In this education blog, we will discuss the basic concepts of the computer system (i.e., computer system information).
What concepts are included in Computer System Information?
- General types of a computer. Basic terminologies related to the computer, i.e., data, program, and information.
- Components of a computer system: hardware and software.
What is a computer?
The computer is a programmable electronic machine that accepts data (as input), performs operations (as Processing) on the data at a very high speed, and produces results (as output). Since we have used the term “programmable” while defining computers, it indicates that it executes a programmed list of instructions.
Definition of computer:
An electronic device that converts data into information by a program. Laptops, smartphones, and PCs are examples of computers.
The raw facts or figures are called data. Further, we can define it as “the quantities, symbols, or characters on which a computer performs operations may be stored and transmitted in electrical signals and recorded on optical, magnetic or mechanical recording media.”
Information is the processed form of data as the facts and figures are arranged in tables, charts, images, and diagrams. It is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of data. That is why it is valid and understandable.
A program is a sequence of instructions a computer executes to perform a particular task. Programs drive computer hardware, and computers become able to do multiple tasks. Therefore they are crucial to computers as they cannot do anything without a program.
What are the components of a computer system?
There are two types of components of a computer system, i.e., Hardware and Software.
These are the computer’s physical parts that we can touch and feel—examples: keyboard, mouse, speaker, system unit, RAM.
Classification of Hardware
We further categorize the hardware units as Input, System, and Output.
The Input Unit constitutes the computer’s input devices that perform input operations for the computer. e.g., keyboard, mouse, joystick, scanner.
The System Unit is the casing containing the Motherboard, Memory Unit, Central Processing Unit, Buses, and Ports.
The output Unit consists of the output devices, i.e., the devices that perform output operations for a computer. Monitor, printer, and plotter are examples of commonly used output devices.
The details of these hardware components are beyond the scope of the basic concepts of computers. Therefore, we shall discuss them in separate posts.
The term refers to the data and all the computer programs that make a computer capable of doing different jobs efficiently and accurately.
Classification of Software
Software is generally classified based on its use or availability and accessibility. We shall discuss the detailed variety of software in separate posts as they are beyond the scope of the topic. First, however, we shall discuss general classification based on the service.
System Software is the computer program that controls and coordinates a computer system’s activities. Examples are Operating systems, Language processors, and System Utilities.
Application Software is a program that performs a particular task for the user—for example, MS Office or Spreadsheet.
Internet Applications are all those programs that help us access and surf the web—for Example, Browsers such as Chrome, Social Media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Moreover, we classify software as either licensed or open-source and either shareware or freeware.
Types of Computers:
There are three basic types of computers:
Analog Computers process the analog input. In addition, they do not give exact results of calculations; instead, they give approximate results. Examples of Analog computers are Car Speedometers and thermometers.
Since Analog computers are not always electronic devices, they are not accurate computers.
Digital computers accept input in digital form, process it, and give output in digital format. Examples are PC, Laptops, and Smartphones. These are accurate computers as they always run on direct current. Additionally, digital computers offer exact figures for calculations, unlike analog computers, which give approximate answers.
Moreover, there are four different types of digital computers. Their discussion is beyond the scope of the Basic concepts of computer system information. Therefore, we shall discuss them in a separate post.
We call these hybrid computers since they accept analog and digital inputs and can process them. They can convert analog data into digital form and vice versa. In addition, they can offer output to the users in both formats, i.e., analog and digital.
Famous examples of hybrid computers are Electrocardiogram machines, Gasoline stations.
Also, read our guide on 5 Ways to Check PC specs on Windows 10 and How the first computer was invented.