on a typewriter. But there are some special keys like Esc (Escape), Ctrl (Control), and Alt
(Alternate). There are also some keys across the top of the keyboard labeled F1, F2, F3, and so forth.
Those are called the function keys, and the exact role they play depends on which program you
happen to be using at the moment.

 Monitor

A computer monitor is an electronic device that shows pictures. Monitors often look similar
to televisions. The main difference between a monitor and a television is that a monitor does not
have a television tuner to change channels. Monitors often have higher display resolution than
televisions. A high display resolution makes it easier to see smaller letters and fine graphics.


Entering data or instructions into a computer is called input. Therefore, an input device is a device
which enters data or instructions into a computer. Input devices are necessary to convert data into a form
which can be understood by computers. Some input devices are; Mouse, Keyboard, Joystick, Scanner,
and Web Camera.


The information we get from the computer is known as output. The computer presents this
information through these devices such as Monitor, Printer and Plotter.

Primary Storage is computer memory that is directly accessible to the CPU of a computer’s
input/output channels. Primary storage is used to store data that is likely to be in active use.
 Read-Only Memory (ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers. Data stored
in ROM cannot be modified. ROM is a non-volatile storage which means the data
remains unchanged even after switching off the computer.
 Random Access Memory (RAM) is a type of data storage used in comuters. It takes the
form of integrated circuits that allow the stored data to be accessed in any order
(random). Data stored in RAM can be modified. RAM is a volatile storage. Data will lose
after switching off the computer.


Secondary storage is computer memory that is not directly accessible to the CPU, requiring the
use of computer’s input/output channels. It is used to store data that is not in active use. It is usually
slower than primary storage but it always has higher storage capacity. It is non-volatile which means the
data remains unchanged even after switching off the computer.

 3.5” Floppy Disk

 Compact Disk (CD-R / CD-RW)
 Digital Versatile Disk (DVD-R / DVD+R / DVD-RW / DVD+RW)
 Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives
 Memory Cards


Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and

related data that provides the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. Software
refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer. In other words,
software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation
of a data processing system. Program software performs the function of the program it implements,
either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece
of software.

Computer software is most commonly created by computer programmers using a programming

language. The programmer writes commands in the programming language that are similar to what
someone might use in everyday speech. These commands are called source code. Another computer
program called a compiler is then used on the source code, transforming the commands into a
language that the computer can understand. The result is an executable computer program, which is
another name for software.


Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes; system software,
programming software and application software.


It helps run the computer hardware and computer system. It includes operating systems, device
drivers, diagnostic tools, servers, windows systems, utilities and more. The purpose of systems software
is to insulate the applications programmer as much as possible from the details of the particular computer
complex being used, especially memory and other hardware features, and such accessory devices as
communications, printers, readers, displays, keyboards, etc.

 Operating System
The operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer. Every
general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating
systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to
the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral
devices such as disk drives and printers.

 Device Drivers
Device drivers are needed for every peripheral and device connected to a computer, from
the mouse and keyboard to the printer. This type of system software allows the OS to effectively
identify and communicate with hardware connected to a machine. The OS can include device
drivers for basic components, like the mouse and keyboard, while peripheral manufacturers often
provide discs with drivers for users to install with their hardware.

 System Utilities

Utilities include a variety of specialized programs that can be applied across applications.
Basic utilities include trouble-shooting and diagnostic software that can scan a system or other
program to find errors and missing files. Additional utilities include data backup programs, file
compression software, and tools used to thoroughly uninstall other programs.

Allows end users to accomplish one or more specific (non-computer related) tasks. Typical
applications include industrial automation, business software, educational software, medical software,
databases, and computer games. Businesses are probably the biggest users of application software, but
almost every field of human activity now uses some form of application software. It is used to automate all
sorts of functions.


It usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs and software using
different programming languages in a more convenient way. The tools include text editors, compilers,
interpreters, linkers, debuggers, and so on. An Integrated development environment (IDE) merges those
tools into a software bundle, and a programmer may not need to type multiple commands for compiling,
interpreter, debugging, tracing, and etc., because the IDE usually has an advanced graphical user
interface, or GUI.