what is a computer

What Is a Computer and Why Do We Need It?


In today’s age, computers have become an integral part of everyday life. From personal use to business applications, computers have made our lives easier and more efficient than ever before. This article will explain the basics of computer, its evolution over time, the significance of computers in modern society, its various components, types, and applications in different fields, and the future of computers.

Definition of a Computer

A computer is an electronics device that performs a sequence of operations based on instructions given to it. These operations involve arithmetic and logical calculations, data storage and retrieval, and communication with other devices.

Evolution of Computers Over Time

The first computer, called the ABC (Atanasoff-Berry Computer), was built in 1937. However, computer was not programmable and could only perform basic functions. The first programmable computer, the Colossus, was built during World War II to break codes. The first commercial computer, the UNIVAC I, was built in 1951. Since then, computers have rapidly evolved in terms of power, speed, and  the size.

What is the Significance of Computers Today?

Computers have revolutionized the way we live and work. In today’s world, computers are used in almost all aspects of life, from education to entertainment, business, and research. They have enhanced the efficiency and accuracy in almost all fields.

Basic Components of a Computer System

A computer is made up of several components, which are listed below:

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is the brain of the computer, responsible for carrying out instructions and functions.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

The RAM is responsible for storing data that the computer is currently using. This data is erased when the computer is turned off.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

The HDD is responsible for storing data, programs, and operating systems even when the computer is turned off.


The motherboard connects all the components of the computer and allows them to communicate with each other.

Input/Output Devices

Input/output devices allow users to interact with the computer. Examples of input/output devices include the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and printer.

Types of Computers

Computers can be classified into different types based on their size and purpose. Some basic types of computers are listed below:

Personal Computers (PCs)

PCs are commonly used at home or in small offices and are designed for individual users.


Workstations are designed for more complex tasks such as graphic design, video editing, and scientific research.


Mainframes are large computers designed for business operations and data processing.


Supercomputers are the most powerful computers and are used for scientific research and data processing.

Handheld Devices

Handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets are also types of computers, capable of performing various functions such as web browsing, communication, and media playback.

Applications of Computers in Different Fields

Computers have become increasingly important in various fields, including:


Computers have revolutionized education by providing access to vast amounts of information and interactive learning tools.


Computers are used in modern medicine for various purposes such as patient record-keeping, medical imaging, and research.


Computers have improved the efficiency and accuracy of business operations, such as record-keeping, data analysis, and communication.

Science and Research

Computers have enabled significant advances in scientific research by providing tools for simulations, data analysis, and modeling.


Computers have also transformed the entertainment industry by providing platforms for gaming, streaming, and digital content creation.


Computers have made communication more accessible and efficient than ever before, with tools such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing.

Why Do We Need Computers?

AS, Computers have become essential in today’s world due to their abilities to perform tasks with efficiency, store and manage large amounts of data, automate processes, provide precision and accuracy, and improve decision-making.

The Pros and Cons of Computer Use

While computers have several advantages, they also come with a few disadvantages, including cybersecurity risks such as viruses and hacking. Proper online safety measures must be taken to ensure secure computer use.

Future of Computers

The future of computers is exciting, with technological advancements such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and quantum computing leading the way towards new discoveries and innovations.


The evolution of computers has changed the world as we know it, revolutionizing almost all aspects of our lives. From personal use to business applications, computers have become an essential tool. With advancements in technology, computers will continue to shape the future, enabling more efficient and advanced methods for data processing, communication, and research.


What was the first computer?

The first computer was the ABC (Atanasoff-Berry Computer), built-in 1937.

What are some popular operating systems?

Some popular operating systems include Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

How do I protect my computer from viruses?

Proper online safety measures should be taken, such as using anti-virus software and ensuring secure passwords.

Can a computer function without an operating system?

No, a computer needs an operating system to communicate with its hardware and run programs.

How long do computers typically last?

The lifespan of a computer varies depending on several factors, such as usage, maintenance, and upgrades, but it can last anywhere from 3-10 years.

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