What is Computer (Definition, Types)

Definition of computer

A computer is an electronic machine that can be programmed to perform calculations or to automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. It takes raw data as input and produces results as output based on a set of instructions (like a program) and can be saved for later use.

The word computer comes from the Latin word “Computare” which means to calculate. For this reason, the computer is also called a calculating machine.

From normal calculators to supercomputers, all the machines which do any kind of calculation can be called computers. In the beginning, the computer was only a basic calculator.

With time development happened and today you see the advanced form of the computer. You can divide it into different categories on the basis of size and ability to compute or do work.

Desktop computer
Desktop computer

What are the main parts of the computer?

Computer system mainly consists of two things called hardware and software.

Computer Hardware: All those physical parts or physical components that make up the physical structure of the computer by connecting together are called computer hardware. The list of computer hardware is given below.

  • Motherboard: It is the circuit board of the computer to which all the hardware is connected. It is called Main Board, Motherboard, mainboard, main circuit board, mb, mboard, backplane board, base board, system board, logic board.
  • Memory: This memory is the primary memory of the computer, it has two types RAM and ROM. RAM memory is used by the processor directly. RAM is used for data transfer.
  • CPU: A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor, or processor, is the electronic circuitry that executes instructions. It is also called the brain of the computer.
  • Storage: It is the secondary memory of the computer which is used to store the data. Its type is something like this.
    • SSD (Solid State Drive)
    • HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
  • Input Device: The device or device through which input is given to the computer. are called input devices. it is like this,
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    • Microphone
    • Touch Screen
  • Output Device: The devices through which we get the output of the data processed by the computer are called output devices. It is like this.
    • Monitor
    • Speaker
    • Printer
    • Plotter
    • Projector

Computer Software: Software is the set of instructions, data, and programs that tell the computer hardware what to do and how to do it. A prime example of this is Microsoft Windows which is an operating system.

There are mainly three types of software.

  • System Software: System software is the software that establishes communication between the system and the hardware of the computer system and enables the computer to function. System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. The following are examples of this.
    • Microsoft Windows
    • Apple macOS
    • Linux
    • Android
    • Apple iOS
  • Utility Software: This software analyzes and maintains the computer. This software focuses on how the OS works based on how it functions to enable the smooth functioning of the computer.
    • Antivirus
    • File Management System
    • Disk Cleanup tool
    • Disk management tools
    • Compression tools
    • Backup utility
    • File Management System
    • Disk Defragmenter
  • Application Software: Software that is designed to meet a user’s need. This software completes a function or specific task. The following are examples of this.
    • Microsoft Word
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Media Player
    • Video editing software

How many types of computers are there?

Computers can be divided into different categories based on their size and use.

  1. Microcomputer
  2. Mini computer
  3. Mainframe computer
  4. Supercomputer
  5. Workstation

Micro Computer

A microcomputer is a small size and single-user computer. In which the microprocessor is used as the CPU. The following are common examples of microcomputers.

  • Laptop
  • Desktop computer
  • Mobile
  • Tablet

Microcomputers are mainly designed to perform general tasks such as browsing, internet access, use of MS Office, social media, etc.

Mini computer

Mini computers are smaller in size and cheaper than supercomputers and mainframe computers. But it is more powerful than a microcomputer.

Mainframe computer

A mainframe computer is a multi-user computer that can support more than a thousand users simultaneously. It is used in big companies and organizations. Which store and processes data on a large scale. Examples of this are banks, universities, etc.


Supercomputers work faster than all other types of computers and are very expensive. It has a large amount of data storage and computing capability. Which can solve millions of instructions in a second.

It is used in scientific research, weather information, space research, etc. NASA uses supercomputers to launch its satellites.


A workstation is a specialized computer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by a single user, they are usually connected to a local area network and run a multi-user operating system.

Use of computer

Computers are used in the following areas.

  • Medical
  • Entertainment
  • Science
  • Industry
  • Business
  • Banking
  • Security and surveillance
  • Arts

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