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A computer is a device that can be instructit tae cairy oot arbitrar sequences o arithmetic or logical operations automatically. The abeelity o computers tae follae generalised sets o operations, cried programs, enables them tae perform an extremely wide range o tasks.

Sic computers are used as control seestems for a verra wide variety o industrial an consumer devices. This includes semple special purpose devices lik microwave uivens an remote controls, factory devices sic as industrial robots an computer assistit design, but an aa in general purpose devices lik personal computers an mobile devices sic as smairtphones. The Internet is run on computers an it connects millions o ither computers.

Syne auncient times, semple manual devices lik the abacus aidit fowk in daein calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices war biggit tae automate lang tedisome tasks, sic as guidin paiterns for luims. Mair sophisticatit electrical machines did specialised analogue calculations in the early 20t century. The first deegital electronic calculatin machines war developed in Warld War II. The speed, pouer, an versatility o computers haes increased conteenuously an dramatically syne then.

Conventionally, a modren computer consists o at least ane processin element, teepically a central processin unit (CPU), an some form o memory. The processin element cairies out arithmetic an logical operations, an a sequencin an control unit can chynge the order o operations in response tae stored information. Peripheral devices include input devices (keybuirds, mice, joystick, etc.), ootput devices (monitor screens, prenters, etc.), an input/ootput devices that perform baith functions (e.g., the 2000s-era titchscreen). Peripheral devices allou information tae be retrieved frae a freemit soorce an thay enable the result o operations tae be saufit an retrieved.