Personal Computers and Mainframes: a Comparison

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Personal Computers and Mainframes:

A Comparison

MParker

Personal Computers and Mainframes: A Comparison

Comparing personal computers to mainframe computers is sort of like comparing a pebble to a boulder. When the first personal computers appeared, the word mainframe was used to differentiate these huge systems from what were then termed “minicomputers” in the early 1960s ("Computer Concepts And Terminology", 2004). The word “mainframe” was “an industry term for a large computer” and was named such due to the way in which units of the machine (for processing, communication, et. al) were hung into the frame; so the word Mainframe was coined (Mainframe: Introduction, 2011).

Personal computers are built for single user access, can be compact and/or portable, and are modestly priced from about $300 for a basic notebook PC to several thousand dollars for an elaborate desktop. Since PCs are built for individual users (whether in a workstation or small office), the demands are much more modest than that of a mainframe computer. A Home computer (also called PC or micro-computer), is a general purpose computer that one user can access at a time. PCs have many uses, such as: surfing the Internet; writing and reading documents; creating spreadsheets; creating Power Point presentations; and even free web-conferencing may be done via Skype.com ("What Is a Personal Computer?" 2012). Personal computers are based on microprocessor technology, which enables manufacturers to create Central Processing Units small enough to fit on one chip (Beach, 2004). Personal computers contain many useful office applications and are used for: •Word Processing & Accounting

Desktop Publishing
Running Spreadsheets
Database Management Applications
Building a Network
Playing Video Games
Many more ("What Is a Personal Computer?" 2012).
Mainframe computers have historically been very huge, but they are now...
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