Computer basics – History, workflow, parts and components for exams

Computer basics – History, workflow, parts and components for exams is the first article in computer series for both competitive exam aspirants like banking and school kids.

Read here : Download : Computer Awareness For Banking Exams

Computer derived its name from the Latin word ’computare’. A computer is a machine or device which is used to manipulate data and information. It stores data, information and calculates faster than human.

Let’s get to know how it originated and developed…
In Babylonia, around 2000 years ago Abacus was invented and was known as first calculating device which was used for simple addition and subtraction.

  • Blaise Pascal invented an adding machine in 1642 which was based on mechanical gears 
    and also known as pascal calculator
  • Gottfried Leibniz a German mathematician modified Blaise Pascal’s calculator in 1671 and he invented a machine which can do various kind of division and multiplication.

Invention of computer!

Analytical EngineCharles Babbage in 1833 invented first mechanical computer which have same features like today’s computer language and for his great invention Sir Charles Babbage known as father of the computer.

Development of computer over the years…

First generation (1937 – 1946) – Clifford berry and John V. Atanasoff invented first digital computer and known as Atanasoff-Berry computer (ABC) in 1937. For military purpose, electronic computer which was named as Colossus was built in 1943. Until 1946 further development continued the first general ENIAC that is Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer was built and this computer had 18000 vacuum tubes and weighed 30 tons, this generation computer performed single task and no operating system.

Second generation (1947 – 1962) – Transistors was used in place of vacuum tubes. First computer was introduced to public in 1951 for commercial use which was UNIVAC 1 – Universal Automatic Computer and IBM (International Business Machine) 650 and 700 series was introduced, further development was made by developing different programming languages and this generation had both memory and operating system. Disk and tape was used for the storage.

Third generation (1963 to 1971) – In this generation computers became small in size and can perform multiple functions at a time and are more reliable than before.

Fourth generation (1971 to present) – Ms-Dos (Microsoft Disk Operating System) was introduced in 1980 and IBM give us personal computers in 1981 for commercial and home use. Then Macintosh computer was introduced by Apple.

Fifth generation (present to future) – This generation includes artificial intelligence which is still developing as we know.

What is Workflow?
It consists of an arrangement and repetitive pattern of a business activity or performance enabled by an organization in which the resource of the organization into process which change material, process information and provide service.

Parts of computer 

Monitor – A monitor is a screen or output device which shows information or data in pictorial form. Old monitors used cathode ray tube (CRT) display but now, days monitor have Liquid crystal display (LCD).
Keyboard – It is a kind of typewriter device which have characters, numbers and symbols of keys for the electronic switch.
Mouse– It is also known as pointing device that helps you to point the objects on the monitor and an important communicating device.
CPU– Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of computer and it is that device which interprets codes when it receives from the other parts of the computer. CPU consists of ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) and control unit.
RAM– Random Access Memory (RAM) is a data storage that store code and data. It allows to read and write both irrespective of location of data in the memory with a high speed.

Components of computer

  1. Input Unit – It helps to transfer all the information to the storage unit or memory for the outside by the following –
  1. Punched cards.
  2. Punched paper tape.
  3. Magnetic tape.
  1. Storage Unit or Memory – A series of numbers or characters are stored and at the time of calculation, at electronic speed output are released. It holds temporarily results of any calculation until further processing and also store final results before showing the final output.
  2. Arithmetic and Logic Unit – This unit helps in the logical and calculation operations. The arithmetic contains subtraction, addition, division, multiplication at a very very high speed. The logical unit is used in making decision like ‘yes’ and ‘no’ whenever the instruction given to the computer.
  3. Output UnitThis unit is used in the final result or end product, final information report required from the computer. For example command to a printer to print a paper so, final output is printed paper.
  4. Control Unit – As name suggested, it controls programme and every unit works under the control of this unit so, this is the nerve center like CPU.

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