What is a Computer?

A computer is an automatic, high speed, digital, electronic data processing machine used for performing program instructions to produce the desired output. It is fast and accurate manipulating system that is designed and organized to accept and store inputted data automatically, process and produce output results under the direction of a detailed step-by-step program of instructions.

Functions of Computer
•A computer accepts input – computer input is whatever is put into a computer system. “Input” means to feed information into a computer. •A computer process data – process is a systematic series of actions that a computer uses to manipulate data. •A computer stores data – computer must store data so that it will be available for processing. •A computer produces output – computer output is the results produced by a computer.

Capabilities of Computer
•It is self directing. The user merely feeds all the instructions to the computer at the start and later proceeds without any need of human intervention. •Ability to store and retrieve information. The computer has the ability to remember or recall data when the user finds the need for them. •Ability to perform mathematical operations and solve complex formula at high speed with great precision. A very fast computer can perform the addition of 20 million pairs of ten digit numbers in one second. •Ability to perform logic operation. The computer is capable of comparing numbers, letters of alphabet, and special characters. Based on the results of computer comparison, the computer can direct to take alternative actions. •Ability to communicate with the user or with other machines. The computer is capable of telling what must be fed or what must be done for the program to operate continuously. It can also transmit data and messages from one computer to another.

Limitations of Computer
•It can do only what is designed or programmed to do. •It cannot correct input data •It cannot think and cannot derive meanings from objects. •It can only process jobs expressed in a finite number of steps leading to a precisely defined goal. •It cannot completely avoid making errors due to power fluctuations, system malfunctions and human disorders.

Elements of a Computer
•Hardware – physical devices, tangible parts. •Software – computer instructions, programs. •Peopleware – computer users •Data – raw facts

Components of Computer System
•Input Devices – data entry operations •Output Devices – data result operations •Processing Unit – data manipulation and control operations •Storage Devices – data storage within the computer •Secondary/Auxiliary Storage Devices – data storage using auxiliary devices

Types of Computer According to Size
•Microcomputers •Minicomputers •Mainframe •Super Computer

Types of Computer According to Function
•General Computer •Special Computer

Types of Software

•Systems Software – operating system, utilities •Application Software – packaged software for design, offices etc. •Language Software – program creation

What is Computer Programming?
Computer programming (often shortened to programming or coding) is the process of writing, testing, and maintaining the source code of computer programs. The source code is written in a programming language. This code may be a modification of existing source or something completely new, the purpose being to create a program that exhibits the desired behavior.

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