Today one can not think off any work without the use of computers. Wherever one go they find some type of computer use for all the every day activity. In education, banks, military, retails shops, industry and organization, space research and many more fields the computer plays an important parts. Today the vast amount of information that is contained on the Internet is a cluster of many more computers on the network.
In ancient time people were involved in computing and are called as “computer”. Computer was originally a job title describing those people whose job was to perform the repetitive calculations required to compute for the navigational tables, tide charts, and planetary positions for astronomical almanacs (Kopplin 2002). Also the “abacus” was used by Babylonians as an early aid for mathematical computations at around 3000 B.C (Bauer n.d.). In 1617 John Napier invented logarithms that allow multiplication to be performed via addition. Sometimes later in 1642 Pascal invented the “Pascaline”, a gear driven calculator for aid to his father in tax collector job. At the same time Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz made a calculator (stepped reckoner) that was able to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. In 1801, the Frenchman Joseph Marie Jacquard made wooden card for Power loom. This made the way for punched card which was used from than for calculation. In 1935, International Business Machines (IBM) introduced “601 multiplying punch-card machines” along with an electronic typewriter. Some time later in 1944, IBM with partnership with Harvard introduced “Mark I”, the first programmable digital computer in US. In 1976 Apple had introduced home computer as “Apple I”. But these computers were big enough and with the introduction of integrated circuit the size of the computer becomes very small as compared to earlier ones (Kopplin 2002).
Nowadays the computers are very small and reached with everyone in almost all the fields and application areas. IBM, Apple and HP are some of the leading computer hardware manufactures. Also the Operating system market that controls the computer is mainly dominated by Microsoft.
In general, computer has four components; control unit, memory, arithmetic and logical unit and input and output (I/O) devices which are connected with the help of busses (wires). Computer professionals often refer whole computer as the CPU. In such case CPU refers to the processor, memory (RAM) and Input/Output (I/O) architecture (channels or buses).Moreover, CPU definitions and understanding vary depending on field of the person; therefore, a CPU can mean the processor, memory and everything inside the cabinet, or just the microprocessor itself. CPU stands for Central Processing Unit and is referred as brain of the computer. It is also called as processor or central processor and most of the calculation takes place in it. CPU is responsible for controlling all the activities of the computer systems. It is mounted on motherboard with other electronics. The CPU is linked to main memory, peripheral equipment and storage units of the computer system. CPU consists of three main components; Control unit, arithmetic-logic unit and instruction-decoding unit.
The control unit integrates computer operations. It selects instructions from the main memory in proper sequence and sends them to the instruction-decoding unit, which interprets them so as to activate functions of the system at appropriate moments. Control unit have two locations where numbers are kept. The first one is Instruction Register where instructions are placed for analysis and Program Counter for deciding which instruction will be performed next. Instruction-Decoding Unit decodes the instructions coming from control unit. Arithmetic-Logic Unit performs various types of computations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and certain logic operations. Input data is transferred via the main memory to the arithmetic-logic unit for processing.
Three are many aspects of the computers such as Information system, online education, storing and manipulating large data for the organizations and World Wide Web (www) or Internet.
The role of information system is very important for any organization. It is one of the modes of information exchange. In the last few years the overall industry has rapidly developed in many senses because of use of Internet (World Wide Web) in the level of reach, frequency, mode of presentation and approach. These days online shopping (or e-business /trading) have taken up or displaced the traditional way of shopping in which customer have to come to shop for purchase of materials and product. Information system is a system that comprises people, machines (application system), and methods (procedures). Information system is organized to collect, process, transmit, and broadcast data that represent user information. Application system consists of hardware, software, databases and communication (Internet, Intranet, etc.). This system is used by various peoples by different methods to collect, process, share useful information. Some of the forms of information system that is implemented in any organizations are ERP, SAP, OLAP, Intranet, etc. This information system are designed and used according to requirement of the organization. Various levels of access and security in accordance with user permission are granted on this information system. This information system can be simple or complex depending upon the needs of organization.
Online Education or Distance learning courses is now offered by almost all the college and universities. With the use of computer and internet, nowadays various courses can be taken and done by a very large number of students. These types of courses can give several benefits to students. Any one can living his/her native place can take these courses. Working people to can take these types of courses and enhance their learning skills and carrier opportunity while working. This type of courses is less expensive too; therefore poor person can also afford these courses.
Organization have very large amount of data that can not be easily stored and manipulated by human beings easily. Here, computers play an important role in storing and manipulating data for future use, determining trends, future forecasts etc. Without the use of computer it was not possible to easily done all this activities.
In conclusion, it can be said that computer holds unlimited possibilities in all the areas. Nowadays it is not possible to think without the use of computer doing any thing from shopping, banking, information search etc. Therefore it can be said that eventually everything will be done by computers in near future.
John Kopplin 2002. An Illustrated History of Computers, retrieved on 5 April 2007 from <http://www.computersciencelab.com/ComputerHistory/History.htm>
Larry Bauer. Timeline of Computing History, retrieved on 4 April 2007 from <http://www.computer.org/portal/cms_docs_ieeecs/ieeecs/about/history/timeline.pdf>
Computer Hardware Components: CPU, Memory, and I/O, Power point presentation retrieved on 4 April 2007 from <http://www.neiu.edu/~ncaftori/ppt/neiu/cs100/ch03.ppt>
CPU available at <http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/CPU.html> accessed on 5 April 2007.
Computer available at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer> accessed on 5 April 2007.
Information System. Retrieved on 5 April 2007 from <http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=information+system&i=44963,00.asp>