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Introduction to Computers

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Define the term ‘computer’.

Ans. The word “Computer” originated from the word “Compute” which means to “Calculate“. Originally, computer was considered to be a calculating device that can perform arithmetic operations at enormous speed. Today, computers have become an essential part of everybody’s life. Computers are being used in almost every field now and everyday new areas of activities are being discovered.

For instance :- computers are used in homes, offices, schools, colleges, universities, nursing homes, hospitals, export houses, shops and business establishments, industries, banks, railway stations, airports, research centers and many other organizations.
Computer was originally invented mainly for doing high speed and accurate calculations it is not just a calculating device. The computer can perform any kind of work involving arithmetic and logical operations on data. It gets the data through an input device, processes it as per the instructions given and gives the information as output.

Write the various characteristics of computer.

Ans. Characteristics of computer are as follows :

1. Speed : A computer is a very fast device. It can perform in a few seconds the amount of work that a human being can do in an entire year.

2. Accuracy : The accuracy of a computer is consistently high and degree of accuracy of a particular computer depends upon its design. Errors can occur in a computer, but these are mainly due to human rather than technological weakness.

3. Diligence: Unlike human beings, a computer is free from monotony, tiredness, lack of Concentration etc and hence can work for hours together without creating any error.

4. Versatility: Versatility is one of the most wonderful things about computer. A computer is capable of performing almost any task.

5. Power of Remembering: A computer can store and recall any amount of information because of its secondary storage capability. Every piece of information can be retained as long as desired by the user and can be recalled as and when required.

6. No IQ: A computer is not a magical device it can only perform tasks that a human being can. It possesses no intelligence of its own. Its IQ is zero at least till today.

7. No Feelings: Computers are devoid of emotions. They have no feelings and no instincts because they are machine.

What is meant by ‘Generations’ of computers? Write down the names of computer generations till now ?

Ans. Generation of Computer:
“Generation”‘ in computer term is a step in technology. It provides a framework for the growth of computer industry. Originally, the term “generation” was used to distinguish between varying hardware technologies. But now a days it includes both the hardware and the software which together make up an entire computer system. There are totally five computer generations known till today.

• First Generation (1942-1955)
• Second Generation (1955-1964)
• Third Generation (1964-1975)
• Fourth Generation (1975 onwards)
• Fifth Generation (Yet to come)