All of the computers that are being developed are not identical; rather, they have a variety of designs and features to choose from. Some computers have extremely large storage capacities as well as fast processing speeds; however, others are extremely slow. According to the requirements, computers are being developed. [pagebreak]
Computer (Personal Computer)
A personal computer (PC) can be defined as a small, relatively inexpensive computer designed for use by a single individual. PCs are based on microprocessor technology, which allows manufacturers to fit an entire CPU on a single chip, allowing them to be smaller and more portable. Word processing, accounting, desktop publishing, and running spreadsheet and database management applications are all common tasks performed by businesses on personal computers. Personal computers are most commonly used at home for gaming and surfing the Internet, which are the most popular activities.
Despite the fact that personal computers are intended to be used by a single person, they are typically linked together to form a network of computers. On the technical front, today’s high-end Macintosh and PC models provide the same amount of computing power and graphics capability as low-end workstations from Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.
Workstations are used for a variety of tasks.
Engineering applications (CAD/CAM), desktop publishing, software development, and other such applications that require a moderate amount of computing power and graphics capabilities of relatively high quality are all performed on a workstation computer.
Large, high-resolution graphics screens; a large amount of RAM; built-in network support; and a graphical user interface are all standard features of workstations in most cases. Most workstations are also equipped with a mass storage device, such as a disc drive, but there is a special type of workstation, known as a diskless workstation, that does not include a disc drive.
UNIX and Windows NT are two of the most popular operating systems for workstations. A workstation is a single-user computer that is similar to a personal computer. However, workstations are typically linked together to form a local-area network, although they can also be used as stand-alone systems.
In terms of size, it is a midsize multiprocessing system that can support up to 250 users at the same time.
A mainframe is a computer that is both large in size and expensive, and it is capable of supporting hundreds or even thousands of users at once. The mainframe can run multiple programmes at the same time and supports multiple programmes running at the same time on the mainframe.
Computers known as supercomputers are among the fastest computers currently available on the market. Supercomputers are extremely expensive, and they are only used for specialised applications that necessitate a large number of complex mathematical calculations (number crunching).
For example, weather forecasting, scientific simulations, (animated) graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, electronic design, and geological data analysis are all examples of applications (e.g. in petrochemical prospecting).