What is a computer?
A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or data. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data. You can use a computer to type documents, send email, and browse the Web. You can also use it to handle spread sheets, accounting, database management, presentations, games, and more.
Watch the video to learn about different types of computers.
What are the different types of computers?
When most people hear the word “computer,” they think of a personal computer such as a desktop or laptop computer. However, computers come in many shapes and sizes, and they perform many different functions in our daily lives. When you withdraw cash from an ATM, scan groceries at the store, or use a calculator, you’re using a type of computer.
Many people use desktop computers at work, home, school, or the library. They can be small, medium, or large in style, and they usually sit on a desk. Once you add a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, you have what is typically known as a desktop computer.
Most desktop computers are easy to upgrade and expand or add new parts. Another benefit of desktop computers is the cost. If you compare a desktop and a laptop with the same features, you will most likely find that the desktop computer is priced lower.
Some desktop computers have a built-in monitor to save space. These are often called all-in-one desktop computers.
The keyboard is one of the primary ways we communicate with the computer and enter data. There are many different types of computer keyboards, such as wired, wireless, ergonomic, and multimedia. Although there may be differences in the location of some keys or features, keyboards are very similar and allow you to accomplish basically the same tasks. Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the different parts of the keyboard.
If you want to learn how to type, or improve your touch-typing skills, check out our free Typing Tutorial.
The mouse is a peripheral that is known as a pointing device. It lets youpoint to objects on the screen, click on them, and move them.
There are two main types of mice: optical and mechanical. The opticalmouse uses an electronic eye to detect movement and is easier to clean. The mechanical mouse uses a rolling ball to detect movement. Generally, a mechanical mouse is less expensive, although it may require regular cleaning to keep it working properly.
Traditionally, a mouse connects to the computer using a USB or PS/2connection. However, you can also buy a wireless mouse, which can reduce clutter on your desktop.
To learn the basics of using a mouse, check out our interactive Mouse Tutorial.
Monitor : The part of a computer system that contains the computer screen, where information is displayed.
Mouse Pad : The pad on which you move the mouse.
Speakers : Devices that allow you to hear sound from the computer.
Hardware : The physical parts of a computer system.
Software : The instructions that tell the computer and computer networks what to do. Software is installed inside the computer.
Computer History :
|Computer History Description of Event|
|1936||Konrad Zuse – Z1 Computer||First freely programmable computer.|
|1942||John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry
|Who was first in the computing biz is not always as easy as ABC.|
|1944||Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper
Harvard Mark I Computer
|The Harvard Mark 1 computer.|
|1946||John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
ENIAC 1 Computer
|20,000 vacuum tubes later…|
|1948||Frederic Williams & Tom Kilburn
Manchester Baby Computer & The Williams Tube
|Baby and the Williams Tube turn on the memories.|
|1947/48||John Bardeen, Walter Brattain & Wiliam Shockley
|No, a transistor is not a computer, but this invention greatly affected the history of computers.|
|1951||John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
|First commercial computer & able to pick presidential winners.|
|1953||International Business Machines
IBM 701 EDPM Computer
|IBM enters into ‘The History of Computers‘.|
|1954||John Backus & IBM
FORTRAN Computer Programming Language
|The first successful high level programming language.|
(In Use 1959)
|Stanford Research Institute, Bank of America, and General Electric
ERMA and MICR
|The first bank industry computer – also MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) for reading checks.|
|1958||Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce
The Integrated Circuit
|Otherwise known as ‘The Chip’|
|1962||Steve Russell & MIT
Spacewar Computer Game
|The first computer game invented.|
Computer Mouse & Windows
|Nicknamed the mouse because the tail came out the end.|
|1969||ARPAnet||The original Internet.|
|1970||Intel 1103 Computer Memory||The world’s first available dynamic RAM chip.|
|1971||Faggin, Hoff & Mazor
Intel 4004 Computer Microprocessor
|The first microprocessor.|
|1971||Alan Shugart &IBM
The “Floppy” Disk
|Nicknamed the “Floppy” for its flexibility.|
|1973||Robert Metcalfe & Xerox
The Ethernet Computer Networking
|1974/75||Scelbi & Mark-8 Altair & IBM 5100 Computers||The first consumer computers.|
|1976/77||Apple I, II & TRS-80 & Commodore Pet Computers||More first consumer computers.|
|1978||Dan Bricklin & Bob Frankston
VisiCalc Spreadsheet Software
|Any product that pays for itself in two weeks is a surefire winner.|
|1979||Seymour Rubenstein & Rob Barnaby
The IBM PC – Home Computer
|From an “Acorn” grows a personal computer revolution|
MS-DOS Computer Operating System
|From “Quick And Dirty” comes the operating system of the century.|
|1983||Apple Lisa Computer||The first home computer with a GUI, graphical user interface.|
|1984||Apple Macintosh Computer||The more affordable home computer with a GUI.|
|1985||Microsoft Windows||Microsoft begins the friendly war with Apple.|