# Computer Power

#### Power of Computer

Increasing popularity of computers has proved that it is a very powerful and useful tool. The power and usefulness of this popular tool are mainly due to its following characteristics:
• Automatic. An automatic machine works by itself without human intervention. Computers are powerful automatic machines because once started on a job, they carry out the job (normally without am human assistance) until it is finished. However, computers being machines cannot start themselves and cannot go out and find their own problems and solutions. We need to instruct a computer using coded instructions that specify exactly how it will do a particular job. Some of the other characteristics of computers (such as speed and accuracy) are because they are automatic and work on a problem without any human intervention.
• Speed. A computer is a very fast device. It can perform in a few seconds, the amount of work that a human being can do in an entire year, if he/she worked day and night and did nothing else. In other words, a computer can do in a few minutes what would take a man his entire lifetime acknowledge the power of computer. While talking about the speed of a computer we do not talk in terms of seconds or even milliseconds ($10^{-3}$) but in terms of microseconds ($10^{-6}$), nanoseconds ($10^{-9}$), and even picoseconds ($10^{-12}$). A powerful computer is capable of performing several billion ($10^{9}$) simple arithmetic operations per second.
• Accuracy. In addition to being very fast, computers are very accurate. Accuracy of a computer is consistently high and the degree of its accuracy depends upon its design. A computer performs even calculation with the same accuracy. However, errors can occur in a computer. These errors are mainly due to human rather than technological weaknesses. For example, errors may occur due to imprecise thinking by a programmer (a person who writes instructions for a computer to solve a particular problem) or incorrect input data. We often refer to computer errors caused due to incorrect input data or unreliable programs as garbage-in-garbage-out (GIGO).
• Diligence. Unlike human beings, a computer is free from monotony, tiredness, and lack of concentration. It can continuously work for hours without creating any error and without grumbling. Hence, computers score over human beings in doing routine type of jobs that require great accuracy. If ten million calculations have to be performed, a computer will perform the last one with exactly the same accuracy and speed as the first one.
• Versatility. Versatility is one of the most wonderful things about a computer. One moment it is preparing results of an examination, next moment it is busy preparing electricity bills, and in between. It may be helping an office secretary to trace an important letter in seconds. All that is required to change its talent is to slip in a new program (a sequence of instructions for the computer) into it. In brief, a computer is capable of performing almost any task, if the task can be reduced to a finite series of logical steps.
• Power of Remembering. As a human being acquires new knowledge, his/her brain subconsciously selects what it feels to be important and worth retaining in memory. The brain relegates unimportant details to back of mind or just forgets them. This is not the case with computers. A computer can store and recall any amount of information because of its secondary storage (a type of detachable memory) capability. It can retain a piece of information as long as a user desires and the user can recall the information whenever required. Even after several years, a user can recall exactly the same information that he/she had stored in the computer several years ago. A computer forgets or looses certain information only when a user asks it to do so. Hence, it is entirely up to the user to make a computer retain or forget some information.
• No I Q. A computer is not a magical device. It possesses no intelligence of its own. Its I. Q. is zero at least until today. It has to be told what to do and in what sequence. Hence, only users determine what tasks a computer will perform. A computer cannot take its own decision in this regard.
• No Feelings. Computers are devoid of emotions. They have no feelings and no instincts because they are machines. Although men have succeeded in building a memory for computer, but no computer possesses the equivalent of a human heart and soul. Based on our feelings, taste, knowledge, and experience we often make certain judgements in our day-to-day life whereas, computers cannot make such judgements on their own. They make judgements based on the instructions given to them in the form of programs that are written by us (human beings).