Nature and Characteristics of Computer:
- Storage and retrieval of Information
- Automatic Operations
- Decision Making
- Cost Reduction
- No Feelings
- No IQ
Computers provide the processing speed essential to our fast paced society. The speed of electronic computers is very fast because the signals can pass at the speed of electricity which is same as the speed of light thus millions of calculations can be done in a second, such speed are beyond the comprehension of the human brain. The quick service we have come to expect for bank withdrawals, stock quotes, telephone calls, and travel reservations, is made possible by computers. Business depend on the speedy processing, computers provide to handle high volume activities such as balancing ledgers and designing products.
Computer can store large amount of data, instructions and information on its internal memory or secondary storage devices and the same can be easily accessed and retrieved. The capability to store volumes of data is especially important in an information age.
Computer do not become bored or tired or lose concentration when performing highly repetitive jobs unlike human beings. Every time same work is done with equal diligence (alertness, keenness) by the computer. In this way computers can increase productivity, especially where dangerous, boring, or routine tasks are involved. When computers move into business office, managers expect increase productivity as workers learn to use computers to do their jobs better and faster.
Computer cannot do anything without program. His predecessor instruct him via program. Once data and program have been fed into the computer, operations of the computer are automatic as per the sequence or steps defined by the program.
Computer work very accurately and results are always same as per design. Errors can occur in a computer, but these are mainly due to human rather than technological weakness, that is, due to imprecise thinking by the programmer (a person who writes instructions for a computer to solve a particular problem) or due to inaccurate data. A well-known term Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) explains that, if you give inaccurate data to computers, it will give you inaccurate information.
Flexibility, versatility, and general purpose-ness, are the most wonderful things about computers. One moment it is preparing the results of particular examinations, the next moment it is busy preparing expense report for the entire company, and in between, it may be helping an office secretary to trace an important letter in seconds. Buying a computer means you don't need to purchase a tape recorder, VCR, TV, VCD player, Video games, fax machine, typewriter, calculator, directory, and so on.
To make essential business and government decisions, managers need to take into account solving techniques, the computer helps decision makers sort things out, analyze the implications and make better choices.
Because it improves productivity and aids decision making, the computer helps us hold down the cost of labor, energy, and paperwork. As a result, computers help reduce the costs of goods and services in our economy.
Computers are devoid (lacking, deficient, empty) of emotions. They have no feelings and instincts (inborn, inherent, natural) because they are machine. Although men have succeeded in building a memory for the computer, but no computer possesses the equipment of human heart and soul. Based on our feelings, taste, knowledge, and experience, we often make certain judgments in our day to day life. But computer cannot make such judgments on their own. Their judgment is based on the instructions given to them in the form of programs that were written by us. They are only as good as man makes and uses them. Where you place the computer, it is happy there and never demand you to give him company, offer tea, give lunch, and go to walk with it.
A computer is not a magical device. It can only perform tasks that a human being can. The difference is that it performs these tasks with enormous speed and accuracy. It possesses no intelligence of its own. Its IQ is zero, at least till today. It has to be told what to do and in what sequence. Hence, only the user can determine what tasks a computer will perform. A computer cannot take its own decision in this regard. It is also an advantage because in this way it is our obedient servant and you can't find so obedient fellow in this world.