Computers are all over the place at home, at work, and at school. Most of our daily events either cover the use of or depend on information from a computer. Activities such as learning to read, contracting a senator, looking up a stock quote, visiting a museum, or planning a trip, could involve the use of computers.

            With a home computer, you can balance your checkbook, pay bills, track personal income and expenditures, allocation of funds, sell or buy stocks, and evaluate fiscal plans. People pay or extract funds through an ATM (Automated Teller Machine). At the grocery store, a computer trails your acquisitions and computes the total of money you owe.  It also usually generates coupons customized to your buying patterns. Many cars today contain an onboard map reading system that provides directions, and signals for emergency services, and tracks the vehicle if it is whipped.


            In the workplace, people use computers to generate posts such as memos and letters, calculate payroll, track inventory, and create invoices. Both schools and homes have computers for educational purposes. Teachers use them to promote coaching. Students complete assignments and do research on the computer in the lab room and at home.

            Many peoples find hours of entertainment on the computer, they play games, listen to music, watch movies or a video, read a book or magazine, compose a video, make a family tree, retouch a photograph, or plan a vacation.


            Through computers, society has access to information from all around the world. Instantaneously, you can find local and national news, sports scores, weather reports, stock prices, medical records, credit reports, and countless forms of educational material. At your fingertips, you can send messages to others, meet new friends, shop, fill prescriptions, file taxes, or take a course.

            Computers have become a primary tool people use to communicate with others. The brilliance of these communications is they are not limited to text. With today’s technology, you also can transmit voice, sounds, video, and graphics and use the computer to see others while you talk to them. Send family, friends, or clients videos or photographs.

What is a computer?

                A computer is an electronic machine, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data, manipulate the data according to specific rules, produce results, and store the results for future use.

Data and Information

            Data is a gathering of raw facts, figures, and symbols. Computer process data to create information. Information is data that is planned, expressive, and useful. For example, a computer processes several data items to produce a paycheck. Another example of information is a grade report, which is generated from data items such as a student name, course name, and course grades.


A user is someone or a person that communicates with a computer or uses the information it generates.

Hardware is the electrical, automated, and machine-driven equipment that makes up a computer.

Software is the sequence of commands that says hardware how to accomplish tasks. Without software, most hardware is useless. The hardware wants commands from software to process data into information.

Information process cycle

Input is any data or commands you enter into a computer. Output is data that has been processed into information. Computer process input (data) into output (Information). Storage is a part of a computer that can embrace data and information for upcoming use. This serious of input, process, output and storage activities sometimes is called the information process cycle. Most computers today have to capability of communicating with other computers. Thus, communications also have converted a central element of the information processing cycle.           

Characteristics of computers

            The growing fame of computers has evidenced that it is a very powerful and valuable tool. The control and helpfulness of this prevalent tool are mainly due to its following characteristics:

  • Automatic

            A machine is said to be automatic if it works by itself without humanoid interference. Computers are automatic machines because once started on a job, they carry on, until the job is finished, normally without any human assistance. However, computers being machines cannot start themselves. They cannot go out and find their own complications and resolutions. They have to be instructed. That is, a computer works from a program of coded commands, which stipulate accurately how a specific job is to be completed.

  • Speed

            The computer is a very fast device. It can accomplish in a limited time, the quantity of work that a human being can do in a whole year. If he functioned day and night and did nothing else. To put it in a different manner, a computer does in one minute what would take a man his entire lifetime.


            In addition to being fast, computers are very accurate. The correctness of a computer is constantly high, and the step of the correctness of a specific computer depends upon its plan. However, for a specific computer, every calculation is completed with the same correctness.

            The error can occur in a computer. However, these are mainly due to human rather than technological weaknesses. For example, errors may occur due to imprecise thinking by the programmer. Or incorrect input data.

  • Diligence

            Disparate human beings, a computer is free from boredom, exhaustion, and lack of attention. It can endlessly work for hours, without generating any errors and without upset.  Hence, computer scores over human beings in doing routine type of jobs, which require great accuracy. If ten million calculations have to be executed, a computer will complete the ten millionth calculation with accurately the same accuracy and speed as the first one.

  • Versatility

            Versatility is one of the greatest brilliant things about the computer. One moment, it is preparing the results of an examination, the next moment it is busy preparing electricity bills, and in between, it may be helping an office secretary to trace an important letter in seconds. All that is essential to modifying its talent is to slip a new program into it. Briefly, a computer is capable of performing almost any task that can be reduced to a series of local steps.

  • Power of Remembering

            As a human being acquires new knowledge, the brain subconsciously selects what it feels to be important and worth retaining in its memory, and relegates unimportant detail to the back of the mind or just forget them. This is not the case with computers. A computer can stock and recall any volume of information because of its secondary storage capability.

  • No I. Q.

            A computer is not a magical device. It possesses no intelligence of its own. It’s I. Q is zero at minimum till today it has to be told what to do and in what order. Hence, only the user can determine what tasks a computer will accomplish. A computer cannot take its own decision in this regard.

  • No Feeling

            Computers are devoid of emotions. They have no feelings and no nature because they are machines. Although men have succeeded in building memory for computers, no computer possesses the equivalent of the human heart and soul. Based on our feeling, taste, knowledge, and experience, we often make certain judgments in our day-to-day life. However, computers, cannot make a such judgment on their own. Their decision is based on the commands given to them in the form of programs that are written by us.

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