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Computer Fundamentals

By Nikunj Nayak
CMS-Ganpat University.
What is a computer?
A computer is an electronic device that
v Receives data
v Processes the data it receives
v Store the data in memory or on some storage device such as a disk or
v Outputs information on a device such as a monitor or printer

Computers can be found in almost every aspect of our lives.
The first computers were used by the military and government
The first personal computer was sold in 1977.
A computer system consists of the following components:

v Hardware: Tangible physical equipment.
v Software: The intangible set of instructions that tell the
computer what to do. This set of instructions is called a
software program.
v Data: The information entered into a computer to be
v People: The users who enter the data and use the output.
Computer System Components
(Input-Process-Output Model (IPO))
A computer system requires many components to do its job:
v It requires some device or method to input data so it can be processed.
v It requires circuits and programs in order to process the data.
v It needs some type of output device to give the result of its processing
to the user.
v It needs some mechanism for storing data.
Central Processing Unit

Control Arithmetic
Unit Logic Unit
Input Output
Devices System Bus Devices

Special Cache Primary
Purpose Memory Storage
• Keyboard Processors Memory • Visual Display Unit
• Mouse • Printer
• Touch Screen • Audio-Response
• Optical-Scanner • Physical Control
• Voice Recognition Devices, etc.

Storage Magnetic Disk
Devices Tape Units
Optical Disks, etc.
What does a computer do?
As complex as some computers may be, they all essentially
perform only two operations:

v Arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction and
so on

v Logical operations, such as comparing two values and
taking some action based on the result of the comparison.
How are computers used?
Computers have changed everyone’s lives and are used every
day for

v Education: Online instruction and degree programs.

v At Home: Appliances and home security systems.

v Business: Computers are used to track inventory, print
invoices, track payments, and do just about anything a
business needs to do.
Computers in Society
v More impact than any other invention
– Changed work and leisure activities
– Used by all demographic groups
v Computers are important because:
– Provide information to users
– Information is critical to our society
– Managing information is difficult

Computers in Society
v Impact of computers
– Like the Impact of automobile

Computers in Society
v The benefits of using computers
– As varied as users

Computers in Society
v Computers at home
– Many homes have multiple computers
– Most American homes have Internet
– Computers are used for
• Communication

Computers in Society
v Computers at home
– Computers are used for
• Business
• Entertainment
• Schoolwork
• Finances

Computers in Society
v Computers in education
– Computer literacy required at all levels

Computers in Society
v Computers in small business
– Makes businesses more profitable
– Allows owners to manage

Computers in Society
v Computers in industry
– Computers are
used to design
– Assembly
lines are

Computers in Society
v Computers in government
– Necessary to track data for population
• Police officers

• Tax calculation and collection
– Governments were the first computer users

Computers in Society
v Computers in health care
– Revolutionized health care
– New treatments possible
– Scheduling of patients has improved
– Delivery of medicine is safer

Why Study Computer Architecture?

v User
– Understand system capabilities and limitations
– Make informed decisions
– Improve communications with information technology
v Systems Analyst
– Conduct surveys, determine feasibility and define and document
user requirements
– Specify computer systems to meet application requirements
v Programmer
– Create efficient application software for specific processing needs
Why Study Computer Architecture?

v System Administrator / Manager
– Install, configure, maintain, and upgrade computer systems
– Maximize system availability
– Optimize system performance
– Ensure system security
v Web Designer
– Optimize customer accessibility to Web services
– System administration of Web servers
– Select appropriate data formats
– Design efficient Web pages

v Speed:
It takes only few seconds for calculations that we take hours to complete.
Computer can perform millions (1,000,000) of instructions and even
more per second.

v Accuracy:
The degree of accuracy of computer is very high and every calculation is
performed with the same accuracy.
The errors in computer are due to human and inaccurate data.

v Diligence:
A computer is free from tiredness, lack of concentration, fatigue, etc.
It can work for hours without creating any error.

v Versatility:
It means the capacity to perform completely different type of work.
You may use your computer to prepare payroll slips. Next moment you
may use it for inventory management or to prepare electric bills.

v Power of Remembering:
Any information can be stored and recalled as long as you require it, for
any numbers of years.

v No IQ:
Computer is a dumb machine and it cannot do any work without
instruction from the user.

v No Feeling:
It does not have feelings or emotion, taste, knowledge and

v Storage:
The Computer has an in-built memory where it can store a large
amount of data.
You can also store data in secondary storage devices
Categories of computers
Computers are classified by

3. Purpose and use
4. Operating principle
5. Size and processing capabilities
Purpose and use
v Special purpose computers:
The machine and instructions are developed and
designed to cater to very specific application.

v General purpose computers:
The machine can be programmed to suit different types
of applications.
Operating principle:
v Digital computers: The computer uses the data in the form of discrete
numbers-the binary 1s and 0s. Most computers designed today,
including the microcomputers, are digital.

Example: Global weather patterns and chemical reaction.

v Analog computer:The analog computers solve problems by operating
on continuously changing physical quantities such as electrical
potential, fluid pressure or mechanical motion.

Example: Hydraulic Networks ( Flow of liquids through a sewer
Operating principle:
v Hybrid computers: Hybrid computers combine features of both
analog and digital computers offering greater precision than the analog
computers and more control capability than the digital computers.

Example: Guided-missile systems.
Size and processing capabilities
• Computer System Categories Large, Fast, and Powerful
Hundreds of Millions of Instructions per Second (MIPS)
– Mainframe Computers Large Primary Storage
Super servers for Large Client/Server Networks
Data Warehousing and Mining
Electronic Commerce Applications

High-End Network Servers
Process Business Applications
– Midrange Computers Less Costly to Busy and Maintain that Mainframes
Scientific Research
Engineering Analysis
Process Monitoring and Control
CAD Systems
Front-End to Mainframes

Personal Computer (PC)
– Microcomputers Professional Workstations
Multiuser Systems
Desktop Systems
Workstation Computers
Network Servers

– Client-Server Networks Used by Workers in Networks
Sealed Low-Cost Systems
Network Microcomputers
– Information Appliances No or Minimal Disk Storage
Dependent Upon Internet or Intranets for Operations
Smart Gadgets Standardization
Cellular Phones and Pagers Reduced Costs of Maintenance and Upgrades
Hand-Held PCs
Web-Based Games
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
Size and processing capabilities
v Mainframes: support thousands of users; used by large corporations.
v Mid-range server: Used by medium-sized companies and generally
supports hundreds of users.
v Supercomputers: Used for specialized operations requiring
mathematical operations.
Extremely Powerful Systems
Large-Scale Data Mining
Parallel Processing
Mini Supercomputers
Size and processing
v Desktop computers:
– All components fit on or under a desk.
– Sits on your desk, table, or other flat surface
– Have a detachable keyboard, mouse, and monitor
v Laptop or Notebook:
Smaller and more portable than a desktop; commonly called a
Normally have keyboard, pointing device, monitor built in, but
can be connected to detachable devices
v Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) or Handheld Microcomputers
or Palmtop:
Vary in size; provide convenient way to maintain calendar and
address book
Mainframes Supercomputers
Trends in Computer System Capabilities

First Second Third Fourth Fifth
Generation Generation Generation Generation Generation

Trend: Toward Smaller, Faster, More Reliable, and Less Costly

Vacuum Integrated LSI, VLSI Power,
Tubes Solid-State Circuits Micro- Smaller
processors Footprint

Trend: Toward Easy to Purchase, and Easy to Maintain
Hardware\Computer Generation.xlsx
Babbage’s Analytical Engine ENIAC
Thank You.