Computer is an electronic device used in almost every field; even where it is most unexpected. Now we cannot imagine a world without computers. These days, computers are used extensively by engineers and scientists and also by millions of people around the world. That is why this age is called as the era of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT).

A computer is made up of two components – one is the hardware and the other is the software. All physical components of computer including keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc, are a part of the hardware. The programs and languages used by the computer are called software.

The computer has become very important now-a-days because it is accurate, fast and can accomplish many tasks easily. Otherwise, to complete those tasks manually much more time is required. It can do very big calculations in just a fraction of a second. Moreover, it can store large amount of data. We can also get a lot of information on different aspects using internet.

Today, the computer is used in different fields, which include the following:


Almost every bank uses computers to keep the records of money transactions and financial documents. It is also used in this sector because of the speed, convenience and security that it provides.


Communication has become very easy and simple through internet and email. Computer communicates using telephone lines, modems and satellites. Through email we can send messages in a split-second to anybody in any part of the world. On the other hand, the traditional form of communication, for example postal services takes many days to reach the recipient. So the internet has helped to make the earth a global village and above all, it saves time. Internet helps us to find information on every topic. It is the easiest and fastest way of commuincation. Computer network makes the user capable of accessing remote programs and databases of same or different organizations.


Computer has now become an integral part of corporate life. Business transactions take place very easily, accurately and records of all the business transactions can be stored. Today computers can be found in every store, supermarkets, restaurants, offices etc. One can buy and sell things online, bills

and taxes can be paid online and even the future of business can be predicted using artificial intelligence software. Computers also play a very important role in the stock markets.


Diseases can be easily diagnosed with the help of computer and we can also know about the cure. Almost every medical diagnostic equipment uses a computer. In the field of healthcare, computers are used to perform various tasks such as reviewing medical records of patients. Using computers, doctors can easily search information about latest drugs that are available to treat a disease. In addition, doctors use computer technology to discuss and share information about various diseases.


Today computer has become an important part of one‟s education because we are using computers in every field. Without the knowledge of computer we cannot get a job and perform well in it. So computers can improve job prospects. Computers are used in class rooms by teachers to teach, maintain records of students, online learning and assessments, etc.


Almost every type of editing and audio- visual composition can be made by using special software made for the purpose. Some software can even make three dimensional figures which are mostly used in making cartoon films. Special effects for action and science fiction movies are also created on computer.


With the advent of computers, ticketing and reservations have become an easy task. Now-a-days, it is possible to reserve our train tickets over the internet. Reservation of tickets can be done through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website of Indian Railways. It also allows one to check the railway seat availability and PNR status in real-time.


Weather predictions are also possible by the experts using supercomputers. Weather forecasting now relies on computer-based models that take many atmospheric factors into account. Ever since computers are being used, there is a greater accuracy in weather forecasting.


Computers are also used for umpiring decisions. Many a times, the umpire has to go for the decision of third umpire in which the recording is seen on the computer and finally an accurate and fair decision is reached. Simulation software helps the sportsman to practice and improve his skills.


Video games are one of the most popular applications of personal computers. The constantly improving graphics and sound capabilities of personal computers have made them popular tools for artists and musicians. Personal computers can display millions of colors, can produce images far clearer than those of a television set, and can connect to various musical instruments and synthesizers. Painting and drawing programs enable artists to create realistic images and animated displays much more easily than they could with more traditional tools. “Morphing” programs allow photographers and filmmakers to transform photographic images into any size and shape they can imagine. High-speed supercomputers can insert life-like animated images into frames of a film so seamlessly that movie-goers cannot distinguish real actors from computer- generated images. Musicians can use computers to create multiple-voice compositions and to play back music with hundreds of variations.


The spreading of an idea, or of news occurring somewhere in the world is now possible through social sites on the internet. As long as one person is able to connect to the internet and express their view about a situation or simply about an idea, then the information that individual will want to share, will get out into the world. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn allow people to share ideas on not just news, but also on products and services.


Mobile computing is the human–computer interaction by which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage. Mobile computing involves mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software. It also means being able to use a computing device even when you are mobile and therefore changing location. Portability is one aspect of mobile computing. Mobile Computing is a variety of wireless devices that allow people to connect to the internet, providing wireless transmission to access data and information from where ever they are. Many types of mobile computing devices have been introduced since 1990s including the following:

  • Personal digital assistant (PDA): A small, usually pocket-sized, computer with limited functionality.
  • Smartphone has a wide range of features and installable applications.
    • Tablet computer does not have a keyboard and is shaped like a slate or a paper notebook.


    “Computing is not about computers anymore, it is about Living” Nicholas Negroponte  

Scientists use computers for research and documentation. For example, scientists use computers to view images from space and to publish information on their recent research.


In government organizations, you can use computers to organize information by storing and maintaining records. Computers are also used for providing services to citizens.


Computers are used to design any type of publication ranging from simple newsletters to magazines, marketing

materials, books, or newspapers. Most of the publishers also have an electronic version of their magazines and newspapers. E-books have become widely prevalent.


