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Unit: I Basics of Computer > Introduction to Computer

1. Introduction to Computer


  • Digital and analog computers

  • Characteristics of computer—Speed, accuracy, diligence, storage capability, versatility

  • History of computer—Calculating machines, Napier’s bones, slide rule, Pascal’s adding and subtraction machine, Leibniz’s multiplication and dividing machine, punch card system, Babbage’s analytical engine, Hollerith’s punched card tabulating machine

  • Generations of computer

    • First generation (1940 to 1956): Using vacuum tubes

    • Second generation (1956 to 1963): Using transistors

    • Third generation (1964 to 1971): Using integrated circuits

    • Fourth generation (1971 to present): Using microprocessors

    • Fifth generation (present and next): Using artificial intelligence

  • Classification of computer—Microcomputers (desktop computer or Personal Computer (PC), notebook computers or laptop, netbook, tablet computer, handheld computer or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), smart phones), minicomputers, mainframe computers, supercomputers

  • The computer system—Hardware, software, data, users

  • The Input-process-output concept

  • Components of computer hardware—Input/output unit, central processing unit, storage unit

  • Application of computers—Education, entertainment, sports, advertising, medicine, science and engineering, government, home

Why this chapter

Computers are an integral part of our lives. Wherever we are—sitting in our homes, working in the office, driving on roads, sitting in a movie hall, staying in a hotel, etc.—our lives are directly or indirectly affected by the computers. In this era of information, we are dependent on the storage, flow and processing of data and information, which can only be possible with the help of computers. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to the “computer”.

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