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A Computer is a group of electronic devices used to process data. In the 1950s, computers were massive, special-purpose machines that only huge institutions such as governments and universities could afford. Primarily, these early computers performed complex numerical tasks, such as calculating the precise orbit of Mars or planning the trajectories of missiles or processing statistics for the Bureau of the census. Although computers were certainly useful for tasks like these, it soon became apparent that they could also be helpful in an ordinary business environment.
In the 1960s, modern computers began to revolutionize the business world. IBM introduced its System/360 mainframe computer in April 1964 and ultimately sold over 33,000 of these machines. As a result of the commercial success of its System/360, IBM became the standard against which other computer manufacturers and their systems would be measured for years to come.
In the 1970s, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) took two more giant steps toward bringing computers into mainstream use with the introduction of its PDP-11 and VAX computers. These models came in many sizes to meet different needs and budgets. Since then, computers continue to shrink in size while providing more power for less money. Today, the most common type of computer you will see is called a personal or PC, because it is designed to be used by just one person at a time. Despite its small size the modern personal computer is more powerful than any of the room-sized machines of the 1960s.
Fundamentals of Computers
A system can be defined as a set of components that work together to accomplish one or more common goals. A Computer is nothing but a system accepting input from a user, process the same, and giving the output in the required format. In other words a computer is a machine , which can be programmed to compute. The characteristics of a computer are:
- Response to a specific set of commands called as Instructions.
- Execution of a prerecorded list of instructions called Program.
Characteristics of Computers
There are various features or characteristics of the computer system depending on their size, capacity, and specifications. But, the major characteristics of the computer can be classified into Speed, Accuracy, Diligence, Versatility, Reliability, Consistency, Memory, Storage Capacity, Remembrance Power, and Automation.
Limitations Of Computer
Some limitations of the computer system are given below:
- The computer itself cannot function. It needs a set of instructions to perform or process any task.
- Computers cannot think or feel like humans. They can only work according to the instructions given.
- Unlike humans, computers do not learn from experiences.
- Power is required to operate the computer and unexpected problems or errors can occur in the event of a breakdown of the system.
Block Diagram Of Computer
The Computer system consists of mainly three types that are central processing unit (CPU),Input Devices, and Output Devices. The Central processing unit (CPU) again consists of ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) and Control Unit.
The set of instruction is presented to the computer in the form of raw data which is entered through input devices such as keyboard or mouse.
Later this set of instructions is processed with the help of CPU [Central Processing Unit], and the computer system produces an output with the help of output devices like printers and monitors.
A large amount of data is stored in the computer memory with the help of primary and secondary storage devices temporarily and permanently. This is called as storage devices
The CPU is the heart | Brain of a computer because without the necessary action taken by the CPU the user cannot get the desired output. The Central Processing Unit [CPU] is responsible for processing all the Instruction which is given to the computer system.
Below Block Diagram of Computer and Its Components are mentioned for better understanding.
The Basic components & parts of computer system are given below :
- Input Devices
- Output Devices
- CPU (Central Processing Unit)
- Storage Unit
- ALU(Arithmetic Logic Unit)
- Control Unit