Computer Concepts - Introduction to Computer

In today's world, we use computers for all our tasks. Our day-to-day activities: paying bills, buying groceries, using social media, seeking entertainment, working from home, communicating with a friend, etc., can all be done using a computer. So it is important not only to know how to use a computer, but also to understand the components of a computer and what they do.

This topic explains all concepts related to computer in detail, from origin to end. The idea of computer literacy is also discussed, which includes the definition and functions of a computer. You learn about the components of a computer, the concept of hardware and software, representation of data/information, the concept of data processing and applications of IECT.

What is a Computer?

A computer is an electronic device that accepts data from the user, processes it, produces results, displays them to the users, and stores the results for future usage.

Data is a collection of unorganized facts & figures and does not provide any further information regarding patterns, context, etc. Hence data means "unstructured facts and figures".

Information is a structured data i.e. organized meaningful and processed data. To process the data and convert into information, a computer is used.

Functions of Computers

A computer performs the following functions −

Receiving Input

Data is fed into computer through various input devices like keyboard, mouse, digital pens, etc. Input can also be fed through devices like CD-ROM, pen drive, scanner, etc.

Processing the information

Operations on the input data are carried out based on the instructions provided in the programs.

Storing the information

After processing, the information gets stored in the primary or secondary storage area.

Producing output

The processed information and other details are communicated to the outside world through output devices like monitor, printer, etc.

Sr.No. Computer Concepts & Description
1 History of Computers

The history of the computer dates back to several years. There are five prominent generations of computers. Each generation has witnessed several technological advances which change the functionality of the computers.

2 Characteristics of Computer System

Characteristics of Computer System involve Speed, Accuracy, Diligence, Versatility, Reliability, Automation, Memory.

3 Basic Applications of Computer

Computers play a role in every field of life. They are used in homes, business, educational institutions, research organizations, medical field, government offices, entertainment, etc.

4 Components of Computer System

Computer systems consist of three components as shown in below image: Central Processing Unit, Input devices and Output devices.

5 Input Devices – Keyboard and Mouse

Input devices help to get input or data from user.

6 Other Input Devices

There are few other input devices which help to feed data to the computer.

7 Output Devices

Output devices help to display output to user

8 Computer Memory

Computer memory refers to storage area where data is stored. It is of two types Primary Memory & Secondary Memory.

9 Concept of Hardware and Software

The term hardware refers to mechanical device that makes up computer.

Software can be categorized into two types - System software & Application software

10 Programming Languages

The languages that are used to write a program or set of instructions are called "Programming languages". Programming languages are broadly categorized into three types - Machine level language, Assembly level language, High-level language.

11 Representation of Data/Information

Computer does not understand human language. Any data, viz., letters, symbols, pictures, audio, videos, etc., fed to computer should be converted to machine language first. Computers represent that data into different forms.

12 Data Processing & Data Processing Stages

Data processing is a process of converting raw facts or data into a meaningful information.

13 Applications of IECT

IECT stands for Information Electronics and Communication Technology.


In this chapter, we discussed different components of a computer, and familiarized ourselves with concept of hardware and software, representation of data/information, concept of data processing, and applications of IECT.