Concept of Computers

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1. A computer is a device which can carry out sequences of arithmetic and logical operations automatically with the help of computer programming.


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2. Computers follow a generalised set of instructions to perform various functions. These are known as programs. These let the computers to perform a huge range of tasks.


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3. Computers are used in a huge arena of human endeavours and act as a second self to all of us. These act as control systems in a number of household and industrial devices like industrial robots, microwave ovens, remote controls, smartphones, personal computers etc.


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4. During the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long and difficult tasks. The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II.


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5. A modern computer consists of at least one processing element called the Central Processing Unit or CPU.


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6. The processing element carries out the arithmetic and logical operations while the control unit changes the order of questions in response to stored information.


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7. A computer performs both arithmetic and logical operations. Examples of logical operations are greater than, less than, equal to , opposite etc.


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8. Devices like keyboard and mouse are used to input data and instructions to the computer and are called the input unit.


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9. Devices like a printer and visual display unit that are used to provide information to the user in the desired format are called output unit.


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10. All input data and instructions are stored in the memory which is of two types-primary memory and the secondary memory.  Primary memory resides within the CPU while the secondary memory is external to it.


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11. Control Unit, Arithmetic Logic Unit and Memory together are called the Central Processing Unit or the CPU.


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12. The components of the computer which we can see and touch are called the hardware components of the computer.  They include devices like keyboard, mouse,  printer etc.


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13. The set of instructions or programs that make the computer function using the hardware parts are called the software.  We cannot see or touch software.


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14. Speed, accuracy and versatility comprise indisputable characteristics of a computer.  In addition, it also has reliability and storage capacity. These are some of the factors which make it such an important parts of our lives.


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15. As per the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "computer" was first used in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait.


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16. The Online Etymology Dictionary first attested the use of the word "computer" in the 1640s as one who calculates.


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17. The Antikythera mechanism is believed to be the earliest mechanical analog computer. It was designed to calculate astronomical positions.


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18. The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world by Hipparchus.  The astrolabe incorporated a mechanical calendar computer.


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19. Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer and polymath gave the concept of a programmable computer. He is considered as the "Father of the Computer".


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20. The Analytical Engine incorporated an Integrated memory, Arithmetic Logic Unit, Control Flow in form of conditional branching and loops which made it the first design for a general purpose computer.


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21. The first successful demonstration of the use of a simplified analytical engine in computing tables in 1888 was given by Henry Babbage.


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22. The Z2, created by a German Engineer Konrad Zuse in 1939, was one of the foremost examples of an electromechanical relay computer.


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23. Konrad Zuse made the Z3, which was the first fully automatic digital and electromechanical programmable computer. It was built with 2000 relays.


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24. Colossus was the world's first electronic digital programmable computer which used a large number of valves.


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25. The principle of the modern computer was proposed by Alan Turing. His seminal paper "On Computable Numbers" has proposed a device called the Universal Computing Machine.


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