A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out an arbitrary set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically.
The ability of computers to follow generalized sequences of operations, called programs,
enable them to perform a wide range of tasks.-justplay
Such computers are used as control systems for a very wide variety of industrial and consumer devices.
This includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls,
factory devices such as industrial robots and computer assisted design, but also in general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones.
The Internet is run on computers and it connects millions of other computers.
Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations.
Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks,such as guiding patterns for looms.
More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century.
The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II.
The speed, power, and versatility of computers has increased continuously and dramatically since then.-justplay18
Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU), and some form of memory.
The processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, and a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information.
Peripheral devices include input devices (keyboards, mice, joystick, etc.), output devices (monitor screens, printers, etc.),
and input/output devices that perform both functions (e.g., the 2000s-era touchscreen).
Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.
A computer’s memory can be viewed as a list of cells into which numbers can be placed or read.
Each cell has a numbered “address” and can store a single number.
The computer can be instructed to “put the number 123 into the cell numbered 1357” or to “add the number that is in cell 1357 to the number that is in cell 2468 and put the answer into cell 1595.”
The information stored in memory may represent practically anything.
Letters, numbers, even computer instructions can be placed into memory with equal ease.
Since the CPU does not differentiate between different types of information,
it is the software’s responsibility to give significance to what the memory sees as nothing but a series of numbers.
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