Computers today have reached such a penetration into people’s habits and customs that they can even be equated, in terms of popularity, with televisions, radios, and audio players. Today we depend on computers to such an extent that without being able to use one of these devices, we would not be able to perform even a fraction of the tasks that we perform daily in our lives.
Over the years, the form and purposes of computers have varied, from the first years of computing where computers occupied entire buildings and were used for complex scientific calculations to today, where we can enjoy a Multipurpose device with incredible computing power in a space small enough to fit in a wristwatch.
This tends to cause some confusion for most users, who cannot stop seeing a computer as a box, however computers today can be designed in various formats, each of them adapted to certain types of tasks, And although they may vary in shape over time, we can basically differentiate five main types of computers , as we can see if we go into this article.
How to differentiate between types of computers
The Great Computers: Supercomputers
Supercomputers are a type of computer equipment designed for the purpose of rapidly processing huge amounts of information. Over the years, the power of the processors that equip these computers has been increasing to incredible values, and there is fierce competition by their developers and manufacturers for their supercomputer to be the most powerful available at a certain time. Supercomputers can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and consume enough energy to power dozens of homes.
Another characteristic of supercomputers is the enormous amount of heat they cause, in this way the manufacturers of this equipment must worry about the cooling system.
They are used to manipulate huge amounts of information in, out, and storage. Mainframes generally work with terminals spread over different physical areas and where all processing is done on this mainframe. Today’s mainframes can cost millions of dollars and often occupy entire rooms equipped with special infrastructure.
As an example we can cite a network of stores whose database is controlled by a mainframe and the other stores access the data through terminals, so that the mainframe manages the input and output requirements of all terminals.
Minicomputers are a type of device that sits in a niche between mainframes and microcomputers . Minicomputers are a third type of computer capable of handling much more input and output data than microcomputers, also called personal computers, although some minicomputers are intended for a single user, they are capable of controlling hundreds of terminals.
Minicomputers represented a more economical solution for companies that need a computer with a higher processing capacity if they lacked capital or did not want to invest in a mainframe. The main manufacturers of this equipment were DELL, IBM and HP.
The name “Minicomputer” is often misleading today, but it is a term coined in the 1960s, where the word “Mini” did not mean the same as it does today. A classic example of a minicomputer is the AS / 400 series , designed and manufactured by IBM. Over time minicomputers have been disappearing mainly due to the computing power that other types of computers could offer.
Although at the time workstations or workstations, as they are also known, were equipment that was used for tasks that required high levels of power and process stability, the truth is that over time, the Less expensive personal computers have reached such a level of performance that they came to replace workstations in many of the tasks performed with this type of computer.
This caused the sales of workstations to decline gradually, and they began to be used generally in areas such as research and development, that is, well specialized areas, where all the power of this type of hardware could be fully exploited.
Personal computers, also called microcomputers or micros, is a type of small computer, but currently offers great processing capacity and high performance. The term PC was coined in 1981, when IBM launched the “Personal Computer”, from which the abbreviation PC is derived.
As the IBM PC project achieved success and fame, it was cloned and mass-produced by countless manufacturers, preserving the original process architecture , which is used to this day.
Personal computers can be found in the most diverse formats, but the type of personal computer most used today is the desktop computer, which we can find in all types of settings and performing the most varied tasks.
Basically a desktop computer is that device that inside a cabinet contains everything necessary to function, such as the video card, the audio card, the processor and others, but unlike the other most used type of computer, the notebook , which we will talk about later, to the desktop computer we must attach various input and output peripherals, such as a monitor, mouse, keyboard and other devices that allow us to interact with the computer.
We can also count on the options of another personal computer , but with different architecture, those produced by the American firm Apple , products that have achieved world fame due to their stability and build quality.
All in One Computers
Another type of personal computer, also desktop, are the so – called “All-inOne”, a device that brings together characteristics of different technologies, such as the possibility of using a touch screen. This type of computer does not require us to install input or output peripherals, except those necessary to carry out tasks such as printing and others.
Obviously, this name corresponds to a type of computing device that allows, due to dimensions and weight, to be transported without problems to the place where the user wants. For this they are also equipped with their own power source, in this case, a rechargeable battery that can last us several hours without depending on the electric current.
There are several types of laptops, with multiple formats and performances, which we will comment on below.
