January 21, 2021

Danford School

Center for learning

What is computer

3 min read
  1. What is a computer? 

A computer is a machine which calculates, counts and draws.

The various parts of a computer are the:

1) monitor

2) system unit

3) keyboard

4) mouse

5) printer


Read also: types of computer

Objects like the computer

Many objects function like the computer. We make use of some of these objects in our daily activities. They are electronic devices. Some of these devices and their uses are:


1 Calculator

A calculator is a machine used for solving arithmetical problems.

2 Cell phone

A cell phone is used for making and receiving telephone calls. It is also used for sending and receiving text messages. A cell phone is also called a mobile phone.

3 Digital wrist watch

A digital wrist watch is used for keeping time. It tells time in seconds, minutes and hours. A digital wrist watch also shows the date.

4 Organiser

An organiser is used for keeping personal records, data or information. You can use it for keeping the birthdays of members of your family and those of your friends.

5 Pager

A pager is used for sending and receiving messages.

6 Fax machine

A fax machine is used for sending and receiving messages. Fax messages are received like photocopies of the messages sent.

7 Liquid dispenser

A liquid dispenser meter is used for selling fuel like kerosene, petrol and diesel.


Parts of computer

1. Monitor

The monitor shows on its screen what is typed into the computer. It also shows what is stored in the computer when needed.

The monitor looks like a television set. It is also called the visual display unit (VDU).


There are two types of monitor:

i) The monochrome monitor

A monochrome monitor shows black and white colours only.


ii) The colour monitor

A colour monitor shows more than two colours. It shows many colours. It shows all the colours of the rainbow.


2. Keyboard

We can ask the computer to do many things by working on the keyboard.

A keyboard contains letters of the alphabet, A–Z and numbers 0–9.

It also contains function keys F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11 and F12.

Signs like the comma and full stop are on the keyboard. Letters are typed into the computer by pressing any of the keys.

There are two types of keyboards

i) The standard keyboard

This type of keyboard has ten function keys, that is F1 to F10.

ii) The enhanced keyboard

An enhanced keyboard has twelve or fifteen functions keys. That is F1 to F12 or F1 to F15.


3. Mouse

The mouse is that part of a computer which looks like a live mouse.

The mouse tells the computer what to do by controlling the characters of the keyboard.

A mouse has two buttons on it. It can also be clicked once or twice.


4. System Unit

The system unit is where important activities take place

in the computer system. It is also known as the central processing unit (CPU). The system unit is a box-like object with one or more openings. The system unit contains the engine of the computers.

Calculations, counting and drawing are done in the system unit before they show on the monitor.

The system unit stores information in the computer system. It has three parts. They are the :

i) control unit;

ii) arithmetic and logic unit; and

iii) main memory unit.


5. Printer

A printer is that machine in the computer system that brings out the typed document. It is used for printing the typed document on paper.

Some printers print in colour. Other printers print in black and white only.

Some printers are very fast in printing. Other printers are slow in printing.

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