Computers work by taking raw data, processing it and providing an end result. The act of putting in information is called "input," the act of storing the information for processing is called "memory," and the act of providing an end result is called "output."Know More
A computer accepts input from users when they use things like the keyboard and mouse. A user tells a computer what it is supposed to do. The computer then stores these commands in memory, which can be a hard drive or RAM. The computer's processor takes the information the user inputs and decides what to do with it to provide an end result. When it has finished its processing, it provides an output to either a printer, monitor, speakers or other output equipment.
Computer programs, such as those that come on a CD or DVD, allow the computer to work on its own. It completes all the necessary functions necessary to do what the user wants with little or not interaction required from the user.
When looking at how a computer works, terms like software, hardware and operating system can be confusing. Software refers to a computer program like word processors, music players or photo editors. Hardware is everything the computer itself is made from. The operating system on a computer is software that allows the computer to run. Windows is an example of an operating system.Learn more in Computers & Hardware
Advantages of using computers in education include increased access to information on the Internet and enhanced classroom experiences through the incorporation of visual media. Some disadvantages include the additional cost of purchasing computers, high infrastructure costs such as electricity, and exposure to negative or inappropriate information on social sites.Full Answer >
Special-purpose computers refer to computers that are built to perform specific tasks, such as automatic teller machines or washing machines. Special-purpose computers also include systems to control military planes, boats, surveillance equipment and other defense-oriented applications. They utilize unique operating systems that are tailored to performing their specific functions.Full Answer >
Notebook computers are smaller than laptops and usually weigh less than 6 pounds whereas laptops weigh up to 18 pounds. Laptops also typically have more functionality, including desktop accessories like DVD drives.Full Answer >
Mainframe computers are used to store large amounts of data that wouldn't fit into a normal-sized computer system. Mainframe computers are most often used by large corporations and government agencies that require a large amount of information to be stored in a centralized secure location. They are named after the large cabinets that were needed to house them when they were physically large.Full Answer >