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COMPUTER: Intro to Computer, Parts and Characteristic
Central Philippines State University
Study guide, definitions and notes
WHAT IS A COMPUTER?
A computer is an electronic device that receives input, stores or processes the input as per user
instructions and provides output in desired format. Computers have become an integral part of
our lives because they can accomplish easy tasks repeatedly without getting bored and complex
ones repeatedly without committing errors.
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or
logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations
known as programs. These programs enable computers to perform a wide range of tasks
Modern-day kids must have used, seen, or read about computers. This is because they are an
integral part of our everyday existence. Be it school, banks, shops, railway stations, hospital or
your own home, computers are present everywhere, making our work easier and faster for us. As
they are such integral parts of our lives, we must know what they are and how they function. Let
us start with defining the term computer formally. The literal meaning of computer is a device
that can calculate. However, modern computers can do a lot more than calculate. Computer is an
electronic device that receives input, stores or processes the input as per user instructions and
provides output in desired format.
Input-Process-Output Model
Computer input is called data and the output obtained after processing it, based on user’s
instructions is called information. Raw facts and figures which can be processed using arithmetic
and logical operations to obtain information are called data.
The processes that can be applied to data are of two types:
Arithmetic Operations Examples include calculations like addition, subtraction,
differentials, square root, etc.
Logical Operations Examples include comparison operations like greater than, less than,
equal to, opposite, etc.
Simplest Workflow of Computer
INPUT
PROCESS
OUTPUT
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The basic parts of a computer are as follows:
Input Unit Devices like keyboard and mouse that are used to input data and instructions
to the computer are called input unit.
Output Unit Devices like printer and visual display unit that are used to provide
information to the user in desired format are called output unit.
Control Unit As the name suggests, this unit controls all the functions of the computer.
All devices or parts of computer interact through the control unit.
Arithmetic Logic Unit − This is the brain of the computer where all arithmetic operations
and logical operations take place.
Memory − All input data, instructions and data interim to the processes are stored in the
memory.
Two types of Memory:
1. Primary memory resides within the CPU
2. Secondary memory external part
Central Processing Unit control unit, arithmetic logic unit and memory.
Hardware Components of Computers:
- keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.
Software - the set of instructions or programs that make the computer function using hardware
parts. We cannot see or touch software.
Both hardware and software are necessary for working of a computer.
Characteristics of Computer
Speed − Typically, a computer can carry out 3-4 million instructions per second.
Accuracy − Computers exhibit a very high degree of accuracy. Errors that may occur are
usually due to inaccurate data, wrong instructions or bug in chips all human errors.
Reliability − Computers can carry out same type of work repeatedly without throwing up
errors due to tiredness or boredom, which are very common among humans.
Versatility − Computers can carry out a wide range of work from data entry and ticket
booking to complex mathematical calculations and continuous astronomical observations.
If you can input the necessary data with correct instructions, computer will do the
processing.
Storage Capacity − Computers can store a very large amount of data at a fraction of cost
of traditional storage of files. Also, data is safe from normal wear and tear associated
with paper.
Advantages of Using Computer
Now that we know the characteristics of computers, we can see the advantages that computers
offer.
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1. Computers can do the same task repetitively with same accuracy.
2. Computers do not get tired or bored.
3. Computers can take up routine tasks while releasing human resource for more intelligent
functions.
Disadvantages of Using Computer
Despite so many advantages, computers have some disadvantages of their own.
1. Computers have no intelligence; they follow the instructions blindly without considering
the outcome.
2. Regular electric supply is necessary to make computers work, which could prove difficult
everywhere especially in developing nations.
Booting - Starting a computer or a computer-embedded device.
BIOS or Basic Input Output System - The first program or set of instructions that run when the
computer is switched on. BIOS is a firmware, i.e. a piece of software permanently programmed
into the hardware.
Rebooting - If a system is already running but needs to be restarted. Rebooting may be required
if a software or hardware has been installed or system is unusually slow.
There are two types of booting:
1. Cold Booting − When the system is started by switching on the power supply it is called
cold booting. The next step in cold booting is loading of BIOS.
2. Warm Booting When the system is already running and needs to be restarted or
rebooted, it is called warm booting. Warm booting is faster than cold booting because
BIOS is not reloaded.
All modern computers and computing devices use microprocessors whose speeds and storage
capacities are skyrocketing day by day. The developmental benchmark for computers is now
their size. Computers are now classified based on their use or size.
Desktop computers - are personal computers (PCs) designed for use by an individual at a fixed
location. IBM was the first computer to introduce and popularize use of desktops. A desktop unit
typically has a CPU (Central Processing Unit), monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Microprocessor - is the brain of computer, which does all the work. Microprocessors were first
introduced in early 1970s. 4004 was the first general purpose microprocessor used by Intel in
building personal computers. Arrival of low-cost general-purpose microprocessors has been
instrumental in development of modern society the way it has.

