(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

What is a Computer? Its Utility, and Features:

A computer has become an important part of our life. It is used daily from school to office. And computers are being used a lot even in homes to handle daily work.

Keeping With all these things in mind, I have prepared this article. In which I am giving complete information about what is a computer? what are the definitions of computer? What are the characteristics of computer? Features of Computer And how many types of computer are there?

Table of Contents:

    1. What is a Computer?
    2. What is the Full Form of A Computer?
    3. Generation of Computer
    4. Who invented The Computer?
    5. History of Computer
    6. How Does The Computer Work?
    7. Labeled Diagram of Basic Units of Computer
    8. Computer Hardware and Software
    9. Types of Computer
    10. Use of Computer / Application of Computer
    11. Benefits of Computer
    12. Disadvantages of Computer
    13. Why is it Important to Learn Computer?
    14. Interesting Facts About Computers
    15. Future of Computer
    16. FAQ -: Frequently Asked Questions
    17. What did you learn today?

What is a Computer?

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

A computer is a machine that performs tasks according to certain instructions. It is an electronic device that is designed to work with information. This word computer is derived from the Latin word "computare". It means to calculate or to calculate.

It mainly has three functions. Taking the first data which we also call Input. The second task is to process that data and then the task is to show that processed data which is also called Output.

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Charles Babbage is said to be the father of the modern computer. Because he was the first to design the mechanical computer, which is also known as the Analytical Engine. In this, data was inserted with the help of a punch card.

So we can call a computer such an advanced electronic device that takes raw data from the user as input. Then processes that data through a program (set of instruction) and publishes the final result as Output. It processes both numerical and non-numerical (arithmetic and logical) calculations.

What is the Full Form of a Computer?

Technically there is no full form of computer. Still, there is an imaginary full form of computer:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Generation of Computer:

It cannot be properly proved that since when the development of computer started. But officially the development of the computer has been classified according to the generation. These are mainly divided into 5 parts.

When it comes to the generation of the computer, it means that the generations of the computer as the computer developed were divided into different generations so that it is easy to understand them properly.

1. First Generation Of Computer – 1940-1956 “Vacuum Tubes”

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

The first-generation computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. They used to be quite big in size. A lot of power was used to run them.

Being very large, it also had a lot of heat problems, due to which it used to malfunction many times. Machine language was used in these. For example, UNIVAC and ENIAC computers.

2. Second Generation of Computer – 1956-1963 “Transistors”

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

In second-generation computers, transistors replaced vacuum tubes. Transistors took up very little space, were smaller, were faster, were cheaper, and were more energy efficient. They used to generate less heat than the first generation computers but still, there was still the problem of heat in it.

In this, high-level programming languages ​​like COBOL and FORTRAN were used.

3. Third Generation Of Computers – 1964-1971 “Integrated Circuits”

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Integrated Circuit was used for the first time in third-generation computers. In which the transistors were small and inserted inside the silicon chip, which is called Semi-Conductor. It benefited from this that the processing capacity of the computer increased to a great extent.

Monitors, keyboards, and operating systems were used for the first time to make computers of this generation more user-friendly. It was launched in the market for the first time.

4. Fourth Generation of Computers – 1971-1985 “Microprocessors”

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

The specialty of the fourth generation is that Microprocessor was used in it. Due to which thousands of Integrated Circuits were embedded in a single silicon chip. This made it very easy to reduce the size of the machine.

The use of microprocessors increased the efficiency of the computer even more. The work of very big calculations was done in less time.

5. Fifth Generation of Computer – 1985 To Present “Artificial Intelligence”

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Fifth-generation is of today's era where Artificial Intelligence has established its dominance. Now many advanced techniques like new technology like Speech recognition, Parallel Processing, Quantum Calculation are coming into use.

This is a generation where due to the artificial intelligence of the computer, the ability to make decisions on its own has come. Gradually, all its work will be automated.

Who invented the Computer?

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

                                     Father Of Computer Charles Babbage

Do you know?

The father of the computer "Charles Babbage" invented the Analytical Engine in 1833, which became the basis of the modern computer. For this reason, he was given the title of Father of Computer.

Who is called the father of the modern computer? In this way, many people have contributed to this computing field. But out of all this, Charles Babbage contributes more. Because he was the first to come out with the Analytical Engine in 1837.

The concept of ALU, Basic Flow Control, and Integrated Memory was implemented in this engine. Based on this model, today's computer was designed. That is why his contribution is the highest. That is why he is also known as the father of computers.

History of Computer:

Modern computers are started in BC when the Chinese Invent the Abacus? After this, various types of automatic machines came into existence. And the automatic engine made by Charles Babbage became the basis of today's computer.

