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The History of the Personal Computer and other Computers which have had an impact upon Society

Computers' Impact on Society

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Computers help us with our daily lives when we may not even know it. There are also different kinds of computers other than the personal computer that also help us in more harder tasks. But what are these other computers and how are we benefiting from their skills?

A Laptop
A Laptop

There are 4 main types of computers. All these computers have different capabilities. Theses computers are: personal computers, mainframes, dedicated computers and embedded computers.
They all help us in different ways, in different places and for different purposes. So, what do they do and how have they impacted upon society?
 
  • Personal Computers- These computers may only be used by one person at a single time. The biggest ones are the ones you have at home that fit on a desktop. Some personal computers may be given additional microprocessors so as to perform special tasks like graphics, maths, sound etc. The uses for personal computers are very widespread. They are used in companies and at homes, and have many features that help us with simple to complicated tasks. These tasks may include writing up an assignment on a wordprocessor, storing information in a file, research a particular subject and so on. Personal computers can also be used for educational purposes, leisure (games) listening to music, watching movies, use of the Internet and a whole lot more. Also, portable types of personal computers have been made such as the laptop, notebook computers and PDA's.
  • Mainframes- This type of computer is the fastest of them all. They use a big storage system and so they are able to do more of the complicated tasks and handle more information. Mainframes are the largest of the different types of computers and must be stored in several large cabinets. Some mainframes may be able to do several tasks while others might only be able to perform only one. Unlike personal computers, mainframes may have hundreds of people logged on at the same time. The users are said to be time sharing as the computer quickly swapping between users , doing little bits of work before going to another. The supercomputer, the fastest of the mainframes, are used to do even more complex projects like the design of aircraft. Although they are extremely powerful, there aren't too many of them as they are also extremely expensive. The fastest of the the supercomputers are parallel computers.
  • Dedicated Computers- These are special-purpose machines. Some include wordprocessors and video-game units. The smallest of the video-game units are the battery-operated ones such as the gameboy. Larger ones are the ones which plug into the tv like the XBox and the Playstation. The biggest of them all are found in game arcades.
  • Embedded Computers- These are control units built into the devices they control. Examples of embedded computers are telephones, digital watches and VCR's. Aircraft and robots also have embedded computers inside them and missiles have them to direct them to their targets.

 

Supercomputer "Blue Gene"
Supercomputer "Blue Gene"

A Gameboy
A Gameboy

An XBox
An XBox