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CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS WHAT ARE COMPUTERS? Computers do not only include laptops or desktops which you might imagine. Computers can be classified into 2 groups;

1. SPECIAL-PURPOSE - designed to do a specific job - usually expensive - E.g. ATM, computers in aircrafts, MRT trains, traffic light system….

2. GENERAL-PURPOSE COMPUTERS - designed to do many kinds of jobs such as entertainment, Word processing, surfing the Web etc. - Usually cheaper


Garbage out  Storage – ability to store enormous data.  Computers are used to do word processing.  By using computers. entertainments and many more use. and store the result for future use. calculation. its capacity to store data. and its ability to communicate with other computers. banks. the results will also be incorrect. that can accept data (input). offices.COMPUTER STUDIES YEAR 7 CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS DATE:____________________  A computer is an electronic machine. reliability. hospitals. produce results (output). instruction and information. computers are use to process data and turn them into useful information and also store them for future use. Good Output or Garbage in. provided the data is entered correctly.  Communicate – able to communicate ( share ) data. difficult tasks and works which usually took very long time to finish can be done in a very short time and easily. and even schools. WHY IS A COMPUTER A POWERFUL TOOL? A computer’s power is measured from its capability to perform the information processing cycle operations with speed. accuracy. If inaccurate data is entered. graphic designs.g. WHY DO WE USE COMPUTERS?  Computers are used in many different kinds of place. This computing principle is known as GIGO which stands for Good input. operating under the control of instruction stored in its own memory. amount of 2 . e.  In other words.  Speed  Reliability –  Accuracy – Computers can process large amount of data and generate results. manipulate the data according to specified rules ( process).

memory and a processor (CPU). It contain at least one input device. 1.  Two popular series of Personal Computers i. MINICOMPUTERS 3. Desktop computers Portable Computers 2. a 3 . SUPERCOMPUTERS PERSONAL COMPUTERS  A Personal Computers (PC) is a computer that can perform all of its input. which is a device with a monitor and keyboard. one output device.  Users often access minicomputers via a terminal .  Minicomputers can support up to 4000 connected users at the same time. PC which uses Windows Apple Macintosh which uses Macintosh Operating System are the Operating System  There are 2 types of PCs : Desktops and Portable Computers  Use mostly by the Public MINICOMPUTERS  A Minicomputer is a more powerful and larger than Personal Computer. PERSONAL COMPUTERS i. processing. output. one storage device. ii. and storage activities by itself. MAINFRAME COMPUTERS 4. ii.COMPUTER STUDIES YEAR 7 CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS DATE:____________________ CATEGORIES OF COMPUTERS There are 4 major categories of computers.

instructions and information.g. oil exploration etc. banks.  Mainframe computers can store tremendous amount of data.COMPUTER STUDIES YEAR 7 CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS DATE:____________________  A minicomputer can also act as a server if connected in a network. the most expensive and the most powerful computer.  E. B. 4 .  It can handle hundreds or thousands of connected users simultaneously.  Supercomputers are used for application requiring complex and sophisticated mathematical calculations.  Often used in telecommunication companies e. more expensive. and more powerful computer than PC and Minicomputer.  It can process more than 64 billion instruction in a second. used in weather forecasting. SUPER COMPUTERS  A Super Computer is the fastest. MAINFRAME COMPUTERS  A Mainframe Computer is a much larger. Personal Computers are used to access the Minicomputers  Often used by companies. Telbru etc. etc.g. DST. nuclear energy research.Mobile. In this case.

Palmtops are very similar to PDAs in their use. Another term often used for an embedded computer is a 'micro controller'. RAM.e. Many PDAs can now also access the Internet and can be used to research web pages. PDAs are now available with cut down versions of the main Office software. This is because the main purpose of an embedded computer is to control something. Excel and Access. CPU. Some even double up as phones.COMPUTER STUDIES YEAR 7 CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS DATE:____________________ PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT (PDA) A PDA was originally developed as an electronic organiser. Output . They aimed to replace diaries. 'to do' lists and address books. So. e. ROM . any work you have been doing on your PDA can be uploaded to your PC and the files updated. Microsoft Word. Clock. The main difference is that Palmtops have a built in keyboard. rapid development has resulted in palm tops and PDAs becoming almost cut down computers in their own right. However. All of the following contain an embedded computer: • • • • • • • Telephones TVs Cameras Washing machines Microwave cookers Dishwashers Cars 5 . Input . The reason they are so successful is that they usually have the ability to synchronize with a desktop PC. EMBEDDED COMPUTERS An embedded computer is a single chip that contains all of the elements that are essential for any computer i. send emails or even play games.g.