So what exactly is a computer? A computer is a machine that carries out instructions given to it by a human. Without instructions, computer wouldn't be able to do anything. So what can computers do that humans can't?
- They can work faster than humans,
- Are more accurate than humans,
- Can store huge amounts of information that they never "forget"
So in addition to the traditional computer (laptop, desktop, iPad, etc), many of the devices in our homes have an embedded computer (a small silicon chip that carries out stored instructions). The modern home has over 100 of these computers, built into devices like a toaster, stereo, washing machine, etc. A modern car may have another 100 or more embedded computers.