What is computing and what are its main purposes
Computing is using a computer to perform a calculation or other logical operation. It can be used for just about anything, from checking your email to solving equations. The purpose of computing is to solve a problem by performing logical operations on information (such as numbers or letters). The main reason computers are useful is because they can perform calculations much faster than humans can. Because computers are so fast, many tasks that would take a long time for humans can be done in seconds or minutes. Computers were once very expensive and difficult to use, but nowadays you can get computers that are much less expensive, faster, and easier to use.
What is Computing?
Computing is using a computer to perform a calculation or other logical operation. Computers have many different parts and subsystems, including the hardware (computer chips) and software (programs that tell the computer what to do). The main areas of computing are:
* Computer programs : these are programs that tell the computer what to do. The computer may need several different programs to complete one task. For example, you might need a word processor and spreadsheet program to create documents. However, you would only need the word processor program to type in the text for a document.
* Data : any information that can be displayed on a screen or printed out. For example, if you go to your bank’s website and fill in your personal information you are entering data.
* Algorithms : these are mathematical formulas that tell how to solve problems efficiently.
* Programming: the process of writing computer programs to solve problems. These programs are written by humans using a programming language, which is a set of words and symbols that are easy for people to understand but hard for computers to read.
The history of computing, from the abacus to the modern computer
The abacus was a very early version of the computer. It was invented around 2500 BC, in what is now Iraq. It was used by the Sumerians and Babylonians for counting things much faster than they could with their fingers. The abacus had beads that represented units of exchange, so you could count things very easily. The abacus was not a very efficient machine, but it was much easier to use than using your fingers. The abacus became the common way to do mathematical calculations until the late 1800’s. The ancient Egyptians used a device called the “sliding rule”. It was a board with rectangular slots that had all sorts of other lines drawn on it. You could move a sliding bar with your finger and it would show lines on the board that you could use to do math problems. The board had lines for squares, cubes, square roots, powers, multiplication and division. The ancient Romans used an abacus to do their calculations. But in the West the device was largely forgotten until the late 1600’s.
How computers work and how data is processed
A computer is made of a number of individual parts. To make it more simple, the following image shows the parts that all computers have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Modern_Computer_Block_Diagram.svg.
The “Central Processing Unit” (CPU) of the computer is at the center of it all. It is where all the calculations occur. The CPU can be found on a motherboard, has a socket for a processor and RAM and contains circuitries called registers, ALU, FPU and controls the main buses that access main memory.
On each side of the CPU you will find memory modules – one for the CPU (internal cache) and one for the computer’s main memory.
The motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer and has all the CPU, memory and other hardware attached to it. It also contains connectors to connect external devices such as the monitor.
The different types of computers and their uses
The main different types of computers are: desktops, laptops, servers, and smartphones. Desktops are computers you put on your desk with a separate monitor. Laptops are smaller, more portable devices that don’t need a monitor because the screen is built into the laptop. Servers are computers that act as a sort of central computer for other computers. They host web pages so that people can look at them from anywhere in the world. Smartphones are mobile devices that are used for the internet and some other software. Tablets are mobile and can be used for the internet. The difference between a tablet and a smartphone is that a smartphone has an operating system, while a tablet doesn’t.
The main uses of computers are gaming, schoolwork, communication, entertainment, technology, business and more. Gaming is playing video games on your computer. Schoolwork is using your computer to do homework or to work on class projects. Communication allows you to send emails to friends or family members around the world. Entertainment can be playing games on your computer, watching videos or listening to music. Technology allows you to use the internet or send emails. Business allows you to do things like pay bills, create documents and even make business deals.
Computing in the future – artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc.
Computers are rapidly improving, and they will be further improved by artificial intelligence. AI is a branch of computer science that tries to make computers perform tasks that usually require intelligence or problem solving. The way AI deals with problems is by using a machine learning algorithm. This algorithm takes the information it has learned and tries to make the computer solve a problem in a way that it hasn’t ever seen before. The computer doesn’t have to know how to solve the problem in order to learn how, making AI different from machine learning algorithms. Machine learning algorithms are still very useful and they are good in many different situations, but they usually don’t make computers actually think. AI attempts to do this.
Early AI research was on understanding the brain. The first computers were designed as models of the human brain, and AI researchers wanted to understand what made humans so intelligent. They thought that if they could understand how humans worked, they could make computers work the same way. This idea is known as Strong AI (Artificial Intelligence). Weak AI is when a computer works the same way that a human would in certain situations, but it doesn’t actually think like a human. Computers like IBM’s Deep Blue and Apple’s Siri are examples of weak AI.