Overview A computer is an electronic device that receives (input) data, processes that data, stores data and produces results (output). Computer can be classified according to their data representation that is functionality, based on their purpose or based on their physical size. It’s the classifications that bring about types of computers.
There are four types of computers that is, micro computer, minicomputer, mainframe computer and super computer. 1. 2 Justifications Understanding the types of computers will be helpful in determining whether it’s suitable for the intended purpose. For example if it’s a simple task for an individual or small organization then the microcomputer will be more suitable than a main frame computer which serve large organization. 1. 3 In brief In this essay we define what a computer is in detail in terms of the input, process and output.
The features, purposes, functioning, subclasifications and costs of the four types of computers are also discussed. 3. 0 TYPES OF COMPUTERS 2. 1 Defining A Computer According to Saleemi (2009), “A computer may be defined as a machine which accepts data from an input device performs arithmetical and logical operations in accordance with a predefined program and finally transfers the processed data to an output device. The definition of computer can be viewed broadly in three major cases as illustrated below: Input Process Output Data and instructions Execution and storage
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Information “(All computers can perform the functions of inputting, storing, processing, controlling, styling and outputting data and information (Ravichdndran, 2001 pg2). ” It works upon the input data using the issued instructions, this means that the computer cannot do any useful job on its own; hence it’s a clever fool. The term GIGO is also oftenly used to explain this notion that is the computer can only work as per the instructions sets issued, hence if instructions sets conform to the solving of the problem at hand then it will do it even faster and accurately.
But if instructions set do not conform to the solving of the problem then the computer also solves it in the same manner of the instructions set. Hence Garbage in Garbage Out (GIGO). There are varieties of computers with a variety of their operational characteristics. The computer can be classified in many useful ways depending on the objective of whoever is doing the classification. 2. 2 Four types of computers compared The four major categories of computers based on their physical size are micro computers, mini computers, mainframe computers and super computers.
These categories are based on the differences in size, speed, processing capabilities and price of computers. Due to rapidly changing technology, the categories cannot be defined precisely. For example the speed used to define a mainframe today may be used to define mini computers next year. Some characteristics may overlap categories still; they frequently are used and should be understood. Mainframe computers They are most expensive of all computers and very big in size and offer the maximum computing power (Saleemi 2009).
They are generally used in large networks of computers with the mainframe being the node point of the network. Smaller computer or terminals are then attached through satellites so that data could be centralized at one place will data processing could be performed via the satellites. A good example is the airline reservation system. The airlines have a mainframe computer at their head office where information of all the flights is stored. Small computers installed at the booking offices are attached to the central data bank so that up to date information of all flights is always available.
According to Saleemi (2009) important characteristics include * These are big general purpose computers capable of handling all kinds of problems whether scientific or commercial. * They can accept and transfer data from input/output devices at the rate of millions of bytes per second. * They accept all types’ high level languages. * They can support large number of terminals. * Their processing speed is up to several billions of instructions per second. They have a large online secondary storage capability and can support a large number of and variety of peripheral device like magnetic tapes drives, hard disk drives, visual display UNITS, printers and telecommunication terminals. * They usually have high speed cache memory which enables them to process applications faster than mini or micro computer. Mini computers The mini computers are medium sized computers. They are physically bigger than the micro computers but smaller than the mainframe computers.
Due to advanced circuit technology some mini computers are almost the size of micro computers. They support average internal and backing storage, that is their storage capacity both internal and external are comparatively higher than the micro computers but lower than the main frames (Saleemi 2009). These computers support several users at a time, that is several work stations or terminals are connected to one central minicomputer whose resources (e. g. C. P. U time, storage media, memory etc) are shared among the users connected.
If central computers and terminals ate networked (WAN) then telecommunication links are used for a network within the same locality, on the other hand, the cables are used in connecting the terminals and the host computer. The later network configuration is known as local area network (LAN). At the workstation the information is output through the terminal screen or a printer. Sometimes the output can be at the central computer e. g. through a shared printer (usually line printer). Mini computers are used mainly in medium scale business functions. In business they are being used for invoicing stock control, payroll, sales analysis etc.
Micro computers According to Saleemi (2009), “These are computers of advanced technology that become available in late 1970’s. They are the most common form of computers in most offices today as desktop, personal or stand alone systems”. Their design is based on large scale Integrated Circuitry (LSIC) that confines several physical components per small element thumb size I. C (integrated circuit), hence the size dramatically reduced. Their internal memory is smaller than the mini computers and main frame computers. They support limited backing storage media. They are cheaper than the mini and mainframe computers.
