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Computer Definition


If you are a child of the modern period, you have probably used, seen, or heard about computers as they are so crucial to our daily life. Computers are widely available, making our duties more accessible and practical, whether at a school, bank, shop, railway station, hospital, or home. Given their importance to our lives, everyone needs to know what they signify and how they operate.

Computer Definition

In its purest form, a computer is nothing more than a calculator. But modern computers are much more than simply calculators. A computer is an electrical device that accepts input, stores it or processes it following user instructions, and then outputs the desired information in the appropriate format.

What is a computer?

The term "computer" is derived from the Latin word "computare," which indicates to calculate. A computer is an electronic programming device that processes raw data as input and outputs the result after processing it according to a set of commands (a program). After executing logical and mathematical processes, it renders output and saves it for further use.

A computer's purpose is to run programs, and its combined hardware and software elements may be used to do several tasks. Programs are needed for it to function, and a series of binary digits are used to represent decimal values. It also has a memory for storing data, software, and processed information. Hardware describes the physical components of a computer, including its hard drives, transistors, and wires. Contrarily, software refers to data & algorithms.

Computer Definition

The Analytical Engine, created by Charles Babbage in 1837, is often regarded as the initial computer. Utilizing punch cards, read-only memory was implemented. "The father of the computer" is another name for Charles Babbage.

A computer needs the following fundamental components to function:

  • Processor: It carries out commands from hardware and software.
  • Memory: The CPU & storage use this memory as their primary means of data transport.
  • Motherboard: The computer component that links all other elements or components.
  • Storage device: It keeps the data permanently, like a hard disc.
  • Input Device: A keyboard is an example of an input device that enables communication with a computer or data entry.
  • Output Device: The output can be seen on an output device like a monitor.

Input-Process-Output Model

Data is computer input, whereas information denotes the outcome of analyzing such data following user instructions. Unrefined data and numbers employed in logical and arithmetic operations to generate information are referred to as data.

Computer Definition

Two distinct types of methods can be used on data:

  • Arithmetic operations include calculations like addition, subtraction, division, differential equations, square roots, and more.
  • Logical operations include calculations such as greater than, less than, opposite, equal to, etc.

Essential Components of a Computer

  • Input Unit: Devices, such as a keyboard and mouse, are input units that enter data and commands into the computer.
  • Output Unit: Devices like printers and visual displays that deliver information to users in the format they want are called output units.
  • Control Unit: As its name indicates, the control unit controls all computer operations. Through the control unit, all devices or components of the computer communicate.
  • CPU: The computer's central processing unit (CPU), the arithmetic logic unit, is where all arithmetic and logical operations are carried out.
  • Memory: Memory stores all input data, instructions, and data used in between operations. There are two categories of memory: primary memory & secondary memory; and secondary memory is outside the CPU, whereas primary memory is housed within.
Computer Definition

The central processing unit, or CPU, is the collective name for the control unit, arithmetic logic unit, and memory. The physical parts of a computer, such as a keyboard, mouse, printer, etc., are its hardware. Software is the set of programs or instructions that enable the computer to use specific hardware components. We can't see or interact with software. A computer can only function if it has the proper hardware and software.

Software vs. Hardware

The computer system is divided into these main groups.

We recognize that there exist two major categories of the computer while considering its definition. They are the computer's hardware and software. The hardware of a computer is what we can see, feel, and touch. Along with the CPU chip itself, they also consist of the output and input devices.

In contrast, software refers to programs that carry out activities. For instance, the browser you use to see this application is software. Two forms of software exist the operating system, such as Windows or LINUX, and the application software, such as Microsoft Office, games, web browsers, etc. Without software, a computer is just a stupid piece of equipment, and computers are only helpful to humans thanks to their software.


Computer Definition

Computer hardware refers to a computer device's essential hardware components. Hardware may be changed as needed or if it breaks. Hardware is frequently referred to as a computer device's mechanical or significant electronic components. These are utilized to assemble and prepare the computer for use. Monitors, the CPU, and other devices are some examples.


Computer Definition

A computer system's software is a computer program run on a computing device to complete a task. It is a collection of applications and processes that can carry out specified duties. Most software is created or written in high-level programming languages, which both computer users and non-technical persons can understand.

Computer Definition

A computer's software is split into two sections. The list is as follows:

  • System software: System software is a computer program that interacts directly with physical devices. Utilizing the computer's operating system and hardware is beneficial. Most of the system software comes pre-installed on new PCs, for example, Unix, Windows, etc.
  • Application software: Application software is designed to help users carry out various tasks on a particular computer system. Application software may already be present on the computing device or need to be downloaded later through the Internet or other sources. Examples are WhatsApp, games, and Microsoft Word.

