A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or “data.” It has the ability to store, retrieve, and processdata. You can use a computer to type documents, send email, and browse the internet. You can also use it to handle spreadsheets, accounting, database management, presentations, games, and more.
For beginning computer users, the computer aisles at an electronics store can be quite a mystery, not to mention overwhelming. However, computers really aren’t that mysterious. All types of computers consist of two basic parts:
- Hardware is any part of your computer that has a physical structure, such as the computer monitor or keyboard.
- Software is any set of instructionsthat tells the hardware what to do. It is what guides the hardware and tells it how to accomplish each task. Some examples of software are web browsers, games, and word processors such as Microsoft Word.
Anything you buy for your computer can be classified as either hardware or software. Once you learn more about these items, computers are actually very straightforward.