Explain various characteristics and limitations of a computer ?

A computer is equipped with number of characteristics that helps to perform different tasks more efficiently and effectively. 

Characteristics of computers

We have seen that a computer is an electronic device that performs a function based on a given set of instructions known as a program. A computer accepts data, processes it, and produces information. Here, data refers to some raw facts or figures, and information implies the processed data.

The important characteristics of a computer refer to figure are.
computer characterists

Speed :

Computers can perform millions of operations per second, which means that data that may otherwise take many hours to process is output as information in the blink of an eye. The speed of computers is usually given in nanoseconds and pico seconds, where 1 nanosecond = 1 ´ 10–9 seconds and 1 pico second = 1 ´ 10–12 seconds.

Accuracy :

A computer is a very fast, reliable, and robust electronic device. It always gives accurate results, provided the correct data and set of instructions are input to it. This clearly means that the output generated by a computer depends on the given instructions and input data. If the input data is wrong, then the output will also be erroneous. In computer terminology, this is known as garbage-in, garbage-out (GIGO).

Automation :

Besides being very fast and accurate, computers are automatable devices that can perform a task without any user intervention. The user just needs to assign the task to the computer, after which it automatically controls different devices attached to it and executes the program instructions.

Diligence : 

Unlike humans, computers never get tired of a repetitive task. It can continually work four hours without creating errors. Even if a large number of executions are needed, each and every execution requires the same duration, and is executed with the same accuracy.

Versatile : 

Today computers are used in our daily life in different fields. For example, they are used as personal computers (PCs) for home use, for business-oriented tasks, weather forecasting, space exploration, teaching, railways, banking, medicine, and so on, indicating that computers can perform different tasks simultaneously.

Memory : 

Computers have internal or primary memory (storage space) as well as external or secondary memory. While the internal memory of computers is very expensive and limited in size, the secondary storage is cheaper and of bigger capacity.
The computer stores a large amount of data and programs in the secondary storage space. The stored data and programs can be retrieved and used whenever required. Secondary memory is the key for data storage. Some examples of secondary devices include floppy disks, optical disks.

When data and programs have to be used, they are copied from the secondary memory into the internal memory, often known as random access memory (RAM).

No IQ :

Although the trend today is to make computers intelligent by inducing artificial intelligence (AI) in them, they still do not have any decision-making abilities of their own. Thus, their IQ level is zero. they need guidance to perform various tasks.

Economical :

Today, computers are considered as short-term investments for achieving long–term gains. Using computers also reduces manpower requirements and leads to an elegant and efficient way of performing various tasks. Hence, computers save time, energy, and money. When compared to other systems, computers can do more work in lesser time.


1. Computer is a machine and therefore it needs human skills to operate. 

2. It does work on its own and need set of instructions to be given clearly without any ambiguity.

3. It does not have natural intelligence and hence it has to be instructed each and every step. 

4. It does not learn by experience like human beings. 

5. Computers will not have any mind and cannot take any decisions by its own. Thus, they are purely dependent upon the user’s capability.


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