Computer Science

Types Of Computers and Their Functions

A computer is a programmable electronic device that evaluates data according to a set of commands,  produce output as a result and store it for future use. Important types of computers are Analog Computers, Digital Computers, Personal Computers, Microcomputers, Desktop Computers, Hybrid computers, etc.

What is a computer?

what is computerA computer is a programmable electronic device that evaluates data according to a set of commands,  produce output as a result and store it for future use. A computer is controlled by programmed instructions. It performs four general operations i.e input, processing, output, and storage.

Input: Entering data into a computer

Processing: Performing operations on data

Output: Presenting the result

Storage: Save the result for future

Categories Of Computer

categories of computerThere are two major categories of computer Digital computers and Analog computers. Digital computer functions by receiving & computing data converted in binary form (0 and 1) while Analog computer functions continuously, no matter what the variations are in the input i.e temperature, current.

Analog Computer

 analog computer

Analog computer is a type of computer which functions continuously, no matter what the variations are in the input. These variations may include instability in current, temperature, electric and mechanical parts. The best examples of an analog computer are Oscilloscopes, thermostats, and thermometer.

Digital Computer

 digital computer

The digital computer is a type of computer which receives and computes the data converted in binary form. It is most commonly used in all fields of life. Generally, it is an electronic device.The digital computer gets input and functions in a discrete manner

What is The Difference between Analog and Digital Computer?

difference between digiraThe main difference between analog and digital computers is the way they process data. Analog computer functions continuously. Examples: Oscilloscopes & thermometer. While the digital computer gets Input which may consist of letters, digits represented in binary ( 0 & 1) form. Examples: personal & supercomputer.

Types of Computers

types of computers

A computer is a combination of software and hardware. Computers are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are many types of computers that are classified on the basis of their function, usage, capacity, speed, reliability, and purpose. Major types of computers are:

  • Personal Computers/ Microcomputers
  • Minicomputers (midrange computers)
  • Mainframe computers
  • Supercomputers
  • Servers
  • Workstations
  • Embedded computers
  • Desktop Computers
  • Hybrid computers

Personal Computers/ Microcomputers

types of computerThe personal computer can perform input, output, processing and storage activities by itself. It consists of input & output devices, storage devices, memory, and processor. It may consist of single or multiple processors. Commonly used personal computers are PC and Apple Macintosh.

 

Furthermore, personal computers have different processors and operating systems. The PC and its compatible computers use Windows operating systems. Apple Macintosh and its compatible computers use the Macintosh operating system also called Mac OS.

The PC and its compatible computers follow the specifications of the original IBM personal computer. Some PC compatible computers include Compaq, Dell, and Toshiba.

Types of Personal Computer

A personal computer is a computer made to be used by one person. PC variations depend upon the size, memory, speed of CPU, memory, and number of peripheral devices connected to the CPU. Important types are:

  • Desktop Computer
  • Notebook Computer
  • Tablet Computer
  • PDA Computer

Desktop Computers

A desktop computer is designed in a way that all its components fit on a desk or table.  Desktop computers based on a system unit that manages and controls all computer operations and peripheral devices like input, output, storage and communication devices connected with it.

Desktop computers are available at a low price. These types of computers are mostly used for building a network inside in an organization, institute or industry.

types of computertypes of computer

In one model, the table holds the system unit horizontally and a monitor is placed on the system unit. The other one is the tower model. In the tower model, the table holds both the monitor and the system unit. In the tower model, the system unit is vertical.

Notebook Computer or Laptop

types of personal computersA notebook computer normally known as the laptop is a small portable briefcase-sized device with a small screen i.e LED or LCD and keyboard. It is an extremely light-weight & powerful computer than a PC. Notebook computers typically weigh less than 6 pounds (2- 2.5 kg).

It has the same approach as a personal computer with all applications but portable in nature. When we are working in a mobile computing environment, a notebook computer is the best replacement for a PC.

