Table of Contents
Types of Computers
Types of Computers are classified into many categories depending upon their size, functioning and processing capabilities.
According to how it functions, computers can be classified into three categories
Analog: According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, computers in which continuously variable physical quantities, such as electrical potential, fluid pressure, or mechanical motion, are used to represent (analogously) the quantities in the problem to be solved are called analog computers.
Digital: These computers deal with data in the form of numbers. They mainly operate by counting and performing arithmetic & logical operations on numeric data. Such computers are ‘many problems’ oriented.
Hybrid: Digital computers could not deal with very large numbers and so, a computer with characteristics of both analog and digital was created which was known as Hybrid computer.
According to the size, computers are classified into the following categories
Palmtop, better known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), are small, lightweight and tightly integrated computers which usually do not have keyboards but rely on touch screen technology for user-input.
Laptops and Notebooks are portable computers. They include a battery that provides electrical backup for a period of time.
Personal computer (PC) is small in size and is designed for general use by a single person.
Desktop computer is typically set up in a permanent location and is a PC that is not portable. A desktop computer is a PC built for high performance and heavy workload. It helps in faster rendering of complex graphics, provides power for computer intensive applications and memory for large tasks. They are more reliable and have less downtime.
Micro-computers came into being with the invention of the micro-processor. They are not so expensive. The personal computer is a micro-computer. Mini computers provide more power than micro computers in terms of speed and storage capacity. They are also less expensive. Their performance is also lower than that of mainframes.
Mainframe computers can also process data at very high speeds, but less than that of super computers. Normally, they are used in banking, airlines and railways etc. for their applications. Computer and its Components 11 A
supercomputer is the fastest type of computer. They are employed for specialized applications that require large amounts of mathematical calculations. A supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs at great speed, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs at the same time. These computers are used to solve problems involving quantum mechanical physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modelling such as computing the structures and properties of chemical compounds, simulations, cryptanalysis, and many others.
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