What is a computer – Information for non-techies

what is a computer
what is a computer

Nowadays it is the age of computer. You must have heard this often. If you have not used a computer, then you must have seen the internet on your mobile phone and I can tell you that the internet is also directly related to the computer. So What is a computer? Does this question come in your mind again and again? So let us know all the information related to computer.

Computer Definition

First let’s try to understand it in a simple language. What is computer – in a very easy language.

A computer is a machine to which you give some instructions and it tells you the result by working on your instructions.

We have explained the meaning of computer in simple language. Today you can give these instructions in written form or can also be given by speaking (voice command) . Today’s computers are so modern that they can also take the command as you speak.

Now let’s also know its technical definition –

A computer is a machine that can be instructed to complete arithmetic or logic operations automatically through computer programming. In modern computers, these instructions are written together in a predetermined form, which we call programs. These programs enable computers to perform highly detailed tasks.

Now some words that we have marked above are

  • Computer Programming – Through computer programming, you write all the instructions together. This is called a program.
  • Automated – Automatically working. That is, you have given instructions, now the computer will work by following those instructions on its own.
  • Arithmetic – all calculations related to maths related tasks like addition, occurrence, multiplication.
  • Logical operations – Logical operations

So now you must have understood the definition of computer. Where did the word computer come from? One more thing to understand is that when we talk about computers, there are both hardware and software in it and we will discuss them further.

Where did the word computer start?

Now where does the word computer come from? The word “Computer” comes from the Latin language. In Latin language the word is “computare” which means to count “something”, that is to calculate “, to calculate, that is to subtract from”, “to think” means to think.

So if you see then it does all this. Yes or not ?

Full form of computer

U-Used for
E- Education and

So let us also know about the history.

Computer History

By the way, the computer is a calculating machine. And there was already such a machine. Now if you have heard the name of abacus (abacus) then it is also a calculating thing. Yes, it is not in the form of a machine, but it can be said that it is the great-grandfather of a computer. But the history we are talking about is the beginning of today’s modern machines.

The life of the computer so far has been divided into “Generations” and every generation has brought some major improvements in the computer. Computers have become more modern with every generation.

First generation of computers (1946 – 1959)

First generation computers – between 1946–1959. These computers were slow, huge, and expensive. In these computers, vacuum tubes were used, due to which they were very big. These computers mainly relied on batch operating systems and punch cards . This generation used magnetic tape and paper tape.

Some popular computers that are first generation –

  • ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)
  • EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Convertible Automatic Computer)
  • UNIVACI (Universal Automated Computers)
  • IBM 650 (IBM 650)
  • IBM 701 (IBM 701)

Second generation computers (1959–1965)

The era of transistor computers began in the second generation . These computers used transistors that were cheap, small and consumed less power. Transistor computers were much faster than first generation computers.

Programming (which we talked about earlier) also grew in popularity here. These computers used assembly language and programming languages ​​such as COBOL and FORTRAN, and batch processing and multi-programming operating systems.

Some popular second generation comps are –

  • IBM 1620
  • IBM 7094
  • Cdc 1604
  • Cdc 3600
  • UNIVAC 1108

Third Generation Computers (1965 to 1970)

Third generation computers started using Integrated Circuit (IC)-Integrated Circuit instead of transistors . An integrated circuit (IC) can pack a large number of transistors. Due to this, the power also increased and the cost decreased. Computers also became faster, efficient and smaller in size. Modernization also came in programming languages. The use of high-end programming languages ​​such as FORTRON-II TO IV, COBOL, PASCAL PL / 1, ALGOL-68 greatly increased in this generation.

Popular third generation comps-

  • IBM-360
  • Honeywell-6000
  • PDP PDP (Personal Data Processor)
  • IBM-370/168 (IBM)
  • TDC-316 (DTC)

Fourth Generation Computers (1971–1980)

Fourth-generation computers began using large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits (VLSI – Very large scale integrated circuits) .

A chip that contains millions of transistors and other circuit elements. These chips made computers of this generation more compact, powerful, faster, and cheaper. Programming languages ​​like C, C ++, DBASE also started to be used in this generation.

Some popular fourth generation comps-

  • DEC 10
  • PDP 11
  • CRAY-1 (Supercomputer)
  • CRAY-X-MP (Supercomputer)
  • PARAM (Supercomputer)

Fifth Generation Computers (1980 +)

VLSI technology was replaced with ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) – ULSI in fifth generation (1980-till now) computers. These are today’s computers. They have become so small that you can move around with them in your hand. We also call them laptops. The programming languages ​​used in this generation are C, C ++, Java, .Net etc. very powerful and increase the efficiency of computer’s working manifold.

What is the father of a computer?

Charles Babbage is known as the father of computer.

