Computer is defined as an electronic device that allows the input of data, which is processed, stored and then outputted as information. It is an electronic device because it will require electric power for it to function and it also has the electronic component.
It allows data to be inputted into it through input devices (e.g mouse, keyboard, joystick e.t.c) that are connect into it. The processing of the data entered is done at the Central Processing Unit (CPU), which compose of part such as Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), Control Unit (CU) and the main memory.
The data is then stored temporally as it is being processed in the main memory or permanently in the secondary storage e.g hard disk drive, which can be retrieved later. The output of the processed data is outputted from different avenue depending with the user need. If user need a softcopy they can use monitor while for hard copy printer can be used, these and many other output device can be used to display the information.
CHARACTERISTICS OF COMPUTERS
They process data faster when compare with human. Depending on the computer the processing speed can range from few thousands process to quadrillions process per second.
Unlike people computer don`t get bored if they are made to repeat on process many times. This mean they can be used to do repetitive job which to human they are boring.
Computers have no brains
Computers cannot think for themselves. They require instruction coded by human so that they can interpret them and act accordingly. This mean computer cannot think rationally but only on the line that the instructor desires.
Following the instruction given computer can give the same result for a given situation the same way all the time. Unlike human who can change the presentation of a situation, the computer will present it the same even if it is the millions time which make it more dependable that human.
High storage capacity
Since the first computer was invented the technology of manufacturing the storage device has change for the better. It has offered more room for storage (eg. From few hundred to billions of bytes), and increase the speed of retrieving the data when needed. This means more data stored in less storage space.
IMPACTS OF COMPUTER TO THE USERS
With computer and network the communication is made easier and convenient. Using email, chat room, social platform and other mean one can be able to communication with almost anybody in the world regardless of their location. Sometime the communication is real time and visual (skype) which make it even more interest. This has opened a new avenue for socializing to a worldwide level.
Since one of it characteristics is high storage capacity it means this has change how data is stored. Computer uses from individual to international companies can now forget about setting aside a filling room to put the file for client. This is because using a computer and software like database management system they can manage their customer file from one computer. This saves on space and cost.
They requires an expert to operate, which means learning new skill or getting one who as the required skills. This means computers have created new professions and careers and hence new jobs. Today most of the companies have an ICT department which require professional who has technical skills of the computer.
Operation cost reduced
Since computer easy the communication it means it also reduce the cost of using poster, booking hotels for meeting (instead you can have a video conference), hiring extra room for filling system among other cost reducing ways. This cut down the cost of operating business if computer are incorporated in the business.
Relatively high initial cost
Computer are relatively expensive and not everybody who can buy one. Again for the companies which may want incorporate computers in their operation may realize that they may require to buy, other accessories other that the computer and the installation may cost more that they can afford.
Loss of employment
Since computer simplifies and automate most operation it means less human effort is require in day to day operations. This means more people will have to be retrenched from their jobs. Again it means people will choose between going back to school to get computing skills or quitting the job because they cannot work without computer skills. Messenger, filing officer and those without computer knowledge will be the first to be retrenched because their work will be replaced by computers
Computer and the internet are exposing people both adult and underage to immoral behaviors and additions. Some people get addicted to pornographic, web surfing, social platform and many other sites. They become detached to the surrounding because what they now is the cyber world.
Insecurity of data
The computer when connected to the internet or any other network it exposes the user to all the security issues related to the internet. The computer can get infected with malicious programs, it can be hacked and all that.