What is a Computer?
A computer is an electronic device used to process data and information. It can store, process and retrieve data. This enables the user to write texts, send e-mails, play games and surf the Internet. It can also be used to create and edit presentations, spreadsheets, photos and videos.
All computers have one thing in common: they consist of hardware and software.
Hardware is any part of a computer that has a physical structure, such as a mouse or a keyboard. Hardware also includes all parts inside a computer.
Picture 1: Hardware - desktop computer and internal components
Software is a term for programmes and their associated data. This means it is a collection of instructions telling the hardware what to do and how to do it. Examples of software are digital games, word processors or web browsers.
Picture 2: Software Examples
Everything that is done on a computer depends on both the hardware and the software it contains. For example, it is possible to browse a web page in a web browser (software) and navigate through the page with the mouse (hardware). Differences of hardware are shown in the different types of computers. Different types of computers usually use different types of software.
Quiz – Hardware vs. Software
Drag and drop images to the right place
1. What can a computer do?
2. How can you define hardware and software?