Digital literacy types of computers

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Types of Computers

Types of ComputersComputer Technology(S1 Obj 1-1)

1IntroductionThere are many different types of computers available today.

They are categorized into different types depending on their size and processing power,

What are the categories?2Desktop / PCA computer that is designed to meet the needs of one individual Has a central processing unit housed in a metal case (often called a tower) along with a keyboard, mouse and monitorIntended for use at one single location

3Desktops are used for:Desktops are used for running applications (full scale, complex software) including:Office SoftwareWord processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and databasesEngineering designing softwareCAD/CAM and other designing software for homes, kitchens, airplanes and morePhoto and Video editingMusiccreating, playing and storingInternetEntertainment and information4Advantages and DisadvantagesEasy to upgradeVast range of software availableEasy to mix and match; customize to meet your needs.Can be used continually for long periods of time

Not easily portableRequires large amount of desk spaceNeeds a fan to prevent overheatingMust be plugged in to power outlet

5Laptop ComputerAlso known as a notebookA portable computer that integrates a monitor, keyboard, touchpad, pointing stick, and speakers into one single unitRuns on a rechargeable batteryPeople choose to use a laptop because of its portability and the ability to run most of the same applications that are run on a desktop computer.

6NetbookSmaller portable computer that is more lightweight and has less processing power than a laptopCan still run word processing and spreadsheet applications.More netbooks are sold today than notebooks, however, sales of netbooks have declined since the introduction of tablets

7Advantages and Disadvantages of Notebooks and NetbooksPortableLightweightRuns on a rechargeable batteryRuns the same software as a Desktop PC

More expensive than a comparable PCEasily damaged if droppedDifficult to repair/ upgrade

8TabletsMini, flat mobile computer that uses a touch-sensitive screen for input and navigation. Uses application software called an App: a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices.Uses: To access apps, e-mail, Internet, minor editing of documents, play games and more without lugging around a larger computer.

9Advantages and Disadvantages of TabletsSmall and lightweightLong battery lifePowers up immediately (no boot process)Tablets can run lite versions of office softwareWith Internet access, it can access your data from anywhere

Small screenKeyboard is small and difficult to use Easily damaged, not easily upgradedExpensive Internet Access plans

10Mobile DeviceA small, pocket-sized computing device with a touch screen and memory card for data storage.Also known as a handheld.There are many kinds of mobile devices.They run appsUses: Personal organizationInternet accessPhone GPSCameraMedia player for audio and videos.

11Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile DevicesYou can carry it with you (in your pocket)Fingertip access to the Internet, e-mail and dataUse of phone to contact othersHelps with organizationGPS, phone, texting, face-time and more

Expensive monthly access plansReception is poor in some areasSafety (use while driving or walking)Social (limits association interactions)Distraction at work/schoolEasy to lose or damage

12ServerA computer that provides users with access to files and printers on a networkHas a large processors and many hard drivesWhere network documents and web pages are storedUsed in schools, doctors offices, small companiesMakes it possible to access documents on any network computer in the building

13MainframeA Large, powerful computer that carries out different tasks for thousands of people at the same timeMainframes can process large volumes of data quickly and securely.

They must be operated by trained specialists and kept in air-conditioned rooms away from the office or factory floor.14Mainframes are used for:Utility Companies (Gas and Electricity suppliers)--for billingBanks for managing your accountsInsurance Companiesmanaging policiesAirlinesreservations and ticket processingPolicecrime detection15SupercomputerThe fastest and most expensive computers in the world at the time it is createdThey perform quadrillions of complex calculations in a very short time

16Supercomputers are used for:Weather forecastingSpace explorationScientific researchMilitary weapons researchPharmaceuticals and Drug testing

17Supercomputers continuedGenerate lots of heat; air-conditioning requiredMiles of cables connect the computer to peripheralsRequires its own electricity generatorNeed special filters installed to keep the atmosphere free of dust particlesCan tackle huge real world calculations that would be too time consuming to be completed by an individual or any other type of computerSpeed and accuracy of calculations


Click below to watch a video about supercomputers. Please keep in mind that the list of top 10 supercomputers in the world constantly changes as new supercomputers are created and older supercomputers are updated.19So how fast is a Petaflop?

This short 2 minute video explains!20Wearable ComputersElectronic devices that are integrated into watches, wristbands, belts, glasses, or even clothing!Advantages:Constant interaction between the device and the userHands are freeNot necessary to stop what your are doing to use the device.

21Wearable Computers Uses:MilitaryHealth and FitnessCommerceNavigationGaming

MilitaryMilitary demands are similar to consumer demand: low power, lightweight, high performance, and long battery life. Small handheld wearable computers enable a soldier to free one or both hands, which means a more alert soldier than one sitting at a laptop.

A large push is under way to improve video capability on wearable displays to better take advantage of sensor fusion and provide situational awareness not only to battlefield commanders, but also down to individual soldiers.

An example of this is sending images taken from unmanned-aerial-vehicle surveillance directly to the wearable devices in special-operations units and reconnaissance forces. This approach would let them see what the UAV sees.

Wearable Computer capabilitiesImagine video games that happen in real space. Or glasses that remind you of your colleagues name that you really should know. Or paying for a coffee at Starbucks with your watch instead of your phone. Wearables will transform our lives in numerous ways, trivial and substantial, that we are just starting to imagine.

The above is quoted from the NY Times technology blog located at is an outstanding article about wearables and the future.

Health and FitnessLink to a super article about the Nike FuelBand, a wearable fitness computer

22Nike Fuel Band & Nike Plus Shoes

23Embedded ComputersA single chip that contains all of the elements essential for any computerRAM / ROMCPUInput / OutputClock

24Embedded Computers ContinuedComputer chips are now cheap enough to install in everyday items. TelephonesTelevisionsMicrowavesWashing machinesCars


Project Glass: Google Glasses26If Time PermitsComputers of the FutureCorningHighly Engineered Glass