Where the micro computers are used as terminals, that is connected to the central computer for enhanced processing beyond its capabilities then communication facilities are also to be provided. In small business the micro computers are used in several Min functions that require information to be produced e. g. purchasing, sales, marketing, production, accounting, in word processing for the production of business documents etc. Two popular series of micro computers are the personal computer (PC) and apple Macintosh. Micro computers nowadays come in varied sizes: Desktop computer – Largest and designed to fit entirely on or under a desk or table. * Laptop /notebook computers – second largest and designed such that can be placed on user’s laps. * Palm top computers – smaller and designed so that can be placed on users hand. * PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) – it’s also hand held and provides personal organizer functions such as calendar, appointments etc. Super computers Super computers are the largest, fastest, most expensive computers ever made. They are sometimes referred to as monster computers and have the processing speed of trillion of instructions per second.
In many installations super computers are used for limited classes of computations. These computers are often used in numerical application like weather forecast, large matrix calculations such as those required for linear programming to solve problem in economic program or some military statistics. A small number of super computers are built each year for use in applications requiring complex, sophisticated mathematical calculations as in large government research agencies, military defense system, national weather forecast agencies, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration etc. 4. CONCLUSION 3. 1 Summary This essay has comprehensively discussed what a computer is in terms of input, process and output. The superiority of the super computers over all the other computers has also been captured. Subclasification of the micro computer thus desktop, laptop, palmtop and personal digital assistant has also been discussed. 3. 2 Insights The development of computers from mainframe to micro computers and super computers is evident from the essay. It’s also worth noting that the advancement of micro computers will continued to diminish the importance of the mainframe / mini computers. . 3 Recommendations Given that computers facilitate more accurate and faster processing of data developers of computers should invest more in research and development. This will ensure that the computers available in the market for personal or SME use have not only enhanced capabilities but also affordable costs. REFERENCE LIST 1. Saleemi, N. A. (2009). Information Technology Simplified. Nairobi: Saleemi Publications. 2. Rauchandran, D. (2001). Introduction to Computers and Communication. New Delphi: Tata McGraw Hill.
A Laptop Computer
A laptop is a portable personal computer. They have furthermost of the similar components as a desktop computer, likewise a display screen, a pointing device such as a touchpad which also known as a track pads, a keyboard, and 2 speakers. Laptop computers are powered by mains electricity via an AC adapter, and can be used away from using a rechargeable battery. Sometimes there are also called notebook computers or notebooks. Laptops are portable computers. They are standard devices between students, businesspeople, and people who daily use their computer on the go.The cost of laptop is more than desktop computers for similar specifications, due to their nearby portability. They can have as extremely power and speed in place of desktops and laptop can be easily connect to external device for instance, monitors or keyboards, and other peripherals. They are more comfortable for use in business meetings, classrooms, cars, planes, trains, etc. Moreover, Laptops are that you can take all over the place with you without any difficulty.
It can take up very small space and people can only use for few hours without access to power. Laptop computers come in many sizes, which generally refer to the size of the display. They can choice from a 10-inch to 20-inch for normal laptops. Laptops come in several resolutions ranging from 1280x800 to 1920x1080. Laptop video cards and processors are designed built on the desktop processors, but they are produced with low power in mind. They are generally less powerful than the desktop computer.
Furthermore, they are increasing in popularity and for moral reason. They have benefits that are incomparable by desktop machines. And, bigger technology has dramatically dropped the price on most models. The laptop's small size removes the need for a large computer desk, and peripherals (scanners, printers, and mobile phone and external hard-drives) are simply linked with a USB cable. Wireless internet or Wi-Fi connectivity is possible, and most components now feature built-in fingerprint readers, Web cams, speakers and other operating systems.
Laptop is a good technology because it very easy to take it anywhere. People can easily access to the internet and get their information by the help of Wi-Fi. Most of people are turning toward from desktop computers to laptop because its cost is decreasing, now nearby the same price as a similarly desktop computer. I really my laptop it save my time. When the electricity is gone, my laptop still on, so by the help of laptop I easily completes my assignments.
