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Chapter: Basic Concept of Biotechnology - Computer Applications and Biostatistics

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Information and computer technology

The definition of information technology (IT) as defined by the Oxford dictionary is the study and use of electronic system especially with the combination of computers and telecommunications for storing, retrieving, and share information.

Information and computer technology


The definition of information technology (IT) as defined by the Oxford dictionary is the study and use of electronic system especially with the combination of computers and telecommunications for storing, retrieving, and share information. On contrary the term as described byfree on-line dictionary of computing (FOLDOC), is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer technology, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. The term is used usually in the context of a business or other enterprise. The term computer technology is usually reserved for the more theoretical, academic aspects of computing.

Computer technology has a great history of development from an ancient digital computation aid ‘abacus’ to fourth generation core processors. All the developments have been depicted in the table - 1 (Morley, 2014; Parsons, 2011; Jain, 1989; webopedia.com).






Computer hardware, software and Operating system

Computer Hardware and software are body and soul of a computer. Though these two are entirely different based on physical existence, they have a great interplay and are interdependent. For example, a hardware constitutes a key board for inputting the characters, but is not worth unless until we have a proper application software to be used for typing and vice versa.

 

·     Computer hardware:-Computer hardware is the collection ofphysical entities that constitutes a computer system. It is sensible for our sense organs i.e. it can be seen and are tangible (microsoft.com). Examples include various input and output devices like mouse, keyboard, monitor, graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard, internet patch card, scanner, printer, etc. It also includes important devices like processor, random access memory and hard drive disk (HDD)

 

·     Computer software:-Computer software or application softwareor simply software is a set of instructions that are machine-readable and directs a computer's processor to perform specific operations. It is not sensible for our sense organs i.e. it can’t be seen and is intangible (microsoft.com).

 

·     Operating system: -The operating system (OS) of the computer isalso a kind of software that manages computer hardware and other software resources. It acts as the facilitator between the user and the computer (Silberschatz et al., 2013).

 

     Golftheman in 2010 has better described in his work, the relation between hardware, software, operating system and a computer user. Figure-1 shows how these are interrelated to each other.


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