Advantages in Using a Computer

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Why using and what are the advantages in using a computer to do a certain task?

1 - Introduction :


A computer is an electronic device that store, process and display information and data in a form that is easily understood. The main characteristics of a computer are the very high speed with which calculations and processes are carried out and also the very large amount of information and data that may be stored in a relatively small spaces called memory.

2 - Speed of Computing:


One of the main advantages in using computers is the possibility that a task that may take longer to do by hand may be done in a shorter period of time using a computer. Computers are designed to do tasks much faster and more accurately than humans. Numerical computations, creation and editing of documents, data organization and presentation, graphics are examples of tasks that are done efficiently when computers are used.

2 - Efficiency and Productivity:


It is perhaps easy to explain the efficiency of computers in comparing documents produced using a typewriter and a word processor (on a computer). Using a word processing makes it easy to make changes to letters, words, chapters or entire documents. There are possibilities to spell check words and therefore make changes. Deleting and inserting letters, words and paragraphs is done without leaving a trace. When all necessary changes are made, files may be saved, printed, edited as many times as is necessary, sent by e-mail to someone else in another continent within minutes. When using a typewriter, a simple typing error would be time consuming to fix.
Several recent studies have shown a substantial increase in productivity due to the use of computers.

3 - Data Storage.


Computer storage or memory is measured in bytes. A byte correspond to 8 bits (binary digit). For example it takes 1 byte (or 8 bits) to represent (store) a character of the alphabet. A page of a book with 80 characters per line and 40 lines per page would need 80 * 40 = 3200 bytes of storage or 3 Kilobytes (1 Kilobyte = 1024 bytes).

A book of 400 pages would need 400 * 3 Kilobytes = 1.2 Megabytes (1 megabyte = 1000 Kilobytes)

What does all this mean in practical terms?

Example 1: A CD has a storage capacity of 600 Megabytes and therefore can hold the contents of 600 / 1.2 = 500. Yes 500 books in ond CD!.

Example 2: A DVD has a storage capacity of 4.7 Gigabytes (1 Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes) and can therefore hold 4700 / 1.2 = 4000 (approximately) books.

Now think about how much space and how much does it cost to store 4000 books!


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Updated: 5 November 2010

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