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Basic Computer Operations

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Basic Computer Operations

Basic Computer Operations.


A computer as shown in the figure below performs basically five major operations or functions
irrespective of its size and make. These are 1) it accepts data or instructions by way of input, 2)
it stores data, 3) it can process data as required by the user, 4) it gives results in the form of
output, and 5) it controls all operations inside a computer. We know that a computer is used to
(i) Collect (ii) Organise (iii) Sort and, (iv) transform raw facts into meaningful information form,
which logic conclusions can be drawn.


We discuss below each of these basic Computer operations.

  • Input: This is the process of entering data and programs in to the computer system. You
    should know that computer is an electronic machine like any other machine which takes as
    inputs raw data and performs some processing giving out processed data. Therefore, the input
    unit takes data from us to the computer in an organized manner for processing.
    Figure : Basic computer Operations.
  • Storage: The process of saving data and instructions permanently is known as storage. Data
    has to be fed into the system before the actual processing starts. It is because the processing
    speed of Central Processing Unit (CPU) is so fast that the data has to be provided to CPU with
    the same speed. Therefore the data is first stored in the storage unit for faster access and
    processing. This storage unit or the primary storage of the computer system is designed to do the
    above functionality. It provides space for storing data and instructions.
    The storage unit performs the following major functions:
    • All data and instructions are stored here before and after processing.
    • Intermediate results of processing are also stored here.

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  • Processing: The task of performing operations like arithmetic and logical operations is called
    processing. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) takes data and instructions from the storage unit
    and makes all sorts of calculations based on the instructions given and the type of data provided.
    It is then sent back to the storage unit.

  • Output: This is the process of producing results from the data for getting useful information.
    Similarly the output produced by the computer after processing must also be kept somewhere
    inside the computer before being given to you in human readable form. Again the output is also
    stored inside the computer for further processing.

Classification of Computers

  • Control: The manner how instructions are executed and the above operations are performed.
    Controlling of all operations like input, processing and output are performed by control unit. It
    takes care of step by step processing of all operations inside the computer.
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