The history of computers is briefly described below:

    1. Abacus was the world's first calculating device by which simple calculations (addition, subtraction) could be done.
    2. Abacus was invented by the Chinese about 2500 years ago (its exact time is not known).
    3. This instrument remained the only tool for counting till the 17th century.
    4. In 1017, John Napier mentioned his mathematical device in his book "Rabdology". Whose name was "Napier's Bones". This device was used to calculate products and find quotients. The method used to calculate in this device was called 'rhabdology'.
    5. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division could also be done by this device.
    6. A few years after the invention of John Napier (around 1620), the Honorable William Oughtred invented the "Slide Rule".
    7. By this, calculations like multiplication, division, square root, trigonometric could be done. But less used for addition and subtraction.
    8. In 1642, at the young age of 18, the French scientist and philosopher created the first practical mechanical calculator.
    9. The name of this calculator was "Pascaline". by which it could be calculated.
    10. Then in 1671, the advanced machine 'Step Reckoner' was invented while improving Pascaline. Apart from adding, subtracting, it could also do multiplication, division, square root.
    11. Developed by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, this machine also had storage capacity.
    12. Binary System was also developed by them. Based on which an Englishman 'George Boole' invented a new mathematical branch "Boolean Algebra" in 1845.
    13. Modern computers rely on this binary system and Boolean algebras to process data and perform logical tasks.
    14. In 1804, a French weaver 'Joseph-Marie-Jacquard' made a handloom. Whose name was 'Jacquard Loom'.
    15. It is considered the first 'information-processing device.
    16. And the invention of this device proved that machines could be operated by machine code.
    17. In 1820, Thomas de Colmar of France made a new calculating machine called "Arithmometer".
    18. By which the four basic functions of mathematics could be added, subtracted, multiplied, divided.
    19. But the development of this machine stopped due to World War II.
    20. The honorable 'Charles Babbage', the father of the modern computer, invented an automatic mechanical calculator to tabulate "polynomial functions" in 1822.
    21. The name of this calculator was "Difference Engine".
    22. It was propelled by steam and its size was huge.
    23. It had the ability to store, calculate and print programs.
    24. Almost a decade after this engine, the "Analytical Engine" was designed in 1833.
    25. This engine is considered to be the earliest form of the modern computer. That is why "Charles Babbage" is called the father of computers.
    26. This machine had all those things which are in the modern computer.
    27. Mill (CPU), Store (Memory), Reader, and Printer (Input/Output) were working in Analytical Engine.
    28. Now the foundation of the modern computer had been laid.



Developed By


2400 BC

Tim Cranmer 

Napier’s Bones 


John Napier

Slide Rule


William oughtred



Blaise Pascal

Stepped Reckoner 


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Jacquard loom


Joseph Marie Jacquard



Thomas De Colmar

Difference Engine 


Charles Babbage

Analytical Engine


Charles Babbage

Scheutizian Calculation Engine


Pearl George Scheutiz

Tabulating machine


Herman Hollerith

Harvard mark 1


Dr.Howard Aiken



Konrad Zuse

Atanasoff-Berry Computer

1939 -1942

John Vincent Atanasoff And Clifford Berry



John Mauchly And J. Presper Eckert



Von Neumann



J. Presper Eckert And John Mauchly

Osborne 1


Osborne Computer Corporation


How Does the Computer Work?

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Input (Data): Input is the step in which raw information is inserted into the computer using an input device. It can be a letter, picture, or even a video.

Process: The data inputted during the process is processed according to the instruction. This is a completely internal process.

Output: The data that has already been processed during the output is shown as the result. And if we want, we can save this result and keep it in memory for future use.

Labeled Diagram of Basic Units of Computer:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

If you have ever seen inside which computer case, then you must have found that there are many small components inside, they look very complicated, but they are not that complicated in reality. Now I will give you some information about these components.


(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

The main circuit board of any computer is called the motherboard. It looks like a thin plate but it is holding many things. Such as CPU, memory, connectors for hard drives and optical drives, expansion cards to control video and audio, as well as connection to all the ports of the computer. The motherboard is directly or indirectly connected with all the parts of the computer.


(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Do you know what is Central Processing Unit CPU? It is found in the motherboard inside the computer case. It is also called the brain of the computer. It is keeping an eye on all the activities within a computer. The higher the speed of a processor, the faster will be the processing.

