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Characteristics of Computer

Computers are playing a main role in our everyday life. It solves the human problems very quickly as well as accurately. The important characteristics of a computer are:-
  • Speed:- Computer is very fast and it takes only few seconds for calculations or you can say the speed of computer in terms of microsecond (10 - 6 part of a second) or nanosecond (10 - 9 part of a second).
  • Accuracy:- The degree of accuracy of computer is very high and every calculation is performed with the same accuracy. The accuracy level is determined on the basis of design of computer. The errors in computer are due to human and inaccurate data. Everything or Result depends on the users input.
  • Storage Capacity:- A computer has a very large capacity to store information. The Computer has an in-built memory where it can store a large amount of data. To store data in computer, hard disk is used. You can also store data in secondary storage devices such as floppies, which can be kept outside your computer and can be carried to other computers. 
  • Reliability:- Computers are considered to be very reliable machines. The computer respond as the per the instruction keyed into it. They do not make mistakes on their own. Computers error occurs when humans make errors while programming the computers. Reliability is the main key of computer.
  • Versatility:- It means the capacity to perform completely different type of work. You may use your computer to prepare payroll slips. Next moment you may use it for inventory management or to prepare electric bills.
  • Diligence:- A computer is free from tiredness. It can work for hours without creating any error. If millions of calculations are to be performed, a computer will perform every calculation with the same accuracy

Applications of a Computer

Computers have become very popular in all fields. Here are some of areas where they are widely used. Some are given as below:
  • Education:- Computers give students more flexibility with their studies. Computers are also used by teachers to prepare lessons, report card and as a reference tool. 
  • Medicine:- A large number of computerized equipment is used for medical tests in hospitals and clinics. They can be used for storing medical records of patients visiting big hospitals. Doctors can access these records of patients to diagnose.
  • Business:- Every company or organization require computers for budgeting, accounting, billing, reporting, presentations etc. This information must be constantly maintained and updated. Computers are also used for sales forecasting, production, planning etc. 
  • Science and Technology:- Scientist and Engineers use the computers as a tool to experiment, design, and develop their ideas/projects. Architects use computer to design structures. Nuclear test can be simulated without damaging the environment. Computer aided designing (CAD) and Computer aided Engineering (CAE) are becoming very popular.
  • Communication:- Today, computer is available in many office and homes and therefore there is a need to share data and programs among various computers with the advancement of data communication facilities. Using Internet facility, you can send E-mail to your friends and relatives. 
  • Banking:- Computers are being used in banks for carrying out everyday transactions like online enquiry of customers’ balance, cheque verification and updating of balance, calculating interests etc. All progressive bank have installed Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to enable the customers to draw money from their accounts, money transfer etc.
  • Weather Forecasting:- Data is collected from weather stations and satellites all over the world. Changes in weather and direction of winds can be analyzed with the help of computers. Timely prediction may avoid damage due to natural disasters.
  • Entertainment:- Through computers, you can play various games, create your own music, watch cartoons or films, listen to your favorites music etc. Cartoons films are created very easily through computer animation. Special effects like fire, battle earthquake, etc can be created for films.
  • Defence:- In defence, computers can be very useful. Modern weapons and missiles are totally computer controlled.

Basic Structure of a computer System

Computer’s follows input → process → output cycle (IPO CYCLE) in order to perform a task. Input means giving data to computers and computer process as per the input, after processing it gives the output.
IPOS CYCLE:- It is how computer intake data, process the data, output information and then saves the information. I stands for input, P stands for processing, O stands for output, and S stands for storage.
Input:- Input is the raw data entered into a computer from the input devices. It is the collection of numbers, letters, images, etc. Keyboard, Mouse, scanner, webcam, etc are some examples of the input devices.
Process:- Process is the operation of data or information as per given instruction. It is totally internal process of the computer system. CPU (Central processing Unit) is the main processing device of the computer.
Output:- Output is the result of processed data given by computer after data processing. we can save these results in the storage devices for the future use. Monitor, Printer, Speaker are the main output devices.
The five basic operations that a computer performs are accepting data as a input, processing of data, outputting the information, storage of these data and process control.

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