Computer generally means a programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
Modern Computers Defined
Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery — wires, transistors, and circuits — is called hardware; the instructions and data are called software.
Building Windows Apps for Windows 10
All general-purpose computers require the following hardware components:
Memory: enables a computer to store, at least temporarily, data and programs.
Mass storage device: allows a computer to permanently retain large amounts of data. Common mass storage devices include disk drives and tape drives.
Input device: usually a keyboard and mouse, the input device is the conduit through which data and instructions enter a computer.
Output device: a display screen, printer, or other device that lets you see what the computer has accomplished.
Central processing unit (CPU): the heart of the computer, this is the component that actually executes instructions.
In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic components to work together efficiently. For example, every computer requires a bus that transmits data from one part of the computer to another.
Computer Classification: By Size 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. In addition to the microprocessor, a personal computer has a keyboard for entering data, a monitor for displaying information, and a storage device for saving data.
Workstation: a powerful, single-user computer. A workstation is like a personal computer, but it has a more powerful microprocessor and a higher-quality monitor.
Minicomputer: a multi-user computer capable of supporting from 10 to hundreds of users simultaneously.
Mainframe: a powerful multi-user computer capable of supporting many hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously.
Supercomputer: an extremely fast computer that can perform hundreds of millions of instructions per second.
The First Computer
The first computer, the ENIAC machine (John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania) used 18,000 vacuum tubes and trequired 167 square meters (1800 square feet) of floor space (source).
(1) Short for personal computer or IBM PC. The first personal computer produced by IBM was called the PC, and increasingly the term PC came to mean IBM or IBM-compatible personal computers, to the exclusion of other types of personal computers, such as Macintoshes.
In recent years, the term PC has become more and more difficult to pin down. In general, though, it applies to any personal computer based on an Intel microprocessor, or on an Intel-compatible microprocessor. For nearly every other component, including the operating system, there are several options, all of which fall under the rubric of PC
(2) PC can stand for printed circuit, so a PC board is a printed circuit board.
A personal computer specially configured for use in a home rather than an office. Typically, home computers have only medium -power microprocessors, but are equipped with a full complement of multimedia devices. In addition, manufacturers often bundle recreational and educational software with home computers.
A computer with minimal memory, disk storage and processor power designed to connect to a network, especially the Internet. The idea behind network computers is that many users who are connected to a network don’t need all the computer power they get from a typical personal computer. Instead, they can rely on the power of the network servers.
This is really a variation on an old idea — diskless workstations — which are computers that contain memory and a processor but no disk storage. Instead, they rely on a server to store data. Network computers take this idea one step further by also minimizing the amount of memory and processor power required by the workstation. Network computers designed to connect to the Internet are sometimes called Internet boxes, Net PCs, and Internet appliances.
One of the strongest arguments behind network computers is that they reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO)– not only because the machines themselves are less expensive than PCs, but also because network computers can be administered and updated from a central network server.
(ser´ver) (n.) A computer or device on a network that manages network resources. There are many different types of servers. For example:
File server: a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.
Print server: a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic.
Database server: a computer system that processes database queries.
Servers are often dedicated, meaning that they perform no other tasks besides their server tasks. On multiprocessing operating systems, however, a single computer can execute several programs at once. A server in this case could refer to the program that is managing resources rather than the entire computer.
Top 5 Server Terms
1. What is Web server?
2. What is proxy server?
3. What is dedicated server?
4. What is application server?
5. What is cloud server?
A series of server operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. Windows servers are more powerful versions of their desktop operating system counterparts and are designed to more efficiently handle corporate networking, Internet/intranet hosting, databases, enterprise-scale messaging and similar functions.
The Windows Server name made its debut with the release of Windows Server 2003 and continues with the current release, Windows Server 2008 R2, which shares its codebase with Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 debuted in October 2009 and currently has its first service pack (SP1) in development.
Announced by Microsoft in January 2007, Windows Home Server (WHS) is a consumer server option designed for use with multiple computers connected in the home. Home Server allows you to share files such as digital photos and media files, and also allows you to automatically backup your home networked computers. Through Windows Media Connect, Windows Home Server lets you share any media located on your WHS with compatible devices. Compatible devices in this case basically means Vista or XP computer systems, media center devices, Windows Mobile-based devices, and even your Xbox 360 console gaming system.
The server itself requires only an Ethernet card and at least one Windows XP or Windows Vista PC. Through the Home Server Console, which is the software you install on the connected PCs, you can set all your server options including backup details, file-sharing options so you don’t need a video_adapter.html, or keyboard and mouse since all access is done remotely through a connected PC.