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An introduction to computer system

A computer is an electronic device that accepts data and instructions, processes them according to instructions and produces output as information. The data and information can be stored for the current and future uses. Now day’s computers are used in different fields like office, industries, business, scientific research, multimedia technology, trainings and many other sectors. It is not only used for retrieving information but it can be used for doing various tasks like creating a spreadsheet or document, keeping account of daily business, preparing slides, composing music, reserving tickets in Air Lines, deposits or withdrawals of money from banks, medical diagnosis, online transactions, e-commerce, e-governance etc.

The main characteristics of a computer system are

  • The working Speed of computer is very high.
  • It produces accurate information.
  • It is an automated machine.
  • It is a diligent machine which never feels tired.
  • It is a versatile machine.
  • It has high storage capacity.
  • The different units of storage are shown below.

A computer system is the combination of different hardware and software that works together to process data and instructions given by the user in order to give information.

Features of first generation computers

  • The technology used in first generation was vacuum tubes as main electronic device..
  • The Magnetic drum was used for primary storage medium.
  • They used magnetic tape for secondary memory and extensively used punched cards and paper tape for input device.
  • They were slow in operation and they performed a task in milliseconds.
  • They were very large in size and occupy large area.
  • They consumed very high electric power and produce a large amount of heat.
  • They were programmed in machine level language.

Features of second generation computers

  • The transistors were used as the main electronic component.
  • They used magnetic core for internal memory for storage device.
  • They used punched cards and paper tape for external storage. They had also used magnetic tapes and disks for external storage.
  • They were smaller, more reliable and powerful than the first generation computers.
  • They were faster and could perform tasks in microseconds.
  • They were programmed in machine language, assembly and high level language.

Features of third generation computers

  • The Integrated Circuits chips were used as their main electronic components.
  • They used semiconductor memory for internal storage medium.
  • Processing speed was increased and measured in nanosecond.
  • They used keyboard as input device and monitor as output device for the interaction with users.
  • They used operating system. So, they could run different programs.
  • During the third generation period, minicomputers / personal computers were developed.
  • They were more reliable and better in performance.
  • They were programmed in high programming level language.

Features of fourth generation computers

  • They uses VLSIs and LSIs technology as the main electronic components.
  • Magnetic disk and optical disk are used for external storage. c. Semiconductor memories are used for internal memory.
  • Processing speed are increased and measured in picoseconds.
  • They are more versatile and diligence.
  • Many more high level languages have been introduced such as C , C++ Language.

Features of fifth generation computers

  • They uses intelligent programs and based on artificial intelligence (AI).
  • They can understand and process natural language.
  • They can for processing natural language.
  • They are capable to solve the problems using data information already stored in the computer’s memory.
  • They will be able to recognize images and graphs
  • They use more than one CPU for faster speed.

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