Mahesh - RSREC
devices and easy-to-use software packages to form small personal computer (PC), systems or client/server networks of linked PCs and servers, are a hallmark of the fourth generation of computing, which accelerated thedownsizing of computing systems.Whether we are moving into a
of computing is a subject of debated since the concept of generations may no longer fit the continual, rapid changes occurring in computer hardware, software, data, andnetworking technologies. But in any case, we can be sure that progress in computing will continue to accelerate,and that the development of Internet-based technologies and applications will be one of the major forces drivingcomputing into the 21st century.
TYPES OF COMPUTER SYSTEMSMicrocomputer Systems
Microcomputers are the most important category of computer systems for end users. Though usuallycalled a personal computer, or PC, a microcomputer is much more than a small computer for use by anindividual. The computing power of microcomputers now exceeds that of the mainframes of previous computer generations at a fraction of their cost. Thus, they have become powerful networked professional work stationsfor end users in business.Microcomputers come in a variety of sizes and shapes for a variety of purposes. For example, PCs areavailable as handheld, notebook, laptop, portable, desktop, and floor-standing models. Or, based on their use,they include home, personal, professional, workstation, and multi-user systems. Most microcomputers aredesktops designed to fit on an office desk, or notebooks for those who want a small, portable PC for their work activities.Some microcomputers are powerful workstation computers (technical work-stations) that supportapplications with heavy mathematical computing and graphics display demands such as computer-aided design(CAD) in engineering, or investment and portfolio analysis in the securities industry. Other microcomputers areused as network servers. They are usually more powerful microcomputers that coordinate telecommunicationsand resource sharing in small local area networks (LANs), and Internet and intranet Web sites. Another important microcomputer category includes handheld microcomputer devices known as personal digitalassistants (PDAs), designed for convenient mobile communications and computing. PDAs use touch-screens, pen-based handwriting recognition of keyboards to help mobile workers send and receive E-mail and exchangeinformation such as appointments, to do lists, and scales contacts with their desktop PCs or Web servers.
Multimedia PCs are designed to present you with information in a variety of media, including text andgraphics displays, voice and other digitized audio, photographs, animation, and video clips. Mentionmultimedia, and many people think of computer video games, multimedia encyclopedias, educational videos,and multimedia home pages on the World Wide Web. However, multimedia systems are widely used in business for training employees, educating customers, making sales presentations, and adding impact to other business presentations.The basic hardware and software requirements of a multimedia computer system depend on whether youwish to create as well as enjoy multimedia presentations. Owners of low-cost multimedia PCs marketed for home used do not need authoring software or high-powered hardware capacities in order to enjoy multimediagames and other entertainment and educational multimedia products. These computers come equipped with aCD-ROM drive, stereo speakers, additional memory, a high-performance processor, and other multimedia processing capabilities.People who want to create their own multimedia production may have to spend several thousand dollarsto put together a high-performance multimedia authoring system. This includes a high-resolution color graphicsmonitor, sound and video capture boards, a high-performance microprocessor with multimedia capabilities,additional megabytes of memory, and several gigabytes of hard disk capacity. Sound cards and video capture boards are circuit boards that contain digital signal processors (DSPs) and additional megabytes of memory for digital processing of sound and video. A digital camera, digital video camcorder, optical scanner, and software