Jan 2017

internet with applications

Introduction to Computers and the Internet

1.1 Definition

A computer is an electronic device that accepts raw data, processes it according to a set of instructions to produce the desired result.

The set of instructions is called program and can be written using artificial languages like C, C++, Java etc. The programs run under the supervision of an Operating System. Examples for popular operating systems are Windows, UNIX, LINUX, Solaris, etc.

A computer performs the following three operations in a sequence.

  1. It receives data and instructions from the input device.
  2. Processes the data as per instructions.
  3. Provides the result (output) in the desired form.

Data:    It is the collection of raw facts, figures and symbols.

Example: Names of students and their marks in different subjects listed in random order.

Information: It is the data that is processed and presented in an organized manner. Example: When the names of students are arranged in alphabetical order, total and average marks are calculated and presented in a tabular form, it is information.

1.2 Characteristics of a Computer

The characteristics of computer are high speed of operations, accuracy, reliability, flexibility and economy coupled with efficiency in storing and processing data.

  • High Speed: Computers have the ability to perform routine tasks at a greater speed than human beings. They can perform millions of calculations in seconds.
  • Accuracy: Computers are used to perform tasks in a way that ensures total accuracy.
  • Storage: Computers can store large amount of information. Any item of data or any instruction stored in the memory can be retrieved by the computer at lightning speeds.
  • Automation: Computers can be instructed to perform complex tasks automatically (which increases the productivity).
  • Diligence: Computers can perform the same task repeatedly and with the same accuracy without getting tired.
  • Versatility: Computers are flexible to perform both simple and complex tasks.
  • Cost effectiveness: Computers reduce the amount of paper work, and human effort, thereby reducing costs.

1.3 Application/Uses of Computers

Computers are used everywhere. There are several uses of computers which are as follows.

  • Desktop publishing – With desktop publishing, you can create page layouts for entire books on your personal computer.
  • Computers in Medicine – You can diagnose diseases. Software is used in magnetic resonance imaging to examine the internal organs of the human body. Software is used for performing surgery. Computers are used to store patient data.
  • Mathematical Calculations – Thanks to computers, which have computing speeds of over a million calculations per second, we can perform the biggest of mathematical calculations.
  • Banks – All financial transactions are done by computer software. They provide security, speed and convenience.
  • Travel – One can book air tickets or railway tickets and make hotel reservations online.
  • Telecommunications – Software is widely used here. Also all mobile phones have software embedded in them.
  • Defence – There is software embedded in almost every weapon. Software is used for controlling the flight and targeting in ballistic missiles. Software is used to control access to atomic bombs.
  • E-Learning – Instead of a book, it is easier to learn from an E-learning software.
  • Gambling – You can gamble online instead of going to a casino.
  • Examinations – You can take online exams and get instant results. You can check your examination results online.
  • Computers in Business – Shops and supermarkets use software, which calculate the bills. Taxes can be calculated and paid online. Accounting is done using computers. One can predict future trends of business using artificial intelligence software. Software is used in major stock markets. One can do trading online. There are fully automated factories running on software.
  • Certificates – Different types of certificates can be generated. It is very easy to create and change layouts.
  • ATM machines – The computer software authenticates the user and dispenses cash.
  • Marriage – There are matrimonial sites through which one can search for a suitable groom or bride.
  • News – There are many websites through which you can read the latest or earlier news.
  • Alumini Associations – There are many alumni websites through which you can regain contact with your classmates.
  • Robotics – Robots are controlled by software.
  • Washing Machines – They operate using software.
  • Microwave Oven – They are operated by software.
  • Planning and Scheduling Software can be used to store contact information, generating plans, scheduling appointments and deadlines.
  • Plagiarism – Software is available that can examine content for plagiarism.
  • Greeting Cards – You can send and receive greetings online, suiting different occasions.
  • Sports – Software is used for making umpiring decisions in games. There are simulation software by using which a sportsperson can practices his skills. Computers also to identify flaws in technique.
  • Aeroplanes – Pilots train on software, which simulates flying.
  • Weather analysis – supercomputers are used to analyze and predict weather.


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