September 23, 2020

Danford School

Center for learning

Computer as as Information Machine

3 min read

Computer as an
information machine

Data
Data are figures, words and symbols.

Figures
Figures are numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Examples of words are Dupe, Chukwu, date, book, Abuja, house, age, etc.
Examples of symbols are #, +, -, ×,

Information

An information is a data that has a meaning.
That is, information is made of figures, words and symbols that have meanings. There are many
sources of information. Some of them are radio, television, newspapers and the computer system, through the internet.

How data is turned to information

Data are given meanings by processing them.

Processing is the work we do on data to give us information. We can do this using our pencil and notebook, but this takes a long time to do.
Computers do processing faster and better than when we use pencil and notebook alone.  This is called data processing. The data are sent into the computer using input devices.

Data processing takes place in the CPU.
The computer system shows us information through output devices.

The computer as an electronic machine

The computer as an electronic machine which accepts data as input, processes the data and gives out information. The information which the computer gives is called the output.
The computer carries out its function in a simple procedure known as:

Input – Processing – Output (IPO)

Advantages of the computer

1 Speed of the computer
Computers work very fast. A computer quickly solves in two minutes, a problem that could take many weeks or even months to solve. The use of computers has therefore made work faster in places such as banks, insurance companies and airline
companies.
2 Tirelessness
A computer never gets tired. It works for very long hours without getting tired.
The computer user may get tired but the computer system will not.
3 Accuracy
The computer is very accurate. It does not make mistakes.
The output result of a computer is wrong only when wrong input data are entered into the computer. The output result is always right when the input data is right. If a computer gives the wrong result, the user is responsible for this error.
4 Storing data and information
The computer stores large amounts of data and information in its storage devices. These data and information can be used when needed. For example, the information about all the students in a school can be stored in the memory of a computer. Such data may include name, date of birth, age, etc.
We can change any of the information anytime without having to re-enter all items into the computer.
5 Communication
The computer is used to send and receive messages quickly and accurately.
The e-mail and the internet use the computer to get things done.
6 Multi-task functioning
The computer can do many things at the same time. When an artist is drawing with a computer, he can be listening to music being played by CD ROM inserted into the same computer system and also chatting with a friend in another part of the world on the internet.

Ready also: Types of computers

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