Before talking about the characteristics of the computer let’s talk about what a computer is. The computer is an electronic device that processes the given instructions provided to it by the user or machine and based on these instructions it performs mathematical decisions and then gives output to the user.
Computers have a higher processing speed; they can process the instructions in a fraction of seconds. The processing speed of the computer is given to be in gigahertz and megahertz, which means 10^6 (Giga) instructions in one second. Can you imagine each instruction being processed in micro and nanoseconds!! This gives computers an edge over human calculations who are both slow and prone to human errors. Also, the computer processing speed is so High that various mechanisms have to be built to utilize the CPU processing speed so that it does not remain idle, it becomes a great deal of importance to utilize this speed effectively.
Along with the speed of the instructions processed by the computer comes accuracy, it’s the cherry on the top. The computer is performing billions of instructions in one second but what will be its value if the instructions are providing wrong output or prone to errors, unlike humans. The accuracy characteristics of computers take care of that part. The output of the given instructions can only fail if and only if the input provided to the computer is at fault like wrong numbers entered by the user will give the wrong output. But the calculation that is performed on that input will never be in error because these calculations are done with the help of digital impulses and transistors which work on the laws of physics and there is no way that it can go wrong.
The literal meaning of the word diligence is ‘giving a degree of care required in a given situation’. So the question comes how computers can be diligent and humans can’t.
Let’s say you have given 1000 mathematical calculations to be performed by the human now he can suffer tire and fatigue in 200-300 calculations and thus his efficiency will go down in some hours. But when you compare the machine to perform these instructions it will perform the last calculation with the same accuracy and speed with which it has performed the first calculation and thus showing the property of being diligent.
The meaning of word reliability is ‘the quality of being dependable or reliable’. So what are the things that we depend on the computer for? It can be the reliability of providing the right result with error, one of the biggest reliability that made computers become part of the world. The reliability to keep the data consistent meaning if we store the data in the hard disk the data should not become erroneous if we perform some operation on the stored data and this value of being data consistent is so much value that researchers have spent years to come up with a solution to keep the data consistent. These are something that we rely on computers to keep the data consistent and produce accurate results.
There is a large amount of inbuilt memory in the computer system such as hard drive and solid-state drive. All these provide users with enough capacity to use the computer to store videos, images, etc. On the computer itself. But the same thing is magic to the person in the 1970s where the cost of a gigabyte of the hard disk will have cost you thousands of dollars, with the advent of technology the memory has become cheap and easily accessible which is like magic to the person in 1970s, the first windows only had few kilobytes of ram and some megabytes of memory and not even a complete gigabyte.
Today we live in a world where there are exabytes and petabytes of data that are generated within a day so today we have to come up with the solutions to store such a huge amount of the data. We have created large data centers which are a crowd of servers under one roof and cloud computing technology which is provided by companies such as Amazon and Google.
The property of being automatic means ‘operating with minimum external control’. The computers are designed in such a way that whether it is stored in memory or loading the right data to process all these types of operations are made automatic. Earlier when the mainframe computer existed people had to wait in line with their memory cards and then use the processors that were installed into the mainframe one by one so the task of memory management was completely manual half a century ago. But today we have completely designed file allocation methods that require minimal to no human intervention in working and thus we describe the automation characteristics of the computer.
The meaning of the word versatile is ‘having a great variety and diversity’. The versatility in the computer refers to its capabilities to multitask. The CPU in the computer is capable of parallel processing which means if there are two tasks like processing songs and displaying on the monitor it will perform simultaneously rather than completing one task completely and then another.