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Computer Fundamentals | Computer Awareness Question Bank

Introduction The word ‘Computer’  comes  from  the Latin word  ‘Computerae’  mean ing to  com pute. Com puter is  de fined as “An automatic electronic apparatus for making calculationsor controlling operations that are expressible in numerical or logical terms”.

Some Important Terms Related to Computer 

Data  The word data has been derived from Latin word ‘datum’ (Means  facts). It is  a collection  of facts and figures which are not  in directly usable form. Processing  The act of performing some actions to convert  into useful form. Information  It is processed data or final result which  is in directly usable form and conveys  some meaningful  results. Instruction  It is  type of action to be taken  on data. Basic Operations  Input, Storing, Processing, Output, Control.

Components of a Computer

  • Input Unit 

It accepts data and instructions from the user. It converts the accepted instructions into the machine language. It gives  converted instructions  to CPU  for processing. eg,  Key board,  Mouse,  Light Pen, Joystick,  Mag netic Ball,  OCR (Op ti cal Char ac ter Reader),  Floppy Disk Drive,  Mag netic  Disk  Drive,  Bar Code Reader,  Smart Card Reader, Bio met ric Sen sor,  Touch Screen,  Punched Card Reader, Sty lus and Tab let, Puck or Mi cro phone, Dig i tal Cam era, Scanner,  etc.

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU) 

All processing work of computer is performed by it. It is also termed as brain of computer. It controls all the  parts of computer system. It is  further classified into three components

(a) Arithmetic and  Logic Unit  ::
It per forms all arith me tic and logic op er a tions. It  con sists of num ber of small lo ca tions, termed as reg is ters. It has two parts
  • (i) Arithmetic  Section :: All  com plex  arith me ticex pres sionsare  per formed  by  re pet i tive  com bi na tionof these  op er a tions. 
  • (ii) Logic Section :: It performs all logic op er a tions like com par ing, se lect ing and merg ing of data.

(b) Control  Unit  ::  It gives  com mand to trans fer data from  the in put de vices  to mem ory and from  mem ory to arith me tic logic unit. It trans fers the re sults from mem ory to out put unit.

(c) Memory  ::  It temporarily (Primary)  /  permanently (Secondary) holds the data received from input device. It holds the data being processed and intermediate results being generated.  It holds the system software and the application software in use.

RAM (Ran dom Ac cess Mem ory)  :: RAM is where all ac tive pro grams and data are stored so that they are readily avail able and eas ily ac cessed by the CPU.

ROM (Read  Only Mem ory) ::  It is log i cal then that data stored on ROM can not be changed. It is non vol a tile which means that it can keep its con tents even with out a power source. PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory)
Output Unit
It accepts processed data (results) from CPU. It converts  results from machine language into  some simple language. It displays results to user. eg, Vi sual Dis play Unit  (VDU), Printer,  Plot ter, Floppy Disk  Drive, Mag netic Disk Drive,  Speaker, Pen Drive,  etc. Soft ware  It is a set of in struc tions that di rects the com puter to pro cess in for ma tion. It can be clas si fied into three types 
  • (i) Sys tem  Soft wareIt  co or di natesthe  op er a tion  of  the  var i ous  hard ware  com po nentsof  the  com puter.  eg, MS DOS, Win dows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista, Linux and UNIX. 
  • (ii) Ap pli ca tion  Soft ware  It is  a set of  pro gram  de signed  for spe cific uses or  ap pli ca tions  eg, MS Word, MS Ex cel etc. 
  • (iii) Util i ties  Soft ware  Util ity pro grams are those that  are very of ten re quested by many ap pli ca tion pro grams.  It is  used  to de bug the soft ware er rors, cor rect  the data through  the ed i tor,  sort  data,  etc.  eg, Pkzip, Anti Vi rus  Software, etc.

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