A computer generally means a programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
Modern Computers Defined
All general-purpose computers require the following hardware components:
In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic components to work together efficiently. For example, every computer requires a bus that transmits data from one part of the computer to another.
Computer Classification: By Size and Power
Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows, though there is considerable overlap:
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