Introduction to Computing Devices and their usage

Computing devices are the electronic devices which take inputs, process the inputs and then calculate results from the inputs. Or in simple words, these are basically the mathematical devices which can do the math much in faster way. One of the most common computing device is computer which we all know about it. Some of the computing devices use today are shown in the following figure.

Figure: Computing Devices

This is the vast field and it covers huge amount of devices today which we are using in one or another form and these devices ranging from the simple Calculator, Printers, Digital Cameras, Mobile phones, Smart phones , PC Desktops, Laptops and many more. These all do the math calculations on the streams of binary digits (bits i.e. 0 and 1 ) and produce the results in different forms that we need. They simply take inputs from the users and process the inputs by doing calculations and then produce outputs. Let us take example of a computer, we enter the inputs to the computer (like pressing the keys from the keyboard or clicking through the mouse), it processes them and produces the output data on the screen of the monitor.

Figure: Computing data from inputs to outputs

Features Common to Computing Devices

Processors

Every computing device will have the electronic calculator i.e. processor. This executes calculations from the instructions given to them in the form of programming code.

Programming

Programming is the basic for executing computations. There can be two kinds of programming for computers and that are Operating systems and Applications. An operating system (OS) helps the people to interact with the computing machine through pressing keys on keyboard, clicking via mouse and many more. This is basically a program need for running a system in appropriate way. Applications also known as apps, are examples of specialized programs that enable the computer to carry out specific tasks.

Data Storage

This is the another feature which all the computing devices have. Data storage is basically storing the programs as well as data on different memory devices used in the computing devices today and these programs and data which are stored can be used later for our needs. There are different storage devices using today.

Example: Let’s take an example which will cover the above three features of the computing devices.

Any Dell Computer is a computing devices and it has the processor inside it which does computations. When the Laptop is ON, it runs the software or program called Operating system which enables the user to interact with the laptop through keyboard and mouse and then the user stores the file on the storage element called hard drive for the later use.

Types of General-purpose Computers

There are basically two kinds of General-purpose computers and they are

1. Multi-user Computers

2. Dedicated Computers

Multi-user Computers

As the name suggests that this is a kind of computer that can handle multi users at a time. Mainframes, minicomputers, and supercomputers all fall into this category. Example of Multi-user computer is the computerized cash registers in a large retail store, which typically connect to a multi-user computer that records transactions and adjusts the store’s stock list database so that all individual registers are synchronized.

Figure: Multi-user Computer

Dedicated Computers

Dedicated computers are the computers which can be used by one user at a time. These computers have replaced multi-user computers because they are simple and have less cost. PC (Personal Computer is the most common dedicated computer these days. A typical PC has the other peripheral devices like keyboard, mouse and monitor which are used to the interact with the system.

Figure: Dedicated Computer: Desktop PC

There are further two kinds of PCs which depends on their sizes and portability.

These PCs are Desktops and Laptops.

PCs that are not easily transportable are known as desktop computers or desktops PCs, and PCs that are easily transportable are called laptops (or notebooks). A laptop computer typically has all essential components built into a single package while desktop PC has a separate display or monitor, separate mouse and keyboard.

Figure: Dedicated Computer: Laptop

Operating Systems for Desktop and Laptop PCs

A computer’s OS runs the device, supports its applications, and defines how users can interact with it. It is the software base of the computing device upon which everything builds. There can be two kind of interfaces in Operating system used today, one is GUI (graphical user interface ) and the other is CLI(Command Line interface). A GUI displays pictures on a monitor, and the user interacts with the pictures by moving a mouse and that’s why they are popular because they are easy to use. Users interact with a CLI by typing commands at a text-based on-screen command window.

There can be several kinds of Operating systems(OS) for PCs but some of the famous OS are as below.

  • Windows OS by Microsoft and they have several versions available and these are basically GUI and users can use it in CLI as well. For example Win7,Win 10 etc.
  • Apple MacOS by Apple which was formerly known by OS-X before 2016 in the market
  • Linux OS is a free, open source operating system which means that anyone can download and modify the source code. For example Ubuntu14.04, Ubuntu16.04 etc. Linux OS uses both GUI and CLI but mostly CLI.

The above mentioned OS are shown in following figures.

Figure: Windows10 Operating System
Figure: Mas Operating system
Figure: Linux Operating System: Ubuntu14.04

This was all about the introduction to computing devices specially the computers.

Thanks for reading..!!