A computer is an apparatus that is able to perform certain operations automatically, by use of internal devices or software. Modern computers are able to perform general sets of mathematical operations such as logical or arithmetic operations. These operations enable modern computers to do a wide assortment of tasks. The following discussion provides an introduction to the computer and its many uses.
Programming Languages A large number of programming languages have been developed for use in computers. These languages allow a programmer to specify a series of instructions, which is translated into a series of machine code. Machine code is essentially a series of numbers that are interpreted by a computer’s internal operating system. Programming languages enable the programmer to specify the types of values that are contained in the machine code. This allows computers to carry out calculations automatically.
Computer Organization is the process of arranging hardware and other information in a certain manner so that they are accessible to a computer programmer. Computer programming languages describe the various computer organization techniques. Information about computers and computer programming is called computer theory. This science deals with how information in a computer system is stored, changed, and modified.
Digital Electronics Central processing unit (CPU) is a microprocessor that performs all the operations that are related to the execution of instructions stored in the memory of the computer. Memory refers to the storage of data. Memory is available in a desktop computer, laptop, tablet PC, etc. Modern devices contain various types of memory including RAM, non-volatile memory cards, etc. A modern day device may also include a discrete display port, video output, audio input, etc.
Real-Time Functionality A modern day device is integrated with various technologies to execute instructions immediately. For example, an electronic device with a microprocessor includes an operating system, a digital signal processor, a timing unit, and an input and output device. Modern devices that execute instructions are called real-time computers. These units run on microcontrollers or embedded processors. The word ‘real-time’ refers to the speed at which the device can execute instructions and perform tasks.
Distributed computing is a method of using a virtual computer to run applications on a main server without requiring knowledge and support from the user. This method of using virtual servers allows users to share resources such as memory, network connection, processing power, etc. Examples of distributed computing methods are storage area networks (SAN), object repository systems (ORAS), mainframe databases, and cloud services. Cloud computing refers to the usage of a service oriented architecture in which a business may use a virtual web server to store applications and services and make them accessible from any place. Most cloud based services provide access to one or more platforms.