Another type of personal computer is the so-called notebook, also known as a laptop, which is basically a computer with similar performance and capacity to a desktop computer, but in a format that can be transported, since they use an LCD monitor. or LEDs, in addition to much smaller and more efficient components in terms of energy use, a point more than necessary since the main power source for laptops is a battery.
It should be noted that it is not necessary to add input and output devices to the notebook, except those that we need for other extra tasks, such as printing or controlling other devices.
In this same group there are also the so-called Netbooks, which although they have been disappearing from the market, are still marketed. This type of computer is different from the notebook, since although netbooks are also portable, the difference in performance and size with the notebook is notorious . This is primarily because the Netbook was designed as a low-cost type of portable computer.
We mentioned earlier in this article that computers can be designed in any format, however most people will always associate computing with a specific type of format, the desktop or notebook format. Of course, this can always change with the new generations of young people, who have a different look at things.
However, the truth is that for example, both smartphones and tablets could be considered as another type of laptop, since they are devices that work in practically the same way, except in another way.
The same happens with wearable-type devices, a modern technology that allows us to integrate electronic mechanisms that we can wear as just another garment or accessory. A more than clear example of this are the so-called smartwatches, devices that can perform tasks such as checking email, using social networks and doing many other tasks directly from the user’s wrist.
Finally, in the automotive industry, in recent years we have seen how a computer takes over most of the functions of a car, or how all kinds of mechanisms, large and small, have stopped being controlled by humans to be controlled by means of a computer.
There is also another device that is really very popular today, the tablet, which we will talk about later in this article.
What is a smartphone? What is it for? How to buy one?
Smartphone is, in its literal translation, “a smartphone”. And there is no better way to define this type of equipment. It is the evolution of the mobile phone. Its ability to make and receive calls is “just a detail” for these devices, which allow infinite possibilities . The smartphone models are countless, being able to find the most diverse functionalities that we can imagine.
Smartphones today are hybrids between cell phones and computers. Many of the most modern models have already reached the performance of a PC, and they stopped being simple telephones “but more complicated” to become practically a fundamental tool to carry out almost all our daily tasks.
Smartphones have most of the main communication technologies in a single device : internet, GPS devices, email, voice assistant, SMS, camera, instant messaging and thousands of applications for whatever comes to mind. It is having the digital world on a small touch screen.
What is a smartphone for?
Imagine that we are in our vehicle, going to an important meeting at work and we get lost in the middle of the road. If the scenario happened more than ten years ago, surely we would have in our hands a telephone that would allow us little more than trying to call or send a text message so that one of our contacts warns that we are going to be late. In addition to the bad image due to the delay we project, it is also possible that we miss something important from the meeting.
But thanks to smartphones, these types of situations no longer happen, mainly because they are equipped with a large number of tools designed with the purpose of making things easier for us. In a scenario like the one described above, all we have to do to find the way to the meeting is to use the GPS function to find the best route to the meeting place, enter a traffic social network, or until participating in the meeting using the videoconferencing function or any of the other tools designed for this purpose, such as ZOOM or Skype.
A modern smartphone allows us to always be in contact in conditions that were simply unimaginable before. With one of these devices we can send emails, check social networks, work with text documents or spreadsheets and thousands of other tasks in the same way as if we were doing it from a computer, and perhaps even in a way much faster and more comfortable. But in addition to allowing us to work, a smartphone is capable of offering us one of the best options to entertain ourselves, thanks to the large number of games and other services such as YouTube.
With a smartphone it is also possible to photograph, film, watch movies, listen to music, and on some models, even watch television. The number of applications that we can use on smartphones is incredible: from tools for work, such as text and image editors, to options for fun, with addictive games such as “Fortnite” or “Minecraft”.
With a smartphone, we will not miss any important information , such as exchange rates, weather forecast or traffic conditions, in addition to having a calculator and a calendar always at hand, reading our favorite newspapers and magazines , making purchases online and even pay your bills and operate with the bank.
It is important to highlight the connectivity of smartphones: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB without hesitation. Not to mention the “external” functions of the teams. A smartphone can function, for example, as a flashlight or remote control, and even as a compass.
Why buy a smartphone?
Each user may have their own special reason for buying a smartphone, but the truth is that practically everyone needs one. Be it for the simplest tasks, such as simply surfing the internet, using social networks and photographing special moments, or to always be on top of the latest news and perform office tasks without the need for a PC.
