Example Of Computer Literacy Exam Essay
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A computer is a machine that follows precise instructions to manipulate information and data. The computer has not changed much in its short history. The invention of computers was necessitated by the need to carry out complex arithmetic and mathematical tasks faster and with ease. When astronomers started playing around with big numbers, they realized they could not keep up with the rate of discovery in the field if they continued to do math by hand. At first they tried to overcome this limitation by using formulas and pre-calculated values, such as logarithm tables. In the 19th century, an English man called Charles Babbage designed what is today regarded to be the first computer. He did not get to finish his project, and was largely forgotten until the advent of computer science in the 20th century. The second resurgence of interest in computing happened during the Second World War, when governments employed physicists to come up with means to encrypt their messages and decrypt their enemy’s messages.
A computer is basically a machine that reads instructions and executes them. In the case of computers, these instructions happen to be numbers. Imagine explaining the directions to a certain address to a person who doesn’t know the way. One would explain to the person very carefully where to turn right or left and what to watch out for (a blue door, a bus stop, etc.) The exact same thing is what programmers do to computers, except that the signs to watch out for are numbers. Computers can also be made to mimic logic; that is, simple combinations such as “and”, “or” and “equals”. However, numbers can be made to represent other things, such as letters, pixels in pictures or notes in music. Computers are usually divided into two components; that is, hardware and software.
The hardware is the physical component of a computer, comprising of memory, one or more processing unit, and input and output devices. Memory comprises of primary and secondary memory. Primary memory is used to hold the data that the computer is currently manipulating. It is fast, expensive, and all data is lost when it is switched off. It is essential for the computer to run. Secondary memory is usually slower and less expensive than primary memory. It is used to store persistent memory such as documents, videos, pictures, and programs. Because secondary memory is less expensive, it is usually bigger in capacity.
The software is the part of the logical component of the computer that directs the software what to do. The most important software is the operating system, which loads and manages other smaller programs. Most hardware manufacturers bundle their hardware with ready-to-boot software. However, one could buy every component and assemble it oneself, including the different components of the hardware and the software. Free and high quality operating systems also exist. Security is a big issue in computing and one needs to consider the robustness of the operating system to avoid frustrations and loss as a result of malware.
My favorite mobile device is my tablet. I keep it synchronized with my home computer so that I would have access to anything I need on the move. The most important features are a large screen which is convenient for reading e-books and browsing and a relatively long battery life. Several applications such as email and instant messaging are also handy as I constantly need to communicate with my coworkers in my line of work. My work also involves doing a lot of research, and the tablet is handy for doing research online.
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