Basic Computer Fundamentals
Introduction A computer is an electronic machine, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data, manipulate the data according to specified rules, produce results, and store the results for future use. Computers process data to create information. Data is a collection of raw unprocessed facts, figures, and symbols. Information is data that is organized, meaningful, and useful. To process data into information, a computer uses hardware and software. Hardware is the electric, electronic, and mechanical equipment that makes up a computer.
Software is a series of instructions that tell the hardware how to perform tasks.
Characteristics of Computers
- Automatic: Requires human intervention to start any task, solve the problem but once initiated, it continues the job until it's completed.
- Speed: in terms of microseconds (10 power -6), nanoseconds(10 power -9), and even picoseconds (10 power -12). A powerful computer is capable of performing several billions of simple arithmetic operations per second. Limited by hardware and software resources. Accuracy: garbage-in-garbage-out (GIGO).
- E. g. Human input error, programmer logic error.
- Diligence: Unlike human beings, a computer is free from monotony, tiredness, and lack of concentration.
- Versatility: Can perform multiple tasks at the same time. Limited by hardware and software resources.
- Power of Remembering: As long as the user desires, it can store any amount and type of information. Limited by hardware and software resources. No IQ: Cannot make decisions until instructed. Cannot learn on its own. No Feelings: No emotions, no taste, no knowledge.
Instructions are required.
- Evolution of Computers Necessity is the mother of invention then who is the father? - Curiosity, Vision, Idea 1642: Pascal invented first mechanical adding the machine 1671: Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz first calculator for multiplication 1880: Keyboards & Herman Hollerith used punch cards as input devices 19th century: Charles Babbage, father of the modern digital computer, Differential Engine, Analytical Engine.
- The Mark I Computer (1937-44).
- The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939-42).
- The ENIAC (1943-46).
- The EDVAC (1946-52 5. The EDSAC (1947-49). The UNIVAC I (1951).
- Computer Generations Overview of the major developments and technologies during the five generations of computers which include both hardware and software that together make up a computer system.
- First Generation (1942-1955): - Used vacuum tubes(glass), performed calculations in milliseconds -Memory electromagnetic relays, Data & Instructions using Punch Card, Assembly Language Programming Characteristics: Bulky in size, thousands of vacuum tubes, constant maintenance, costly, all circuits were man-made. g. ENIAC, EDVAC, EDSAC, UNIVAC 1, and IBM 701 1.
- Second Generation (1955-1964): - Used transistor, Germanium semiconductor, magnetic disks and tapes, magnetic core memory - faster, small in size, low cost, consume less power - High-level programming language like FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL, SNOBOL.
- Third Generation (1964-1975): -Integrated Circuits(IC) consists of transistors, resistors, capacitors, SSI(Small Scale Integration), MSI - faster, performed one million instructions per second -low space, more reliable, less power consumption e. Minicomputers & Mainframe computers.
- Fourth Generation (1975-1989): - personal computer, IC- LSI, VLSI - one million electronic components on a single chip. Semiconductor memories - less power, more fast, small in size - Magnetic tapes, floppy disks, LAN, WAN, GUI, MS-DOS, Windows, Macintosh.
- Fifth Generation (1989-Present): - VLSI & ULSI(Ultra Large Scale Integration) - Microprocessor chips: 10 million electronic components Small, much faster, less power, portable, internet.
- Block Diagram of Computer.
- Input Unit: - Accept data & Instructions - Convert into digital form so that computer can accept and further processing can be done e. g. Mouse, Keyboard, Light Pen, Joystick, Scanner, Touch Screen
- Storage Unit: The storage unit performs the following major functions: All data and instructions are stored here before and after processing. Intermediate results of processing are also stored here.
- Primary Storage(Main Memory): - This memory is generally used to hold the program being currently executed in the computer, the data being received from the input unit, the intermediate and final results of the program. -Temporary in nature, i. e. volatile memory -fast and the cost is high than secondary storage -e. g. Random Access Memory(RAM).
- Secondary Storage/External Memory(Secondary Memory): - Long term/ permanent storage of data. -slow and cost is low than primary memory -e. g. Floppy Disk(FDD), Hard disk drive(HDD), Compact Disk(CD), Digital Versatile/Video Disk, USB Drive, SDD.
- Memory size: -Digital Computer uses the Binary System i. e. 0's and 1's - Each character or a number is represented by an 8-bit code. -1 bit = either 0 or 1 - 4 bits= 1 nibble & 8 bits= 1 byte.
