What is Computer?

What is computer? is discussed in this article.

This is very basic question. To ask this question it means either you want an exact definition or you are a beginner who has just started using a computer and what to know what a computer exactly is.

Whatever the reason for this search, everything you need to know about what a computer is, is explained in this article.

What is Computer?

This article that you are reading covers what is computer in layman's terms.

If you are hoping to understand computer at very depths, check out this article from wikipedia on computer.

Lets continue now.

Definition of Computer

A computer can be defined as a machine that can perform artithmetic and logical operations automatically.

a computer

In above image you see three parts, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse.

This computer is type of all in one desktop, in this type the cpu is built inside monitor otherwise CPU comes as a rectangular box which is main part of your computer system.

If we go in details, there are several different sub parts such as graphics card, cpu fans, cooling fans, random access memory, hard driver, motherboard, cpu and many other.

The keyboard and mouse are input devices which take input from us (users) and show us results.

The mouse has three parts namely the left click, the right click and the scroll wheel.

Monitor is output device which shows results according to input from input devices.

There are many other input and output devices.

Now back to topic of interest, CPU or computer.

CPU is an abbreviation of Central Processing Unit.

If you simply ask your assistant, google what is computer then google would show a bunch of websites but before that, a definition block.

A computer is an electronic device which stores and processes the data in binary form according to instructions given to it in a computer program.

Lets understand parts of above definition.

Any device which requires electricity to run is an electric device. You know electricity, the invisible power that start your devices. But if you really want to know about electricity, there is more to it, you can learn more on Wikipedia about electricity.

Now next important term is binary form.

To understand binary form, imagine a light bulb.

It glows when switch is turned on and its doesn't when switch is turned off.

A modern computer is complex machine which is made up of several different smaller components.

The component that resembles the light bulb is called a transistor. You won't believe there are millions or billions of transistor in your computer.

They are very tiny, you cannot see them with your naked eyes.

Consider 1 as light bulb on and 0 as light bulb off.

Computer only understand this, 0 or 1 and nothing else.

You may have many questions in your mind right now, computer is very complex process so you don't need to understand everything in deep detail unless you want to be a computer scientist.

You just need to know sufficiently enough to understand the concept.

The next term, computer program.

A computer program is like a recipe, you feed it to computer and it performs what is written in recipe.

Since computer only understand 0 and 1, the computer program has to be written in 0 and 1.

If you want to write a program for addition of two numbers, the program would a string 1's and 0's like this

A computer can easily understand this language but for human it is very very very, one more time, very difficult. Even a single error and whole program is not what you intended for.

Everything that we play, listen, watch every software, program, music, movie, media comes down to 0's and 1's.

If you are wondering how the heck all this works, you need learn more about logic gates in electronics.

Now back to our computer program.

So computer scientist or people who invented computer needed a more natural way to write computer programs that a human can easily understand.

So they developed assembly language, a higher level language than machine level binary.

This language was easier as there were words like ADD, SUB to perform addition and subtraction.

So how does this language came to existence, because computer only understands 0's and 1's, then how?

A converter is used to convert assembly to binary form and then feed it to computer.

Assembly was better than machine code but it was not enough.

It encouraged scientists to develop more advanced languages.

Many came but one became popular and widely adapted, C language. It was founded by deniss ritchie.

This language is considered mother of all programming languages.

In today's world there are many programming languages for carrying out different tasks.

Some popular programming languages are python, c, c++, java.

There are many variants of C language used for specific purposes.

So that was it on what is computer? question at least for basic level.