Introduction to Computer: Definition, Need & Functions of Computer

This chapter contains Introduction to Computer. What exactly is a computer, the Function of a computer & definition of a computer.

Introduction to Computer

We all have seen computers and We all have used them at one time on Another.

In today’s fast-paced world it’s almost impossible to imagine the world functioning in its current state without one or other form of computer.

You can see computers in offices, banks, hospitals, schools, and also our homes.

A computer by etymology is something that computes (Calculate).

However calling a computer simply a calculator is not even accurate anymore, it was true when the first computer was built but anymore.

What is Computer?

You can call any device computer that takes data as input, process data based on a set of instruction, and provide output.

By that definition, Abacus was the oldest known computer in human civilization.

Whenever we say computer the image that comes to mind is a Desktop PC.

But Computer is not limited to Desktop or laptop only.

We even carry a mini-computer in our pocket, which we call a smartphone.

Even our phones, smartwatch, and smart TVs are one form of computer or another.

How can we define computer?

If we have to define a computer the simplest definition would be:

A device, usually electronic, that processes data according to a set of instructions.

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We can also define it as “a programmable electronic device that takes data, perform instructed arithmetic and logical operations, and gives the output.”

So the job of a computer is to take input as data, process it, and provide some sort of output.

The computer takes data from an input device like Keyboard, Mouse, Mike, and Camera.

It processes the data or even stores it in its storage and provides output to the user to monitor, other external devices such as a speaker.

Functionalities of Computer

Every computer has four core functions:

Takes Input

Be that may be from a keyboard, camera, mic, or any other input device, Computer takes input from the user.

In order for the computer to read data that we provided it is converted into the only form that a computer understands i.e Binary.

Process Data

Once the Computer gets data from the user it would process that data according to set of instructions that is provided by a user.

Provides Output

Once a Computer finishes processing data, it provides output.

Generally, anything that comes out of a computer is output, whether it comes from a monitor, speaker, or any other output device attached to your system.

Store data

The part or device where a Computer store its data are called storage.

Computers have volatile and non-volatile storage options.

Why we need Computers

Even though the human brain proved itself sufficient for most things in the past, it could not compute everything by itself.

It has its limit, it makes mistakes, and it can forget small details even the big ones if it did not remind regularly.

That is the reason since ancient times we are using letters to keep records of almost everything.

Before Computers, we used paper and pen to calculate which takes and prone to output errors.

Computers are designed to, well compute.

The first mechanical computer – The Babbage Difference Engine which was designed by Charles Babbage in 1822 was basically a very large computer.

From there to modern computers, lots of things have been changed.

For example calculation of numbers isn’t even its primary function anymore.

Nowadays we use computers to write, edit videos, surf the web, watch videos, study, and do lots and lots of other things.

Computers are used in almost any field to not only process information but to keep records.

Life in the modern world would be quite impossible to imagine without a computer.

Other FAQS

What is Introduction to Computer?

A computer is a machine that is used to perform arithmetic and logical operations and provide an output based on the data that we provide.

What is the first step to learning Computers?

The first step of learning a computer is to understand what a computer exactly is.

What is Computer and its basics?

The input unit, Output unit, control unit, and memory are basic but essential parts of any computer.

What do computers do?

The computer gets input from the user, process it, and provides an output based on the instructions provided by the user.

I'm Rahul Bodana, Writer by day, YouTuber by night, coder when the coffee kicks in, and trader when I want to test the limits of my stress tolerance.