- Output Unit: - Any peripheral devices that converts the stored binary coded data into convenient external forms as texts, pictures, sound - e. g. Monitor, CD, Printer, Speaker, Headphones, plotter, projector 1. 4. 5 Arithmetic Logical Unit: All calculations(arithmetical +-x/ ), comparison(<,>,=) and decisions - Whenever.
- Calculations are required, the control unit transfers the data from the storage unit to ALU once the computations are done, the results are transferred to the storage unit by the control unit, and then it is sent to the output unit for displaying results.
- Control Unit: -It controls all other units in the computer -The control unit instructs the input unit, where to store the data after receiving it from the user, and how to output. It controls the flow of data and instructions:(fetching of instructions from main memory and subsequent execution of these instructions).
- Central Processing Unit: The ALU and the CU of a computer system are jointly known as the central processing unit. You may call CPU as the brain of any computer system. - A PC may have CPU-IC such as Intel 8085, 8086, 8088, 80286, 80386, 80486, Celeron, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium IV, Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo, Quad-Core, and AMD, etc.
Computer a Boon or a Bane
According to me the computer is boon to mankind. People are helpless without computer. Today it is the employments of millions of people. Computer is the greatest invention on earth especially for students. In fact, students and teachers are encouraged to use Information and Communication technology. It connects everyone in world. We can communicate with each other. The computer has made everybody's life easier. According to the recent research kids play online games regularly have better reaction time, visual activity and dexterity than kids who do not play games on computer.
Games help children to identify things in a faster way, to develop skills in sport and business. Computer considered as Machinery God , is an electronic device that reduces human laborious effort. In this 21st century,computer can be known by the name of next human brain. The invention of computer made human life much easier, faster and comfortable. Computer is regarded as one of the greatest achievements made by Scientist till now. Computer ,an electronic device, which has made life easier and comfortable is today surrounded with many questions of threats.
Whether Computers are helping us or creating problem to us is matter of discussion. This is a topic to be put forward in the mass discussion. No doubt,the use of computer has lowered human labor lots and lots The work which required much time before can now be done simply within fraction of seconds. This is one of the main cons of computers. Sitting in a room and controlling world has now become possible due to discovery of computers. Communication has become possible due to internet. Information can be easily gained through internet.
Globalizationhas become possible due to computers. Computers are used in each and every sector. From offices to school,from colleges to houses ... everywhere it is used. Even in defense system it is used. In hospitals to keep record of patients,to find symptoms of various diseases its been used. Similarly,it is been used for entertainment by teenagers. Likewise,it is been used as source of education. Distance education has become possible.
So, these are the advantages of invention of computers hich might make us think that they are very useful. But one thing that must be kept in mind is its negative aspect too. Computer hackers are the main cause for its negativity. Online robbery has become possible. Hackers are actively involved in cyber crime. Piracy has become so frequent that business organization has to face heavy loss. Important file and datas can be easily stolen which might be foundation of a country. Porn sites are been viewed by people which is promoting rapes and many other.
Laptop Computer vs Desktop Computer
The computer is one of the greatest inventions in the world. Nowadays, there are more and more people who have their own computers. However, some people easily get confused when deciding to buy a laptop or a desktop. It is obvious that both of them can do well at what they are needed for such as working, studying, researching or entertaining, etc. Both consist of the basic parts like main board, ram, VGA card, hard disk, etc. Yet despite these similarities, there are quite a few differences between these two kinds of computer. A laptop offers some advantages that a desktop doesn’t.
The first one is the portability. The laptop is light and portable enough to be brought anywhere. In addition, it only needs a small space to put it on. These things are very necessary for the businessmen because their jobs require them to move continuously. It is also vital for the students who want to surf the internet in the coffee shop or the library for researching or entertaining. The most important thing is the laptop uses a battery to work, so it can work for about 3 hours without plugging into the outlet. The laptop is absolutely a good solution if the people want to use the computer while going camping.
Yet, the desktop is so big and heavy that the people can’t carry it with them. It is stable and good for the job, which doesn’t need to move. Unfortunately, the desktop can’t work until it is plugged into the outlet. Another advantage of the laptop is the quietness and the coolness. It uses a device called solid-state drive (SSD) to contain data. Therefore, it doesn’t make noise while working. Besides that, it runs quite cool due to the silent cooling fan and doesn’t waste much electricity. In contrast, the desktop makes loud noise when running due to its regular hard drive and fans.
