What are the 5 basic operations of a computer?
The questions about the basic operations of a computer may confuse you at first glimpse as it is a versatile machine doing numerous tasks such as playing awesome games, useful calculations, huge storage, quick retrieval, processing spreadsheets, creating and managing documents, playing songs and movies and what not? So, among this huge list of tasks, a computer performs, how to identify which ones are basic operations of a computer?
Rather than drifting away with the huge list of wonders that computers are doing every day, you should think about the aspect for what the question is expecting. This is a question from Computer Fundamentals chapter and specifically, it is about Computer System.
Now after you identify the area that this question is targeting, it will be easier to hit the answer. It's asking about the basic operations of a computer system.
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5 Basic Operations of a Computer System
Input UnitInputting is a basic operation of a computer system. This is the act of feeding in the data and instruction to the computer (by computer here it means the processing unit). A computer system consists of different functional units and Input Unit does the operation of Inputting. By inputting you should understand that it is to send data and/or instruction to the computer in the required format. Information and programs are entered into the computer through Input devices such as the keyboard, disks, or through other computers via network connections or modems connected to the Internet. The input device also retrieves information off disks. Because Computers work with bits, there should be some mechanism to make data understandable by CPU (the process is called encoding) and also the information produced by CPU must be converted to the human readable form (called decoding). Input Unit devices take care of encoding. The devices that help you to input data and instructions are known as Input Devices. Keyboard, Mouse, Light Pen, JoyStick, Scanners, Microphone etc are some examples of input unit devices. The devices that can send data directly to the CPU or which does not need to encode it before sending to CPU are considered Direct Entry Input Devices such as scanners. Devices such as a keyboard which require encoding data so that it is in the form a CPU can understand are Indirect Entry Input Devices.
Processing UnitThe task of performing calculations and comparisons are known as processing. The unit in Computer System that is responsible for processing is ALU (Arithmetic and Logical Unit). ALU is the place where actual execution of the instructions takes place during the processing operations. All calculations & comparisons are made in the ALU. The data and instructions stored in the primary storage are transferred to it as when required. ALU may produce Intermediate results and store it in the memory which is also transferred back to the ALU for the final processing. After completion of processing the final results are send to storage units from ALU.
Output UnitThis unit takes care of receiving processed information from processing unit and present it to the user in the suitable form. A computer produces results in binary form and output unit does decoding to make it usable to the users. The devices that can output information from a computer are known as output unit devices. Monitors, Speakers, Projectors are soft output devices whereas printers, plotters produce hard copy output. Soft copy output is something that is temporary or is available only as long as the output device is turned on. Contrary to these are hard copy output which is permanent. The printout in a paper is not lost because the printer is turned off!
Storage UnitBefore actual processing start, data & instructions entered to the computer must be stored somewhere inside the computer. Similarly, results produced by the computer are required to be stored before it is passed to the output unit. The intermediate result produced by the computer must also be stored for further processing. Thus the importance of storage Unit in a computer system is vital. Based on whether the storage device is inside the main machine or not, it can be internal or external storage. Similarly, looking at whether the storage device works close with CPU or works as backup media, they can be primary storage or secondary storage. Primary storage is also called primary memory. Secondary storage is known by other names such as backup storage or secondary memory. For the storage purpose, a computer system may have different devices such as registers, cache, RAM/ROM, flash, magnetic disks, optical disks and so on.
Control UnitALU dose does not know what should be done with the data likewise, output unit dose not know when the result should be displayed. By selecting, interning and seeing to the execution of the program the CU is able to maintain order and direct the operations of the entire system. CU doesn't perform any actual processing on data yet it is known as a central nervous system for the comforts of the computer. It manages and coordinates the entire system. Hope this discussion helps you and makes you select correct answers in your exam. Following questions are probable from this topic. Following are 10 MCQ Questions from Basic Operations of a Computer. Answer them in the comment section below.
MCQ Questions from Computer Systems -Fundamentals of ComputersFund-Q1. Which of the following function is not performed by computers?
a. Calculate data b. Compare data c. Analyze data d. Output dataFund-Q2. Which of the following is soft output device?
a. Microphone b. Plotters c. Projectors d. Card PunchersFund-Q3. Identify the direct entry input device:
a. Keyboard b. Mouse c. OMR d. All of aboveFund-Q4. Which of the following unit does encoding?
a. Input Unit b. ALU c. CU d. Output Unit
a. Arithmetic Logical Unit b. Control Unit c. Memory d. Output UnitFund-Q6. The storage unit holds:
a. data to be processed b. intermediate result c. both of above d. none of aboveFund-Q7. The fastest and most close storage device to CPU is
a. Flash Memory b. RAM/ROM c. Registers d. CacheFund-Q8. After completion of processing, the final results are sent to the _____ before it goes to output device.
a. Monitor b. Printer c. Storage d. ALU
a. Microphone b. OCR c. Projector d. Touch ScreenFund-Q10. The unit that manages and co-ordinates the whole system is
a. Input Unit b. CPU c. ALU d. CU
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