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Definition and Types of Computers

Definition

The word Computer has inherited from the Latin word ‘Computare’. The meaning of term ‘Computare’ is Calculate. Charles Babbage is the inventor and grand father of modern computer. He designed first a mechanical computer  which was called ‘Analytical Engine’.

The computer is an electronic device and also a programmable machine which is designed to manipulate information or data. It cannot work without instructions or programs. It works by taking input raw data from users, then process those and finally provides result as output to output devices. Basically it performs the main four functions such as accepts raw data as input, processes those basic data, then produces result as output and finally stores results into many storage medium like hard disk.

The computer has common two parts, one is hardware and another is software. Hardware is a physical structure and software is a logical structure. It consists of many parts such as motherboard, processor, hard disk, RAM, monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. And many software used with operating system like document writing program ms word, spreadsheet program ms excel, presentation program ms PowerPoint, web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, opera, internet explorer etc.

Types of Computer

There are many different size and working ability computer available today in our market. They are using for many different purposes. The computers are classified into four types according to their size, working power and data processing ability. They are listed below with descriptions …..

  1. Super Computer: This is biggest, extremely fastest and most powerful computer in the world today used to perform weather forecasting, research climate, oil and gas, quantum machines, nuclear weapons testing, earthquake studies etc. NASA uses supercomputer to run space shuttles, to control them and also space exploration purposes. Seymour Cray has designed the first supercomputer in 1964 which name is “CDC 6600”.  In Pakistan, these types of computers are being using in Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Heavy Industry Taxila for research purposes. There are many supercomputers are found in the market now. The most popular  supercomputers  are IBM’s Sequoia in United States, NUDT Tianhe-1A in China, Fujitsu’s K Computer in Japan, IBM’s SuperMUC in Germany, IBM’s Mira in United States. These are using in large enterprise also for many purposes. It is much expensive.
  1. Mainframe Computer: The mainframe is less powerful and less speedy than supercomputer. Currently this type of computers are utilizing in many large firms and government organizations to run smoothly their business operations. The mainframe can be able to store and process large amount of data like supercomputer. Many insurance companies and bank educational institutes are using mainframe for different objective like to keep students, customers and insurance policyholders information. Hitachi’s Z800, Fujitsu ICL VME are the idle example of mainframe computer.
  2. Mini Computer: Mini computers are less powerful than mainframe used in small business organizations and firms. It’s another name is “Mid range Computers”. Multiple users can access minicomputer at the same time using many workstations. The most popular and used Minicomputers are SDS-92, IBM Mid range computers, Texas Instrument TI-990.
  3. Micro Computer: The cheapest, widely used and fastest growing computer is micro computer. This type of computer has been developed for general usage. We use micro-computer to do our official task, educational and also entertainment objectives. The assorted micro-computers are desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, Smartphone and PDA-personal digital assistant. The manufacturers are Dell, HP, Apple, Samsung, Fujitsu, Sony, Toshiba and so on.

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