You will learn the basic concepts of computers. A computer may be defined as an electronic device capable of performing operations in numerical or logical terms. This unit also discusses the various generations of computers. In computer technology, the term ‘generation’ is used to distinguish between varying hardware and software technologies. Computer software is a set of instructions containing the methodology to process raw data in a computer system. This set of instructions is also called a program. Hardware constitutes the electronic circuits that are used to build the computer. The electronic, magnetic and mechanical devices together are referred to as computer hardware.
This unit also discusses the various types of computers such as notebook computers, laptop computers, personal computers (PCs), workstations, mainframe computers, and supercomputers. The size, shape, cost, and performance of computers have changed over the years, but the basic logical structure has not. Any computer system essentially consists of three important parts, namely input device, central processing unit (CPU) and output device.
Information technology (IT) has opened up several allied industries and employment opportunities which never existed before. Whether it is Business Process Outsourcing or BPO (remote data processing or web-enabled services (medical transcription, call centers), IT has opened up new avenues for jobs. Thanks to the Internet, developing nations today can also participate in the global economy and help bridge the divide between haves and have-nots.
What is a Computer?
The word ‘computer’ literally means ‘something that computes or calculates’. But considering a computer to be merely a calculating device would be to severely limit its powers. It may be defined as a device that can operate upon information or data. The information is processed based on a set of instructions provided to generate the output.
As per the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a computer is, ‘An automatic electronic apparatus for making calculations 6or controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms.’