(1) Supercomputers are the most powerful computers and, accordingly, the most
expensive. These machines cost several million dollars. The ability of these systems to process
hundreds of millions of instructions per second is used for such applications as weather
forecasting, space exploration, and other jobs requiring long, complex calculations. These super
computers were designed to perform a large volume of numerical calculations quickly. At this
instance, a supercomputer is working on how the universe was created.
(2) Mainframe computers are large, powerful computer systems that serve numerous
users simultaneously, store large amounts of data, and process transactions at a high rate.
Mainframes usually require a specialized environment, including separate air conditioning and
electrical power. A raised floor is often built to accommodate the many cables connecting the
system components. Businesses and organizations that have a need for vast amounts of
information, such as NASA or your bank, may use these computers.
of users performing difficult tasks. Originally developed to perform specific tasks such as
engineering calculations, their use grew rapidly as their performance and capability increased.
information at a fraction of the cost of the mainframes. AFMIS is a minicomputer system.
(4) Microcomputers include the personal computers (PCs) used in the home or by
small businesses. Laptop computers, notebook computers, sub-notebook computers, palmtop
computers and personal data assistants (PDAs) are just a few.