RAM( Random Access Memory):

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

We also know RAM as Random Acess Memory. This is the short-term memory of the system. Whenever the computer does some calculations, it temporarily saves that result in RAM. If the computer is turned off, this data is also lost. If we are writing a document, then to avoid it being destroyed, we should save our data in between. By saving, if the data is saved in the hard drive, then it can stay for a long time.

RAM is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM we have, the better it is for us.

Hard Drive:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Hard Drive is the component where software, documents, and other files are saved. In this, the data is stored for a long time.

Power Supply Unit:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

The job of the power supply unit is to take power from the main power supply and supply it to other components as per the requirement.

Expansion Card:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

All computers have Expansion Slots so that we can add an Expansion Card in the future. These are also called PCI (Peripheral Components Interconnect) cards. But today's motherboard has many slots already built-in. Names of some expansion cards that we can use to update old computers.

  1. Video Card
  2. sound card
  3. Network Card
  4. Bluetooth Card (Adapter)

Computer Hardware and Software:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)


Hardware is any part of your computer that includes a physical structure, such as a keyboard or mouse. It also includes all the internal parts of the computer, which you can see in the image above.


Software is any set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do and how to do it. Examples of software are web browsers, games, etc. Everything you do on your computer is done by both hardware and software. 

For example, right now you are viewing this text in a web browser (software) it is software and using your mouse (hardware) to click on the page then the mouse is hardware.

We can call computer hardware any such physical device that we use in our computer, whereas computer software means the collection of codes that we install in the hard drive of our machine to run the hardware.

For example, the computer monitor that we use to see, the mouse that we use to navigate, these all are computer hardware. Wherein the Internet Browser from which we visit the website, and the Operating System in which that Internet Browser runs. We call such things software.

We can say that a computer is a combination of software and hardware, both have similar roles, both can do any work together.

Also Read:


Types of Computer:

Whenever we hear the use of the word computer, then only the picture of a personal computer comes into our mind. Let me tell you that there are many types of computers. Comes in various Shapes and Sizes. We use them as per the need, such as ATM to withdraw money, Scanner to scan a barcode, Calculator to do any big calculation. These are all different types of computers.

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

1. Desktop: 

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Many people use desktop computers for their homes, schools, and for their personal work. They are designed in such a way that we can keep them on our desks. They have many parts like Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, CPU (Central Processing Unit).

2. Laptop:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

You must have known about laptops which are battery-powered, they are very portable so that they can be taken anywhere and anytime.

3. Tablet:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

Now let's talk about the tablet, which we also call a handheld computer because it can be easily held in the hands.

It does not have a keyboard and mouse, just a touch-sensitive screen that is used for typing and navigation. Example- iPad.

4. Servers:

(2021) What is a Computer? | Definition, History & Features (Full Detail)

A server is some type of computer that we use to exchange information. For example, whenever we search for something on the Internet, all those things are stored in the server itself.

On the basis of size, the computer is divided into five parts -:

  1. Micro Computer
  2. Mini Computer
  3. Mainframe Computer
  4. Supercomputer
  5. Workstations

#1. Micro Computer: 

  1. A microcomputer is a single-user computer.
  2. Microcomputers are computers with less speed and less storage capacity than other types of computers.
  3. This microprocessor is used as a CPU.
  4. The first microcomputer was made using an 8-bit microprocessor.
  5. Some Examples of Micro Computers – Laptop Computers, Desktop Computers, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Tablets, and Smart Phones.
  6. Microcomputers were generally made for general use like - Browsing, Searching for Information, Internet, MS Office, Social Media, etc.

#2. Mini Computer:

  1. Minicomputers are also known as "Midrange Computers".
  2. The mini-computer is designed in such a way that it can support many people simultaneously.
  3. It is a mid-size computer with a multiprocessing system that is capable of supporting 250 users simultaneously so it is commonly used by small businesses and firms.
  4. It is used for a specific purpose in different departments in a company, for example -: University's admission department can use mini computers for their work.

#3. Mainframe Computer:

  1. Mainframe computers are very large in size and very expensive.
  2. It is a multi-user computer capable of supporting thousands of people simultaneously.
  3. Mainframe computers are mostly used by big companies and government organizations so that they can do their work easier because they can store and process a large amount of data.
  4. For example, universities, banks, and insurance companies use mainframe computers to serially store the data of their students, customers, and policyholders.

#4. Supercomputer:

  1. Supercomputers are very fast and very expensive computers compared to all other computers.
  2. The storage capacity of supercomputers is very high.
  3. The speed of these computers is very high and they can work on millions of instructions every second.
  4. Supercomputers are used for specific tasks and specific applications such as solving large-scale numerical problems in engineering and scientific disciplines, including weather forecasting, space research, electronics, petroleum engineering, medicine, and many more.
  5. For example, NASA uses supercomputers to launch satellites, monitor and control space satellites.

