Computers are defined as programmable machines that have two key features :they respond to a specific set of instruction(given by the human) that have been well defined and they can execute a pre-recorded list of instructions usually referred to as a program. Therefore computers execute what they have been instructed to.
Computers have evolved over the years from the static mainframe computers to the portable modern computers that we use today. Modern computers are both electronic and digital, and consist of the actual machinery such as wires circuits and transistors –these are referred to as hardware, and the data and instructions that are fed into the computer which are collectively referred to as software.
Components of the Computer.
The main components that make up the computers are:
- Memory: enables computers to store data and programs.
- Mass storage device: this is commonly referred to as the hard disk.
- Input devices: such as the computer keyboard and mouse.
- Output devices: such as the screen.
- CPU: which is the heart of the computer and is responsible for all executions.
Benefits of Computers :
Different sectors have benefited from the use of computers.
i. Computers have been of tremendous advantage to businesses and how the businesses are conducted in their respective sectors. Technological advancements have been so remarkable that those that have not yet incorporated the use of computers and computer systems in their day to day business activities are suffering great disadvantage as compared to their competitors. The business world uses computers for organization, self sufficiency, reducing costs, increasing the speeds of transactions and managing sales.
ii. In the academic world, teaching and learning has shifted from the manual and exhausting modes of learning to the computerized versions. Unlike traditional methods of teaching today lecturers and teachers are using power point presentations to teach. They save the slides on their computers then project them on screens .This is a more efficient mode of teaching as it allows for bigger audiences. Another great advantage is for students who are now using online learning facilities to learn about new stuff as well as research. There is no longer the need to walk miles to the physical libraries because they can access the academic material as well as online libraries from their computers.
iii. In the medical industry emerging technologies and computer developments have been of significant advantage. The life support systems all run using computers. Additionally, the records and databases of the patients can all be saved once in computers and accessed each time the patient visits the hospital.
The 21st century has been marked with dynamic trends as far as computers are concerned. The capabilities of computers have since been so expanded that it is hard to imagine how life would be if they ceased to exist.
Some of the most remarkable trends include:
- Computers have become intuitive; they now have the ability to learn, to recognize and know what human beings want, as well as our identities.
- Computers chips are everywhere and have become almost invisible due to their small sizes. Which is converse to the traditional bigger sized chips.
- Computers are now able to manage important global systems. Some of which include food production and transport.
- Today, online computer resources allow us to download application via wireless access anywhere anytime at our convenience.
- Computers have become voice-activated, video-enabled, networked and connected together thanks to the internet. These open the door for myriad functionalities.
- Computers today have digital senses such as speech that enables them to communicate with human beings and other computers.
- Finally, human and computer evolution have converged.
Types of computers.
Computers come in all types, sizes and shapes. They are also distinguished with regard to their manufacturer, features, memory size, and a number of other features.
The main categories of types of computers are however listed as:
- Macintosh computers
- Notebook computers: these are the portable computers such as laptops.
- PCS-personal computers that are mostly desktop computers.
- Servers-the main computer that gives commands to other computers connected to it.
- Supercomputers-these are computers used in science lab facilities and for research purposes.
The scope of types of computers is very broad and therefore the categories listed above have in no way exhausted the types of computers available.
The inventions of the computer and the subsequent technological developments that have been made to enhance their capabilities have been very significant to human beings and all the processes and activities that we engage in. Ranging from entertainment to food production and life-saving issues it is hard to find activities that do not need the use of computers. The use of computers will continue to be embraced by generations to come.