My personal interest in life is computers and computer systems. I am always fascinated by how they work and the contribution they make on everyday tasks either at home or in the office. A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations. Since sequence operations can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem (Berkeley, 1949).
A computer is an electronic device, which executes software programs. It is made up of two parts – hardware and software. The computer processes input through input devices like mouse and keyboard. The computer displays output through output devices like a printer and monitor. The size of a computer varies considerably from small personal computers to gigantic supercomputers which require an entire building to host them. The speed also has a very large range. Computers have become indispensable in today’s world (Prabhakar, P. 2011).
Conventionally, a 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 logic operations, and sequencing and controlling unit that can change the order of operations based on stored information. Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source, and the result of operations saved and retrieved (Ifrah, 2001).
Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its application. The earliest foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945 in the United Kingdom and the United States. Originally they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). In this era mechanical analog computers were used mainly for military applications (Berkeley, Edmund, 1949).
Uses of Computers
Word processing software automatically corrects spelling and grammar mistakes. If the content of a document repeats, you don’t have to type it again as you can use the copy paste features. You can print documents and make several copies. It is easier to read a word processed document than a hand written one. You can add images to your document.
Mathematical calculations features on computers which have computing speeds over a million calculations per second are able to perform the biggest of mathematical calculations. Mathematical calculations are mostly used in banks to make transactions as they provide security, speed and convenience (Prabhakar, P. 2011).
Internet is a network of almost all the computers in the world. You can browse much more information than you could in a library. That is because computers store enormous amounts of information. It also a fast and convenient access to information. Through E-mail, you can communicate with a person sitting thousand of miles way in a few seconds. Chat software enables one to chat with another on a real-time basis; video conferencing tools are becoming readily available to the common man
Telecommunication software has enabled the development of mobile phone technology. Computers have made it easier to book air tickets or railway tickets and make hotel reservations online. You can also give online exams and get instant results. You can check your examination online world (Prabhakar, P. 2011).
Disadvantages of computers
Computers can make the mind lazy. You get used to not reading a book, or researching something at the library as you tend to key in few strokes and you have the answers. Spending too much time playing online games or chatting over the computer instead of reading books, taking walks, and doing homework. Being on a computer too much can also lead to anti-social behavior and depression as it takes one away from socializing with others in person. Many businesses rely heavily on computers that a power loss or system crash can prove devastating. Valuable files may be lost, sometimes permanently, which can have long term implications if the files were not backed up with paper or other methods. A customer service oriented business that depends on being able to provide prompt and reliable responses to customer inquires can also find itself at a severe disadvantage if it losses computer access.
In my opinion a computer has many uses as you can use it to for calculations, business work, saving documents, using internet, listening music, playing games and you can use it for many daily tasks as the technology is improving day by day. New software applications are being developed daily and the make computer use a part of human life as they improve the human living standards like advancement in medicine to diagnose diseases. But as far as there are many uses to computers one should not over rely on them as they may tend to lead to anti-social behavior and depression, Also businesses shouldn’t relying heavily on computers which are prone to power loss.