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Computers :

There are hundreds of wonders of science. To make the list of all these things is not an easy thing. But there are some gadgets and instruments which we can observe and use everyday. For instance telephone, Television, Radio and Computer. This age in a true sense is the age of computer.

Computer training centers are there in every city and town. There are several computer courses in colleges and universities. Even in Primary School there is computer period. It has affected the social life of certain classes of people. For instance take marriage. An Engineering computer boy wants to marry a computer trained girl and vice-versa. It has become a big problem. Nobody knows where it will stand finally.

Computer is not the creation of a single person but of several persons. The present form or structure has taken several steps of improvements and a longtime. The origins of the mechanical digital calculations can be traced to the mathematicians Blaise Pascal (1626 - 62) and Gottfried Wilhelm Liebnitz (1646 - 1716). Charles Babbage (1792 - 1871) - British Mathematician and inventor. In an attempt to produce more accurate mathematical tables, Babbage conceived the idea of a mechanical computer that could store information. Although never completed, it was the fore runner of the modern computer. After this several attempts were made to improve this wonderful thing. In February 1946, the world’s first all electronic digital computer called ENIAC (The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) was made in Pennsylvania. Since then it has changed the pattern of doing easily and quickly.

There are two main types of computer : digital and analog. Of these the digital computer is more widely used. It processes information in the form of groups of the binary numbers 1 and 0 which represents the on and off positions of electronic switches. A digital computer requires programming. Computer languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN and ALGOL have been developed to transcribe the programme from English and mathematical symbols into notations that a machine can read. Here there are two types - Hardware and software. The physical equipment or hardware of digital computer system generally has three main components.

1) The central processing unit - CPU

2) The memory

3) The peripheral devices that enable information to be fed into the machine and to be displayed by it after processing

Input is generally magnetic type, punched paper tape or cards.

COBOL - (Common Business Oriented Language) - An international computer programming language developed in the U.S. and used to express problems in commerce.

FORTRAN - (Formula Translation) - a computer programming language. It is a high level language used for representing mathematical formulae in a form that can be processed by a computer - widely used among scientists and engineers. It is also used by the business community.

ALGOL - (algorithmic language) - A computer programming language - It is used to express mathematical and scientific problems in a way that can be processed by computer. It is a high level language statements made in it resemble English and algebraic formulae.

Program - A series of instructions written in a special programming language enabling a computer to perform a particular function

Computer ware can be divided into hardware and software. The five functional units of a computer with electronic circuits and electro-mechanical devices constitute the hardware. Software refers to the range of standard programs or routines supplied by the manufacturer along with the computer hardware. Today computers can be classified as main frame computer, mini computer and micro-computers. The computers vary in size from desktop models to huge machines occupying an entire room or even more. But they have same components.

The analogue computers are specially designed to deal with the particular problems such as guiding Moon rockets. The micro computer industry was revolutioned by the entry of IBM. It started marketing PCs in 1980.

Computer is in use in homes, in factories, in schools, in hospitals in offices and in hotels. It does its work efficiently and it is famous for its speed. But computer, on the other hand does the work of so many hands. Naturally it creates the problem of unemployment.


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