Computer Concept Foe End User Review

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What a computer is
When asked what a computer is, most people would describe a box on their desk at home. A computer can actually take a variety of shapes, sizes and forms. It is easiest to define a computer in terms of what it can do. A computer does the following four tasks: 1.A computer accepts input.

2.A computer processes the input in some way.
3.A computer produces output.
4.A computer stores data.
We will now explain each of these tasks in greater detail.
1. Accepting input
An input device (ex. keyboard, scanner, etc.) accepts input which is then relayed to the computer in the form of electronic signals. Input can take many forms ranging from words that a user had typed in to changing wind conditions detected by a doppler radar. 2. Processing input

Processing refers to the manipulation of data. Data is the representation of facts and ideas. An example of processing would be adding an area code to the front of a phone number, or addition of two numbers. Processing is done in the computer's CPU (central processing unit) 3. Producing output

Output is what the computer shows us, normally the result of some action that has just occured. Output is displayed using an output device (ex. monitor, printer, etc.). 4. Storage of data
Computers store data on some form of storage medium (ex. disks, CDs). This process allows the computer to use the data again without it having to be input over and over. It can also store the results of processing so that the processing does not have to be done over and over.

Categories of computers
Since there are so many different varieties of computers it is important to be able to sub-divide the idea of a computer into distinct categories. The computer categories are described below.

Category: Mainframe
Description: This was the first type of computer.
Size: They are notoriously large, normally the size of a closet •Price: Very expensive. Can easily exceed a million dollars. •Location: They are most likely to be found in large businesses or government centers. •Advantage: It can simultaneously work with hundreds or even thousands of people.

Category; Minicomputer
Description:The second type of computer.
Size: Smaller than a mainframe.
Price:Anywhere between $20,000 to $250,000
Location: Used in smaller and medium sized businesses
Advantage: Can service many users.

Category: Microcomputer
Description: The third type of computer to emerge (ex. desktops, laptops/notebooks). •Size: Designed to be small enough for a single person
Price: $500 and up.
Location: Offices, homes, virtually anywhere.
Advantage: Designed for a single user with a multitude of various types of tasks.

Category; Handheld Computer
Description:A relatively new category of computer.
Size: Fits in the palm of your hand.
Price:Anywhere between $20 to $1,200
Location: Very portable, can be used anywhere
Advantage: Easy to record notes, phone numbers, send e-mail, etc..

The personal computer system
The term personal computer is used every day in many different situations. A personal computer is a type of microcomputer. Below we explain some of the components of a personal computer. Computer system unit

This is the case that houses all of the circuit boards, power supply and storage devices. Display device
A display device is used to display results of processing input, usually it is a monitor. Keyboard
The primary means of entering input.
An alternative means of entering input.
Floppy disk drive
A storage device which stores data on small removeable disks. Hard disk drive
A storage drive located inside the computer system unit. It can store many times more than a floppy disk. CD-ROM or DVD drive
Both drives are used to read data from CDs or DVDs respectively. CD-writer
A storage device that can store data on writeable CDs.
Sound card and speakers
A specialized circuit board inside the computer system unit...