Moreover, it runs very hot – almost hot enough to fry an egg. Some people try to add extra cooling fans for their desktop. Unfortunately, this even makes their desktop noisier. The next benefit of the laptop is the convenience. In the laptop, a mouse is replaced with a touchpad, which is a great solution for the portability. The touchpad certainly cannot be dropped. Moreover, the laptop also has a lot of built-in devices such as speakers, microphone, webcam, etc. You can carry all of them easily while moving because all of them are built in. On the other hand, the owner of a desktop has to buy them and plug them into it through a USB port.
It is hard to carry all of them when moving to another place. Nevertheless, the laptop also has some disadvantages. In other words, a desktop has some benefits that a laptop doesn’t. For one thing, a desktop is usually cheaper than a laptop, sometimes just half the price of the laptop. Because of the conveniences of the laptop, the customers are willing to pay extra money for them. The second advantage of the desktop is the compatibility to work. It is believed that the desktop can work better that the laptop. It is really powerful; most tasks can be accomplished in a short time.
Its monitor is great to design images, watch DVDs or play games with a large screen, high resolution, and short delay time. Furthermore, a professional video editor often chooses a desktop as a tool for his or her work because of its strength. On the contrary, the laptop is not good to watch DVDs or play games because of its small screen. Gazing at the laptop’s screen for long periods may harm the viewer’s eyes. In addition, many people complain that it is difficult to type with the small keyboard of the laptop. In fact, this problem appears with the laptops whose monitors are smaller than 13”.
The users need to practice typing on these small keyboards before working with these laptops. The third benefit of desktop computers is the ability to upgrade. Upgrading a desktop is very simple; anyone can learn to do it by himself, but for the laptop, it is much harder. The desktop can be added and modified as the user pleases. However, the laptop’s users need an expert to help them upgrade it. For that reason, the desktop’s speed can be unlimited, but the laptop’s can’t. The final advantage is the durability. The desktop is very durable; it can work for more than 10 years if it is kept in a good environment.
Unfortunately, the laptop is fragile when being dropped. When it is broken, people will probably buy a new one. Based on the differences of these computers, the users can determine which one is better for them depending on their purposes. If they are the white-collar workers or the students who need the computers for their work or study, a small convenient laptop is the best choice for them. On the other hand, if they need the computers for their families or their works relating to graphic design, video editing, or playing hard-core games, a powerful desktop is likely a great choice.
Reflection Essay on The History of Computer Technology
This report briefly explains the history of modern computers, starting from the year 1936 to present day time. There are many models of computers documented throughout the years, but they only computer models mentioned are ones that I deemed too have had the greatest effect on computer technology back then and now. This report will show how in just forty years, computers have transformed from slow, room-sized machines, to the small and fast computers of today. Computers are a part of important everyday life, but there was a time when computers did not exist.
Computers are one of the few inventions that do not have one specific inventor. Many inventors have contributed to the production and technology of computers. Some of the inventions have been different types of computers, while the others were parts needed for the computer to function effectively. Many people have added their creations to the list required to make computers work, adding to the overall technology of computers today. The term “computer” originally referred to people. It was a job title for those who did repetitive work with math problems.
A computer is define as a programmable machine that receives input, stores and automatically manipulates data, and provides output in a useful format. The most significant date in the history of computers is in the year of 1936. This is the year the first “computer” was developed by a German engineer named Konrad Zuse. He called it the Z1 Computer and it was the first system to be fully programmable. The Z1 Computer had computing power, setting it apart from other electronic devices. Programming early computers became somewhat of a hassle for inventors and in 1953 Grace Hooper invented the first high level computer language.
Her invention helped simplify the binary code used by the computer so that its users could dictate the computer’s actions. Hooper’s invention was called Flowmatic and has evolved into modern day technology. In the same year, the International Business Machines (IBM) was introduced into the computing industry, forever altering the age of computers. Throughout computer history, this company has played a major role in the development of new systems and servers for public and private use. Inventors saw IBM as competition within the computing history, which helped to spur faster and better development of computers.
Their first computer technology contribution was the IBM 701 EDPM Computer. During the three years of production, IBM sold 19 machines to research laboratories, aircraft companies, and the federal government. The first computer physically built in America was the IAS computer. It was developed for Advanced Study at Princeton under the direction of John Von Neumann between1946-1950. (History of Computer Technology, 2011). John von Neumann wrote “First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC; in which he outlined the architecture of a stored-program computer (Computer History Museum - Timeline of Computer History, 2006).