Charles Babbage is credited with inventing the mechanical computer, which later evolved into more complex electronic design, taking the form of today’s modern computers. All the essential ideas of modern computers are found in Babbage’s analytical engine.

We understood the history of computers. Now know what are its main parts.

Main parts of computer

If you have seen computers, then you must know about them. –

  • Input Device: The input device from which we instruct the computer. Like the keyboard from which you type instructions. Or a mouse, from which you select something.
  • Output Device: How the it will show you the result of your instructions? It will appear on the output device. And what is that – Monitor. Or may be a printer.
  • CPU: Central Processing Unit is the brain of this machine. The CPU takes your instructions and works on them
  • Storage: Where data is stored . In memory? We also call it a storage device

So these were the main parts . They can also be different from each other or can be linked together. For example, in a laptop monitor is part of it, but it is separate part in a desktop. Now you know more about the parts of the computer, so you also understand these terms, which you must have heard.

  • Mother Board:
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Graphics
  • Hard Disk
  • Mouse

How does computer work

You understood what is a computer , now let us see how a computer works? There are 3 big steps to work in computer. Everything else falls within this. These three steps are –


Input is the step in which you give two things to the computer. The first thing is instructions which you want to give to it. And the second thing is to give it all the information it has to work upon. Let me explain by giving example. Suppose you have to print a letter (a file). So what will you do –

  • 1) You will instruct the computer to print the letter ( instruction)
  • 2) You will also tell which letter to print. (information)

So understand , it is the input and you will use the input device (as mentioned above) for this.


Process is the second step. You told the computer what to print and which letter to print. Now the computer will find that letter and send it to the printer. All this work is called processing. And who does all this? Your computer’s CPU, which is the brain of the computer. It understands your instructions and gets to work on it.


Now the printout will come on the printer itself. So what is the printer? Your output device and this process are called Output.

What is the type of computer

Now computers are also different types. I am giving the list below and will write about it in detail in another day because it is a big subject in itself but you will get an idea.

  • Analogue Computer (Analog Computer)
  • Digital Computer
  • Hybrid Computer (Digital and Analog)
  • Mainframe computer
  • Microcomputer
  • Super Computer

Where is the computer used?

Ask where the computer not used. Perhaps it is difficult to find such a place in today’s era. You book a train ticket, a computer is used. You book a bus ticket using a computer. You use the Internet to file a job, the Internet is used which runs on the computer. That means the use of computers everywhere in today’s time. Let’s look at some main areas.

Use in education

Your University work on a computers right? It happens. Moreover, in today’s time studies are also conducted from computers . You can listen to the lectures of your teachers by sitting at home. You fill the online form. Take the online test. This means that computers is now an integral part in education.

Used in research

Is research possible today without computers ? When you do great research, you have to simulate many things in computers nowadays. Nowadays you do not always do research alone. Do it with people from all over the world and they are all connected to computers

In the medical industry

Computers have a huge contribution in the world of medicine. Today’s modern technology like robotic surgery is not possible without computers. Radiology, radio imaging, etc are all computer based machines. Could all of this work without computers?


In today’s modern era, how should the army not use these technologies? Computers in airplanes, computers in missiles, computers in tanks. That is, the use of computers everywhere.

General Business

Look at any business. The entire accounting (accounting) runs on their computers. Businesses are happening nowadays and they do all the work through computers all over the world. Every industry whether it is manufacturing, or travel, tourism / hotel business, ie any business, computers are a must.

Communication system

Without a computers, your mobile system / mobile tower will stop working. That is, computers has become such a part of our life that today you cannot stay away from it.

How can I study related to computer?

How to study computers? If the this world has influenced you a lot and if you want to study in this area or your children want to study in this area then it is very good thinking because there is a lot of jobs in this area and the jobs will continue to grow in this area. 

Nowadays computer education starts from school itself and you can teach them further. like

  • BSC (CS) / BSC (IT)
  • BCA
  • BTECH / BE (CS)
  • BTECH / BE (Comp Engg)
  • BTECH / BE ( IT)

And in it you or your children can also do Master Degree and PHD.

If you want to know the difference between all these courses then this is a good post that you can see.

Difference between BTECH (CS/IT), BCA and BSC (CS/IT)

You can also see them for more information – Top IT Skills

Jobs in computers

Like I said earlier there is a lot of jobs in this field and it is increasing. Use of IT and related technology is not going to stop, and hence, there will always be jobs in this field.

Both government and non-government sectors have jobs.

Future of computer

This is a constantly emerging area and hence its future is bright. Nowadays new dimensions are coming in it like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing these days. So new things are very much there and will keep coming and hence scope will always remain in this field.

You may also like – Our technology section


Through this article, we have tried to answer the question “What is a Computer” in a very simple language. And we learned its history and tried to understand what its future is. Hope you like this article. 

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