Introduction and Uses of Computers
A computer is an electronic device that solves problems by processing data according to instructions.
The electronic computer is rightly called wonder (marvel) of the machine age. It can add, subtract, multiply and divide with lightning speed and perfect accuracy. It can multiply several ten-digit numbers in 1/1000 second working 500,000 times faster than a human being.
We give a programme to a computer to work for us in any field-business, industry, construction, banking, medicine, teaching, and so on.
In business and industry, the computer prepares and keeps lists of goods, correspondence records and sales, and profit and loss accounts. It can inform us of the production needs and the best production processes for a certain factory. It can compare several industrial processes of production and let us decide about the best ones.
A computer can solve all kinds of engineering problems of building, those of designing various building structures, finding the most accurate and effective material mixtures and safety measures for earthquake proof and sound-proof rooms.
In space or sea exploration, the computer is extremely useful. It collects information from outer space regarding distances, various heavenly bodies in movement, rays, and beams in their effects, the earth’s position and possibilities of man’s travel into space. In the same way, information from the depths of the ocean is conveyed by sensitive computers regarding the availability of oil, minerals, precious stones, sea and vegetable life, and rocks and seabeds. The operation of the railways and fastmoving vehicles on the roads is controlled for safe and accurate travel through computers, easily. Computers have made possible the smooth working of the telecommunications systems, that is, the process of receiving or sending messages by telephone, radio, television, telegraph, or satellites. Millions of telephone lines over the country remain in operation through computerized telephone exchanges. Radio or wireless, TV and satellite communication is now extremely fast and complex.
In medicine, computers are being widely used to diagnose or determine diseases, to prescribe medicines and to perform various tests like blood and heart analysis. They help maintain records of patients to be made available at a moment’s notice.
In education, computers started to be used in the 1960s. Instructional computers are used in two ways to provide a direct presentation of data (facts) or to act as a teacher to test the understanding and knowledge of the student. The computer can very systematically present in different ways, and with a wide variety of examples (illustrations), the developments in a field of knowledge:
Computer typing is fast, accurate and beautiful, in several patterns and shapes. In it, moving rays of light from a laser lens are used.
In computer music, the composer programmes the computer to produce different rhythms, tunes and tones from some sounds stored in it. These sounds are stored on magnetic tape and can be played back. The computer helps in expanding the range of tones and tunes.
With all this computer progress, we can say that computers cannot replace us. Our brain has more than 10 billion cells whereas a computer has only a few hundred thousand parts. While we can think and imagine independently, a computer cannot.
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In digital computation measurement of the digits is undertaken by counting. In the analogy computation, we solve the problem by using the knowledge that is relevant to a physical situation that can be built.
In America, an electrical beam named. Cheops (Chemical Engineering Optimising System) was fed information for designing a chemical plant. After examining 16,000 designs it selected the best one and provided it in exact proportions. Engineers had failed to produce a design as perfect as this one after years of efforts.
Computers a Boon or Bane
“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things.”
“Computers are playing vital roles in modern life.”
The use of the computer has dominated life. They are playing their part in every field of life. Be it economy, engineering, Science or technology, trade or commerce, transportation, communication, education and entertainment, computers are part and parcel of every activity. Viewing this, someone has rightly said that someday computers will be working for even housewives.
The computer is a controller of the modern Society, it controls machines as well as the thinking and ideas of man. On the whole, computers are the most reliable guide as well as controller of human affairs.
Computers are very important for business. Whatever is asked from the computer, it answers accurately and objectively. It is devoid of liking or disliking or prejudices. This generates a positive attitude in men.
The most advanced scientific researches and investigations are taking place with the help of computers. So it also plays the role of a scientist. Space can be explored, discoveries can be made and eclipses and earthquakes can be predicted by the computer.
“It seems hard to imagine modern life without computers.”
In modern times computers have proved themselves to be the teacher of humanity. Modern educational institutions use computers as chief instructors.
Computers are the best entertainers. Anything can be heard or seen on computers. Even for recording purposes Computers are being used. A Computer in a house can be called a mini-theatre of the house.
“Computers are being used for various purposes today.”
Computers are the fastest, the most economical and the most accurate source Cf contact and information. The Internet has provided undreamed advantages.
In Pakistan, computers are slowly but steadily making their mark. They have become the desire in every field. Pakistan has laid the foundation of its information technology era. It will soon reach the destination.
“Computers have lots of memory but no imagination.”
Computers have some drawbacks also. The major disadvantage is the displacement of man. In other words, computers are the major source of unemployment as they end the need for more workers.
“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history.”
Boring activities result from the computer because the natural talents of man are limited with the use of computers. Man becomes a machine in the Company of the machine. Too much use of the computer in every field has a bad effect on human behavior.
Man is at the mercy of machines. He is computer dependent. He surrenders his own talent before the computer. In short, man has become the slave of the Computer.
“A computer is like the union, it never works unless you spend money on it.”
In the end, we can say that all things are a mixture of good and bad. We cannot deny the computer’s dominant role and its effect on Society. However, for the present use and role of the computer.
Dr. Louis Rader has rightly said,
“The computers may have a more beneficial potential for the human race than any other invention in history.”