What is a computer: an Introduction to Computers

A computer is an electronic device. It operates through the control of instructions stored in its own memory unit. So a computer can accept data, and this process is known as input. Processing the data refers to data manipulation. This is in accordance with the rules specified. As a result of processing, a computer produces information, which is the output. The results are then stored for future use.


Input-devices input information into a computer. The most frequently used among them are the keyboard and the mouse. Some of the other input devices are laser guns and joysticks.

A variety of information can be input into a computer. This may include data, which are raw facts that are sometimes numeric in nature. Similarly, programs may be input into a computer. Programs are a set of instructions that a computer would follow. Programs are frequently written in programming languages. They are the languages that a computer understands. Some of the programming languages are C++ and Java.

Computers accept commands. Commands are nothing but keywords, with which a computer performs a specific task. One can also input a user-response into the computer. It is a user’s response to a query posed by a computer.


Processing primarily comprises converting the input into the output. This may cause a computer to follow the instructions that are already present in the memory.

The CPU or the central processing unit performs these actions.


The output is the result of processing, or any information or the processed data that we derive from the computer.

The output may be in the form of hard copy, which is printed on paper. Or a soft copy, which is a digital file and can be displayed over the computer screen. A few of the most frequently used output devices are the computer screen, which is a CRT or an LCD display, and printers. Alternately, speakers, headphones, and projectors are some other output devices.

Storage Devices

Storage devices used for a computer may be removable or non-removable. They store data and programs. They are within a computer or otherwise. Some of the most frequently used removable storage devices are USB drives, DVDs, and CDs. A hard disk is a non-removable storage device which is present within a computer’s CPU.

System Unit

A computer is a device that operates electronically. The motherboard is the system board of a computer. It is the main circuit board of the system unit.

The CPU or the central processing unit is the computer’s processor. It interprets the fundamental instructions that run a computer and then carries them out.

It is the control unit which interprets each of the instructions. ALU or the arithmetic and logical unit perform arithmetic and logical processes.

Memory is another one of the most important parts of a computer. Random-access memory or RAM is the computer’s memory. The memory comprises electronic components to store data. Alternately, the memory also stores the instructions or information required by the processor.

Communication devices

Communication devices are an important part of computer systems. They are hardware components for sending or receiving data.

Cellular radio networks, cables, and telephone lines are some important transmission media.


Computers have come a long way. They initially evolved as mechanical instruments for numeric computation. Computers went electronic over time and eventually became popular. They found their way into homes and offices.

Computers have their applications for work and recreational purposes alike. Basic computer literacy is a must and allows an individual to do so much more. While kids must be computer savvy, so must the adults.

The Internet is a mine of information. Computers access the internet. They keep one connected over social media and open up an entire range of employment opportunities as well.