Classes of Computers

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Classification of computers

Created by: Valuta Iuliana
Module: Information and
Communication Technology
Teacher: Peter Laszlo

Created by: Valuta Iuliana
Module: Information and
Communication Technology
Teacher: Peter Laszlo

* Table of Contents
1Types of computers2
1.3Mainframe computers5
2Single-user vs. multi-user systems6
3Common areas of usage7
4Current brands8
5Current costs9

Types of computers


Microcomputers, also named personal computers, represent the class that is currently the most widely used (at school, workplace, home). There are several types of microcomputers:

Mobile devices include:

* Laptops, Palmtop computers, notebook computers – made for mobile use, varying sizes

* Tablet computer – miniaturized laptops with touch-screen technology.

* Smartphones, smartbooks, PDAs – designed for being portable, little computing power.

* Programmable calculator – specialized on mathematical purposes.

* Handheld game consoles – designed for entertainment and mobile use

A minicomputer represents the type that stands in the middle range of the computing spectrum. In our days this class of computers is named midrange. E.g. - Laboratory computers.

Mainframe computers
“The term mainframe computer was created to differentiate the traditional, large, institutional computer intended to service multiple users from the smaller, single-user machines. This class of computers is able to handle and process very large amounts of data quickly. They are measured in MIPS.”(2012, Wikipedia)

A supercomputer is the most powerful regarding of memory size, speed, computational capability, I/O technology. Its processing speeds are measured in FLOPS (floating point operations per second).

Single-user vs. multi-user systems

Single-user – an operating system made in order for just one user do efficiently do one procedure at a time.

Multi-user – an operating system that allows many users to use the computer’s resources at the same time.

Common areas of usage

Microcomputers are used in different areas: consumer recreational and work purposes (Desktop Computers), graphic programming and video editing (Laptops), messaging and word processing applications (Handheld Computers, Netbooks). Minicomputers are used in manufacturing telephone switching, process control and to control laboratory equipment. A minicomputer used for process control has two primary functions (data acquisition and feedback). “E.g. If an element of the process stops, slows, or accelerates the computer takes note (data acquisition) and makes the necessary adjustments to the system (feedback)”. (2012, eHow). Mainframe computers are of a really high importance for many of the world’s strongest corporations, representing the main key in the business environment. It remains the basis of different business sectors: health care, government, insurance, banking, finance and a diversity of other public and private enterprises. (2011, Ebbers, Kettner, O’Brien, Ogden) Supercomputers are only utilized by organizations that require extensive computing capabilities, due to the vast cost and size. They are used for performing tasks involving intense numerical calculations such as fluid dynamics, theoretical astrophysics, nuclear simulations, weather forecasting, etc.

Current brands

Global PC Market Shared by units sold

Current costs

What are the most expensive/cheapest brands, where can I find them? The most expensive brands are SONY, APPLE. The cheapest brands are ACER, HP, Toshiba. In Budapest you can find them in different shops:...
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