Computers perform a vast range of functions . Some computers are so powerful that hundred or even thousands of users can use them at a single instant. There are four main types of computers namely Microcomputer , Minicomputers, Mainframes and Supercomputers.
Microcomputer, also known as a personal computer,is a digital computer that works on a micrprocessor. Microcomputers are small machines designed for individual users. Average people who have a basic knowledge of computers can use microcomputers. Individuals in homes and offices are major users of the micrcomputer. It is an expensive computer that performs various tasks such as the word processing , desktop publishing and accounting. It is also useful for running spreadsheets and adatabase management applications.
The microcomputer has several disadvantages , such as small size , low cost and portability. Its main disadvantage is that the speed of processing is low as compared to other types of computers.
Minicomputer is midsized and multi-user computer . Microprocessing is the process of running multiple programs or processes at a given instant . The minicomputer is a smedium range computer. It is also known as the mis-range servers. Minicomputers fakll in between the microcomputers and the mainframes.
The qadvantage of using minicomputer is that it can cater to multiple users at a lower cost than mainframes . Minicomputers are ideal for small-sized companies. The disadvantage of the minicomputers is that they are large and bulky.
Initially, mainframes were huge computers occupying entire rooms or floors. Mainframes were used to serve as the center of large systems in companies. They were designed to serve the purpose of centralized computing instead of the distrubuted computing. With the development in the field of computing , the size of mainframes has reduced and the power has increased.
The advatage of mainframe is that it can support many users and instructions due to its incomparable memory and processing speed. The disadvatage of mainframe is its huge size and enermous cost.
Supercomputer is the fastest and most expensive type of computer. Supercomputersspecialize in high speeding Processing of data. Applications that use large amounts of calculationsuse supercomputers. Some of these applications are molecular chemistry. Nuclear research.
The advatage of supercomputers is their speed , which is unattached by any other type of computer.. The major disadvatage of supercomputers is the heat they generate during their operation.