Computers Based on Purpose
These computers have been designed for general purposes and special purpose-
Special Purpose Computers: – A computer designed for a specific task can be called a special purpose computer. These systems are called “Dedicated Systems”. To solve navigational problems onboard a ship can be termed as special-purpose computes. For example computer for controlling precision surgical instruments.
In the last update, we have discussed “Software and Its parts”. If you didn’t check updates on my site so, please visit the link below:-
Today’s topic is “Computers based on purpose”. Before starting of this topic we must know about the last content that is –
– What is Software and types?
– In detail Software type description.
– About Language Processors.
General Purpose Computer: – A computer that can perform a number of tasks is called a general-purpose computers. A personal computer can be used for a variety of applications like word processing, mathematical computations, inventory control and sales report etc. The performance of a computer is also measured in terms of speed of processing, storage capacity, ability to handle a large number of input and output devices, and nature of operations performed. Generally the better the performance the larger the size and higher the cost of computes.
A. MICRO COMPUTER
Microcomputers are at the lowest end of the computer range. Earlier computers were supported by single-user operating systems as their hardware design has been oriented to take care of single user only. But these days they are most commonly used and have all capabilities of mainframes like multi-user etc. The most common microcomputers are Personal Computer (PC). They are the important gift of fourth generation computers.
Personal Computer: – The PC is small in size but it is capable of handling large size application. It can perform a diverse range of functions from keeping track of household accounts to keeping records of bigger organizations. The most common applications of PCs are Word Processing spreadsheet calculation ad database management. The other applications are desktop publishing, accounting and project management etc. they are very popular also for teaching and entertainment.
- A PC has two floppy disk drives.
- It has generally 256 KB to 640 KB of main memory.
- It contains one display unit.
- PC’s are single-user computers and use MS-DOS as its operating system.
PC’s using extended technology are termed as PC-XT. A personal computer that has both a floppy drive and a hard disk drive means it has internal storage capacity in the form of a hard disk.
A personal computer using advanced technology is termed as PC-AT. A personal computer that has a floppy and a hard disk drive as well as a more powerful microprocessor. The available PC-AT’s are 80286, 80486, and 80586 (Pentium). Basically, this number shows the microprocessor number they use PC-AT 386 onward can be used as UNIX or XENIX Operating Systems.
Mini Computers are between Microcomputer and Main Frames. Mini Computers perform better and are larger in size and cost more than micro. They are designed to support more than one user at a time. They possess larger storage capacity and operate at higher speeds and also support fast operating peripheral devices like high-speed printers which print hundreds of lines per minute. They can also communicate with the Main Frame computer. These computers are used when the volume of processing is large and are used to control and monitor the production process to analyze the results of experiments in laboratories. Minicomputers are also used as LAN Servers.
CHARACTERUSTUCS IF MINI COMPUTERS
- Mainly use 16 to 32-bit microprocessors as the main CPU.
- Provide at least 1 MB RAM which can be extended up to 8 MB.
- Support multiple terminals from 2 to 64.
- Support hard disk from 20 MB to 2 GB.
- Support multiple printers.
C. MAIN FRAME COMPUTERS
Mainframes are more powerful than minicomputers. They operate at very high speed, have larger storage capacity, and can support hundreds of users. They are used to manage centralized databases. Such databases can be quarried by hundreds of users who need to access information from different locations. Mainframes are used as controlling nodes of Wide Area Networks (WAN).
CHRACTERISTICS OF MAIN FRAME COMPTUERS
- Use 48, 60, and 64 bit addressing.
- Provide a larger amount of RAM up to 64 MB.
- Multiple terminals are supported ranging from 128 to 256.
Example: – IBM 300 series, Boroughs B 7900. UNIVAC 1180, DEC 10, and EC 1020.
D. SUPER COMPUTERS
Supercomputers are the highest end of the computer range. They are the fastest and most expensive machines and are considered a national resource. Although initially used for weapon design. There are more than 500 conventional supercomputers are capable of performing billions of calculations per second.
Some areas where these supercomputers are used are weather forecasting, biomedical research, and aircraft design.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUPER COMPUTERS
- Main Memory – 16 MB to 256 MB
- CPU Speed – 100 million instructions per second.
- Word Length – 64 bits onwards
- Types of peripherals – Laser Printers, very high-speed disks, and high-speed tapes.
Example: – CM-5 from Thinking Machines Corporation. Paragon form Intel Corporations, Super Computers System Division, and PARAM form Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).