Introduction to Computer
A computer is an electronic device that operates according to the instructions stored in its memory. Computers are used in various fields in our daily life. Computers have taken industries and businesses to a whole new level. Some of the application areas of the computer include education, entertainment and science and engineering.
The development of electronic computers can be divided into five generations depending upon the technologies used. These are: first generation, second generation, third generation, fourth generation and fifth generation. The first generation computers were huge, slow and expensive. They were based on vacuum tubes. The second generation computers used transistors. The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. The fourth generation computers are marked by the usage of integrated circuits and microprocessors. This generation of computers supported Graphical User Interface (GUI). The fifth generation computers are based on Artificial Intelligence.
The process of a computer task can be divided into three stages: input, process and output. The input stage involves putting information into the system. The processing stage involves doing something with the information. The output stage involves displaying results. Hardware consists of physical devices of the computer. Software is a set of instructions and programs, which enable the computer to perform a specified task. There are two types of software: hardware and software. The input unit accepts data from the user and the output unit provides the processed data. The memory unit is used to store the data, the instructions and the output information.