Introduction - What Is A Computer




The Oxford Dictionary defines computer as an automatic electronic apparatus for making calculations and controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms.

The definition clearly categorizes the computer as an electronic apparatus although the first computers were mechanical and electro-mechanical apparatuses. The definition also points towards the two major areas of computer application:

  • Data Processing
  • Computer-Assisted Controls / Operations

Another important conclusion of the definition is the fact that the computer can perform only those operations or calculations that can be expressed in logical or numerical terms.

A computer is a data processor. It can accept input, which may be data or instruction or both. The computer remembers the input by storing it in memorycells. It then processes the stored input by performing calculations or by making logical comparisons or both. it gives out the result of the arithmetic or logical computations or both. The computer accepts input and outputs data in an alphanumeric form. Internally it converts input data to meaningful binary digits, performs the instructed operations on the binary data, and transforms the data from the binary digit form to understandable alphanumeric form.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Ans: A computer is a data processor. It can accept input, which may be either data or instructions or both. The computer remembers the input by storing it in memory cells. It then processes the stored input by performing calculations or by making logical comparisons or both. view more..
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Ans: The definition clearly categorizes a computer as an electronic apparatus. view more..
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Ans: The concept of calculating machines evolved long before the invention of electrical and electronic devices , mechanical and mechanical devices. view more..
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Ans: With advancement in the generation, the performance of computers improved . view more..
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Ans: Computers can be classified in variety of ways on the basis of various parameters . view more..
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Ans: A computer can accept input, process or store data, and produce output according to a set of instructions which are fed into it. view more..
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Ans: There are different types of memories with particular functions. view more..
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Ans: An operating system may be defined as a system software which acts as an intermediary between the user and the hardware. view more..
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Ans: The processing required for a single instruction is called an instruction cycle. view more..
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Ans: A number system defines a set of values used to represent quantity. view more..
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Ans: The base, or radix, of any number system is determined by the number of digit symbols in the system. view more..
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Ans: C stands out among general-purpose programming languages for its unrivaled mix of portability,power,flexibility and elegance.The language has block structures,stand-alone functions,a compact set of keywords,and very few restrictions. view more..
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Ans: A computer is 'an automatic electronic apparatus for making calculations or controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms'. view more..
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Ans: Most designs of computers today are based on concepts developed by John von Neumann and are referred to as the von Neumann architecture. Computers can be classified in variety of ways on the basis of various parameters such as usage, cost, size, processing power, and so on. The classification of computers is presented below based on their power and their use. view more..
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Ans: Supercomputer is the most expensive and fastest type of computer that performs at or near the currently highest operational rate for computers. A Cray supercomputer is a typical example. These are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations such as weather forecasting, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration etc. view more..
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Ans: A mainframe computer supports a vast number of users to work simultaneously and remotely. Apart from providing multi-user facility, it can process large amounts of data at very high speeds and support many input, output and auxiliary storage devices. These computers are very large in size, and expensive. The main difference between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer can execute a single program faster than a mainframe, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently. view more..




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