CF/U1 Topic 2 Characteristics of Computers
Speed means the duration computer system requires in fulfilling a task or completing an activity. It is well-known that computers need very little time than humans in completing a task. Generally, humans take into account a second or minute as a unit of time.
Nevertheless, computer systems have such fast operation capacity that the unit of time is in fractions of a second. Today, computers are capable of doing 100 million calculations per second and that is why the industry has developed Million Instructions per Second (MIPS) as the criterion to classify different computers according to speed.
Accuracy means the level of precision with which calculations are made and tasks are performed. One may invest years of his life in detecting errors in computer calculations or updating a wrong record. A large part of mistakes in Computer Based Information System(CBIS) occurs due to bad programming, erroneous data, and deviation from rules. Humans cause these mistakes.
Errors attributable to hardware are generally distinguished and corrected by the computer system itself. The computers rarely commit errors and do all types of tasks precisely.
A computer can perform millions of tasks or calculations with the same consistency and accuracy. It doesn’t feel any fatigue or lack of concentration. Its memory also makes it superior that of human beings.
Versatility refers to the capability of a computer to perform different kinds of work with same accuracy and efficiency.
Reliability is the quality due to which the user can stay dependable on the computer. Computers systems are well-adjusted to do repetitive tasks. They never get tired, bored or fatigued. Hence, they are a lot reliable than humans. Still, there can be failures of a computer system due to internal and external reasons.
Any failure of the computer in a highly automated industry is disastrous. Hence, the industry in such situations has a backup facility to take over tasks without losing much of the time.
Storage is the ability of the computer to store data in itself for accessing it again in future. Nowadays, apart from having instantaneous access to data, computers have a huge ability to store data in a little physical space.
A general computer system has a capacity of storing and providing online millions of characters and thousands of pictures. It is obvious from the above discussion that computer capabilities outperform the human capabilities. Therefore, a computer, when used rightfully, will tenfold the effectiveness of an organization.
Adaptability of computer system means the quality of it to complete a different type of tasks: simple as well as complex. Computers are normally versatile unless designed for a specific operation. Overall, a daily purpose computer is used in any area of application: business, industry, scientific, statistical, technological and so on
A general purpose computer, when introduced in a company, can replace the jobs of multiple specialists due to its flexibility. A computer system can replace the functions of all these specialists because of being very versatile.