Electronic storage of programming information and data eliminated the need for the more clumsy methods of programming. An example of stored-program data computer is the IAS computer. Many modern computers trace their ancestry to the IAS machine and they are referred to as von Neumann (or Princeton) architecture machines. The IAS computer embodied the concept of a stored-program computer. The main memory contained two main categories of information, instructions and data. The computer had an ability to place different sequences of instructions in the memory which made the computer very useful.
This allowed inventions to build computers to complete different tasks at different times. Such a computer can be reconfigured (reprogrammed) at any time to perform a new or different task. The Hungarian-born von Neumann demonstrated prodigious expertise in hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, game theory, statistics, and the use of mechanical devices for computation contributed to the production of the modern day computer (Computer History Museum - Timeline of Computer History, 2006).
In 1955, Bank of America coupled with Stanford Research Institute and General Electric; saw the creation of the first computers for use in banks. Researchers at the Stanford Research Institute invented “ERMA”, the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting computer processing system. ERMA updated and posted checking accounts and manually processed checks and account management. The MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) was a part of ERMA and allowed computers to read special numbers at the bottom of the checks.
This technology helped with the tracking and accounting of checks transactions. ERMA was officially demonstrated to the public in September 1955 and first tested on real banking accounts in the fall of 1956. (Blain, 2005). Today, computer technology has transformed the banking industry. One of the most important breakthroughs in computer history occurred in 1958. This was the creation of the integrated circuit, known as the chip. The integrated circuit device is one of the base requirements for the modern computer systems.
On every motherboard and card inside the computer system, are many chips that contain vital information on what the boards and cards do. Without the integrated circuit, the computers known today would not be able to function. The first commercially integrated circuits became available from the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1961. All computers then started to be made using chips instead of the individual transistors and their accompanying parts. Texas Instruments first used the chips in Air Force computers and the Minuteman Missile in 1962.
They later used the chips to produce the first electronic portable calculators. The original integrated chip had only one transistor, three resistors and one capacitor and was the size of an adult's pinkie finger. Today, an integrated chip is smaller than a penny and can hold 125 million transistors (Bellis). The late 1970s saw the popularization of personal computers and the progress continues from then until now. An explosion of personal computers occurred in the 1970s. The Tandy Corporation was one of the leading companies in computer technology.
Their most popular invention was the TRS-80 arriving on the market in the late 1970s. It was immediately popular, selling out at Radio Shack where it was exclusively sold. The TRS-80 was sold for only $600, making it affordable for many individuals to own their own personal computer. Within its first year, over 55,000 consumers bought Tandy TRO-80 to use in their home or office and over 250,000 of them sold in the next few years. Tandy Corporation’s TRS-80 had a keyboard and motherboard all in one. This is a common trend that other companies today use for their personal computer products.
TRS-80 also included office applications, including a word processor, calculator, and early spreadsheet capabilities (The People History - Computers From the 1970s). People during the late 70s embraced personal computers and used them for a variety of reasons, such as, games, office applications, home finances, storing date, and many other necessary usages. In 1975, Apple Computers was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac. The Apple II was launched in 1977 and was an immediate success as well. Apple created the “home/personal computer” that could be used by anybody.
The success of the Apple II established Apple Computers as a main competitor in the field of personal computers. Then Dan Bricklin created a spreadsheet program called VisiCalc for the Apple II. It went on sale in 1979 and within four years it sold 700,000 copies at $250 a time (Trueman, 2000). By 1980, there were one million personal computers in the world. Computers have come an enormous way since their initial establishment, as the earliest electronic computers were so large that they would take up the entire area of a room, while today some are so small that they can fit in your hands.
While computers are now an important part of the everyday lives of human beings, there was a time where computers did not exist. Knowing the history of computers and how much progression has been made can help individuals understand just how complicated and innovative the creation of computers really is. The first programmable digital computers invented in the 1940s have dramatically changed in appearance and technology from today. They were as big as living rooms and were about as powerful as modern day calculators. Modern computers are billions of times more capable than early machines and occupy less space.
Simple computers, such as smart phones, are small enough to fit into mobile devices, and can be powered on by a small battery. In today's world, computers play an incredibly large role in the way the world exists in general, and the majority of tasks could actually not be completed if not for the use of computers. Although there are certainly some areas and jobs that cannot yet be completed solely by computers and which thus still require actual manpower, for the most part, computers have helped to make life significantly easier, productive, and more convenient for us all.
