Posted by billspaced | 7:53 AM | 0 comments »

'To compute' means to count. So the literal meaning of 'Computer' is a counting machine, or a calculator. But a computer performs many more functions than a calculator. It sorts out, compares, analyses, arranges information systematically, reasons logically, draws conclusions or gives the information in the desired form. It can handle vast amount of facts and figures and solve complicated problems at incredibly high speed. It can also store information for future use.

Although a computer can do many things, it cannot think. It should be instructed by a human operator. The operator should give detailed instructions to the computer about what it should do. He must put into a computer the information with which a computer can do its work or solve a problem. Putting information into a computer is called feeding or programming. This is done through an input device.

The inner part of the computer called the central processing unit receives the information, stores it, and processes it by means of mathematical calculations or logical operations. The processed data is finally translated into the form which the operator can understand and presented through an output device.

Computers are indispensable for large establishments and projects which require the combined co-operation of hundreds or thousands of persons to take innumerable complex decisions or to solve innumerable complex problems. Thus computers are a must to the big industries, government, municipality, military and space projects. But for the computers, man would never have been able to land on the moon.

They are used everywhere for various purposes. Whether it is the small-sized personal computer used to keep household accounts or the sophisticated machine used to keep track of spacecrafts, computers have become an Indispensable part of modern life.

Some people are afraid that in the long run, computers will control man. Man will become a slave of the computer. But this fear has no basis. Any computer, however sophisticated, will require man to operate it.


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