Computers today

Computers are electronic machines. They communicate with the user, perform different kinds of arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, solve a series of logical problems and make thousands of logical decisions. Modern computers operate quickly and accurately. However, they don’t think.

Every computer system consists of software, hardware, procedures and data/information. Information in the form of programs and data is called software, but the pieces of equipment that make up the computer system are known as hardware. Without software instructions, the hardware doesn’t know what to do. The basic job of the computer is the processing of information. Computer is used to convert data into information. It is also used to store information in the digital form.

The most important item of hardware is the CPU (Central Processing Unit). This is the electronic unit at the centre of the computer system. The brain of the computer is the processor. It does all the processing and controls all the devices in the computer system. The main memory stores all the programs and data used by the processor.

All the other devices in the computer system are known as peripherals. These include input devices, output devices and storage devices. An input device supplies information into the computer. The most commonly used input device is a keyboard. An output device such as a monitor or a printer displays the processed data. A storage device is used for the permanent storage of information on floppy discs or CD-ROM discs.