Future computer technology will help solve many medical problems by reinterpreting sensory data and modulating brain activity. Technology will be so advanced that it may allow people who have lost the use of their limbs to use robotics to regain their disabled movements. The future of computer technology is very bright and welcomed indeed. Current trends, research, and development happening at a lightning speed supports this statement. Our children today will see a whole new world of technology with computers within the next decade.
Essay on Types of Computers
A computer is one of the most brilliant inventions of mankind. Thanks to computer technology, we were able to achieve storage and processing of huge amounts of data; we could rest our brains by employing computer memory capacities for storage of information. Owing to computers, we have been able speed up daily work, carry out critical transactions and achieve accuracy and precision at work. Computers of the earlier times were of the size of a large room and were required to consume huge amounts of electric power. However, with the advancing technology, computers have shrunk to the size of a small watch.
Depending on the processing power and size of computers, they have been classified under various types. Let us look at the classification of computers. What are the Different Types of Computers? Based on the operational principle of computers, they are categorized as analog, digital and hybrid computers.
Operational Principle Analog Digital Hybrid Analog Computers
These are almost extinct today. These are different from a digital computer because an analog computer can perform several mathematical operations simultaneously. It uses continuous variables for mathematical operations and utilizes mechanical or electrical energy.
Digital Computers: They use digital circuits and are designed to operate on two states, namely bits 0 and 1. They are analogous to states ON and OFF. Data on these computers is represented as a series of 0s and 1s. Digital computers are suitable for complex computation and have higher processing speeds. They are programmable. Digital computers are either general purpose computers or special purpose ones. General purpose computers, as their name suggests, are designed for specific types of data processing while general purpose computers are meant for general use.
Hybrid Computers: These computers are a combination of both digital and analog computers. In this type of computers, the digital segments perform process control by conversion of analog signals to digital ones. This was the classification of computers based on their style of functioning. Following is a classification of the different types of computers based on their sizes and processing powers. Processing Power Mainframe Microcomputers Mainframe Computers: Large organizations use mainframes for highly critical applications such as bulk data processing and ERP.
Most of the mainframe computers have capacities to host multiple operating systems and operate as a number of virtual machines. They can substitute for several small servers. Microcomputers: A computer with a microprocessor and its central processing unit is known as a microcomputer. They do not occupy space as much as mainframes do. When supplemented with a keyboard and a mouse, microcomputers can be called personal computers. A monitor, a keyboard and other similar input-output devices, computer memory in the form of RAM and a power supply unit come packaged in a microcomputer.
These computers can fit on desks or tables and prove to be the best choice for single-user tasks. Personal computers come in different forms such as desktops, laptops and personal digital assistants. Let us look at each of these types of computers. Personal Computers Desktop Laptop Netbook PDA Minicomputer Server Supercomputer Wearable Computer Tablet Desktops: A desktop is intended to be used on a single location. The spare parts of a desktop computer are readily available at relatively lower costs. Power consumption is not as critical as that in laptops.
Desktops are widely popular for daily use in the workplace and households. Similar in operation to desktops, laptop computers are miniaturized and optimized for mobile use. Laptops run on a single battery or an external adapter that charges the computer batteries. They are enabled with an inbuilt keyboard, touch pad acting as a mouse and a liquid crystal display. Their portability and capacity to operate on battery power have proven to be of great help to mobile users. Netbooks: They fall in the category of laptops, but are inexpensive and relatively smaller in size.
They had a smaller feature set and lesser capacities in comparison to regular laptops, at the time they came into the market. But with passing time, netbooks too began featuring almost everything that notebooks had. By the end of 2008, netbooks had begun to overtake notebooks in terms of market share and sales. It is a handheld computer and popularly known as a palmtop. It has a touch screen and a memory card for storage of data. PDAs can also be used as portable audio players, web browsers and smartphones. Most of them can access the Internet by means of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi communication.
Minicomputers: In terms of size and processing capacity, minicomputers lie in between mainframes and microcomputers. Minicomputers are also called mid-range systems or workstations. The term began to be popularly used in the 1960s to refer to relatively smaller third generation computers. They took up the space that would be needed for a refrigerator or two and used transistor and core memory technologies. The 12-bit PDP-8 minicomputer of the Digital Equipment Corporation was the first successful minicomputer. Servers: They are computers designed to provide services to client machines n a computer network. They have larger storage capacities and powerful processors. Running on them are programs that serve client requests and allocate resources like memory and time to client machines. Usually they are very large in size, as they have large processors and many hard drives. They are designed to be fail-safe and resistant to crash. Supercomputers: The highly calculation-intensive tasks can be effectively performed by means of supercomputers. Quantum physics, mechanics, weather forecasting, molecular theory are best studied by means of supercomputers. Their ability of parallel processing and their well-designed memory hierarchy give the supercomputers, large transaction processing powers.