#5. Workstations:

  1. This is a single-user computer. However, it is like a personal computer, which has a more powerful microprocessor and a higher-quality monitor than a microcomputer.
  2. Depending on the storage capacity and speed, it falls between a microcomputer and a mini-computer.
  3. Work stations are typically used for specialized applications such as desktop publishing, software development, and engineering applications (CAD/CAM).
  4. Workstations typically come with a graphical user interface, large, high-resolution graphics screens, large amounts of RAM, and inbuilt network support.
  5. Most workstations also have a disk storage device such as a disk drive, but a special type of workstation, called a diskless workstation, comes without a disk drive.

Use of Computer / Application of Computer: 

Where is the computer used? If seen, we have been using computers everywhere in our lives and will continue to do so. It has become a part of our life. I have written some of its uses below for your information.

Use Of Computers In The Field Of Education: 

They have the biggest hand in education, if a student wants information about something, then he gets this information within a few minutes with the help of Computer. Research has shown that with the help of computers, the learning performance of any student has increased significantly. Nowadays, studying can be done with the help of online classes while sitting at home.

Health And Medicine: 

Computer plays a major role in health and medicine. Nowadays with the help of computers, the treatment of patients is done very easily. Nowadays everything has become digital, due to which the disease is easily known and its treatment is also possible accordingly. This has also made operations easier.

Use Of Computers In The Field Of Science: 

This is the gift of science itself. This makes research very easy. Nowadays a new trend is going on which is also called Collaboratory. So that all the scientists of the world can work together, it does not matter from which country They are.


It has a huge hand in business to increase productivity and competitiveness. It is mainly used in Marketing, Retailing, Banking, Stock Trading. Due to all things being digital here, its processing has become very fast. And nowadays more importance is being given to Cashless Transaction.

Recreation And Entertainment: 

It has become a new haven for entertainment, you talk about anything like movies, sports or restaurants, they are used everywhere.


Nowadays the government is also giving more focus on their use. If we talk about Traffic, Tourism, Information & Broadcasting, Education, Aviation, our work has become very easy due to their use in all places.


Their use in the army has also increased to a great extent. With the help of which now our army has become more powerful. Because nowadays everything is controlled with the help of a computer.

There are many places where we use it according to our needs.

Benefits of Computer:

By the way, it would not be wrong at all to say that the computer has made the life of us human beings very easy with the help of its incredible speed, accuracy, and storage.

With this, people can save anything whenever they want and can search for anything easily. We can say that the computer is a very versatile machine because it is very flexible in doing its jobs.

But in spite of this, we can also say that the computer is a very versatile machine because it is very flexible in doing its work, while these machines also have some important advantages and disadvantages.

Let us know about them.

1. Multitasking:

Multitasking is a great advantage of computers. In this, a person can easily calculate multiple tasks, multiple operations, numerical problems in a few seconds. A computer can easily calculate in trillion of instructions per second.

2. Speed:

Now it is no longer just a calculating device. Now it has become a very important part of our life.

Its great advantage is its high speed, which helps it to complete any task, that too in a very short time. In this, almost all the operations can be done immediately, otherwise, it would take a lot of time to do them.

3. Cost / Stores A Large Amount Of Data:

It is a low-cost solution. Because in this a person can save a large amount of data in a low budget. Using a centralized database, a very high quantity of information can be stored, so that the cost can be earned to a great extent.

4. Accuracy:

These computers are very accurate about their calculations, the chances of making a mistake in them are negligible.

5. Data Security:

Protecting digital data is called data security. Computer protects our digital data from unauthorized users such as cyberattacks or access attacks.

6. Versatility:

Due to its universality, the computer is rapidly gaining its dominance in the whole world, along with doing mathematical tasks, it is also being used for commercial work. A computer is being used in every field. Like- Bank, Railway, Airport, Business, School, etc.

7. Diligence:

Today, a human gets tired of doing any work continuously for a few hours, on the contrary, a computer has the ability to do any work continuously for many hours, days, months, yet there is no decrease in its ability to do work. Nor does the accuracy of the result of the work decrease. Computer does any given work without any discrimination whether that work is interesting or not.

8. Reliability:

The memory of the computer is more powerful, the whole process related to the computer is reliable, it does not get tired of working for years and the store memory remains accurate even after years.

9. Power of Remembrance:

A person talks a lot in his life but remembers only the important things, but the computer keeps all the things whether it is important or not, stores them all inside the memory and later provides any information when needed.

