Types of Microcomputers (PowerPoint download)

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					Introduction To Computer
             2. Different Types of Computers
• There are many different
  types of computer available

• They are categorised into
  different types depending
  upon their size and
  processing power:

What are the categories?
  1. Desktop PC
• In the early days (1980's)
  these types of machine were
  called a micro-computer

• The desktop PC has a central
  processing unit housed in a
  metal case (often a 'tower').
  Along with a keyboard, mouse
  and monitor.
  Desktops are used for:

• Office applications such as word-
  processing, spreadsheets and databases.
• Engineering work - designing kitchens at
  a showroom
• Video work - for handling your camcorder
• Music - creating, playing and storing
• Entertainment and information - internet.
• They can be easily upgraded to include new software or
• They are relatively robust and can be used almost
  continually for very long periods of time.
• It is possible to 'mix and match' specifications and
  components, in effect creating a custom made machine.
• It is easy to replace an individual part if damaged or worn
• They can run a vast range of software, often
• Desktop PCs are not easily portable. They are large and
• They require a large amount of permanent office space.
• They need a fan to prevent overheating. Thus they can
  be fairly noisy.
• They can only be run on mains electricity and need to be
  situated near to a power point.
• New advances in technology means that PCs get out of
  date very quickly.
2. Laptops

       • The key difference between a
         Desktop PC and a laptop is that the
         laptop is built as a relatively small
         one-piece unit.

       • Laptop computers generally cost
         more than a Desktop PC with
         exactly the same specification
         because they are more difficult to
         design and manufacture.

• They are portable and very easy to carry around. They
  can be used almost anywhere e.g. airports
• They are light to carry. Older laptops were fairly heavy,
  but advances in technology and much improved batteries
  have allowed them to become very lightweight.
• They are compact and can be easily stored in a standard
• They are quiet to run as unlike a Desktop PC, there is
  often only a small (or no) cooling fan creating a noise.
• They are more expensive to purchase than a similar
  Desktop PC
• They are easily damaged if dropped
• They cannot be expanded in the same way as a Desktop
  PC e.g. new graphics cards, more memory.
• Can run on battery power for only a relatively short time,
  usually between 1-6 hours.
• They are attractive to thieves and can be easily stolen.
• The screen may be small if needed for detailed work e.g.
  CAD/CAM design
  3. PDA

• Originally developed as an
  electronic organiser.
• Rapid development has resulted in
  palm tops and PDAs becoming
  almost cut down computers

                                Palmtops are very similar
                                to PDAs in their use. The
                                main difference is that
                                Palmtops have a built in

• Small, can easily be fitted into a pocket or handbag.
• Lightweight to carry - typically 200g
• Long battery life compared with laptop (up to 30 hours)
• Power up immediately when they are turned on, no need to go
  through boot up sequence.
• Many have cut down versions of common office software
• They can be connected to a desktop PC or Laptop and the files
  can be transferred over.
• Many (but not all) Palmtops and PDAs are much lower in cost
  than PCs or Laptops
• The screen is small
• Keyboards tend to be small and cramped
• They cannot be easily upgraded
• They cannot be used for such a wide range of tasks as
  the laptop or Desktop
• They are easy to steal
• They can be damaged if dropped
• They have a relatively small amount of memory and
  cannot store large amounts of data
  4. Minicomputer

• similar to personal computers
• Another term rarely used
  anymore, minicomputers fall in
  between PCs and mainframes
• Some computer makers, such
  as IBM refer to them as 'mid-
  range servers’.
 5. Mainframes
                          • Large, powerful computers that
                             can carry out different tasks for
                             many people at the same time
                          • They execute billions of
                             instructions per second and can
                             process large volumes of data

• They are operated by specialist, trained personnel and
  kept in air-conditioned rooms away from the office or
  factory floor.
   Mainframes are used for:

• Mainframe computers are often used to control an entire
  factory assembly line - recording the movement of
  materials, paying of bills, sending invoices and so on
   – Gas and Electricity suppliers - for Billing
   – Banks - for managing your accounts
   – Insurance companies - looking after your policies
   – Airlines - handling your tickets
   – Police - crime detection
   – Car companies - managing factories
  6. Supercomputers

• Supercomputers are the
  fastest and most expensive
• They are used for performing
  trillions of complex
  calculations in a very short
  Supercomputers are used

• Weather forecasting
• Space exploration
• Advanced scientific
• Military establishment -
  weapons research.
• Pharmaceutical \ Drug
                 Blue Gene/L
• reported to operated at 280.6
  teraflops per second
• 130,000 processors
• 32 trillion bytes of memory
• 400 TBytes of Hard Disk
• 2.500 square feet of floor space
• built to simulate the physics of a
  nuclear explosion
7. Wearable computers

• The latest trend in computing
  is wearable computers.
  Essentially, common
  computer applications (e-mail,
  database, multimedia,
  calendar/scheduler) are
  integrated into watches, cell
  phones, visors and even
 8. Embedded Computers

• The embedded computer is
  a single chip that contains all
  the elements that are
  essential for any computer i.e.
  – RAM / ROM
  – CPU
  – Input / Output                  Another term often used for an
                                      embedded computer is a
  – Clock                                 'microcontroller'.
Embedded Computers cont…
• Computer chips are now cheap enough
  to install in everyday items. They offer
  many functions that would otherwise be
  far too expensive to produce.
  – Telephones
  – Televisions
  – Microwaves
  – Washing Machines
  – Cars
Types of Computers

  Complete the following
 Worksheets and Exercises