Basic computer structure:
A computer is an electronic device, which can accept and process data by carrying out a set of stored instructions in sequence. This sequence of mathematical and logic operations is known as a Program.
The computer is constructed from electronic circuits, which operate on an ON/OFF principle. The data and instructions, used in the computer, must therefore be in logical form.
The computer uses the digits "1" and "0" of the binary numbering system to represent "OFF" and "ON". All data and program information must, therefore, be converted into binary form, before being fed into the computer circuitry.
One of the most important characteristics of a computer is that it is a general-purpose device, capable of being used in a number of different applications. By changing the stored program, the same machine can be used to implement totally different tasks.
In general, aircraft computers only have to perform one particular task so that fixed programs can be used.