Disadvantages of Computer:

Now let us know about some disadvantages of computers.

1. Virus And Hacking Attacks:

A virus is a destructive program and hacking is called that unauthorized access in which the owner does not know about that.

These Viruses can be easily spread through email attachments, sometimes also from USB, or they can be accessed to your computer from any infected websites.

Whereas once it reaches your computer then it ruins your computer.

2. Online Cyber ​​Crimes:

Computers and networks are used to do these online cyber-crimes. Whereas Cyberstalking and Identity theft also come under these online cyber-crimes.

3. Reduction In Employment Opportunity:

Since the computer is capable of doing many tasks simultaneously, there is a huge loss of employment opportunities.

Therefore, from the banking sector to any governmental sector, you see that all computers are given more importance in the place of people. So unemployment is only increasing.

Talking about the second disadvantage, it does not have IQ, it totally depends on the users, it has no feeling, it cannot take any decision by itself.

Why is it Important to Learn Computer?

We all know, how much the whole world is dependent on computers today. There is no such area where we are not using them for our work. So in such a situation, it becomes necessary for every person, that he should increase his computer literacy. Today if you want to get a job in any field, you must have at least Basic Computer Skills.

Since most of the business today is dependent on technology, they also expect from their workers that they should know how to operate the computer. If you want to learn something, do research on any topic, then you can do all that very easily. You must be aware that social media is also a computer-based service, which keeps you connected not only with family and friends but with the whole world.

Apart from this, you will be very well known for the word online. Today, with the help of computers, not only can you take online classes sitting at home, but you can also take advantage of all kinds of services. Apart from this, there are thousands of such reasons, for which you must have knowledge of computer.

Interesting Facts About Computers:

Some interesting facts about the computer are as follows:

    1. ENIAC, which is considered to be the first electronic computer, weighed more than 27 tons and was 1800 square feet in size.
    2. You can easily write “TYPEWRITER” which is the longest word by using only one row of text on the keyboard of a computer.
    3. Did you know that the first computer mouse was made of wood? Which was made by Doug Engelbart around 1964.
    4. More than 5000 new computer viruses are released every month in the world.
    5. You must have heard the names of HP, Microsoft, and Apple, a very common interesting thing between these companies is that all were started in a garage.
    6. The original name of Windows was Interface Manager.
    7. The first microprocessor made by Intel was "4004". It was designed for a calculator.
    8. A man blinks normally 20 times a minute on average, but he blinks only 7 times a minute while using a computer.
    9. The first word spoken on the Internet is "lo". Actually, the word was "Login", but the computer crashed after two characters.
    10. Windows OS does not allow us to create folders named CON, PRN, AUX, or NUL as these are DOS reserved keywords.
    11. A group of 12 engineers designed the IBM PC.

Future of Computer:

By the way, day by day a lot of technological changes are coming in the computer. Day by day it is becoming more affordable and with more performance and more capacity. As the need of the people increases, there will be more changes in it. Earlier it was of the size of a house, now it is getting absorbed in our hands.

There will come a time when it will be controlled by our mind. Nowadays scientists are doing more research on Optical computers, DNA Computer, Neural computers, and Quantum computers. Along with this, a lot of attention is also being paid to Artificial Intelligence so that it can do its work smoothly on its own.

FAQ -: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a computer's simple definition?
A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information or data. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data. You may already know that you can use a computer to type documents, send an email, play games, and browse the Web.

2. What is computer full form?
So, in simple words, you can say that a computer is an electronic device that is used for fast calculation. Some people say that computer stands for Common Operating Machine Purposely Used for Technological and Educational Research.

3. What is the computer introduction?
A computer is an electronic machine that processes raw data to give information as output. An electronic device that accepts data as input, and transforms it under the influence of a set of special instructions called Programs, to produce the desired output (referred to as Information).

4. What are the 4 types of computers?
The four basic types of computers are as under:
Mainframe Computer.

Also Read :

What did you learn today?

 what is a computer?

“Computer is a machine which performs work according to certain instructions. To say more, a computer is an electronic device that accepts data with the help of input devices, processes them, and provides those data in the form of information with the help of output devices".

By now you must have got the introduction of computer. I have full hope that I have given you complete information about what is computer and type of computer and I hope you have understood about this computer technology.

Easily now you can feel free to answer what is a computer. I request all of you readers that you also share this information in your neighborhood, relatives, your friends so that there will be awareness among us and everyone will benefit a lot from it. I need your cooperation so that I can pass on more new information to you guys.

It has always been my endeavor that I should always help my readers or readers from all sides, if you people have any doubts of any kind, then you can feel free to ask me.

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