What is a computer?
A computer is a computing device that is capable of receiving, storing and processing information in a useful way. A computer is programmed to perform logical or arithmetic operations automatically .
This word is used in most Latin American countries, although in Chile and Colombia it is more common in masculine (‘ computer ‘). In Spain the term ‘ computer ‘ (from the French computer ) is used more . ‘Computadora’ comes from the English computer and in turn from Latin computare (‘to calculate’).
Parts of a Computer
The basic elements of a computer are memory (RAM and ROM), the motherboard, the processor, microprocessor or CPU (acronym in English for the concept of ‘central processing unit’, in turn composed of the control unit and the logical arithmetic unit) and the input and output devices. These auxiliary or peripheral devices are varied. Some of them are: the hard disk, the monitor, the mouse, the keyboard, the printer or the speakers.
The computer originates from devices that allow calculations to be carried out mechanically, such as the abacus and pascaline.
Charles Babbage invented the so-called ‘ differential machine ‘ in 1882 and later designed the ‘ analytical machine ‘ whose elements such as memory, input stream, and processor influenced later, more advanced computers. MARK I, based on electromagnetic devices, was also a milestone in this field.
During the second half of the 20th century, great advances were made in the development of computers, reaching a mass audience and with the ability to perform multiple operations.
A desktop computer is a type of personal computer that due to its dimensions and characteristics is used in a fixed location, usually on a work table (for home or work use). This term is used especially in Latin America and in Spain it is sometimes known as ‘ desktop computer ‘. It comes from the English desktop that could be translated as ‘on or on the desktop’. Thus it differs from the term ‘laptop’ or laptop.
A quantum computer is a system of quantum circuits that is capable of performing complex calculations and that operates in a state space. It is based on a sequence of unit transformations (or quantum gates) and a measurement. It uses the qubit (quantum bit) as a unit of quantum information. These types of computers can perform calculations quickly compared to regular computers.
A personal computer is a microcomputer that allows it to be used by a single user simultaneously (or several, depending on the operating system). This concept comes from the English personal computer ( PC ). On a regular basis, it is usually spoken of ‘personal computer’ or PC to refer to computers marketed at the user level and that work with a Microsoft Windows operating system.