In today’s face paced world, all types of computers are essential for every day tasks from the common activity of communicating with others to operating large manufacturing equipment to produce consumer products. Computers are complex machines that can be categorized in many different ways such as size. Computers classified by size include microcomputers, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and supercomputers.
1. Microcomputers, also known as personal computers, are the most frequently used type of computer on the market. They are commonly used in homes, schools, and small offices. Examples of microcomputers:
- Desktop computers typically with a monitor and tower or newer versions with all the software and hardware included in the monitor.
- In-car computers that include systems that are built into vehicles for navigation and entertainment purposes.
- Laptops and related portable devices that include everything needed in a small and convenient machine. Come in a variety of sizes.
- Tablets, similar to laptops, but include only a touch-screen instead of a traditional keyboard.
- Personal digital assistants, smart books, smart phones, and other related computer are small hand-held devices with less hardware.
- Other examples of microcomputers include hand-held games, game systems, and programmable calculators.
2. Minicomputers, also referred to as mid-range computers, are groups of computers that serve as multi-user machines. Examples include Itanium-based machines from IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems.
3. Mainframe computers are traditional large computers that serve many users. They quickly mange and process large quantities of information. They are generally used in large institutions including banks, government agencies, and large companies.
- Large institutions utilized mainframe computers a long time before personal computers were available to consumers.
4. Supercomputer are computers that concentrate on conducting tasks that include complex mathematical calculations such as nuclear simulations, weather forecasting, advanced scientific computations, fluid dynamics, and theoretical astrophysics.
- Supercomputers have the highest processing speed and capacity of all other computers.