posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:07 AM by Maurice Nyamoti
updated Oct 30, 2014, 11:52 PM
Characteristics / Features of a Computer.
Before 20th century, most information was
processed manually or by use of simple machines. Today, millions of people are using computers
in offices and at home to produce and store all types of information
The following are some of the attributes that make computers
widely accepted & used in the day-to-day activities in our society:
- Computers operate at very high
speeds, and can perform very many functions within a very short time.
- Unlike human beings, computers are
very accurate, i.e., they never make mistakes.
- A computer can work for very long
periods without going wrong. However,
when an error occurs the computer has a number of in-built, self-checking
features in their electronic components that can detect & correct such
- Usually errors are committed by
the users entering the data to the computer, thus the saying Garbage in Garbage Out (GIGO).
This means that, if you enter
incorrect data into the computer and have it processed, the computer will give
you misleading information.
- The computer can be relied upon to
produce the correct answer if it is given the correct instructions &
supplied with the correct data.
- Therefore, if you want to add two numbers, but by mistake, give
the computer a “Multiply”
instruction, the computer will not know that you intended to “ADD”; it will
multiply the numbers supplied.
- Computers are usually consistent. This means that, given the same data &
the same instructions, they will produce the same answer every time that
particular process is repeated.
- A computer
is capable of storing large amounts of data or instructions in a very small
- A computer
can store data & instructions for later use, and it can produce/ retrieve
this data when required so that the user can make use of it.
stored in a computer can be protected from unauthorized individuals through the
use of passwords.
- Unlike human beings, a computer
can work continuously without getting tired or bored. Even if it has to do a million calculations,
it will do the last one with the same speed and accuracy as the first one.
- A computer is an automatic device. This is because, once given the instructions,
it is guided by these instructions and can carry on its job automatically until
it is complete.
- It can also perform a variety of
jobs as long as there is a well-defined procedure.
- A computer can be used in
different places to perform a large number of different jobs depending on the
instructions fed to it.
of a formal approach to working methods:
- Because a computer can only work
with a strict set of instructions, it identifies and imposes rigid rules for
dealing with the data it is given to process.
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