- A computer is an electronic data processing device, which accepts and stores data input, processes the data input, and generates the output in a required format.
- Functionalities of a Computer:
If we look at it in a very broad sense, any digital computer carries out the following five functions −
Step 1 − Takes data as input.
Step 2 − Stores the data/instructions in its memory and uses them as required.
Step 3 − Processes the data and converts it into useful information.
Step 4 − Generates the output.
Step 5 − Controls all the above four steps.
Following are certain advantages of computers.
- Computer is a very fast device.
- It is capable of performing calculation of very large amount of data.
- The computer has units of speed in microsecond, nanosecond, and even the picoseconds.
- It can perform millions of calculations in a few seconds as compared to man who will spend many months to perform the same task.
- In addition to being very fast, computers are very accurate.
- The calculations are 100% error free.
- Computers perform all jobs with 100% accuracy provided that the input is correct.
- Memory is a very important characteristic of computers.
- A computer has much more storage capacity than human beings.
- It can store large amount of data.
- It can store any type of data such as images, videos, text, audio, etc.
- Unlike human beings, a computer is free from monotony, tiredness, and lack of concentration.
- It can work continuously without any error and boredom.
- It can perform repeated tasks with the same speed and accuracy.
- A computer is a very versatile machine.
- A computer is very flexible in performing the jobs to be done.
- This machine can be used to solve the problems related to various fields.
- At one instance, it may be solving a complex scientific problem and the very next moment it may be playing a card game.
- A computer is a reliable machine.
- Modern electronic components have long lives.
- Computers are designed to make maintenance easy.
- Computer is an automatic machine.
- Automation is the ability to perform a given task automatically. Once the computer receives a program i.e., the program is stored in the computer memory, then the program and instruction can control the program execution without human interaction.
Reduction in Paper Work and Cost
- The use of computers for data processing in an organization leads to reduction in paper work and results in speeding up the process.
- As data in electronic files can be retrieved as and when required, the problem of maintenance of large number of paper files gets reduced.
- Though the initial investment for installing a computer is high, it substantially reduces the cost of each of its transaction.
Disadvantages of Computers
Following are certain disadvantages of computers.
- A computer is a machine that has no intelligence to perform any task.
- Each instruction has to be given to the computer.
- A computer cannot take any decision on its own.
- It functions as per the user’s instruction, thus it is fully dependent on humans.
- The operating environment of the computer should be dust free and suitable.
- Computers have no feelings or emotions.
- It cannot make judgment based on feeling, taste, experience, and knowledge unlike humans.