Uses and Characteristics of IBM PC
A computer is a device that is programmed to perform systematic mathematical or logical processes automatically. Modern computers are able to do generalized sets of logical functions called programs. These programs allow computers to do an assortment of activities. It can efficiently carry out calculations, extract information from files and records, evaluate results, manipulate and store data, and so on. A computer helps in storing and manipulating information and has an important part in providing computer-based services such as email, spreadsheets, word processing, CAD/CAM programs, web pages, and other types of computer applications.
Computers are categorized into microcomputers, mainframe computers, server computers, laptops, personal computers, embedded systems, etc. The term “computer” can also refer to the set of devices that are used together for performing calculations, controlling other devices, for storing data, for communication and printing purposes, for network computing and other purposes. Desktop computers are the smallest type of computer that consists of a display unit and memory unit. They are available in various designs such as notebook computers, netbooks, personal computers and others. A mainframe computer, on the other hand, is a large computer that is used in enterprises for processing large amounts of data.
Digital and analog computers both store data and operate systems. Both of these types of computer use different kinds of technology. Digital computers make use of digital devices for input and output (I/O) such as keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, video display and others. On the other hand, analog computers make use of signals such as serial ports, inter-network ports, computer bus ports, USB ports and others to communicate with external devices used for input and output.
Computer models include instructions for program execution and data storage, the execution of instructions, control of software, security features and microprocessor. General-purpose computers include desktop, notebook, personal computer, workstation and mainframe computers. General-purpose computers are mostly used for regular day-to-day activities such as word processing, office applications, spreadsheet and others. On the other hand, special purpose computers are used for specific tasks. Special purpose computers include servers, workstations, work orders and so forth.
IBM PC or Personal Computer is the most widely used brand in the market today. Other brands include Dell, Compaq, E Machines, eMachines, Gateway, Toshiba, HP, iRobot, Xeikon and other brands. Each brand has different specifications, features and price ranges. All these factors determine the type of PC that an individual needs to run his or her daily activities. Large companies usually use IBM PC, Dell, eMachines, Microsoft and other brands for their general-purpose personal computers.
Large companies have PCs that are attached to the mainframes with the help of a cable. This helps them to access data stored in the mainframes by just typing the commands. However, users can access information stored in the mainframes either by transferring data through some peripheral devices or by transferring the data directly to the user’s computer through the central processing unit (CPU). IBM PC and other mainframe computers are usually found in large companies. For small-scale computer users, they can use a laptop or notebook that comes along with a small mass storage device called laptop or notebook board.