Computers for Beginners/Introduction

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What is a Computer?[edit]

History of Computers


What can a computer do for me?

A computer can improve efficiency, streamline productivity, and facilitate communication as well as entertain.

In the work environment, a computer is used to perform a plethora of tasks. A primary function is word processing. A word processor is considered to be a virtual typewriter; it saves the document on a computer and allows instant editing. It also includes tools to review your grammar and to check your spelling, ensuring higher quality written work!

Another productivity use for computers is creating databases. These databases are easily created and can store information for quick access and retrieval. For example, if you have a large address book and want to get a person's address to send them a letter, you can use an address book application. This application uses a directory, or database, to store the contact information of the people you input into it. Then you can use a search feature that lets you look for a person's name (or part of their name) to quickly find their address, instead of flipping through endless pages of an actual address book.

The computer's original function was calculation. A computer is incredibly fast at mathematical accounting - what would take a human hours to complete can be done in seconds. It is wonderful for keeping track of a budget, planning a savings account or performing thousands of other tasks.

Computers entertain by providing DVD-players and music players. Computers can also play video games. In addition, if you have a decent Internet connection, you can watch one of the many TV shows available online for your viewing pleasure.

One of the most utilized features of computers is the gateway it provides to communication. Even a slow Internet connection will make communication easier.

You can e-mail friends and family.

Electronic-mail, unlike regular mail, provides instant delivery to the recipient. Also, if both of you are simultaneously connected to the Internet, some programs will allow instant messaging. This is a means of communicating in real time. This can help save on expensive phone bills. There are services like Skype that allow phone calls over the Internet as well, and most of them are free!

A computer also provides a gateway to the WEB. A huge library filled with billions of pages that are packed with knowledge and games!

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