Characteristics of a computer

Characteristics of a computer

Characteristics of a computer

At the end of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Define a computer
  • Main function of a computer
  • Define and know difference between data and information
  • List and explain each characteristic of a computer

Basic definitions

  • A computer: a computer is an electronic device that operates under the control of a set of instructions that are stored in its memory.

A computer accepts data from an input device and processes it into useful information which is displayed on its output device.

  • Data: data are raw facts put into the computer for processing.
  • Information: Information is data which have been process and has meaning.

Characteristics of a computer

  • The speed of a computer may be defined as the time taken by a computer to perform tasks.
  • It takes only a few seconds by a computer for the calculations that humans take hours to solve.
  • It works in the fractions of seconds. Most of the computer work on Micro and Nano seconds
  • Its speed is measures in terms of MHz (Mega Hertz) and GHz (Giga Hertz)
  • Since computer is programmed, so whatever input we give, it gives results without errors.
  • It performs large number of tasks without errors but if we feed wrong data to the computer, it returns the same wrong information called GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)
  • Computer errors are due to human and inaccurate data.
Diligence (Tiredness)
  • Computer can work for hours repeating one and the same task without any break and creating errors.
  • A computer is free from tiredness, lack of concentration, monotony, fatigue etc.
  • The capacity of computer performing more than one task at the time is called versatility of computer.
  • The computer can perform a diverse nature of work like calculating, graphic work, searching etc. at the same time.
Power of remembering:
  • The action or method of storing something for future use
  • Computer can store and recall any amount of information because of its secondary storage capability
  • A computer can forget or loose data when it is asked to do so (delete)
  • Storage is measured in terms of Kilobyte (KB), Megabyte (MB), Gigabyte (GB), Terabyte (TB)
  • A computer is not a thinkable machine
  • A computer is neither intelligent and never does task on its own.
  • They follow human instructions to do task.
No feelings:

Computer doesn’t have emotions, knowledge, experience, feelings.

  • Feelings is an emotional state or reaction
  • A computer can’t make judgement based on feelings, taste, experience and knowledge unlike humans.

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