How do the following categories of computer differ from each other?
What are the 4 types or categorized of computer?
The four basic type of computers are Micro Computer, Mini Computer, Mainframe Computer and Super computer. Computers are classified into different types based on their size and speed. Each of these types of computers are used for different reason based on their features and properties.
The Micro Computer
The micro computer is the most common type of computer that we use in day to day life. Destop computers, laptop, personal digital assistant, smartphones and tablets are example of micro computer. These computers are widely used and it spread very fastly. The main reason for this is because it is cheap and most people can afford it easily. The calculator we used in our school life is also a micro computer. Mostly these computers are designed to be used by one user at a time. The terms microcomputer relates to the microcomputers which is used in these computers. The use of this microprocessor is to process data and instruction codes. It also can be used for entertainment purpose, education and work purpose.
The micro computers include a memory (to store data) and minimal input/output circuitry mounted on a single printed circuit board. Microcomputers weren’t much popular until 1980s with the advent of powerful microprocessors. The first microcomputer is known as the Altair 8800. It was produced by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), and invented by Ed Roberts. This microcomputer does not have a operating system. Anyway, it accepts the commends entered via a row of switches, because it also didn’t have a keyboard.
The Minicomputers or mid-range computers are the computers which is bigger than a microcomputer and smaller than a mainframe computer. In general, we can say that minicomputer is a multi-processing system capable of supporting from 4 to 200 users simultaneously. One of the main purpose of the minicomputer is to support a small group of users with reasonably powerful computing capability. That’s why minicomputers are mainly used by small companies and firms. The online catalog in many libraries are run by minicomputers.
The setup of minicomputers allowed many people to access computers, which results in a spurt of new application around the world. Minicomputers are introduced in 1960s. Digital Equipment corporation has developed the PDP-1 ( a minicomputer) in that time. The one of the most popular minicomputer is Texas Instrument TI990. It was a series of 16 bit minicomputer sold by Texas Instrument in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Mainframe Computer
The Mainframe computer is large and expensive types of computers which can support thousand of users simultaneously. These kinds of computers are mainly used by governments and large organization with thousand of customers, for bulk data processing, critical applications, transaction processing, census, industry and consumer statistics among others. These computer are very powerful but not as much as supercomputers. It can store and process terabytes of data. Mainframe computers can be accommodated in large rooms, because of their size and air condition is necessary due to the heat it produces.
In Maldives companies like Ooredoo or dhiraagu (service providers) can use these kind of computers to store theirs customers data securely. The main difference between a mainframe and supercomputers is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs as fast as possible, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently.
The supercomputers are extremely fast computer which can perform hundreds of million of instruction in fraction of seconds. They are the fastest computer in the world. These are very expensive and used for special application that requires lot of mathematical calculation. The weather forecasting and nuclear energy researches are done using the supercomputers. These computers are also big in size like mainframe computers due to its numerous parts and components involved in their design. One of the example of supercomputer is Tianhe 2. Tianhe-2 also known as TH-2 is a 33.86-petaflops supercomputer. It is located in China. It was developed by a team of 1,300 scientists and engineers.