What are some definitions of computers


A big screen computer with a keyboard is only one way to get on the Internet. Today this is happening more and more often with much smaller devices such as smartphones.

A computer is a machine. It calculates something from data or manipulates data. They do it according to the rules of a program that people have written.

Programs are a series of commands that are written in a kind of language. The machine converts the commands into electrical characters that the computer can understand. The word computer comes from English and actually means "computer".

The first computers were built around 1938. They could only add up very little, namely numbers. Today computers are almost everywhere, even in cars. Computers ensure that the machines work in the factory and that the apps run on the smartphone.

Every computer consists of several components, which are also called "hardware". Input devices such as a keyboard or mouse are used to ensure that the computer receives data. The data is stored in memory so that it is not lost, even if the computer is switched off. The processor is the "heart" of the computer, it processes the data. The results are then sent to an output device, for example a screen or printer.

All programs and data form the "software". This allows a computer to be used for a wide variety of purposes without the need for new components. Software can be used to write texts, make websites or edit films. The specialists who develop and program computers are called computer scientists.

  • A photo from 1940, in the USA. Calculating machines helped with the census. Data was saved on punch cards.

  • A computer called ENIAC, around 1950. It filled an entire room.

  • The Commodore PET 2001 was one of the first home computers. It has been available for sale since 1977.

  • Today, many people don't use a PC, but a laptop.

  • You can also use a tablet with a keyboard, so you have more or less a laptop.