What is a computer?

What is a computer?

computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or data. It has the ability to storeretrieve, 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?

what is computer
what is computer

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.

Desktop computers

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.

Typing Practice

  • Mouse

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
Computer History
Computer History Description of Event
1936 Konrad Zuse – Z1 Computer First freely programmable computer.
1942 John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry
ABC Computer
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
The Transistor
No, a transistor is not a computer, but this invention greatly affected the history of computers.
1951 John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
UNIVAC Computer
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
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.
1964 Douglas Engelbart
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
WordStar Software
Word Processors.
1981 IBM
The IBM PC – Home Computer
From an “Acorn” grows a personal computer revolution
1981 Microsoft
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.

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