An introduction to computer studies, (definition and meaning of the computer) Unit one.

The word “computer” were rooted in an ancient discipline knows as “computing” or “compute”. Compute simply means to calculate something, especially using a computer.

  • A person employed to perform computations one who computes, by restriction, male is known as computer while the female is known as computress.

In an ancient time people had to use fingers and toes as computing aids, each finger and toe represents a digit. With time, the number of fingers and toes became inadequate and insufficient. This results in the evolution of many different computing devices starting from the early computing machine known as “ABACUS” ( a machine designed to handle arithmetic calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.) and down to “analytical engine” developed by Charles babbage.

The fundamental idea underlying all computing is to see how computing process can be automated to guarantee efficiency and accuracy. These motivated the mathematicians and thinkers for many years to think of ways to systematized reasoning and develop means to make computations accurate and efficient.

The modern electronic digital computer is the most recent advance in this chain of development that can perform substantial computations including numerous arithmetic operations or logic operations. This definition may be acceptable if computer is viewed as a mechanically powered computing machine, but computer has become a general-purpose machine that processes not only numerical values but also other data including text, graphics, sound and etc.

Nowadays, computer can be defined as follows:

  • Computer is a programmable electronic device that performs mathematic calculations and logical operations, especially one that can process, store and retrieve large amounts of data very quickly.
  • Computer is an electronic device that works under the control of stored program automatically accepting, storing and processing data to produce information that is the result of processing with little or no human intervention.
  • Computer is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in it’s own memory, that can accept data process the data according to specified rules, produce results and store the results for future use. According to langasa 2021.

There aare many computerised devices around us in our homes, schools, offices, hospitals, markets and etc. Such as:

  1. GSM ( Global System for Mobile Network).
  2. ATM ( Automatic Teller Machine).
  3. POS ( Point of Sales Terminal).
  4. Traffic control lights on our roads.
  5. Microwave oven with memory, and so on.

The above definitions may seem to be concise but more acceptable as it encompasses the basic mode of computer operation ( electrically powered), the use of binary digits which makes it digital in nature, and the four major activities common to all computers (i.e. Input, output, storing and processing). The term stored program is a keyword required in defining computer irrespective of kind of computer, it is also one of the distinguishing factors between computers some other machines.

Thank you for reading.

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