What are the functions of a computer?
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While the functions and applications of a computer are almost endless, we can sense four primary purposes that are all linked to data (information): Entering data, manipulating data, viewing processed data, and storing data. Computers are designed to transform raw data into information. The computer operates under the control of instructions stored in its own memory unit and can accept inputted data, process it aritmethically and through sequenced based logic, produce information, and store the results for future use. All the applications of a computer derive from this basic starting point.
The computer are used today for an almost unlimited range of applications. However, irrespective of the application for which a computer is used we can identify a few basic functions that are performed by all computers> All the computer applications are make use of these basic function of computers in different ways and combinations. There are basically for basic functions of computers - input, storage, processing and output. These are described below:
- Input: Receiving or accepting information from outside sources. The most common way of performing this function is through the information entered through the keyboard and the click of mouse. Of course there are many other type of devices for receiving such information - for example, the web cam. Computers are also able to receive information stored in other devices like DVD disks and pen drives. Computers are also able to receive information from other computers and similar devices. When we use computers for automatic control of machines and processes, computers are also receive information directly from such equipments and processes.
- Storage: Store information in the computer. The memory is stored in computer in in several different ways depending on how the information is used. For simplicity we will classify in two broad categories. First is the memory in the central processing unit of the computer, and second is the auxiliary memory. The auxiliary memory includes devices such as fixed hard drives. The information stored in computer can also be divided broadly used in two categories. The user data and the instructions used for internal operation and processing in the compute. These instruction are what we call computer programs or software.
- Processing: This is really the core of computer operation. The computer processes the data that is fed to the computer by various means and the data already contained in internal memory to produce the results that is the core of all computer application.
- Output: The results of the processing are made available for use by any user or other devices. The most common ways of producing such outputs are through computer monitor, speakers, and printers. When a computer is connected to other devices, including through Internet, this output is in the form of electrical pulses. The output data can also be recorded on to an external recording medium such as a DVD disk.
Computers have four functions. They are input (Receiving information), storage (store data), processing (manipulate data) and output (provides the user with information).
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