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Mainframe and Personal Computers There are millions of computers in existence - so many that nobody has been able to keep track of exactly how many there are Of those millions there are many difference kinds Two of the computers we can specifically discuss are Mainframe computers and Personal computers How can we make sense of the two different kinds of computers Here are some ways we can look at it What is it for Is it independent or part of something else How big or powerful is it How fast is it Many computers are made to handle a wide variety of tasks like personal computers PCs but others are aimed at a special job or situation like mainframes Minicomputers or Personal computers are generally designed for handling a wide variety of tasks such as Word processing accounting database Payroll inventory order processing Industrial control engineering drafting Scientific research and data analysis Mainframe computers are generally dedicated for handling one job only Word processing Controlling a machine robot Running a telephone switching station Environmental control Medical imaging system Is it Independent When we think of a computer most of us probably think of a machine that is independent of other machines although it could be part of a network But many devices that qualify as computers are actually a part of something else These are so-called embedded computers and most of them are actually microprocessors So what is the difference between a microprocessor and a microcomputer A computer is an independent machine containing CPU ALU Memory Input Output Storage They come in many sizes - tiny small medium or large but they are designed to work on their own An embedded processor or computer is CPU Memory wires to control something Embedded processors are found in thousands of different machines because they provide an inexpensive way of making the machine smart A few examples of the more
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