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Computers are found in practically every household today. Everywhere you look, people have access to a Personal Computer, someway or another. As computers get more advanced, the demand for a better computer gets greater.
The Personal Computer (PC), a machine capable of repetitively and quickly performing calculations and instructions. Designed to be used by a single person, a PC is smaller, less expensive, and easier to use than other classes of computers, such as supercomputers, mainframe computers, and workstations. However, it usually has less computational power.1
First appearing as massive machines seen only in areas of high
technology, the computer eventually found its way into homes and offices in
the smaller, more accessible form of the PC. They have revolutionized
entertainment, science, the media, art, medicine, education, and business
because they provide computational abilities at a low cost to people with no
programming experience. PCs enable artists to envision and manipulate
images. Musicians use them for learning, creating, and recording music.
Businesses track finances and forecast company performance using PCs.
Foreign correspondents can compose news stories on portable PCs, called
laptops, and electronically submit these stories from remote locations. Many
people work at home and communicate with fellow workers via their PCs in a
practice known as telecommunications. PCs are also able to interface with
worldwide communication networks, such as the Internet, and the graphics-
based information database known as the World Wide Web to find information
on any subject. With a PC and a modem, a user is able to connect to
information on local, national, and international networks via phone lines. As
computers and software have become easier to use, or more “user friendly,”
many people are finding them both useful and necessary for their jobs. As a
family tool, this computer may be used for school, research, communication,
record keeping, work, and entertainment.
Mainframe Computer, a high-level computer designed for the most
intensive computational tasks. Mainframe computers are often shared by
multiple users connected to the computer via terminals. The most powerful
mainframes, called supercomputers, perform highly complex and time
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research by scientists, large businesses, and the military.
In conclusion, mainframe computers are really expensive and space
consuming.2 If you want a computer just for regular everyday functions, it is
recommended that you buy a PC. If you have a business and the available
resources, then a mainframe might be the right choice for you.
1 "Personal Computer," Encyclopedia Britanica 2000. © 1993-1999
2 "Mainframe Computer," http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles.html#Columbia