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All about computers

Path: Computers and Electronics Computers All about

A computer is a device for manipulating data. This is done according to a list of instructions known as a program. Computer designs may be adapted for tasks ranging from processing company payrolls to controlling machines or aircrafts and unmanned spaceflights.

Personal computers such as the Desktop or Laptop, are small computers designed for individual use. The personal computer is great for information processing and as a communication tool. However, the most common form of computer in use today is the embedded computer.

Embedded computers are usually relatively simple and physically small computers used to control another device. Examples of embedded systems are; automatic teller machines (ATMs); avionics, such as inertial guidance systems, flight control hardware/software and other integrated systems in aircraft and missiles; cellular telephones and telephone switches; engine controllers and antilock brake controllers for automobiles; home automation products, such as thermostats, air conditioners, sprinklers, and security monitoring systems; handheld calculators; household appliances, including microwave ovens, washing machines, television sets, DVD players/recorders; medical equipment; handheld computers; videogame consoles and even computer peripherals themselves such as routers and printers have embedded processors.

There are four main sections with in the architecture of a computer. They are the arithmetic and logic unit (ALU), the control circuitry, the memory, and the input and output devices (collectively called I/O). These sections are interconnected by the "buses" (thats when the same wiring supports more than one data path). These sections are usually driven by a timer or clock. The ALU is like the heart of the computer. The I/O systems are the devices which alow the computer to receive information from the outside world, and send information to the outside world.



The control system ties this all together. A key component of the control system is the counter. It keeps track of the address of the current instruction. Typically, this is incremented each time an instruction is executed. However, the instruction may indicate that the next instruction should be at some other location, allowing the computer to repeatedly execute the same instructions.

Computer programs are simply lists of instructions for the computer to execute. They can be just a few instructions which perform a simple task, or a very complex set of instructions which may also include tables of data. In general, people do not normally write the instructions for computers directly in machine language. This task is left to "programmers." The "operator" is more concern with what the computer can do to make his or her job simpler.

Computer applications have been dramatically expanded due to the advent of the relatively inexpensive and readily available personal computer. The most common application now is probably text and word processing. However, the combination of the computer and communications, such as the use of networks, has given birth to applications such as electronic mail and Local-area networks.

Computers in the classroom, prepares our children to contribute and compete in the 21st century. Easy-to-understand Computer and Internet training along with Internet public libraries, make it possible to advance our learning more than ever before.




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