What is a Computer?

+7 votes
asked May 1, 2017 in Computer Club by whizkid (66,600 points)

Today I'll be talking about something very basic. What is a computer? 

According to, it is the following:

"a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations. Mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers." 

This is all fine, but it does not really answer what makes a computer work. If you just buy a tablet that has no software or operating system in it, it does not really do anything and might be viewed as a very expensive room heater.

A computer has four main parts.

1.) Some form of input device, like a mouse or keyboard to enter data.

2.) Some type of logic that can read the inputs and give a result. For example, if 2 inputs are the same or different.

3.) A place to store and read things back, such as on a disk or memory.

4.) A place to display them. Examples include a monitor, printer, or even an LED light.

The inputs are all binary, which is the language of computers. Binary just means something is on or off. We represent this as 0=off or 1=on. The outputs are also in binary.

It is amazing that such a simple concept can create virtual worlds and the website you are using now.

In my next series of posts I'll go into things in more detail, starting with the input part. Hopefully, you will get a good feel for how a computer works and maybe even build one yourself! If you have any questions about anything, please post them.


commented Jan 27 by OllieMotionStudios (15,350 points)
There is another input type:

A pen tablet

With some pen tablets you don't a key board of a mouse (if you are using Windows 10) as it acts like a mouse and you can use the handwriting feature by double-tapping a text box and writing in it which means you don't need a keyboard. You can even get Windows 10 to recognise your handwriting.

4 Answers

0 votes
answered Apr 1, 2020 by anonymous
Not to be annoying- When will you post the next series?
+1 vote
answered Feb 24, 2020 by Meow72
Please post more! I like it.
+1 vote
answered May 1, 2017 by ❤☮LouTheLuver☮❤ (163,720 points)

Cool! Sometimes, I wonder, what is inside of a computer. This truly answered my question!

commented May 1, 2017 by whizkid (66,600 points)
I'm glad you find it interesting. Computers are so important in the world that I feel everyone needs to understand them better and not be intimidated by the technology. It is all really simple at a basic level. There is of course much more to it and I'll be giving what I hope are simple explanations one post at a time.
+1 vote
answered May 1, 2017 by Vanilla Bean (85,840 points)
Thank you . This is clear and easy to understand

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