The main functions of a computer are to receive, manipulate, display and store data. These basic functions are performed by commands that the computer receives either by a program or a human user. The commands that the computer receives are known as raw data. After the raw data is processed by the computer, the data that the computer displays is known as information.
By using these four basic functions, the applications of a computer are nearly endless. Using the code with which the computer is programmed, it is able to both produce information and store it for later use. Every function that is demanded of a computer has to be processed and manipulated in a way that can be easily digested by the user. One example of this is a computer game. Although the computer user receives the information in a game format, the computer is still processing the information the same way it processes any other commands that it receives.
The information that is output by the computer is not always a picture displayed on a monitor. Computers also have to process raw data and output the information in sound via speakers. Computers often need the aid of other machines to help with the output of information. This includes using printers to create physical copies of information displayed on the computer monitor.