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A computer is a machine or device which is used for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program. It manipulates information, or data and also performs processes, calculations, and operations based on instructions provided by a software or hardware program. A computer is composed of hardware and software. It can exist in a variety of sizes and configurations.

Computer is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. The computer enables the use of algorithms to manipulate, store, and communicate digital information.

Charles Babbage emphasized the generality of the Analytical Engine, “saying ‘the conditions which enable a finite machine to make calculations of unlimited extent are fulfilled in the Analytical Engine”. (Babbage [1994], p. 97).

When was the first computer invented?

In 1622, William Oughtred invented the first computer abacus. After this, the Analytical Engine, a device designed by British mathematician Charles Babbage between 1833 and 1871. The first mechanical computer, created in 1822, by Charles Babbage a British mathematician.

What are the Classification of computers?

Computers are classified based on functionality, size & purpose:

Basis of functionality computer types

According to functionality, the computer systems can be classified on the following basis:

1. Analog computer

An analog computer can be used as the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved.

Brian Cantwell Smith has remarked: “Analog’ should … be a predicate on a representation whose structure corresponds to that of which it represents … That continuous representations should historically have come to be called analog presumably betrays the recognition that, at the levels at which it matters to us, the world is more foundationally continuous than it is discrete”. (Smith [1991], p. 271)

2. Digital Computer

Digital electronic computers are those that can be used as both a digital computer and an electronic computer. Examples: IBM PC, the Apple Macintosh as well as modern smartphones.

3. Hybrid Computer

Hybrid computers are those which exhibit features of analog computers and digital computers at the same time.

On the Basis of Size: Types of Computer

On the basis of size the computer systems can be classified on the following:

1. Super Computer

A supercomputer is the computers that provide a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance of it is commonly measured in floating-point operations per second instead of million instructions per second.

2. Mini Computer

A mini computers are small types of computers.

3. Mainframe Computer

Mainframe computers use for bulk data processing, such as industry, consumer statistics, and enterprise resource planning, and transaction processing.

4. Micro Computer or Personal Computer

A microcomputers are an inexpensive computer with a small body and a microprocessor as its central processing unit which includes memory, a microprocessor, and minimal input or output circuitry mounted on a single printed circuit board.

On the Basis of Purpose Types of Computer

On the basis of purpose the computer systems can be classified on the following:

1. General Purpose

A general-purpose computer which was given the appropriate application and required time should be able to perform the most common computing tasks. Examples of general-purpose computers are personal computers including desktops, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets.

2. Special Purpose 

A Special-Purpose Computer is designed to be task-specific and most of the time their job is to solve one particular problem. They can be known as dedicated computers because they have dedicated to performing a single task over and over again.

What are the Basic Characteristics of Computers?

A computer is an electronic device that takes input, processes that, and provides an output.

There are some basic characteristics of a computer. They are-

  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Diligence
  • Versatility
  • Power of Remembering
  • No IQ
  • No Feeling
  • Storage
  • Memory
  • Automation
  • Reliability

What are the Basic Computer Components?

Computers that have internal architectural design come in different types and sizes, but the basic structure remains the same as all computer systems.

  • ‘Computer Hardware’ is used to describe computer components that can be seen and touched. The main components of general-purpose computer system are:
    Input Unit, Output Unit, main/internal Memory or Storage Unit, Central Processing unit. The CPU includes Control unit (CU) and Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) All the units known as “The functional units”. The Devices which are not an integral part of CPU referred to as peripherals.

What are the Uses of Computers in different fields?   

  • Business: computers can be used in all businesses use computers nowadays.
  • Education: Computers use to supply learners with audio-visual packages, interactive exercises, and remote learning, including tutoring over the internet.
  • Healthcare: Doctors also use computers to record patient information and manage data and that can help them to make a more accurate diagnosis, especially if multiple doctors are working with the same patient. Nurses use technology to perform routine health checks such as EKGs, oxygen levels, and blood pressure.
  • Retail and Trade: In retailing computers are used, they are also applied to clerical activities, such as wages and salaries, warehouses, recording physical movements of goods into stores and in transit, monitoring progress on purchase orders, doing accounts, etc.
  • Government: Computers also use in government offices for various purposes like e-mail functions, payment distribution, record keeping and even coordinating mailings.
    Marketing: Marketing professionals plan, manage, and monitor campaigns with the use of computer technology. 
  • Science: Computers use scientific technology that helps to analyze huge data sets and run statistical analyses far quicker than in the past. Scientists also use computers to run simulations and build electronic models.

Final Thoughts

we come to the end of our article. This article is a brief summary of the history of Computers. In this article, we had a brief description of the invention of the computer. From the above discussion, we come to know that computer is an electronic device which is designed to accept data, logical operations at high speed and perform prescribed mathematical.it is a programmable machine.


Babbage, C. (ed. by Campbell-Kelly, M.), 1994, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, New Brunswick: Rutgers University PressSmith, B.C., 1991, ‘The Owl and the Electric Encyclopaedia’, Artificial Intelligence, 47: 251–288

Smith, B.C., 1991, ‘The Owl and the Electric Encyclopaedia’, Artificial Intelligence, 47: 251–288

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