Classes by size
Microcomputers (personal computers)
Microcomputers are the most common type of computers used by people today, whether in a workplace, at school or on the desk at home. The term “microcomputer” was introduced with the advent of single chip microprocessors. The term "microcomputer" itself is now practically an anachronism. These computers include:
* Desktop computers – A case and a display, put under and on a desk. * In-car computers (“carputers”) – Built into a car, for entertainment, navigation, etc. * Game consoles – Fixed computers specialized for entertainment purposes (video games). A separate class is that of mobile devices:
* Laptops, notebook computers and Palmtop computers – Portable and all in one case. Varying sizes, but other than smartbooks expected to be “full” computers without limitations. * Tablet computer – Like laptops, but with a touch-screen, sometimes entirely replacing the physical keyboard. * Smartphones, smartbooks and PDAs (personal digital assistants) – Small handheld computers with limited hardware. * Programmable calculator– Like small handhelds, but specialised on mathematical work. * Handheld game consoles – The same as game consoles, but small and portable. Minicomputers (midrange computers)
A minicomputer (colloquially, mini) is a class of multi-user computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the smallest multi-user systems (mainframe computers) and the largest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). The contemporary term for this class of system is midrange computer, such as the higher-end SPARC, POWER and Itanium -based systems from Oracle Corporation, IBM and Hewlett-Packard. E.g.- Laboratory computers
The term mainframe computer was created to distinguish the traditional, large, institutional computer intended to service multiple users from the smaller, single user machines. These...
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