A computer is an electronic device that accepts data and performs a sequence of calculations based on a set of instructions in order to produce the desired information as output. This means that a computer is capable of receiving raw facts and performing a series of operations on the data, but based on special computer instructions so as to output the needed information.
Generally, computers accept the input of data through keyboards, keypads, mice, scanners, and microphones. They do the processing of the same data in their central processing units. They store the data in different storage devices like RAMs, hard disks, compact discs, flash disks, and the transformed data into information is displayed on screens, or by projectors or on papers.
The first computers were huge, room-sized machines that required many people to build, manage, and maintain. The computers of today are faster and very smaller than the original ones.
When we hear the word ‘computer system’ we automatically understand the hardware and software components of a computer as well as the liveware(user). Hardware is the physical equipment that includes the case, motherboard, keyboard, mouse, monitor, cables, storage devices, speakers, printers, and projectors. Software includes the operating system and different programs.
The operating system which makes the computer be usable; controls hardware access, manages files and folders, provides a user interface and manages all applications. Simply, it manages computer operations such as identifying, accessing and processing information. Programs/applications on the other hand, perform different functions and they vary widely depending on the type of information that is accessed or generated.