Computers are the most common devices nowadays. It is must have their knowledge in order to survive. Civil Engineer can create wonders with the help of computer and this statement need no evidence so begin with Computer Basic and Read about computer basic in this article It covers all the computer basic in depth
- What is the computer ?
- Functioning of a computer.
- Information concepts
- I/O and memory
What is a computer?
The word ‘computer’ comes from the Latin word ‘COMPTUERAE’ meaning to compute. So, A computer is normally considered to be a calculating device that can perform arithmetic operations at enormous speed. Today computers are being used in almost every field. It has become a very important device in almost all the fields.
Definition of Computer basics :
A Computer is an electronic device which accepts data, perform certain operations on that data and thereafter presents results.
A Computer is an electronic machine which processes the information given to it quickly and gives accurate results.
A computer is a machine that stores and works with information. It has the ability to make decisions about that information and then carries out these decisions.
Note: This is not the full form of computer, it is just a way to know what is a computer. As we know now that anything that compute is the computer.
Computers perform five basic operations :
Inputting is the process of entering data and instructions into the computer system. The most popular input device is KEYBOARD.
Storing is a process of saving data and instruction so that they are available for initial and additional processing, as and when required.
The processing means performing mathematical or logical operations on data, in order to convert them into useful information.
Outputting is a process of production useful information or results to the user, in the form of a printed report or a visual display.
Controlling is a process of directing the manner and sequence in which all the above operations are performed.
Components of computer basic :
The computer uses input-process-output cycle, so there must be a device with the help of which we can input data to the computer. Since computer Processes the input to produce output hence a computer system is called IPO (Input Processing Output) cycle.
The computer system consists of following parts :
- Input unit
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Output Unit
Input unit through which user communicates with the computer. It acts as a translator between the user and the computer. It converts the given data into a computer acceptable form.
In brief, Input device performs the following functions:
- Accepts data and instructions from the user.
- Converts accepted instructions into machine language.
- Gives converted instructions to CPU for processing.
Two categories of Input Devices are
- Text input devices
- Cursor Control Devices
Hence, Text input devices require data to be entered in the form of text and need typing. For example Keyboard, Punched Card, MICR(Magnetic Ink Card Reader), OCR(Optical Character Reader). while the cursor control devices require just selection of data. like a mouse, light pen, joystick, magnetic ball etc.
It is the unit through which computer communicates with the user. Just like Input Units they also act as a translator between the computer and user. It converts the processed data from the machine language to the human understandable language.
In brief, Output device performs the following functions:
- Accepts processed data from CPU.
- Converts result from machine language to the user-friendly language.
- Gives results to the user.
Two categories of Output Devices are
- Hard copy output devices
- Soft copy output Devices
In soft copy devices, data remains till the power is on whereas in hard copy in like a printed sheet of paper. Soft copy devices include Visual display units like LED, LCDs etc where as Printers and plotters are Hard copy output devices.
Devices like speakers, Virtual Reality Headset screen are also included in output devices as we obtain results from them.
Central Processing Unit
All processing work of computer is performed by CPU(Central Processing Unit). CPU is also termed as the brain of the computer. It controls all the parts of computer system. It can be further classified into three components which are responsible for performing different functions of CPU. These components are:
- ALU(Arithmetic and Logic Unit)
- CU(Control Unit)
- Memory(or Central Memory)
Arithmetic and Logic Unit :
This unit of CPU performs all arithmetic and logic operations. It consists of a number of small storage location, termed as registers are of very small capacity and contains the data and instructions which are to be executed next.
ALU has two parts namely :
- Arithmetic Section : This section called ALU performs all arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. All complex arithmetic expressions are performed by the respective combination of these operations. Calculating like C = A + B * D are carried out in this section.
- Logic Section : This section of ALU performs all logic operations like comparing, selecting and merging of data. Decisions like ‘if A > 10 or not’ is carried out in this section.
Functions of ALU are :
- It operates on the data available in main memory.
- It carries out all arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- It carries out all logic operations like the comparison, selection, and merging of data.
- After processing the data, it sends back the processed data to main memory.
Control Unit :
This unit does not perform any data processing still it is termed as the heart of computer as it controls and coordinates all hardware operations i.e., those of CPU, the input device, and output device. It is also called brain of CPU. All access to and from is via Control Unit only.
Functions of Control Unit are :
- It gives the command to transfer data from the input device to memory and from memory to arithmetic logic unit.
- It transfers the results from memory to output unit.
- It stores the program in the memory, takes instructions one by one, interprets them and issues appropriate signals to the other units of the computer to execute them.
Memory (or Main Memory) :
This memory is also termed as primary memory or central memory or internal memory. It is the only memory which is in direct contact with the CPU. This memory is quite costly and its storage capacity is small. It is used to store data and program which is being executed currently.
Primary Memory can be classified into two types :
- RAM(Random Access Memory)
- ROM(Read Only Memory)
Functions of main memory are :
- It temporarily holds the data received from the input device.
- It holds the data being processed, and intermediate results being generated.
- It holds the final results and releases them to output device when required.
- It holds the system software e.g., Windows XP and the application software e.g., MS-Office in use.
This was Computer Basic a very trivial but important knowledge for Civil Engineers.
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