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Other Important Types of Computers

 Mainframe Computers: Large organizations use mainframes for highly critical applications such as bulk data processing and ERP. Most of the mainframe computers have the capacities to host multiple operating systems and operate as a number of virtual machines and can thus 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. When supplemented with a keyboard and a mouse, microcomputers can be called as 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 serve as the best choices for single-user tasks.

Personal computers come in a variety of forms such as desktops, laptops and personal digital assistants. Let us look at each of these types of computers.

Desktops: A desktop is intended to be used on a single location. The spare parts of a desktop computer are readily available at relative lower costs. Power consumption is not as critical as that in laptops. Desktops are widely popular for daily use in workplaces and households.

Laptops: 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. Its portability and capacity to operate on battery power have served as a boon for mobile users.

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): 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 effectively used as portable Paudio players, web browsers and smart phones. 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.

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.
Wearable Computers: 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 are consistently in operation as they do not have to be turned on and off and are constantly interacting with the user.

These were some of the different types of computers available today. Looking at the rate of the advancement in technology, we can definitely look forward to many more types of computers in the near future

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