The fresh impact of information technology has broadened the base of computing plus communication through satellite, fiber-optic, mobile phone, fax machine, multi-media/hyper-media, e-commerce, m-commerce etc. etc. thus enhancing the insinuations of this shift from single, cut off technologies to a unified digital convergence and enabling the computer users to knowledge a beautiful and fantastic scenario of computer utilization in the fields like:
(i) Artificial intelligence
(ii) Web-based Applications
(iii) E-commerce, M-commerce (Mobile Commerce)
(iv) Computer animation
(v) Multi-media, Hyper-media
(vi) Distributed computing
There are numerous fields of computer applications, but we need not to go into the details of all those as it is beyond the scope of this book. What we need to know here is that the information technology has brought about a revolution in our life style. We may call it the computer Revolution, information Revolution, communications Revolution, internet Revolution, multi-media revolution or whatsoever. So it is beyond any doubt that today, we are living in a society that is making use of “Information Highway” which is heading towards a real future “ global village” of the human history.
1.1 Hardware and Software
“A computer is a device that can be programmed t accept data (input), process it into helpful information (output), and store it absent (in a secondary storage device) for safekeeping or later reuse”. We have four words in this meaning which are of prime importance in the whole computing process i.e. machine, programs, input and output. By conventions, machine is called hardware, whereas a program is known as software in the discussion of computer science. Here, input and output devices are part of the machine that can now be called as a complete computer system. So, to function, a computer system requires four main aspects of data handling i.e. input, processing, output and storage (figure 1.1). the hardware, responsible for these four areas, operates as described below:
- Input devices accept data in a form that the computer can use, and then sends it to the processing unit.
- The processor (CPU), has the electronic circuitry that manipulates input data into the form of useful information. The processor actually executes the instructions (Programs) in a logical sequence.
- Output devices show us the processed data i.e. information, in the shape we want it.
- Storage usually means secondary storage, which consists of secondary storage devices, such as hard disk, floppy diskettes, CDs et. Which can store data and programs outside the computer itself. These devices actually supplement main memory, which can hold data and programs only temporarily.
Figure 1.1: A generalized computing environment
Category: Computer & IT