A Computer is an electronic device which is of late becoming the human mind. It is able to do the work of memory, thinking and application. It accepts data presented to it logically. It is able to store mathematical problems, and do mechanical calculations at a very high speed with accuracy. It has the ability to store information and reproduce on command pieces of information. It can also draw and print graphics.
Alan Turing invented computers. Computers could be broadly classified into two types; (1) Analog computers, (2) Digital Computers. In this Analog Computer, numbers are represented by means of voltages, mechanical movements etc. in Digital Computers numbers are expressed directly as digits.
The pattern of computers also has changed from time to time, each time with an added advantage. First computers used the costly vacuum tube (1949-55). Then came computers with transistors which are smaller, cheaper, movable and reliable than the first ones (1956-65). The third pattern consisted of several transistors called Integrated Circuits (1966-75). The fourth pattern consisted of large scale integrated circuits called microprocessor chips (1975). The last pattern has higher number of processors and they work independently.
Words like hardware and software are also used in computer science. Hardware means the mechanical and electrical parts of the computer. The software is the input or programming and processing, like form of instructions known as language, which are again many; Analog, Pascal, Lotus are for Arithmetic Language, Cobal for common business language, Fortran for science and engineering and BASIC for beginners.
The computer has now come to occupy a very important place not only in science and technology but also in all areas of higher studies and research. All business establishments, banks, government offices besides railways, transport companies and many others now use computers.
They help in covering more work in less time and with accuracy. It has considerably reduced the need for manpower. It has the advantage of interlinking throughout the country and with other countries too, where the same computer language is in use. Data processing and decision making have become easy and quick.
As the computer can store many things in the shape of disks, it is easy to recall any things that stand recorded at any time, and at any place with its help. There is practically no development in fields of science and technology particularly in fields of space, meteorology, satellite programmes etc., is left out, where computer could not be used. It has become very useful to mankind.