1. Define computer.
Ans: A ‘computer’ is an electronic machine used for performing calculations and controlling
operations that can be expressed either in logical or numerical terms. In simple words, it is an electronic
device that performs diverse operations with the help of instructions needed to process the information
in order to achieve desired results. Using this versatile machine, millions of complex calculations can
be done in a mere fraction of time and difficult decisions can be made with more accuracy at low cost.
Although the application domain of a computer depends totally on human creativity and imagination,
it covers a huge area of applications including education, industries, government, medicine, scientific
research, law and music and arts.
2. State the characteristics of a computer in detail.
Explain the features of computer available for individuals and organizations.
Ans: Today, much of the world’s infrastructure depends on computers and it has profoundly changed
our lives, mostly for better. Some of the characteristics of the computers that make them an essential part
of every emerging technology and a desirable tool in the human development are as follows:
• Speed: Computers process data at an extremely fast rate – millions of instructions per second.
In few seconds, a computer can perform a huge task that a normal human being may take days or
even years to complete. The speed of a computer is calculated in MHz (Megahertz), that is, one
million instructions per second. At present, a powerful computer can perform billions of operations
in just one second.
• Accuracy: Besides efficiency, computers are accurate as well. The level of accuracy depends on
the instructions and the type of machine being used. Since computer is capable of doing only
what it is instructed to do, faulty instructions for data processing may lead to faulty results. This is
known as GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out).
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