A computer is simply a machine which is able to execute certain sequences of logical or arithmetic operations automatically. Modern computers are able to do very broad ranges of activities including editing, analysis, printing, data management, and financial operations. These computers enable machines to do a great range of tasks more quickly. Computers are used in every sphere of human endeavor and in all the processes of business. In the following discussion, we will talk about the invention of the computer, its significance, applications, and computers.
Computers have traditionally been an analogue apparatus which copes with information and processes data. The term ‘computer’ is also used to denote any device which is used to process data, such as a keyboard, mouse, monitor, digital input device (such as a keyboard, mouse or printer), a digital output device (like a printer or screen) and any other devices which may be used to connect to or run software. Computer has developed over the years to form various specialized systems. Most common types of computer systems are desktop computer, laptop, personal computer, server, workstation, desktop, mobility computing and other related systems. Desktop computer is the most common type, which is mainly used to run applications.
Desktop computers consist of a mainframe computer and other specialized computers. Mainframe computer stores information while specialized computers such as laptop and personal computers store data processing application software. A mainframe computer is an enormous mainframe computer that can execute thousands of instructions at one time. On the other hand, the laptop is small sized and consists of a mainframe computer and a small number of specialized computers that are connected through a local area network.
Laptop consists of different types of hardware to operate different types of software. A laptop includes batteries, monitor, mainframe computer, input device (joystick, USB, card reader), the output device (joystick, optical mouse, video display) and speakers. As all the above mentioned equipments run on power and have memory to run applications, laptop is called high-powered or high-speed computer.
Peripheral equipment like a printer or scanner is used to transfer data from a computer system. There are two types of peripheral equipment such as discrete and permanent. Designers use discrete peripheral equipment to store data in a nonvolatile memory (NVRAM). On the other hand, permanent peripheral equipment runs on hardware that can only be recovered or reset through physical destruction. Some examples of peripheral equipments are modem, scanner, digital camera, sound recorder, fax, phone, USB drive, wireless router, cable tester, computer system interfacing devices, card readers, printers, video capture device, camera, web cam and so forth.
The increasing popularity of computers is due to its usage for personal as well as professional purposes. It has greatly contributed in the development of modern technology. With the introduction of newer generations of computers, there have been notable changes in personal computers’ design and technology. New generation computer systems provide more features than the older ones, at a lower price. The price range also depends on the capacity of the hard disk and the memory size.