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What is a computer? Provide a definition and explain its operating system.

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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a computer is “a programmable usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data.” The first programmable computer, the Z1, was created by Konrad Zuse in the 1930s. Since then, computers have evolved to serve a variety of uses and have become commonplace everywhere from stores and businesses to private homes. According to the US Census Bureau, over 87% percent of American homes have computers.

Common uses for computers are communication, entertainment, information gathering, word processing, data analysis, storing information, controlling machines, and thousands of other uses.

Computers can process information much more quickly and accurately than the human brain.

Since a computer is considered a programmable device, you can think of an operating system as the method in which the computer is programmed. An operating system governs the computer's usage and is comprised of an extensive network of software programs that manages the computer’s hardware, other software, memory, and processes. The operating system “allows you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer's language” (Computer Basics, 2018).

Examples of popular operating systems are Windows and Mac OS.

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