A computer is simply a machine which is programmed to carry out logically sequential operations or mathematical calculations automatically via computer software. Modern computers are capable of executing highly complex sets of operations, known as applications. These applications enable modern computers to do an almost unlimited amount of tasks. It is often the case that computers perform more than one task at a time in order to accomplish certain tasks more quickly. Computers are used in all sorts of industries that require them.
In the early years, computers and their components were very expensive and uncommon. The reason for this was because they were not used in many public settings, as they were extremely large and clunky. For instance, if you needed to run a town-wide computer system, it would take a very long time to create such a system, and it also would be very costly. Today, most towns have extensive computer systems, as they have become an integral part of day-to-day business. Without computers, businesses would be unable to operate efficiently.
A computer consists of several different hardware components. At the micro level, these components are the microprocessor (or central processing unit), motherboard, memory card, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, video card, etc. At the top-level, you’ll find the operating system. The operating system software is what allows the computer to ‘think’ and execute commands.
Most people don’t realize that the computer has so many different components; in fact, there are thousands upon thousands! The most important and critical component of a computer today is the microprocessor. It is a single-chip device that execute computer software and is responsible for managing the execution and control of programs. Together, the computer hardware, the microprocessor, and the graphics card, collectively referred to as the graphics processing unit (graphics processing unit or gpu), are called a powerful microprocessor.
Because the microprocessor is the most important piece of computing power in a personal computer, the chip manufacturer often builds the PC in a particular way. For example, Apple Computers places their graphics processing unit (gpu) at the top of the personal computer. Other companies follow this trend, but most manufacturers build their PCs in a way that maximizes their single user computing power. This means that computers with high graphical processing power (hence the term “multi-user” computer system) usually have a processor with greater speed and capability than personal computers with lower capabilities. The typical multi-user computer system will consist of various types of machines with varying capabilities all interacting with each other.
In addition to personal computers, we use computers for networking, sharing documents, storing files, running applications, playing games, watching videos, etc. Computer technology is only limited by the imagination. Today we can even combine these capabilities through the use of various technologies such as the internet, web services, social media, and mobile computing. The use of technology is definitely changing our world, and even though it may be very difficult to predict what all the changes will be in the future, it’s safe to say that some things will never be the same again.