A computer is a device that can be programmed to automatically carry out tasks or logical operations. Computers follow something called a program, which is a sequence of operations that help make computers very applicable to a wide range of tasks. Computers are used as control systems for a very wide range of industrial and consumer devices.
How have computers evolved over time?
Because they have such an important part of everyday living, it can be difficult to remember a time when Computers did not exist. If you think about it, computers as they are known and used now days are still reasonably new. Although computers have technically been in around since approximately 5000 years ago when the abacus was in use, it is modern computers that have had the greatest impact on society.
Back in time, Simple non-automatic devices like the abacus were used to help people to do calculations. Early in The Industrial Revolution, mechanical devices were built to carry out long tiresome tasks. More advanced electrical machines helped in analog calculations in the early 20th century, though the first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. Since then, the complexity of computers has increased continuously and dramatically over time.
The first digital full-sized computer was generated in 1944. By the name of Mark I, the computer weighed five tons and was only able to be used for calculations. Regardless of its size and minimal capability, it was the first computer of many that would help start off many generations of computer development.
Most modern computers consists of some form of memory and at least one processing element, usually a CPU. A control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information while the processing element carries out mathematical and logical operations. Some devices include input devices such as keyboards, mice, joystick, etc., output devices such as monitor screens, printers, etc and devices that perform both.