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Types of Computers && Programming Languages

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Differentiate between microcomputer and minicomputer


Micro Computers

Mini Computers

1. Micro Computers, personal Computers (PCs), are small, lightweight, and portable. 1. Mini Computers were much smaller and much less expensive than Mainframe.
2. Micro computers are more powerful than the mainframes and mini computers. 2. Mini computers were less powerful than Micro Computers.
3. Micro computers are high speed multiuser, multitasking units. 3. Mini computers generally performed one task at a time and served one user at a time.
4. Micro computers or PCs has larger word sizes. 4. Mini computers were typified by small word sizes such as 8 or 16 bits.
5. Micro computers are used for word processing, database management, spreadsheets, graphics and other general office applications. 5. Some examples of mini computers are the minis used as interface computers with communications or radar systems.

Differentiate between super computer and mainframe computer.


Super Computers

Mainframe Computers

1. Super computers are the largest, fastest, most expensive digital computers. 1. Mainframe computers are also large computers but smaller than super computer.
2. A super computer is focused on performing one task involving intense numerical calculations . such as weather forecasting and solving scientific problems. 2. Mainframe computers are used mainly by large organizations for critical applications Data processing, ERP and financial transaction processing.
3. Supercomputers are often purpose built for one or a very few specific institutional task (example, simulation and modeling) 3. Mainframes typically handles a wider variety of tasks (example, data processing, warehousing)
4. Supercomputers are optimized for complicated computations that take place largely in memory. 4. Mainframes are optimized for comparatively simple calculations involving huge amount of external data.

 What are the range of applications of computers ? Explain in detail


 Ans. A computer can be defined as an electronic data processing device, capable of accepting data, applying a prescribed set of instructions to the data, and displaying in some manner or form.


Some of the applications of the computer systems are :

  • Business : Businessmen make bar graphs and pie charts from tedious figures to convey information with far more impact than numbers alone can convey. Furthermore, computers help businesses to predict their future sales, profits, costs etc.
  • Buildings : Architects use computer animated graphics to experiment with possible exteriors and to give clients a visual walkthrough of their proposed buildings.
  • Education : Most good schools in the world have computers available for use in the classroom.
  • Retailing: Products from meats to magazines are packed with zebra stripped bar codes that can be read by computer scanners.
  • Energy : Energy companies use computers to locate oil, coal, natural gas and uranium.
  • Law Enforcement : Recent innovation in computerized law enforcement included national fingerprints files, a national file on the operation of serial killers and computer modeling on DNA.
  • Transportation : Computers are used in class to monitor fluid levels, temperatures and electrical systems.
  • Money : Computers speed up record keeping and allow banks to offer same day services.
  • Agriculture : Farmers use small computers to help with billing, crop information, and cost per acre, feed combinations and market price checks.
  • Government: Among other tasks, the federal government, uses computers to forecast the weather, to collect taxes and in many other things.
  • The Home : People having a computer in the home justifies the fact that it is not only useful but is also revered as a learning system.
  • Scientific Research : With the development of computers, scientific research has propelled towards the better a great deal.
  • Real Time Systems : Many computers provide an environment, which is completely based on real time. This means processing of one entity is done so quickly and effectively, that another entity is not effected.
  • Training : It is much more cheaper and effective to teach pilots how to fly in a computerized cockpit or simulators, than in real airplanes.
  • How machine level language is different from high level language?

Ans. The Computer can understand only machine language. This is combination of 0’s and 1’s. Instructions are written using sequences of 0’s and 1’s. First generation Computers used program written in machine language. The lack of portability of programs written using machine language between different Computers led to the development of high level languages. The high level program is called Source Code whereas equivalent machine language program is referred to as the Object Code. Machine Level programs are very cumbersome and tedious, whereas high level programs are easy to learn and portable. High level language programs are easier to maintain. But slow program execution is the main disadvantage of high level language program, since programs need to be converted into machine language before they can be executed.

Programming in machine language can be very tedious and highly prone to errors.

Difference between High Level Language and Machine Level Language :

(1) Programming in Machine Language is difficult and time consuming whereas it is easier and faster to write programs in High Level Language.

(2) The Machine Languages are machine oriented. The programmer must have the detailed knowledge of the structure of the Computer he is using. He must have the knowledge of registers and instruction set of the Computer, connections of ports to the peripherals etc. whereas High Level Languages are easier to learn.

(3) The program written in Machine Language for one Computer can not be used on any other Computer, i.e. these programs are not portable. Each processor has its own instruction set and hence its own machine language, whereas High Level Language programs are portable, i.e. they will run on any Computer which has a similar compiler. Also High Level Language programmer does not have limitations to use a single type of machine.

(4) One statement of a High Level Language corresponds to many instructions of the Machine Level program. Hence a High Level program is much shorter as compared to Machine Language program.

(5) High Level program provide better documentation as compared to Machine Level programs.