The big question?

Some terms may be used but still are new or you may have heard of them but paid no much interest in them.

Well are discussing computers but if asked; what is a computer? Good that you have it a thought.

There are so many definitions of this term by different scholars however the key aspect is to understand the performance/ ability of this ‘thing’ called computer then definition shall be evident.


Let’s see how a computer works.

  • It is Electronic
  • Accept user input
  • Process input under influence of software
  • Output processed data.
  • Work fast and in conditions unfavourable to human beings.

Therefore from these characteristics we could say that:

Defined: An electronic device that accepts and process a user’s input (data) to a desired output (information) under the influence of a set of instructions called software is what a Computer is!

Diagrammatically this could appear as follows:


You have been asked to find out the state of tomatoes from the kitchen by your senior. You get the request and move towards the kitchen. This is accepting user request and processing it. You then sort out the rotten, ripe, and un-ripened. This is data. After that you find out the statistics (processing) of the rotten, ripe and un-ripen tomatoes and bring a report to your senior. This is information.

N.B: electronic devices do not allow user input, do not have software but rather switches yet computers do.

Other terms defined:

Raw facts with less meaning to the user – data

Act of transforming data to information – processing

Processed data having meaning to the user –information

Sets of instructions written in computer language that are followed by the computer to do a particular task are called program/ software.

Physical parts of a computer that you can see and touch with devices that connects to the system unit also inclusive- hardware.

Tangible computer parts that are connected to the system unit are called peripheral devices.


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