Computer Overview - Computer Fundamentals

What is a computer? What are functions of a computer?

In today’s world computers has become necessity for everyone. It gives an important rich source of information for the people all over the world. It has become mandatory for everyone to know about the computers. Through the computers you can see the world. It is an electronic device which accepts the input data, processes the data and finally gives the output in a required format.

The main purpose of this tutorial is to introduce you to Computers and its fundamentals.

Functionalities of a Computer

Coming to the functionalities of a computer with a very broad sense, any digital computer carries out the following five functions −

Step 1 − Takes data as an input.
Step 2 − Stores or saves the data/instructions in its memory and uses them as an when required.
Step 3 − Processes the data and converts it into useful information.
Step 4 − Generates the output.
Step 5 − Controls all the above four steps.


Advantages of Computers

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a computer?

Following are the advantages of computers.

High Speed

  • Computer is a very fast device with its high speed.
  • It can perform calculations of very large amount of data.
  • The computer has its units of speed calculated in microsecond, nanosecond, and even the picosecond.
  • Computers are bound to perform any number of calculations within few seconds as compared to man because man cannot perform the same task within seconds.
  • Accuracy

  • Being very fast, computers are very accurate in their task.
  • The calculations that are performed by the computers are 100% error free.
  • Computers perform all jobs with 100% accuracy with the correct input that user has given.

Storage Capability

  • Computers have much storage capacity in the form of memory. Memory is a very important characteristic of computers.
  • A computer has much more storage capacity than human beings.
  • It can store large amount of data and perform calculations.
  • Any type of data can be stored in its memory such as images, videos, text, audio, etc.


  • Unlike human beings, a computer is free from monotony, tiredness, and lack of concentration.
  • It can work rigorously without any error and boredom while man cannot.
  • The same task is performed repeatedly with the same speed and accuracy.


  • A computer is a very versatile machine.
  • A computer remains flexible in performing the tasks to be done.
  • This machine helps to solve the problems pertaining to different fields.
  • It has the capacity to perform dual role, means for example, it may be solving a complex scientific problem and the very next moment it may be playing a card game.


  • A computer is a reliable machine.
  • Modern electronic components or devices have long lives.
  • Computers are specially designed to make maintenance easy and error free.


  • Computer is an automatic machine.
  • Automation is the process of performing a given task automatically. Once the computer receives a program from the user as an input, the program then is stored in the computer memory, gives the instructions the memory and finally results in program execution without human interaction.

Reduction in Paper Work and Cost

  • This is very helpful in organizations where a lot of paper work can be reduced with the use of computers for data processing. This results in speeding up the process.
  • Where the data is stored in the computers, you can retrieve the data as and when required. This reduces the problem of maintenance of large number of paper files.
  • Initially the investment for installing a computer is very high, but it substantially reduces the cost of each of its transaction.

Disadvantages of Computers

Following are certain disadvantages of computers.
No I.Q.
  • A computer is only a machine, it cannot perform tasks on its own. It has artificial intelligence.
  • Each and every instruction has to be given by the user to the computer.
  • A computer cannot take any decision on its own.


  • Regarding its dependency, it depends totally on human instructions given in the form of input.


  • The environment of the computer where the operations are performed should be dust free and suitable.

No Feeling

  • Computers have no feelings or emotions as it is not human being. It is an electronic device which is used to perform specific tasks.
  • Unlike humans it cannot make judgment based on feeling, taste, experience, and knowledge.

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