024 - Types of Computer

According to functionality computer can be divided in to three types: analog computer, digital computer and hybrid computer. All are used to perform and process the information or data and produce result in shape of output. Computers are also categorized on the basis of physical structures and the purpose of their use.

There are three basic kinds of computers. This is based on the hardware structure and the way physical quantities are represented in a computer.

Three Types Of Computer

Analog • refers to numerical values that have a continuous range. These systems were the first type to be produced, one of which was the slide rule. To perform calculations with a slide rule, the user slides a narrow, gauged wooden strip inside a ruler-like holder.
Digital • refers to the processes in computers that manipulate binary numbers (0s or 1s), which represent switches that are turned on or off by electrical current. These machines whose components have a finite number of states – for example, the 0 or 1, or on or off of bits. These bits can be combined to denote information such as numbers, letters, graphics, and program instructions.
Hybrid • These computers are a combination of both digital and analog computers. In this type of computers, the digital segments perform process control by conversion of analog signals to digital ones.

Categories Of Computers

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) • used as notepads. Scheduling systems, and address books; if equipped with a cellular phone, they can connect to worldwide computer networks to exchange information regardless of location.
Desktop and Laptop computers • used in businesses and at home to communicate on computer networks. For word processing, to track finances, and to play games. They have large amounts of internal memory to store hundreds of programs and documents.
Workstations • It is also a single user computer system which is similar to personal computer but have more powerful microprocessor. Similar to PCs but have greater memory and more extensive mathematical abilities, and they are connected to other workstations or PCs to exchange data.
Mainframe computers • It is a multi-user computer system which is capable of supporting hundreds of users simultaneously. Have more memory, speed, and capabilities than workstations and are usually shared by multiple users through a series of interconnected computers. They control businesses and industrial facilities and are used for scientific research.
Supercomputers • It is an extremely fast computer which can execute hundreds of millions of instructions per second. This type of computer processes data much faster than a regular system. It is the leader in processing capacity and costs millions of dollars. A supercomputer is used for sensitive and calculation-intensive work such as scientific research, physical simulation, molecular modeling, space exploration, oil and natural gas exploration, earthquake studies, weather forecasting, quantum physics, nuclear weapons testing.

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