Computer: Meaning, Advantages, and Disadvantages
Introduction and Meaning:
A computer is an electronic device that follows a program to sequentially process information and perform both mathematical and logical operations.
Loosely speaking, it is a gadget that is a collection of many different parts, all which perform separate tasks but with one goal of delivering the output. It has a keyboard, which is the standard input method, the monitor for displaying the output, the RAM for storing processes which are running, the operating system which is the main software in the computer.
A computer is a gadget which has advanced the information communication and technology platform and has dominated in the usage of the internet as well.
Advantages of Computers
- It has enhanced the error free and consistent processing of data. Unlike human who are prone to errors, a computer can perform many computations over a long time without making any error.
- Computer has helped in data transmission over long distances. No matter the distance, data can be moved from one computer to the other at high-speed.
- It has speeded up the processing of data into information. In many places, say at supermarkets, the computerized reading of the bar code is almost instant. It would have taken long time to read it without the computer.
- Computers are serialized. Each single computer unit possesses a unique serial number which helps in identifying it from the rest. It is embedded in the firmware and synchronizes with the IP address to ease functions like tracking and real-time location. This is helpful in instances when it gets lost or when a certain computer has been used to perform malicious acts and it needs to be pinpointed.
- In terms of cost, it has reduced the expenses incurred during data processing, transmission and also the storage. A single hard drive can contain as much information as the one in a room full of typed or handwritten manual files.
- It has improved networking and general cooperation. Teleconferencing, sending of emails as well as sharing of information over the internet is a major advantage which has been brought up by the computers in the global business sector.
- Increase in information access methods. It has the ability to read files stored in a flash drive, it can read the barcode embedded in products, it can also decode data stored in different forms from the server. All these would have required different platforms to be processed in the earlier days.
- Efficiency utilization of resources. A database stored in the server can be used in a different location for another purpose thereby reducing the need to recreate similar utility.
- Flexibility. By comparison, it is probably the most flexible gadget around. A computer user can perform multiple operations in a single unit without affecting other processes and without breaking it down.
- It has enhanced information sharing. Especially in companies which rely on similar information about their products, computer can be networked in the satellite branches to facilitate the reception of information from the head office.
10 Disadvantages of Using Computers
- Computer present chances of health complications. Spending a lot of time in front of a computer may cause health damages. The sitting posture on its own can be a loophole for many health issues including backache.
- The computer serial numbers can never be changed. The computer gathers information in the course of its usage by a particular user. This implies that it is associated with that particular user. In the event that it changes ownership, there would be issues pretty much trouble to literally transfer the associated data to the new owner.
- The computer is generally rigid. When the need to make a correction arises, no matter how small it is, most of the time is usually so much expensive and of course it needs a trained programmer.
- There is so much sophistication when it comes to its use and support features. Implementing ordinary operations in a computer is rather not straightforward like when doing it manually because of the need for the program to handle that operation.
- No matter how modern they are, to a great extent, they rely on the quality of the data submitted to them by the user. Poor input will generate poor output and vice versa. Talk of GIGO (garbage in garbage out).
- They are prone to security breaches. With the increase in computer usage, there comes along the challenge of sensitive information falling into the hands of unauthorized people. Computer systems can be hacked by malicious people thereby leading to loss of crucial data.
- Computers are generally not robust. In a networked organization, when the server or the mainframe stops working, the whole network is rendered useless because of the much dependency to one main computer.
- Computers have led to the development and rise of computer viruses and malware. When downloading from the internet, there is no guarantee that the file will be clean. A computer can be infected with viruses which sometimes damage the data stored in them.
- Computers are generally expensive to buy and maintain. The first purchase, buying of additional software and maintaining it can be expensive. You are not guaranteed that it will never break down.
- It has brought along immoral behavior among its users. The availability of the internet has perpetuated the rise of hackers, has made it possible to access pornographic material with ease and even lowered the productivity of employees for they can spend hours in the internet instead of working.