We operate washing machines, microwave oven and many other products using software. Moreover we can store all the information about our important work, appointments schedules and list of contacts in a computer. Computer is, therefore, playing a very important role in our lives and now we cannot imagine the world without computers.

RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE                                                                                

An automobile, such as a car or a van, is available in different models and colors, but its essential components remain the same. All automobiles have an engine, a body, and wheels. Similarly, computers are available in various sizes and shapes, but they all have common components that work in the same manner. The essential components of a computer are hardware and software. In this session, you will learn about common computer terminologies, such as hardware, software, data, and network.


Hardware refers to all the physical components of a computer. It includes all input devices, processing devices, storage devices, and output devices. The keyboard, mouse, motherboard, monitor, hard disk, cables, and printer are all examples of hardware.

You use hardware to provide input to a computer and also to get the desired output. For example, when you play a musical instrument, such as a piano, you provide input by pressing the keys and get the desired output in the form of music. Similarly, computers also need input and output devices to perform tasks. Apart from input and output devices, a computer uses processing devices to work on the input data and generate the desired output. The most important processing device is the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The CPU is the brain of the computer. It processes the input to perform calculations and produce output.

A motherboard is a large circuit board that connects input, output, and processing devices. The motherboard circuits provide pathways that allow data to pass through these various components. It also contains chips that determine how, when, and where data can flow through the computer. Depending on the task that you want your computer to perform, you can choose the appropriate hardware. You can also use expansion cards, such as video cards, to add new features or enhance the performance of your computer. All of these devices are plugged into the motherboard.

Operating System

In addition to hardware, a computer needs software to function. Software sends instructions to the hardware to perform the necessary tasks. The most important software on the computer is the operating system, which controls and manages the hardware connected to your computer. The operating system provides an interface that helps you to interact with the computer. Some examples of the operating systems are Windows, Linux, and Android. A user interface can be either text-based or graphics-based. Most operating systems provide a graphical user interface (GUI), which displays images and pictures that allow you to interact with a computer easily.

Programs and Data

The hardware and the operating system together are referred to as a platform. Programs, also called applications, use this platform to perform tasks. There are many types of programs. Some programs allow you to perform tasks such as writing letters, doing calculations, or sending e-mail messages. For example, a

word processor, such as Microsoft Office Word 2007, is a program that helps you create a letter. Other programs allow you to create illustrations, play games, watch movies, or communicate with other computer users.

Programs process data that you provide as input to your computer. This data can be in the form of text, graphics, audio, or video depending on the type of program. For example, Calculator is a program that requires input in the form of numbers. Similarly, Sound Recorder is a program that requires input in the form of audio. When the program receives the data, it processes the data and displays the output on the screen. You can save this output in a file. Depending on the type of data that a file contains, the file is classified as an audio file, a text file, a graphics file, or a video file.


Consider a scenario where an organization has 10 employees. These employees use computers to perform daily tasks. They also need to print data frequently. Instead of giving each employee a printer, which would be expensive, all computers can be connected to a single printer. You can connect your computer to other computers to share information and hardware components.  A group of computers and associated devices that are linked together to facilitate sharing information is called a network. Networks can also be used to share data and devices such as printers. You can also communicate with other computer users on the network. A typical network has the following three components:

Server: The main computer on a network that provides services to other computers on the network. A server decides which computers are to be allowed to access the hardware and software on the network.

Workstation: A computer connected to a network. You use a workstation to access the hardware and software on a network.

Communication channel: A path or link that connects computers or peripheral devices, such as printers and disk drives, to transfer information. Cables are commonly used as communication channels in a network, but networks can also transfer information through wireless connections.

Depending upon the area covered, a network can be categorized as a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN).A LAN connects devices within a limited area, such as a home or a small group of offices. It commonly includes computers and shared resources such as printers and scanners. A WAN is a

network that connects devices in geographically separated areas. You can use the resources of a WAN to connect two or more LANs by using long wires, optical cables, and satellites. Many organizations use a WAN to connect their networks across different countries. The Internet is an example of a WAN.


The Internet is a worldwide collection of public networks that are linked to each other for information exchange. The Internet started as a network to facilitate communication between government and educational departments in the United States. When other networks were connected to this network, it became a vast medium for exchanging information and ideas.

Today, the Internet connects many commercial, government, and educational networks, as well as individual computers, which share data. The Internet offers a range of services to its users, such as file transfers between Internet users and electronic mail for sending messages.

The World Wide Web (WWW), or the Web, is another service that the Internet provides. WWW includes specially formatted documents that are interlinked and stored on servers around the world. You can use the Internet and its services to send messages to other Internet users, search and apply for jobs, watch movies, and buy and sell products.


Many organizations use a special type of network to communicate and share information within the organization. Such a network is called an intranet. An intranet is similar to the WWW but is accessible only to authorized users of the organization. An intranet is much smaller than the Internet and can provide services such as document distribution, software distribution, access to databases, and training.

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