The full form of COMPUTER is Common Operating Machine Particularly Used for Trade, Education and Research. Technically speaking, the term computer does not have a full form.

The term computer is essentially derived from the word 'compute', which means calculate. Nevertheless, there is a hypothetical full form of computer, which is said to be Commonly Operated Machine Particularly Used for Trade, Education and Research.

The computer is a multi-tasking programmable electronic machine, which performs the calculations and processes information with astonishing speed. It can calculate thousands of information’s with flash speed and almost unfailing accuracy. The computer can perform both computation and logical action at enormous speed. The two principle characteristics of a computer are:

  • It responds to a specific set of instructions in a proper manner.
  • It can execute a prerecorded list of instruction (a program)
  • In other words, a computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or data. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data.
  • Before we talk about different types of computers, let us talk about two things all computers have in common: hardware and software.
  • Hardware is any part of your computer that has a physical structure, such as the keyboard or mouse. It also includes all of the computer's internal parts, which you can see in the image below.
  • Software is any set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do and how to do it. Examples of software include web browsers, games, and word processors. Below, you can see an image of Microsoft PowerPoint, which is used to create presentations.

Importance of Computer

The computer is important in a variety of ways. For example, a difficult and time-consuming task can be done in no time and in an easy way. The computer provides better and effective way to manage a large amount of
information to every individual, organization, business, government and institution.

The value of computer lies in the ability to perform quickly and accurately. The computer can help in producing better quality products, help in teaching and assist in elimination human error.

a.) Solving numerical problems

One of the most difficult and most important jobs performed by computers is the solution of complicated problems involving numbers. Computers can solve those problems amazingly and quickly. The computer can perform a simple numerical problem to complicated numerical problem.

b.) Storing and retrieving information

People use computers to store large quantities of information. Information stored on a computer is sometimes called a database. The database can be enormous.

For example, a country's entire census might be contained in a single database. A computer can search a huge database to find a specific piece of information. In addition, the information can be changed easily and quickly.

The efficiency with which computers store and retrieve information makes them valuable in a wide range of professions.

c.) Creating and displaying document and picture

Computers can store a huge number of words in a way that make it easy to manipulate them. For this reason, word processing is one of the most important and widespread uses of a computer.

Computers are also important in the publishing industries.

For example, most books and magazine are typed on a computer. Graphics is the use of a computer to make pictures.


Every computer has certain common characteristics irrespective of their type and size. The computer is not just adding machines; they are capable of doing complex activities and operations.

They can be programmed to do complex, tedious and monotonous tasks. Computers are what they are because of the following characteristics:

i.) Word length

A digital computer operates on binary digits i.e 0 and 1. It can understand information only in terms of 0s and 1s.

A  binary digit is called a bit. a group of 8 bits is called a byte. The number of bits that a computer can process at a time in parallel is called its word length.

Commonly used word length are 8,16,32 or 64 bits. Word length is the major of the computing power of a computer. When we talk of a 32-bit computer, it means that it's word length is 32 bits.

ii.) Speed

The calculation in the computer is at very high speeds. For example, a micro computer can perform millions of instructions per second as many times without any mistake.

The speed increases, as the power of computer increase. For example, a super computer can operate at speed measures on nanoseconds and even picosecond.

iii.) Storage

The computer has main memory and auxiliary memory. The computer can store a large amount of data. With more and more auxiliary storage devices, which are capable of storing huge amounts of the data, the storage capacity of a computer is virtually unlimited.

The reason that makes computer storage unique is not that it can store huge amount of data, but the fact that it can retrieve the information that the user wants in a few seconds.

For example, computer dictionaries are available and the contents of this software version are the same as that of the printed dictionary.

iv.) Accuracy

The accuracy of a computer is very high unless the input is given correctly. In most cases, the error is because of human factor rather that technology mistake.

For example, if the person input wrong code or the data is corrupted, the processing result is also wrong or corrupted. So if wrong input is given, the output also will be wrong- GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)

v.) Versatility

Computers can perform activities ranging from simple calculation like arithmetic calculation, to a complex calculation like launching a missile, which it makes a computer a versatile machine.

Some application area of computers like a business, bank medical diagnosis, science and technology, communication and astronomy, so it is a versatile machine.

vi.) Diligence

Diligence means being constant and determined in effort and application. The computer can perform the repetitive task without being a bore and it never gets tired.

It can work continuously for several hour or day without getting bored and tired. Unlike human beings, a computer is free from tiredness, weakness, lack of concentration and monotony.

Computers can perform activities ranging from simple calculation like arithmetic calculation, to a complex calculation like launching a missile, which it makes a computer a versatile machine.

vii.) Automation

A computer is an automatic machine, capable of functioning automatically once they are an appropriate set of instruction and data provided to the computer.

Once the task is initiated on a computer it can proceed continuously. The computer can be programmed to perform a series of a task involving multiple programs. Computers are capable of these levels of automation if the instruction is provided correctly.

viii.) Reliability

Computers are used widely as they are reliable. The computer never gives the wrong result as long as the input is given correctly. The probability of error in the computer is negligible.

A Huge amount of verities of data like monetary transaction, banking account, personal information is stored in a computer with the strong reliability to the computer.

The computer has become an integral part of our lives and is helping us in improving the standard living, enhancing the quality products, providing better healthcare, assisting in teaching and learning and other however computer have many limitations like lack of intelligence, lack of reasoning capabilities and other.