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WHAT IS A COMPUTER?




A computer is an electronic machine which can accept data in a certain form, process the data, and give the results of the processing in a specified format as information.

First, data is fed into the computer's memory. Then, when the program is run, the computer performs a set of instructions and processes the data. Finally, we can see the results (the output) on the screen or in printed form.

A computer system consists of two parts: hardware and software. Hardware is any electronic or mechanical part you can see or touch. Software is a set of instructions, called a program, which tells the computer what to do. There are three basic hardware sections: the central processing unit (CPU), main memory and peripherals.

Perhaps the most influential component is the central processing unit. Its function is to execute program instructions and coordinate the activities of all the other units. In a way, it is the 'brain' of the computer. The main memory (a collection of RAM chips) holds the instructions and data which are being processed by the CPU. Peripherals are the physical units attached to the computer. They include storage devices and input/ output devices.

Storage devices (hard drives, DVD drives or flash drives) provide a permanent storage of both data and programs. Disk drives are used to read and write data on disks. Input devices enable data to go into the computer's memory.The most common input devices are the mouse and the keyboard. Output devices enable us to extract the finished product from the system. For example, the computer shows the output on the monitor or prints the results onto paper by means of a printer.

On the rear panel of the computer there are several ports into which we can plug a wide range of peripherals - a modem, a digital camera, a scanner, etc. They allow communication between the computer and the devices. Modern desktop PCs have USB ports and memory card readers on the front panel.

(from Infotech English for Computer Users)

2. Give an accurate translation of the word combinations:

1. to accept data  
2. to be fed into the computer's memory  
3. in printed form  
4. attached to  
5. storage devices  
6. a permanent storage  
7. to enable us  
8. by means of  
9. on the rear/front panel  
10. to plug peripherals  

3. What operations can be done with data? Guess from the initial letter what word is missing:

1.A computer can a______ data in a certain form.

2.The main memory h______ data.

3.Data is p______ by the CPU.

4.Disk drives are used to r_____ and w_____ data on disks.

5.Hard drives, DVD drives or flash drives s______ data.

6.First, data is f____ into the computer's memory.

7.Output devices enable us to e_______data from the system.

8.Scientists manipulate light to t_______ data.

9.People d_______ data from the Internet.

10.The recovery tool will help you to r_______the lost data.

11.Before writing a thesis a graduate-to-be should c______ and a_______ a large amount of data from different sources.

12.Optical drive r_____ data with a laser beam.

4. Match the words with the correct meanings:

1.hardware a) the information which is presented to the computer
2.software b) section that holds programs and data while they are executed or processed
3.peripheral c) magnetic device used to store information
4.main memory d) sockets into which an external device may be connected
5.hard drive e) programs which can be used on a particular computer system
6.input f) the central memory-storage facility in a computer
7.ports g) an auxiliary device, such as a printer, modem, or storage system, that works in conjunction with a computer
8.output h) results produced by a computer
9.CPU i) a computer and the associated physical equipment directly involved in the performance of data-processing or communications functions

5. Answer the questions:

1. What three basic operations can a computer perform?

2. Where can we see the results of the processed data?

3. What does a computer system consist of?

4. What are are three basic hardware sections?

5. What is the function of the central processing unit?

6. What can be the CPU compared to?

7. What does the main memory hold?

8. Where can we plug a wide range of peripherals?

9. What do peripherals allow?

10. What do modern desktop PCs have?

 

6. Read, translate and retell the text:







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