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computers 1st sem notes

computers 1st sem notes

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Published by Sugandha Agarwal
it contains all the notes related to the computers application of 1st sem in MBA
it contains all the notes related to the computers application of 1st sem in MBA

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Published by: Sugandha Agarwal on Dec 09, 2007
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Computers types
I, Computer: Definition
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to manipulate symbols. Its principal characteristics are:
 
It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner.
 
It can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
 
It can quickly store and retrieve large amounts of data.Therefore computers can perform complex and repetitive procedures quickly, precisely and reliably. Moderncomputers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery (wires, transistors, and circuits) is calledhardware; the instructions and data are called software. All general-purpose computers require the followinghardware components:
 
Central processing unit (CPU): The heart of the computer, this is the component that actually executesinstructions organized in programs ("software") which tell the computer what to do.
 
Memory (fast, expensive, short-term memory): Enables a computer to store, at least temporarily, data,programs, and intermediate results.
 
Mass storage device (slower, cheaper, long-term memory): Allows a computer to permanently retainlarge amounts of data and programs between jobs. Common mass storage devices include disk drivesand tape drives.
 
Input device: Usually a keyboard and mouse, the input device is the conduit through which data andinstructions enter a computer.
 
Output device: A display screen, printer, or other device that lets you see what the computer hasaccomplished.In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic components to work togetherefficiently. For example, every computer requires a bus that transmits data from one part of the computer toanother.
II, Computer sizes and power
Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows, though there is considerable overlap:
 
Personal computer: A small, single-user computer based on a microprocessor.
 
Workstation: A powerful, single-user computer. A workstation is like a personal computer, but it has amore powerful microprocessor and, in general, a higher-quality monitor.
 
Minicomputer: A multi-user computer capable of supporting up to hundreds of users simultaneously.
 
Mainframe: A powerful multi-user computer capable of supporting many hundreds or thousands of userssimultaneously.
 
Supercomputer: An extremely fast computer that can perform hundreds of millions of instructions persecond.SupercomputersMinicomputer MainframesWorkstationsPersonal ComputersLeast powerful Most powerful
 
 
Supercomputer and Mainframe
Supercomputer is a broad term for one of the fastest computers currently available. Supercomputers are veryexpensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematicalcalculations (number crunching). For example, weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. Other uses of supercomputers scientific simulations, (animated) graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energyresearch, electronic design, and analysis of geological data (e.g. inpetrochemical prospecting). Perhaps the best known supercomputermanufacturer is Cray Research.
 Mainframe was a term originally referring to the cabinet containing the central processor unit or "mainframe" of a room-filling Stone Age batch machine. After the emergence of smaller "minicomputer" designsin the early 1970s, the traditional big iron machines were described as "mainframe computers" andeventually just as mainframes. Nowadays a Mainframe is a very large and expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds, or even thousands, of users simultaneously. The chief difference between asupercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a fewprograms as fast as possible, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently. Insome ways, mainframes are more powerful than supercomputers because they support more simultaneousprograms. But supercomputers can execute a single program faster than a mainframe. The distinctionbetween small mainframes and minicomputers is vague, depending really on how the manufacturer wants tomarket its machines.
Minicomputer
It is a midsize computer. In the past decade, the distinction between large minicomputers and smallmainframes has blurred, however, as has the distinction between small minicomputers and workstations. Butin general, a minicomputer is a multiprocessing system capable of supporting from up to 200 userssimultaneously.
Workstation
It is a type of computer used for engineering applications (CAD/CAM), desktop publishing, softwaredevelopment, and other types of applications that require a moderate amount of computing power andrelatively high quality graphics capabilities. Workstations generally come with a large, high-resolutiongraphics screen, at large amount of RAM, built-in network support, and a graphical user interface. Mostworkstations also have a mass storage device such as a disk drive, but a special type of workstation, called adiskless workstation, comes without a disk drive. The most common operating systems for workstations areUNIX and Windows NT. Like personal computers, most workstations are single-user computers. However,workstations are typically linked together to form a local-area network, although they can also be used asstand-alone systems.
 
 
N.B.: In networking, workstation refers to any computer connected to a local-area network. It could be aworkstation or a personal computer.
Personal or micro
Computers for personal use come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny
PDA
s (
p
ersonal
d
igital
a
ssistant) tohefty
PC
(
p
ersonal
c
omputer) towers. More specialized models are announced each week - trip planners,expense account pads, language translators...Hand-held (HPC)PDATablet PCLaptop/Notebook 
Types of computer according to technologyHybrid computers
are computers that comprise features of analog computersanddigital computers. The digital component normally serves as the controller and provideslogical operations, while the analogcomponent normally serves as a solver of differential equations.
 
An
analog computer
(spelled
analogue
in British English) is a form of computerthat useselectrical
[1]
,
 
mechanicalorhydraulicphenomena to model the problem being solved. More generally an analog computer
 
uses one kind of physical quantity to represent the behavior of another physical system, or mathematicalfunction. Modeling a real physical system in a computer is calledsimulation.A
digital
system is one that uses discrete words such as electrical voltages, representing numbers or non-numericsymbolssuch aslettersoricons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display, rather than acontinuousrange of values (ie, as in ananalogsystem). The distinction between "digital" and "analog" can refer to method of input, data storage and transfer, or theinternal working of a device.
How computers work
 Main articles:Central processing unit and  Microprocessor 
 A general purpose computer has four main sections: thearithmetic and logic unit(ALU), thecontrol unit, the memory, and the input and output devices (collectively termed I/O). These parts are interconnected bybusses, often made of groups of wires. The control unit, ALU, registers, and basic I/O (and often other hardware closely linked with these) arecollectively known as acentral processing unit(CPU). Early CPUs were composed of many separatecomponents but since the mid-1970s CPUs have typically been constructed on a singleintegrated circuit called a
microprocessor 
.
Control unit
 Main articles:CPU designand Control unit 
 The control unit (often called a control system or central controller) directs the various components of acomputer. It reads and interprets (decodes) instructions in the program one by one. The control systemdecodes each instruction and turns it into a series of control signals that operate the other parts of the

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