CA/U1 Topic 1 Characteristics of Computer
Computer is an electronic device that is designed to work with Information. The term computer is derived from the Latin term ‘computare’, this means to calculate or programmable machine. Computer can not do anything without a Program. It represents the decimal numbers through a string of binary digits. The Word ‘Computer’ usually refers to the Center Processor Unit plus Internal memory.
Charles Babbage is called the “Grand Father” of the computer. The First mechanical computer designed by Charles Babbage was called Analytical Engine. It uses read-only memory in the form of punch cards.
Computer is an advanced electronic device that takes raw data as input from the user and processes these data under the control of set of instructions (called program) and gives the result (output) and saves output for the future use. It can process both numerical and non-numerical (arithmetic and logical) calculations.
Basic characteristics about computer are:
you know computer can work very fast. It takes only few seconds for calculations that we take hours to complete. You will be surprised to know that computer can perform millions (1,000,000) of instructions and even more per second.
Therefore, we determine the speed of computer in terms of microsecond (10-6 part of a second) or nanosecond (10 to the power -9 part of a second). From this you can imagine how fast your computer performs work.
The degree of accuracy of computer is very high and every calculation is performed with the same accuracy. The accuracy level is 7.
computer is free from tiredness, lack of concentration, fatigue, etc. It can work for hours without creating any error. If millions of calculations are to be performed, a computer will perform every calculation with the same accuracy. Due to this capability it overpowers human being in routine type of work.
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.
- Power of Remembering
Computer has the power of storing any amount of information or data. Any information can be stored and recalled as long as you require it, for any numbers of years. It depends entirely upon you how much data you want to store in a computer and when to lose or retrieve these data.
- No IQ
Computer is a dumb machine and it cannot do any work without instruction from the user. It performs the instructions at tremendous speed and with accuracy. It is you to decide what you want to do and in what sequence. So a computer cannot take its own decision as you can.
- No Feeling
It does not have feelings or emotion, taste, knowledge and experience. Thus it does not get tired even after long hours of work. It does not distinguish between users.
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 such as floppies, which can be kept outside your computer and can be carried to other computers.