1. Why is computer known as data processor?



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1. Why is computer known as data processor?

A computer is known as a data processor because it changes raw data that is not in useful form such as tables, figures etc into processed data known as information that is useful. Processing includes manipulating, storing, accessing and transmitting.

2. Explain in brief the various generations in computer technology? 

First generation computers: They used thermionic valves or vacuum tube technology. They were very large in size and consumed a lot of power. They required large space for installation and their programming capability was quite low.

Second generation computers: Used transistor technology or silicon chip technology instead of vacuum tubes. They consumed lesser power than the first generation computers and were also smaller in size.

Third generation computers: They used integrated circuits (ICs) technology. They had improved characteristics of the second generation computers. They could support more than one user at a time as they were the basis of the mini and main frame computers.

Fourth generation computers: Used the IC transistor technology where large scale and very large scale integration technologies were used. They were the basis of today’s desktops and laptop computers.

Fifth generation computers: They use Ultra-Large Scale Integrated (ULSI) chips. Development for the computers to use Artificial Intelligence is on-going whereby the computer can make its own decision.

3. Write a short note on Fifth Generation of computer. What makes it different from Fourth generation computer?

Fifth generation computers are computers of the 1990s. They use Ultra Large Scale Integrated chips to build computers. The concept of Artificial Intelligence being developed in fifth computers is not available in fourth generation computers. The fifth generation computer is also faster than the fourth generation one.

4. Why did the size of computer get reduced in third generation computer?

The integrated circuits used in the third generation computers were much smaller as compared to vacuum valves transistors used in earlier generations. A single IC has many transistors, registers and capacitors built on a single thin slice of silicon.

5.  Give short notes on the following:

(a) Versatility

Versatility in computing refers to the ability of the computer to easily turn from one to another of various applications running at the same time on the same computer.

(b) Storage

Computers have very large storage capacity in their secondary storage. It consists of storage devices and their media not directly accessible by the CPU.

 (c) Slide Rule

It is a mechanical analog computer.

It is used primarily for multiplication and division and scientific functions such as roots, logarithms and trigonometry but doesn’t perform addition and subtraction functions.

(d) Babbage’s Analytical Engine

It is a mechanical digital computer that formed the basis of most modern day computers. This hence made Babbage to be referred to as the father of computers.

6.  Distinguish between Microcomputer and Mainframe computer.

Microcomputers are the personal computers commonly used for office and leisure activities. Examples include Hewlett Packard (HP), Compaq and Dell. They include desktops, laptops and palmtops.


Mainframe computers are large computers in terms of price, power and size. They require a carefully controlled environment and a specialist staff to operate them. They used for centralized processing for large commercial organizations. They can be used for Local Area Networks (LAN).

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