A computer is an electronic device that can perform the following tasks:



The input, output, process and storage is called the Information Processing Cycle.


Figure 1. Information Processing Cycle


What a Computer Does:

A computer takes data, the raw form of information, and manipulates it into usable forms of information. The computer uses what is referred to as the Information Processing Cycle in order to process the data into a usable form of information.


1.     Computers can manipulate and organize information. Other things a computer can do with information:


a) Move it

b) Store it

c) Retrieve it

d) Perform simple mathematical and logical operations on it


2. A computer must be programmed to do anything. A computer manipulates info around based on its programming.

3. A computer can input information from the outside world

4. A computer can output information to the outside world.

5. A computer can make simple yes/no decisions based on the information it has.


Computer Components:

For most computers here are the following hardware components.


       Keyboard and Mouse (input devices)

       Display Screen (output device)

       Processor Unit (process)

       Disks and Disk Drives (storage)

       Printer (output device)


Figure 2. Hardware components of a typical computer system