There are different types of computer available depending on the number of consumers they can support at any one time, their size, and power. The computer is used to record scientific data and personal use and more. Computer functions and the model are based on usage and application. Computers are actually all around us, and depending on their size and processing power, they can be divided into specific classifications. There are several types of computer with functions varying from complicated science calculations such as weather monitoring and tracking to easy tasks such as Internet surfing and checking email.
Also Read: What is computer | who invented computer | History of computer
According to data handling, computers are categorized into three types of computer.
- Analog Computer
- Digital Computer
- Hybrid Computer
1. What is an Analog Computer?
Analog computers are those computers in which data is transmitted for its operation in the form of continuous signals or variables such as voltage, current, pressure, temperature, etc.. It stores data in a continuous form. Analog computers are outstanding in circumstances requiring direct measurement of information without turning it into numerals or codes. For example speedometer of a bike, gasoline pumps, etc…
2. What is a Digital Computer?
Digital computers are computers specifically designed to perform complex calculations and logical operations with quantities represented as digits, usually in the binary number system. Digital computers are capable of solving calculations by processing data or information in discrete form.
3. What is a Hybrid Computer?
Hybrid computers are those computers which employ both features of an analog computer and digital computer. It can process both continuous and discrete data.
Digital computers can be further categorized depending upon the purpose they do and based on their size and performance.
Supercomputers are the biggest, fastest, most expensive computers and most powerful computers we have in the world. Supercomputers are designed to process huge amount of data. It has thousands of interconnected processors and process trillions of instructions in a second. These huge computers are used to solve very complex mathematical, science and engineering problems. Other uses of supercomputers include scientific research, weather forecasting, animated graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, nuclear science, Aerodynamic modeling, and petroleum exploration. Some examples: CRAY XMP/14, CDC-205, Cray-1.
2. Mainframe computers
Like supercomputers, mainframe computers are huge with lots of processing power. But they are not the same as the supercomputers. Mainframe computers are very powerful multi-user computer used in large business organizations and designed to support hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously. Mainframe computers can also process and stores large volumes of data and information. It uses various CPU processor for data processing and response to several requests very quickly.
Mainframe computers are mostly used by banking institutions store data pertaining to client records, governments, large organizations for bulk data processing and transaction processing. Some Example: IBM S/390, IBM S/709, ICL 39, CDC 6600.
Minicomputers are also called as Midrange Computers. Minicomputers are bigger than most microcomputers and more effective. It is also a multi-user computer and supports up to about 200 users at the same time. It is used in university, large company or organizations to process complex data. Minicomputers are also used in scientific research, instrumentation system, engineering analysis, and monitoring the certain production process.
4. Microcomputers or Personal computers
The microcomputer is also known as a personal computer. They are much cheaper than supercomputers, mainframe computers, and even mini-computers because they are more practical than professional for everyday uses. minicomputer is used in the banking sector are programmed to run the spreadsheet, word processing, and database software, in addition to web browsers and email clients. Microcomputers also use for performing basic operations like educational activities, playing games. They are mainly used in banks, schools, homes, offices, shops, etc. some of the microcomputers are a laptop, Gaming consoles, desktop, notebook, smartphones, calculators, etc…
Also Read: Definition of internet | A brief history of the internet.
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