Types of Computer

You should be aware that there are two different categories of computers. Computers can be classified according to their capacities for handling data or size. There are three different sorts of computers if data handling capabilities are considered. These three computer types are:

Computer Definition
  • Analog computers: The purpose of analog computers is to handle analog data. Analog data cannot have discrete values; continuous data evolves. As for speed, temperature, pressure, and current, we may state that analog computers are utilized when precise quantities aren't always required. Analog computers don't need to transform the data into numbers or codes before using it; they receive it directly from the measurement equipment.
  • Digital computers: A digital computer is made to carry out logical processes and computations quickly. It receives the raw data in binary integers (0 and 1) or digits as input, processes it using stored instructions in its memory, and outputs the results. Modern digital computers include all laptops, desktops, and cellphones we utilize at home or the office.
  • Hybrid computers: A hybrid computer combines digital and analog computing elements. It operates quickly, like an analog computer, and accurately, like digital computers. Both discrete and continuous data can be processed using it. Before processing, it receives analog signals and converts them to digital form. As a result, it is frequently employed in specialized applications that process digital and analog data.

Computers may also be divided into groups according to processing speed and power.

1. Micro Computer

Computer Definition

Microcomputers are often created and intended for everyday tasks like web surfing, information searching, MS Office, social networking, etc. It is a single-user computer that performs slower and has less storage space than other models, and its CPU is a microprocessor. With 8-bit microprocessor chips, the first microcomputer was constructed. Personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones are typical microcomputers.

2. Mini Computer

Computer Definition

Midrange Computers is another name for minicomputers. They are not made for a single person; they are multi-user systems built to accommodate several users simultaneously. As a result, small enterprises and firms typically employ them. Certain corporate divisions use these computers for their reasons. A minicomputer, for instance, can be used by the admissions office of a university to track the admissions process.

3. Mainframe Computer

Computer Definition

The architecture of mainframe computers allows for simultaneous operation by thousands or millions of people. Additionally, it enables many running apps at once, and they can thus run several processes at once. Due to these features, the mainframe computer is perfect for large businesses processing much data, such as those in the banking and telecom industries.

4. Super Computer

Computer Definition

The quickest and most costly types of computers are called supercomputers. Thanks to their fast processing and enormous store capabilities, they can process billions of instructions every second.

Since they are task-specific, supercomputers are used for specialized tasks like significant mathematical problems in technical and scientific fields, including applications for electronics, petrochemical engineering, weather prediction, medicine, space exploration, and more. For example, NASA launches space satellites and manages and controls them for space research using supercomputers.

5. Work stations

Computer Definition

It is a computer with only one user. It is similar to a personal computer, but unlike a microcomputer, it features a more powerful CPU and a better display. It is in the middle between a personal computer & a minicomputer in terms of performance and storage. Workstations are typically employed for specialized tasks like desktop publishing, software creation, and engineering designs.

Benefits of computers

  • Multitasking: One of the main advantages of computers is this. A person can carry out multiple operations and tasks at once and solve mathematical problems quickly. Hundreds of thousands of processes can be performed by a computer per second.
  • Speed: A computer may now be used for more than just calculations. The computer has integrated seamlessly into daily life. One of the enormous benefits of computers is their incredible speed, which allows users to complete jobs in a couple of moments.
  • Cost/ Huge Stores: Huge amounts of data may be saved on a coffee budget. The main benefit that will cut costs is a central database storing information.
  • Accuracy: A real benefit of computers is their ability to do computations accurately.
  • Data security: It is the act of securing digital information.
  • Task-accomplishing robot: Carries out tasks that humans would find difficult.
  • Communication: A computer aids in improved user understanding and interaction with other devices.
  • Productivity: Because the computer can do the task quickly, productivity automatically doubles.
  • Reliability: Computers can repeat the same tasks without making mistakes since humans frequently make mistakes when weary or bored.
  • Storage: The computer has an internal memory that can hold vital information. Auxiliary storage devices can also be used to store data.
Computer Definition

Drawbacks of Computer

  • Viruses and hacker assaults: It is where a hack is just unauthorized access to a computer for some nefarious (criminal) purposes. Viruses can enter a system using a detachable drive like a USB, an email attachment, a website advertising, etc.
  • Online cybercrimes: When a computer or network is used to commit a crime, this is referred to as an online cybercrime. Fraud and cyberstalking are two examples of online cybercrimes.
  • Reduction in employment opportunities: Because the previous generation didn't utilize computers or have the necessary expertise, they had a lot of difficulties when computers first entered the workplace.
  • High cost: Computers are pricey. Even the cheapest PCs are expensive for the average person since they give individuals more power.
  • Distractions/disruptions: You know how diverting computers can be if you've spent hours surfing the Internet or watching movies on YouTube because they provide a lot of entertainment.
  • Increases waste and harms the environment: The rate at which electronics, including computers, are updated harms the environment.
  • Healthcare Issues: Computer use for extended periods can pose several health risks. Sitting too frequently close to the screen causes eye strain and eye dryness?Additionally, extended periods of sitting cause back and neck issues.

Cloud computing

The term "cloud computing" describes the timely provision of various services through a device's connection to the Internet. One may use many tools and options in cloud computing to complete online tasks for work. Databases, servers, and data storage are some of the services provided by cloud computing.

Computer Definition

Instead of keeping documents on hard drives or other local storage devices, cloud computing allows you to store them in a remote database using a cloud-based storage service. The data and software saved in the cloud may be accessed by the specific electronic gadget so long as it has high-speed internet connectivity.

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