A computer is an electronic device that stores and processes data, according to a set of instructions called a program. A program is a list of commands for the computer to follow. Computers can store data in their memory and retrieve it when needed. They can also perform complex calculations, and display information on a screen.
Computers use a variety of input and output devices, which may include a keyboard, mouse, touchpad, joystick, trackball, scanner, digital camera, microphone, and printer. They also use different types of storage media, such as floppy disks, hard disks, CDs, and DVDs.
Most computer users today are familiar with the Windows operating system, which is made by Microsoft with Advance Technology. Other popular operating systems include Linux and Apple Macintosh OS.
The heart of a computer is its central processing unit (CPU), which interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate the computer. The CPU consists of two main parts: the control unit and the arithmetic logic unit (ALU). The control unit coordinates the activities of the computer’s other components. The ALU performs arithmetic and logical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and logic comparisons.
The computer’s memory consists of one or more storage devices that hold data and instructions until they are needed by the CPU. The two main types of memory are Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). RAM is volatile, meaning it loses its data when the computer is turned off. ROM is non-volatile, meaning it does not lose its data when the computer is turned off.
Input devices allow users to enter data and instructions into a computer. Common input devices include keyboards, mice, trackballs, scanners, digital cameras, and joysticks.
Output devices allow a computer to communicate the results of its data processing. Common output devices include monitors, printers, and speakers. Some computer systems also use braille output devices for visually impaired users.
Types of computers
There are three main types of computer systems: personal computers (PCs), server computers, and mainframe computers.
- Personal computers are the most common type of computer. They are typically small, lightweight, and affordable. PCs are designed for individual users and include a variety of input and output devices.
- Server computers are used to run network applications and store data. They are typically large and expensive and are not intended for individual use.
- Mainframe computers are the largest and most powerful type of computer. They are used by businesses and governments to process large amounts of data. Mainframes are also very expensive and require special training to use.