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COMPUTER: Intro to Computer, Parts and Characteristic Central Philippines State University Study guide, definitions and notes WHAT IS A COMPUTER? A computer is an electronic device that receives input, stores or processes the input as per user instructions and provides output in desired format. Computers have become an integral part of our lives because they can accomplish easy tasks repeatedly without getting bored and complex ones repeatedly without committing errors. • A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as programs. These programs enable computers to perform a wide range of tasks Modern-day kids must have used, seen, or read about computers. This is because they are an integral part of our everyday existence. Be it school, banks, shops, railway stations, hospital or your own home, computers are present everywhere, making our work easier and faster for us. As they are such integral parts of our lives, we must know what they are and how they function. Let us start with defining the term computer formally. The literal meaning of computer is a device that can calculate. However, modern computers can do a lot more than calculate. Computer is an electronic device that receives input, stores or processes the input as per user instructions and provides output in desired format. Input-Process-Output Model Computer input is called data and the output obtained after processing it, based on user’s instructions is called information. Raw facts and figures which can be processed using arithmetic and logical operations to obtain information are called data. INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT Simplest Workflow of Computer The processes that can be applied to data are of two types: • • Arithmetic Operations − Examples include calculations like addition, subtraction, differentials, square root, etc. Logical Operations − Examples include comparison operations like greater than, less than, equal to, opposite, etc. The basic parts of a computer are as follows: • Input Unit − Devices like keyboard and mouse that are used to input data and instructions to the computer are called input unit. Output Unit − Devices like printer and visual display unit that are used to provide information to the user in desired format are called output unit. Control Unit − As the name suggests, this unit controls all the functions of the computer. All devices or parts of computer interact through the control unit. Arithmetic Logic Unit − This is the brain of the computer where all arithmetic operations and logical operations take place. • • • Memory − All input data, instructions and data interim to the processes are stored in the memory. Two types of Memory: 1. Primary memory – resides within the CPU 2. Secondary memory – external part Central Processing Unit – control unit, arithmetic logic unit and memory. Hardware Components of Computers: - keyboard, mouse, printer, etc. Software - the set of instructions or programs that make the computer function using hardware parts. We cannot see or touch software. Both hardware and software are necessary for working of a computer. Characteristics of Computer • • • • • Speed − Typically, a computer can carry out 3-4 million instructions per second. Accuracy − Computers exhibit a very high degree of accuracy. Errors that may occur are usually due to inaccurate data, wrong instructions or bug in chips – all human errors. Reliability − Computers can carry out same type of work repeatedly without throwing up errors due to tiredness or boredom, which are very common among humans. Versatility − Computers can carry out a wide range of work from data entry and ticket booking to complex mathematical calculations and continuous astronomical observations. If you can input the necessary data with correct instructions, computer will do the processing. Storage Capacity − Computers can store a very large amount of data at a fraction of cost of traditional storage of files. Also, data is safe from normal wear and tear associated with paper. Advantages of Using Computer Now that we know the characteristics of computers, we can see the advantages that computers offer. 1. Computers can do the same task repetitively with same accuracy. 2. Computers do not get tired or bored. 3. Computers can take up routine tasks while releasing human resource for more intelligent functions. Disadvantages of Using Computer Despite so many advantages, computers have some disadvantages of their own. 1. Computers have no intelligence; they follow the instructions blindly without considering the outcome. 2. Regular electric supply is necessary to make computers work, which could prove difficult everywhere especially in developing nations. Booting - Starting a computer or a computer-embedded device. BIOS or Basic Input Output System - The first program or set of instructions that run when the computer is switched on. BIOS is a firmware, i.e. a piece of software permanently programmed into the hardware. Rebooting - If a system is already running but needs to be restarted. Rebooting may be required if a software or hardware has been installed or system is unusually slow. There are two types of booting: 1. Cold Booting − When the system is started by switching on the power supply it is called cold booting. The next step in cold booting is loading of BIOS. 2. Warm Booting − When the system is already running and needs to be restarted or rebooted, it is called warm booting. Warm booting is faster than cold booting because BIOS is not reloaded. All modern computers and computing devices use microprocessors whose speeds and storage capacities are skyrocketing day by day. The developmental benchmark for computers is now their size. Computers are now classified based on their use or size. Desktop computers - are personal computers (PCs) designed for use by an individual at a fixed location. IBM was the first computer to introduce and popularize use of desktops. A desktop unit typically has a CPU (Central Processing Unit), monitor, keyboard and mouse. Microprocessor - is the brain of computer, which does all the work. Microprocessors were first introduced in early 1970s. 4004 was the first general purpose microprocessor used by Intel in building personal computers. Arrival of low-cost general-purpose microprocessors has been instrumental in development of modern society the way it has. Name: Description: ...
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