Fundamentals of Computer is described below –

Introduction of Fundamentals of Computer

  • The main function of a computer is to process the input data according to a specific program to produce the desired output. This is why a computer is often viewed as a data processing device. 
  • Various components of a computer work coherently to perform different operations to process the data according to program instructions.
  • Nowadays computers have something to offer to everyone. Whether it is an engineer, a business tycoon, a graphic designer, an accountant, a statistician, a student, or even a farmer; everyone is now making use of computers. 
  • A computer system consists of two parts – hardware and software.  

Definition of Computer

  • A computer is an electronic device that performs mathematical/logical as well as non-mathematical/non-logical operations to achieve results.

Features/Characteristics of Computer

  • A computer takes the raw data as input and performs several operations on these data in the form of processing to produce/achieve the desired output.
  • A computer is an electronic device that performs three basic tasks/operations i.e., inputting, processing, and outputting. A computer accepts the input through various input devices such as a mouse, keyboard, etc. After receiving the input data, a computer performs different operations required by the user on these inputs. Finally, the computer generates the resultant of the processed data as the output through various output devices such as monitors, printers, etc. Hence, a computer is a data processing device.

Terms related to Computer

  • Computer System : 
    • The collection of all the necessary components of a computer to execute it successfully constitutes a computer system.
    • It normally includes CPU, peripherals, etc. 
  • Peripherals

Advantages/Merits/Properties of Computer

The following advantages of computers have made them so powerful and universally accepted machines in the world these days – 

  • SPEED :
    • In general, no human being can compete in solving complex computations, faster than the computer.
    • Computers work at an incredible speed. It takes only a few seconds for calculations that we take hours to complete.
    • A powerful computer is capable of performing about 3-4 million simple instructions per second.
    • The processing speed of a computer is measured in the range of microseconds (106 part of a second) or nanoseconds (109  part of a second). From this, we can imagine how fast our computer performs work.
    • In addition to being fast, computers are also accurate. Since a computer is programmed, whatever input we give it gives results with accuracy.
    • The degree of accuracy of a computer is very high and every calculation is performed with the same accuracy.
    • Errors that may occur can almost always be attributed to human error (inaccurate data, poorly designed system, or faulty instructions/programs written by the programmer). They do not create errors themselves.
    • Computers can store mass storage of data in appropriate formats in their in-built memory.
    • Today’s computers can store large volumes of data. A piece of information once recorded (or stored) in the computer’s permanent memory, can never be forgotten/lost in normal condition and can be retrieved almost instantaneously.
    • Computer-stored data can be also taken outside from the computer easily and can be carried to other computers.
    • Computers can work for hours without any breaks and create errors because a computer is free from tiredness, lack of concentration, fatigue, etc.
    • Unlike human beings, computers are highly consistent. They do not suffer from human traits of boredom and tiredness resulting in a lack of concentration. computers, therefore, are better than human beings in performing voluminous and repetitive jobs.
    • If millions of calculations are to be performed, a computer will perform every calculation with the same accuracy.
    • Due to this capability, it overpowers human beings in routine types of work.
    • Computer is a considered a consistent machine, i.e. computer never gets tired of working. We can use a computer to perform our tasks without any error for any number of hours/days/weeks/months continuously without stopping it with similar processing speed as found in most of the huge servers. 
    • The computer does its all processing work automatically once all of its instructions are accepted i.e. once started on the job it carries on until the job is finished without any further human assistance.
    • We can use the same computer to perform completely different types of work when we need it. We can’t change computers for other work normally.
    • This most wonderful feature of computers allows the activities of different types of jobs from simple calculations to complex scientific operations and computations and is also capable of preparing examination marks sheets, bills, letters, documents, and many more.
    • Computers are versatile machines and are capable of performing any task in different sectors such as works of Railway/Air reservation, Banks, Hotels, Weather forecasting, and many more.
    • Reliability is a very big characteristic of computers.
    • Today, e-commerce companies, organizations, factories, hospitals, agencies, banks, railways, and many more, faithfully rely on the computer’s work.
    • Multitasking is also a very special characteristic of a computer. 
    • A user can do more than one same/different related things at the same time on the same computer without disturbing other jobs such as working on MS Word applications along with listening to music, printing documents, opening the internet, playing games, etc.
      • It can remember data for us very long time in a secure way.
      • A computer has the power to store any amount of information or data. Any information can be stored and recalled as long as we require it, for any number of times or years. It depends entirely upon us how much data we want to store in a computer and when to lose or retrieve these data. 

    Components of a Computer System

    A typical digital computer system consists of –

      (A) Hardware (B) Firmware, and (C) Software


    Use this link for Hardware Details


    • The term ‘firmware’ was coined by ‘Ascher Opler’ in 1967 in Datamation (an American Computer Magazine) article.
    • Firmware is the combination of Hardware & Software both, but dominantly software embedded in the hardware.
    • According to the Oxford Dictionary, Firmware is permanent software programmed into read-only memory (Flash ROM/Erasable ROM).
    • Changing the firmware of a device was rarely or never done during its lifetime in the previous time but nowadays it may change in some cases. Also, in some memory devices firmware are permanently installed and cannot be changed after manufacture. Common reasons for updating firmware are to fix bugs or add new features to the device.
    • Firmware is normally stored in non-volatile memory devices such as ROMEPROMEEPROM, and Flash memory.
    • A famous example of firmware is BIOS(Basic Input Output System).
    • Some other devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, USB flash drives, etc. have internally in-built firmware.


    Use this link for Software Details



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