What Is A Computer

Computer Definition and Basics

What is a computer? Is that really a question to ask today? I suppose there is no doubt that everyone knows what a computer looks like.

Although they come in different forms and sizes, everyone is aware of its existence.

Many of us prefer using computers that run under Windows while others prefer using computers that run under MAC.

Many of us feel that a desktop computer is ideal whereas others prefer using laptops for mobility and the ease of use.

Even my 7 year old kid knows how to operate my computer without any help from me.

Majority of the homes possess at least a computer today but not everyone knows how to operate one properly. Do you know the following?

  • What a computer is made up of?
  • What is inside that rectangular box (referred to as “the computer case”) that comes with your keyboard and monitor?
  • What are the essential software that you require for the smooth running of your computer system.

Unless you know what is a computer, it can be difficult to make a proper decision, when buying a computer, upgrading some computer parts or even while doing simple computer maintenance.

If you have the knowledge of the technical specifications then, sometimes, you can avoid additional costs. For example, is your old monitor compatible with the new computer case that you want to buy. If you had that knowledge then would it not be logical just to buy a computer case and save money on a new monitor.

Sounds interesting doesn’t it?

I am sure you agree to the above facts. If the answer is yes then do read on…

Would it not be interesting to learn how your computer was built? So let us look more in details. The idea here is to make it as simple as possible for anyone to understand. There will also be technical terms applied for those of you who want to learn the computer jargon.

So What is a computer?

Well in simple words, it is an electronic devise, a machine, that obeys commands and performs tasks and then it displays results on a screen.
A computer consists of

  • A Keyboard for typing, accessing data and giving commands
  • A Mouse for navigating around a monitor and giving commands
  • A Hard Drive for storing your personal work and also software applications
  • And various Software installed for the computer to operate
  • A Monitor – Visual Display Unit (VDU) for visualising videos, images, playing games, etc…

Computer Peripherals

Other components that become an integral part of a computer and most common in every household are:

  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Internet connection (modem, broadband)
  • Webcam

In simple terms, a computer is an electronic device that allows you to:

  • Connect online with your family and friends all over the world
  • Surf the internet for information and online shopping
  • Keep track of your personal accounts, write reports
  • Play video games
  • Store photos of special occasions


I hope that this article will shed some knowledge about what is a computer. I will discuss more in details in another article and also look at each component part by part. This will give you a better understanding about your computer. Let us not make it complicated.