There are many Characteristics (Features) of Computer these are given below:
1. Speed: The data processing speed of the electronic computer is very fast because the signals can pass at the speed of electricity which is near to that of speed of light i.e. 2.997 × 108 m/sec. Thus millions of calculations can be done in a second. Such speeds are beyond the comprehension of the human brain.
2. Accuracy: The accuracy of a computer is consistently high, and every calculation is performed with the same accuracy i.e. almost 100% accurate results are always the same as per design. The degree of accuracy of a particular computer depends upon it’s designed. Accordingly, software needs to be designed properly, and proper checks and controls are necessary for the program and data. Errors can occur in a computer system due to inaccurate data or instructions fed by humans or end-users
3. Word length: Digital computer operates on binary digits (bit), a combination of 1 (one or high) and 0 (zero or low), which means all data or information are kept in a computer or its memory in terms of 0’s and 1’s. 8 bits is equal to one byte. The number of bits that a computer can process at a time in parallel is called its word length. Commonly used word lengths are 8, 16, 32, or 64. Longer the word length, the faster the computer is.
4. Automation: A computer is an automatic machine, capable of functioning automatically, once the appropriate set of instructions (program) and data are provided to the computer. Once a task is initiated in a computer, it can proceed automatically.
5. Diligence: The computer can perform repetitive tasks without being bored and never gets tired. Diligence means being constant and earnest in effort and application. It can continuously work for several hours or days after the data and programs are fed in it. Unlike human beings, a computer is free from tiredness, weakness, lack of concentration and monotony. If one work is repeated many times, human being suffers from physical and mental tiredness, but the computer can perform the repeated task with the same speed and accuracy. Because of this reason, human beings are getting a high level of benefit.
6. Reliability: The computer system is particularly master a lot of work without any mistakes and tiredness. That’s why they are widely used everywhere because of their reliability. On the other hand, Unreliable can occur if the end-user feeds incorrect data and instructions, or faulty instructions for processing the data automatically lead to faulty results. This is known as GIGO, i.e. Garbage in Garbage Out (GIGO). Errors may occur in the results, but due to increased efficiency of error-detecting techniques, they can be minimized. Thus, the probability of errors in a computer is negligible.
7. Versatility: Computer can perform different tasks depending upon the different program fed to it, is known as versatility. It has a wide range of application areas i.e. it can do many types of jobs. It can perform operations ranging from simple mathematical calculations to highly complex and logical manipulations. Some of the applications areas of computers are in education, business, office-automation, bank, medical diagnosis, science and technology, communications, and astronomy, so it is versatile in nature.
8. Storage capacity: A computer can store a huge amount of data. It has a data storage area, called memory. Any data stored in the memory can be retrieved at any time and at a very fast speed. The memory can be divided into primary memory and secondary storage. Primary memory is the working memory of the computer and is capable of sending and retrieving data at very high speed, whereas secondary storage is long-term memory and operates more slowly but capable of storing large amounts of data. Example: floppy disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, magnetic disks and optical disk.
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The storing capacity of a computer is measured in terms of byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte. A binary number either 0 or 1 is called a bit (binary digit). 4 bits are equal to 1 nibble and 8 bits are equal to 1 byte or a character. One kilobyte is equal to 210 that equal to 1024 bytes.