The main reason to buy a smartphone is precisely its versatility. It is used for so many things that it will surely facilitate some activity of daily life. And the best thing is that today the price of a smartphone today is not a barrier. Of course, there are very expensive equipment, but you can also buy simple smartphones at very affordable prices.
If we are going to invest in the purchase of a new cell phone, the ideal would be that we first think about buying a smartphone. Regardless of our age and the use we make of the cell phone, it is never too late or too early to adapt to new technologies and understand that a phone, today, can do much more than just call.
What smartphone to buy?
The smartphone market grew a lot in recent years and a large number of options appeared in stores across the country. You need to be careful when buying a new phone. Not always the cheapest is the best option, as well as not because being the most expensive is going to be extremely superior to one of lesser value.
The main brands of smartphones on the market are: Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Huawey and Sony, among many other brands. Each one has its peculiarities. Among operating systems, the undisputed market leaders today are Google’s Android and iPhone’s iOS, operating systems that have even caused products like Microsoft’s Windows Phone and BlackBerry’s BBOS to sink into the night of oblivion forever. The battle for leadership is being fought between Android and iPhone, with Android being the winner for the moment.
Let’s not forget that to take full advantage of a smartphone it is necessary to have a data package from our mobile phone operator. The Internet is the basis of all innovation in this type of product. It is not ideal to buy a smartphone without offering support for 4G or 5G.
Notebook and Netbook: What are the differences?
When changing or buying a computer, we must take into account what utility we are going to give it and how much money we are willing to spend. At this point, we are most likely a little undecided, but from here we will find a series of guidelines that will serve as a guide and help us when making the decision to buy a new notebook PC.
What is a netbook for?
A laptop PC is ideal for those who need to move a computer all the time , but only use it to review, respond to and send e-mails, edit texts, communicate by instant messaging and surf the Internet.
Generally, many of the high-end notebooks have integrated SSDs that do not suffer data loss or damage in the event of a shock. However, netbooks, as they are designed for a less demanding and less profitable market, come equipped with mechanical hard drives. But netbooks offer other differences, such as their size, since they are much smaller than a notebook, and another important aspect to take into account is their price, since they are much cheaper.
Its batteries can last 8 hours or more, depending on the model, which indicates that you will not need to move the charger. They are ideal for adolescents and children, since their value is accessible, and they are more resistant to shocks than children can give to equipment of this type.
Netbooks are also ideal for newcomers to the world of technology , as they easily perform basic functions generally used by novice users, such as surfing the internet, email manager, and more. They work as text editors and generally have an integrated webcam. Everything beginners need from a computer.
What is a notebook for?
For some time now, for those who require portability and performance, notebooks are the best option since they currently have almost the same price as a desktop computer, and offer many more advantages, starting with portability. So why buy a desktop computer if we can save a lot of space and have good portability with a notebook.
Regarding performance, in the event that we like high definition videos, working with image editing and working with multimedia content, a notebook can also be an excellent option, since it has really very powerful processors, which added The modern RAM and the performance of the SSD disks of this type of device make a notebook an excellent tool for all kinds of work, including video and audio editing.
So, netbooks and notebooks complement each other, since one is used for more complex activities and the other to be connected to the web anywhere through a small device without fear of losing valuable information.
What are tablets?
If we had to define in a few words these fabulous electronic devices that have all the hardware technology and the latest advances in the development of operating systems, we could say that tablets are something like a hybrid, a perfect mix between flexibility and portability of a notebook, the computing power of a desktop computer, and the security and convenience of a smartphone.
After having undergone a radical change, those first tablets that came to the market a few years ago, which had a screen with an accelerometer and which had to be operated with a stylus, today we can directly enjoy all the performance and performance with our fingers. comfort of these small devices, which have long revolutionized the way we carry out routine tares during our workday.
Nothing remains of those first tablets that included Stylus and a rudimentary touchscreen. Today, tablets go beyond the expectations that the common user can have on these small portable computers , since they incorporate high definition screens, multi-core processors and a lot of memory capacity , both RAM and storage.
In the current market there are many types and features, but in short it is basically a laptop that has a touch screen without a physical keyboard, and through said display the user can access the different control panels, with the use of your fingers, as well as with a stylus. In this way, the use of keyboard and mouse is dispensed with.