Purpose Packages
Commercial Data
Computer Systems
Computer Systems
Programming Course

Collect Homework

Computer Hardware

Memory & Storage


Helpful Extras

Different Computer Systems

1. Mainframe Computer


20 in Kickin Technology Series: MainFrame Computers. MORE POWEeeer!
mainframe computer

20 A mainframe computer is a computer system with:

• very powerful processors
• lots of backing storage
• large internal memory.

Mainframes are designed to process large volumes of data at high speed. They are used by large businesses such as

Mainframe computers can also multi-task by running more than one program at the same time time. This is known as multi-programming and with more memory has become possible on desktop and laptop computers.


2. Desktop Computer

Desk Top PC

19 in Kickin Technology Series: Desktop Computers. See them everywhere!

A desktop computer is the most common kind of PC. It is a collection of a number of different hardware devices. This type of computer is sited permanently on a desk because its design means it cannot be easily moved. The common components of a desktop PC are:


3. Laptop or Notebook Computer

LapTop Computer

6 in Kickin Technology Series: Laptop Computers. Becoming Increasingly common!

A laptop computer is a small, light computer that you can easily carry about with you. It can be powered by battery or mains power. A laptop computer has a keyboard, and comes with specialised input devices, for example trackballs, touch pads or track points. They are needed because laptop computers are often operated in places where it is impracticable to use a mouse.

For output the laptop has an LCD or TFT screen and a set of small speakers.

‘Laptops’ are often as powerful as desktop computers and run the same range and type of software.

People use laptops for working when they are on the move, going to meetings or attending courses.

Many businesses are replacing desktop PCs with special plug-in workstations designed round laptop computers because of the flexibility they offer.


4. Palmtop Computer or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)


1 in Kickin Technology Series: Palmtops Now part of Smartphones!

This type of computer is increasing in popularity, and is often called a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

A palmtop computer is small enough to fit in your pocket.

It combines a lot of capabilities, including organiser features (such as storing contact numbers, names and addresses, etc.), e-mail and wireless internet access.

Palmtop's have small keyboards and most let you open menus and select icons by using a special pen or stylus. Most let you enter data by writing with the stylus. They are powered by batteries and store their data on removable memory units called flash cards.

You can run a wide range of software on palmtop's, for example simple word processing, database and spreadsheet software as well as useful applications such as electronic diaries. Many modern palmtop's:


What you have to do!

In a new Word document, enter a heading Computer hardware and save the file. - 9this will form your notes for this topic)

  1. Watch each of the movies in turn and;
  2. answer the following questions.
    1. Why do large businesses such as banks use mainframe computers?
    2. Describe the components of the desktop computer you use in school or at home.
    3. Complete this table comparing a desktop with a laptop.

        Desktop Laptop
      Output Ordinary Monitor LCD/TFT
      Backing Storage Hard disk, floppy disk, CD/DVD Drive  
      Power Source Mains Power  
      Portable No  

    4. Name three types of software that run on palmtop's.
    5. Why are palmtop's useful?

What you should be able to do!

  1. Describe different types of Computer System..

  2. Give some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of computer System.

  3. Recommend a particular computer system for given situations.


Continue to 3. Input Devices






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Computer Systems


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