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Introduction to Computers

Definition of a computer

Objectives By the end of this lesson, you should be able to: Define a computer Differentiate between data and information Explain the unique characteristics of computer as a data processing tool

Definition of a computer

  • A computer is  an electronic device that receives the user's input (data)  and processes it under the influence of computer programs(software) to produce information
  • A computer is a programmable electronic device that accepts raw data as input and processes it with a set of instructions (a program) to produce the result as output ( According to Java T Point)
  • An electronic device that accepts data, as input and transforms it under the influence of a set of special instructions called programs, to produce the desired output (referred to as information)

Data refers to raw facts without much meaning to the user while information refers to the processed data that is meaningful to the user

Software refers to a set of instructions that guides the computer on how to perform a given task

Characteristics of a Computer

1. Fast: A computer can perform calculations within seconds that human beings would take hours to complete

2. Accurate: A computer has a high degree of accuracy regardless of the complexity and number of times a calculation is performed. Errors may occur due to data inconsistency and inaccuracy

3. Versatile: Can be used to carry out different tasks with the same accuracy and efficiency such as playing games and performing calculations

4. Reliable: computers work for many years without any problem

5. Diligent: A computer can perform repetitive tasks without getting bored, tired, fatigued or losing concentration

6. Vast Storage Capacity: computers have inbuilt memory used to store and retrieve large amount of data