Tablet Computer

types of personal computers

A tablet computer or tablet is a mobile computer with a touch screen interface, battery, and circuits mounted in a single unit. A tablet computer normally equipped with all cell phone functions like calling or wireless internet & sensors including cameras, microphones, and finger or stylus gestures.

PDA Computer

types of personal computers

 

PDA in the abbreviation of the personal digital assistant. It is a handheld computer with a small display of use stylus to operate. PDA works as a personal information manager that synchronize with a desktop computer to give access to contacts, address book, notes, email, and other features.

Minicomputers (Midrange Computers)

 

minicomputesA minicomputer is a medium-sized fully functional powerful computer designed to serve multiple users simultaneously. Minicomputers are machines known as “Midrange Servers” used by small businesses and firms. A minicomputer has less processing and data storage capabilities than super and mainframe computers.

Mainframe Computers

mainframe computerA mainframe computer is a large, powerful and expensive computer that can tackle thousands of clients or users at the same time. Mainframe computers are used by huge firms, organizations, and industries to handle a huge volume of data, instructions, and information.

Clients use terminals to get connected to a mainframe computer.  A terminal is a device that has just a keyboard and screen. The user uses the terminal to put input to the computer and receive the result as an output on the screen. The terminal itself has no processing and storage capabilities.

Super Computers

supercomputerA supercomputer is an extremely fast computer with the fastest speed and huge memory that can perform billions of instructions per second. A supercomputer costs about 30 M+ dollars. The first supercomputer “CDC6600” was designed by Seymour Cray in 1964.

Supercomputers refer to the class of most powerful computer systems that are used to do high profile jobs like weather forecasting, genetic analysis and code-breaking that needs many calculations.

Servers

serversA server is a computer with the ability to provide services to other computer programs and their users connected to it through a network. Servers are physical computers dedicated to performs some computational tasks on behalf of clients. Important types of servers are:

• Database Server
• File Server
• Mail Server
• Print server
• Web Server
• Gaming Server

Workstations

workstationsA workstation is a computer designed for individual use that is very fast and more efficient than a personal computer. A typical workstation computer is usually configured with some version of networking software, network interface card, and the necessary cables.

File servers are used to save files that why these types of computers do not necessarily need large storage hard drives Almost any computer can serve as a network workstation. Any computer on a network can serve as a network workstation. Such workstations are also called network clients.

Embedded Computers

embedded computersEmbedded computers are defined as special-purpose systems in which the computer is completely embedded inside the device it controls. An embedded system performs pre-defined tasks or a few dedicated functions. In general, it does not provide programmability to users like PC.

Embedded systems directly control some hardware. Embedded systems are an important part of our daily life. Microwave oven, MP3 Players, traffic signals are very common embedded systems in our life.

Desktop Computers

A desktop computer is designed in a way that all its components fit on a desk or table.  Desktop computers based on a system unit that manages and controls all computer operations and peripheral devices like input, output, storage and communication devices connected with it.

Desktop computers are available at a low price. These types of computers are mostly used for building a network inside in an organization, institute or industry.

Desktop computersDesktop computers

In one model, the table holds the system unit horizontally and a monitor is placed on the system unit. The other one is the tower model. In the tower model, the table holds both the monitor and the system unit. In the tower model, the system unit is vertical.

Hybrid Computers

A hybrid computer is a type of computer system that combines the features of analog computers and digital computers Hybrid computers help the user to exploit the desirable features of the machines to process both continuous and discrete data. It can also accept data in both analog and digital form.

types of computerLogical operations are handled by digital components while the differential equations are normally performed by analog components. Hybrid computers are used in hospitals to measure and monitor the heartbeat of the patient and the devices used at petrol pumps for fuel refilling.

A hybrid computer is a combination of both analog and a digital computer. Some part of the processing is done on an analog computer and some part of the digital computer. A hybrid computer joins the top characteristics of both the analog and digital computer.

Examples of Hybrid Computers

We can use hybrid computer devices to examine the patient’s heart function, temperature, blood pressure, and other signs. This measurement may then be converted into numbers and display in the digital form.

 

 

 

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