A record-setting step in the evolution of computers was the creation of wearable computers. These computers can be worn on the body and are often used in the study of behavior modeling and human health. Military and health professionals have incorporated wearable computers into their daily routine, as a part of such studies. When the users' hands and sensory organs are engaged in other activities, wearable computers are of great help in tracking human actions.
Wearable computers do not have to be turned on and off and remain in operation without user intervention. Tablet Computers: Tablets are mobile computers that are very handy to use. They use the touch screen technology. Tablets come with an onscreen keyboard or use a stylus or a digital pen. Apple's iPad redefined the class of tablet computers. These were some of the different types of computers used today. Looking at the rate of advancement in technology, we can definitely look forward to many more in the near future. Read more at Buzzle: http://www. buzzle. com/articles/different-types-of-computers. tml The types of computers range from the Hybrid to the Analog types. The computers you come across in the daily course of your day range from laptops, palmtops and towers, to desktop computers, to name a few. But the very word "computers" reminds one of the desktop computers used in offices or homes. Different categories of computes have been devised in keeping with our varied needs. The Types Of Computers: Analog and Hybrid (classification based on operational principle)
It is different from a digital computer in respect that it can perform numerous mathematical operations simultaneously. It is also unique in terms of operation as it utilizes continuous variables for the purpose of mathematical computation. It utilizes mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical energy or operation. Hybrid computers: These types of computers are, as the name suggests, a combination of both Analog and Digital computers. The Digital computers which work on the principle of binary digit system of “0” and “1” can give very precise results. But the problem is that they are too slow and incapable of large scale mathematical operation.
In the hybrid types of computers the Digital counterparts convert the analog signals to perform Robotics and Process control. Apart from this, computers are also categorized on the basis of physical structures and the purpose of their use. Based on Capacity, speed and reliability they can be divided into three categories of computers:
- The Mainframe Computer - These are computers used by large organizations like meteorological surveys and statistical institutes for performing bulk mathematical computations. They are core computers which are used for desktop functions of over one hundred people simultaneously.
- The Microcomputer - These are the most frequently used computers better known by the name of “Personal computers”. This is the type of computer meant for public use. Other than Desktop Computer the choice ranges as follows: Personal Digital Computer Tablet PC Towers Work Stations Laptops Hand Held Computer
- The Mini computer - Mini computers like the mainframe computers are used by business organization. The difference being that it can support the simultaneous working of up to 100 users and is usually maintained in business organizations for the maintenance of accounts and finances. Yet another category of computer is the Super Computers.
It is somewhat similar to mainframe computers and is used in economic forecasts and engineering designs. Today life without computers is inconceivable. Usage of different types of computers has made life both smooth and fast paced. There are a lot of terms used to describe computers. Most of these words imply the size, expected use or capability of the computer. While the term computer can apply to virtually any device that has a microprocessor in it, most people think of a computer as a device that receives input from the user through a mouse or keyboard, processes it in some fashion and displays the result on a screen. PC - The personal computer (PC) defines a computer designed for general use by a single person. While a Mac is a PC, most people relate the term with systems that run the Windows operating system. PCs were first known as microcomputers because they were a complete computer but built on a smaller scale than the huge systems in use by most businesses. Desktop - A PC that is not designed for portability. The expectation with desktop systems are that you will set the computer up in a permanent location.
- Most desktops offer more power, storage and versatility for less cost than their portable brethren.
- Laptop - Also called notebooks, laptops are portable computers that integrate the display, keyboard, a pointing device or trackball, processor, memory and hard drive all in a battery-operated package slightly larger than an average hardcover book.
- Palmtop - More commonly known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), palmtops are tightly integrated computers that often use flash memory instead of a hard drive for storage.
These computers usually do not have keyboards but rely on touchscreen technology for user input. Palmtops are typically smaller than a paperback novel, very lightweight with a reasonable battery life. A slightly larger and heavier version of the palmtop is the handheld computer.
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