What is Computer system?

Computer is defined as an electronic system that performs the following activities based on a set of instructions (program): 

  • accepts data through the input unit
  • process the accepted data in the processing unit
  • store the processed data (information) and
  • produce the processed data (information) through the output unit.

Data is defined as raw-fact. e.g numbers, characters, audio, video, images, etc.

Data can be processed through a computer based on program (software). The outcome (result) of processing is referred to as information.

The result of processing (information) can be stored in a storage media for later use or be produce through the output unit.

Characteristics of a Computer system

  1. Speed: Modern computers have incredible speed of processing. Jobs that a number of personals will do in many days, computer system can do it in some minutes.
  1. Accuracy: Computer can ensure consistently very high degree of accuracy in computations. It processes data according to the sequence of instructions . Hence, if input data and procedures are correct, the output will be consistently accurate. Unlike human beings that are liable to make mistakes.
  1. Huge storage and fast retrieval: Computer has huge storage capability. Secondary or auxiliary storage devices are used for permanent storage. Modern computers have enormous secondary storage capacity, e.g., a PC hard disk can store more than 80 GB of data.
  1. Versatility: computers are capable of performing almost any task that has a series of finite logical steps (instructions). Computers can be used for communications, process control, research, weather forecasting, healthcare, online trading, education, training, defense applications and so on.
  1. Free from fatigue: Computer is free from fatigue. It does not get tired of work and never loses concentration. It can perform operations with the same degree of speed and accuracy for any extent of time continuously, with the same amount of efficiency as the first transaction.
  1. Networking capability: Computers can be interconnected into a network. Network in turn can be connected to other networks. Networks extend the capability of computers.
  1. Programmable: Computer can be programmed and reprogrammed to function automatically . It executes jobs as programmed for any stretch of time until the condition to terminate is satisfied.


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